Old Fossil needs help with his Old Fossil Gaming PC

Wow, been a long time since I have posted anything here, but glad to see that the forum is still alive and well.

So here is the deal, after years in storage up on a shelf in my room I pulled out my old dual boot Windows XP/Linux Tower to play some old games with my kids. The bad news is that the power supply seems to be overheating and failing at this point (computer shuts off). I have done the basic trouble shooting (ie using canned air to blow out build up) and checked the motherboard, processor and there are no signs of overheating but the power supply is definitely running hot. It’s an old Antec True Power 2.0 430 watt power supply. The motherboard is a Gigabyte S-Series GA-MA78GM-S2H and the Processor is an AMD64 Athlon X2. So the question stands is there a power supply I can get that is still compatible with my motherboard and equipment? Has the IDE style Harddrive and DVD Drives as well if that makes a difference.

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Nice to see you around here again. :slight_smile:
With an old system like that. You don’t want to be spending a lot on a PSU.
Anything that states its ATX should be fine. The cheaper the better.
You will just need to check which connectors it comes with.

This one might suit your needs.

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Glad to see you are still here Dee. Have to admit I kind of miss the old crew. The connectors on the PSU are definitely my main concern since I have no idea what matches up with my motherboard. Here is a pic with the specs of the motherboard that I have if that helps. I built this guy 15 years ago so my memory is more than a little rusty on everything that it has and what goes with it. https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-MA78GM-S2H-rev-10#ov

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Would this guy work?:

I believe it will Your board shows 24 and this power supply show it has a 20 + 4 pin


3 Molex connectors which your devices probably will use since it’s 15 years old ?
if not only 2 sata connectors

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Both PSU should work on that board. But my advice would be. Get the cheapest one you can that has a return policy.
Although it appears to be a problem with the PSU. It could be a component elsewhere that is drawing more current than it should.
Did you try disconnecting all optical drives and, any HDD not required for the system to boot?
Does the system have a discrete graphics card you could remove?

Both worth rechecking before buying a new PSU.

Admittedly I didn’t try disconnecting the disc drives or HD (the only one hooked up is the one needed for booting). The graphics are onboard so no separate graphics card. I did go ahead and order the coolermax one as it was a couple of dollar cheaper and more importantly it can get here in just a couple of days. The other wasn’t even due to be in stock until after Christmas which means I would effectively lose my whole vacation of potential playing time with the kids. I will try disconnecting the optical drive, but the intense heat build up within just a few minutes of running makes me believe it’s a failing power supply

You will soon find out once you fit the new PSU.
Please let us know how it goes.

Yes, it does use the Molex connectors on the drives. Good to know the connector should work for the motherboard. I just tried running the PC without the optical drive hooked up and it stayed cooler for a longer period, but then again I wasn’t doing anything that would potentially put use on system resources other than the computer being on with Windows booted up. Tried again with a less Demanding game and it did eventually warm up a bit. So it seems to be a correlation with how much demand I am putting on the setup with how quickly the PSU heats up. I do have another DVD drive that isn’t hooked up right now and another hard drive that isn’t hooked up as well. So i will play around with it a bit more over the next few days.

Just wanted to say hi Jesterrace. great to see you posting again.

Thanks. Sorry, I have been busy as of late. Full Time Job, Wife and 3 Kids, My new found passion for Aquariums (both Saltwater and Freshwater), Home Theater, Hot Tubs and a Youtube Channel keep me pretty busy.

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Well, good news folks. I got my Coolmax Power Supply and it’s been barely getting warm at all after my kids have been playing Heroes of Might and Magic 2 for over an hour now (the old PSU would make it about a half hour at best before it started getting pretty warm). So it appears the fault was with the power supply. Glad it was a cheap and easy fix. Thanks all for your help.

Check that, after nearly two hours the PC shut off again. I am going to try playing around with a couple of other things. I sure hope this isn’t a case of the heatsink coming away from the processor and it needs a re-paste. The processor was a bit warm when I checked but then again AMD of that era tend to run hot.

Instead of guessing the temps. Download and run HWInfo.

Depending on the sensors on your motherboard it will report the temps of critical components

When you run it. Select the sensors only option.

As I said. How much info you get will depend on the temp and voltage output sensors there are on your board.
A CPU running at or below 80C is fine.
if you can, look down the list and see if you can see how much voltage is getting into your board.

Look for the 3.3 Volt rails
Look for the 5 Volt rails
Look for the 12 Volt rail.

The voltages should be pretty close to these values (within 100mv).
If any of them are very low. That would indicate something is drawing a lot of current. And since you just replaced the PSU you can rule the PSU out.

Also. Visually inspect the capacitors around the power delivery section to the CPU. They are generally quite large on older boards. Look for signs of leakage, and that the capacitors are not bulging. look for signs that the plastic around the capacitors has been stretched. A sure sign that a capacitor or capacitors are bulging.
If you find this you will either have to replace the capacitors or dump the board.
The older capacitors decay with age, and heat cycles.

It would probably be more cost effective to replace the board. I did notice the case fan on the side of the tower seems to be struggling periodically so I could see that being a factor as well. I will check into the other stuff though. PSU definitely isn’t getting as hot as the old one so I guess it was still worth the replacement given the low cost.

Have you tried cleaning the dust out of the heatsinks/fans that may work, or trying new Thermal Paste that could be causing overheating.

Good to see you again.

Any half-decent ATX PSU should do, for Pentium 4 & Athlon 64 onwards. The motherboard takes CPU power from the 12 volt rail(s), just like newer PCs.

A PC with an older CPU would be a bit trickier. They used to take most of their power from the 3.3v & 5v rails (the 12v rail was mainly for electric motors in drives & fans). But modern PSUs have weak 3.3v & 5v rails, because from ATX spec v2.0 onwards the load was shifted to the 12v rail.

[Sorry that’s not very well worded.]

I second what Dee says about capacitors. Electrolytic capacitors from around the time this motherboard was made often did not age well (dodgy goings on with one of the major suppliers of the electrolytic fluid to manufacturers). As the capacitors degrade & start to fail they will become ineffective at smoothing out the power going to the CPU (& other components), leading to random crashes.

Okay, I think I finally got it sorted out. I had an open section where a 3.5 inch floppy was removed long ago and I had covered it up since I was worried about little hands reaching inside the case. It’s strange because it didn’t have a fan or anything that appeared to be using it as an exhaust port, but I opened it up and added another case fan to the back and today we ran it for gaming for nearly 5 hours without issue (before it would shut off between 2-2.5 hours without fail). So it appears it was just that the oven that is the AMD64 X2 wasn’t getting enough air flow. I will test it some more over the next few days but given that it doubled the max time I was getting out of it without a problem it appears to be okay.

Where the floppy port was wouldn’t be acting as an exhaust, but more likely is allowing more air to be drawn into the case.
However, it must still be marginal.
I would do the following.

1, Remove the CPU heatsink and fan, and renew the thermal paste, and clean the heat fins and fan.
You can get a good quality paste like Artic MX/MS for ÂŁ3.
Clean the surface of the CPU and heatsink with Isopropanol with a purity of 95% or higher, Very cheap from a local hardware/DIY store. Just apply it to a piece of kitchen towel and rub. First removing any excess old paste with a dry kitchen towel.

2, Replace the case fan that was struggling. More than likely the fan bearings are worn out. You should be able to get a decent case fan for around ÂŁ6.
On a case of that age, the case fan will either be a 80mm or 120mm.
Assuming the fan is connected to the motherboard. If the new fan is still struggling, you have power delivery problems on the motherboard.