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 Post subject: Strange noise when supplying power to a PC
 Post Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:31 am 
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Recently my wife's computer has started making a strange 'popping' noise when she first plugs it into the wall socket in the mornings.

I've narrowed it down to the pc itself by a process of elimination (ie connecting things one at a time), so now I'm thinking the PSU is faulty (ironic, since I bought her a decent one to avoid power problems - it's a Seasonic if that helps).

She's doing regular backups and I suppose I need to replace the PSU very soon.

Just wondered if anyone had come across this phenomenon and what might be the cause.

Any help appreciated.

Thanks,

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Strange noise when supplying power to a PC
 Post Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:47 am 
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That most definitely sounds like a power supply problem. It could be something electronic (such as failing capacitors) or the popping could be the fan spinning up and making noise. When plugging a system in the PSU will normally power up for a few seconds (spinning the PSU fan and maybe even the chassis fan) then it will go into standby mode supplying standby power to the motherboard. It could be something as simple as the fan(s) being dirty (I would recommend blowing out the PSU and system with compressed air to see if that solves the problem), or it could be that the fan(s) and/or PSU is failing. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Strange noise when supplying power to a PC
 Post Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:02 am 
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Thank you Scott,

I'll give it a blast of compressed air and take it from there. If that doesn't fix it I'll order a new PSU, before the old one takes out some of the other components.

Thanks again.

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Strange noise when supplying power to a PC
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:04 pm 
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Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA
Still likely under warranty.

If this is making noise before turning on then the PSU should continue making noise outside the case when plugged in.

You can also test it out of the case by plugging a case fan into one of the compatible connectors (providing a load) and then shorting the green wire on the 24 pin connector to one of the black wires with a paperclip (providing a turn on signal).

Still hear a noise?

The only other moving parts in a PC are the fans and drives. You can temp halt them one by one to eliminate. Other possible noises are boiling EL caps (not too many of those usually left on modern PC components--a couple of big ones in the PSU though), thermal expansion and shorts arcing.


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 Post subject: Re: Strange noise when supplying power to a PC
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:22 pm 
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Thanks to you too, FascistNation, and sorry about the delay in replying.

I tried a good clean with compressed air, to no avail, and I'm convinced that the PSU is where the noise comes from. I know just enough about electricity not to want to stick paperclips into a power supply under any circumstances (I'm sure you're right, but I'm not about to trust myself not to touch something capable of killing me!)

So, I'm thinking of ordering this unit http://www.amazon.co.uk/Seasonic-S12II-520-ATX12V-Standard-Supply/dp/B00390P1NO/ref=sr_1_2?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1374679484&sr=1-2&keywords=seasonic#productDetails.

I read somewhere that it had two 12v rails, but the manufacturer's spec http://www.seasonicusa.com/S12II-Bronze.htm suggests otherwise, as does theis review (see bottom of first page) http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story&reid=185

I'd appreciate any thoughts before I go ahead and order it.

Thanks again to both of you. (Sorry about the long URLs - I can't see the way to attach a link to part of the text).


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 Post subject: Re: Strange noise when supplying power to a PC
 Post Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:10 am 
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I have complete faith in JonnyGuru's reviews, and based on that alone I wouldn't hesitate to recommend that unit in this case. Let me know how the replacement works out.

Quote:
(Sorry about the long URLs - I can't see the way to attach a link to part of the text).

The links you included are fine, but if you like you can include links in text using BBCode as illustrated here. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Strange noise when supplying power to a PC
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:14 pm 
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I'll certainly let you know, and thanks for your help.

Just to be sure the PSU is the problem, I'm planning to swap a unit out of one of my own PCs tomorrow or Sunday. I'm convinced that will solve the problem, in which case I'll leave it in place while I order the replacement Seasonic. If by some chance it doesn't solve the problem at least I won't need to buy a new PSU. It's time I could spend on other things, but I think a bit of a clean-up in my PC is probably overdue anyway.

Thanks also for pointing me in the right direction re including links - BBCode must be just about the one place I didn't look!

Regards,

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Strange noise when supplying power to a PC
 Post Posted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:24 pm 
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Me again.

Swapped in a known good power supply today, and, as expected, no "popping" sound anymore. That seems to confirm that the PSU was the culprit, so I'll order the new Seasonic. I'm typing this on an ancient Athlon rig, as my own PC is now (temporarily) without a power supply. The things we do for our wives....

Thank you, Scott, for your help. I'll let you know the final outcome.

Regards,

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Strange noise when supplying power to a PC
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:49 am 
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Glad to help! Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Strange noise when supplying power to a PC
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:26 pm 
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I've finally fitted the new psu. It took ages to arrive (from Germany), then I had to find the time to do it.

I've left my Coolermaster Silent Pro Gold in my wife's pc and just fitted the new Seasonic in mine to save time. All's well so far, although it's a bit soon to be certain.

All I have to do now is find the original warranty for the failed unit which is just short of five years old. With luck, I'll get it replaced and have a spare psu to hand!

Thanks again for your advice.

Regards,

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Strange noise when supplying power to a PC
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:47 am 
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Just a bit more on this thread in case it's of interest.

The failed unit has been sitting around waiting for me to dispose of it and before I do, I decided to try FascistNation's suggestion of plugging it in outside the case (although I'm still wary of the paperclip trick in case I get it wrong).

Sure enough, on supplying power there was the familiar popping noise accompanied by a visible flash inside!

Incidentally, Seasonic's warranties seem to be three years in Europe as opposed to five in the USA, so it's junk now. Oddly, Seasonic does not to supply written warranties (at least not here in the UK), referring the purchaser to it's website instead. In fact, it took an exchange of emails to get confirmation, and even then a Seasonic representative informed me that it was out of warranty without even knowing the date of purchase (based on the date of manufacture for that particular serial number and the fact that "normally all our units cycle through the market fairly quickly"). This seems to me a strange way of dealing with the question of warranties and may well mean that, in future, I avoid the brand.

Thanks again for all the help.

Regards,

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Strange noise when supplying power to a PC
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:55 am 
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Very interesting, thanks for the update! Scott.


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