power - i dont has it. =(
April 9, 2008 7:25 PM   Subscribe

I consider this to be google cheating, but I honestly know nothing of this. Get me a power supply - model #atx-300-12e or the equivalent. Asap. Please.

Power supply went kaboom. Actually more like *hush*kaboom*hush* since I didn't actually hear a sound. I need to replace the power supply.

I know the model number is #atx-300-12e. But apparently, I can't find it on the sites I normally check out - I've found it on a few random sites, but right now i don't want to buy from a site I've never heard of. I've never had to buy a power supply before, and I'm totally lost. I won't have the cash to upgrade it for about a month - if that's your suggestion - but until then, I do need power and I need it immediately. Please point me to something that'll work! PLEASE.

piggy back question: hypothetically speaking, how do you get a harddrive unstuck from a slot it's supposed to go in and out of? I mean, with it being unscrewed and everything good to go and all, short of sawing through it with a dremel of some kind?
posted by damnjezebel to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
Power supplies aren't that specific. In fact, they're quite standardized.

Any ATX power supply will do; your current one is presumably 300 watts, which is pretty much the bottom end of the curve. eg, a 350 or 400 watt one will work just fine.

Actually, that's not quite true -there are slightly different connectors for certain types of processors; I seem to recall having a hassle getting an acceptable one for a Pentium 4 system I had a while ago. How old is this machine? What kind of processor does it have?

Incidentally, if you need a website to buy from, try newegg.com. Quite popular.
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:30 PM on April 9, 2008

Response by poster: Tomorrowful, the pc is roughly 3 years old, maybe a bit younger than that. It's got an AMD chip and I'm running XP. Checking out newegg now - I've heard of it, but not sure why i didn't think of it. Maybe the whole "omfg i has no power" freak out thing prevented me from remembering.
posted by damnjezebel at 7:33 PM on April 9, 2008

I asked a similar question a while ago, but included a photo of the label, so maybe that would help you. That said, what's wrong with this google search?

As for the harddrive, why is it stuck? Stuck like won't move out of the bay or stuck like hitting another part of the computer?
posted by puke & cry at 7:33 PM on April 9, 2008

What brand/model is the computer?
posted by gjc at 7:33 PM on April 9, 2008

You're going to need an ATX power supply with the standard, slightly older 20-pin ATX connector and ATX12V 4 pin connector as seen here.

If you REALLY need it immediately, your best shot is Fry's Electronics.

If you're close to your MeFi Long/Lat, Google and I've made a handy map for you here.

Go there and print out the stuff on that other page. Tell them at LEAST 300 watts. Do not listen when they insist on more than 400 watts. Pay little mind to brand name. Tell them ATX. 20 pin. With the 4-pin extra connector.

Also, *hush*kaboom*hush* is probably the most adorable thing I've ever read. Or tried to say aloud.
posted by disillusioned at 7:36 PM on April 9, 2008

(Caveats: NewEgg may be cheaper, but Fry's is competitively priced and close by. Brand name DOES count for something, in terms of longevity and warranty. For an immediate fix, cheaper is better. More wattage only counts for something if you're seriously pushing the limits of your system and need to give it some breathing room. 300 should suit you fine. And seriously, *hush*kaboom*hush is still making me giggle.)
posted by disillusioned at 7:38 PM on April 9, 2008

Regarding the power supply, to make sure you have the proper connections (this shouldn't be a problem buying a new PSU for an old computer, but it won't hurt to check) make a note of which connectors coming off your current supply are connected, and use NewEgg's product photos to make sure the supply you buy has at least the same.

As for the hard drive, depending on your computer case maybe you only slid off the left hand side of the tower and so can't see that it's also screwed in on the right hand side?
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:38 PM on April 9, 2008

Response by poster: puke, I did try that google search. I didn't recognize any of the site names aside from ebay, and as I've gotten rid of my paypal account to prevent me having ebay orgasms, it's quite difficult for me to find someone both reputable and with a merchant account to purchase from. I also don't have the time to wait over a week for the power supply to get to me - I use my PC for work.

