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  1. #1
    Senior Member Good Companion's Avatar
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    Power supply or switch?

    Having a weird problem on my self built desktop. Machine has been running well for years with various incarnations of upgrades. Power supply is a few years old.

    When I push the "on" button, I get a green LED that lights up but nothing happens. I think I hear a faint clicking, but I don't think that's hard drive clicking. I say faint because I can hear it only (I think) because none of the fans are running.

    When this first happened I checked the power cord in the back, cycled the power switch in the back and cycled the power switch on my surge protector. Pushed the button again and it worked. However, it happened again last night. Did the same and it worked again.

    I'm thinking either Power Supply is flaking, switch on the front of the case is going bad or maybe the surge protector is flaking. Any thoughts? Any ideas on how I could test these theories?
    " ... and you'll need a good companion for the ride ..."
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  2. #2
    Super Stealthy Moderator RicheemxX's Avatar
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    Well it might sound a bit obvious here but you could eliminate two of your theories right off. One remove the surge protector from the equation and plug the machine straight into an outlet. Two eliminate the switch, just open the side of the case, locate the header with the power jumpers. You don't need the switch there to turn the machine on all you have to do is briefly short them.

    The power supply is a bit trickier. You'd need a voltmeter or something to test the output.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Good Companion's Avatar
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    While a bit obvious, still appreciated. I'll bypass the surge protector tonight and see what happens. On the switch, do I just use an extra part from an old MB install to short it? (Like the small rectangle used to short a hard drive from master to slave?)
    " ... and you'll need a good companion for the ride ..."
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  4. #4
    Super Stealthy Moderator RicheemxX's Avatar
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    No once you remove the wires to the power switch all you need is a screwdriver or something metal and it only needs a quick touch to make contact. If the switch was indeed bad the board should fire up. If not then you are back to square one.
    Be a Liberal, blame everyone else!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Good Companion's Avatar
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    I tried plugging the PC directly into the wall. Same thing, did not turn on but heard a faint clicking. Opened the side and removed the wires to the front switch. Used a screwdriver to jump the connector and same thing. Since I could look in, what I saw was the my fan at the back of the case (not the PS fan) spinning lazily (not at full speed) and 4 lights on MB flashing that say "PhaseLED" near them. It's a Gigabyte GA-H55M-S2H board. The PS is an Antec Smartpower SP-500 (500w).

    So, since the fan on the PS does not come on immediately, I'm thinking the PS is dying. Thoughts?
    " ... and you'll need a good companion for the ride ..."
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Good Companion's Avatar
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    " ... and you'll need a good companion for the ride ..."
    Bruce Springsteen, Land of Hope and Dreams

  7. #7
    Super Stealthy Moderator RicheemxX's Avatar
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    Well if you have a multi-meter handy you could pull the power supply, jump start it with the paperclip trick and test it out. Even if you don't I might try that before buying anything.

    You might also want to pull everything out and check the board and parts for any bad caps or any signs that something might have burnt or be failing.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Good Companion's Avatar
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    I have a multi-meter and I googled the paperclip trick. What exactly am I measuring with multi-meter? (Meaning, where am I putting the leads and what am I looking for?)

    I took a look at the board and it still looks close to brand new. No obvious black or brown anything in there.

    BTW, thanks for the help!
    " ... and you'll need a good companion for the ride ..."
    Bruce Springsteen, Land of Hope and Dreams

  9. #9
    Super Stealthy Moderator RicheemxX's Avatar
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    Check the voltage according to the pinouts this should give you an idea Driverheaven Guides: testing your psu with a multimeter

    here are the pinouts, or what should be close

    File:ATX PS signals.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    JP might be able to walk you through it a little better than I can
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Good Companion's Avatar
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    Well, here's what I get with a multimeter (set to 20):

    3v - .3 to .01

    5v - 1.8 to .2

    12v - 5.7 to 1.8

    I'm assuming that this is volts (as opposed hundreths of volts or tenths of volts) and that this PS is not generating enough to run a fan, much less the whole computer.
    Last edited by Good Companion; February 17th, 2012 at 11:50 PM.
    " ... and you'll need a good companion for the ride ..."
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  11. #11
    PC Upgrade Procrastinator ShyguyXPC's Avatar
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    Can you post your full hardware specs, just in case you need to get a new PSU to replace it, give a better idea of what you would need for a replacement.

