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Slow connections and question about PSU fan inside PC

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Slow connections and question about PSU fan inside PC

Is anyone having slow connections today?
ive had it all day, webpages not found and or loading slow.

Also looks like my PC is overheating, the fan inside the PSU which blows cool air out, isnt working, even after opening it all up and cleaning out all the dust.

is the PSU fan always supposed to stay on?
or is there some sort of thermostat that clicks it on when it gets warm.

Im a bit scared to leave my PC on for long periods now,
incase it overheats and goes bang.

I noticed 4 capacitors on the motherboard look a bit burnt on the top,
like a white bubble/flake which i scraped off.

Ahhh £1600 pc 1 1/2 years old, am i in trouble or what Sad
30 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Slow connections and question about PSU fan inside PC

First guess, yes the fan should be running and you are in serious danger of the PSU failing - the marks you see are likely to be the capacitors getting too hot and starting to leak - they are the components that can explode violently. Time to buy a new PSU and quickly, a shorted PSU could under extream conditions take your processor and motherboard with it making it an expensive delay.

Some of the more expensive PSU's have temp controlled variable speed fans but the majority will have a fixed speed fan running all the time.

Depending on the power (watts) if you can't afford a good brand go for a higher capacity cheap one, that way you have a better chance of it not failing due to load (see link below). I.e. if it's a 350W go for a 450W OEM/cheap model or a 350->400W premier brand. A cheap PSU will be around 15->20 quid, the premium ones 50->80 quid but you do get what you pay for.

It is not covered by any extended warrenty is it, if so you can make a claim and get a replacement PSU.

The two premier makes I would recommend are Antec (my preference) and Enermax but your pocket may dictate what you get.

And not wanting you to worry see Inadequate and Deceptive Product Labeling: Comparison of 21 Power Supplies

And some other reviews:

Getting the Right Power: 15 PC Power Supply Units

High Power For Power Users: 13 Power Supplies In The Spotlight
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Slow connections and question about PSU fan inside PC

The PSU fan should be on constantly.
If it stopped working for more than 50 hours, I would replace the PSU as the components will have become thermally aged.
A PSU going up in smoke can, in worst cases, fry other parts of the PC.
In a best case scenario, the smell from exploding high power capacitors hangs around for ages.
I would recommend Enermax PSU's. Not cheap but 1st rate.

As for the caps on the motherboard, what you are seeing is most probably a bit of paint used by the manufacturer as colour coding. If a cap is leaking, you will see brown goo seeping from the breather hole on the underside of the capacitor. They will not leak from the top, the top will just blow off when they go pop.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Slow connections and question about PSU fan inside PC

Ah, misread and thought the capacitors were on the PSU Shockedops: - anyway change the PSU like yesterday.

Yes caps usually leak brown although I have not seen many where the paint is used on the top but it is possible. I have one old mobo where it is leaking from the top which will be chucked once it fails. Caps can and do fail on the mobo, one case I remember where the caps in the 3 phase power circuits failed due to the wrong ones being used but this is rare.
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Slow connections and question about PSU fan inside PC

PC Chips, the low cost Mobo manufacturer, produced with some components that had no decernable markings except for coloured dabs of paint.
Loose white stuff on the top of the cap could be oxidation of the aluminium case, possibily indicating an old capacitor.
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Slow connections and question about PSU fan inside PC

Thanks alot for the replies!.

Ok this started maybe a few weeks now, after I had booted up the pc you could hear the fan making a strange noise, like it was sticking, so I just then rebooted the pc or switched it off, then as the power left the machine, you would hear the fan making the noise a little louder just for a sec as the power left the computer then it stopped, then I would re-start the pc, and it would be ok. Then other days it would be as before.

But since Wednesday, of last week, when I got up in the morning I pressed the power button on the PC to switch it on, and the PC was dead. it wouldn't turn on. yet the plug was on the mains, I thought then 'its broken' then after a bit I got up and went round the back of the pc, and pulled out the kettle plug (mains cable) then waited a few seconds and plugged it back in, and the PC fired up straight away, but I did notice no fan, it wasn't working. and the back plate on the PC the air vents where the fan would blow out, was getting so hot it was burning to the touch, but my PC had been left on all night, so yesterday I decided to remove the case (first time it has been opened)
the CPU fan and heat sink were covered in dust so used a vacuum and some tissue and cleaned all that off, and other bits of dust inside which had built up within the past year and a half.

then I tried to clean the PSU fan, it sits behind a metal ring (cage) below the PSU but inside its box.

there wasn't much to clean off.

then I plugged the mains back on, and switched the power button on, but again, it failed to fire up, it was dead, and this is always the case now, so I did as before removed the mains cable, then plugged back in, and it fired the PC up, the CPU fan which I cleaned ran ok, but still no luck with the PSU fan.

If I keep the machine on, then reboot etc.. it powers back up no problem or if I switch off from windows menu and wait 20 seconds or so then switch back on with the power button it also works as normal.

I only have this failing to work problem, if I leave the PC switched off for around 20 mins and longer, then it always fails to power up, unless I remove the cable then plug back in.

Any ideas? faulty PSU probably?

As for the capacitors, they are the ones on the motherboard, near to the CPU, there is two at front and another two up the side, big ones, they were the only ones to be marked this way, all other capacitors in PC board are ok.

I did think this myself, maybe they had been marked with some paint at factory for a reason, as they all same type.
but I did also think maybe they were damaged.
Its like a dab of white paint which scraped off with a finger nail at very top of capacitors.

Well the PC I have is a Packard Bell iXTREME 9070
512 mb ram and 2.4 GHz P4 CPU.

