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Thread: PC Power Supply Help

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    The Gaming Gangsta Master of Shinobi profholt82's Avatar
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    Default PC Power Supply Help

    So, last night my PC began shutting itself off randomly, and then kicking back on. So I did a hard shutdown, let it sit for a few minutes, and then booted it back up. Everything seemed fine at first, and then there was a boom and a big spark that came out the back of the power supply. And a smell to go with it.

    After opening it up, I see that all of the wires are soldered into the board of the PSU, so I can't simply pop a new one in there and replug the wires into it. It looks like I'll have to cut each wire and resolder it into a new PSU board. And I'm not the techiest guy, so that could be a potential nightmare for me.

    My question is, can this be avoided? I see that the opposite ends of the wires are all clipped into various ports and the board on my PC, so can I just replace the wires? I there a standard wire kit that I can buy?

    I also figured that since I'm in there already, I'll probably double up my RAM from 8gb to 16. If I buy 2 4gb strips, can those just be popped into the 2 open RAM slots, or is there a reason to keep 2 of the 4 slots open like the way they are now?

    Also, in case it is relevant, I should add that I bought this PC from Cyberpower in late 2011. It has an i5-2500k cpu, 8gb ram and an Intel 40gb ssd. It has a pedestrian graphics card (GeForce GT620), but the only gaming I ever do on it is old stuff on dosbox, so that seems to be fine for my purposes.

    When Microsoft cancelled Windows 7 support last month, I upgraded to Windows 10. Perhaps the added demands of running that OS has added to the stress on the power supply, I'm not sure. After googling/binging about my power supply, it seems that it is a poor unit, and it has similarly crapped out for other people. They say it can only handle up to 240w, so perhaps this new adjustment to Windows 10 was just a little more than it could handle.

    Anyway, if anyone could point me in the right direction on how to handle this psu going forward, I'd sincerely appreciate it. I can generally handle basic electronics work, but perhaps this is beyond my purview which is why I wanted to ask some questions. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, guys.


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  2. #2
    Outrunner
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    Tbh if the power supply went bang then it is toast. I wouldn't recommend trying to replace components in the PSU itself, there are a lot of capacitors in there with a lot of voltage, in fact on the case of the PSU it will say "No User Serviceable Parts" PCs are modular and so you should be able to unscrew and remove the entire power supply and replace it. It looks like from the photos that it is a standard 500 watt ATX power supply. Looking on Amazon, it looks like you could replace it for about 40 bucks.

    https://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-C...s%2C303&sr=8-1

    It should be a no solder job, just mapping out where the cables go and unplugging the old cables and plugging in the new ones, then screwing the new PSU to the PC chassis. One thing to check for is that when the PSU went bang that it didn't take out any other components, like HDD, CPU, memory etc. Unfortunately you'll probably have the get the new PSU and see what happens when you turn it on. As something to think about, it might be worth going for a PSU with a higher wattage, then it will give you some extra leeway if you choose to upgrade other components in the future (new gfx card etc)

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    AKA Mister Xiado Master of Shinobi Raijin Z's Avatar
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    Agreed. I keep extra power supplies around just in case. Be sure to get a PSU from a company with a clean record for reliability, as it is arguably the most important part in a computer. A crap power supply can fry everything in the system. Previously, I used Antec, but now I have a Corsair PSU. Not for any particular reason, though I may have to replace my current PSU to support more drives and cards, without the need for splitters.
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    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    Whoa~ If you are not tech-savvy, I'd be careful about opening up that PSU. Those capacitors can hold a a nice surprise (they're dangerous!).

    PSUs are easy to replace. You're meant to unplug the cables at the other end, though - where they are plugged into the motherboard and drives. Just buy a similar ATX 500W PSU or something and you shouldn't have much trouble swapping them.

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    The Gaming Gangsta Master of Shinobi profholt82's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the info, guys. I didn't realize that all of those wires came with the power supply unit. I thought they came with the computer and that I'd have to cut them from the power supply and reattach them to a new unit. So, that's a relief.

    I'll pick up a new PSU from Best Buy this evening, and get it all hooked up and hope for the best. Fingers crossed that nothing else was fried when the unit went boom.

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    I also bought a PC from cyberpower back in '09 (an i7 920 that I still use, although I finally replaced the GPU), and I certainly know what a cheap, burnt PSU smells like.

    It's the least sexy part to throw money at, but it really is the most important. If I could go back, I'd get a good PSU to begin with. I'd also opt for a modular PSU (which is something I didn't do when I replaced it). That's just me, though.

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    Comrade as in friend. Master of Shinobi ComradeOj's Avatar
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    I would definitely not try turning that thing on again until you get a new PSU. TBH, "turbolink" sounds kind of like a typical cheap PSU thrown in to an otherwise decent PC to cut costs.

    I would shop around for a new PSU. Anything with at least 80+ bronze rating is generally reliable. Silver or gold is better. Stick to recognized brands, and read reviews before buying. It can be tempting to cheap out on a power supply, but it is well worth it in the long run to spend the extra cash.

