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Power supply failure on Asus P4C800-E Deluxe



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 11th 04, 04:53 PM
ME
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Power supply failure on Asus P4C800-E Deluxe

OK,
Need some info.
This is kind of off topic as it is in regards to the power supply but I
wanted to get a bit of feedback. I've been posting over the past two months
about the news system I was building using the Asus P4C800-E Deluxe. I've
had a couple of problems so on the info I found here Saturday night I booted
to a disk with memtest86 and set it to full test (with the promise
controller disabled) and let it run. After a little over an hour it popped
up a list of two errors (one at about 256 MB and one at about 550 mb) and
there was a couple of clicking type noise's in the case, I look over and saw
the cd-roms drive lights were blinking and then it completely shut off. I
went over, got down (it's in a InWin 500A case under the desk) and as I put
my hand on the power supply to lean the unit over I found the power supply
was very hot. I moved it out and set it on it's side and after looking it
over for any obvious signs of the problem I let it cool down and then tried
to restart it. It cam back on with corrupt video (like the old asci
characters, the blinking blocks.) but for only a second. I removed all the
accessory's (drive cables and power connectors) from t he board and put my
Dmanpdi in the PCI slot and attempted again to start it, this time it only
went on for a second or two but I could see the power led indicter's on the
dman card only two even started to come on. The -12 Volt led did nothing.
Over the past couple of day's, thanks to my trusty old CUSL2-C I've been
able to checkout most all the drives and the video card and found that my
DVD drive, one HDD and my video card aren't working right for different
reason's. I'm working on getting a P4 Power supply to test the mb, cpu, sata
drive and memory.

Component and problems

Creative Labs Dxr3 Decoder and dvd player....(haven't been able to test the
decoder card) the drive has read error's. I tried to use it to install XP on
a 30GB I'm using now and it kept failing. Maxtor 40 GB 54098H8....had 8Gb of
"unreadable gibberish' on it but after running maxblast on it now SMART disk
say's it's about to fail. The warranty expired in Nov 03. ATI Radeon 8500
LE works but in the property sheet of XP it say's it cant get the info from
the "CDS" so no info is available and there's a yellow mark on it. it also
wont take the ATI driver only the XP. I'm emailing ATI about that part. The
40 GB and the DVD drive were on the same controller and power line set of
connectors.

I believe the power supply died after only about 38 day's and the
company I got the power supply from say's they aren't responsible for the
rest, only the replacement of the power supply. They say there' sending me a
replacment one. I'm concerned that the new P4C800-E deluxe, P4 3.2 CPU, 1GB
Kingston 3200 memory and Maxtor 160 GB SATA hard drive may be damaged.
Thoughts? Opinions? Any case's I might be able to find online?
ME



  #2  
Old May 12th 04, 01:49 AM
Paul
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article , "ME"
wrote:

OK,
Need some info.
This is kind of off topic as it is in regards to the power supply but I
wanted to get a bit of feedback. I've been posting over the past two months
about the news system I was building using the Asus P4C800-E Deluxe. I've
had a couple of problems so on the info I found here Saturday night I booted
to a disk with memtest86 and set it to full test (with the promise
controller disabled) and let it run. After a little over an hour it popped
up a list of two errors (one at about 256 MB and one at about 550 mb) and
there was a couple of clicking type noise's in the case, I look over and saw
the cd-roms drive lights were blinking and then it completely shut off. I
went over, got down (it's in a InWin 500A case under the desk) and as I put
my hand on the power supply to lean the unit over I found the power supply
was very hot. I moved it out and set it on it's side and after looking it
over for any obvious signs of the problem I let it cool down and then tried
to restart it. It cam back on with corrupt video (like the old asci
characters, the blinking blocks.) but for only a second. I removed all the
accessory's (drive cables and power connectors) from t he board and put my
Dmanpdi in the PCI slot and attempted again to start it, this time it only
went on for a second or two but I could see the power led indicter's on the
dman card only two even started to come on. The -12 Volt led did nothing.
Over the past couple of day's, thanks to my trusty old CUSL2-C I've been
able to checkout most all the drives and the video card and found that my
DVD drive, one HDD and my video card aren't working right for different
reason's. I'm working on getting a P4 Power supply to test the mb, cpu, sata
drive and memory.

Component and problems

Creative Labs Dxr3 Decoder and dvd player....(haven't been able to test the
decoder card) the drive has read error's. I tried to use it to install XP on
a 30GB I'm using now and it kept failing. Maxtor 40 GB 54098H8....had 8Gb of
"unreadable gibberish' on it but after running maxblast on it now SMART disk
say's it's about to fail. The warranty expired in Nov 03. ATI Radeon 8500
LE works but in the property sheet of XP it say's it cant get the info from
the "CDS" so no info is available and there's a yellow mark on it. it also
wont take the ATI driver only the XP. I'm emailing ATI about that part. The
40 GB and the DVD drive were on the same controller and power line set of
connectors.

