My machine has currently been through 3 power supplies recently. They just keep on dying and I have no clue why. It lasted a year before blowing the first one, but now, in the last couple months, two have died.

I have noticed it always happens when plugging my power back to the wall. Like say the night before I've unplugged my power from the wall because of a lighting storm, then when I plug it back in again, my computer refuses to boot up. I press the power button and nothing happens.

After the second time it happened, I bought an Ellis surge protector plug and put it on a new 5 plug multi-plug. Didn't help a single bit.

Could it be that my machine is doing this (like a component or something), or perhaps something else that's connected into my multi plug is drawing too much power, maybe even the wall socket? (I've been told in all likelyhood, this isn't the case)

I am using a Gigabyte Odin 585W power supply.

  • Make sure you know how much power your system needs, and ensure you have the wattage (plus some overhead) to run the system. Get a device to plug in between the wall and the computer to watch the input voltage and ensure that it is not a problem. As noted by BBlake, a UPS is always a good idea, especially if you live in an area prone to brownouts and blackouts. It might also help to test a different outlet as well.
    – MaQleod
    Jan 12 '12 at 21:14

I see 3 possibilities.

  1. Bad wiring in the walls. Surge protectors aren't perfect.

  2. Faulty Motherboard. Yes, faulty motherboards can kill power supplies.

  3. Do you have the power switch on either the power supply or wall socket (for countries like Australia). If so, make sure it is off before plugging it in.

I would put money on a faulty motherboard if you haven't had electrical problems historically in the house. IF you have however, I would suggest get a qualified electrician to check it out.

  • I would aim for the Motherboard too, I would recommend unplugging everything out of your motherboard and see what happens if you connect it. But if it's really at fault, it might kill your 4th one too...
    – Ivo Flipse
    Feb 8 '10 at 7:31
  • That's for the tips, I'll take my motherboard it for a check then (something that's immediately solvable) I think it's still under warranty. I have a switch on my power supply and my wall. Normally when I plug anything in, they're both on. Feb 8 '10 at 8:46

Mine died some while back too and a dealer recently told me that "these things die all the time, the more powerful the easier they break". I had a 450W from be-quiet and it lasted two years.

However two in under two years sounds a bit bad. Is it possible that the supply is too weak for your computer and operating near the limit all the time so eventually it breaks?

  • You write above (re the switch) "Normally when I plug anything in, they're both on". This is something I would not do on a regular basis, not with the power supply switch. I think the switch of the power supply should be off when you plug it in or out.
    – 9tat
    Feb 8 '10 at 9:25

I would recommend installing a quality UPS between the wall outlet and the PC. If the issue is the electric coming in from outside, this will provide far better protection than a surge protector by itself. Of course, if the issue is the motherboard this won't help, but at least you can narrow down the culprit.


Overheating of the PSU.

If there is a poor air flow in the PC case it may cause the PSU to work at much higher temperature then expected. This leads to premature aging of capacitors. And as the stress is biggest at power on, that is when capacitors tend to blow.

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