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I've got a server that has the following:

  • 8x 1tb SATA hard drives (loaded into front - 3ware raid card)
  • 2x 250gb SATA drives - OS installed (software raid)
  • 3ware RAID Card
  • DVD Drive
  • 2x network cards etc....
  • Tyan motherboard

Previously, this system had just 6 drives in..

I recently added all the extra drives. Managed to get windows in. However... it suddenly started randomly restarting / turning off - as if someone had pulled the power out of the back.

This fault was intermittent. Sometimes it would work for 10 minutes before dying, others 1 minute. I could boot into the bios / raid controller... sometimes it would cut out during this, other times not.

I sent it back to our supplier - who have come back and said the PSU AND motherboard have blown.

I always thought a blown motherboard would prevent from booting at all?

I was under the impression it may of been an under-rated PSU - the one in there was just 500W?

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3 Answers

I always thought a blown motherboard would prevent from booting at all?

There are thousands of parts on a motherboard, any of which can malfunction in a number of ways. Problems can range from misbehaving, to doing nothing at all.

If the power supply malfunctioned, it could damage the motherboard (and other boards), especially if the voltages went higher than specified.

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Here's a PSU calculator you can use to guestimate how many watts you were pulling. PSU Calc

I've had motherboards with bulging caps operate intermittently. Could be that the mobo failed and took the PSU along with it.

Also if the PSU was of poor quality it might not have been really able to supply 500w.

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If this is a server with that spec, 500W may be pushing it slightly, but I can't say for sure without knowing your CPU e.t.c.

When a motherboard is faulty it either doesn't boot at all or what I find usually is it does boot, but you get completely random and unrelated faults such as blue screens that could be memory related one moment, hard drive another, and then even something with network card.

That being said, I have never seen a motherboard (especially a server one) go faulty from having to high of a power draw - it is usually just the PSU that goes, so that does sound a bit fishy to me, however, it is impossible to know without seeing it as it could've malfunctioned and surged or just generally did something it shouldn't of done.

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