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Author Topic: I think my PSU just died :(  (Read 2096 times)
Mousepotato
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August 21, 2011, 06:18:26 PM
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Ok so I'm sitting here playing WoW and my mining rig (a separate machine) suddenly goes quiet.  I look over and the fans on my video cards are spinning down, so I figured no biggie, Windows update probably just rebooted the machine or something.  Anyway long story short, I think I have a PSU failure.  I'm not really sure though, and I don't know how to test it.  Is there some way I can check to see if it's a PSU issue, or a mobo problem?  I'm not sure what to do.  When I plug the PSU back in and flip the power switch on the computer, there's a blue LED light that flashes momentarily, then it goes dark.  Usually there's 3 or 4 LEDs in a row that stay lit when the thing is up and running.

How do I test for a bad PSU?

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CanaryInTheMine
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August 21, 2011, 06:23:22 PM
 #2

How do I test for a bad PSU?

you try another PSU

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August 21, 2011, 07:03:28 PM
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How do I test for a bad PSU?

you try another PSU

Yep.

You could also move the suspect PSU into your WoW machine and see if it dies too.

You can sniff the PSU and see if there is an odor of burnt electronics.

You can unplug everything from the PSU except the motherboard and remove all the addon cards from the motherboard and try again.


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August 21, 2011, 07:16:54 PM
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How do I test for a bad PSU?

you try another PSU

Yep.

You could also move the suspect PSU into your WoW machine and see if it dies too.

You can sniff the PSU and see if there is an odor of burnt electronics.

You can unplug everything from the PSU except the motherboard and remove all the addon cards from the motherboard and try again.



I plays WoW on a laptop Sad  I was hoping I could short some pins on my PSU and then maybe plug in an optical drive and see if it opens/closes the tray.

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August 21, 2011, 07:49:29 PM
 #5

How do I test for a bad PSU?

you try another PSU

Yep.

You could also move the suspect PSU into your WoW machine and see if it dies too.

You can sniff the PSU and see if there is an odor of burnt electronics.

You can unplug everything from the PSU except the motherboard and remove all the addon cards from the motherboard and try again.



I plays WoW on a laptop Sad  I was hoping I could short some pins on my PSU and then maybe plug in an optical drive and see if it opens/closes the tray.

mousie...  there are no universal, set in stone, EASY steps to troubleshooting PSUs
the fastest, simplest way is to use a good PSU instead of your suspect.  then go from there.

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August 21, 2011, 08:17:38 PM
 #6

 Unplug all cables from psu to PC.take a paper clip, and bend it into a U Put one end into a black wire (ground) and the other into the green wire.
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August 21, 2011, 08:18:32 PM
 #7

Thanks Canary.  I'm going to go to the store and get a new one in a minute.  I'm almost certain it's my PSU that's out since I was running two 5870s and a 5850 (all OC'd to 990-1040MHz) on a Thermaltake 750W.  I think I was probably running that 750 into the ground for the last couple months.

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August 21, 2011, 08:23:46 PM
 #8

Unplug all cables from psu to PC.take a paper clip, and bend it into a U Put one end into a black wire (ground) and the other into the green wire.

What should I do after that?  Plug in some devices?

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August 21, 2011, 08:25:36 PM
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Thanks Canary.  I'm going to go to the store and get a new one in a minute.  I'm almost certain it's my PSU that's out since I was running two 5870s and a 5850 (all OC'd to 990-1040MHz) on a Thermaltake 750W.  I think I was probably running that 750 into the ground for the last couple months.

Hard to say because i dont know much about the Thermaltake 750w. I have stopped using Thermaltake products sine 2000 LOL (they were all garbage)

But 750w from more reliable brand such as Silverstone, Corsair, PC Power&Cooling, will certainly power those cards.

If your PSU cant, its garbage.

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August 21, 2011, 08:27:11 PM
 #10

Unplug all cables from psu to PC.take a paper clip, and bend it into a U Put one end into a black wire (ground) and the other into the green wire.

What should I do after that?  Plug in some devices?

It only test if the PSU is not completely dead, no power at all. So not really useful but a quick way to know a dead PSU.

