Can anyone figure this out for me? I am lost

I can no longer successfully boot my machine but here are my specs from memory
Shuttle XPC SN68S
Athlon 64 X2
NVIDIA GeForce GT240
Shuttle brand 250 Watt PSU
Linksys 2.4 GHZ 54g Version 2 Wireless Adapter
Win 7 Home Premium

Please keep in mind I am no where near a technical genius, so more than likely my process of attempting to fix my problem was flawed.

So it all started a month ago or so. I shut down my computer, everything was normal. I went on vacation for a couple weeks and when I came back it started up just fine. It downloaded the Windows Updates and prompted a restart, so I complied. After the restart I started playing one of my online games and about 10 minutes in my computer shut down on its own. I checked the temperatures upon restart and noticed my GPU was running about 15 degrees hotter than normal, so I opened my machine and cleaned all the dust out of the fans and made sure they were all functioning properly. I also checked to make sure none of the capacitors had blown and everything seemed perfect. The machine started up fine again and seemed to be running cool again. I started up the game and again 10 minutes in the computer shut down. Waited a minute and turned it back on and it wouldn't start up. It would get to the black screen with the Windows logo and just hang.

At this point I did a system restore to the latest restore point before the windows updates and the machine started up just fine. It downloaded the updates again and I also did a memory diagnostic, reg cleaner, deleted a bunch of old files and defragged the HD, made a system repair disk, then scheduled disk check for my next boot. After the disk check the computer again booted up fine. I then noticed I couldn't connect to the internet so I checked my device manager and my wireless adapter was nowhere to be found. I also had 20 or so yellow triangles next to 1394 OCHI Texas Instruments Compliant Host Controller. I figured another system restore might fix the network issue and I could look my problem up online. Upon restarting my machine would not boot again and would always hang at the Windows logo screen. I tried to boot in safe mode, tried startup repair, and also the repair disk and every time the computer would hang at some point.
I then noticed that my mouse and keyboard were losing power at the same time the machine would hang, so
I deduced my power supply had gone bad so I ordered a new KDM-MFX9300C 300Watt PSU. It arrived a few days later and I installed the new PSU in to my machine. At first everything was working fine. The temps seemed to be back to normal and my device manager recognized the wireless adapter again. It went a few days running fine then I tried to play a game and again 10 minutes in the computer shut down. I felt the side of my machine and it felt unnaturally hot along the side the PSU was on. After that, the machine would not turn on again at all. I checked to make sure all my cables were set in properly and still the machine would not turn on.

At that point I figured my mobo was to blame, and I happened to have an identical Shuttle XPC with same mobo and CPU, so I swapped everything from the first Shuttle to the second save for the mobo and CPU. The new PSU would also not turn on the second Shuttle, so I put in the original PSU in to the new machine and it boot up. Shortly after logging in (roughly 2 or 3 minutes) I got a BSOD that flashed for a brief second before I could read the error code and then the computer shut off. When I turned the machine back on again the keyboard and mouse have no power, it does not send a signal to my monitor, and seems to just hang immediately after pressing the power button.

I am at a loss. Was it my original mobo that may have cause some sort of problem with my PSUs? Something with my hard drive? Any insight would be a great help as again, I am no expert in this matter.


  • oni_delsoni_dels Drunk French Canadian Montréal, Québec. Icrontian
  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)> Icrontian
    I'm curious, why such a small power supply?
  • SignalSignal Icrontian
    I'm thinking it's the small PSU. Put you're system specs into a PSU calculator like the one on Newegg . Just putting in some of the specs you listed above, it says the minimum you should have is 305 W. So you are pushing the 250 and 300 W PSUs to their limits. When you start playing a game the video card starts ramping up power usage and the power supply is having a hard time keeping up until it finally gives up from heat exhaustion. That would be my guess. Try a bigger PSU, a 500 or 600 W. That should give you plenty of wattage of wiggle room.
  • The reason i was using small PSUs is because the Shuttle XPC is a small case 8" x 12" x 8" and at the time of my purchase there werent any higher watt PSUs that would fit in it... I stuck with the 300 W because my machine ran fine with the 250 W for years so I didnt think to increase it by any more. Im pretty sure they make better PSUs that will fit in that machine now, so I guess buying the best one I can will be my next step.

    Thank you for the fast responses by the way. I really appreciate it!
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    edited October 2013
    Athlon 64 X2: 125W max, depending on model.
    GeForce GT240: 69W

    Those two components are your biggest draw. They total to 194W. Add another 10W for a hard drive, Everything else is comparitively negligible. 300W is probably about right given a properly efficient power supply (80+ bronze/silver/gold/platinum/supertitaniumtriplediamondwtf).

    I agree that it's most likely the PSU; your description certainly describes such a case. As an outside possibility, check your heatsink on the CPU and make sure it's secured to the socket. It might be time to reapply some thermal paste as well. I've had system problems creep up that were caused by bad heatsink contact. If you're comfortable with the operation, do the same for your GPU.

    Something else to look at is whether a cable is getting in the way of fan operation.

    @Signal, Newegg's PSU calculator pads a shitton of extra wattage in (why sell a 300W when you can sell a 600W?). I wouldn't trust it.

    (edit) The calculator says my NAS/gaming rig needs 1KW, though it'd probably go higher if the HDD count didn't max at 8 and if it accounted for additional fans.

    (edit 2) Heh, the calculator estimates 19W per drive. That's about a 100% increase over actuals. With that information, it'd recommend 1,170W minimum. Add in the fans and water cooling gear and my 1200W PSU is insufficient.
  • NewEgg never lies. Clearly your PSU is actually insufficient to power your machine. You're just bending the laws of physics through sheer will and mertesnness to make it work. Now that you've looked up real number, physics is going to snap back and your gaming rig is no longer going to run.
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    ardichoke said:

    NewEgg never lies. Clearly your PSU is actually insufficient to power your machine. You're just bending the laws of physics through sheer will and mertesnness to make it work. Now that you've looked up real number, physics is going to snap back and your gaming rig is no longer going to run.

    My house is probably burning down right now.
  • allenpanallenpan ThunderBay, Ontario, CAnada Icrontian
    it most likely due to the solder fatigue on the NVidia 630a chipset
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