In the last months I've been experiencing multiple hardware failures that cannot be totally unrelated:

  1. My prosumer PCI audio card (Delta 1010LT) was randomly not being recognized at startup. I had to "Scan for new hardware" several times in order to see it under the "Device manager". For a long time, I've been thinking the problem was caused by the audio card itself.
  2. A week ago my "primary" video card (I have two video cards) started not to get recognized as well. I removed it (thinking it was defective) and started using the "secondary" video card as replacement.
  3. Today my integrated Wi-Fi adapter started doing weird things: the wi-fi speed randomly drops to 1 Mbps, and I had to disable 802.11n mode on the router (it always worked so far!) and fallback to 802.11g in order to get a (still slow) 3-4 Mbps rate. Other PCs on the same Wi-Fi network work like before, so the network is fine.
  4. If I play Starcraft, the wi-fi connection drops in a few minutes and I cannot play online.
  5. GPU-Z reports that my PCI-Express 16x bus is running at 4x (even under graphic rendering).

I'm thinking of three possible causes:

  1. The motherboard is broken
  2. The PSU is faulty and it is no longer able to deliver enough power to all the hardware components
  3. An incredible sequence of random coincidences

Please, can you help me understand what's going on?

  • 1
    The PSU would probably be the simplest thing to check, other than testing the malfunctioning devices on another known good system
    – Journeyman Geek
    Mar 6 '13 at 10:55
  • What's the simplest way to test the PSU?
    – gd1
    Mar 6 '13 at 10:56
  • unfortunately, swapping it out for one that you know works. Its probably the single cheapest critical component of a system tho
    – Journeyman Geek
    Mar 6 '13 at 11:01
  • I wonder if it can be a software problem... Mar 6 '13 at 11:21
  • @VioletGiraffe : I have an old XP partition and it behaves the same
    – gd1
    Mar 6 '13 at 11:22

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