What is the matter with my power supply?

Question

In the last two weeks my computer restarts randomly, sometimes when i'm in a game, sometimes when the computer is sitting idle, sometimes after 5 minutes sometimes after 3 hours, just randomly. Now it runs extremely slow, it takes 20 minutes to scan the disk (after the improper restart) and start up and once it starts up it freezes up. The fan on the heatsink is now really loud when it runs and is constanly changing speeds and sounds. sometimes I get a blue error message talking about a memory dump. I have owned the computer for over 2 years, and haven't changed anything in it recently. I have 512mb of ddr ram and large hard-drives that both work. I have tried switching the ram and hard-drives with ones from computer systems that work correctly and that has no effect. My computer is on 24-7 so I wondered if the problems my computer is experiencing could be caused by a power supply starting to go bad? It has been powering 2 fans, 2 hard-drives, 2 cd rw drives, 5 expansion cards, and the normal components..........I tried unhooking all un-necessary components but it doesnt change a thing. I have an athlon xp 1800+, so it should start faster than 20 minutes, could it be the processor needing to be replaced, it gets burning hot? So, do I need a new processor, power supply, or both?

Answer

This question was answered on November 30, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

This could be a power supply problem, you computer is experiencing most of the signs of a power supply going bad, try some of these things and see if you can get any help 1 Check for too many devices using the same house circuit Remove a copy machine, laser printer, or othr heavy equipment from the same circuit 2 Measure the voltage output of the power supplu, or exchange it for one you know is good 3 Install an electrical conditioner to monitor and condition the voltage to the PC.

Curt Thompson (student)

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Author

Posted by Student of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on November 30, 2003