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Old 06-22-2012, 11:00 AM   #1
CWood
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Hardware issues


This has been going on for quite a while, dunno the actual cause.

For a long time now, when booting, there was a horrible noise (possibly fan bearings) coming from the computer. It died down approximately the same time Slackware went multiuser in the boot process (about 10-14 seconds after being loaded by LILO, not sure if there is a causal relationship here).

Then, a little more recently, the HAL daemon seems to take a lot longer to start, and accesses the FDD for some reason.

Jumping forwards again, a high frequency noise comes from the computer, while off. Goes away when unplugged.

Now, had lots of issues. First instance: computer locked up, with screensaver running, and HDD LED permanently on. Not too sure if it started when I (tried to) wake the computer up or not.

Second instance: I rebooted from that, and got a 'Hyper Transport Sync Flood Error' from what I believe was the BIOS (or, if a bit later on in the boot process, LILO).

Third instance: Rebooted from THAT, got an 'L' onscreen, followed by a series of ' 01' groups, filling about half the screen. 'L 01 01 01 01 ' and so on. This happened twice.

Fourth instance: locked up again while I was browsing the web (with a few things open in the background). This happened twice. Managed to recover from the latter.

Fifth instance: Most recently, booted the machine up, opened Firefox and Thunderbird as usual, and suddenly Firefox closes itself in a huff, and refuses to start again (some I/O error I think). Furthermore, Thunderbird stays open, but when I download the inbox, it closes. Able to restart it, but closes again when I open an email. No icons work in the XFCE menu.


My first thoughts turn towards the PSU, however I have been stung before, in Ubuntu, with something similar to this, and that turned out to be a faulty DIMM.

Hardware wise, I have a 450 watt ATX PSU, with AMD Phenom II Quad Core 2.33GHz, on an MS-7309 v1.3 motherboard, with an 80GB PATA drive, a 2TB SATA drive, a 48x DVD drive, a case fan and case LED (not that that should matter). Now isolated from the system (used to be connected) is a drive bay fan, and a floppy drive.

My question is: what is wrong with the system. As I said, I think it is the PSU, but I don't want to waste my money if it is something else that is wrong. Many thanks.
 
Old 06-22-2012, 12:07 PM   #2
TobiSGD
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1. Open the machine and check the fans, remove all the dust.
2. Check your RAM with Memtest86+: http://www.memtest.org/
3. Check your harddisks with the manufacturer's diagnosis tool.
4. Check the temperatures of the system while under heavy load.
5. Put the system under heavy load to test if the error occurs more often when the system is loaded. If it does then and the temperatures are OK this points to a faulty PSU.

EDIT: Are you sure you are using your system within its specs? There is no Phenom II running at 2.33GHz.

Last edited by TobiSGD; 06-22-2012 at 12:09 PM.
 
Old 06-22-2012, 06:46 PM   #3
rob.rice
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just a suggestion
way too much data is better than not enough
if you need help with the testes suggested by TobiSGD
 
Old 06-23-2012, 04:21 AM   #4
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWood View Post
For a long time now, when booting, there was a horrible noise (possibly fan bearings) coming from the computer. It died down approximately the same time Slackware went multiuser in the boot process (about 10-14 seconds after being loaded by LILO, not sure if there is a causal relationship here).
That sure sounds like bad fan spinning up....slowly.

I'd try to track down which fan it is. Stick a pencil into fans to hold the blades as you power on. Move from fan to fan untill you locate the source of the problem. (see below before you try this) I'd guess its your PSU fan, but it could be CPU, video card or case fans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CWood View Post
Jumping forwards again, a high frequency noise comes from the computer, while off. Goes away when unplugged.
Turn off/unplug the PSU, pull the ATX power connector from the motherboard. Turn the PSU back on. Ifyou get squealing, its the PSU.

Bad fan + PSU sqealing + lots of problems = PSU issue. Hopefully you've caught it before its done any damage to the motherboard/RAM/CPU/etc..

I wouldnt be powering that system up until you figure out if its a PSU problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
1. Open the machine and check the fans, remove all the dust.
2. Check your RAM with Memtest86+: http://www.memtest.org/
3. Check your harddisks with the manufacturer's diagnosis tool.
4. Check the temperatures of the system while under heavy load.
5. Put the system under heavy load to test if the error occurs more often when the system is loaded. If it does then and the temperatures are OK this points to a faulty PSU.
+1, but I'd check if its the PSU sqealing before moving onto #2.

