Windows 10: Could my outlet not generate enough power?

  1.    10 Nov 2016 #1

    Could my outlet not generate enough power?


    I need help on a lot of basic levels here. I am by no means an electrician and while I know the theory I have no idea where to begin.

    My pc works 100% perfect except on the first cold boot of the day. When I turn on my pc, there's a 50% chance that my GPU won't get booted. On top of that, if I use my PC within 10 minutes of boot, I am guaranteed to get a very odd, hardware related crash generating no log reports whatsoever. The crash symptoms differ per time, but usually it looks like Windows is restarting Explorer, and sometimes it's a reboot (no BSOD, no crashdumps). So now I turn on my pc, wait about 10 minutes, then I check if my GPU booted. If it didn't, I reboot PC and then it is always working for the rest of the day with no problem.

    I figured if this would be my PSU, my PC would have constant issues, not just on boot? It's not that old either, about 4 years.

    So I thought about the outlet(s) I am using. This apartment is fairly old, and I'm pretty sure the electricity hasn't been looked at in several decades. The apartment comes from the 60s. Could this be possible? I remember reading once that old outlets are sometimes incapable in providing the amount of power needed initially, but then sort of "warm up" and then they do fine.

    Any theories or any specific instructions on how I can locate the problem (what kind of equipment I would need, etc). Thanks.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    11 Nov 2016 #2

    Your PC only draws a few hundred watts so lack of power is highly unlikely. Check your power leads for loose connections though. It could be the PSU since there are various handshaking signals between the PSU and motherboard when you first power on. The best way to test is to substitute a new PSU. Check also that the power connections between the PSU, motherboard, GPU and disks are are all good. You can check the basic operation of the PSU with the paper clip test if you are confident of doing the test You could also check the PSU voltages with a multimeter or hardware monitoring software in Windows.

    You can't totally rule out software problems. Run chkdsk on your system drive, then sfc /scannow from an admin command prompt. Check all drivers are up to date by trying to update them from Device Manager. Check you BIOS is up to date & try loading the BIOS defaults. Also, consider re-flashing the BIOS anyway in case you have a BIOS corruption.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3. Fafhrd's Avatar
    Posts : 1,927
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       11 Nov 2016 #3

    It sounds like a mechanical problem, maybe related to a poor contact between connectors - either a component like a fan or disk is not spinning up as it should, and thus failing the self checks at first cold boot.

    Clean up the "innards" of the system to remove dust and lint - preferably by blowing with compressed air in a well ventilated environment, and by brushing dusty deposits with a soft bristle brush to dislodge packed dust on fan blades, in crevices, etc.

    Look out for insect/spider debris, and any staining of circuit boards by liquid splashes, and motherboard component failures - especially electrolytic capacitors bulging or leaking - File:Nichicon 2200uF 6.3V swollen leaking capacitors Compaq year 2001 motherboard.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
    - is an image of particularly bad failures of this sort.

    Check the soundness of all connectors by removing and replacing them.

    Disk drive and power supply connectors, memory sticks, sockets for PSU and system fans, GPU PCIe and PCI extension card slots, are the most obvious internal connectors. The external connectors for Power, USB and other peripherals should be retried too.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4.    11 Nov 2016 #4

    I agree with the two post above and would like to suggest that if you can afford it get a UPS. I have had HDDs get corrupted by unexpected power outages. I have one on both of my desktops and use the USB option to safely shut down my computers if the voltage gets to low.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    20 Nov 2016 #5

    Thank you guys for your replies. Thanks in particular for the helpful pictures, my motherboard thankfully does not look like my fiancee was violently sick all over it. My drivers are all up to date, including chipset.

    I have had recurring problems with my GPU, in the past, of various natures, honestly too many to describe here. let it suffice to say that ever since I got it, it has been a battle to make it work properly, crashes, blue screens, and so on. This is as close as I've been to a properly working pc in 2 years. Could then technically be the case that my GPU is the culprit, too?

    I have also discovered that if I reboot my pc after it has been working normally for a longer time, there is an 80% chance that the GPU will not boot at all again. So it's not only on "cold" when the issue arises, however the lack of GPU/drivers manifest itself differently then - now it will have a really crappy resolution, while the resolution GPU boot failure on cold boot will be normal, but for example dxdiag will tell me that I am using Windows Video some rubbish like that and not the regular Nvidia. No point trying to play any games at that point either, though no game is complaining about crappy GPU (as some do): I simply get 2 FPS. I don't entirely understand how the resolution can be working normally when the GPU / drivers are not even working, but that is the case.

    My pc is clean and I have checked the power connections several times, I'll try everything else you guys have said.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    21 Nov 2016 #6

    It could still be problem with PSU, which exact Corsair is it ?. It may not be able to deliver enough power on PCIe rail although total power is good enough.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


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