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Old 01-08-2015, 07:27 PM   #51
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I'm not entirely convinced its the PSU but if your electric bill has drastically increased you might want to replace it anyways
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:19 PM   #52
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My friend worried it was the motherboard, and while he eased off the theory initially, he later spotted something that gave him pause:

Most of my motherboard's capacitors look fine, with normal flat (or even eeeeeeeeeeever so slightly caved in) tops. But two of my capacitors, right side by side with one another and nobody else, had ever so slightly conical or tented tops. My friend explained that when capacitors go bad, they sometimes start to bulge, and that if you see bulging tops it's a bad sign. Mine weren't quite bulging, but a weaker form of the same idea. Like, I'd say the angle the hypotenuse of the cone made with the base of the cone was around 5°. But my friend said there should be zeeeeeero of that. So ...

He said it doesn't necessarily mean that they're the problem part. But he feels like it's probably them.

He agreed with my general idea from months ago that this is a problem of capacitance. But like me, he couldn't work out why a machine plugged in to the wall for days would fail to turn on yet one unplugged for hours would only need 30 minutes' time to "warm up" and get charged.

He feels that if it isn't a motherboard capacitor problem, then I could very well be right about it being a capacitor inside of the PSU. And so, he lent me a spare PSU of his to install at my leisure if the need should arise.

Posting via cell phone right now; just got back to my apartment. Will reassemble computer in about ten minutes or so.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:05 PM   #53
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Put it off until 11:30. Wishing I hadn't. Refuses to turn on again. Oh well ... Maybe I'll have better luck in the morning. #teampsu #teammobo #teamhashtag

8am edit: still won't turn on. Blah. T_T If it doesn't turn on when I return this afternoon, I'll try swapping the power supplies and praying that the fix was that easy.

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Old 01-26-2015, 04:44 AM   #54
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Newly built computer died within a week. Fml.
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Old 01-26-2015, 05:29 AM   #55
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Newly built computer died within a week. Fml.
Oh dam. Any idea what happened? How did it die, exactly?
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:03 AM   #56
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Most computer parts have a 90-day manufacturer's warranty at a bare legal minimum, with most having the decency to at least offer a 1-year one. Whatever failed, you can probably get it replaced at no additional cost to you provided you're not provably the cause of the parts failure.
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:15 AM   #57
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Went to switch it on this morning, power light and fans come on but nothing else happens (no response from the monitor, HDD LED indicator and keyboard light don't come on). Tried switching monitor/cable to see if that was the only problem but nope. Having messed around some more* it appears to be either the motherboard or the power suppy, both of which are a pain in the butt (and I don't have a spare of either so can't easily work out what the issue is).

*First call (because it was easiest) was to try each of the memory modules induvidually. Second was to remove the memory altogether which should cause a pretty unmissable beep code when it tries the POST - basically the motherboard should immediately loudly complain about having no ram. It didn't do this. Conclusion - either the motherboard isn't powered properly (power supply) or the motherboard itself is ballsed.
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:19 AM   #58
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The motherboard being the problem will be a fight since it is bar none the computer part most prone to DIY user damage (static, dust, sweat, putting things in the wrong ports, what have you), but I would still try to see if they will honor their warranty. It has to have at least a 90-day warranty.
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:22 AM   #59
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I'm still within Amazon's 30 day return period so I can try them first, they're pretty good about replacing stuff. I don't think I've done anything to it - in between it working fine yesterday and not booting today all I touched was the power switch - but who knows. I'm mostly annoyed because replacing the motherboard is essentially a complete rebuild. Glad I was slow about ditching my old laptop.
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:41 AM   #60
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Dismantled and reassembled the whole thing and suddenly working! Best guess is I knocked something loose somewhere but I didn't notice anything loose whilst taking it apart and I still have no idea why I got no motherboard beep codes during my testing. Not looking a gift horse in the mouth then.
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Old 01-26-2015, 05:31 PM   #61
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Dismantled and reassembled the whole thing and suddenly working! Best guess is I knocked something loose somewhere but I didn't notice anything loose whilst taking it apart and I still have no idea why I got no motherboard beep codes during my testing. Not looking a gift horse in the mouth then.
Glad to hear it's back up and running now ^^
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Old 02-19-2015, 02:50 PM   #62
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Computer refusing to turn on again. Sideways trick didn't work this time (or, if it is working, didn't work as quickly). Hoping it'll turn on soon -- let it remain unplugged while I was out today and only just plugged it back in five minutes ago -- but even if it does it's clear I'll need to replace something soon.

