Remember to check the Capacitors when strange things happen.

Mobius

Distinguished
Jul 8, 2002
380
0
18,780
Recently my Dad's old Gigabyte board/Athlon CPU combo started acting up: the machine would literally black screen if you tried to install ANY program. In all other respects it acted completely normally; temps perfectly acceptable, CPU and video benchmarking scores as always (no crashes), ordinary softwware runs perfectly, all peripherals acting as they should.

I built this thing about 3 years ago, and it is fitted with the latest updates to Norton, Spybot S&D and Adaware - plus the old fart is actually pretty good at keeping crap out of his system.

So I was surprised then, to discover no virii, no trojans, no adware, no malware of any type. No Rootkits, even.

I tried defragging. Tried CHKDSK. I even tried sticking in a "blank" generic XP Pro install I keep on an IDE drive, which I ghost, to test hardware against a "new install"; nothing out of whack except the thing still won't install anything.

I ordinarily discount PSU issues as every idiot on the planet seems to think PSUs fail every 11 minutes, and that you need 300 watts of unused power before you are "safe". However, I have an ATX PSU tester, so it took only 30 seconds to eliminate it as the cause.

It was only after a removed the CPU fan for cleaning, and then cleaning the HS carefully with a lightweight brush, that I noticed a capacitor on a funny angle. getting some light on it showed it was bulging slightly, and had oozed some brown tubbish from the base. Another one next to it was also bulging but had not leaked.

I carefully examined the rest, but they were AOK.

I thought "Great! Now I can build the old man a C2D box with better cooling, and a bunch of front mounted USB stuff..." But no. The old fart reckons he needs frequent cups of coffee, and a 1.4 GHz machine lets him do that... *sigh*.

Anyway, I disassembled the PC and had a local fix-it shop replace the bad caps, cost was $40 total. Now it works perfectly again - probably for another 3 years. *BIG SIGH*

So - when strange things go BANG in the night - always remember to check those capacitors early in the diagnostic process - as I wasted about 10 days of my Dad's time trying to diagnose the issue.
 
That's a great story. Enjoyed it. Especially the part where you state:

I ordinarily discount PSU issues as every idiot on the planet seems to think PSUs fail every 11 minutes, and that you need 300 watts of unused power before you are "safe".

LOL! I fell out! I use an old discounted 400 watter and I have renewed faith in it! :lol:
 

ZOldDude

Distinguished
Apr 22, 2006
1,251
1
19,280
3 years is about when the caps in every Antec PSU I ever had would go bad.

You should recap your PSU while your at it...you can do it yourself.
 

TRENDING THREADS