Major Computer Problem

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Scribner, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. Scribner

    Scribner Guest

    It all started about 8 months ago. I guess that a USB PCI card became
    loose and when I pushed the computer back towards the wall the cords
    moved the card which shorted out the motherboard. I replaced the m/b
    with an identical model. The USB card was also fried, so I replaced
    it. My DVD burner acted a little funny (tray had to be coaxed to
    open) but it still worked so I kept it. Everything was fine until
    about 4 weeks ago. On a Friday and then on a Monday, my area
    completely lost power for about 30 minutes. I have my computer
    plugged into my $135 surge suppressor into which I also have my TV and
    home theatre system. There seemed to be no ill effects from the power
    loss. Three weeks ago, I bought this gizmo which converts VHS tapes
    into DVD's by plugging into your computer via a USB cable. I was on
    my third tape when my power supply blew with a bang. It was a 20
    month old 500 watt CooMax. I had no choice, so I immediately replaced
    it with a Thermaltake 600 watt ps. I thought that was the end of my
    problems when the other day the computer tried to start, got as far as
    the Windows welcome screen and then the power shut off for a second. I
    tried restarting a few times and each time the power supply cut off
    and recycled faster and faster until it was shutting off at POST. I
    removed each memory module one at a time to see if it was a memory
    malfunction, and it wasn't. When I was using the software for the
    gizmo, which I returned as soon as the power supply blew, it would
    always access by floppy B: drive. Assuming that this constant running
    may have damaged the floppy drive, I unplugged both A: and B: and shut
    them off in my BIOS. After this, the computer started right up. While
    I was in my BIOS, I decided to check things just to be sure. My BIOS
    revealed the my CPU fan's RPM's were 0. I opened up the case and the
    fan was barely moving. I pulled the fan out, blew it out, and
    lubricated it with some silicone. It then ran faster than factory
    specs. But I didn't want to trust it. So I bought and installed a
    big honking brand new fan. I also installed some monitoring software
    to check things. Once again, everything was fine. Until tonight. The
    computer had been on for about 9 hours. I was using the internet
    (email sending was molassas slow for some reason) and I had about a
    dozen files open. Most were notepad. Two were IE. And the power
    supply died. I tried to recycle it, but it wouldn't come back on. I
    called Thermaltake. The tech had me unplug everything and short the
    power supply to see if the fan would even turn. It wouldn't. So I
    made a quick trip to Fry's and I exchanged my dead ps for their last
    Thermaltake Pure Power 600W PS. The thing has been discontinued. I
    plugged it in, removed all of my USB cards, confirmed that my AGP
    video card's fan was working, unplugged my two burners, and started up
    the computer. And it is working.

    The problem cannot be the power supply. So what is it? The
    Thermaltake tech suggested that they have seen video cards pull so
    much power that the blow the ps, but I wasn't doing a game. Although
    my computer, running the original CoolMax, shut down when I was
    playing a game for about 20 minutes while I have my usual work windows
    open. But a cycling of the Master switch fixed the problem. Though I
    haven't played the game since. The card is an AGP NVIDIA GeForce 7600

    I have run a stress test on the CPU, and Intel Core Duo 2 6400 @ 2.13
    GHz 2.13 GHz. The first time, under the CoolMax, when it was going off
    and on, killed it. With the new power supply, there was no problem.

    Right now, I'm running the motherboard, CPU, CPU fan, video card,
    video card fan, 56k modem, 2 gigs of memory, a couple of case fans,
    and two SATA hard drives.

    Any idea what is causing my problem? I REALLY need my computer for
    work. No computer = no work. Thanks.
    Scribner, Mar 11, 2009
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  2. Scribner

    Desk Rabbit Guest

    Scribner wrote:
    Err, it's the power supply. The old one didn't work, the new one did.
    What did you think, that these incidents were unrelated and it must be
    the rubber feet on the bottom?????
    Get a UPS. A surge protector won't keep your computer going during a
    power failure nor will it ensure that it shuts down gracefully and
    closes all open files before powering down.
    Desk Rabbit, Mar 11, 2009
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  3. Scribner

    Scribner Guest

    Ok. It's the power supply. I'm on my third. I hope that you are
    Scribner, Mar 11, 2009
  4. Scribner

    Desk Rabbit Guest

    May be that your surge protector strip is U/S. Get a UPS if the computer
    is that important for work.
    Desk Rabbit, Mar 11, 2009
  5. Scribner

    chuckcar Guest

    Also do *not* connect your VCR to DVD device to your computer's power
    supply, that's what blew it. Use a separate power supply plugged into the
    wall. We've seen this same exact thing mentioned by another poster in the
    last month.
    chuckcar, Mar 11, 2009
  6. Scribner

    Tony Guest

    The other poster is probably as daft as you. The device is made to be
    connected to the power supply. Your advice as usual is wrong. Go away this is
    getting old fast.
    The Grandmaster of the CyberFROG

    Come get your ticket to CyberFROG city

    Nay, Art thou decideth playeth ye simpleton games. *Some* of us know proper

    Very few. I used to take calls from *rank* noobs,

    Hamster isn't a newsreader it's a mistake!

