hardware problem

D G Teed donald.teed at gmail.com
Wed Feb 27 11:53:41 UTC 2008

On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 1:58 AM, Ted Mittelstaedt <tedm at toybox.placo.com> wrote:
>  > -----Original Message-----
>  > From: owner-freebsd-questions at freebsd.org
>  > [mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at freebsd.org]On Behalf Of D G Teed
>  > Sent: Monday, February 25, 2008 7:22 AM
>  > To: DAve
>  > Cc: FreeBSD Questions
>  > Subject: Re: hardware problem
>  >
>  >
>  > Every system I've seen with his description of the problem, where
>  > the power supply can't even run it's own fan, is having a power supply
>  > problem.  Power supplies are very often low quality these days and can't
>  > handle the stresses of typical electrical grid fluctuations.
>  My experience has not been that the power supplies can't handle the
>  electrical grid.
>  What I've mostly seen is that the power supply FANS get dust in them,
>  the fans slow down or stop, airflow through the supply drops, and
>  then the supply overheats.  Once it overheats, the supply will never
>  be reliable again and must be thrown out.

I've been able to routinely clean out the dust with canned air, and
they still die more frequently than say motherboards.  Even quality
brands like Antec.  I often replace the fan if it is showing signs
of noise from bearing getting burned out.  I'm speaking mainly
of home and small office PCs.  This is something that won't
happen as much in a server room since the air is cleaner, but
I'd guess the O.P. wasn't in that environment since he is wasting
3 days before trying another power supply.

Power supplies do have a limit of life related to the quality
of your electricity (and excessive heat). I can recall the bad
electrolyte scandle with several motherboard brands 5 years ago.
The explanation of the shortened capacitor lifespan due to the
electrolyte missing an ingredient was a bit of an education
into what capacitors do.  They do have a limited lifespan
related to heat and the number of hours they are exposed to a high
ripple current.

Here is an excellent wikipedia entry on capacitor plague
which will explain it in layman's terms.


If you have not read about this before, it may be an eye opener.


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