If the problem is any more complicated, it requires more testing with multimeter


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August 21, 2011, 08:32:38 PM
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I use a PSU tester, they are not all that expensive, but probably not worth the investment if you don't work with hardware on a regular basis.  That PSU ought to be able to handle what you had plugged in, but then again maybe not, some of Thermaltake's products are not really built for anything serious.... they are a company that seems to vary from model to model for their PSUs.
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August 21, 2011, 09:44:42 PM
 #12

Unplug all cables from psu to PC.take a paper clip, and bend it into a U Put one end into a black wire (ground) and the other into the green wire.

WTF??? are you trying to electrocute our beloved mousepotato???

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August 21, 2011, 09:47:36 PM
 #13

for mining in general, it's always good to have a spare PSU laying around...

Even picking up a cheap, used one on eBay or something is a good idea to have it available for situations like these...

then assuming you had a good quality PSU, rma it to the manufacturer for fixing

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August 21, 2011, 11:25:20 PM
 #14

Unplug all cables from psu to PC.take a paper clip, and bend it into a U Put one end into a black wire (ground) and the other into the green wire.

WTF??? are you trying to electrocute our beloved mousepotato???

lol actually I think it was decent advice.  I remember reading about this method to daisy-chain multiple power supplies this way without having to plug them into the mobo. 

Anyway, I'm back from the store and ~$200 later (I bought some other stuff with the new PSU) I have a Corsair AX850 running smoothly and my miners mining away Smiley  I guess I'm going to try to RMA this Thermaltake and maybe when I get it back I'll keep it around as a spare.  Ooorrrr maybe build a new system for mining. 

Thanks for all the advice guys Smiley

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August 21, 2011, 11:39:25 PM
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Thanks for all the advice guys Smiley

Woohoo! I see 0.15 GH/s on DB's Team page! Wink

Cheers,
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August 22, 2011, 02:47:19 AM
 #16

Unplug all cables from psu to PC.take a paper clip, and bend it into a U Put one end into a black wire (ground) and the other into the green wire.

WTF??? are you trying to electrocute our beloved mousepotato???

lol actually I think it was decent advice.  I remember reading about this method to daisy-chain multiple power supplies this way without having to plug them into the mobo. 

Anyway, I'm back from the store and ~$200 later (I bought some other stuff with the new PSU) I have a Corsair AX850 running smoothly and my miners mining away Smiley  I guess I'm going to try to RMA this Thermaltake and maybe when I get it back I'll keep it around as a spare.  Ooorrrr maybe build a new system for mining. 

Thanks for all the advice guys Smiley

Yeah, that makes sense for connecting multiple PSUs, even then, you shouldn't be using exposed wires/paper-clips... that's just asking for trouble. serious trouble.

Glad you solved your issue!  but I bet you ended up spending more money on that new PSU than it would cost online.  but in time of need, you gotta do what you gotta do... Smiley

I highly recommend to have a spare PSU (even a crappy one like 650W diabloteck for $30) that can be used for a week or two while you RMA the busted one.  The better thing to do would be to buy a good PSU when it's on sale online.  a bunch come up pretty often and with rebate you can get a good deal...

You have no idea how tempted I am to just bring up another miner using all the spare components I have... but you have to draw the line somewhere.... it's a vicious circle! Smiley

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August 22, 2011, 08:34:06 AM
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Unplug all cables from psu to PC.take a paper clip, and bend it into a U Put one end into a black wire (ground) and the other into the green wire.

WTF??? are you trying to electrocute our beloved mousepotato???

lol actually I think it was decent advice.  I remember reading about this method to daisy-chain multiple power supplies this way without having to plug them into the mobo. 

Anyway, I'm back from the store and ~$200 later (I bought some other stuff with the new PSU) I have a Corsair AX850 running smoothly and my miners mining away Smiley  I guess I'm going to try to RMA this Thermaltake and maybe when I get it back I'll keep it around as a spare.  Ooorrrr maybe build a new system for mining. 

Thanks for all the advice guys Smiley
Yup, the green wire is the 'power-on' wire and grounding it will turn on the PSU. The only trouble is that you're then running with no load - plenty of threads here say that running with no load is bad for PSUs (e.g. mining with only the 12V rails loaded, with no hard drives or peripherals using the 5V feeds, for example). Whether it's a real problem or not? Not sure - for testing, almost certainly not, since a no-load multimeter test is what JonnyGuru does - by shorting the green ATX pin.

