Dealing with power supply issues can be really hectic, especially when you are unaware of where the problem is. When we talk about power supply issues, there can be several of them, and diagnosing the right issue is essential for you and your system to get back on track.
Troubleshooting the power supply means isolating the power supply as the cause of problems in a system and replacing it if necessary. However, before jumping to the final step and replacing the supply, there are some typical issues that you should look out for. And who knows, you might never have to replace the power supply unit.
So if you are wondering what the common power supply issues are and how to troubleshoot those problems, then you are at the right place. This article will cover some of the common power supply issues and how you can troubleshoot those issues. So without further ado, let's get started!
How To Identify If It's A Problem With The Power Supply And Not In Any Other Component?
Generally, it would take real-life experiences for someone to learn whether the problem they are having is with the power supply or is it with the memory. One of the ways to crack this mystery is by looking at the repeatability of the problem.
If the parity check message appears frequently and is repeatedly directed toward the exact memory location. In that case, your memory is likely causing the problem instead of the power supply unit.
However, if the problem is more random and you can't figure out anything in your system, there is a high chance that your power supply is the culprit. Some of the common PC problems which are often related to the power supply are listed below:
- Intermittent lockups or automatic booting during normal operations.
- The fan and hard disk are failing to spin simultaneously, meaning there's no +12v.
- Minor brownouts lead your system to reset.
- System operation gets disrupted by slight static discharges.
- Any system or power-on start-up lockups or failures.
- Look out for memory-type errors, including intermittent parity checks.
- Overheating which is caused by fan failure.
- Electric shocks are felt on the connectors or the system case.
Above are some common symptoms indicating that your PC is suffering from a power supply issue. However, a few reasonably common symptoms, like smoke, a completely dead system, and blown circuit breakers, scream that you have a power supply issue.
Nonetheless, if you have experienced any of these symptoms and suspect a problem with your power supply, we have discussed the optimal solution to get rid of these problems below.
How To Troubleshoot The Common Power Supply Issues?
Now that you have concluded that the power supply is the problem, some of the symptoms listed above support your conclusion. Here are some steps you must follow to fix the power supply issue. Ensure that you follow all the steps one after another and take all the steps.
- Check the AC power input. Ensure the cord is firmly plugged into the power supply socket and the wall socket. If the cable is not firmly seated, try a different cord.
- Check the DC power connections. Ensure the disk drive power connectors and the motherboard are firmly seated and make good contact. If they are not, look out for loose screws, as they might be enough to fix your problem.
- Check the DC power output. You may have to use a digital multimeter to check the voltages properly. If it's below the spec, your best option is to replace the existing power supply.
- Lastly, check for the installed peripherals. Remove all the drives and boards and retest the system. If it works, start adding back items one at a time till the system fails. The last thing added before the system failure is likely to be defective.
Issues Solely Relevant To Power Supply Unit & How To Troubleshoot Them
The PSU provides and regulates power to the internal components of the system. So if you think that it's the power supply unit that has the problem, then before jumping to the solving part, you must ensure that it's the power supply unit with the problem and that nothing else is affecting your system.
If your PSU is the problem, some of the common issues you would face are display corruption. Your PC would have random hangs, crashes, and reboots or fail to boot. If your PSU stops working, there are some common issues that you might face. For instance, your system would overheat due to poor ventilation and excess dust caused by a broken fan.
If PSU is the problem, your PC won't meet the total system power requirements, and it also won't output the specified wattage. If these are the symptoms you have been facing lately, we have discussed some more troubleshooting tips below that can help you solve your problem.
General Troubleshooting Tips
Depending on the type of problem your PC is facing, we have listed some solutions to common PSU issues below. However, if you are uncomfortable dealing with the PSU, it's always best to have a professional do it for you. Nonetheless, here are some of the common fixes for your PSU problems.
If The System Fails To Boot Up
Now that your system isn't booting up, the first you would want to do is plug in the PSU cable into a known working power outlet. Next, swap the PSU cable with a known working cable and ensure that the PSU power cable and internal power adapters are connected.
Next, check the PSU for any damage caused by excessive wear or overheating. Lastly, test the system with a known working PSU or greater or equal wattage.
2. If The System Suffers From Crashes, Reboots, Hangs, Or Displays Corruption
If you are facing any of the problems listed above, you first want to ensure that your PSU exceeds the combined system power requirements. You can find the PSU's rated output wattage on the label attached to the unit.
Next, use a power supply calculator to calculate the total wattage requirement of your installed components against the PSU rating on the label. If the wattage of a PSU is lower than the absolute wattage requirement of all components, get a better PSU.
If the PSU wattage is higher, check the fan and ensure it offers excellent airflow through the unit. And if the vents are dusted, use an air duster to remove all the dust precisely. This should do the job, and your PSU should now work flawlessly.
Fixing issues with the power supply all by yourself is always a risky task. One should always take the proper precautions before dealing with the PSU. And if you feel like you need some additional troubleshooting tips, you can always consult the user manual of the PSU or contact a technician.