Symptoms of an underpowered PC?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Chris, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. Chris

    Chris New Member

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    Ive got a computer I think might be underpowered at full load. Windows 7 will lock up, but if you wait a min or two and it will start responding again, but then it will just lock back up. It took me 10 mins today to get the task manager open to try to close stuff but its so unusable pretty much your only option to hold the power button and shut it off. Once Windows is back up there is nothing in the event log besides the unexpected shutdown.

    The PC is an E6400 on an Intel branded 965 board with 4x1GB DDR2 RAM, an 8800GT and 4 hard drives in a 2 raid arrays. This is the PSU it has http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16817103937 Im pretty sure Im at the limit for that PSU so thats why Im thinking it might be the culprit.

    Normally it runs GPU [email protected] and today I was rendering files in CS3 when it started locking up.
     
  2. Graham

    Graham OT Supporter

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    Well the psu may be failing, but it's not anywhere close to being underpowered for anything other than video rendering/heavy gaming.

    You're not running RAID 0 are you?
     
  3. CodeX

    CodeX Guest

    That is not how electronics work.

    If the PSU was not supplying enough power the computer would not work, period, or would TURN OFF as soon as the load grew above what the PSU was able to supply.
     
  4. Chris

    Chris New Member

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    Yeah, its fine sitting at the desktop etc, it just started shitting the bed today when I started hitting it with Adobe. And I have one RAID 0 and one RAID 1 array.
     
  5. ldaggerl

    ldaggerl New Member

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    I'd say it sounds like something in the OS is corrupted or maybe a bad sector on the HD. I'd run diskcheck along with doing a repair on the OS and for the hell of it defrag and clean up your temp files. If that don't work come back and we'll see what can be done.
     
  6. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Not so much. Undervoltage can result in unreliable calculations that can cause the computer to bluescreen before the problem gets severe enough to trigger a power-off.

    But yeah, generally speaking, a computer that isn't getting enough power won't run slower -- it's not like a car engine that starts misfiring if it doesn't get enough gas -- it'll just fuck up and reboot. Something else is going wrong; specifically, it sounds like a driver is waiting and waiting and waiting for a piece of hardware to respond, but it's not. Whether it's a faulty driver or defective hardware, I couldn't say without playing with it.

    Don't use RAID 0 in a computer you care about. RAID 0 is only appropriate when you don't mind losing all the data on the array.
     
  7. ldaggerl

    ldaggerl New Member

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    Can you please elaborate on this statement? I don't quite understand why you'd say that.
     
  8. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    RAID 0 spreads data evenly across all disks in the array, and it doesn't store a spare copy of the data like RAID 1 does, or checksums that can be used to reconstruct missing data like all other RAIDs do. So if one disk in a RAID 0 drops, you lose all the data and you can't get it back.
     
  9. DouggieJ

    DouggieJ OT Supporter

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    Unless you have a reliable backup system.
     
  10. ldaggerl

    ldaggerl New Member

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    Oh I'm sorry, I knew what it was I thought you had some other reason as to say that raid 0 was unreliable or something along those lines. Yes you would be correct about that but the same is true if your only drive fails. You can always run raid 0+1 but I do believe it doesn't offer you the speed of raid 0 so kind of negates the reason for having it.
     
  11. Graham

    Graham OT Supporter

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    I'm not any sort of expert on raid setups, but i'm pretty sure the drive doesn't have to fail to lose your data.
     
  12. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    The problem is that when you stripe across multiple disks, you have to add each disk's chance of failure together, and that's the chance of one disk in the array failing. In higher RAID levels that require more than one dropped disk before the array fails, you multiply the risk of one disk failing by the risk of a second disk failing, and that's your total risk of RAID failure. That works out to be a really small number, hence why higher RAID levels are safe.

    But a RAID0 only has to drop one disk to fail, so a two-disk RAID0 is twice as likely to suffer a failure than a single disk is -- but it's worse than that, because even if the disks all still work, if the RAID controller thinks a disk has failed because it didn't respond fast enough, you'll still lose the data.
     
  13. thekraft

    thekraft New Member

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    .

    And what's worse is that the performance gains increase when you add more hard drives to it, which in turn, increases the risk of the array failing.
     
  14. OniMinion

    OniMinion ...recalls when this forum was actually about cars OT Supporter

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    Sounds more like a hard drive issue to me. This, again, reminds me of the naked lady machine at Best Buy that was loaded with over 1,000,000 entries of spyware and viruses.
     
  15. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    The what machine?
     
  16. datamonger128

    datamonger128 New Member

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    If your computer was underpowered, you would be experiencing things such as devices not powering on or not receiving enough power to be properly initialized. I was originally using an old 350 Watt PSU in my computer with a GeForce 8500GT, Athlon 64 X2 3800+, 2GB RAM, and three hard drives, one being SATA. I started having problems where sometimes my primary hard drive wouldn't be recognized by the computer and sometimes my DVD burner wouldn't be recognized as the proper device. All I had to do was change my power supply and all was well again.
     

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