2 Replies Latest reply on Feb 11, 2009 1:57 PM by joshtownsend

    Not exactly PP, but relevant for troubleshooting crashes. PSU woes.

    Harm Millaard Level 7
      This is not directly related to PP, but the following may help you if you encounter inexplicable hangs or crashes while editing.

      On an older system I had the following symptom: While editing I would get sudden MFT warnings, system freezes, no more mouse or keyboard response, utterly unresponsive behavior, that could only be remedied by pressing the reset button. The system could work for days without trouble, then suddenly start acting up, where the reset button was not enough. You had to power off, wait a minute, and boot again. Often during POST the system had trouble finding all disks, requiring numerous power off-on sequences and usually with the BIOS stating "overclocking failed. press F1 to enter setup". Overclocking was never used and the BIOS settings confirmed that, OK F10 to save the settings and voila, back to work. And it could be good for days or happen again half an hour later.

      WHAT THE F*** IS GOING ON HERE, I wondered. Is it one of my disks going bad because of the MFT errors, is it some resident process causing havoc? Whatever it was, I needed to figure it out, because it seriously hampered my editing, especially since the problems caused checkdisk to run at boottime, which often came up with a lot of errors.

      It took a lot of digging, trying this and that, reseating cables, checking disks etc. but what it boiled down to was:

      b Power Supply Unit PSU

      In this case on the 5V rail. With a number of disks in the system, a couple of externals, a multicard reader and a number of other USB devices the 5V rail was causing problems. The peak pulse at start up was overloading the 5V rails, to a large extent due to capacitor aging during the years this PC has been in operation, often 24/7. The temporary solution was to turn off the card reader and the external disks during start up and turning them on at a later moment.

      Meanwhile I was already looking at a new system and based on reviews I had at the top of my list the Enermax Revolution 85+, a 1050W PS that was lauded for its build quality, stability, efficiency and robustness. Until I checked the amperage on the various rails. Just calculating the power requirements, 1050W was sufficient for this new system. However, with the number of disks, DVD/BR burners and other components a more precise analysis showed that I needed a 30A 5V rail and the Enermax only delivers 25A. So no go.

      The lesson behind this for anybody experiencing strange hang ups or mysterious crashes can often be found in a power supply that is not up to the task required. Notice, it may have been good when you bought it, but in the meantime you may have added components, requiring more power and while the PS ages, its power dimishes due to capacitor aging. Like humans lose strength when they grow older.

      I strongly advise checking your PS on the stated capacity on the various rails and compare that to the results from eXtreme Power Supply Calculator Pro . The cost of around $ 10 for this program are easily worth it, if you can see what is required on the various rails and prevents you from buying one with the wrong specs in your situation, like the example I mentioned above.

      I hope this helps troubleshooting and selecting new PS.