[sclug] OT: hardware issue

Will Dickson wrd at glaurung.demon.co.uk
Thu Jan 10 17:50:02 UTC 2008

Darren Davison wrote:
> sorry this is not linux specific, but I know there are some highly clued
> up individuals here that may be able to advise on this.
> My main desktop machine at home appeared to freeze up a few days ago
> with no video output (at all).  Freezes happen occasionally on this
> ubuntu box so I hard powered off and back on.  I got no apparant output
> from the box and the monitor remained in sleep mode.


Another vote for the PSU. PC PSUs have a rather effective 
self-monitoring chip inside; there's a "power OK" pin on the mobo 
connector (eg. http://www.pensioneitaliacapri.com/crazy-pa/atx.jpg for 
ATX), and if that isn't at the right voltage, the mobo will take the 
PSU's word that the PSU is broken, and won't POST even if the voltages 
on all the other pins seem to be OK.

If you've got a voltmeter handy, that'd be the first thing I'd check. 
NB. You need to have the PSU plugged into the mobo while checking this.

Modern gfx cards in particular have major power requirements, so it's 
possible that the extra load could push a marginal PSU over the edge, as 
it were.

The statement in the OP that "freezes happen occasionally" also suggests 
that something hardwarey was unhappy even before it finally let go.

Some spec details for the box, esp. CPU, gfx card, PSU type and power 
rating, might be useful. If the box is a bitsa (bitsa this, bitsa that 
:-) then maybe the PSU is underspec for the load.



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