I believe the power supply died after only about 38 day's and the
company I got the power supply from say's they aren't responsible for the
rest, only the replacement of the power supply. They say there' sending me a
replacment one. I'm concerned that the new P4C800-E deluxe, P4 3.2 CPU, 1GB
Kingston 3200 memory and Maxtor 160 GB SATA hard drive may be damaged.
Thoughts? Opinions? Any case's I might be able to find online?
ME


If I can interpret the symptoms of the parts you've tested, as
being failures, then perhaps the dying PSU delivered some out of
spec voltages that have cooked some stuff. Of the things in
your list, I would say the 1GB of RAM and the P4 3.2 CPU are most
likely to still be good. This is because regulating circuitry on
the motherboard tends to feed them. The motherboard itself and
the disk drive connect straight to the PSU, so they could
potentially be damaged as well.

What is the brand and model number of the PSU ?

We'd like to know, so nobody else buys one.

What are the ratings printed on the side of the PSU.
There is usually a label with [email protected] xx amps etc printed on
it, and perhaps the PSU had too low a rating, or the PSU
had a poor balance between all of its output capabilities.
There are some 500W class PSU's for example, really cheap,
that have less than adequate +12V output. A high end P4
system can cook one of those PSUs quite easily.

Sorry for your loss,
Paul
  #3  
Old May 12th 04, 08:33 AM
Paul
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article , "ME"
wrote:

"Paul" wrote in message
...
In article , "ME"
wrote:
snip
If I can interpret the symptoms of the parts you've tested, as
being failures, then perhaps the dying PSU delivered some out of
spec voltages that have cooked some stuff. Of the things in
your list, I would say the 1GB of RAM and the P4 3.2 CPU are most
likely to still be good. This is because regulating circuitry on
the motherboard tends to feed them. The motherboard itself and
the disk drive connect straight to the PSU, so they could
potentially be damaged as well.


I've been testing parts all afternoon. So far the DVD, two of the HDD's, and
the Video card look like they were damaged. I'm on the motherboard now and
it's passing the test's -w- Microscope. I'm getting "unrecoverable crc"
error's on one of the hard drives. I need to do more checking on that.


What is the brand and model number of the PSU ?

The box say's "AG" and I just looked all over it and cant find any model or
part number.
The company was NWCA in Or. The website's NWCA.com.

We'd like to know, so nobody else buys one.

What are the ratings printed on the side of the PSU.

which ratings are you wanting? input/output/amps per line?

There is usually a label with [email protected] xx amps etc printed on
it, and perhaps the PSU had too low a rating, or the PSU
had a poor balance between all of its output capabilities.

the amps per line are
26A +3.3v
52A +5v
28A +12v
1.0A -12v
0.8A -5v
2.5A +5vsb
It claims 520 Watt total on the box and label.

There are some 500W class PSU's for example, really cheap,
that have less than adequate +12V output. A high end P4
system can cook one of those PSUs quite easily.

Sorry for your loss,
Paul


Thanks,
ME


Those ratings are pretty impressive. That is an "arc welder"
class power supply, and a possible reason it got hot, is
because something else in the computer was drawing a lot of
current from it. (Some of the older stuff Powmax made,
wasn't so special.)

To find the unit, what I did was type "520W" into the pricewatch.com
search engine. The first entry returned, made reference to
"AG/Echo Star(Powmax)", so this is a Powmax power supply. I checked
the Powmax site, and the nearest thing I could find, claimed to have
overvoltage and overcurrent protection. If your unit had OV protection,
then something else must have happened to the thing. (Over voltage
protection is supposed to be a separate circuit in the PSU, that
shuts the PSU off in the event that any voltage rises higher than a
certain percentage above the nominal value. Overcurrent protection,
on the other hand, is pretty useless, as the current that would trip
at would be so high, that whatever was connected at the other
end would already be on fire :-)

It is possible there was a rail to rail short somewhere, and when
I read about the Inwin 500a case in Google, it makes reference to
the use of "dimples" for mounting the motherboard. Does your
motherboard use the standard brass standoffs, or does the motherboard
get screwed directly to the tray somehow ? Maybe the tray was touching
something on the bottom of the motherboard that it shouldn't be
touching ?

The reason for me asking these stupid questions, is you really need
to know exactly what failed. If you attempt to buy new stuff, to
rebuild the machine, it could be that one of the original items you
own, is a "time bomb", waiting to kill the next piece of good
hardware it is connected to. Maybe the power supply wasn't the
part at fault, and it got hot because of an overload coming from
something plugged into it.

At least keep your eyes "peeled" for some unlikely possibilities.
Does the original power supply still run, and have you been using
it for your testing ? Or have you already tried replacing it ?
It is times like this that a voltmeter, and a clamp-on DC ammeter
come in handy.

Maybe you could take that Powmax to a local computer shop, one
that has some kind of power supply tester, and see whether it
is still working or not ? If the PSU smoked or flamed out, then
you don't need to waste your time on it.

Paul
  #4  
Old May 13th 04, 05:18 AM
ME
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Paul" wrote in message
...
In article , "ME"
wrote:
snip
If I can interpret the symptoms of the parts you've tested, as
being failures, then perhaps the dying PSU delivered some out of
spec voltages that have cooked some stuff. Of the things in
your list, I would say the 1GB of RAM and the P4 3.2 CPU are most
likely to still be good. This is because regulating circuitry on
the motherboard tends to feed them. The motherboard itself and
the disk drive connect straight to the PSU, so they could
potentially be damaged as well.