If it doesn't turn back on in about an hour, then I'll probably try switching out the old PSU for my friend's to finally test that theory out.

Update: Still haven't done the PSU swap. The damnedest thing happens: it turns on after being on my bed for about ten minutes but now will no longer turn on once removed from the bed, whether on its side or vertical, whether unplugged in the process of relocating it or left plugged in the entire time. I have it on right now, the fourth successful attempt today with three others being aborted because I did not expect difficulties subsequent to them. On this fourth boot up I made the risky but desperate choice to leave the unit booted up whilst carefully moving it, as levelly as possible, to a cleared spot on my desk. Laid it there and plugged stuff into the back like the mouse cable and the monitor cable and such.

It seems crazy, but I'm wondering again if it has something to do with temperature. If there's a component that ceases to work below a certain temperature and if the bed, even when "cold," is still warm enough to warm the computer part up to a functional level. I really have no idea anymore. If it keeps breaking over the next week and then returns to working order once the weather warms up, the theory will have more evidence. But I don't know ... it seems absurd to me that temperature would be the culprit if, after starting and running on a warm bed, it refuses to turn back on a mere ten seconds later (literally ten seconds) when relocated to a cold desktop surface and left in the same orientation. Surely nothing's cooling down that quickly.

Last edited by Talon87; 02-20-2015 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 06-06-2015, 02:25 AM   #63
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So I bought a Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and have been conducting experiments with it. I installed Cyanogenmod as the custom OS to see if it's better than Android and so far I'm not impressed, but I need to put reinstalling Android on the backburner for the moment. So far, I've tethered my laptop to AT&T's 3G network to evaluate it versus my broadband.

Since it appears AT&T and the other wireless networks ban bittorrent (thus mandating having to use streams...and thus larger data plans) I will have to set up OpenVPN and leak NOTHING from my IP address to torrent in privacy. I haven't had much use of torrents at the moment, but it's still far superior to YouTube and with the protection of a VPN I can download whatever I want like it's 2007. Easier said than done, though.

As for the device itself, I have only a few functions I want out of it:

-camera (video/static)
-offline GPS
-weather
-talk/text
-internet without ads
-tethering

So far, Cyanogenmod offered the tethering (USB/wireless hotspot) more easily than Android, so I went with Cyanogenmod first. But I like the UI for Android a lot better. There was also a megadouche in Cyanogen's IRC who would just stump for Cyanogen Inc. and dump on Samsung whenever I asked a question. So it seems like asking for help is not something you can do with Cyanogen, and I don't appreciate that.

I've logged into Gmail twice, but I haven't synched it with Google, so I hope this doesn't screw me over as far as Google discovering my identity. Google's data mining with Android is a major issue and I want to set up Android over VirtualBox for access to the GooglePlay store, then transfer .apks from VB to my device. Unlike with my laptop, I can't simply seed fake information and block ads and uploads with my phone, as it's intended to be a legit work phone for me. On the phone itself, I don't plan on doing anything more than light sports browsing and I might not even use the internet at all, versus a sports app.

If I had more time, I'd like to construct a default "android skin" for Cyanogenmod so it looks like stock Android. At least, I'm still unsure of what is better - rooted Android or Cyanogenmod. The bloatware and privacy invasion of stock is an issue, but Cyanogenmod's default is fugly and I can't access GooglePlay until I set up VB. :/
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:29 PM   #64
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So since the last post, I've learned that while Subaru is pretty ahead of the curve in Infotainment, the car firmware is really poor at times so it's better to just MirrorLink a smartphone to the console and control everything from there. I haven't done such yet, so I don't know for sure.

However, I have managed to use an Android emulator to steal apps from Google Play. The problem is the one I want (Garmin) is apparently not supported on Android, so I need to hunt a hacked one, download all the maps, so I won't have to need to use data to read them. If not that I might have to switch to another GPS system (Garmin is pretty good though).

Also got some themes for Cyanogenmod.
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Old 06-14-2015, 10:12 PM   #65
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Whoa, Talon, that PSU failure sounds exactly like what happened to mine. I had the exact same symptoms, including powering on for a second and then dying, and refusing to start when cold. It was 100% the power supply that needed to be replaced. I suggest you upgrade your power supply as soon as possible, if you haven't already. Don't mess around with bad power supplies. I have a fried motherboard and a several month hiatus from UPN/Internet last summer to show why trusting bad power supplies isn't a good idea. Just get rid of it. It's not even worth keeping around as a benchtop supply.

What is/was the model?

