USB 3

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Hardware' started by seekermeister, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    That is possible, but I haven't seen any indication that the power supply is failing in any of my monitors. If it were, it would mean buying another power supply, because the only spare one that I have is a cheap low powered Linksys, which I only use for test bed purposes. I also doubt that a power problem is the cause for some app problems I'm having, so since it comes down to odds, I think I would put my money on a motherboard instead (never liked the one that I have anyway).
     
  2. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    Trying to remember...I think that Vbat only indicates the voltage of the circuit charging the CMOS battery, and not the voltage of the battery itself...true? But even if it is only the charging voltage, wouldn't that give some indication of the condition of the battery also? I just checked SpeedFan, and the Vbat is .93V, which seems a bit low to me.
     
  3. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    What? Monitors? What do monitors have to do with it? This is a PC, right? The PC PSU has nothing to do with the monitors, except power the graphics solution that provides the video signal to the monitors. And Linksys power supply? Again, what does that have to do with the computer as Linksys makes mostly network hardware.
    You cannot measure the voltage of a battery while the battery is in a circuit. You must remove the battery AND to get an accurately test ANY battery, the battery must be under a proper load. That is not easily done with these type batteries so the best way is to install a new battery.

    .93V is low but we don't know if the circuit is pulling the voltage down, or the battery.

    Please provide the specs to this computer.
     
  4. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    Monitors, like SpeedFan and a host of others.
    They also made the power supply mentioned.
    The batteries are on order.
    Which ones?
     
    #24 seekermeister, Apr 21, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  5. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    Those are WAY inconclusive because they don't display ripple or other power anomalies that can disrupt power distribution.

    A Linksys PC PSU? Got a model number?

    All of them! If a factory built PC, the PC model. If custom, the motherboard, PSU, graphics, RAM, Windows, etc.
     
  6. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    I assume that you are asking for the PSU model number because you don't believe they make PSUs. I don't feel like digging mine out at the moment, but this link should be adequate to prove it to you:

    99091403 Linksys Power Supply Bull Bq310ca& Others

    Specs:

    OS: W7x64 Pro retail

    CPU: Phenom II 1090T w/Noctua NH-D14

    Motherboard: ASRock 890FX Deluxe 4

    RAM: 2 x 2GB Patriot PGS34g1600LLKA

    Video: EVGA GTX460 SC

    Sound: Asus Xonar D2X

    PSU: CM RS600

    Case: CM HAF922

    I've omitted some that are extraneous, like peripherals.
     
    #26 seekermeister, Apr 21, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  7. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    Just never seen a PSU from Linksys. Thanks for the link.

    That said, before spending money on other parts, I would try to verify that PSU is working fine. Here is my canned text on testing PSUs.

    To properly and conclusively test a power supply unit (PSU), it must be tested under various realistic "loads" then analyzed for excessive ripple and other anomalies that affect computer stability. This is done by a qualified technician using an oscilloscope or power supply analyzer - sophisticated (and expensive) electronic test equipment requiring special training to operate, and a basic knowledge of electronics theory to understand the results. Therefore, conclusively testing a power supply is done in properly equipped electronic repair facilities.

    Fortunately, there are other options that are almost as good. I keep a PSU Tester in my tool bag in my truck. The advantage of this model is that it has an LCD readout of the voltage. With an actual voltage readout, you have a better chance of detecting a "failing" PSU, or one barely within the required tolerances as specified in the ATX Form Factor PSU Design Guide (see “Table 2. DC Output Voltage Regulation” on Page 13). Lesser models use LEDs to indicate the voltage is just within some "range". These are less informative, considerably cheaper, but still useful for detecting PSUs that have already "failed". Newegg has several testers to choose from. However, none of these testers test for ripple and they only provide a little "dummy load", not a variety of "realistic" loads. So while not a certain test, these testers are better than nothing. They are also great when using a spare PSU for testing fans and drive motors as they signal the PSU to turn on when plugged in.

    Note the required voltage tolerance ranges:


    [​IMG]

    Swapping in a known good supply is a tried and true method of troubleshooting used for years, even by pros. If you have access to a suitably sized, spare power supply, carefully remove the suspect supply and replace it with the known good one, and see if the problem goes away.

    I do not recommend using a multimeter to test power supplies. To do it properly, that is, under a realistic load, the voltages on all the pins must be measured while the PSU is attached to the motherboard and the computer powered on. This requires poking (with some considerable force) two hard and sharp, highly conductive meter probes into the main power connector, deep in the heart of the computer. One tiny slip can destroy the motherboard, and everything plugged into it. It is not worth the risk considering most multimeters, like plug-in testers, do not measure, or reveal any unwanted and potentially disruptive AC components to the DC voltages.