    But will wait for JP to stop in and see what he has to say. can't comment on the Multimeter readings myself, have never done that, so no idea what the settings are for testing and what the readouts mean.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Good Companion's Avatar
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    Full specs:

    Gigabyte GA-H55M-S2H
    Intel i3-540 (3.06 Ghz)
    Corsair 4GB DDR3 PC1333
    Antec Smartpower 2.0 500w PSU
    LG GSA-H10N 16x DVD-RW DL
    Hitachi 750 GC SATA HD
    WD 160 GB IDE HD
    " ... and you'll need a good companion for the ride ..."
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  13. #13
    Millwright stroyal's Avatar
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    If you have the multi-meter set to DC, I'd say you have a bad power supply.

    And of course, the multi-meter is accurate.
    Hard Sayin Not Knowin

  14. #14
    Senior Member Good Companion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stroyal View Post
    If you have the multi-meter set to DC, I'd say you have a bad power supply.

    And of course, the multi-meter is accurate.
    Multimeter def set to DC. (Followed the guide linked earlier in this thread.) Accurate? No idea why it wouldn't be ...
    " ... and you'll need a good companion for the ride ..."
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  15. #15
    Super Stealthy Moderator RicheemxX's Avatar
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    It has been awhile since I've tested a psu with a multimeter so I thought maybe it was just me in thinking those numbers look totally off. Glad to hear I'm not alone on that one.
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  16. #16
    PC Upgrade Procrastinator ShyguyXPC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Good Companion View Post
    Full specs:

    Gigabyte GA-H55M-S2H
    Intel i3-540 (3.06 Ghz)
    Corsair 4GB DDR3 PC1333
    Antec Smartpower 2.0 500w PSU
    LG GSA-H10N 16x DVD-RW DL
    Hitachi 750 GC SATA HD
    WD 160 GB IDE HD

    No video card? Just using the onboard/CPU graphics?


    Do you plan on adding a dedicated GPU later at any point?
    i7 940//Corsair H60//EVGA X58 SLI LE//6GB Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz//2x EVGA GTX 560 Ti FPB SLI//NZXT Hale82 850W//CM 690 II Advanced//Win7 64//WD 74GB V-raptor, 750GB Black, 1.5TB Green

    TechIMO Folding@home Team #111 - Crunching for the cure!

  17. #17
    Senior Member Good Companion's Avatar
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    Oops, ATI Radeon HD 4850 (512 MB)
    " ... and you'll need a good companion for the ride ..."
    Bruce Springsteen, Land of Hope and Dreams

  18. #18
    Training for Bankai JPMiller's Avatar
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    Well if your doing it right, and it sounds as if you are, its pretty likely the power supply...
    Its rare that it acts this way when failing, but PSU's are notorious for the random issues they develop when unstable.

    I ssume your using integrated graphics?

    edit.. took too long to post...

    In that case you need a minimum of this PSU...
    Newegg.com - COOLER MASTER Elite 460 RS-460-PSAR-J3 460W ATX12V V2.31 Power Supply
    Thats the cheapest option you can safely replace the current PSU with...
    Last edited by JPMiller; February 18th, 2012 at 07:42 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Good Companion's Avatar
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    JP, I ordered this:

    Newegg.com - COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus RS500-PCARD3-US 500W ATX12V v2.3 Power Supply

    Is that okay? It's a higher wattage, but I know that isn't the be-all end-all.
    " ... and you'll need a good companion for the ride ..."
    Bruce Springsteen, Land of Hope and Dreams

  20. #20
    Training for Bankai JPMiller's Avatar
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    Thats cool, Its actually cheaper, and essentially the same power supply with an extra years worth of warranty..
    It must have come down recently, or I'm not paying as much attention...

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