I've been testing parts all afternoon. So far the DVD, two of the HDD's, and
the Video card look like they were damaged. I'm on the motherboard now and
it's passing the test's -w- Microscope. I'm getting "unrecoverable crc"
error's on one of the hard drives. I need to do more checking on that.


What is the brand and model number of the PSU ?

The box say's "AG" and I just looked all over it and cant find any model or
part number.
The company was NWCA in Or. The website's NWCA.com.

We'd like to know, so nobody else buys one.

What are the ratings printed on the side of the PSU.

which ratings are you wanting? input/output/amps per line?

There is usually a label with [email protected] xx amps etc printed on
it, and perhaps the PSU had too low a rating, or the PSU
had a poor balance between all of its output capabilities.

the amps per line are
26A +3.3v
52A +5v
28A +12v
1.0A -12v
0.8A -5v
2.5A +5vsb
It claims 520 Watt total on the box and label.

There are some 500W class PSU's for example, really cheap,
that have less than adequate +12V output. A high end P4
system can cook one of those PSUs quite easily.

Sorry for your loss,
Paul


Thanks,
ME



  #5  
Old May 13th 04, 08:47 AM
Paul
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article , "ME"
wrote:

"Paul" wrote in message
...

snip
That's the power supply and that's the image of the one I've got.
http://us-depot.com/frshag520wad1.html
Yes, I am assuming that's what the clicking was right before it shut off.
Sadly it didnt do so fast enought to save everything.

then something else must have happened to the thing. (Over voltage
protection is supposed to be a separate circuit in the PSU, that
shuts the PSU off in the event that any voltage rises higher than a
certain percentage above the nominal value. Overcurrent protection,
on the other hand, is pretty useless, as the current that would trip
at would be so high, that whatever was connected at the other
end would already be on fire :-)

As in the CD-rom drive lights flashing right as it turned off. I've gone
thru Microscope and the board, CPU , memory all test fine. The Asus crash
free bios saved the day on the board as it wouldnt boot till I used the cd.
As it looks now the 40GB HDD & 6X DVD cd-rom (decoder card?) on the
secondary controller (there were also on the same power supply line also)
are bad and one hdd has some unrecoverable crc error's on it. Do you know
anything about Memtest86? Does it activate or use the ide controller? I dont
know if reformating will resolve the crc failures and I'm looking at trying
to backup my files before trying. I'm hoping this hasnt hurt the new 160GB
SATA drive.


The floppy version of Memtest86 has no reason to go near the IDE
controller. If you used the ISO CDROM image, then the BIOS has routines
in it (INT13 routines?), to bootstrap code off an IDE device.
Maybe Memtest86 uses INT13 and the BIOS in both cases.

You are assuming here, that the damage was caused by accesses to
the IDE interface. I don't see any reason to suspect that. Since you
mention a burnt smell, this could be purely a power supply problem
that killed a bunch of stuff. The logic on the drives is done with
+5V, and maybe that is the voltage that went out of spec. (+12V
could probably take a bit more abuse, as the motor and actuator
would get power from there.)

snip

to
rebuild the machine, it could be that one of the original items you
own, is a "time bomb", waiting to kill the next piece of good
hardware it is connected to.

This is my worry. As soon as I get a chance I'm writing NWCA a letter about
it. As they havent even advised me they shipped the replacment power supply
and it's been three day's I'm preparing for it.


As you've been doing a lot of testing on the components, it sounds
like that hasn't happened so far. Only the DVD drive sounds a
bit scary.


Maybe the power supply wasn't the
part at fault, and it got hot because of an overload coming from
something plugged into it.

Well, I did have a lot connected but that's why I got a 520Watt. Before it
died it had 4 Hdd's/2 cd-roms/video It ran in that configuration almost 24/7
for over 38 day's before it quit. It quit while running Memtest86 so it
wasnt really doing all the stuff it does when running Windows. I just
started having problems with it the saterday it died. The night before I
watched Xmen 2 on it.


I've measured the power comsumption on my computer while running
memtest86, and it isn't the hottest test you can run. In terms of
total power, on my puny Radeon 8500 equipped system, I find 3DMark
draws about the same current from the wall as Memtest86.

On a P4 system, the processor uses +12V for the motherboard Vcore
switching supply, so any processor intensive activity can draw up to
8 amps or so from +12V. The DIMMs generally draw a smaller amount
of power, at about 5W for an active DIMM. On a single channel, only
one DIMM can be kept active at a time, so the total power of all
DIMMs is less than N*5W. The DIMM circuit could be a small switcher
as well, and run off +5V. That isn't enough current to worry about.

Maybe the Powmax isn't good for as much +12V as it claims ?
Tomshardware.com has had the odd article on PSUs and whether
they live up to their specs or not.



At least keep your eyes "peeled" for some unlikely possibilities.

This is why I keep doing all the "testing" instead of playing, hoping I can
catch it before hand. I'd hate to get this all said and done and then have
more trouble.

Does the original power supply still run, and have you been using
it for your testing ?

No, the power supply, no matter what it's connected to will start them in
1-2 seconds it shut's off. No, I got out my last system parts (CUSL2-C,PIII
1Ghz, 512 Ram) and used it to do most of the testing. Last night my Dad got
me an Allied 300 Watt for testing the board, video card and SATA drive.
What's the best program for testing a SATA controller and drive? That's what
I'm on now to write this. It's working but the CPU temp is 116F, volatges
are all within 10% and no alarms but if I connect the DVD player and turn it
on the machine reboot's right after the desktop comes up. On boot smart
drive say's the 40 gb is about to fail and the video has artifact's in it
and periodicaly it goes wiggly, kind of like trying to run a Super VGA video
card on a Non-Super VGA Monitor.


