pc to engage power mode randomly

Discussion in 'Hardware Discussion & Support' started by Neshi, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. Neshi

    Neshi HH's cuddly Blue Bear

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    So this suddenly and randomly started happening. I would be browsing the web or playing a game and then the screen goes black with the message popping up; power save mode.
    Nothing I do will wake it up and I have to hold the start button for the pc to turn off (after which I can start it again and get the monitor to turn back on).
    It happens at the most random moments, right after booting or while browsing or starting a game. There is no rhyme or reason to it, neither is there a certain time attached to it. A quick browse online shows the cable being the cuplrit, the screen, the gfx or even the psu. What do you guys reckon?
    I have a different videocard here so I'll try that and let you know.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
  2. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    Try disconnecting the cases rest button and power button cables from the motherboard, and then manually jumper the 2 pins for the power using a flathead screwdriver. Try that first.

    I would also disconnect any USB devices that you don't need as sometimes faulty USB devices can cause this. Hell, I would also disconnect the USB headers from the motherboard from your case too. If you have spares, try switching out your mouse and keyboard as well, but use the back USB ports.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
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  3. Neshi

    Neshi HH's cuddly Blue Bear

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    What do you reckon the issue is, Faulty mobo? I'm not sure what disconnecting the res(e)t and start button is supposed to do but will try what you suggested.

    Could you elaborate perhaps?
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
  4. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    Problem is that any number of things can cause this. I'm picking the case first as it's the one piece people tend to overlook, so for now the idea is to rule out the case buttons, and the cases USB headers (if this were a laptop I would be looking at the power button, or the switch responsible for detecting when the lid is closed).

    Normally hitting the power switch will have Windows shut the PC down, but depending on the settings it can cause it to go into power save mode too. If the switch is faulty it'd be as if you had hit the switch yourself. For the USB headers, I've seen faulty USB ports cause the power save mode to trip on the motherboard, especially if the ground wire is broken, or not wired right (pardon the pun, but in one case the manufacturer had switched the ground with another wire, and while PC worked fine for the longest while, as soon as a USB device was plugged into that port it would cause the system to shut down).

    Two other options: try the other video card you have to rule that out (although I don't think it's the card.. at least not directly.. maybe the driver, but more likely maybe that the wattage it's pulling is causing the power supply to trip), and try resetting your bios (load the defaults). Specifically to the last bit, if off, try enabling legacy USB mode, or if on, try turning it off.

    Oh, and Windows Power Mode. Try changing it to something else. Doesn't matter what, just to something else. If on Balanced, try High Performance. The idea is to see if one of the settings within them are messing things up.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
  5. Neshi

    Neshi HH's cuddly Blue Bear

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    Thanks. That makes sense. I hope you don't mind explaining it to me.
    If I know what I am looking for or why I am doing things it makes it easier.

    I've only got a power button so I will try those things out this afternoon after work, as well as the videocard.
    I have been considering the PSU, as it is only a 450W. But it being a Silverstone gold certified one it should still be ok. It is still under warranty in any case (just have to have a good search for the receipt).
     
  6. Calliers

    Calliers Just got off the hedonic treadmill... Staff Member

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    I have a drawer into which all my receipts go, and when its time to look for one, sometimes I can't for the life of me find the particular one I'm looking for. I know I should keep them organized, like I do the rest of my room, but hey, everyone needs a little chaos in their life from time to time right? :)

    I hope you figure out what's up with your PC soon Neshi, knock on wood it's not the mobo or the PSU.
     
  7. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    Get yourself an expanding file folder. I have 3: one for bills (which has gotten smaller since I do a lot more online banking), one for PC parts, and one for taxes.
     
  8. Neshi

    Neshi HH's cuddly Blue Bear

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    I have limited time after work but have switched out my 280x for a 260x I had lying around. Less draw on the PSU, so if this fixes the issue it can be either the GPU or the PSU. Will let you know.

    I have a big box with all my original packaging for my pcparts; I'm pretty sure the invoices are in the box as well.
     
  9. Calliers

    Calliers Just got off the hedonic treadmill... Staff Member

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    Will do. I do have an expanding file folder for my taxes though.
     
  10. Neshi

    Neshi HH's cuddly Blue Bear

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    **UPDATE**

    Put in a 260X and so far (knock on wood) no issues. I have been browsing the web and watching web-videos for an hour now.

    While I will test it out more rigorously (playing a game for example) for now I can speculate there are 4 possible causes:
    - PSU is crapping out and the 260X requires less work to power
    - the 280X I was using is crapping out
    - the buildup of dust was causing issues
    - the simple fact of reseating things when changing vga's fixed what was wrong.
     
  11. Neshi

    Neshi HH's cuddly Blue Bear

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    Everything is still working with no issues.
    Question is now to pin down the cause.

    Anyone know how to tell whether the PSU is crapping out?
    I will put the 280X back in and see how it goes.

    What's the recommended way to dust a pc-case? I've just blown the buildup out of the case, but there is still dust clinging to everything.

    Next on my to do list; proper cable management
     
  12. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    If the PSU is Crossfire/SLI capable you most likely have 2 PCIe power lines (you probably do as the 80 gold Silverstones usually are modular). The 280X uses an 8 pin and a 6 pin PCIe power header to run (I think it was 230w to 270w max). So, you could try connecting one line from the PSU to the cards 8pin, and another from the PSU to the 6pin. Essentially separating the draw from that one connector onto 2. If your PSU doesn't though, you could use a dual molex to PCIe power adapter (you should have gotten 1 or 2 in the box with the card) as a test. Power one using the PCIe line from the power supply, and power the other using the dual molex adapter. The only catch here is that, if I'm right, the entire PSU runs on a single 24v rail anyways, but it's worth a shot.

    Something else to try would be to push the 260x to it's limit. The average draw for that card is 90w to 120w under load, so you could try pushing the card using something like Furmark, or Unigine's Heaven Benchmark, and see if it craps out. Only problem is you won't reach the same wattage draw as the 280x, so it may not work.

    Compressed air is always the best. Cans are good, but you'll need a couple of them (as one gets cold you switch to the other to finish). A small compressor works nice as long as you have the PSI turned down, but the best (imo) is as handheld electric duster like the Metro DataVac Electric Duster. After years of using compressed air I picked one of these babies up, and I've never looked back. They even have a new ESD model for electronics use. On sale you can get one for $60, or regular $100. Well worth it though as in the long run it pays itself off.

    Oh.. if you have a handheld blower, you know, a leaf blower... that'll work too. Take the PC outside, open the case up propping it against the wall, and let her rip. :D

    I discourage vacuum cleaners, btw, as most generate static.
     
  13. Neshi

    Neshi HH's cuddly Blue Bear

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    It's got a single 12v rail, 37A on it

    will try and report back

    I know about canned air, but those cans cost $20 here in NZ (eq. of 14US$)

    Learned that the hard way a when I was younger. Right at the start of a LAN party I thought I'd give my pc a good clean (with a vacuum) and thought I'd be OK cause of the plastic tip to the sucker. No such luck, I shorted the whole thing.

    The local technology shop here has an Easter Sale. So if there is a good deal on a RX480 I might just pick one of those up :)
     

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