    El-Gonzo Jackson FROGS both me and Chuckcar

    Master Juba was a black man imitating a white man imitating a black man

    Using my technical prowess and computer abilities to answer questions beyond
    the realm of understandability

    Regards Tony... Making usenet better for everyone everyday
    Tony, Mar 12, 2009
  7. Scribner

    Desk Rabbit Guest

    That's because it was the same person talking about the same problem
    Einstein. ROFL!!!!!!!!!

    And in the previous post he said the device was USB powered. Double ROFL!
    Desk Rabbit, Mar 12, 2009
  8. Scribner

    westom Guest

    Anything that UPS would do to protect a power supply is already
    inside the power supply. Too many also want to blame manufacturing
    defects on surges. If you had a surge, then you also have other
    damaged appliances. Computer power supplies (properly constructed)
    make computers some of the most robust appliances in the house.

    Meanwhile, your problem is replacing things without first learning
    what failed - shotgunning. If it was a power supply, a multimeter and
    two minutes would have said so without doubt. And the same meter
    would have identified the new supply as working. Currently unknown -
    was the 1st power supply bad? Was then 2nd supply also defective? Is
    the third supply sufficient? Is something else wrong?

    The meter could have identified failures in other parts of the power
    supply system. Or in two minutes, you knew the power supply was OK
    and moved on to other suspects. Yes, a system. Were you replacing
    power supplies to fix some other power supply system component?

    Get the meter. Know what is good - without doubt - or what is bad
    in less than two minutes. Then have numbers so that others who
    actually know this stuff have facts worthy of a reply. Yes, those
    numbers report others things you would not know.

    A summary of what to measure is "When your computer dies without
    warning....." starting 6 Feb 2007 in the newsgroup
    Connector chart to locate each color:

    Those who know this stuff also know a defective supply can often
    boot a computer. And that a perfectly good supply will work in some
    systems and fail weeks later in others. Either voltages are measured
    today to see the defect now. Or the machine creates strange,
    continuous, and unrelated failures weeks from now. Solve it today and
    know it is fixed. Or shotgun and spend days troubling over a problem
    unidentified. Use the meter. A defect could be elsewhere and you are
    still buying more power supplies?

    Also ignore those silly responses about a UPS to protect hardware.
    Even the UPS manufacturer does not make that claim.
    westom, Mar 12, 2009
  9. Scribner

    Desk Rabbit Guest

    FX: Looks inside PSU. Nope, no batteries in here
    My electric fire survived the last surge just fine. As did the kettle,
    toaster and oven.
    Great advice, only trouble is you need to know how to use a multimeter
    and how to interpret the results. Not for the novice, particularly when
    most PSU require certain pins to be shorted before they produce output
    so to the novice with his multimeter they will look dead. This is
    assuming they don't put the meter on the ohms range whilst measuring

    Gosh I'm so glad my ISP doesn't use those silly pointless UPS's to
    protect their hardware or else you wouldn't be able to see the part of
    this message where I call you a o070u[ou[up'upo % %&%*

    Desk Rabbit, Mar 12, 2009
  10. Scribner

    chuckcar Guest

    And *where* *exactly* did he say he was now connecting it to an AC powered
    chuckcar, Mar 12, 2009
  11. Scribner

    Buffalo Guest

    I noticed in your original post that you said the USB card was ruined. Did
    you discover this after you installed the new MB and inserted the bad USB
    card in it or before.
    If you put the bad USB card in the new MB, it may have damage the PCI slot
    or even the new MB or first replacement PSU.
    If you did put the bad USB card in the new MB, move the new USB card into a
    different PCI slot.
    Perhaps, the first new PSU from Thermaltake was faulty and that is your only
    The off and on cycling that got faster was just from your cpu getting too
    hot or the MB detecting that the cpu fan was below minimum speed, I believe.
    Buffalo, Mar 12, 2009
  12. Scribner

    Pennywise Guest

    Pennywise, Mar 12, 2009
  13. Scribner

    Evan Platt Guest

    I almost feel bad at laughing at Chucktard.

    Laughing at chucktard is like watching the Special Olympics and
    Evan Platt, Mar 12, 2009
  14. Scribner

    Pennywise Guest

    I made the mistake of plugging in a 1500W heater (so it would reach)
    to a 600W UPS - Oh the noise it made, not just a bell or beep but
    scary stuff. :}

    All was fine in the end tho, it was a quick connection <grin>.
    Pennywise, Mar 12, 2009
  15. Scribner

    Pennywise Guest

    I've got four of them in the garage that took it for the equipment it
    was protecting. Results: UPS Dead, equipment that continued to work

    You got some bad info.
    Pennywise, Mar 13, 2009
  16. Scribner

    westom Guest

    If one cannot use a multimeter, then cell phones, iPods, and
    computers are completely beyond his abilities. Multimeter is so
    simple and so ubiquitous as to be sold where hammers are sold - for
    about the same price. Numbers from that meter are necessary if the
    technically informed are to provide useful information.