Hmm. Doesn't look good for the DVD player. In the BIOS, do the
brand name and model number of the drive show up in the IDE section
of the BIOS ? To get that info, the BIOS has to be able to draw
a few bytes of data across the cable, and that will help determine
whether it is completely dead.

No idea on the wiggly video. It really should either work or just
be dead.

For a disk drive, I would try to find a program that checks the disk
surface for CRC errors. A "scandisk" or "chkdisk" type program probably
does more than that, and all you really want is something that just
reads every sector.

Disk drives contain spare sectors per track, and for a simple failed
sector, the bad one will be "spared out" by the controller. That is why
most of the time, you cannot observe problems happening to your disk.
(The level of sparing or problems can sometimes be observed by running
something like HDTach or another disk benchmarking program. If the
"bandwidth" versus "position of the head on the disk" plot is not
smooth, the valleys in the plot could be indicating a large amount of
sparing activity, which would slow the disk down. This really depends
on whether the spare sectors are on the same track or somewhere else in
the same cylinder. I don't know what sparing policy is used on today's
dense disks.)

If CRC errors show up now, it means a previously recorded sector is
damaged. A worst case scenario, would be the head writing over the
embedded servo information, but chances are that would give some other
kind of error. If the CRC errors are all over the disk, then maybe
the disk heads or head amplifiers got damaged by an out of spec +5V.

If you have valuable data on the disk, the first thing to do is
try to make a bit by bit copy of the disk, to another disk. Then,
you can do whatever kind of testing you want to the questionable
disk. For example, some disk manufacturers have a test program that
they insist users run, before returning a disk under warranty. Those
programs generally don't test the entire surface of the disk, but
may pop up a fancy error code, indicating a hardware failure of
some sort. If you are certain all valuable data on the disk is
backed up, you could try reformatting it, and then see what shape
it is in. If the electronics are damaged, the disk will probably
hang with the drive LED lit, while attempting the format.

Based on my comments, I think you can see that I don't expect your
drive to be good for anything but a paper weight. Something I've
done with the last two disks I bought, was make multiple copies
of the same ~1GB file to the new disk. I fill it right up with
big files. Then, I use a file checksumming program, to read and
generate a checksum for each file. All the files should be identical
to the original file stored on another drive. That is an application
level test that the disk is working. If you can pass that test a
few times, then maybe the disk is a "keeper".


Or have you already tried replacing it ?

See above

It is times like this that a voltmeter, and a clamp-on DC ammeter
come in handy.

Yes, I have a nice Fluke, that's how I first found there was indead no -12V.
Just to back up the DMAN card's testing. Kenn at NWCA has admitted it
sound's like the power supply died and sais Monday they will send out a
replacement. He was to talk to someone and find out if they needed this one
returned and so far no answer on that.


Many people claim that modern motherboards don't use -5V and -12V.
Some of the RS232 level shifting chips, used for COM ports, now
generate the necessary voltages internally, so they no longer need
-12V. While there could be some crazy function running off the -12V,
I doubt it. I think your PSU had more than that wrong with it when
it died.



Maybe you could take that Powmax to a local computer shop, one
that has some kind of power supply tester, and see whether it
is still working or not ?

I live in a small town, one computer shop and he has no tester other than
the meter as I have done. I'm consideirng getting one of those plug in type
on ebay.

If the PSU smoked or flamed out, then
you don't need to waste your time on it.

I'm unable to smell due to my trach but my Mom smelled it and said it
smelled burned, that was two day's after it died.

Paul

ME


A well designed PSU should have thermal protection, and when the
main heatsink on the PSU gets too hot, the PSU should shut down
without burning any of its components. Same goes for the multi
winding transformer. If something burned, then that could be
a failure condition the PSU doesn't check for.

I'm sorry I cannot be of more help with regard to test programs.
I haven't had enough experience building PCs to have collected
programs like that. I've used some of the nice tests that
come with Sun computers, and I've even written test code for
the computers my former employer used to build. Since I've been
pretty lucky with my home PCs, I haven't had need of anything
more than memtest86, prime95, cpuburn, and 3dmark2001se.
Just filling a disk up with files has so far been a "good enough"
test for me.

Paul
  #6  
Old May 13th 04, 04:09 PM
ME
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Paul" wrote in message
...
snipped for space
Those ratings are pretty impressive. That is an "arc welder"
class power supply, and a possible reason it got hot, is
because something else in the computer was drawing a lot of
current from it. (Some of the older stuff Powmax made,
wasn't so special.)

Well, this one is claimed to be new. Was nicely packaged in a colorfull box.


