Question Could my Power Supply voltage being out of spec cause USBs to drop out and kernel power BSOD?

Feb 23, 2020
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Hello everyone :)

I have been having some weird issues for a good few months now. Randomly without warning, the USBs will drop out (such as audio interface and USB HDDs) and then come back again almost instantly. I also have random blue screens when I start the computer up and when I check it, the error is a "Kernel Power" issue. I also sometimes get an issue where the USB HDD/SD Card reader I'm trying to copy too will drop out and wont let me copy files. This requires a restart each time. After much research on the tinterwebs looking at power saving options (changing it to balanced and high performance etc), power options for when the USBs should sleep, updating drivers, re-seating components etc I came across a post that said it might be a PSU issue. So I broke out the handy dandy multi-meter and checked the voltages on the power supply and found them all to be above what they should be (above the 5% ATX spec threshold). Here are my results:

Power supply with just 2 hard drives and a SSD running (with a paperclip bridging the on pin so the power supply was on) testing from the main power cable:

3.3v pins = 3.69v
5v pins = 5.40v
12v pins = 12.86v

Computer on (tested from a molex plug):
Idle:
5v = 5.43v
12v = 12.79v
Under load (Shadow of the tomb raider benchmark):
5v = 12.70v
12v = 5.46v

These are all above the 5% that it should be but not massively. Do you think these slight discrepancies could be causing the problems that I have been having or do you think it might be a more sinister problem :(

PC Specs:
Intel 4790k Devils Canyon
Asus Maximus VII Ranger
nVidia GTX 1070
OCZ Stealth X Stream 2 600w PSU
16GB Patriot Intel Overclocking Masters DDR3 RAM
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo CPU Cooler
2 x Western Digital Black HDD 7200rpm
Samsung EVO 500gb SSD
2 x 200mm Coolermaster RGB Fans
1 x 140mm Cooler Master RGB Fan
3 x 120mm Cooler Master RGB Fans
Cooler master RGB Controller

USBs pluged in normally:
WD Free Agent GoFlex 2TB USB External HDD
Scarlett Solo v1 Audio Interface, Mic and Headphones
Corsair K95 RGB Keyboard
Roccat Kone AIMO Mouse
Monitor USB Hub with just Logitech C920 plugged into it.
USB Bluetooth dongle for controllers.

I think that's all the main stuff, please let me know if you need anything else!

Thanks a lot in advance everyone! Any help is very much appreciated! :)

All the best,

Will :)
 
Anyone with any ideas about the voltages and the issue? Google is turning up a blank :(
It might well be the PSU seeing those out of spec voltage readings.

It has an old design, but at its time it was decent(even though the unit is 80+ it clears 80+ bronze).
Ripple numbers are great too... 35 mV on the 12V at max power output.

For how long you had that PSU?

You can try just running with the bare minimum... one stick of RAM, only the boot drive and switch to the iGPU. If it doesn't BSOD... try adding the components one by one... it might help you pinpoint the issue.
 
Last edited:
Reactions: willcaddy
Feb 23, 2020
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For how long you had that PSU?
Thanks for your reply! Its got to be latest 2012 but likely to be around the 2010 mark when i bought it. Was from Maplin I believe, which has been bust for over 2 years now!

I'll have a go at troubleshooting it but it sounds like I might be due a replacement anyway?

Thanks again,

All the best,

Will :)
 
Feb 23, 2020
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See if you can't adjust the sleep states of the motherboard.
Some older power supplies could not support the more agressive(lower) sleep states of modern motherboards.
Thanks for the reply :) I have changed the CPU C-State option in the motherboard to "Disabled" (under the CPU power saving options). I think that's what you meant right? I looked up the term on the net and that was the main thing I could find relating to Haswell and using an older PSU.

I think i will invest in a new one soon when I can afford it just because of the age of it and in preparation for when i eventually upgrade lol. I'll see how it is for a few days and let you know how i get on :)

Thanks again!
 
Feb 23, 2020
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Hey everyone,

After your great advice, I thought the problem was fixed. Had no issues for a few days after. But unfortunately the same symptoms slowly came back. Have you guys got any other ideas that I could try? I have a 500w Corsair power supply (god knows where i picked it up!?) that I could try, do you think it will have enough juice to run the specs mentioned in the OP? (Below for your inconvenience xD). Just to test it and see if the problem is still there. Ill get a beefier one If it turns out to be OK.

PC Specs:
Intel 4790k Devils Canyon
Asus Maximus VII Ranger
nVidia GTX 1070
OCZ Stealth X Stream 2 600w PSU
16GB Patriot Intel Overclocking Masters DDR3 RAM
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo CPU Cooler
2 x Western Digital Black HDD 7200rpm
Samsung EVO 500gb SSD
2 x 200mm Coolermaster RGB Fans
1 x 140mm Cooler Master RGB Fan
3 x 120mm Cooler Master RGB Fans
Cooler master RGB Controller

USBs pluged in normally:
WD Free Agent GoFlex 2TB USB External HDD
Scarlett Solo v1 Audio Interface, Mic and Headphones
Corsair K95 RGB Keyboard
Roccat Kone AIMO Mouse
Monitor USB Hub with just Logitech C920 plugged into it.
USB Bluetooth dongle for controllers.
Thanks again :)
 
Feb 23, 2020
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So... That is a 10 year old PSU and probably dying so why are you dicking around with it in the first place?
Mainly because I didn't realise it was so old....but I was going to swap it out for that corsair one I said about. Was just looking for some advice on weather it would be good enough for the time being? I don't have the money to throw at a new PSU right now :(

Thanks for the reply mate :)
 
Feb 23, 2020
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Now I'm no expert so correct me if I'm wrong, but that isn't supposed to be floating around loose in your power supply is it? xD

I changed it for the younger Corsair one anyway for now until I can afford an upgrade xD but, fingers crossed, that seems like it has sorted it!

Thanks everyone again for your help! :)
 

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