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failures on boot



 
 
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  #11  
Old December 17th 17, 07:22 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
John B. Smith
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 135
Default failures on boot

On Sun, 17 Dec 2017 06:20:29 -0500, Paul
wrote:

John B. Smith wrote:
My aging 2008 home built is acting up again. I'm afraid it may be
headed for the morgue. It will stop with a 'C1' code during the boot
on the BIOS display. This is defined as:
Auto detect of dram size type & ECC
Auto detect of L2 cache (socket 7 or below

That is, it will run the BIOS to completion, 'FF', and start booting
before falling out with the C1 and an audible alarm.

I've taken to booting mem86 of a diskette and running it a while
before attempting Windows when the machine is cold. Once booted, mem86
usuallly runs forever without errors. I did see it drop out once but
didn't catch the code that time. Once booted, XP runs flawlessly. Once
warmed up, reboots on XP never fail.

The 'C1' is also the first code I see when I turn the machine on.

If I had space to work on one I'd start a new build but it would be
very difficult the way I've jammed myself into this apartment. Also
I'm way behind the curve on planning a build with all the new chips
and mbs since 2008. I built this one with a ton of advice off the Abit
web site and here.


And you know it shouldn't do that.

Once if hits FF or "--", it "hands off" to the OS. No more
codes should be produced after that point.

The codes are "progress codes" indicating the
subroutine the BIOS is about to enter as part
of the POST process. They're not error codes.


That is something I did not know. I wonder if the BIOS is trying to
start over (the C1 is the first code I see on start up) If that's true
then it would be no clue to what the actual error is anyway.

If you see a code sitting there, and the BIOS is
"stuck", it means the BIOS crashed or halted
just after entering that subroutine. The end result
is, the POST code is usually "almost useless" as
a debug tool. Because it isn't specific enough.
Since it's not an "error code", the value you
get leaves a lot to the imagination.

Maybe it is dying in a memory commissioning routine,
and maybe not.

*******

So then, how do we get a C1 code, after the BIOS has
done hand-off to the OS ? That's pretty strange.

I don't think the POST display is protected, and
I don't think it implements a trap door. If something
wants to write to that "I/O space" port later, there's
nothing to stop it. (Maybe you could do it if booting
MSDOS or something.) If a person wanted to hack this
for themselves, maybe they would get a copy of "giveio"
and try it with that. I don't think giveio works for
more modern situations, x64 OSes and so on. But there
have been attempts at "punch thru" drivers before, for
the purpose of accessing things where you're not
supposed to have access. By doing that, you may be able
to update the POST display from the OS level.

*******

If you're up for a new build, you can "buy anything you want"
if all you're going to run is Windows 10. If you want to
run Windows 7 or WinXP, then a lot more thought has to
go into the process. The poster "Nil" did a build a few weeks
ago, and settled for Skylake and matching motherboard, in order
to cover Windows 7 without quibbles (so Windows Update wouldn't
block, and there would be drivers for stuff). If you want to use
Kaby Lake or Ryzen, they're probably not a problem with
Windows 10.


I hate to try to build without a work room. Even a card table crammed
in here some place would be a tremendous temptation to my cat. Looking
at mb's I was put off by lack of diskette drive and PS2 mouse and
keyboard. No one wants to build a tower these days with the PSU on
top, which is where I think it belongs. I'm certain there's a ton of
gotchas that haven't occurred to me. And there's a lack of time - I'm
working what will turn into a part time job next month but even then
the free time will be discontinuous enough to make building difficult.
Next summer I have off. Maybe by that time I'll be desperate enough to
jump into it.

I'd like to clone my boot drive and shove it into a new build. I dont'
suppose it would boot up XP and Win7 like a helpful nice little
computer?

Do I like Windows 10 ? No, not when it interferes
with my benchmarking efforts. I *hate* it when some idiotic
maintenance starts in the middle of a benchmark run. And even
if you leave the PC sitting there for a couple hours, so
it can "play with itself", it will *still* insist on running
some crap, as soon as I start a benchmark. And then I'm left
wondering why the results vary slightly from run to run, and
i can't trust the OS further than I can throw it!

