Failing Power Supply?

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#1 Posted by GodLovesDead (9755 posts) -

Is my power supply failing? Starting a few days ago, here's what's been happening. In order.

1) Games aren't running nearly as well as they should. At first Left 4 Dead was running probably at half the framerate it normally runs at. And then today when I tried to play Counter-Strike, the framerate was in the 20s.

2) The computer has began to turn off randomly. If I boot into safe mode, it turns off every time before I can do anything.

3) I tried to play Left 4 Dead a few minutes ago. Framerate was in the teens, and then my computer turned off. I reboot and screen "fizzles" when I boot into Windows (assuming when it's opening the NVIDIA processes, because they aren't on like they normally are).

I turned off my computer, unplugged everything, and then plugged back in only the power cable. I could hear a faint "zzzz" soud. Very faint, but I could hear it.

If I boot into my Vista side, it'll give me a blue screen, start some memory dump, and turn off.

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#2 Posted by dragonmaster64 (6104 posts) -
whats your system specs? and powersupply specs?
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#3 Posted by GodLovesDead (9755 posts) -
whats your system specs? and powersupply specs?dragonmaster64
E8400, 4 GB of RAM, 9800GTX, 160GB HD, APEVIA ATX-AS520W-BK 520W. I've had it for nearly 3 years.
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#4 Posted by dragonmaster64 (6104 posts) -
maybe your PSU is giving out?
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#5 Posted by GodLovesDead (9755 posts) -
maybe your PSU is giving out? dragonmaster64
That's what my thread is asking. :P I'm waiting for someone to point out that one of my symptoms is obviously a failing power supply, or if it isn't. I always figured that if my power supply wasn't working, I wouldn't be able to even do basic functions like boot to windows.
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#6 Posted by dragonmaster64 (6104 posts) -
[QUOTE="dragonmaster64"]maybe your PSU is giving out? GodLovesDead
That's what my thread is asking. :P

oh lol then im pretty sure your right it could be that, but it could also be build of heat or dust. dust can be a pretty big problem. if you know your parts try open your PC and take out the dust if their is any.
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#7 Posted by glez13 (9615 posts) -
I agree there must be dust, probably in the cpu heat sink. Do you ever check your components temperatures?
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#8 Posted by X360PS3AMD05 (36303 posts) -
An old PC we had would turn off randomly, i'm pretty sure it was the PSU :? Or it's overheating.........uhmm PSUs degrade over time and it's Apevia :|.......
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#9 Posted by GodLovesDead (9755 posts) -

I check component temperatures regularly. I dust regularly too. In fact, I dust maybe once a week. I haven't checked my temperatures since the problems have started. I'll look now.

EDIT: Temperatures are fine.

DOUBLE EDIT: Hell no! My temperatures aren't fine. My CPU temperature is 98C! I'm using another computer now. Dust can't be the culprit for this though. Any ideas why the temperatue would be so high?

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#10 Posted by X360PS3AMD05 (36303 posts) -
Heatsink not making proper contact :?
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#11 Posted by Alter_Echo (10724 posts) -

If you are hearing a pop, sizzle, whistle, whine etc etc etc from the PSU even when it is turned off it could have a leaking cap on it. Cap leakage can and will lead to voltage rails that either arent getting their specced voltage or in some cases not getting any at all.

Are you able to get into your bios? If so can you check and see what amount of voltage the various rails are getting and if they are where they should be?

If you cant do either of these and have access to a voltmeter ( multimeter ) you can check your voltage rails externally via the PSU's power connectors.

If you arent sure about testing the various rails via inserting the test probes into the rear of the different connectors or by inserting them into the pins on the motherboard look up a faq by googling. There are literally thousands of how to's. Find something recent and it should apply to your system fairly closely.

And im going to assume that you already tried the simple stuff like :

- Swapping sticks of ram, removing sticks of ram etc etc

- Verified temps with a reliable application and confirmed them to be within a safe range

- If you did any recent updates or major system changes have you tried to restore or remove said change?

- Do you have any erroneous or abnormally large processes or registry entries that could be leeching your system to a halt state?

It is almost assuredly the PSU though. If you have access to another one you could skip a lot of troubleshooting by swapping it out. Id wager everything works fine.

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#12 Posted by JSDempsey (1803 posts) -
A 520W Apevia PSU? Could very well be the case. Getting a new PSU is something you should do even if somehow thats now whats causing the issue.
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#13 Posted by GodLovesDead (9755 posts) -
Heatsink not making proper contact :?X360PS3AMD05
Yep, that was definitely it. My heatsink came loose somehow. Possibly after my last dusting? That would also explain why my games were running slower. My BIOS was underclocking my processor to keep the heat down. To be honest, I've never had a cheap power supply die on me. I figured it would have to have happened eventually. Guess it's just not its time yet.