Kinda late, I know. =3=
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Old 06-23-2015, 02:40 PM   #66
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Whoa, Talon, that PSU failure sounds exactly like what happened to mine. I had the exact same symptoms, including powering on for a second and then dying, and refusing to start when cold. It was 100% the power supply that needed to be replaced. I suggest you upgrade your power supply as soon as possible, if you haven't already. Don't mess around with bad power supplies. I have a fried motherboard and a several month hiatus from UPN/Internet last summer to show why trusting bad power supplies isn't a good idea. Just get rid of it. It's not even worth keeping around as a benchtop supply.

What is/was the model?

Kinda late, I know. =3=
Sorry for the lateness of this reply. A brief update first of all:
  • still haven't swapped out the PSU
  • in the latest weather, the computer turns on 100% of the time so long as as it has turned on at least once previously while having all component cables attached
  • if the power to the building goes out for even five seconds, then the computer will not turn on if component cables are plugged into it, whether left plugged in or whether plugged back in following a temporary unplugging
  • what you have to do first is, you have to unplug everything except the power cord, then turn the computer on. It turns on on the very first try.
  • before the BIOS kicks over to Windows (ideally), plug everything else back in rapid fire, starting with all USB and PS2 cables. (You can do things like Ethernet or the monitor last.) Otherwise Windows won't recognize them when the computer is turned on. -.-
  • let the computer run like this for at least half an hour, with everything plugged in and in good working order
  • voilŕ! Problem solved. At least for now. The computer will continue to turn on 100% of the time until the next power outage.
So basically I have a computer that shits the bed the moment you unplug it from the wall (or the building loses power, which in the summer months is somewhat more common owing to electrical storms) but that otherwise turns on without any hassle. Granted, this is all with summer weather and summer temps. I have little doubt that the return of winter will mean worse performance than ever before.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

So with that update out of the way, thanks for your reply! I'll definitely look into it, as in, either tonight, tomorrow, or Thursday I will probably go ahead and take out the old PSU and plop in the new one and see how things work. If nothing's changed, then I guess I'll have identified that it's a problem with the motherboard. (Suck. ) But if it magically fixes everything, then woohoo! 'Twas the PSU!

As ever, I suspect the PSU. The latest clue that power shenanigans are afoot is that my cooling fan, just right now when I turned on the computer, kept spinning up and dying, spinning up and dying, spinning up and dying with a periodicity of roughly 2 to 3 seconds. vvvvvrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrr...... ........... vvvvvrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrr...... ........... vvvvvrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrr...... ........... Like that, a rev up, motor death, a rev down, and amidst the silence a rebirth of the motor. Prodding it with my finger I seem to have manually fixed it somewhat? It's at least going now? But even though it's spinning non-stop, it sounds and looks fairly weak. I suspect that the fan is not getting enough power from the PSU any longer, whether that's because the PSU is to blame (my theory) or whether that's because the motherboard is not rerouting power to it properly. Regardless of PSU or motherboard blame, it seems likelier to me to be a power problem than a lubrication problem. Could be lubrication, I'll admit. Could even be both in concert. Dunno.

Definitely thinking I should put UPN 2016 funds towards the acquisition of a new computer instead. We'll see.
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Old 06-23-2015, 08:03 PM   #67
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Yeah, I saw the same behavior on my fans. Keep in mind that PC fans are designed to accept a range of voltages and even pulsed voltage, but the more sensitive electronics are not. Don't subject your valuable components to this stress. Swap out the power supply if you have a spare already.
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:23 PM   #68
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So I finally got off my butt and swapped out the old power supply for the one my friend lent me in February. The straw that broke the camel's back? I noticed the PSU fan vent was producing neither air nor heat nor sound when I turned it on today. So I immediately turned that sucker off, sighed, and went to work swapping out the PSUs.

It was intimidating at first. And getting the 24-pin motherboard cable out was a bitch, even knowing you have to press in on the clip first. But all in all, it was a(n in hindsight) laughably easy job to do. Compared with changing my own oil (also easy!), this was nothin'.

