Question Test PSU for Failures Inside Windows?

Majorix

Junior Member
Sep 8, 2019
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Hey guys.

So I am having an issue with my PC and I want to pinpoint the problem. Right now I am suspicious that the PSU might be faulty. It is a stock PSU that came with the case and I have never tested it.

I am not knowledgeable about electronics and I certainly don't have any equipment to check for failures physically. Is there a way to do it with a software? Inside Windows, or maybe with a LiveCD?

Thanks!
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
May 4, 2000
16,068
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There's utilities that will stress your PC, but there's nothing that will tell if it's the PSU.

To see if your PSU is causing issues, you can use a multi-meter (or PSU tester), or try your existing PSU in another PC (or try another PSU in your PC).
 
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UsandThem

Elite Member
May 4, 2000
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OCCT PSU test puts a maximal load on your PSU. If it shuts off, burns up, or your rig BSODs immediately, then it was the PSU.
The problem with relying on that test is the issue could also be the CPU, GPU, or even the motherboard (since that tests loads CPU and GPU calculations) to drive the power consumption up.

1.jpg
 
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mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
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No, no software can isolate (this type of) PSU failure with certainty.

Odds are that if it came with a case, it is low quality and should be replaced, but you can pop the cover off the PSU and look at the filtering capacitors next to where the wiring harness connects to the circuit board, as that is a typical first failure point.

You'd be looking for domed tops on the caps, or a crusty residue that leaked out. You can web search for failed capacitor pictures.

What is the exact issue your PC has? A bad PSU, yet not bad enough that it won't run at all, will typically cause lockups, bluescreens, resets, or just won't turn on (flickers on for fraction of a second then off), then often needing unplugged from the wall before it will attempt to turn on again.
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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No, no software can isolate (this type of) PSU failure with certainty.
With "Certainty"? No. With a high degreee of probability, that would guide you on whether or not to attempt to replace it? Yes, in most cases.

If you fire up an OCCT PSU test session, and the near-instant that it goes from "monitoring" to "testing" nearly full-load, if it:
1) blue-screens,
2) shuts off immediately

Chances are strong, that it's the PSU.

#1 could be RAM or GPU too, possibly, but if it shuts off, it's the PSU.

Normally, OCCT timed tests run for an hour. If it powers-down part-way through, or blue-screens 15 minutes in, then... not so clear-cut as to implicate the PSU as defective immediately. Could well be a thermal issue, or a RAM issue, "thermal issue" could be any of: PSU internal temps, mobo VRM temps, GPU VRM temps, GPU temps, CPU temps, RAM temps, could be almost anything.

But as a quick go/no-go test, if the PC powers-off immediately upon starting the testing phase of an OCCT PSU test, chances are strong that the PSU needs to be replaced.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
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^ If it shuts off it could be a short in the powered load and the PSU is doing exactly what it was designed to do.

We can say what is probably the problem, but if you or I keep saying that, eventually we'll lead someone astray.

I feel the PSU can be best assessed in this case by looking at the capacitors. Other typical damage to diodes or transistors tends to be a complete failure to function... it's just such an extremely common problem to have the *free* came-with-case PSUs blow a capacitor or four, and in the grand scheme of things, if the PSU kept up with the system initially, if it's open and caps are determined to have blown, replacing the caps could cost under $8 and result in it outlasting the system... not that it's better to reuse it later, such PSUs tend to have other design limits, but not everyone needs a 600W @ 40C PSU, some just need it to last at lowest cost necessary.

I have faced this many times. I have never had a PSU that I recapped, fail from the capacitors again. Granted after a system gets to a certain age it is no longer your primary (gaming or whatever) so it just has to have a good lifespan w/o any hassle/fault/etc, just keep doing its task so you can virtually ignore it.
 

ipown1337

Member
Feb 12, 2013
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Depending on geographical location and availability you can take your rig to friends house plug up another psu. Then do a stress test. If you are in Miami, FL; dm me, I can give you a tester that you can keep (it works but past it’s useful life)
 
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fire400

Diamond Member
Nov 21, 2005
5,204
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UPS and backup quality PSU will mostly help eliminate power issues, as to narrow down troubleshooting to help save time.
recommend running a burn/stress test with complex algorithms while other software is running on a clean OS.
otherwise, truly, if you want to save time and money, test it with duplicate components. strip components down to barebones and go ground up.