Paul

  #12  
Old December 17th 17, 07:24 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
Rene Lamontagne
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 106
Default failures on boot

On 12/17/2017 12:54 PM, John B. Smith wrote:
On Sat, 16 Dec 2017 15:45:01 -0600, VanguardLH wrote:

John B. Smith wrote:

My aging 2008 home built is acting up again. I'm afraid it may be
headed for the morgue. It will stop with a 'C1' code during the boot
on the BIOS display. This is defined as:
Auto detect of dram size type & ECC
Auto detect of L2 cache (socket 7 or below

That is, it will run the BIOS to completion, 'FF', and start booting
before falling out with the C1 and an audible alarm.

I've taken to booting mem86 of a diskette and running it a while
before attempting Windows when the machine is cold. Once booted, mem86
usuallly runs forever without errors. I did see it drop out once but
didn't catch the code that time. Once booted, XP runs flawlessly. Once
warmed up, reboots on XP never fail.

The 'C1' is also the first code I see when I turn the machine on.

If I had space to work on one I'd start a new build but it would be
very difficult the way I've jammed myself into this apartment. Also
I'm way behind the curve on planning a build with all the new chips
and mbs since 2008. I built this one with a ton of advice off the Abit
web site and here.


Once warmed, it boots okay. When cold, it might fail on a memory error.
Well, likely the PSU is as old as when the box was originally built.
PSUs typically lose 5% load capacity per year. No idea how close you
loaded the PSU to the surge current from all loads when cold. You might
want to start monitoring voltages from the PSU, or replace it with a new
and much bigger capacity unit.


Yes, PSU was installed in 2008. It's a PC Power And Cooling 610watt.
The ABIT mb has an application called Guru that supposedly allows me
to monitor the voltages. They all look ok. But that's when Windows has
booted and everything is running good. Yes, sounds like a flaky psu to
me too but hate to buy a new one on suspicion. I did define C1 in
original post.

Don't know what C1 and FF codes would mean. Obviously you have a mobo
with a couple LED displays to show boot codes. Seems you'd have to know
the mobo maker and model (unidentified here) to see in their manual what
the codes mean. You're not getting any beep codes on cold power boot
(https://www.computerhope.com/beep.htm)?


PCs draw the most current at startup with HDs and optical drives
spinning up and Cold inrush current Etc.
I have found that when all settles down the steady state voltages are
not a very reliable help.
Again it may be something else entirely but would be nice if you could
beg or borrow a PSU just to test.

Rene

  #13  
Old December 17th 17, 08:06 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
Flasherly[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,936
Default failures on boot

On Sun, 17 Dec 2017 13:59:34 -0500, John B. Smith
wrote:

Sounds like the easiest thing to try, but it's still a chore to move
stuff on the desk to pull the memory boards with the tower upright.
I'll get to it. The pc booted flawlessly this morning, kinda puts my
desperation on hold.


Yeah, they're like that sometimes.

Mine's an aluminum mid-tower, light as Coke can, at my left elbow.
Folded a bath towel three ways underneath it. The side farthest, I
removed permanently, opposite the MB and cards. Couple things on the
desk to move, couple things off the top of the computer, being then I
can slide it obliquely, while lowering it to side that has the cover
on. Grab a LED flashlite, clip on desk lamp, and go to it. Two
minutes;- none, if disconnecting or substituting drives.

I've a folding-legs, square, 3'x3' card table for anything deeper. Put
that where my right elbow goes;- also handy-dandy for two computers
going side-by-side.
  #14  
Old December 17th 17, 08:31 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
Paul[_26_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 655
Default failures on boot

John B. Smith wrote:

I hate to try to build without a work room. Even a card table crammed
in here some place would be a tremendous temptation to my cat. Looking
at mb's I was put off by lack of diskette drive and PS2 mouse and
keyboard. No one wants to build a tower these days with the PSU on
top, which is where I think it belongs. I'm certain there's a ton of
gotchas that haven't occurred to me. And there's a lack of time - I'm
working what will turn into a part time job next month but even then
the free time will be discontinuous enough to make building difficult.
Next summer I have off. Maybe by that time I'll be desperate enough to
jump into it.

