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Troubleshooting ground issues?

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LittleMike

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2005
Location
NY
Hey gang,

I put this in general because I really have no idea where else to put it. I built a new rig a few months ago and it has given me nothing but problems since. I've had tons of issues, and they keep on coming. Now I'm having trouble trying to nail this last problem (actually try to figure out if I had this problem initially). Okay here's the deal. I have 4 300gig 16Mb buffer Maxtor SATA drives. 3 out of the 4 have burnt out. I just RMA'd this 3rd one yesterday, so I'm still waiting for that one to come in the mail. On top of that, it seems my DVD Burner is now dead. It will burn CD's, but won't burn DVD's and has some trouble reading some DVD's. I get error messages in Nero's CD/DVD tool saying that it's a hardware issue. Power consumption error, etc. Now here's the deal. I have a Sparkle 550w PSU that Grey Wolf recommended to me. How could I check if it's not powering everything properly? At first I thought it was just a bad batch of HD's but now it seems like it could be something else. Is it possible that they are being underpowered and it's putting two much of a strain on them until they pop? The first two drives went within the first week or two that I had the machine up. This third one just died this past week. But that combined with the new issues with my DVD burner, I'm thinking it's a power issue. So I guess my question would be how to check that. Also how can you tell if it's underpowered or dirty current? Is there a difference? I'm assuming I would hook up a multimeter to the rails while it's on and then just take readings, but I'm not an electrical guy, so I'm not exactly sure. Another related question I have is could it possibly be improper grounding on the motherboard? How would I check something like that? I recall one of my buddies frying his system because he was missing a riser or something under the mobo, it hit the metal case and fried everything by grounding it all out. How could I check for improper grounding like that? Would a multimeter tell me this? Where would I hook it up? Sorry for the silly questions, but I don't want to RMA this drive only to have another one blow up on me because I've only been fixing the symptoms but not the cause. Thanks, gang!

-Little Mike
 
OP
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LittleMike

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2005
Location
NY
/shameless bump. Anyone have any ideas on this one? Could my PSU be the culprit? Or something else I hadn't thought of before. Is it possible that my outlet itself is no good (too many things plugged in, drawing power, causing dirty current perhaps?). Thanks gang
 

Cjwinnit

B&
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Location
UK
Could be a PSU error. If you had a multimeter you could test the lines from the molexes, or if you felt more adventurous, hotwire the 20-pin connector and start the PSU out of the case and check all the lines.

The other problem could be the motherboard dying.
 
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LittleMike

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2005
Location
NY
Cjwinnit said:
Could be a PSU error. If you had a multimeter you could test the lines from the molexes, or if you felt more adventurous, hotwire the 20-pin connector and start the PSU out of the case and check all the lines.

The other problem could be the motherboard dying.


Thanks, CJ. I plan on going and picking up a multimeter today. How do I find out what they're supposed to be running at? Also, as far as the motherboard goes, it's brand new - MSI P4N Diamond. Stats are in my sig. Could it be anything else, other than the PSU?