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HelicopterOff Topics › Computer Power Supply Question
12-29-2009 06:44 PM  7 years agoPost 1
Mr.Green

rrVeteran

Kaysville, Utah

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My computer has been making a random clicking or vibrating noise occasionally so I pulled off the side of the case today and blew out all the dust and tried to figure out where the noise is coming from. As far as I can tell it is coming from the power supplys fan (it's built into the power supply box). This is a Dell computer that is pretty basic and nothing fancy and is 3 years old. It will run my RealFlight 3.5 sim good, but that's about the extent of it's capabilities. It is not a gaming machine. The power supply that is in it now says it's a 300 watt power supply.

Does this mean the power supply is likely going bad?

Is it possible just to change out the fan in the power supply or am I better off replacing the whole power supply?

If I ignore the noise and the power supply goes out is there potential to damage other computer components or will I just have to replace the power supply at that point and be fine?

If I should replace the power supply can someone recommend a good basic power supply. I don't need any fancy cases or lights, this is just a basic computer.

I've been looking on NewEgg's website and they have power supplies ranging from $13 clear up to a couple hundred. I don't want a really cheap one that won't work properly or be really noisy, but I don't want to spend a bunch on it either because the computer will be needing repalced in another year or two.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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12-29-2009 06:50 PM  7 years agoPost 2
Justin Stuart (RIP)

rrMaster

Plano, Texas

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Get some canned air and blow out all of the dust bunnies from inside your power supply. I really don't think you should replace the power supply. Save your money, back up your hard drive from time to time, and when it burns up then buy another computer. It could last another 5 years for all you know.

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12-29-2009 08:40 PM  7 years agoPost 3
Splix

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Lafayette, IN

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Just replace the power supply. I've never come across a PSU hurting other components when it dies (my break/fix retail store days). Most of the time with Dell's you have buy the replacement PSU from Dell themselves because of proprietary size, fitment, etc. If its a universal power supply, just make sure you get the correct plugs you need for the mother board, if its a dual or quad core, video card, etc. Dell website should be able to tell you what you need, or just give Dell a call, tell them what PC you have, what plugs you need to buy a replacement power supply. Though the easiest and less stressful way for you would to take it to a small company (mom & pop) PC shop, take in your PC and talk with them. They should know what you need and make recommendations on replacement PSU's. Its an easy enough fix that you can do it yourself at home though.

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12-29-2009 10:11 PM  7 years agoPost 4
300wby

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Columbia City, Indiana

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the clicking sound is most likely not the power supply, I have had 2 hard drives over the years make a clicking sound right before they went out. We were able to use them as a backup drive but they wont boot as the master, got to save all data but dont really know what was going with them. Unless someone stuck something into the fan on the power supply it shouldnt be clicking.

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12-29-2009 11:54 PM  7 years agoPost 5
duff

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Be very careful when replacing your Dell PSU with a generic. Dell is notorious for having a proprietary wire harness. Even when it fits it could still cause issue.

I would recommend buying an OEM replacement from dell or on the cheap from ebay.

As for your question about PSUs causing damage to other components, I have seen this before however its very rare. Most of the time it will just cause freezing --> crashing --> video issues --> power up issues.

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12-30-2009 12:28 AM  7 years agoPost 6
Mr.Green

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Kaysville, Utah

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Thank you for the replies. It is definately the power supply making the noise. Just to be safe I am backing up my entire hard drive right now. I'll order an exact power supply of what I have now, because this noise is driving me crazy. I've searched around and there are tons of places selling the power supplies.

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12-30-2009 05:15 AM  7 years agoPost 7
lfalsetto

rrKey Veteran

COLORADO

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Dell has severe proprietary policies. I replaced a fan and every time I turn it on I get a fan fault because it is a generic fan. Very annoying

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12-30-2009 11:50 AM  7 years agoPost 8
RayJayJohnsonJr

rrKey Veteran

Midwest

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If you possess the skills required to build a heli, then you certainly have it with in yourself to replace the power supply fan. It's not a big deal. Go to your local 'puter store, radio shack (god, I hate that place!), or order one off of newegg. You may have to do a little soldering, but that's about as complicated as it gets.

-Mark

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12-30-2009 06:00 PM  7 years agoPost 9
Splix

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Lafayette, IN

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I agree with Marker somewhat. You most likely do have the skills to replace the fan in the PSU, but I would advise against it. PSU's are dangerous. The capacitors hold a lot of voltage for a very long time, enough to easily kill you, then some. Even if you think its dead, and you short a bus somewhere when trying to solder....bad things could happen. I'd say if its worth it to you to spend a little more money and just buy a replacement, do it.

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12-30-2009 08:56 PM  7 years agoPost 10
planeguy12

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MI, USA

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I agree with Mark as well. It's extremely easy to replace the fan. Why spend $20 on a questionable used PSU or even $50 on a new cheap one when you can easily replace the fan for $5 bucks. Splix is right about the capacitors holding a charge, just make sure to unplug the PSU and let it sit for a day before attempting repairs if you are worried about that. You don't even have to soldier the leads back on PCB from the old fan to the new one. You can just as easily cut the old fan out and use it's leads to splice in the new fan.

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12-31-2009 01:29 AM  7 years agoPost 11
VinceY

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Newnan GA

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I replaced the fan on my Dell without any issues. Very quiet afterwards

Team Synergy/ Rail Blades

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12-31-2009 02:40 AM  7 years agoPost 12
Mr.Green

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Kaysville, Utah

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I've repalced fans before, but on this one I think I'll just repalce the entire power supply. If it will shut this noise up it's well worth the money spent, it's driving me crazy Thanks for the input from everyone.

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12-31-2009 04:03 PM  7 years agoPost 13
Dakine

rrElite Veteran

OC, Commifornia

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If you're going to swap out the PS, at least replace it with a 500 watt PS. They're cheap.

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