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Thread: EP45-UD3R - Computer causing brownout




  1. #1
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    Default EP45-UD3R - Computer causing brownout

    Sometimes when I start up my computer I can hear a very faint noise from inside the computer, and the lamp sitting next to the computer slightly browns out. The lamp next to the computer NEVER does that with the computer off. It also sometimes happens randomaly while already on and running. I believe this brown out condition blew out the onboard internet card. I bought a new one, and after a brown out it too stopped working, but later started again.

    My computer wasn't booting up just now. Saying something like Mainboard Failure. It would try to recover the bios, but the computer would shut off before it would finish. Would turn back on and repeat endlessly.

    After the tedius task of removing my video card to get to my boards battery to reset the bios, I now have my computer back...for now.

    Six or seven years ago or so I built my first computer (this being my second). I had nothing but problems with it. I had two hard drives set up as a software RAID drive that would stop working again and again. After a while the motherboard simply wouldn't work anymore and I would have to get a replacement (untll I simply couldn't find a board anymore for the chip). I was replacing mobo's at least once a year till the power supply blew up one day shooting sparks out and scaring the hell out of me.

    In it's place I got a Sony laptop. Other than having Vista and being slow, I never had a problem with it. Now I'm afraid I'm getting ready to have the same problems.

    This is a completely new build. New power supply, drives, ext. Only thing not new are the speakers.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: EP45-UD3R - Computer causing brownout

    There could a short between the case and the motherboard. are you using brass stand-offs? If you are make sure stand-offs match where there are screw holes in your MB.
    Last edited by R_Hollandtekk; 12-03-2009 at 02:35 PM.

    p45 ud3p 1.6 fb stable but fd fails or is it just my ocz incompatibility?!? This guy has problems uniquely similar to mine. I'm starting to think this ocz brand is just not that great. JR P45 driving me crazy!


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  3. #3
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    Default Re: EP45-UD3R - Computer causing brownout

    What PSU are you using, and what is the rest of your full system specs?

    Aside from standoff's matching up, are you using the little red motherboard washers on both sides of the board? Some cases short if you dont

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    Default Re: EP45-UD3R - Computer causing brownout

    Newegg.com - Once You Know, You Newegg

    My specs

    I haven't checked the alignment yet...but tell me about these little red washers. Where is a good place to get them?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: EP45-UD3R - Computer causing brownout

    I would also check that you didn't pinch any wires, especially if you tucked some wires behind the mobo tray or around any sharp edges of the case.

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    Default Re: EP45-UD3R - Computer causing brownout

    In addition to the excellent suggestions above it might be a good idea to have someone "in the know" test your power outlet. Are you in an old building with real old wiring? Have you tried a different outlet? You may want to look at getting a decent UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) unit if there is a possibility that your mains itself has issues with surges and brownouts.
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    Default Re: EP45-UD3R - Computer causing brownout

    Quote Originally Posted by nekcmo View Post
    Newegg.com - Once You Know, You Newegg

    My specs

    I haven't checked the alignment yet...but tell me about these little red washers. Where is a good place to get them?
    Here you can get them cheap, or you can also find them on ebay if you ebay
    100 PCS Red Motherboard Screw Insularing Fiber Washers, Red Fiber Washers

    Also several other places
    motherboard washer - Google Product Search

    That PSU 12V rails are a bit weak

    I agree, if you can have your power checked at your house. You may also want to buy one of these to test that PSU if you do not plan to
    CoolMax Ultra Deluxe 24-Pin Power Supply Tester w/ LCD Display Products Model: PS-224 [PS-224] : Performance-PCs.com, ... sleeve it and they will come

  8. #8
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    Default Re: EP45-UD3R - Computer causing brownout

    As long as the PC's PSU tests OK, I'd suspect your mains socket as being the problem. A worn socket, loose wires etc could easily cause this.

    It could also perfectly reasonably be the PSU. Although it is new, it could quite easily be faulty. I've had PSU's, HDD's CPU's, you name it all faulty when delivered. It's rare but possible.

    After checking the build over for faults as mentioned, like shorts to the case, loose wires etc it would be a good idea to try an alternative PSU if you have one handy. No matter if it's a smaller capacity, as long as it's about 350W + you'll be fine for everything except heavy 3D gaming while testing.

