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pritch

noisy PSU

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So I turned on my PC today and my PSU is actually doing a good job of creating more noise than my car engine.

I'm pretty sure the fan is either clogged with dust or clapped out. The PC is two and a half years old. The CPU fan and the gfx card fan seem to be OK.

I've already vacuumed it. Is it worth me opening up the PSU and attempting to fix? Or am I going to electricute/kill myself? Should I resolve to just buy a new one? Oh, and if so, and how the fuck do you fit one?

Thanks :P

PS. Is there potential for damage to my PC here if I keep runnning it in this state?

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It basicly comes free from 4-5 screws from the back of the computer and removing it from within the inside of the case, you have to unplug all your drives and power at the motherboard and just reverse the process to put a new one in. pretty easy once you see how things go. ive had noisy fans, sometimes they cure themselves for some reason, sometimes not (a power down can test this) stopping a fan with a pencil sometimes has worked for me, but cleaning a psu fan is more diffucult because you not only have to remove the psu from the case but open it up (not recomended for the un-initiated) and it may just very well be the fan is dying and it is all out of balance from years of dust, much better off with a new psu.

Running it in this condition, as long as the fan does not completly stop (power supply will over heat and blow, may take other hardware with it) is kind of iffy, replace psu and or psu fan (easier just getting another psu) soon.

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pritch said:

Or am I going to electricute/kill myself?

Well, you don't have to mess with it when the computer is turned on :p

A year ago, when I still had that AMD K6/2, CPU and PSU fans started to cry like crazy, and I easily fixed them both, that's very simple. Turn the computer off (that's pretty much clear huh), remove the PSU (see, there are screws, unscrew them), disconnect it from the MB, open it (unscrew some more screws probably) and be prepared for a cloud of dust. Clean all the dust. I also poured a drop of oil inside the fan's bearing (did the same with the CPU fan). Now try to puff into the fan; it should rotate smoothly and shouldn't stop very soon. If that is the case, put it all back.

If the fan is just noisy that isn't the problem for the PSU itself, but if it stops the PSU will most probably burn and you'll surely need to replace it. Btw, in some places you can get the PSU replaced free of charge or at a very low fee upon purchase (well, here at least) if you don't want to mess with it yourself.

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insertwackynamehere said:

it doesnt matter if the computer is on or off, you can still get a fatal electric shock when opening a PSU or anything else that stores electricity. even when its unplugged.

Not sure if this is true of PSUs, but this is certainly true of televisions: you should never take a television to bits for this reason.

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pritch said:

PS. Is there potential for damage to my PC here if I keep runnning it in this state?

I had a similar problem about five years ago, where my PSU was making an awful buzzing sound and not outputting any air - according to my dad (who fixed the problem) if I'd kept the thing running for another hour, it would have melted the CPU in place.

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fraggle said:

Not sure if this is true of PSUs, but this is certainly true of televisions: you should never take a television to bits for this reason.

PSUs do have large filtering capacitors, so they can be dangerous to open up even when unplugged. However, they don't operate at such huge voltages as CRTs do.

Anyways, pritch, if the PSU is about two and a half years old, it's possible it is reaching its end of life if it is a cheap one. The fan rattling is usually the first sign of a power supply going out completely, so I'd recommend just buying a new one and keeping the old one for a spare or backup, assuming it's still working when you remove it.

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It's far cheaper, easier and safer to simply replace the entire PSU. You don't even need a new one. A PSU that's either refurb or stripped from an old machine (with the right wattage of course) will work just as well and save you a big headache.

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and if youre wondering about the wattage, if its a 2.5 year old computer that isnt supercrazy good, 300w should be fine

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Some PSU's are just loud, too. Mine's loud as hell, probably because it came with the case. I need to get a new quieter one...

