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HX520W Works but Seems Faulty


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I built this system 11 months ago. From the very first day, I have never had a proper POST time—mine have averaged 4½ MINUTES, never better than 20 seconds (very rarely that quick) and up to 48 MINUTES. (No beep error codes—one single POST beep, every time.)


I thought the PSU was OK because, after all, the system works after it is up. No problems with Windows. No problems with Restarts, either—this is exclusively with cold POSTs. And, eventually, it DOES pass the POST and go on up into Windows.


Important #1: I have stripped out ALL drives and 3 of the 4 sticks of RAM, and the results are still slow, from about 30 seconds to 1½ MINUTES. That is with NO drives at all (and no USBs; nothing).


Important #2: I have just received the mobo baCk from RMA. No change to system performance.


Important #3: The PSU rates as the appropriate size by both the Corsair Calculator at the website, and by NCIX (who, after all, would have made more money by selling me a larger one—and I did ask)


Important #4: The ******** RAM tech advised me that the RAM must be OK in the system, because Windows works fine and the system is stable.


Because the PSU does indeed provide power, I have held off this very long time (and wasted weeks of running tests and timing POSTs). Friends were pretty adamant that the problem would be the PSU, but I resisted. Now, with the mobo back from its RMA, I am rethinking.


I am pretty well all set to RMA this PSU to Corsair. I think I should have done that last November. Any comments?



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@Wired, thanks.

I did try removing the RAM, and also trading the single RAM stick #1 for #4, to be sure I was testing on a different single stick.


I'll try that cable idea, but there is a BIOS setting for that, so I'd be very surprised. (No problem—the solution likely WILL be a surprise, after all this time.)

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Thanks, Dorel. I'm using the most recent BIOS (F10) for this mobo, plus I've flashed it a number of times. The problem has persisted through the 3 BIOS versions I've used. But actually I have thought it WAS a BIOS setting that was wrong, and I've held out all this long thinking I would sooner or later find the magic setting. So far, no go.


I am interested that neither reply so far has favoured the idea that the PSU is the culprit. Any other opinions? I'm open to all. Thanks, guys.

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Well, I appreciate the encouragement. You wouldn't BELIEVE the data I've collected since I began making notes in July. I now have a formatted .PDF that is 101 pages long! I put everything into WORD first—charts, digital photos of the BIOS settings; everything. It has taught me a bit, but no breakthrough yet.


That is why I know all the average startup times and everything. It's all calculated from my notes. The startups are actually recorded with a stopwatch to the second.


If anyone wants to see the .PDF, they can.


Yesterday I changed to the new F11 BIOS. Here is this morning's startup. It is typical, this time with 7 minutes to the POST beep. It's a cold start after the power being off for 7 hours overnight.


00:00 Power ON

7:02 (That is 7 minutes and 2 seconds) to POST beep

7:29 Boot Screen (interval = 0:27)

8:04 Welcome Screen (interval = 0:35)

8:35 XP Desktop (interval = 0:31)

9:36 XP Desktop Taskbar appears (interval = 1:01)

10:40 XP totally ready; ATI has refreshed screen; all hourglasses have finished (interval = 1:04)


Pretty gruesome. Some notes for anyone interested:

  • All I'm really interested in is the time from Power ON to POST beep
  • You can compare the intervals of my bootup from Boot Screen to XP Desktop with your own. My post-POST bootup isn't great shakes either, is it?
  • But my last 2, after the XP Desktop is up, don't matter—they are slow because I've got things such as Peer Guardian and AVG opening up, so I could change that part anytime I wanted a lighter load; no problem there


The time before this was under 3 minutes to the POST beep. Go figure.


Still no one thinks it's the PSU? Well, I'm happy if I don't have to RMA the PSU, but this has me stymied. The problem has persisted for 11 months.

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If you suspect it to be the power supply simply grab a mates power supply throw that in and see how it goes, if the problem is solved RMA it and get a new one if not you know its something else which will at least relieve frustrations of 11 months.
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  • 3 weeks later...

Unfortunately, I've had to work this with 2 constraints:

No surplus hardware to swap back and forth (and no mates around!)

No surplus money to risk on uncertain replacement purchases


Technicians, Corsair folk — Please see the following:


I have discovered that I can start the computer (cold start) by pressing the front case Power Button and then the front case Restart Button. The POST beep sounds 5 seconds after I press the Restart Button.


If I press only the Power Button, the delay still averages 4 to 10 minutes before I hear the POST beep, and then the system goes up properly into Windows. However, by pressing both the Start Button and then the Reset Button, I can have a startup in normal time.


If I try pressing the Restart Button ONLY, after a cold start, nothing happens. Nor does anything happen if I try pressing it twice.


I think this means my former problem of long delays before the POST beep must have represented the system hanging AFTER the POST but before the beep. Otherwise, pressing the Restart Button would merely recycle it to another attempt from scratch, and the wait would be just as long. Am I correct?


If you are an expert on this, I'd very much appreciate your explanation and/or advice. Thank you kindly.

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  • Corsair Employees
I would disconnect the power and reset buttons from the motherboard and see if there is any change. It will be hard to say for sure if the PSU is the cause or not without testing it in a different system, but if all else fails we can certainly try replacing it for you. Just use the On Line RMA Request Form and we will be happy to replace it. Be sure to check the box that says “I've already spoken to Technical Support and/or RAM Guy.”
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