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AnsweredHot!Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame?

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eddiewan
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2018/07/10 14:49:35 (permalink)
Hello,
I recently went through a pretty bad experience with some EVGA PSUs and I'm wondering what approach to take here to get this rectified...
A few months ago my computer shut down randomly and wouldn't power on. I originally thought it may be the PSU dying. At the time, I was using an EVGA Supernova G1+ 650 watt fully modular PSU connected to, among other components, 2 solid state and 2 hard disc drives. 
The G1+ was still covered by warranty, but I'm a video editor and couldn't wait for the RMA process to get back to work. I overnight shipped an EVGA GQ 750 watt. I figured I'd save a little money by just buying a partially modular PSU this time ($70 GQ vs $91.50 G1+)
I installed the new GQ PSU into my computer but I left all of the G1+ SATA power cables in my tower. I thought you could do that with modular power supplies...thought that was part of the beauty of them. Take one out, swap another in. Boom. I didn't think there was a difference between one SATA power cable to the next. Why would there be???
Well...all 4 of my hard drives were fried by the new PSU using the old SATA power cables. I researched the problem and found other forums where people have had their drives smoke up because apparently some PSU manufacturers use SATA power cables with ground pins and 12v+ rails that are swapped. So with the same cable, one EVGA PSU might be grounding on a pin and one EVGA PSU might be running 12v+ on the SAME PIN on the SAME CABLE.
I'm posting this not only to warn people of the risk of using SATA power cables across different PSUs...but I also want to ask EVGA why they would even do this. These SATA power cables are identically labeled. Why on Earth would two PSUs under the same manufacturer have such a reckless and dangerous design discrepancy like this?

I called EVGA to tell them what happened, and they just asked, "So you didn't use the correct power cables supplied with the PSU?" I said no, and they told me that it was tough luck and they couldn't do anything for me.
I took the damaged drives to a data recovery specialist, and only one of the 4 drives could be recovered. So I lost a ton of project files and exports (one of those unrecoverable drives was acting as a backup to the others).
I'm also a YouTuber, and I made this video about my experience. It's not letting me add a link, but search "Computer Crash - My $2000 Mistake by Ed Ricker"
It wasn't until I was reading the comments that I realized so many people are on my side about this, and many of them suggested I submit a formal complaint to EVGA. But I did want to post it on here first just to get a few more opinions from EVGA users.
So what do you think? Have you heard of this before? If I submit a complaint to EVGA, will I get anywhere? I may have been lazy using the G1+ power cables with the GQ, but I really think EVGA has some responsibility here too with this horrible design.
Thanks for your insights, everyone.
Ed

Edit: By the way, the original issue of my computer not turning ended up not being my PSU anyway...
post edited by eddiewan - 2018/07/10 14:56:58
#1
the_Scarlet_one
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/10 15:00:36 (permalink)
Evga doesnt make power supplies. Their stickers may be on the external parts and they may cover the warranty, but other companies, like seasonic and superflower, make the power supply to evga specs, and then stick an evga sticker on their product so evga can sell it.

You should never use the cables from one psu on another. Yes, the cables may have different pins, but folks should also realize that there could have been a bad cable that caused the failures in the beginning. Best practice is new cables with the new psu. Keep the same parts together for the best possible outcome.

You can look here: https://www.evga.com/prod...(Individually+Sleeved) :and see which cables sets are compatible with each other. ***Notice that G1+ And the GQ are not on the list together.*** The G1 only has one cable set that it is compatible with, and it doesnt match to any other PSUs.

I had a PSU that I am still using, and a sata cable went bad and killed multiple ssd’s. How did i verify it was the cable? I replaced just the cable and the problem went away. I put the cable back on with a known working SSD, and it immediately dies.


There probably isnt warning all over the package because most people would look into this or ask ahead. No, that isnt the solution we would want to hear, but people shouldn’t assume two differently named products are compatible.

***had to edit my post because of an error on my part. The G1+ is on the list, but the G1+ and GQ are not on the list together as they are not compatible.*** my apologies for overlooking the difference in brand name bersus part number.
post edited by the_Scarlet_one - 2018/07/10 16:09:51
#2
davevt31
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/10 15:01:37 (permalink)
I think you are out of luck, you chose to use the old cables.  If I thought there was a power issue, I would have used the new cables as the old cables could have been compromised by a possible faulty power supply.