    Note the ATX Form Factor standard does not "require" specific color coding for power supply connector wiring. It has recommendations but manufacturers often do not follow them. Sadly, many testing guides or tutorials will refer to wire color only and that can lead to improper testing.

    The voltages can be checked in the BIOS Setup Menus of most motherboards but they do not reveal ripple or other anomalies either. And of course, booting into the BIOS Setup Menu requires a working PSU.

    As always, before working in the interior of the computer case, take necessary ESD precautions to ensure static buildup in your body does not discharge through and destroy any sensitive devices. Unplug from the wall and touch bare metal of the case before reaching in. And remember, anything that plugs into the wall can kill. Do not open the power supply's case unless you are a qualified electronics technician. There are NO user-serviceable parts inside a power supply. If you do not have a tester or a suitable spare to swap in, take the PSU to a qualified technician for testing.

    For more information on testing PSUs, see this excellent article by Gabriel Torres, Why 99% of Power Supply Reviews are Wrong.​
     
  8. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    All that is well and good, but since the only tester that I have is one of the inferior LED types, it wouldn't answer the question that you raise. I'm not going to go to a "qualified" repair person, because that would only raise the overall cost to deal with the problem.

    The bottom line is as I said previously, the problem is probably either the PSU or motherboard, and I probably will go for the motherboard, unless there is something that I can do myself to test for the anomalies you speak of.

    I would think that any such anomalies would be caused by input current, instead of the PSU itself, but that should be eliminated by the UPS I use. However, I'm willing to take your word for the possibility that this could be a PSU problem.

    If it is, that only means that I will have to buy a new PSU, if the motherboard doesn't solve the problem, and even the combined cost of the two wouldn't be as great as it would throwing in the cost of an outside repairman. My previous experience with such persons has not been all that good, which is why I now do everything myself...with the help of some people with more experience than myself.
     
    #28 seekermeister, Apr 21, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  9. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    Without specialized test equipment, the only thing is swap in another PSU and see what happens. Maybe borrow one from a very trusting friend?

    Why would think PSUs can't have problems? If that were the case, computer builders could simply buy the cheapest PSU they could find that puts out enough watts, and no one would need to worry about ripple or out-of-tolerance conditions. Power supplies fail all the time - and not always be simply stopping.

    Most of the time, your UPS is doing nothing. When anomalies do occur in your AC supply, the UPS (and I applaud you for using one as I think all computer should be on a "good" UPS with AVR) just cleans up (regulates) the input signal. After that, it is all up to the PSU to convert the AC to the required DC voltages. The "cleanliness" of the DC voltages has very little to do with the AC coming into the UPS and virtually everything to do with the design and capability of the PSUs.

    As an electronics technician, I ALWAYS ensure I am supplying good power to a component before I decide that component may be bad, and money is needed to replace it. Also, replacing a motherboard is MUCH more involved than replacing a PSU. There are many obstacles - not least of which is will the new board support your current CPU? Current RAM?

    Also, and this is often the killer, the motherboard is considered the heart of the computer and consequently, unless the replacement motherboard is the exact same brand and model number, the new motherboard constitutes a new computer. A common mistake is some users assume they can use their old Windows license on a new computer or when upgrading their motherboards. Understand only a "boxed" full Retail Windows license can be transferred to a new computer (or upgraded motherboard). It is illegal to use an OEM license that came with or was purchased for one computer (or motherboard) on another computer. A disk “branded” with a computer maker’s brand name, or is labeled with “OEM/System Builder”, “Upgrade”, “Academic Edition”, or "For Distribution with a new PC only", is not transferable to a new PC (or upgraded motherboard) under any circumstances. These OEM licenses are inextricably tied to the "original equipment". If your Windows license is an OEM license, replacing the motherboard will require you purchase a new 64-bit Windows 7 license too, or go with one of the many free Linux alternatives.

    The ONLY exception is when replacing (not upgrading) the motherboard as part of a repair action using the exact same brand and model, or the maker's recommended replacement if the original model is no longer available.

    Note I am just the messenger stating the facts. This is all in the EULAs we agree to abide by (thus making it legally binding) when we first use our OEM software.

    So while I agree this could very well be the motherboard, it could also be the motherboard not receiving stable, clean, within tolerance voltages.
     
  10. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    I understand that it is sometimes necessary to go off in tangents to fully cover a subject, but since I already stated that my W7 is a retail version, it seems a waste of time speaking of OEM limitations.