    I'm not too keen on the Earthwatts series as Lsdmeasap says the 12V rail capacity is misleading. The PSU is 500W, but it states 22.0A for each 12V rail. If both 12V rails were indeed capable of 22A simultaniously then it would be a 538W PSU... It seems that these "virtual" rails are taken from a single 12V rail with a capacity more like 38-39A giving you around 456-468W on the 12V rails. No PSU available is able to output 100% of its wattage on the 12V rail except the BFG ES series. This isn't much to worry about, just a pet hate of mine. Antec do make stable PSU's.

    Have you tested the outlet using another appliance while the lamp is on? To make sure it's not the socket, plug in a heater or a Kettle. Kettles should draw between 1.8KW and 2.2KW. if the lamp dims then it's your power distribution.

    To protect your PC, a combined power conditioner and surge protector or a UPS would be ideal. After all, if you're eating up motherboards at that rate, something is definitely wrong.

    The lap top maybe doesn't cause this issue as it is drawing a lot less power. At a guess output on the laptops transformer would be about 5A-8A at maybe 16-19V, tiny compared to a desktop machine.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: EP45-UD3R - Computer causing brownout

    If you do or don't use a power strip with the lamp plugged in with the PC Switch Mode PSU's have a High Inrush Current/Start up current that will see visually on a tungsten lamp.

    If i turn on my PC and CRT monitors (although Monitor Degauss takes high Current) I'll see a Minor brown out on other equipment, but not enough to cause problems with my APC line Conditioner (AC).

    Even my Technics Power Amplifier will do the same thing.

    Take your lamp into the kitchen and turn the kettle on, you could see something similar. The favourite though is the electric shower at 7-9kw as that will dim the lights.

    Unless the noise is an actual indication of a fault, it is most likely a PSU choke is "exciting" as high current is drawn upon start up.

    Of course there could be a fault, but i doubt it. If you are in the UK and in a modern house the mains RCD (Residual current detector), would cut of the property's main supply if there was leakage to earth (within the PSU).

    My bet at the moment would be on Inrush/Start Up mains current, more noticeable if PC mains power is on surge strip or mains extension lead along with lamp - moreso with greater cable length.

    EDIT:- (after re-reading the post whilst not being on the telephone)!

    The fact that you see this happen when the PC is Running and I guess you still hear the noise, then as Psycho 101 says, you need to:-

    1) Discover if your Supply Socket, connections, cables or adapters are OK and not old, weak, worn or plain intermittent.
    2) Take note if this happens anywhere else in the house too, when your PC is plugged into it's normal location.
    3) Use a Line conditioner if it does happen elsewhere in the house, yet if it is localised to the mains outlet you use, get that socket fixed (or extension cables/surge strips replaced)
    4) If power is OK and perfectly stable, is the IEC mains lead making good contact with the PSU power socket (mains)
    5) The PSU could be faulty.

    People don't always notice, but plugs and sockets often become weak in their friction hold, which of course affects electrical contact. This is often the case with older power sockets in propereties where they have never been updated/renewed and/or with cheap power strips/surge connectors. Even some cheap IEC connectors the 3 pin kettle/PSU type can get weak and not plug into the PSU socket snugly and retain that grip so they are tight to remove.
    Last edited by VorLonUK; 12-04-2009 at 04:34 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: EP45-UD3R - Computer causing brownout

    Thanks for the help everyone! And thanks for the links to the washers and the tester.

    I'm thinking my next step should be a line conditioner. I DO live in an old area with inconsistant power. The first computer I built, I was telling a guy that I play World of Warcraft (yeah, I'm a geek...lol) about blowing all the motherboards. He suggested then that I should get a line conditioner. I got that laptop instead, and since I had no problems with it I assumed I had a bad HDD or something that was blowing them out (since I had tried two different PSU's with the same result).

    So here I am dealing with problems again with a completely different set up and case. I don't think the PSU tester would do me much good as I could go a few days without seeing the brown out.

    So would I want an uninteruptable power supply or a line conditioner. Or are they the same thing? Just wondering if that is what I should be asking for. Will they still work off a strip?

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