To find the unit, what I did was type "520W" into the pricewatch.com
search engine. The first entry returned, made reference to
"AG/Echo Star(Powmax)", so this is a Powmax power supply. I checked
the Powmax site, and the nearest thing I could find, claimed to have
overvoltage and overcurrent protection. If your unit had OV protection,

That's the power supply and that's the image of the one I've got.
http://us-depot.com/frshag520wad1.html
Yes, I am assuming that's what the clicking was right before it shut off.
Sadly it didnt do so fast enought to save everything.

then something else must have happened to the thing. (Over voltage
protection is supposed to be a separate circuit in the PSU, that
shuts the PSU off in the event that any voltage rises higher than a
certain percentage above the nominal value. Overcurrent protection,
on the other hand, is pretty useless, as the current that would trip
at would be so high, that whatever was connected at the other
end would already be on fire :-)

As in the CD-rom drive lights flashing right as it turned off. I've gone
thru Microscope and the board, CPU , memory all test fine. The Asus crash
free bios saved the day on the board as it wouldnt boot till I used the cd.
As it looks now the 40GB HDD & 6X DVD cd-rom (decoder card?) on the
secondary controller (there were also on the same power supply line also)
are bad and one hdd has some unrecoverable crc error's on it. Do you know
anything about Memtest86? Does it activate or use the ide controller? I dont
know if reformating will resolve the crc failures and I'm looking at trying
to backup my files before trying. I'm hoping this hasnt hurt the new 160GB
SATA drive.


It is possible there was a rail to rail short somewhere, and when
I read about the Inwin 500a case in Google, it makes reference to
the use of "dimples" for mounting the motherboard. Does your
motherboard use the standard brass standoffs, or does the motherboard
get screwed directly to the tray somehow ? Maybe the tray was touching
something on the bottom of the motherboard that it shouldn't be
touching ?

No, I have an older Inwin 500 with no dimples on the tray. I have one brass
stand off holding the board in place and plastic screw in locks everywhere
else. The brass stand off is in the hole up next to the memory/cmos battery.
I was considering installing brass standoff's in all as a better way to
secure the board due to the heavy CPU fan but that will wait for now.


The reason for me asking these stupid questions,

No, I dont consider them to be stupid questions. It's bad to give advise
without all the info.

is you really need
to know exactly what failed. If you attempt to buy new stuff,

I cant (economically) and wont buy new to replace these parts. The failure
of the power supply casued the damages and NWCA will have to address it.
Currently, the two hdd's, a dvd drive and possable a dxr3 card.

to
rebuild the machine, it could be that one of the original items you
own, is a "time bomb", waiting to kill the next piece of good
hardware it is connected to.

This is my worry. As soon as I get a chance I'm writing NWCA a letter about
it. As they havent even advised me they shipped the replacment power supply
and it's been three day's I'm preparing for it.

Maybe the power supply wasn't the
part at fault, and it got hot because of an overload coming from
something plugged into it.

Well, I did have a lot connected but that's why I got a 520Watt. Before it
died it had 4 Hdd's/2 cd-roms/video It ran in that configuration almost 24/7
for over 38 day's before it quit. It quit while running Memtest86 so it
wasnt really doing all the stuff it does when running Windows. I just
started having problems with it the saterday it died. The night before I
watched Xmen 2 on it.


At least keep your eyes "peeled" for some unlikely possibilities.

This is why I keep doing all the "testing" instead of playing, hoping I can
catch it before hand. I'd hate to get this all said and done and then have
more trouble.

Does the original power supply still run, and have you been using
it for your testing ?

No, the power supply, no matter what it's connected to will start them in
1-2 seconds it shut's off. No, I got out my last system parts (CUSL2-C,PIII
1Ghz, 512 Ram) and used it to do most of the testing. Last night my Dad got
me an Allied 300 Watt for testing the board, video card and SATA drive.
What's the best program for testing a SATA controller and drive? That's what
I'm on now to write this. It's working but the CPU temp is 116F, volatges
are all within 10% and no alarms but if I connect the DVD player and turn it
on the machine reboot's right after the desktop comes up. On boot smart
drive say's the 40 gb is about to fail and the video has artifact's in it
and periodicaly it goes wiggly, kind of like trying to run a Super VGA video
card on a Non-Super VGA Monitor.

Or have you already tried replacing it ?

See above

It is times like this that a voltmeter, and a clamp-on DC ammeter
come in handy.

Yes, I have a nice Fluke, that's how I first found there was indead no -12V.
Just to back up the DMAN card's testing. Kenn at NWCA has admitted it
sound's like the power supply died and sais Monday they will send out a
replacement. He was to talk to someone and find out if they needed this one
returned and so far no answer on that.


Maybe you could take that Powmax to a local computer shop, one
that has some kind of power supply tester, and see whether it
is still working or not ?

I live in a small town, one computer shop and he has no tester other than
the meter as I have done. I'm consideirng getting one of those plug in type
on ebay.

If the PSU smoked or flamed out, then
you don't need to waste your time on it.

I'm unable to smell due to my trach but my Mom smelled it and said it
smelled burned, that was two day's after it died.

Paul

ME


  #7  
Old May 13th 04, 07:21 PM
ME
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Paul
snip

The floppy version of Memtest86 has no reason to go near the IDE
controller. If you used the ISO CDROM image, then the BIOS has routines
in it (INT13 routines?), to bootstrap code off an IDE device.
Maybe Memtest86 uses INT13 and the BIOS in both cases.

OK, I've re run Memtest86 as I was doing Saterday when it died. The IDE
light did not blink this time and 2.5 hours of testing and no error's, as
there was error's before (about 1 hour 45 minutes in) I guess that shows the
bad power was going into the board at least to a small effect. I plan to
overclock it a bit and re-run the test.