    Again, regarding USB. I now remember another reason that I had the mouse connected to USB 3 instead of USB 2. For whatever reason, connected to USB 2, more often than not, after rebooting, I have to unplug and then replug the receiver for the mouse to function. Maybe that is a flaw in the mouse driver or something else...don't know, but when plugged into USB 3 this problem disappeared.
     
  11. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    Sorry - I am currently working a dozen or so problems on several forums. I missed where you said retail.
     
  12. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    Since an UPS can clean input voltage , why can't a similar device be used to clean the PSU's output voltage(small enough to fit into the case)?
     
    #32 seekermeister, Apr 21, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  13. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    There already are regulator and filter circuits in all PSUs and motherboards. But (1) not all are created equal and (2) they assume the PSU is putting out voltages that meet or exceed the requirement laid out by the ATX Form Factor Standards. But they are designed to deal with "expected" deviances from the standards. However, since Man is incapable of making perfection 100% of the time, there will be PSUs that fail prematurely or otherwise, don't meet specs. And eventually, all PSUs will fail - we can only hope it will not be until we are done using them.
     
  14. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    Yes, but at least in my case, I am never done using one...unless there is a total and permanent electrical blackout. I never buy a new computer, just keep rebuilding and upgrading what I have.

    Probably a waste of time, but back to software monitors...wouldn't it be possible for someone to design a monitor that would equal using an oscilloscope or DMM? It would seem that if one were to continuously scan and graph voltage and current parameters, it would permit one to approximate the diagnostic ability of those devices...no?
     
    #34 seekermeister, Apr 21, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  15. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    My computers tend to evolve over time too - rather than being replaced with total new.

    Since oscilloscopes and digital multimeters are already highly computerized, sure, something similar could be built into computers but that would add significantly to the costs. It could not be done with software alone.
     
  16. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    You are probably right, but I left out a couple of words in my last question that I shouldn't have (real time). Most current software monitors that I'm familar with only scan at intervals, which obviously means that it will miss a lot of data that occurs between those intervals. If it were real time, then it would seem that the fluctuations would become apparent.

    Even with SpeedFan, with it's long scan interval, it does indicate some fluctuations, if observed long enough. In my case, all of the voltages remain rock solid, with the exception of Vcore, which seems to vary between 1.28 - 1.31 volts. Don't know if that is due to variations in CPU activity or something else?
     
  17. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    Actually, you just described how ALL digital monitoring works - including o'scopes, DMMs, and software programs like Speedfan. They have or use hardware sensors that take "sample" readings at set intervals - called the "sample rate". The most accurate can take more samples during the same period of time - but ultimately the accuracy depends on the accuracy of the probe/sensors.

    Note that minor fluctuations in the DC readings are normal, but they still must remain within the required specifications and they typically vary because the load is constantly varying. And that's fine. But SpeedFan and ALL other software based monitors do NOT measure ripple - which is unwanted AC riding the DC voltage, and a very real anomaly that can wreck havoc on digital electronics.
     
  18. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    I understand the difference between AC and DC, but when you speak of AC riding on DC, does that mean that actual AC exists there, or just that the DC is fluctuating and thusly having the characteristics of AC?
     
  19. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    No, it is not fluctuating DC - although symptoms may appear that way. It is actual AC. It is an unwanted, unsuppressed AC voltage riding the DC created during rectification. See the ripple link I provided in post #27 above. Note too in the ATX Form Factor link above, it says the maximum ripple/noise allowed is 120mV[SUB]pp[/SUB] (120 millivolts peak to peak) on the 12VDC outputs and just 50mV[SUB]pp[/SUB] for the 5VDC and 3.3VDC outputs. 120mV is a very small potential, but if exceeded, can certainly disrupt circuit operation.

    The best designed and manufactured PSUs manage ripple with robust filtering and suppression circuits. Budget, entry level PSUs may not provide the same level of control. And of course, that assumes no damage or manufacturing defects of the PSU, or the components within.

    You can see what ripple looks like here in Figure 3 - note the "fuzziness" of the top line representing the DC output voltage. That's ripple, noise, "dirty" DC, and not good.
     
  20. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    Okay, I think that I'm beginning to understand. However one thing caught my eye...in the right hand margin of that figure, the notes included one call Vin and another called Vout. That would seem to mean voltage in and voltage out...true?

    If so, it might explain some readings given by SpeedFan that I have never understood. I shall attach a screenshot to show what I mean. It lists 3 different Vin values. If they mean voltage in, then where are they measured, and what should they indicate to me?
     

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