So as to not keep you in suspense: it works. But now to walk you through the chronology somewhat ...
  • First, before I even mounted it in the PC frame, I decided to at least see if the PSU would turn on along with the rest of my computer or if it would electrocute some of my expensive eight-year old hardware and send me shopping for a new computer. Plugged in just the power cable and the monitor, nothing else. Turned on like a charm, loaded Windows, etc. Manually powered it off.
  • Then, I decided to do a "stress test," i.e. see if the computer would turn on the way a normal computer is supposed to turn on. So I unplugged the power and the monitor, let the computer sit idle for twenty to thirty minutes, plugged everything back in (going in the order: monitor, audio x2, Ethernet, USB x3, PS/2, and finally power), and made to turn it within seconds. Did so. Turned on like a charm, no issues. Typing from that same start-up session right now.
So we'll have to see. But for now, it looks like this was definitely the fix. The case fan is running at what seems to be full strength (much stronger than it was recently), the PSU vent is emitting a gentle stream of cool air, and yeah ... everything works except for this one XBox 360 peripheral that died around April that I was reaaaaaaaaally hoping might be tied to the power issues but alas, *sigh*, seems to have just plain died independently on its own. ^^;
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Old 10-21-2015, 04:56 PM   #69
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Just got my lappy back from the shop. It has been wiped, all files and data etc lost.

Reinstalled Norton first thing. Then reinstalled Chrome and loaded up my extensions, cookies etc.


Immediately have the same "Offers by Context" virus I had pre wipe, only now I also get random pop up videos in the middle of pages that can be moved around.

Halp.
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Old 10-21-2015, 05:07 PM   #70
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On the top of my head, I have a feeling that the virus might've come from one of the extensions and cookies and whatnot you have reinstalled/reinitiated.

Do you have Malwarebytes Anti-Malware by any chance? Should not mess up with Norton, and the free one does a pretty good job cleaning viruses that some other anti-viruses and whatnot doesn't fix. (It saved my sister's computer, even though she had our Internet provider's anti-virus/firewall/etc.)
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Old 10-21-2015, 05:17 PM   #71
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You are probably right, I included a play by play in case this was the case.

Are there any other ways to see what might be getting picked up in my browser?
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Old 10-21-2015, 05:41 PM   #72
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Well I would've have one way, but it could be either complicated or won't work ^^;

You could uninstall everything again, and install things slowly, one by one. As in, install one thing, do basic stuff (but nothing online), restart computer, install new thing, rinse and repeat. And whenever the problem shows up again, there you have it, you found the problematic thing!

Problem is, uninstalling everything may not get rid of the virus, so it would be useless to try and see what installed the virus... if it's still there ^^; And the only way to make sure you get rid of it so far is to reset your whole computer (but I think you don't want to get through that again), or uninstall everything, try to get rid of it through anti-virus programs like the one I linked to, and if it works, then you can go ahead and go through my plan (and whenever you get the virus, well you can uninstall the crappy thing and remove the virus again XP)
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Old 10-22-2015, 10:33 AM   #73
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Laptop vendors tend to include that kind of "feature" with their OS image. Lenovo is a famous example. The way to get around it is to download the OS image directly from the linux distro or microsoft website and not use any recovery image/disc from the original system.
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Old 10-22-2015, 10:42 AM   #74
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Laptop vendors tend to include that kind of "feature" with their OS image. Lenovo is a famous example. The way to get around it is to download the OS image directly from the linux distro or microsoft website and not use any recovery image/disc from the original system.
Suppose I purchase a $300 computer from Wal-Mart. It has Windows 8.1 on it along with a bunch of adware. Suppose I then want to take you up on your suggestion, and I go to Microsoft's site to download the OS image of Windows 8.1 with the intent of wiping my current install and re-installing Windows from scratch.
  1. Can I do this at no additional cost? (Assume I already have removable media to house the image for reinstallation.)
  2. If I can do this at no additional cost, why is this not better known / more commonly done?
  3. If I cannot do this at no additional cost, then aren't we really right back where we started -- "never buy store-made PCs; always make your own from scratch"?
Because if what you're saying works free of charge, then I don't see why I shouldn't pay $300 for $550 worth of parts and software, saving $250, and then going to Microsoft's website and flipping the bird at Netflix and Compaq and HP and all the others who put that crappy adware on store-built PCs as I erase it from my machine and get a fresh install of Windows. Hell -- I can put that extra $250 towards upgrading the store-built PC to better run Windows 10. (Or even invest it in an SSD for the OS install!)

But if what you're saying still costs the $100 to $200 for a new copy of Windows, well then I don't see why we'd even bother with this approach. Just build a machine from scratch and pay out of pocket for an OS at that time.
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Old 10-22-2015, 06:50 PM   #75
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You can download installers for Windows, Office, and all kinds of software for free from Microsoft. It's the license key that you actually have to pay for. I imagine that if your Wal-Mart PC has a legitimate Windows 8 key, you can reuse that same key when reinstalling the same OS.

Although, this article says the users had to shell out the $120 to get new copies of Windows 8, so results may vary? http://money.cnn.com/2015/02/19/tech...ish/index.html
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