Question Help! My computer acting strange (Dell optiplex 980 MT)

Jul 4, 2019
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Hello all, my pc is dell optiplex 980 MT. I know my pc is quite old and i've been using it ever since 2010. The problem is my pc gets extremely slow and even freezes after a while. e.g after browsing or even being idle etc. It's been this way for about 1 year. I don't use my desktop as often as i used to like the time when i didn't have a laptop. So heavy load is not an option. Anyway, what happened recently is my original dell 305 watt psu exploded, and fortunately it didn't take other components with it. I bought a cheap dell psu, which is 265 watt from an unreliable service man and i suspected that the cheap psu could be a cheaply refurbished one, but for the sake of availability and budget i got that one because i live in a developing country, so purchasing from abroad takes some time. The 265 watt supply worked, but pc lag and slowness didn't get better, and after about 10 days later pc shut down with "critical thermal event" error. I tried to turn on my pc and it did turned on, but freezed completely in a starting up phase or after startup process. I thought dust caused that so i cleaned the heatsink and reapplied new thermal paste. Dust was indeed bountiful and old thermal paste was dry. So it seemed that i solved the problem. Then when i turned my pc on, it started and the cpu fan was speeding fast, but after a while it became normal, and pc seemed not lagging or slowing, but after a while about 20 min use, a strange buzzing/rattling noise heard on my earphone and even from the pc. I quickly shut my computer forcefully. then i tried to start my pc 234 error massage was displayed on front panel and amber light was on. I thought my pc was done, but after a while when i clicked the power button my pc turned on normally. In my opinion main culprit is that cheap psu, but could be other things. Could downgrading from 300watt to 265 watt cause this kind of problem? My gpu is ati radeon hd 5450 1 gb. What do you think causing my computer act strangely? Is it wise to buy a good and new powerful psu with 450 or 500 watt from Amazon, betting on blindly that psu is the main cause. Ps: i'm a complete noob for computer hardware knowledge, so please help me.
 
Jan 11, 2014
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Most of the OEM machine comes with the best PSU with respect to the hardware they packed with so downgrading them is not the best idea. specially for an old refurbished one which you think is unstable. With that in i can't actually say what casing the problem but you said that you replaced the thermal right? So did you mount the CPU fan properly back in again? or just check whether there are any cables colliding any fans inside the case. which may be the sound what you can here. I have seen that most of unstable system comes to life after a decent PSU upgrade but in your case i don't know possibility. I would like know about exact names of each components. with that i hope i can point you out which one to get rid of or which one to keep.
 
Jul 4, 2019
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Most of the OEM machine comes with the best PSU with respect to the hardware they packed with so downgrading them is not the best idea. specially for an old refurbished one which you think is unstable. With that in i can't actually say what casing the problem but you said that you replaced the thermal right? So did you mount the CPU fan properly back in again? or just check whether there are any cables colliding any fans inside the case. which may be the sound what you can here. I have seen that most of unstable system comes to life after a decent PSU upgrade but in your case i don't know possibility. I would like know about exact names of each components. with that i hope i can point you out which one to get rid of or which one to keep.
Thanks for your reply. I think i placed the CPU fan properly. I used dot method for applying thermal paste with extreme care.
The components names are
cpu: Intel Core i7 Processor 870 2.93GHz
mobo: BTX i-CORE Motherboard D441T 0D441T
gpu: ati radeon graphics p/n 7120036200G - hd 5450 1 gb
hard drive: seagate 500gb hdd
ram: two-2gb=4gb ram
psu: dell 265 Watt 053N4.
 
Last edited:
Jan 11, 2014
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Actually the recommended PSU for that card is 400W. It's better to check the system with a new PSU if possible. and also try to boot the computer without the HDD (simply plug off the SATA power cable). And see whether you can hear that sound again. You may need to go through one by one until you find what really making the noise. If not the hard drive then probably need to be a Fan.

http://www.hisdigital.com/un/product2-896.shtml
 
Jul 4, 2019
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hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Your issue with the power supply is not so much the wattage on the label but the fact that a cheap low quality power supply won't produce it's rated power, so you are probably running a 200 watt power supply if you read the 12v rail amps. Without a good known working power supply you can't start troubleshooting the issue very well. And the bad power supply could have damaged other components if it failed.
 

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