Solved Why would my PSU go dead?

May 9, 2015 at 01:12:15
Specs: win 8
can virus attack my power supply control circuitry?

It went bad suspiciously and I was wondering if there is something that could affect it like the centrifuges in the Iranian nuclear reactor.
thx


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✔ Best Answer
May 9, 2015 at 11:43:21
"It was DPS 350 VB C in Dell desktop. I had replaced it about two years ago since the old one worked but wasn't reliable"

It's not a good unit. Did you replace the old one with the exact same model?

"But the big thing that occurred soon after it was a power outage. After the power came back the computer didn't turn on"

There you go...I'm guessing you didn't have it connected to a surge protector? The only thing I can suggest is to replace it. If you still have the old one, try swapping it temporarily to see if the system will still boot. If you're lucky, only the PSU was damaged by the power surge.

If you're in the US, you can't beat this deal on a Corsair 430W. After 10% coupon & rebate, it's only $25.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...



#1
May 9, 2015 at 03:31:04
Dust in the cooling components, which causes overheating, is your biggest enemy.

Information about cleaning computer components
http://www.computerhope.com/cleanin...
http://www.wiscocomputing.com/artic...
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tut...
http://pcgyaan.wordpress.com/2009/0...


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#2
May 9, 2015 at 05:17:05
Since you didn't provide any info, I'm going to have to ask several questions. Is this an external PSU for a laptop? or is it an internal PSU for a desktop? Is it an OEM PSU (Acer, Dell, HP/Compaq, etc) or a store bought PSU? What is the make/model/wattage? How old is it? Are you sure it's capable of handling the load of your system? Was it plugged into a surge protector? If not, are you sure a power surge didn't damage it?

As Johnw said, dust & overheating could be the cause, but it could also be that the PSU was simply a low quality unit from the start. But to answer your 1st question - no, a virus cannot attack a PSU.


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#3
May 9, 2015 at 05:35:33
I guess you probably guessed it correctly, but anyway, here are the details and thank you for your quick response.

It was DPS 350 VB C in Dell desktop. I had replaced it about two years ago since the old one worked but wasn't reliable.

Just yesterday I had few viruses intercepted by Norton. But the big thing that occurred soon after it was a power outage. After the power came back the computer didn't turn on.


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Related Solutions

#4
May 9, 2015 at 05:43:03
Is there any sign of power?

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#5
May 9, 2015 at 05:45:41
How To Troubleshoot a Computer That Shows No Sign of Power
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/findb...

POST troubleshooting steps
http://www.computerhope.com/issues/...


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#6
May 9, 2015 at 06:18:09
The green light on PSU had flickered right after the power came back but the computer or PSU fan didn't show any sign of power, just dead.

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#7
May 9, 2015 at 07:00:26
"computer or PSU fan didn't show any sign of power, just dead"
Disconnect the power cable to the PSU.
Remove the PSU, take the cover off & check if the fuse has blown.

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#8
May 9, 2015 at 07:45:54
I really don't see a fuse here, is there a fuse?

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#9
May 9, 2015 at 11:43:21
✔ Best Answer
"It was DPS 350 VB C in Dell desktop. I had replaced it about two years ago since the old one worked but wasn't reliable"

It's not a good unit. Did you replace the old one with the exact same model?

"But the big thing that occurred soon after it was a power outage. After the power came back the computer didn't turn on"

There you go...I'm guessing you didn't have it connected to a surge protector? The only thing I can suggest is to replace it. If you still have the old one, try swapping it temporarily to see if the system will still boot. If you're lucky, only the PSU was damaged by the power surge.

If you're in the US, you can't beat this deal on a Corsair 430W. After 10% coupon & rebate, it's only $25.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...


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#10
May 9, 2015 at 15:12:40
You can forget viruses - they cannot possibly attack a PSU. A power surge can kill one off though, especially if it was about to fail anyway.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#11
May 9, 2015 at 18:19:04
"I really don't see a fuse here, is there a fuse?"

repair computer power supply
https://www.google.com.au/webhp?hl=...


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#12
May 10, 2015 at 10:19:29
Why do you know an original supply was unreliable? For example, what determines when a PSU powers on? A power controller. This controller takes numerous inputs (including the front panel push button) to determine when power goes on, when the CPU is permitted to execute, when to trigger a safety lockout, and both if or when power must be shut off.

Neither heat, virus, or surges are typical reasons for PSU failures. For example, heat is a diagnostic tool. If a PSU has defective parts and still works in a 70 degree F rooom, then defective parts can be identified by operating it in a 100 degree F room (also a normal temperature for consumer electronics). If that PSU fails at 100 degrees, then it was defective. And probably will fail months or a year later in a 70 degree room. Actual reason for failure is a manufacturing defect.

Manufacturing defects are the most common reason for PSU failues. We all saw a perfect example some years back when counterfeit electrolyete was used in electrolytic capacitors. This manufacturing defect resulted in major electronics failures years later. Another example of how manufacturing defects cause failures. Most failures are due to manufacturing defects.

