Multiple simultaneous HW failures

JethroXP

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Oct 2, 2003
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Looking for suggestions as to what might have caused this:

Primary PC in my signature was working fine, put it into Hibernate one morning, went to work, came home later that day, turned it on, lights, LEDs, fans, all indicate that it is starting normally, but my monitors don't turn on, and no windows start-up sound either. I restart, same thing. After much fiddling, including replacing CMOS battery, I replace the video card and I can see that it boots and stops at the RAID controller BIOS, telling me I have a bad HDD. So the video card, and a HDD died at the same time? I replace the bad drive, and a day later another shows up as dead. I replace that and few days later a 3rd drive reports SMART errors and is effectively dead.

Now I've got replacement drives (western digital RMA process rocks BTW) but I'm afraid to put them back in, as I believe that either my power supply, or my motherboard is somehow frying my components. Anyone ever encounter multiple simultaneous HW failures like this before? Any suggestions? I'm leaning toward replacing the Power Supply, but I really have no idea if that is actually the propblem.
 

Dan_D

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Feb 9, 2002
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On the rare occasions I've seen this it was always due to power supply / electrical surges. A power supply shouldn't take out components when it goes, well at least good ones usually don't but sometimes it has been known to occur. Best course of action is to put a multi-meter on your power supply and check all the power coming out of it for spikes, or just out of spec voltages. You can jump the power supply with a paper clip. You can and should disconnect most everything from it. I believe many power supplies require a minimal load on them to operate properly so you'll want to have one device attached to it that you hopefully don't care about. It will have to be something like a hard drive that doesn't need a computer to operate it or power it up.
 

JethroXP

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What PSU do you have? It's not listed in your sig

[Testing the PSU]
Buy and use a digital multi-meter to monitor the voltages coming from the PSU. Follow the instructions for "Using a multi-meter to check voltages":
http://www.bfgpower.com/troubleshooting.html#DMM


Sorry, must have run out of space in the sig. It's a Thermaltake 750W PSU. I don't have the specific model number in front of me, but was certified for being able to power two PCI-E ATI cards in Crossfire mode (not that I ever did that).
 

JethroXP

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It is a Toughpower, but I'll even the best can go bad I suppose. I'll do the tests on it tonight. I do have a UPS, it's an APC Back-UPS ES 750.
 

JethroXP

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What PSU do you have? It's not listed in your sig

[Testing the PSU]
Buy and use a digital multi-meter to monitor the voltages coming from the PSU. Follow the instructions for "Using a multi-meter to check voltages":
http://www.bfgpower.com/troubleshooting.html#DMM

I did the voltage tests, everything is within normal spec. Think I should try the replacement drives on the existing power supply, or not risk it and just buy a new PS?
 

JethroXP

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Oct 2, 2003
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Decided to give it a go with the existing power supply and motherboard. Added in the three replacement HDDs, this time setup as RAID5 instead of RAID10. Format of a 1.5TB volume took nearly 18 hours. Restore from WHS backup over Gig-E took about 28 hours (about 800GB), including a nail-biting period of about 8 hours where the WHS Backup Wizard was showing "Estimated time to restore: 24692 days, 0 hours and 13 minutes...". So far so good, and I think my overall disk throughput is higher with RAID5 vs. the RAID10 setup I had previously.
 
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