[clug-talk] Random computer crashing

Dave Watkins - CLUG President at CLUG.ca
Tue May 9 11:19:53 PDT 2006


Mitchell,

As I suggested previously, just place another working box beside the flakey
one and use the power supply from the good one to power the bad one. Most
PSU cables will reach and it's a quick way to test without pulling the
PSU's. Pulling them takes about 5 minutes if the cables don't reach.

There are PSU testers out there but many do not actually place a load on the
supply, simply check for the presence of power on the line. I usually just
hang a new PS off the box and test before I pull the suspect one.

FYI, all the systems I sell come with a minimum 400W power supply. While
they are a bit more expensive initially they are certainly more reliable in
the long run. I've had customer systems with a multitude of strange problems
ranging from spontaneous reboots, reboot on mouse click to random failure to
write to CD that were resolved with a new PS.

HTH

Cheers,

Dave Watkins
President
Calgary Linux Users Group

W: www.clug.ca
E: president at clug.ca
V: 403.701.5746 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Mitchell Brown [mailto:mbgb14 at gmail.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, May 09, 2006 12:01 PM
To: CLUG General
Subject: Re: [clug-talk] Random computer crashing

Yup I'm suspecting power problems too now. I've been running a CPU stress
test for hours now, and the memory test went all night, no problems. I might
try another PSU. 

It's an AMD Athlon XP 2600+ I think. It cost about $2000 if I recall
correctly. It has an ATI All in Wonder ($400) vid card. 

Hmm... Can you test a powersupply? Or just replace it?


On 5/9/06, Hendrik Schaink <hschaink at infovisi.com > wrote:

	Ripping video is a high-CPU-demand task. Considering that you
haven't
	found any faulty memory nor hard drive, there's IMHO only two
options
	left: either the CPU overheats and goes into power-down mode (Intel
CPUs
	only; AMD CPUs in the past tended to burn themselves up) _OR_ the
power
	to the CPU is insufficient on a "long-term" power-hungry task.
Either of
	these scenario could create weird (dying) sounds over the speakers.
	
	You are saying that your box was bought as a high-end box -- does
that 
	mean that the PowerSupply is rated at least 350W? IMO a PSU of 300W
with
	a high-end CPU _and_ a high-end video card _and_ a high-end sound
card
	is a recipe for failure. If my memory serves me well, it was about 2

	years ago that my own supplier started bringing in cases with 350W
PSUs
	to provide adequate power to power-hungry components. Be really
careful
	with _generic_ PSUs: they are produced with a low price-point in
mind; 
	reliable power and life span are sacrificed to achieve that price
point.
	
	Be sure to check the cooling fins of the CPU fan -- they do tend to
get
	clogged up with dust -- blow them out with forced air.
	
	All in all, my money is on the lack of power -- use it for what it's
	worth to you.
	
	Hendrik Schaink
	
	
	Mitchell Brown wrote:
	> It has one hard drive, a CDRW/DVD-ROM drive, and a DVD-RW drive.
	> And one or two fans. Total. That's it. No extra peripherals. 
	>
	> On 5/9/06, *Mark Carlson* <carlsonmark at gmail.com
	> <mailto:carlsonmark at gmail.com>> wrote:
	>
	>     On 5/9/06, Kin Wong < kwong at csa-pdk.com
<mailto:kwong at csa-pdk.com>>
	>     wrote:
	>     > Mitchell Brown wrote: 
	>     >
	>     > > Okay, the full 5-stage CHKDSK just finished. Found 0
problems. Argh.
	>     > > I could try reformatting the drive and doing a NTFS Full
this
	>     time -
	>     > > but I'd probably just be wasting my time. 
	>     > > If it is faulty memory or a PSU, why would reformatting
the
	>     partition
	>     > > with Linux make a difference to the Windows installer O_o
	>     > >
	>     > > I'm at a loss here. This is very frustrating for me and my
mom wants 
	>     > > this video ripped asap.
	>     > >
	>     > > What would you guys do in my situation?
	
	--
	Hendrik M. Schaink
	Chief Consultant
	
	"Integrated Business Solutions & Dependable Service" 
	
	InfoVision Consulting
	Calgary, Alberta, Canada
	Phone: (403) 239-0099
	
	
	"The Vision: We are the partners of choice for companies and
	organizations that share our commitment to creating a world 
	that is truly wise, courageous, prosperous, innovative,
	inclusive, sustainable and humane."     --Ruben Nelson
	
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