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PSU Failure?

J

jayhusky

Guest
I just went to power on my desktop, with it connected to my internet, it wouldn't power on at first so i checked the (external) power cable and made sure it was correctly in and not loose.

After a couple of presses on the power button an almighty electrical crackle happened and wisps of smoke appeared followed quickly by an acrid burning smell, I've disconnected it and opened the side of the case to vent air inside to try and remove the smell.

Im 99% certain its the PSU thats failed, unfortunately i don't have a replacement that matches its Wattage or indeed the spare cash to buy a new PSU just yet.

I've checked Both HDD's, the RAM and My CD/DVD drives they're all fine.
Im unsure about the motherboard though. I'm going to have a look at it later once its been left to stand for a while.

Right thats all i have to say for now, so, Any thoughts on this?
 

CaptainCool

Lady of the lake
crackling and smoke are usually a very reliable sign that the PSU is fried :p
also, if the PSU is fried chances are that all other parts are probably safe. modern PSUs are pretty good at containing power surges within themselves.
 
J

jayhusky

Guest
I thought as much, Its a 9 year old PSU (I got asked to repair the computer by its original owner, then they phoned and told me they no longer wanted it, that i could have it for free)

All the components inside dated from about 2003, I've replaced Graphics, RAM and HDD since i got it last year (They were ancient and slow).

While Im half tempted to save and buy a new PSU, Im also tempted to strip the whole thing down and flog the computer for parts. I've been working on it to sell it for a while now.

You reckon I should just take it apart and sell it all off?
 

AshleyAshes

Arcade Snowmew Of Doom
After a couple of presses on the power button an almighty electrical crackle happened and wisps of smoke appeared followed quickly by an acrid burning smell, I've disconnected it and opened the side of the case to vent air inside to try and remove the smell.

Im 99% certain its the PSU thats failed

I'm trying to figure out where that 1% of doubt even comes from. :p
 

FF_CCSa1F

Hippie
I'm trying to figure out where that 1% of doubt even comes from. :p

It is a very justified 1%, I would say; "electrical crackle", smoke and bad smell can come from almost anything inside the computer. Unless the smoke and noise was doubtlessly coming from within the power supply, it could be almost anything that has failed. To become certain that it is indeed the power supply that has failed, it should be started and measured outside of the computer (Possibly with something small, like a CD drive connected; some power supplies won't turn on unloaded.). If it does not activate when you put a metal object between the green wire and any of the black ones, it has most probably failed.
 
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Onnes

Member
I'm trying to figure out where that 1% of doubt even comes from. :p

If it happened to me I would actually first suspect the motherboard. The failure rates of good power supplies are negligible, whereas the failure rates of motherboards these days are sky high. If you aren't sure what failed then you should probably run some tests on the PSU--it would be a waste to replace it and only then find out it wasn't the problem.
 

Runefox

Kitsune of the PC Master Race
Motherboard and power supply are very likely both writeoffs. That having been said, wattage is only a measure of a power supply's capacity, not what it will supply or even drain from the wall at any given point in time. Higher wattage power supplies are often much more efficient in their use of energy than their lower-watt cousins, particularly when dealing with no-name supplies like those that are generally found in OEM machines like HP's and Dells. That said, if this is such a machine, you may be looking at a new case as well, since many of the case designs used by OEM's are optimized for their own parts. eMachines is particularly bad for that, with the entire case, power supply and motherboard combination being more or less proprietary. Friends don't let friends buy eMachines.

Anyway, if it's a custom build or if the computer is generally fairly standard, you should be able to get away with just about any power supply or motherboard required to patch up the machine. You should also probably invest in a decent surge protector ($5 power strip != surge protector) if you haven't already to increase the longevity of the machine going forward.

EDIT: Hang on, what? You replaced the graphics and RAM on a 2003 machine recently? I can't imagine you replaced it with anything remotely compatible with a newer system, and if the motherboard IS fried, then you're looking at a socket for a processor at least five generations old now. Patching this up is like putting a band-aid on the Titanic. That ship has already sunk long ago.
 
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J

jayhusky

Guest
@ashleyashes - the 1% is justified since i don't claim to be a computer expert, meaning I am aware I may make a mistake.

@runefox - it's a custom built machine I cannot find any reference for the maker of the case, would I be right in saying it is wiser to strip the parts out and sell them off separately?
 
J

jayhusky

Guest
Ive just been checking the computer since I have had some free time today.

Indeed the PSU is fried, I tested it outside on concrete floor so it couldn't do anything untoward.

It smoked profusely as I turned the power on to it.


Taking the advice of other users here, I'm pretty sure Im just going to sell it off in parts (Of those that still work and are useful. Since its going to cost me more and more to keep putting it right again.


Anyone else agree with this?
 

Atreides

New Member
If you can find buyers then go for it. Your computer sounds ancient if it's based on parts from 2003.
 
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