I'd like to clone my boot drive and shove it into a new build. I dont'
suppose it would boot up XP and Win7 like a helpful nice little
computer?


The computer industry isn't "nice" to people any more.

I don't think I have any driver I can use for WinXP
on my newest computer. But the hardware in it are
centered squarely on the Win7 era, so I can install
a bunch of varied things and get it to work.

You can only officially move a Retail version of Windows 7
from one PC to another. The Retail boxed version would
have been more expensive.

I built my newest box with a System Builder OEM Windows 7 Pro,
due to the amount of memory in the computer. Pro or Ultimate
allow you to use larger RAM setups without losing
any of the capacity. Once I installed Windows 7 on that
box, it's stuck there now.

In terms of building stuff, you don't have to be too ambitious.
It depends on what the box has to do. For example, if you have
the money, you can buy an Intel NUC.

The end result, is an apartment-friendly build (if you could
call it a build). There's a wide range of products out there
to consider, and if you don't expect to be using a
gamer video card, then you can shoot for a smaller solution.
It won't have hard drive bays though. External adapters
can be used for hard drives, but it ain't pretty when you
do that. (About as pleasant as "modular" stereo equipment.)

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16856102166

The picture here shows what is inside the box, a view that
should have been included on Newegg. There is a blower over
the 45W processor, making the design similar to a laptop.
It's possible with the Skylake processor, that a basic
Windows 7 install would work in there. But I don't know
whether Intel was generous with Thunderbolt drivers and
the like, for Windows 7. The processor in a product like
this, is likely to be a BGA soldered to the motherboard,
so it's not an "upgrade" box at all. But it is a computer.

https://www.pcworld.com/article/3074...nceptions.html

Older NUCs came in a slightly larger (squarish) package,
with more options for what they could hold inside.

There is mini-itx and microATX, as means to reduce the
size of builds. And if you switch to an SSD for a boot drive,
you can select a smaller PC casing for the project.

With Mini-itx, there is barely room for a video card.
You get one expansion slot. Zotac might make some
of these too.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16813157742

There are a variety of cases to be purchased separately.

https://www.logicsupply.com/m350/

The powering solutions can be "unconventional". For a
test build, you could build up on the kitchen table
for a few minutes, run Prime95 in Linux, make some
current flow measurements... and then figure out
which PICO to buy to finish the project. A laptop
style adapter plus a PICO, can run some of the lower
power mini-ITX designs. The PICO power converter
installs into the main power connector on the motherboard,
and makes 3.3V and 5V from a higher input voltage (from
a laptop-style adapter).

https://www.logicsupply.com/products...ower-supplies/

With microATX the board is larger still. The top slot
is wired x16 for video. The bottom slot is wired x4 and
that would be a place to install an M.2 expansion card.
There is one M.2 card that will hold four M.2 format
SSD drives, as an example. And the casing you put this
in, will be more conventional (comparable to your
older gear). With microATX you're using conventional
power supplies and so on. With MicroATX, your computer
case choice would also allow hard drives to be used.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16813157741

So those are some size ideas, you can fit into your
apartment planning.

In some cases, buying a laptop makes more sense. But
I think you knew that already.

Paul
  #15  
Old December 17th 17, 09:21 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
Flasherly[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,936
Default failures on boot

On Sun, 17 Dec 2017 15:31:42 -0500, Paul
wrote:

The computer industry isn't "nice" to people any more.


There's always *NIX left, and, to a certain extent, WINE.

The "industry" got un-nice when people moved in droves over to
handhelds for handroid, minimalist-*NIX operating systems. Rather
they sucked it in, as the PC industry, basically, self-imploded.
People never liked the PC: It was always to complicated. So the
industry said: Trust us, we'll fix it. Then you started hearing, from
technology press, a peculiar term called -- "Your Dad's Computer".
That's when Google Chrome came out, as the HandHeld PC Revolution Ver.
2.0beta. And Microsoft, its sales profits plummeting, on an express
elevator to Hell, along the rest of PC industry, somehow typically,
introduced Windows 10 -- "The Last Computer OS You'll Ever Own".