If you want to short pins like this, it's best to use short insulated jumper cables. Just an idea Smiley If the only load on the PSU is between the green wire, *you* and ground... hehe

Have you got a multimeter? Just a simple one will do, they're cheap and worthwhile to have if you're messing about with hardware hacking - *especially* if you've got open frame rigs, PSUs with butchered and spliced cables and paper-clip jumpers Grin

I won't hazard a guess at what failed because internet diagnosis usually fails. However if something has blown big-style, it's often visible in the form of burnt components, unless there's a nice big fuse to blow before transistors burn. Big PSUs are genuine fire hazards, they can pump over 100A through their power transistors. A blown fuse ought to be bloody obvious. There's a memorable article about a crap PSU on JonnyGURU's website - he wrote the review in rhyme (which was painful to read, I guess he did it because the review was painful to conduct!) - basically it was advertised to supply double the power it was truly capable of! It blew during testing, but had a big glass fuse to prevent fire. The fuse blew with a big orange flash. Good pics to show you what to look for.

Just remember that switching PSUs contain BIG capacitors to store charge until the AC input voltage exceeds a particular value. Pulling apart PSUs for self-diagnosis with paper clips is exciting because it's dangerous - I've chucked myself across my office once by shorting an average sized capacitor that was still holding a lot of energy even though everything was disconnected! It was only in a pocket camera (used to operate the flash). It was the size of half a fag (sorry - cigarette, for Americans) so the D-cell battery sized capacitors in computer PSUs must pack a crazy punch. Easy rule - if it's a big cylindrical thing inside a PSU, be bloody careful.

Anyone here know whether the charge stored in an average mining-machine class PSU's fat capacitors is enough to kill outright if discharged through an unlucky experimenter? I'll have a look inside my useless iCute '900W' (nope, it cuts out at 750) to see if the caps are marked with their farad rating, and work out the max energy capacity... 16 joules is apparently all that's needed to kill...

...so I give in to the rhythm, the click click clack
I'm too wasted to fight back...


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August 22, 2011, 04:25:50 PM
 #18

Glad you solved your issue!  but I bet you ended up spending more money on that new PSU than it would cost online.  but in time of need, you gotta do what you gotta do... Smiley

I highly recommend to have a spare PSU (even a crappy one like 650W diabloteck for $30) that can be used for a week or two while you RMA the busted one.  The better thing to do would be to buy a good PSU when it's on sale online.  a bunch come up pretty often and with rebate you can get a good deal...

You have no idea how tempted I am to just bring up another miner using all the spare components I have... but you have to draw the line somewhere.... it's a vicious circle! Smiley

I don't mind spending a few extra bucks to buy it locally because I get the item immediately w/o having to wait for UPS/FedEx.  Unless there's a REALLY good deal on something online, then yeah I don't mind waiting Smiley  In this case, I bought this PSU and to my surprise it was cheaper locally than it was through NewEgg, though I did end up having to pay tax (but I defer to the first sentence in this paragraph about that).  I thought my Thermaltake PSU was nice, but the quality of this Corsair unit is far and away much better at first glance.  The packaging is just awesome.  It felt like I was opening the Lost Ark and I almost had to turn my head away for fear of my face melting off, similar to the feeling of opening Apple products (I hope that made sense).

I've only been putting together my computer for about 4 months but I'm starting to accumulate a lot of spare parts.. mainly those little black screws that came with my mobo, but I also have an extra HD, a CD-ROM drive, and soon (after I RMA this Thermaltake) an extra PSU.  I can only imagine the amount of gear that people who have been doing this for a few years have stockpiled Smiley

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August 22, 2011, 04:28:08 PM
 #19

Have you got a multimeter? Just a simple one will do, they're cheap and worthwhile to have if you're messing about with hardware hacking - *especially* if you've got open frame rigs, PSUs with butchered and spliced cables and paper-clip jumpers Grin

I'm not quite that brave when it comes to working on HW.  I think my limit is installing a CPU or memory stick Tongue

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August 22, 2011, 08:26:50 PM
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Have you got a multimeter? Just a simple one will do, they're cheap and worthwhile to have if you're messing about with hardware hacking - *especially* if you've got open frame rigs, PSUs with butchered and spliced cables and paper-clip jumpers Grin

I'm not quite that brave when it comes to working on HW.  I think my limit is installing a CPU or memory stick Tongue

want a shot at a spare 5830? Smiley
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