PC Hardware Woes February 25, 2013 cliffski Ever since I bought my latest PC, it has been very rarely, but annoyingly susceptible to random power-shutdowns. The PC then reboots fine, although when it is in the mood to do so, it may then power off after a few seconds (or minutes), and basically be unusable until I get grumpy and leave it for a good few hours, or overnight. It’s very rare, but very frustrating when it happens, and I don’t like the worry that one day this could actually nuke the hard drives or graphics card. (I’ve pretty much ruled out any other cause of the shutdowns also, it’s definitely hardware, and definitely inside the box) The PC cost £1,000 mostly because I had a big RAID array and an SSD and a meaty video card put in there. It never occurred to me that the PSU might suck. It’s apparently a ‘powercool pc-650auba-m’, which doesn’t mean much to me, except that it’s a brand nobody has heard of, which is a bad sign. I finally lost patience with it this morning and ordered a new corsair PSU, which I will bravely try and fit myself. I used to actually work as a PC hardware engineer, so you might imagine I wouldn’t give this a second thought, but that was long ago, when PCI was a fascinating new technology, and USB was still a cutting edge feature. PSU’s now look nothing like the ones I remember. That’s reason #1. Reason #2 is that inside the case it’s cable city Arizona, and fairly squashed. I’m probably going to have to work out how the SSD is attached to the case, and remove it in order to get the PSU out, and re-running the mess of cables will be a pain. I think I should use all new cables, so I can rule out that as a potential cause. (kinda scary because the SSD is the boot drive) Theoretically, the whole PC is under warranty, but I’ve done the PC hardware job myself, and I don’t rate much the chances of them actually caring, or agreeing to swap it out, and certainly not swapping it out on site (even if I pay), because I can’t be without a PC for any period. Plus, they will likely only do a like-for-like swap with another cheap PSU anyway… So right now I am staring at a depressing progress bar while an agonizingly slow backup copy of all my source code (to an external drive) takes place. I have it all backed up online anyway, but the art assets are only local (and with the artists as original files) and haven’t been fully backed up for a while, so I’m going the extra mile. Realistically, the chances of really screwing up a PSU swap-out are pretty minimal, but this is my work PC… In future, I shall be buying PC’s with really good PSU’s. It’s a silly thing to skimp on, and given current PC prices, and positechs sales, it’s madness for me to think about economy when buying a PC for my job. You live and learn etc….