I did have one problem but I think it's more of a damaged file in the game
then hardware, at least I hope. While playing Far Cry last night it kept
locking up with a message that the video card had stopped getting signals
(ATI 8500 LE) and wanted to send a problem report to ATI. CPU temp was up
about 120F and it re-booted. I'll re-install the game as soon as I get a
working DVD drive. One additional issue with the damaged parts, my MS
Office 2003, Far Cry & Splinter Cell Pandora's all are on DVD"s so I'm stuck
till then or barrow more from my parents till the end of the month. In the
mean time I'll re-install Directx and the newest ATI driver pack and try
again.


You are assuming here, that the damage was caused by accesses to
the IDE interface. I don't see any reason to suspect that. Since you
mention a burnt smell, this could be purely a power supply problem
that killed a bunch of stuff. The logic on the drives is done with
+5V, and maybe that is the voltage that went out of spec. (+12V
could probably take a bit more abuse, as the motor and actuator
would get power from there.)

As this supply has a -12V issue, wouldnt that mean they were exposed to
"bad" 12V and possable that's the reason the lights were flickering?
And that exposure cause the damage and issue mentioned above?


more snip

As you've been doing a lot of testing on the components, it sounds
like that hasn't happened so far. Only the DVD drive sounds a
bit scary.

Yes, it and the 40 GB drive and the video issue mentioend above at this
point looks like it. Now to see what they say about replaicing the parts.




Maybe the power supply wasn't the
part at fault, and it got hot because of an overload coming from
something plugged into it.

Well, I did have a lot connected but that's why I got a 520Watt. Before

it
died it had 4 Hdd's/2 cd-roms/video It ran in that configuration almost

24/7
for over 38 day's before it quit. It quit while running Memtest86 so it
wasnt really doing all the stuff it does when running Windows. I just
started having problems with it the saterday it died. The night before I
watched Xmen 2 on it.


I've measured the power comsumption on my computer while running
memtest86, and it isn't the hottest test you can run. In terms of
total power, on my puny Radeon 8500 equipped system, I find 3DMark
draws about the same current from the wall as Memtest86.

I'll have to download 3dmark and run it. What are your spec's? so I can
compare.


On a P4 system, the processor uses +12V for the motherboard Vcore
switching supply, so any processor intensive activity can draw up to
8 amps or so from +12V. The DIMMs generally draw a smaller amount
of power, at about 5W for an active DIMM. On a single channel, only
one DIMM can be kept active at a time, so the total power of all
DIMMs is less than N*5W. The DIMM circuit could be a small switcher
as well, and run off +5V. That isn't enough current to worry about.

I'm running a matched set of Kinsgston 512Mb's in dual channel.


Maybe the Powmax isn't good for as much +12V as it claims ?
Tomshardware.com has had the odd article on PSUs and whether
they live up to their specs or not.

I guess after I do this bit more testing I'm going in search of rticles
about powmax's.

sniped

Hmm. Doesn't look good for the DVD player. In the BIOS, do the
brand name and model number of the drive show up in the IDE section
of the BIOS ?

Yes, An interesting point here, in XP Hardware property's, the video card
properties sheet say's it cant get info from the "CDS". I forgot to go ask
what that was over in the ATI newsgroup.

To get that info, the BIOS has to be able to draw
a few bytes of data across the cable, and that will help determine
whether it is completely dead.

No idea on the wiggly video. It really should either work or just
be dead.

Well, every now and then the screen streaches out horazontaly tot he point
that the cloxk and the start button are outside the monitors area then pop
they flash back in. I have the refresh rate set high but it's been that way
for a long time without issue. It normally runs from 80 to 100 hertz and the
Optiquest V95 has been rock solid since i got it back in 96 or so.


For a disk drive, I would try to find a program that checks the disk
surface for CRC errors. A "scandisk" or "chkdisk" type program probably
does more than that, and all you really want is something that just
reads every sector.

I've run a couple, found a lot of lost files and two director's. Looks like
I'm in for a reformat and reinstall as soon as the dvd issue is resolved.


Disk drives contain spare sectors per track, and for a simple failed
sector, the bad one will be "spared out" by the controller. That is why
most of the time, you cannot observe problems happening to your disk.
(The level of sparing or problems can sometimes be observed by running
something like HDTach or another disk benchmarking program. If the
"bandwidth" versus "position of the head on the disk" plot is not
smooth, the valleys in the plot could be indicating a large amount of
sparing activity, which would slow the disk down. This really depends
on whether the spare sectors are on the same track or somewhere else in
the same cylinder. I don't know what sparing policy is used on today's
dense disks.)

I hope to check it again after the re-format and find it's just some bad
files from the loss of power.


If CRC errors show up now, it means a previously recorded sector is
damaged. A worst case scenario, would be the head writing over the
embedded servo information, but chances are that would give some other
kind of error. If the CRC errors are all over the disk, then maybe
the disk heads or head amplifiers got damaged by an out of spec +5V.

No, only a few, most of the disk read's good and Norton found the missing
files and dir's and created files on the root for them.


If you have valuable data on the disk, the first thing to do is
try to make a bit by bit copy of the disk, to another disk. Then,
you can do whatever kind of testing you want to the questionable
disk. For example, some disk manufacturers have a test program that
they insist users run, before returning a disk under warranty.

