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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Arcadia, CA
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    How do I know how much power I need?

    Okay, I have 4 servers colocated. It seems that 3 of my power supplies have died. I don't know if it is like that because I am using too much power and the power supply can't handle it, or if the power supplies are just bad.

    Specs:

    AMD Athlon 3000+
    2 gigs/ram
    2x200 GB WD Hard drives

    These all have a 300W power supply in a 1U rack. Hmm - if things are overheating inside, could it be that the power supply would go first? I just am a little lost on this one. Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Might just be a case of weird luck I would think, what brand of p/s's are you using? depending on the brand of course some are just higher quality than others. Also you may want to pick up some of the newer power supplies with PFC (pfc explained http://www.endpcnoise.com/cgi-bin/e/pfc.html ) that and a good ps like sparkle should be a winning combo

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Singapore
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    One easy way is to change the power supply maybe to a 400W, it is safer to have over capacity where power is concerned.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Could be possible the temperature in the datacenter is too high
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  5. #5
    If you built the boxes yourself, check and make sure that you do not have a short anywhere. I had a box that 2 blower wires came out when it shipped, and toasted the power supply.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    N. California
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    Can you add more information about this problem... such as:

    1) Are these single or dual power corded system (assume single)?
    2) Are these connected to power strips? If yes, what brand?
    3) What type of ciruits are being used? L5-20, L5-30, L6-20, etc.?
    4) What type of Racks/cabs are they installed in?
    5) Can you disclose what colo/provider/location that they are hosted with/at?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    Arcadia, CA
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    Well it appears as though I've found a probable solution. The motherboard is bad. Its just a normal desktop motherboard, and began to suck in more and more power....until it blew itself AND the power supply. Ugh.

    Time to go fixing...
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  8. #8
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    Jul 2005
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    I am surprised that the motherboard could kill the power supply... You would think that any power supply worth anything would protect itself from anomalies occurring on its supported components (such as motherboards, disk drives, optical readers, etc.).

    The reason that I asked the other questions is that I have seen this type of thing occur when there is an actual power problem, such as a faulty power strip, incorrect rack/circuit grounding, etc.

    Please post the results of your fix. I am interested to see if replacement of the motherboard fixes the problem.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    it is probably the power supply killed the mainboard. if a power supply is sending unclean power through the system it can kill components, just like a well placed static shock can. It doesnt take much to kill a computer component. I would replace both parts if i were you and upgrade to a pfc power supply to avoid power spikes and unclean power

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    N. California
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    It sounds like he lost three power supplies... That would point to somthing else being the cause. If he just lost one, I would agree with you.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
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    641
    Originally posted by ccole
    Well it appears as though I've found a probable solution. The motherboard is bad. Its just a normal desktop motherboard, and began to suck in more and more power....until it blew itself AND the power supply. Ugh.

    Time to go fixing...
    Just curious, how did you identify that its the motherboard (or think its the motherboard) ?



    do you use a reboot port? i've had about 20 power supplies blow in the last 2 years on these cheap MSI machines we bought, they would never die in operation, we still have 10 or so in the datacenter running, they will run forever unless we unplug them, once you unplug it, its done will never work again, which is what a reboot port does. If you turn it off from the power button on the other hand, we seem to be able to prolong the death. These machines for the most part don't even have drives, they are pure pxe boot / nfs
    Kevin

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by netispguy
    It sounds like he lost three power supplies... That would point to somthing else being the cause. If he just lost one, I would agree with you.
    it just sounds like budget power supplies, motherboards dont kill power supplies

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    Arcadia, CA
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    We had to replace on one server the motherboard, processor, and power supply. The other ones seem about to go at any minute. Enough of these budget computers for me, time to do a real server machine.

    I honestly don't know what the problem is. I'm just going to replace the entire server, and then diagnose it myself at home. The poor tech was working for forever on the machine and only got it working by putting in his own power supply and CPU with the new motherboard I bought for it.
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    N. California
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    I don't care how crappy the stuff you are using is, this is strange.

    Can you have someone at the colo check to see if there is something going on with the electrical (such as excessive current on neutral) and verify that things are grounded correctly?

    Maybe putting in better quality components is just masking a subtle problem that needs to be fixed anyway.

  15. #15
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    Jun 2002
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    Arcadia, CA
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    I have 4 servers on one rack. Three have the exact same specs. The 4th has a different everything (diff motherboard, case, power supply, processor type, etc.). The 3 servers are having these problems, the 4th has had no problems at all.

    They are all connected to the same current, etc. That is why I'm pretty sure that the problem has to do with my servers, and not what they are connected to.
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  16. #16
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    What brand PSUs were you using?

  17. #17
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    Jul 2005
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    I was suggesting that there might be a problem that your "better" servers are able to absorb...


    ... or maybe the 4th server is out to get the other three...

  18. #18
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    Jun 2002
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    Arcadia, CA
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    The PSU was just the one that came in the 1U, so to be honest, I am not completely sure what kind it was. I would have to assume that its at least a semi-decent PSU, however, since it was meant to be in a server.

    It was a 300W one, though.
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  19. #19
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    ahh I found my link! here is a real nice calculator for figuring out your power supply needs http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_sup...php?cmd=SERVER

  20. #20
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    Arcadia, CA
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    Thanks a lot, that is a great tool!
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