Bad PSU experience

I had to replace my PSU and Best Buy by wanted to do a system check for $59.00 saying that my PSU going out is a sign of other hardware problrms. I refused because my gut said this is a money making scam. I am curious about your opinion on this.

I’ve had PSUs go out before now, and I’m still using the exact same hardware, albeit with a new PSU. No one did a $59 check on mine.

I’d just buy the new PSU, fit it, and go from there.

I don’t know a great deal about PSUs, but if one of mine goes South, I just replace it, and that’s that.


Best Buy and any tech person for that matter make their money doing a check and will tell you it may be a an array of issue to do whatever your PC is doing and that the check will pinpoint the issue then add a labor charge, and you’ll have to pay for the itiem too. If you really think it’s the PSU just buy a new one and replace it as said by Arachne.

Depending on the quality of the components in the original PSU it could have just failed. As long as you purchase a good quality unit it should last you years.
A maxim is "a good quality 350watt unit will often be more reliable and perform better than a cheap 500 watt unit"
Just make sure you get one that suits your set up. :slight_smile:

This thread might give some guidance for all those that are about to buy a new PSU.


lol - Actually it is the other way around, a faulty PSU can cause other problems with hardware componenets. It is the PSU that powers the components, not the components - what a load of rubbish.

If you get that on a regular basis you might want to check the power stability in your area - PSUs are rated to work between a given range (usually 90-135VAC) that is extreme, ideally it should be 110-125) a too low voltage at the AC is a PSU killer.

Now a GOOD quality PSU will feature special cutoff circuitry to protect itself, same for short circuit and overload…so if one of your hardware component has a short or whatever the PSU would shut off.

Did you buy a ready made system ? Most of the time cheap components are used, including a cheap generic PSU.

Don’t pay that scammer his $59 - just get a DECENT PSU and install it yourself. The PSU is held by 4 screws, has a main connector to the motherboard (you can’t go wrong) and the molex connectors for your drives (again can’t go wrong, they are all keyed to fit properly) don’t let anybody scam you and blame your PSU problems on your hardware. :smiley:

if you do have a prebuilt comp, check to make sure the new psu will fit. my old gateway box had a goofy proprietary psu, the case didn’t have the four screw holes, the hole for the psu was smaller than standard (it partially covered the power conector on the new psu so it couldn’t be plugged into the wall), and the internal clip they used to hold the original psu in would not work with the new psu since it was a different length. I could have made it work with a little fab work, but it was a good excuse for getting a tsunami :wink:

Gateway ? It could have a bean a MicroBTX type. Indeed, you have to see which standard you are using. Most people use ATX - It is amazing how much people will run and buy off anything called power supply, thanks for mentioning this :slight_smile: something I forgot to add.

gateway claims it is a standard atx psu coughcoughbullshitcough

It might help if you posted your exact model # :slight_smile:

its an nps-250cb b, but I think its fine now that it has been demoted to my second pc with only 1 optical, 1 hdd, and 1 pci card. You can imagine how stable it was before with 2 ODDs, 2 HDDs, and 3 pci cards, (btw it is a P4 2GHz, 512 mb RD800, 128mb GeForce 4600 Ti) all on a 250W PSU w/13A on 12v :eek: I even had to unplug the floppy drive cause that seemed to just tip it over the edge :wink:

There would need to be something seriously wrong with other hardware to kill a PSU.

On the other hand, a failing PSU can damage other hardware, though I’d change the PSU first and then see if it worked - and if it doesn’t, then it’s probably the motherboard, maybe the CPU or RAM as well, possibly even cards and drives.

I did not fall for it and installed a 500 Watt quality PSU. As someone said in this thread a bad PSU can cause other componants to fail. My CD Reader Writer is now working where it wasnt before. I just wonder how many people fall for this scam.

Good for you :wink:

I always wondered if us girls got “targeted” more than the guys. It’s like cars - not many people expect a woman to know anything about PCs. :slight_smile:


As jwill427 so aptly said - watch out for propriety power supply units - especially in brand names like a [I][B]Sony Vaio[/B][/I]

My old Vaio had a power supply that was only 3 inches long - the shortest aftermarket psu I could find was like 5 1/4 inches long - which definitely not have worked - and allowed me to keep my burners-

Conversely - I replaced my new HP a1410n 300 watt with a 500 watt (added a eVga 6800GS video card and am running a BenQ and LG burners-all of which require a large amount of wattage) and the original and replacement length were both 5 1/4 inches-

It really pays off to check and measure your power supplies before you buy a replacement.


A failed power supply could damage other parts. I’m guessing what they wanted to do was some bullcrap simple system check for way too much money, not real testing. You can test some stuff out for free yourself. Run prime95, memtest86, 3dmark, and microsoft scandisk (all are free except scandisk which is part of windows xp).
Let prime95 and memtest run for a good hour or so (longer if you want to be absolutlly sure). If they do not report any errors, your cpu and memory are probably fine. run 3dmark several times to test your video stability (it might not run if you have onboard video and if your vid card is older, you may have to get an older version of 3dmark as there are several versions). scandisk will check for drive coruption. there are probably more intensive drive checking tools but I’m not sure what to recomend.
Fyi it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to run mb5 or speed fan while you are doing this to monitor temps. In therory, temp should not be a problem if you hve not overclocked which you probably couldn’t on an oem board. If your cpu heatsink is full of dust/lint/crap which often acumulates, it could cause heat issues though.