Yes, I have Maxtors and WD's programs, ran already, all but the 40 GB are
ok.

Those
programs generally don't test the entire surface of the disk, but
may pop up a fancy error code, indicating a hardware failure of
some sort. If you are certain all valuable data on the disk is
backed up, you could try reformatting it, and then see what shape
it is in. If the electronics are damaged, the disk will probably
hang with the drive LED lit, while attempting the format.

I did this with the 40 GB and now on bootup Smart drive say's it's going to
fail and I should replace it asap. All the rest but the SATA are ok now.


Based on my comments, I think you can see that I don't expect your
drive to be good for anything but a paper weight. Something I've
done with the last two disks I bought, was make multiple copies
of the same ~1GB file to the new disk. I fill it right up with
big files. Then, I use a file checksumming program, to read and
generate a checksum for each file. All the files should be identical
to the original file stored on another drive. That is an application
level test that the disk is working. If you can pass that test a
few times, then maybe the disk is a "keeper".

I'll have to look for this program but with smart drive saying it's bad I'll
just replace it. Save the worry on that point.


Many people claim that modern motherboards don't use -5V and -12V.

At this minute the DMan card is in the very last PCI slot, the one by the
wi-fi slot and it has 4 voltage indicater's. All are lit green including
the -12V and -5V.

Some of the RS232 level shifting chips, used for COM ports, now
generate the necessary voltages internally, so they no longer need
-12V. While there could be some crazy function running off the -12V,
I doubt it. I think your PSU had more than that wrong with it when
it died.

I'll find out if NWCA refuses to replace the part's as my Dad was an
electrician in the military and the local shop will test it for the hourly
fee. I hope there honest and just do the right thing. Funny there moto is,
accoring to there website, "NWCA's mission is to make your satisfaction our
first priority" and right now I dont feel very priority. I sent them a
letter to that effect yesterday.

snip

If the PSU smoked or flamed out, then
you don't need to waste your time on it.

Well, for now I dont but if they dont respond I'll need fact's and
documentation for the courts.

snip

I'm sorry I cannot be of more help with regard to test programs.
I haven't had enough experience building PCs to have collected
programs like that. I've used some of the nice tests that
come with Sun computers, and I've even written test code for
the computers my former employer used to build. Since I've been
pretty lucky with my home PCs, I haven't had need of anything
more than memtest86, prime95, cpuburn, and 3dmark2001se.
Just filling a disk up with files has so far been a "good enough"
test for me.

Well Paul, I'd have to say youve been a real help! Just to have someone to
talk this issue over with, compare notes and backup my direction on the
problems is great. That's why I posted in the first place. Ops, I hear some
thunder in the distance, time to shut down.
Later
ME


  #8  
Old May 13th 04, 11:14 PM
ME
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Paul
I downloaded these and have run them with these results. What do you
think?
1) memtest86,
Runs fine -w- no error's. I guess the memory's ok now that it's getting
the right voltage. Ran over 2.5 hours and I quit it as it had error's within
the first 1 hour and 45 minutes the night the power supply died.

2) prime95,
OK, I ran this three times and each time it failed at test 2 at about
120 F until I remembered that I still had the three extra IDE hard drives
and the CD-RW
attached. I removed them and the Dman card and reran the test, it's on now
and I'm up to test 2 800000 and it's gone up to as high as 125 F without
shutting off or going into an error.

3) cpuburn,
I ran this one while I played Far Cry for about 4 checkpoints just to
see how things were. Video setting's at very high. I got a lot of color
flashing in the game but it didn't lock up or re-boot the whole time and at
the end it was 125F. After I shut this off it took just a few seconds to go
back down to about 93 F. I will try again with the frame rate turned on in
Far Cry and see what happens. The video didn't have color problems before.
It could be video card and it could be software. (The re-format issue again)
I am starting to think the motherboard, memory and CPU are ok. I still may
have issue's with the hard drives and cd-rw but with only a 300 Watt right
now I'd better do without or test them solo on the board.

4) 3dmark03 build 340
Wouldn't run all the way with the IDE drive's and cd-rw attached just as
above. Disconnected it ran all the way and gave me a score of 1493. OK,
don't flame me. It's only a 8500 LE and I think it may be damaged. Actually
I don't know if that's high/low/normal for this system setup. I just cant
afford to get anything newer (faster) right now. I loved the flight images
it use's to test.

I've been watching PC Probe and the voltages. System is not overclocked at
this time.
The +12V line runs under +12V(+11.8V to +11.97V) most of the time but even
with all the drives attached it never goes below +11.5V
The +5V line stay's above +5V most of the time, actually almost always at
+5.107V. Never seen it go below +4.85V
Same with the +3.3V, lowest seen was a +2.94V with all drives on.
Vcore is +1.6V with downs as low as +1.54V

These are all on the Allied 300 Watt.
ME





  #9  
Old May 14th 04, 11:05 AM
Paul
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article , "ME"
wrote:

Paul
I downloaded these and have run them with these results. What do you
think?
1) memtest86,
Runs fine -w- no error's. I guess the memory's ok now that it's getting
the right voltage. Ran over 2.5 hours and I quit it as it had error's within
the first 1 hour and 45 minutes the night the power supply died.

