Bad (or weak) Powersupply

I’m wondering if I might have a bad (or weak) power supply (I have an Antec case with a standard 350w p/s). Sometimes when I power up my PC, all of my USB devices are not recognized (e.g. - their ICONs don’t show properly in the windoze systray)… Also, some other non-USB items that appear in systray are occasionally missing (most notably my Creative Volume Control). In both instances a re-boot (or sometimes several re-boots) clear up the problem.

Also, If it’s not power supply related, what might it be. This has been going on for quite a while now, although lately it seems to be getting worse.


Do you have a Hardware Monitoring Program running so you can tell what voltages are being supplied? 350 watt is a bit on the shy side for all that equipment if it’s not a quality PS.

I do have the ABIT EQ program. Which shows ‘nominal’ voltages.

But, of course, that’s after windows is up. I’m wondering if the voltages have stabilized by the time windows is up. Perhaps they’re low during USB ‘initialization’, or perhaps when the p/s is cold (i.e. the problem seems worse when powering up after the machine has been powered off for a while - like overnight).

I’m guessing that the only real way to know is to replace the p/s with a quality one from PC Power & Cooling and see if the problems vanish.

I’m also thinking that this might also be a Windows problem, since invariably the actual ICONs in the systray are always in different order (I assume they display in the order Windows starts them). If it is actually a Windows problem, I guess I’m stuck.


You can’t beat PC Power & Cooling. I’m using one in my SCSI system with 4 10K RPM drives and it’s been rock stable for the 3 years I’ve had it. Kind of pricey but you get what you pay for. The Antec Truepower line has been good to me also. Worth taking a look at. Here’s an excellent review on two high end PS’s you may be interested in:

most BIOSes show voltages…or you could get a meter and physically test each rail (most reliable way).

i like my OCZ Powerstream 520s…Enermax are also a good choice (so i’ve read).

be aware most of the voltages the Motherboard reports are after onboard regulation!! I have had a few boards which have shown weak supplies yet the supply is ok ( usually caused by poped capacitators)

The +12V, +3.3V and +5V rails are regulated in the PS, and read prior to regulation by the MB to feed required systems. And what is a “capacitator”?

Please ensure your seat is in the upright position, and your head is securely fastened. /.