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I have the same problem. My computer was fine until I installed my nvidia 6800gt, now it's noisy as hell. Not to loud to where's it's annoying, but most certainly louder than before. Before I could barely hear my computer, now I know it's on as soon as I enter my room. You know when you load something on the computer, and the humming increases temporarily? Well, my humming isn't going away. It hasn't created any problems for me besides that damn buzzing sound.

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pritch said:

I've already vacuumed it.

Vaccuumed? It's not a good idea to get a vaccuum cleaner anywhere near a computer. It builds up a lot of electromagnetic static which could fry your mobo and other vital parts. I hope you meant something else.

Also, if I, the biggest clutz in the world, can replace my PSU without electrocuting myself, then I'm fairly sure you can too. Of course, my computer had been dead for well over a month by the time I finaly replaced the thing.

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It's pretty safe to remove a PSU as long as it's not on. Opening it up is a different story.
*hides security screwdriver bits*

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I find that a Swiffer cloth works pretty well for removing dust if you lack canned air (just make sure the computer is off before you start wiping it along your computer).

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Thanks all. New PSU it will probably be.

I'm presented with options from about £8 to £50.

The one in there is a 250w and that's cheap enough to replace. Is there an industry standard here btw? Should they all fit?

Looking at the rear of my PC the I/O button and ac input are on the left of the fan, whereas most I've looked at show these on the right.

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There are AT PSU's and ATX PSU's. Otherwise, I dunno of any differences (except wattage). Unless your computer is at least 5 years old (which it isn't AFAIK), you don't need to worry, just go and buy it.

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PSUs are a standard size. AT/ATX refers to the motherboard power connectors. You'll want an ATX one.

You might as well get a decent power one if youre gonna buy a new one. 300-350W would be fine.

Positioning of the power connector and fan and crap on the back doesn't mean much really. Also it might just mean that your PSU is actually mounted inside your case upside down. :P Mine is.

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Your 6800's fan must be even louder than my Radeon's fan. Is there a way to remove the fan? If so, take it off and go buy a quieter one.

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I like the fact that my Geforce 4 128/128 card's cooling is passive. Yeah, not the best card around but when I only occasionally play some Quake/2 or Halflife it's more than enough. And vanilla Doom (and Boom) doesn't care about which card is installed :P

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pritch said:

The one in there is a 250w and that's cheap enough to replace. Is there an industry standard here btw? Should they all fit?

You might have trouble finding one with a wattage rating that low. Also, since your computer is a couple of years old, it probably has a 20-pin ATX power connector. If you get a new power supply with a 24-pin connector, make sure it comes with an adaptor.

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i would just replace it, hell they are cheap. chances are the fan is dead. sometimes it is just a standard 80mm case fan. easy and safe to replace. just dont touch the capacitors and such. however i some it may be an odd size fan or a 120 volt fan.
for me it saves time and energy to just go buy another PSU. at work i can get a good 400 watt for about $17.

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Yes I do have a 20-pin MB connector, thanks for the tip-off.

Anyway I ordered a 400w Antec one, decided, with AirRaid and Kat's advice to steer clear of the cheap ones and get a half decent one.

I also ordered another 512 of RAM.

This has been an expensive few days for me :\

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Heh. "Advice".

That would be me and kat saying "NO DONT BUY A CHEAP ONE IT'LL SUCK HERE BUY THIS".

Heh.

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I just replaced the fans in my old power supply. It only cost me about $20 and the fans I bought are more quiet than the old ones.

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Ok so in went the new PSU and the RAM today.

All is well, that Antec unit is super quiet, despite being a slightly tight fit with my case due to the backplate arrangement.

The noisiest thing on the PC now is the gfx card fan. It's an MSI Radeon 9600TX (o/c'd ATI 9500pro) with fan circled by heatsink. Any ways to shut it up/replace it?

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I have an old power supply or two myself on my relics here and all is still well after all this time (one 10+ yrs. another 8-ish) but if it's still work's = doesnt need fixing as far as im concerned at this point. but my newer comps are much louder in that respect, but once again if it works... and most of the time my room fan/tv covers a lot of the noise up.

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