2) prime95,
OK, I ran this three times and each time it failed at test 2 at about
120 F until I remembered that I still had the three extra IDE hard drives
and the CD-RW
attached. I removed them and the Dman card and reran the test, it's on now
and I'm up to test 2 800000 and it's gone up to as high as 125 F without
shutting off or going into an error.


49C isn't bad for a temperature. I don't know why Prime95 would be
failing with the disk drives in place. Prime95 should be just the
CPU and memory at work.

In terms of wall current power consumption on my machines.
My 3dMark power consumption is similar to the CPUBURN results.

On my TUA266 with 1.1GHz Tualatin: Idle=120W CPUBURN=132W
On my P4B with 1.8GHz P4: Idle=106W CPUBURN=160W


3) cpuburn,
I ran this one while I played Far Cry for about 4 checkpoints just to
see how things were. Video setting's at very high. I got a lot of color
flashing in the game but it didn't lock up or re-boot the whole time and at
the end it was 125F. After I shut this off it took just a few seconds to go
back down to about 93 F. I will try again with the frame rate turned on in
Far Cry and see what happens. The video didn't have color problems before.
It could be video card and it could be software. (The re-format issue again)
I am starting to think the motherboard, memory and CPU are ok. I still may
have issue's with the hard drives and cd-rw but with only a 300 Watt right
now I'd better do without or test them solo on the board.


Yea. No reason to punish the 300W supply. As for the colors, that will
be the video card and not the software. After a test run with Far Cry,
try running a finger over the video card (touch your other hand to the
case first, to reduce the risk of zapping the card with an ESD
discharge). See if anything is too hot to hold a finger on. Some color
problems are due to overheating.


4) 3dmark03 build 340
Wouldn't run all the way with the IDE drive's and cd-rw attached just as
above. Disconnected it ran all the way and gave me a score of 1493. OK,
don't flame me. It's only a 8500 LE and I think it may be damaged. Actually
I don't know if that's high/low/normal for this system setup. I just cant
afford to get anything newer (faster) right now. I loved the flight images
it use's to test.

I've been watching PC Probe and the voltages. System is not overclocked at
this time.
The +12V line runs under +12V(+11.8V to +11.97V) most of the time but even
with all the drives attached it never goes below +11.5V
The +5V line stay's above +5V most of the time, actually almost always at
+5.107V. Never seen it go below +4.85V
Same with the +3.3V, lowest seen was a +2.94V with all drives on.
Vcore is +1.6V with downs as low as +1.54V

These are all on the Allied 300 Watt.
ME


I haven't run 3dmark03, and normally use the 2001se version. That is
because I haven't installed DX9. (Does the 3dmark03 still support the
online database feature ? In '2001 you could connect to the online
database and compare your system to other similar systems.)

3DMark2001SE on my P4B 1.8GHz Radeon 8500 at 1024x768:

AGP 2X - 7271 pts
AGP 4X - 7255 pts

These numbers are about 1/3 of the current top numbers. Pretty good
for a computer that uses the old SDRAM.

Your voltages are all fine. The PSU is normally rated for +/- 5%
tolerance (the spec may be on the label). Vcore load lines allow
more voltage variation than the 0.06V you list above, so nothing
too scary there.

Paul
  #10  
Old May 14th 04, 02:53 PM
ME
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Paul"

49C isn't bad for a temperature. I don't know why Prime95 would be
failing with the disk drives in place. Prime95 should be just the
CPU and memory at work.


Yea. No reason to punish the 300W supply. As for the colors, that will
be the video card and not the software. After a test run with Far Cry,
try running a finger over the video card (touch your other hand to the
case first, to reduce the risk of zapping the card with an ESD
discharge). See if anything is too hot to hold a finger on. Some color
problems are due to overheating.

Yes I've been doing this along the way and other than the normal "caps" &
GPU/Memory being hot nothing. I alos noted the ATI fan is slowing down so I
added a Enermax 80MM fan above the Video card. Oh yea, I use a wrist strap
grounded to the house ground and that's grounded to a ground spike out by
the old Satalite mount. I also have one of those green antistatic desk mats
from when I worked at Compaq.

snip

I haven't run 3dmark03, and normally use the 2001se version. That is
because I haven't installed DX9. (Does the 3dmark03 still support the
online database feature ? In '2001 you could connect to the online
database and compare your system to other similar systems.)

3DMark2001SE on my P4B 1.8GHz Radeon 8500 at 1024x768:

AGP 2X - 7271 pts
AGP 4X - 7255 pts

Wow, I hope the difference is the program not the parts as the differance
between my P4 3.2Ghz -w- Radeon 8500 LE at 1024X768 in the 340 version and
yours is sad. I have installed a fresh 40 GB and Windows Xp Pro and after
loading all the drivers I'll re run the test's to see if software
curruptiuon on the old drive is an issue.


These numbers are about 1/3 of the current top numbers. Pretty good
for a computer that uses the old SDRAM.

They sound real good to me. What's your motherboard?


Your voltages are all fine. The PSU is normally rated for +/- 5%
tolerance (the spec may be on the label). Vcore load lines allow
more voltage variation than the 0.06V you list above, so nothing
too scary there.

Yea, just have to wait for a larger power supply.
ME



 




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