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Wondering about the health of my PSU after...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi all, I'm looking for some advice...

The long story is below. The short story is that the system crashed with a DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE when going to sleep w/o me noticing. Upon noticing many many hours later, the PSU was way hot and not smelling good. The system still runs, but I'm worried about it.

PSU is a Silverstone Stider Plus 750W, 2 and a half years new. Just powering a mildly od'c first gen i7 and a single gtx 670, so no shortage of wattage.

**** The story:

I usually put my system to sleep and wake it when needed. Almost never shutdown/restart except when upgrading some software or hardware. Since owning the system (2.5 years now) there have been a handful of times (6 according to WhoCrashed) where its blue screened while trying to go to sleep (DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE). I mostly hadn't seen that happen since upgrading a few drivers about a year ago (graphics and monitor). In december I saw it once, and yesterday I saw it again, but this time with a difference...

I didn't notice the crash when it happened, I gestured to put the system to sleep and head out the door for work in the morning. Many hours later (maybe 9), I came home and found my crashed system not sleeping.

Here's what I observed right then.
* a red LED was on in the box, unfortunately I'm not sure which one was lit
* the area on the outside of the case around the PSU was warm to the touch
* there was the faint smell of electrical heat (that distinctive order)
* some fan was spun up more then usual, unfortunately I'm not sure which but i suspect the PSU fan
* by the sound of it, other fans were running normally

Yikes! I pushed the reset button on the top of the case and crossed my fingers. The system POST'd and got to starting up windows, then restarted again and continued the second time. Windows noticed it had not shutdown cleanly and told me so. I said start normally and the system booted up into windows normally. I opened HWMonitor immediately. Temps and voltages all looked normal. I shut the system down to think about it. After thinking about it and letting the psu cool off, it restarted again just fine. I did some web browsing and eventually got the nerve up to run some more stressful tests, Unigine Valley benchmark and a few minutes of Prime95, ran just fine. Also, the PSU does not get unusually warm (actually I didn't look for that specifically while putting the system under load?).

I shut it down again and popped open the side of the case to see if I could identify the source of the smell or visually spot anything. I didn't see anything. I think the odor is from inside the psu, but it's really hard to be sure, and I can't see in there specifically. I didn't pop the other side of the case off to visually inspect.

The only behavior change I've noticed so far (not counting that hiccup in the reset mentioned above) is that on waking the system once, instead of waking from sleep, it did a fuller restore from hibernation. I think that odd wake cycle was this morning after it had slept overnight. This evening (moments ago) it woke normally after having slept all day. I've only noticed that odd wake cycle once so far. I don't think so, but I may have induced that by moving a sleeping system around and accidentally jiggling the power cord?

**** The questions:

Generally, I'm feeling really lucky to have dodged a bullet but I'm worried that something about this incident will come back and bite me.

* Would it be a good idea to just replace the PSU now?
* What other components should I be looking closely at?
* I'm running BIOS version 1002 from 5/21/2010 on the P7P55D-E PRO. Would it be a good idea to upgrade the BIOS?
* Has anybody seen a problem like this before? DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE and then PSU goes crazy? Any specific to my mobo + bios version? That would be good motivation to upgrade a BIOS.

Obviously I'm spooked that the PSU was somehow damaged in all this. The heat and the smell and the odd wake behavior all have me worried that the PSU could fail on me and cause damaging power spikes when doing so. I'd like to get years more of use out of this system and am groping for advice to help with that.

Thnx
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post #2 of 7
Your power supply is oversized for your system, so even if every component was trying maximum power, your power supply wouldn't have been hurt. I certainly wouldn't bother replacing the PSU, its fine.

Stuff gets hot, and then the dust on said stuff starts to smell. I wouldn't worry about. Sustained very high temps can damage your capacitors, but overnight isn't going to shorten their life long enough to be a concern, especially if the fans were running.

Power Supplies don't really "Go crazy." When it bluescreened, I'll bet your CPU entered an infinite loop and the power saving systems all shut off, creating a sustained high load. You power supply responded by increasing its fan speed to stay cool. But its designed for that. So don't worry.

DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE has nothing to do with the Power Supply, either. Something failed to go into or come out of sleep mode properly and crashed the machine. I once kicked off that bluescreen by screwing around with a mouse plugged into a hub at the wrong moment during sleep.
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thnx, that does makes sense. I've never understood that distinctive smell is from toasting dust. A weird thing is that the PSU got warmed up at all. as you noticed, its oversized for the system, so even max load s/b pretty easy for it.

So far, the system is still working just fine.

I"m more motivated than before to figure out which driver is responsible for the DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILUREs. Happens very infrequently, but what if i was headed out the door for a week and it entered that botched state?
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post #4 of 7
Generally this problem doesn't have anything to do with the PSU, but what you have described is quite odd. It is possible the Silverstone is on it's way out, but I think in mere coincidence in relation to the driver power state failure.

From what I gather reading online, it's likely related to chipset drivers / other drivers. Beyond that, possibly motherboard but doubtful. Read this thread and take from it what you can.
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
I understand that the source of DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE has nothing to do with the power supply and everything to do with drivers. But the component that seemed most stressed by this incident was the PSU. Its possible that I misdiagnosed the source of the heat and smell when panic'ing about the whole thing being borked. But the PSU is mounted in the top of the case at the back, that whole area was warm to the touch. I've never seen that before.

I'll check that other thread, thnx for the pointer.
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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
After a couple of days of regular use and abuse... seems that its absolutely fine and good... no harm no foul.

All the same, I'm still the terminally curious type and am wondering just what the heck was drawing so much power and generating so much heat and why while in that crashed for nine hours state? Also I'm no closer to identifying the root cause of that DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE. I've got this long list of drivers from driverquery/sigverif and no good idea about how to identify the bad apple? There do seem to be a lot of usb related drivers in the list.

I have noticed that when it's in the process of going to sleep, the cpu fan does spin up a bit. I guess that's after the cpu's low power state magic has been disabled but prior to lights out time. But even with the full load the cpu can demand, that's still not much of a demand for the 750W psu. Certainly less than a gaming session that has the gqu blazing away right along with the cpu. Also, the way I remember it, the exhaust from the cpu fan wasn't warm. Seems like something else must have been consuming power to tax the psu?

I've pinged falcon-nw support about this incident. They've been real good about helping me out in the past with questions. Maybe they'll have some clue about this particular failure mode since they've shipped out a bunch of systems real similar to this one.

If/when I figure out something conclusive about it... i'll update this thread.
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Maybe not entirely conclusive... but I sent a few BSOD kernel dumps to the folks at falcon-nw and they say the trouble making driver is mv91xx for the Marvel storage controller. I'm gonna ask them how they determined that?

There is an updated driver for that component on ASUS's download page for my MB, it's newer than what I've got.

http://support.asus.com/download.aspx?SLanguage=en&m=P7P55D-E%20PRO&p=1&s=32&os=30&hashedid=T2FxW2fXGZQgSn2V

So I've downloaded the package for Marvell 9123/9120 Controller Driver V1.0.0.1042. It's a zip file with multiple setup programs and what appear to be multiple copies of a suite of mv91xx files in different directories. But I'm really not sure what to do with the files in this package? There is not a single README file in there (which is frustrating as all get out). Not clear to me which setup program to run or if I should be using the 'Update Driver' button via win7's device manager and pointing it at something in this pile of files? The layout of the .exe files in the package look likes this...

Driver
--AsMakeDisk.exe
--AsusSetup.exe

Install
--AsusSetup.exe
--Console
----AsusSetup.exe
----consoleOnlySetup.exe
--DrvSetup
----AsusSetup.exe
----drvSetup.exe

I suspect drvSetup.exe is probably what I should run, but thats just a guess? I don't want to bork things such that the hard disk won't be accessible, that would be bad smile.gif

If anybody knows what I should be doing with this package, a tip would be mucho appreciated.
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Falcon2010
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