As far as the harddrive, not sure why it's stuck. It's a four slotter, with one harddrive already in one of the bays - but even that drive won't move an inch. there are sliders, I assume to slide the harddrive(s) out, but that's not really working.

gjc, it's an emachine (w4885) purchased from tigerdirect. I believe it was at least somewhat custom built. It's been a while, so I don't exactly remember.
posted by damnjezebel at 7:41 PM on April 9, 2008

Firstly, dislillusioned gets a tip of my hat for going the extra mile.

A note if you're going to do your own power-supply replacement: Keep track of every cable you disconnect, and make sure you connect a similar one on your new power supply. Don't get paranoid, though - they're designed such that if the connectors match, so does the voltage going through them; you can't plug the wrong thing in and make your entire computer burst into flames. But it's pretty easy to, say, forget to plug in the DVD drive, and start panicking when Windows thinks it doesn't exist any more.
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:45 PM on April 9, 2008

I also don't have the time to wait over a week for the power supply to get to me - I use my PC for work.

Ah, I see. I guess I had a luxury you don't in that case. All I can advise is taking it with you to Fry's or another good parts store and saying "I need a replacement for this". And follow the above advice by disillusioned. Since it's not a specialty part they should be able to help you.

As for your harddrive, I'm still not clear how it's stuck. I can't find any picture of the drive bay for that emachines model. You checked both sides for screws right? That's usually the problem. Or there could be some locking mechanism that takes some fiddling around with to figure out. If it's just stuck between the bay rails you should at least be able to wiggle it around some.

Presumable you want the drive out to get your work off of, I guess. I dunno, I maybe could help out more if I knew what the drive bay looked like.
posted by puke & cry at 8:02 PM on April 9, 2008

Everyone else has the power supply pretty much covered...

For the harddisk, is your case one of those ones where you can take the front off? You might want to take the front off (usually by disengaging some clips), as it's possible that the rails are secured at the front, either by screws, or with some little clips that you need to squeeze (and then usually pull the drive forward)
posted by ranglin at 11:09 PM on April 9, 2008

Case metalwork design is a bit of a black art.

The most common arrangement in cheap cases is to have the hard drive(s) mounted in a very simple pressed-metal bay, with two short screws into each side of the drive to stop it sliding back and forth in its niche. Typical cheap bays are built to handle two hard disks and a floppy between the same side plates. Quite often, floppy disk drives are a tiny smidgin narrower than hard drives (though nominally the same form factor) and although you've taken out all four hard drive screws, the floppy drive mounting screws will squeeze the bay sides together and give the bay a death grip on the hard drive. If your bay is like that, just loosen off the floppy screws before sliding out the hard drive.

There's another kind of bay, especially common in low-profile cases, where you have to pull the bay itself out of the case before the hard drive will disengage from it. This, in turn, is impossible until you've found the (usually single, usually well-hidden) screw that makes the difference between an apparently riveted-into-place bay and one that slides four millimetres sideways and then magically unclips itself.

If none of that is any help, perhaps you could upload a photo of your drive bay to Photobucket for us all to look at.
posted by flabdablet at 8:49 AM on April 10, 2008

Response by poster: okay, got the harddrive out of that old computer. I just had to take out every. single. frickin'. screw. Then pry the case off. Then pull hard. Sounds kinky, but it worked kinda. Instead of just the harddrive, I ended up taking the pay off. Apparently, there were prongs that inserted themselves into the harddrives on purpose? So that's taken care of.


New power supply is in. And now, aside from a light popping on around the "on" button, nothing happens. There's a faint, faint hum from the power supply, but that's it.

Am I fucked?
posted by damnjezebel at 8:24 PM on April 10, 2008

No, you're not fuxked, your computer just doesn't work right now. All you need to do is figure out which part is stopping it from doing that, and replace it. The only way you could be in bad trouble is if your hard drive has completely ripped its innards apart and you don't have a backup. Everything else is replaceable. That said: first thing now is to power down, and check and re-check all the connectors.

How did you originally work out that this was a power supply fault? Power supply faults are indeed the most likely cause of total failure to start, but they're by no means the only possible cause. Faulty mobo or faulty CPU can also do this (the power-on-self-test routine will generally start even with faulty RAM, and make an obnoxious beep).

When you say there's a faint hum from the power supply, does that include any fan noise?
posted by flabdablet at 5:52 AM on April 11, 2008

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