hdd voltage

Roland Smith rsmith at xs4all.nl
Tue Nov 17 19:42:21 UTC 2009

On Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 09:43:04AM -0800, Dánielisz László wrote:
> Hello,
> My computer get starts to reboot all the time I do a higher hdd use (like:
> fsck, copying more GB of data). I was sure that my power supply its not
> enough so I changed it (300W->450W), now it does the same. I'm looking for a
> tool to measure the exactly power consumiton (voltage and amper) of my hdd,
> cpu and ram on FreeBSD.  Do you have any idea?

Tools like mbmon can show you the different voltages that the power supply
produces. But current isn't measured in the different circuits, AFAIK. If you
see a drop in voltage before a reboot that would be a clear sign of
trouble. Unfortunately the chips that do the monitoring sometimes only provide
new values once every second. That is probably not fast enough to detect a
swift voltage drop.

There are devices (e.g. kill-a-watt) available that you can plug between the
power outlet and the PC that show you the total power consumption. See
e.g. http://forum.ncix.com/forums/index.php?mode=showthread&forum=116&threadid=1659654&pagenumber=1&msgcount=18&subpage=1

The abovementioned link shows a decent system using between 118 and 205
Watt. So I'd be surprised if your 450 Watt powersupply wasn't sufficient.
(unless you have one of those graphics cards that is covered in fans and
heatsinks and that you could still use to fry an egg on.)

But I agree that it looks like a hardware problem. Unfortunately there are
multiple possible causes. Check to see if all the cabling and cards are
securely connected. Monitor the temperatures that the on-board sensors
report. Remove dust from heatsinks and fans. Check the electrolytic capacitors
on the motherboard. If the metal "lid" is bulging, it's busted.

R.F.Smith                                   http://www.xs4all.nl/~rsmith/
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