As if from a storyline for making it up on a daily basis. Like the
new chapter released yesterday: FCC Gives Away WEB to Media ISP
Conglomerates.
  #16  
Old December 17th 17, 10:02 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
VanguardLH[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,241
Default failures on boot

Rodney Pont wrote:

John B. Smith wrote:

Yes, PSU was installed in 2008. It's a PC Power And Cooling 610watt.
The ABIT mb has an application called Guru that supposedly allows me
to monitor the voltages. They all look ok. But that's when Windows
has booted and everything is running good. Yes, sounds like a flaky
psu to me too but hate to buy a new one on suspicion.


Doesn't the BIOS have a health tab and if so can you get into that when
you first switch on and see the power supply voltages?

Providing the on cmos battery is good and I removed and reseated
everything I can a power supply problem would be my next favourite
choice. You have to start somewhere and a power supply is the most
likely item to be able to use in the future. If you change motherboard,
for example, you may have to change cpu and ram as well.


Now that you mention it, since all the hardware is dated back to 2008,
yeah, that CMOS battery is *way too old*. They should get replaced at
about 5 year intervals. His battery is 9 years old (or more since it
takes time from manufacture to ship, distribute, and sit on the shelf).
Also, the more time the PC is powered off then the more time on battery.
Replacing the coin cell battery would be much cheaper then the PSU, and
he needs a new battery even if he gets a new PSU (unless he leaves it
powered on 24x7 and on a UPS).

The BIOS settings get copied into a table in the CMOS RTC (Real-Time
Clock) chip/logic. If the battery goes weak, settings can become
corrupted in the table and you have to reset the BIOS which copies the
standard settings into the CMOS table and then do any tweaking again.
If the battery is dead, the BIOS settings have to get copied on every
boot into the CMOS table (which gets powered by the PSU but I'm not sure
your Guru or BIOS health is going to show the +5V standby voltage from
the PSU).

I have a slew of devices that use the CR-2032 coin cell battery: garage
door openers, several other remotes, LCD clocks, key fob flashlight, and
probably many others that I don't recall right now. So I went on eBay
(after doing some research on identifying counterfeit batteries by their
packaging) and bought 20 of these batteries for all of $7.35 (under 37
cents apiece). swimteam1987 (the seller) has a 10-pack on sale now for
$3.85 (item 272968340999), expire in 2027, and the packaging still looks
legit. The ones I got from him before work great. Walmart wants 4
times more. Likely you have other devices that use the same coin cell
battery so get several for cheap and replace them all or have spares.
  #17  
Old December 17th 17, 10:15 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
VanguardLH[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,241
Default failures on boot

John B. Smith wrote:

No one wants to build a tower these days with the PSU on top, which is
where I think it belongs.


Not if you want the PSU itself to get cooled better. In the top
position, all the air into the PSU is pre-heated by the CPU, chipset,
memory, drives, video card, and everything else consuming electricity
inside the case. The PSU has to cool itself with hotter intake air. In
the bottom position, the PSU gets the cooler outside air to suck into it
and its exhaust goes outside so none of its heated air gets pushed
across the components inside the case. PSUs are probably the heaviest
component so at the bottom will stabilize the case instead of make it
top-heavy. The bottom-mounted case should have an intake going into the
PSU (or very close to the PSU) so cooler outside air goes into the PSU
(and perhaps some into the case to other components) and the PSU's
exhaust goes outside (as it does when top-mounted). The PSU creates a
lot of heat because they are not 100% efficient. Good ones are 85%
efficient and cheap ones even worse, and the rest produces heat.

It's the same reason there are cases with vent openings (and some even
have a funnel attached to the side panel and extends close to the CPU's
fan) in the side panel so the CPU gets cooler outside air instead of the
pre-heated air pushed around inside the case. The higher the
temperature differential then the faster the thermal transfer.

Which would cool a hot clothes iron faster: A tub of boiling water or a
tub of ice water?

I'd like to clone my boot drive and shove it into a new build. I dont'
suppose it would boot up XP and Win7 like a helpful nice little
computer?


