How to Diagnose Correct Power Supply (PSU) Problems

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Written by Bardimin

On June 2, 2023
Home » Blogs » Hardware » How to Diagnose Correct Power Supply (PSU) Problems

The most obvious symptom of a faulty is when you turn on the computer and hear a loud noise, smell burning, or see smoke, and the computer won't turn on. Turn off the power immediately, most likely your is damaged.

The (PSU) is an important component in a computer system that is responsible for providing the electrical power needed by all computer components, such as motherboards, processors, cards, and other peripherals.

The PSU converts the electric current from the incoming electrical power source into a suitable and stable voltage for use by computer components. PSU also protects the system from voltage surges and other electrical interference that can damage sensitive components in the computer.

power supply psu

Computer components are powered through a group of DC connectors connected to an AC outlet via a power supply. CEE's three-pronged power cord standard is used to connect AC to various devices, such as PCs, certain power supplies, and various other computer-related and non-electronic devices related to computers. New cases are usually equipped with a power supply, but the power supply is often damaged and needs to be replaced.

Connectors, Form, and Power

The type of DC power connector can be different for each type, such as AT, ATX, and exclusive. Although connectors are uniform, they on motherboards are different and cannot be used interchangeably between major form factors, except for ATX sub-variants that have the same connector.

Various cases have specific requirements for the shape and size of the power supply they can hold, in addition to the choice of power connectors available. Failure to meet these specifications may result in an ill-fitting power supply.

Commonly available power sources range in power from 80 watts to 600 watts. To ascertain your needs, start by determining the number of drives, processor type, number of expansion cards required, and other relevant statistics.

Having a higher capacity than necessary will always be useful if someday you add a new device. Check the documentation about the and processor.

Some available power supplies produce power, unlike the written specifications. Be careful in choosing a power supply, if you find a 300-watt power supply that is sold at a low price, and you observe that the power supply is relatively light. In this case, the power supply will likely malfunction under heavy usage loads.

Some well-known computer brands require a special power supply, either for accurate installation inside the case or for adequate power supply. These power supplies may have different prices compared to unbranded options.

Diagnosing Power Supply Problems

When the computer cannot be turned on, and you hear a loud noise, smell burning, or see smoke, this is the most obvious signal that your power supply is faulty. Turn off the power immediately, as your power source may have damage to the power supply. If there is smoke, it is recommended to increase air circulation in the room because smoke can threaten human health due to its toxicity. Usually, the indication of a faulty power supply is not so obvious, only the failure of the computer to turn on.

Check Voltage Switch

Make sure the power supply is set to the correct voltage. Faulty selection of voltage (110V/220V) can lead to malfunction of the power supply and malfunction.

Unusual sounds

If you detect a rattling sound or experience unusually high vibration, the fan inside the power supply may be starting to malfunction. Check fan movement using visual observation. Replacing the power supply is more advisable than trying to replace the fan. An unpleasant buzzing sound whose pitch is fickle can be a sign that the resource is not working when performing different activities.

Testing the Power Supply

Testing the power supply is an easy process. You can use a voltmeter or multitester to measure its output voltage.

If the tester is already prepared, just connect the voltmeter or multimeter probe to the tester to measure the voltage. The connector type specifies the appropriate voltage, which should be 12v, 5v, or 3.3v. The measured voltage should be almost equal to the specified value.

Power Supply Replacement

Replacing the power supply is generally easy. The first step is to make sure the power cord has been unplugged (be careful, electricity can cause a shock hazard).

In most tower or cases, you must manually open the case and remove the screws surrounding the power supply from the back.

Next, unplug all power connectors connected to the or other devices. Some computers have a power supply built into the bracket. To remove the bracket, the power supply must be removed. The process of replacing the power supply or installing a new power supply can be carried out simply by reversing the procedure.

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