    Worse, simplicity of a meter is so obvious that only the most
    technically naive would fear it. Why are multimeters routinely sold
    in places by Lowes, K-mart, and Wal-Mart? Because only people with
    sufficient intelligence can buy a meter? That is the poster's
    underlying assumption.

    Nothing output by a power supply can harm any human. Furthermore,
    any or all power supply outputs can be shorted together and any power
    supply is never damaged. Just more facts that the technically naive
    would not know. Just more reasons why a multimeter is easily used by
    anyone who might also use a hammer from the same store. A multimeter
    and hammer require one to have same abilities. So yes. Do not give a
    multimeter or hammer to an infant. Many who cannot even understand a
    cell phone can still use a multimeter. However Desk Rabbit
    demonstrates a rampant fear of learning.
    westom, Mar 13, 2009
  17. Scribner

    westom Guest

    Which means protection inside that equipment was more robust than
    inside a UPS. Remember, when not in battery backup mode, AC power
    connects directly and simultaneously to both UPS control electronics
    and to the equipment. Nothing inside the UPS protected equipment.
    Same transient that could not harm equipment, instead, harmed four
    less robust UPSes.

    But then making a UPS less robust gets the naive to recommend that
    UPS for surge protection. It works when junk science reasoning is
    used rather than electrical engineering principles.

    I don't get information. I learn by, for example, opening a UPS,
    finding the failed part, and making the UPS work again. I do this
    often in computer power supplies. Not to save money. To learn by
    tracing what actually failed. That UPS did not protect equipment.
    That UPS apparently had such pathetic internal protection as to be
    damaged a transient that could not harm other household appliances.

    Meanwhile, show me the manufacturer spec that claims a typical
    computer grade UPS provides surge protection. At best, it might cite
    protection for its own controller. Say only enough so that you will
    assume that protection is for connected equipment. UPSes that do
    provide effective surge protection are typically the building wide
    types costing $thousands.

    Don't believe it? You have four dead bodies. What component in each
    'dead' UPS failed? You know this when that component is replaced and
    the UPS works. If you cannot / do not do this, then your 'protection
    claim' is simply speculation. That UPSes protection is believed by
    most, not found in any manufacturer specification, and is most often
    based only in junk science reasoning.

    A typical computer grade UPS has only one useful function - to
    protect from data loss.
    westom, Mar 13, 2009
  18. Scribner

    westom Guest

    A UPS protects from power loss. Hardware protection is typically
    located elsewhere. UPSes that do both power loss protection and
    hardware protection is located at that 'elsewhere' point and costs
    typically tens of $thousand of dollars. A computer grade UPS claims
    to provide hardware protection? Fine. Post those manufacturer spec
    numbers. A major would rather believe the myths rather than first
    read those specs. Junk science is alive and well where some think a
    $100 computer grade UPS provides hardware protection.

    Show me. Show me those spec numbers that define that hardware
    protection ... and good luck. It only exists with same myths that
    *knew* Saddam had WMDs.
    westom, Mar 13, 2009
  19. Scribner

    Desk Rabbit Guest

    He didn't, you did! ROFL!!!!
    Desk Rabbit, Mar 13, 2009
  20. Scribner

    Desk Rabbit Guest

    Not so. Just about everybody knows how to use a phone. The average
    person on the street could not tell you the difference between volts,
    amps and ohms. Apply that ignorance to a device to measure any of those
    values and you stand a good chance of frying the multimeter or yourself.

    Playing around with a lethal force is not the same as operating an ipod
    by any stretch of the imagination and suggesting through a newsgroup to
    people that you have no idea of their level of ability that they should
    do so is reckless and irresponsible.

    You may know how to use a multimeter correctly and it is second nature
    to you and I but you should not assume that everyone here has the same
    level of skill.

    Except a short circuit inside that cause mains voltage to be presented
    to one of the output terminals. e.g. a loose screw or other debris from
    a careless builder. Do you know if the OP has a pacemaker fitted? Do you
    know what the effect of putting 12V across the chest of a person fitted
    with such a devices will do?

    I'm sure you know that voltage doesn't kill but current does. So what if
    this PSU has a fault that causes the current limiter to fail?

    You cannot make assumptions when you are dealing with electricity (Even
    more so when the device you are dealing with may be faulty) and your
    gung-ho attitude makes me think that you are not as experienced as you
    are trying to make us believe.

    I never stop learning. Only a fool thinks they have learnt all there is
    to learn.
    Desk Rabbit, Mar 13, 2009
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