Remember to install the new mobo's chipset drivers. You better
investigate if all your hardware, internal and external, has Windows 10
drivers for them.
  #18  
Old December 25th 17, 03:32 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
John B. Smith
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 135
Default failures on boot

On Sun, 17 Dec 2017 16:15:17 -0600, VanguardLH wrote:

My computer has booted without failure for a week. Thinking about all
your replies something occurred to me: some time back I turned off the
power supply with the switch at the back to do something or other.
When I turned it back on it didn't work. Eventually it did, but since
that time I've been unplugging the supply every time I wanted to mess
around inside the case, then plugging back in when I wanted to turn
on. So I'm thinking maybe the flaky on switch caused the supply to
drop out in mid-boot, then come immediately back on. Without an
orderly shutdown maybe the machine would fall back to the C1 BIOS
display which occurs at turn-on but was prevented from starting up
again by the state of things.

So I started thinking about a new power supply. This one interests me
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16817703038

My old power supply is this one:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16817703005
I have it mounted in the TOP of my Gigabyte case
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16811233013

My motherboard is this one:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16813127050

Here is one of the questions a NewEgg poster posed about the newer
supply I'm considering:

"Just bought one of these for a computer I'm putting together (first
one). However, upon opening the box, I discovered that the 20pin ATX
connector seems to be missing the third pin. Not only that, but that
whole wire is missing. Is this how it's supposed to be? Looks sort of
like that in the picture on Newegg, but it's really hard to tell."

The answer was:
" That is the -5v line. It was used in very old machines (ancient by
aging standards)
Manufacturers leave it out because there is no reason for the
additional cost since people aren't building computers with 15 year
old hardware."

Well, I built my baby in 2008 so it's not quite 15 years old BUT do I
need that -5 volt line? And does anybody see anything else that would
prevent the power supply I'm considering from working in my set up?
  #19  
Old December 25th 17, 06:51 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
Paul[_26_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 655
Default failures on boot

John B. Smith wrote:
On Sun, 17 Dec 2017 16:15:17 -0600, VanguardLH wrote:

My computer has booted without failure for a week. Thinking about all
your replies something occurred to me: some time back I turned off the
power supply with the switch at the back to do something or other.
When I turned it back on it didn't work. Eventually it did, but since
that time I've been unplugging the supply every time I wanted to mess
around inside the case, then plugging back in when I wanted to turn
on. So I'm thinking maybe the flaky on switch caused the supply to
drop out in mid-boot, then come immediately back on. Without an
orderly shutdown maybe the machine would fall back to the C1 BIOS
display which occurs at turn-on but was prevented from starting up
again by the state of things.

So I started thinking about a new power supply. This one interests me
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16817703038

My old power supply is this one:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16817703005
I have it mounted in the TOP of my Gigabyte case
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16811233013

My motherboard is this one:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16813127050

Here is one of the questions a NewEgg poster posed about the newer
supply I'm considering:

"Just bought one of these for a computer I'm putting together (first
one). However, upon opening the box, I discovered that the 20pin ATX
connector seems to be missing the third pin. Not only that, but that
whole wire is missing. Is this how it's supposed to be? Looks sort of
like that in the picture on Newegg, but it's really hard to tell."

The answer was:
" That is the -5v line. It was used in very old machines (ancient by
aging standards)
Manufacturers leave it out because there is no reason for the
additional cost since people aren't building computers with 15 year
old hardware."

Well, I built my baby in 2008 so it's not quite 15 years old BUT do I
need that -5 volt line? And does anybody see anything else that would
prevent the power supply I'm considering from working in my set up?


2008 ?

No, the need for -5V disappeared around 1999-2000 or so.

*******

Note that PC Power And Cooling has changed hands a couple of
times. As far as I'm concerned, the value of the original company,
was the staff, and their care in selecting contract-built
supplies for retail sales.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PC_Power_and_Cooling

When another company "buys a brand", you could get just about
anything. Then, when it comes to Newegg reviews, you need a
metric ton of reviews from the current calendar year, to
"calibrate" the reliability.

The power supply industry, relies on a lot of contract
manufacturing. Even when a company makes its own supplies,
if they need a "$20 rubbish supply", they contract it out
to one of their competitors.