Due to protection routinely inside all appliances, most all surges are already made irrrelevant. Any protector adjacent to that supply can only do what the supply already does better. And in some cases can even compromise internal and robust PSU protection. Furthermore, potentially destructive surges occur maybe once every seven years. Surges are not hourly or daily as so many others have been told to believe. The rare and destructive surge is averts by something completely different, located elsewhere, and costs about $1 per protected appliance. What else was damaged by a mythical surge?

Back to your problem. Is a power controller cutting off power? Does a PSU have a defect? Or has some other part in the 'power system' gone defective. Did others ignore other power system components including the power controller? Well, a minute of labor using some requested instructions and a digital meter means a next reply can answer your oroginal question accurately, without 'it might be' expressions, with reasons for why that unacceptable failure occured, and stating what part specifically need be replaced. Numbers for that meter empower the few who really know this stuff.

Your second option is to do what you probably did previously. Just replace good parts on speculation until something works. This second option, called shotgunning, is why some see a same failure maybe a year later. In shotgunning, nobody can say what is a best part to replace. Your guess is just as good as others. Just start buying new parts.

Your choice. Two options are provided. The answer to your original question: most all failures are due to manufacturing defects.


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#13
May 11, 2015 at 02:25:50
Derek,
I was just wondering if there are any viruses that could attack the software controlling the PSU. In a similar way the virus attacked the nuclear reactor in Iran where it could speed up the RPM of the centrifuges, Just curious.

Johnw,
Thank you for the link to the illustrations. I'm not proficient in locating fuses so that helped. By now the first PSU is in a trash the other is waiting to be open and the third one is on order.

westom,
That was very interesting case with determining unreliability of the first PSU.
My internet connection kept dropping and I couldn't figure out the cause and neither my internet provider could. They sold me a new modem that solved the problem for a short time. But because my PSU had difficulties starting the computer in temperatures below 70 (or maybe it was below 60) I don't remember. But anyway, it required to press the ON toggle twice. I had decided to replace the PSU to make sure it will not die on me one day. Once I replaced the PSU the internet dropping problem went away. I didn't do any voltage or any other measurements. Thank you for the detail explanation of PSUs behavior.

To all,
I had double checked the original power circuit to my computer and found out that the computer, at the time of failure, was connected through two (2) search suppressors in series. I'm not sure what to make of it but I decided to trash all my search suppressors and get the top of the line ones from Belkin.

message edited by steve94928


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#14
May 11, 2015 at 02:50:29
"search suppressors and get the top of the line ones from Belkin"
I think you mean >

surge suppressors and get the top of the line ones from Belkin.

I think you may hear from westom again, if surge is what you meant.

He quoted.

"Due to protection routinely inside all appliances, most all surges are already made irrrelevant. Any protector adjacent to that supply can only do what the supply already does better. And in some cases can even compromise internal and robust PSU protection"

message edited by Johnw


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#15
May 11, 2015 at 03:27:26
Yes, you are right again, enough said

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#16
May 11, 2015 at 07:22:09
The PSU is purely hardware - no software control so no viruses can touch it. If anyone thinks otherwise then there is sure to be a flurry of inputs on here.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek


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#17
May 11, 2015 at 08:50:45
You have no reason to believe a Belkin does useful protection. Electrically, it is equivalent to one selling in Walmart for $10. Its spec numbers do not claim protection that so many assume.

For example, view numbers from its box. 330 let-through voltage means it does absolutely nothing until voltage well exceeds 330 volts (on 120 volt service). How often do you suffer 330+ volts? Why would that protect the PSU?

Best protection at electronics is already inside electronics. A Belkin may even compromise or bypass that protection. Something completely different (that costs about $1 per protected appliance) is found in facilities that cannot have damage. It is located where utility wires enter a building. Is how all protection has been done for over 100 years. And is necessary to also protect a near zero Belkin (how many joules does the Belkin claim to absorb?)

Effective recommendations include numbers that say why it does something useful. Protection inside the PSU is typically superior to what the Belkin might do. So that protection inside a PSU is not overwhelmed, a best solution is at the service entrance.

Meanwhile, your original PSU could have been defective when purchased. And simply degraded to become worse with time. No protector would have averted that failure.

message edited by westom


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#18
May 11, 2015 at 09:31:09
Westom,
Thank you again for the explanation. I thought that Belkin has some "secret sauce" like a patented component/circuit that would be better than anything else since they are rated as number one in many surveys. I didn't read the reviews in detail but they were focusing mostly on the physical configurations.

So, once again, according what you are saying the most important things are the total energy absorption and the pick voltage and there is no secret sauce to build the circuit.


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#19
May 11, 2015 at 12:38:09
In your first post you said "It went bad suspiciously".
Can you explain what was suspicious about it?

PSUs can just die for all manner of quite mundane reasons, just the same as any other electrical device.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#20
May 11, 2015 at 14:42:03
Derek,
I was getting many viruses that day, very unusual occurrence, but all intercepted and handled by Symantec, and there was one virus that Symantec identified as very rare, no more than five of them were ever seen, and the removal was more difficult than typically with reboot and restoring my computer to earlier known good state.

That ruffled my feathers and put me on high alert. And believe me I'm pretty sensitive to security and virus issues.

So maybe it was nothing but enough to think about it.


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#21
May 11, 2015 at 15:02:21
OK, thanks for the info. No it wasn't a virus that caused it - these can only affect software and there is none for a PSU.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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