Last edited by cascade9; 06-23-2012 at 04:22 AM.
 
Old 06-23-2012, 08:37 AM   #5
CWood
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I was wrong about the CPU - it's an AMD Phenom 4x 2.3GHz.

As for the system itself, I've blown all of the dust out of it (and there was a LOT), reseated all of the connectors, reseated the CPU (when I removed the heat sink, the CPU tagged along, indicating it may not have been seated correctly), and applied some new thermal compound.

Since then, I have plugged in the PSU, and plugged in each internal device, one by one, and haven't heard the high frequency noise, indicating it may just have been either a badly seated connector, or dust. One thing I may do is take the lid off of the PSU, and reseat the fan connector, however I don't fancy doing that until it's been off, and out the system, for at least 24 hours, with the size of the caps in there.

I am now in the process of downloading and burning the UBCD, 5.11. I have booted the system, and been into the BIOS settings, and far as the H/W monitor in the BIOS can tell, the system is reasonably stable (of course, that is only a preliminary test of voltages and fan speeds). I have triple checked all BIOS reported voltages, and all seem to be reporting absolutely fine. Of course, when testing using my multimeter, they aren't as accurate, and many report too low, but it is a relatively cheap multimeter. I may invest in one of those 'PSU tester' devices yet, but they're quite expensive when you don't have 25 to spare. Are these any good, and are they worth the money? Is it worth investing in one?
 
Old 06-23-2012, 09:39 AM   #6
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWood View Post
reseated the CPU (when I removed the heat sink, the CPU tagged along, indicating it may not have been seated correctly)
That is farily normal, patricularly with heatsinks that came with thermal goop on the heatsink from the factory. If anything, its a sign it was seated right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CWood View Post
Since then, I have plugged in the PSU, and plugged in each internal device, one by one, and haven't heard the high frequency noise, indicating it may just have been either a badly seated connector, or dust.
Probably dust.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CWood View Post
One thing I may do is take the lid off of the PSU, and reseat the fan connector, however I don't fancy doing that until it's been off, and out the system, for at least 24 hours, with the size of the caps in there.
Why would you reseat the fan connector in the PSU? A lot are soldered in anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CWood View Post
Of course, when testing using my multimeter, they aren't as accurate, and many report too low, but it is a relatively cheap multimeter. I may invest in one of those 'PSU tester' devices yet, but they're quite expensive when you don't have 25 to spare. Are these any good, and are they worth the money? Is it worth investing in one?
Reporting 'too low' voltzages by a few % is OK (eg, 11.8 volts on the 12v rail is OK). If its more than 5-7% out, thats when you should start worring.

IMO, no, they arent worth it for home use. They arent even that great in general, those PSU testers dont load the PSU very much at all. More than once I've seen PSU pass on a PSU tester that were seriously dodgy when under real system loads.

You should be abel to get one for less than 25 quid if you really want one.

http://www.uk-tec.co.uk/index.php/co...-with-led.html

As for how good it is, dont know, never used that model. Found via staticicie, great site-

http://www.staticice.co.uk/cgi-bin/s...+tester&spos=3
 
Old 06-23-2012, 09:44 AM   #7
CWood
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The reason I intend to reseat the PSU fan connector, is because I believe it's that one that is giving me the horrible noise when spinning up. Once it has been going for a while, it sounds perfectly fine, however. I know it's a long shot, but it may work. Otherwise, I need a higher powered PSU anyway...
 
Old 06-23-2012, 09:46 AM   #8
cascade9
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Use the pencil trick to check which fan it is.

Reseating the fan connector wont help with sick/dodgy/dead bearings at all, and thats by far the most likely cause of any fan noise.
 
Old 06-24-2012, 12:02 AM   #9
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWood View Post
Otherwise, I need a higher powered PSU anyway...
For that machine? Not if you don't intend to use a high powered video card. I would rather spend more money on a high quality PSU with similar power output. High quality PSUs are always worth their money, in my experience.
 
Old 10-07-2012, 07:03 AM   #10
CWood
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Update: Got a new PSU, no issues since. Nice high quality modular supply. I'll probably have a go at repairing the old one, otherwise use it for parts. Thanks everyone for your advice.
 
  


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