Seasonic, Enermax, Fortron/Sparkle make their own supplies.
With Fortron, you can tell what you're buying, by the cabling,
as the wires on the cables are "as short as possible" :-)

If you can find reviews for specific supplies, the reviewer
can sometimes identify who made it. For example, Antec supplies
were made by HEC (good), Channelwell (I had two failures),
and Delta (OK, usually a loud fan). To identify a Channelwell,
you could pop the lid (look, but don't touch!), and see "CWT"
printed on the transformers.

This site has reviews and a forum.

http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/show...?t=3964&page=5

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews

"There are a total of 526 reviews on 53 pages"

So if I needed to datamine, I might try a

site:jonnyguru.com

as an added search term in my browser.

*******

Modern supplies can have a 20+4 and 4+4 connectors.
The first is the main connector, working with 20 pin
or 24 pin motherboards. Your motherboard is a 24 pin
motherboard.

The 4+4 splits into two pieces, supporting 2x2 ATX12V.
Or, on newer boards, they have room for a 2x4. On your
board, using a 2x4 helps when doing extreme overclocks.

The record for that, back in the era, was overclocking
a D805 to 4GHz. In which case it would draw 200W+ from
the 12V rail. That's when the 2x4 ATX12V setup helps.
For a lot of conventional applications, just the 2x2 portion
of the 2x4 is sufficient.

A 20 pin supply (old style) can still be used with a
24 pin motherboard. As long as pin 1 goes to pin 1.
The extra four pins just increase the ampacity, and
provide more +12V current flow for PCI Express slot power.
Cards like 6600 video used to draw 12V 4A from the slot.
Some of the more monstrous cards, they only draw 12V 2A
from the slot, so the "stress" on the 20 pin single
12V wire is a lot less in that case. The monster cards
have 2x3 or 2x4 PCI Express to carry the majority
of the power.

For pictures of connectors, how connectors split and the
like, this site is good.

http://www.playtool.com/pages/psucon...onnectors.html

Paul
  #20  
Old December 25th 17, 07:29 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
John B. Smith
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 135
Default failures on boot

On Mon, 25 Dec 2017 10:32:48 -0500, John B. Smith
wrote:

On Sun, 17 Dec 2017 16:15:17 -0600, VanguardLH wrote:

My computer has booted without failure for a week. Thinking about all
your replies something occurred to me: some time back I turned off the
power supply with the switch at the back to do something or other.
When I turned it back on it didn't work. Eventually it did, but since
that time I've been unplugging the supply every time I wanted to mess
around inside the case, then plugging back in when I wanted to turn
on. So I'm thinking maybe the flaky on switch caused the supply to
drop out in mid-boot, then come immediately back on. Without an
orderly shutdown maybe the machine would fall back to the C1 BIOS
display which occurs at turn-on but was prevented from starting up
again by the state of things.

So I started thinking about a new power supply. This one interests me
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16817703038

My old power supply is this one:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16817703005
I have it mounted in the TOP of my Gigabyte case
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16811233013

My motherboard is this one:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16813127050

Here is one of the questions a NewEgg poster posed about the newer
supply I'm considering:

"Just bought one of these for a computer I'm putting together (first
one). However, upon opening the box, I discovered that the 20pin ATX
connector seems to be missing the third pin. Not only that, but that
whole wire is missing. Is this how it's supposed to be? Looks sort of
like that in the picture on Newegg, but it's really hard to tell."

The answer was:
" That is the -5v line. It was used in very old machines (ancient by
aging standards)
Manufacturers leave it out because there is no reason for the
additional cost since people aren't building computers with 15 year
old hardware."

Well, I built my baby in 2008 so it's not quite 15 years old BUT do I
need that -5 volt line? And does anybody see anything else that would
prevent the power supply I'm considering from working in my set up?



Wups, I see a compatibility problem. The new ps I picked out has its
fan on top. Since my current supply has a fan in back and is located
in the top of my case, the new one, if it would even fit up there,
would have the fan pressing right against the top of the case.
Further, ALL the new supplies seem to have the same problem. The only
solution I see is to try and cut a hole for the fan in the top of my
case. And I ain't got that big a can opener.
 




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