The PSU I'm looking at as I still haven't put the side panel back on,
its:

FSP GROUP INC
FSP-300-60PNA (PF)

and there is different voltages marked on the outputs,
it outputs different voltages to the different coloured wires.
(sorry I haven't looked at one of these before)

3.3v volts = orange
5 volts = purple
5 volts = red
5 volts = white
12 volts = yellow
12 volts = blue

Plus it has an output jack which outputs 12volts to power something,
like an adaptor jack output, I have never used it.

It also says max output power is 300 watts,
the money isn't a problem I don't mind paying £80 for a PSU along as my PC wont get destroyed!.

I'm not sure if I need the exact PSU as I have explained or would one of the type you mentioned be ok?.

They are all the same size right?
see I have never changed a PSU before, the computer I just bought it
in July 2002 I had never opened it until yesterday.

My warranty is expired, they wanted me to pay £40 a month for ten months to pay them £400 for 2 years warranty, I felt that was alot of money for a PC.
but they based it high as it cost me £1600.
it was a one off.. would never have that sort of money on a PC again,
that's why I don't want it to burn out, if it burns its over.

I'll have a look at the sites you have given links to,
thanks alot lads for your help.

And just one more thing, as before, I don't actually need to buy an exact PSU do I? one of the ones you mentioned would run this ok?.

Thanks for your help. Smiley
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Slow connections and question about PSU fan inside PC

I'd go with the others and point the finger at the PSU.

The 20 minutes bit is interesting though. What can happen if the PC is off for more than, say, 20 minutes? The only thing that comes to mind is that large power capacitors will discharge, which would again point to the PSU.

Replace it, particularly if the fan isn't working. You really don't want those big caps going off...trust me. Best case: a very nasty smell and goo everywhere. Worst case: fire. I've seen it happen...I used to work in R&D for a UPS manufacturer. We had some BIG bangs there, with huge great electolytics exploding (we used to have to reverse bias them as part of failure mode tests), not to mention power semiconductors :twisted: .

All the quoted PSUs should be fine, but I'd agree with the previous posters and go for Antec or Enermax. Get a big-un (Watts) if you can afford it.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Slow connections and question about PSU fan inside PC

dolan, you MUST change the PSU. The longer you leave this decision the more likely your system will become damaged in some way when the PSU finally gives out. Running a PSU without proper cooling is also dangerous and I do not recommend you use your PC until you can get a new PSU.

The noise you heard was the fan bearings failing, this is why the PSU fan no longer works, they have either dried up or burnt out - like your PSU is likely to do - if you see the first link in my previous post you will see some PSUs that have caught fire the Tom's hardware testing - that is likely to happen to you.

your PSU is a 300W model so you need a 350->400W OEM model or a 350->380 or higher premium brand model.

Check your warrenty, Parkard Bell often have a 3 year warrenty included, check ith where you got the PC from.
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Slow connections and question about PSU fan inside PC

OK, it sounds very serious, so ill take both of your advise and stop using my pc till i get a new PSU i will look for the ones you have mentioned and im still going over the site you gave me the link for. ok, ill setup an old windows 98 machine i have until everything is fixed.

Thanks again for your help on this!.
that bit about the bearings gone on the fan causing the noise makes alot of sense too.. well i dont want any fires, explosions of losing my machine so im offline.

Ill let you know how it goes if i get it all fixed.

Cheers Smiley
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Slow connections and question about PSU fan inside PC

After you've fixed your PSU it might be an idea to download 'Motherboard Monitor', it's a free programme which places a temperature gauge on your taskbar.

Regards
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Slow connections and question about PSU fan inside PC

Only if the sensors are on your motherboard. Not all Mobo's have temperature sensors for the CPU or case.
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Slow connections and question about PSU fan inside PC

I'd be surprise as the computer is 18 months old if it didn't have some sensors somewhere.

Plus, as a free download, would it hurt to try?

Regards
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Slow connections and question about PSU fan inside PC

It's a Packard Bell, different rules apply.
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Slow connections and question about PSU fan inside PC

"Some of the more expensive PSU's have temp controlled variable speed fans but the majority will have a fixed speed fan running all the time."
Even with temp controlled PSU fans they still spin but at a rate depending on case temp.
No PSU fan stops spinning until power is off.
Same goes for a cpu fan temp controlled or a "smart" case fan, they all need to spin.
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Slow connections and question about PSU fan inside PC

Hi,

Back again just to check, I've found a PSU which looks quite like the one that's not working as it should, now the PSU with the PB has the power input obviously, but also has a female output, and that's how I have the monitor powered up, its just a loop through right? just its tidy saves me using up an extra power socket.

Ok, now I cant find a PSU with an in and an out.. for mains,
but the Antec TruePower 480 - Power supply ( internal ) - 480 Watt - 6 output connector(s) as advertised on http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?ANT-TRUE48

and details can be seen here: http://www.antec-inc.com/us/pro_details_powerSupply.php?ProdID=20480#
looks very like the one I have apart it only has a mains in and that's all.
the style of the fan guard etc.. looks like the one fitted in my machine.

This is the one I will be buying, its not cheap, £88.27 inc VAT
but if this will solve the problem once and for all its worth the money right.

Just to confirm, will this PSU work ok in my machine?
it will be easy to fit yes? id hate to buy it and it doesn't fit in the place the old one was when I remove, if you understand.

So all I do is unscrew the old one out, then disconnect the plug(s) from mother board from PSU then replace with this new one, fit it in, then plug into the board, is that all? nothing will blow up will it?

I know this sound daft but I'm just making sure this PSU will run on my Packard bell, £1600 is alot of money to fry. :?:

If someone can say its ok, I will order that tomorrow
thanks alot for the help once again! Smiley

PS. I've never heard of 'Motherboard Monitor' before but sounds a good tool, i will look that up.