    Best of luck to your PSU replacement, I hope nothing else in your PC got damaged when the PSU blew.
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    The Gaming Gangsta Master of Shinobi profholt82's Avatar
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    Stopped by Best Buy last night, and picked up a Corsair psu for around a hundred bucks. Had good reviews, and I like the modular hookups, and it seems like a solid build with thick threaded CPU cables. So, I got it all hooked up and started her up, and it wouldn't properly boot. It kept going through the Windows repair cycle. I tried all the different options, and it just wouldn't get out of the loop during the restarts. So, I'm probably just going to have to take it to a repair shop and hope for the best.

    I'm actually leaving for a family vacation in the morning, so this will have to go on the back burner for now. I just hope I didn't lose all of the saved files. We had tons of photos and videos backed up on there.

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    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by profholt82 View Post
    Stopped by Best Buy last night, and picked up a Corsair psu for around a hundred bucks. Had good reviews, and I like the modular hookups, and it seems like a solid build with thick threaded CPU cables. So, I got it all hooked up and started her up, and it wouldn't properly boot. It kept going through the Windows repair cycle. I tried all the different options, and it just wouldn't get out of the loop during the restarts. So, I'm probably just going to have to take it to a repair shop and hope for the best.

    I'm actually leaving for a family vacation in the morning, so this will have to go on the back burner for now. I just hope I didn't lose all of the saved files. We had tons of photos and videos backed up on there.
    Sounds like you fixed the hardware problem, then. Now you've got some kind of software issue with Windows.

    Your files will be fine. You can always just put the hard drive in another computer (or external enclosure) to get access to them. I'd attempt that before taking it to a repair shop, which is something that gives me nightmares. "Unfortunately, sir, we were unable to recover the files. We did install a fresh copy of Windows for you, though. The bill comes to... $400."

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    Quote Originally Posted by profholt82 View Post
    Stopped by Best Buy last night, and picked up a Corsair psu for around a hundred bucks. Had good reviews, and I like the modular hookups, and it seems like a solid build with thick threaded CPU cables. So, I got it all hooked up and started her up, and it wouldn't properly boot. It kept going through the Windows repair cycle. I tried all the different options, and it just wouldn't get out of the loop during the restarts. So, I'm probably just going to have to take it to a repair shop and hope for the best.

    I'm actually leaving for a family vacation in the morning, so this will have to go on the back burner for now. I just hope I didn't lose all of the saved files. We had tons of photos and videos backed up on there.
    Well I'm glad to hear that the PSU transplant went well but sorry to hear that you're still having issue with booting to Windows. As Gryson said your files are likely fine and like he said just hook the drive up to another PC (if available) and then you can back up any important files that way. I've encountered Window boot issues like this before and most of the time the files are fine, unless there was an underlying issue with the drive itself. If you do decide to try a repair shop, maybe look for ones that specialize in file retrieval, probably best not to trust some numbnut at BestBuy to know what they are doing. Personally, I'd give switching the drive in to another PC or in an external enclosure first.

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    AKA Mister Xiado Master of Shinobi Raijin Z's Avatar
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    When I had Windows failures due to HDD issues or other file corruption issues a long time ago, I would just perform a dirty reinstall (installing Windows on top of itself) to sort it out. Slightly messy, but reformatting is like sanding your whole car to deal with a rust spot. Of course, Windows now lets you perform a repair install without having to remake your user accounts, so it may be easier to just do that.
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    Raging in the Streets Blades's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by profholt82 View Post
    Stopped by Best Buy last night, and picked up a Corsair psu for around a hundred bucks. Had good reviews, and I like the modular hookups, and it seems like a solid build with thick threaded CPU cables. So, I got it all hooked up and started her up, and it wouldn't properly boot. It kept going through the Windows repair cycle. I tried all the different options, and it just wouldn't get out of the loop during the restarts. So, I'm probably just going to have to take it to a repair shop and hope for the best.

    I'm actually leaving for a family vacation in the morning, so this will have to go on the back burner for now. I just hope I didn't lose all of the saved files. We had tons of photos and videos backed up on there.
    Your files are fine unless you're leaving something out. If you want them to stay fine, I suggest not giving your computer to anyone.

    The people here will help you with everything. If I were you, I'd make sure the hardware functions before doing anything. Burn/make a live CD/USB (I still use Knoppix) and check that everything works, my guess is it will. If you're really worried, you can back up all your files then and there.

    But what happened most likely is that Windows screwed itself as usual, and will probably be able to repair itself given the opportunity. Try booting into safe mode etc.

    But make sure the hardware works first.

  13. #13
    The Gaming Gangsta Master of Shinobi profholt82's Avatar
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    Sincerely appreciate all of the help, guys. As I said before, the timing on this thing was ridiculous because we just left on a family vacation this morning, so I won't be able to get back at it until a week from monday. But I was at least glad that when I installed the new power unit, it powered on without issue.

    So, it does seem to be an OS problem then. I suppose that could have been caused by the screwy shutdown when the original power unit crapped out, as it had been shutting off intermittently for several minutes prior to the boom, and I kept powering it back on (which I obviously shouldn't have done, derp).

    So, when I get home, I'll check in with you guys and let you know how it goes. I'll plan on reinstalling windows and possibly removing the hard drive and/or burning a backup as Blades suggests, although I'm not sure exactly how to do that outside of windows. Regardless, like I said, we took the kids Florida for a family trip this week, so I'll give you all an update on the status when I get home.

    In the meantime, hopefully I can find some cool game shops while I'm down here this week with some killer Sega games I need, so that I can post something less doom and gloomy here on S-16. ;D

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