#3
EVGATech_DanielM
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/10 15:10:00 (permalink)
Keep in mind these Sata cables are in fact different. Sure, the cables look similar but they may be slightly different that you cannot notice by eye. We always recommend using the cables that come with the specific model to rule out issues like these. All different models are rated in different ways and the cables are specifically designed to meet the needs of that model. 

 
 
 
-Daniel_EVGA
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bob16314
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/10 15:15:24 (permalink)
Sorry to hear, but that's what can happen when you use cables from another PSU..The pinouts on the PSU can be different even though the cables fit..It's happened to others before, so don't feel like the Lone Ranger.

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eddiewan
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/10 15:20:00 (permalink)
OK, I agree with you all. But isn't the bigger issue here the fact that this can happen at all??? 
bob16314 - You say it's happened to others before...that should be an indicator that the design should be standardized. And if it can't be standardized, then the cable should be redesigned so that it doesn't fit so conveniently into multiple modular power supplies that may or may not cause immense damage to the computer.
I guess I'm just novice enough to fall into these types of traps, but the trap feels quite unnecessary.
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eddiewan
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/10 15:29:35 (permalink)
EVGATech_DanielM
Keep in mind these Sata cables are in fact different. Sure, the cables look similar but they may be slightly different that you cannot notice by eye. We always recommend using the cables that come with the specific model to rule out issues like these. All different models are rated in different ways and the cables are specifically designed to meet the needs of that model. 


Oh yes, I do realize now that the SATA cables are in fact different. The dead hard drives on my desk are constant (and OBVIOUS) proof.


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EVGATech_DanielM
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/10 15:37:50 (permalink)
 
eddiewan
EVGATech_DanielM
Keep in mind these Sata cables are in fact different. Sure, the cables look similar but they may be slightly different that you cannot notice by eye. We always recommend using the cables that come with the specific model to rule out issues like these. All different models are rated in different ways and the cables are specifically designed to meet the needs of that model. 


Oh yes, I do realize now that the SATA cables are in fact different. The dead hard drives on my desk are constant (and OBVIOUS) proof.




https://www.evga.com/support/manuals/files/210-GQ-1000-0850-0750-0650.pdf
 
Please be aware we mention this not only in the Product manual that comes with the PSU but also on our online documentation in bright red letters:
 
"WARNING 2: Only use included cables or cables purchased from EVGA.com that are specifically labeled for your PSU. Using incorrect cables runs the risk of catastrophic failure."
 
 

 
 
 
-Daniel_EVGA
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eddiewan
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/10 15:49:28 (permalink)
 

 
Please be aware we mention this not only in the Product manual that comes with the PSU but also on our online documentation in bright red letters:
 
"WARNING 2: Only use included cables or cables purchased from EVGA.com that are specifically labeled for your PSU. Using incorrect cables runs the risk of catastrophic failure."




Ok, so 2 years from now when 90% of people have lost the manual and thrown away the box, I'm sure they'll be sifting through your website for that warning line. 
That warning should be on the CABLE...or maybe that'd spoil the sleek black wire covering...maybe we can't win after all.
 
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the_Scarlet_one
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/10 16:12:18 (permalink) ☼ Best Answerby EVGATech_DanielM 2018/07/10 17:16:28
In 2 years, if you cant find your manual, pick up your phone and call EVGA. A few minutes on the phone will save hard drives and time. The support techs are usually pretty nice.

Mistakes were made. Its too late to fox the past, but you know in the future that there is a written manual, and online manual, a forum, and a whole website that can tell you not to make the same mistake.
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EVGATech_DanielM
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/10 17:11:32 (permalink)
eddiewan
 

 
Please be aware we mention this not only in the Product manual that comes with the PSU but also on our online documentation in bright red letters:
 
"WARNING 2: Only use included cables or cables purchased from EVGA.com that are specifically labeled for your PSU. Using incorrect cables runs the risk of catastrophic failure."




Ok, so 2 years from now when 90% of people have lost the manual and thrown away the box, I'm sure they'll be sifting through your website for that warning line. 
That warning should be on the CABLE...or maybe that'd spoil the sleek black wire covering...maybe we can't win after all.
 


 All of our manuals are easily accessible under Service at the top of this very page. Once again, we apologize you lost data but this information is always available and the person up above stated a simple call to us would have avoided this very situation. 

 
 
 
-Daniel_EVGA
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NeoCrisis
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/10 18:42:14 (permalink)
This is pretty much standard across all power supply makers. 
page 6 number 8
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51vyexzVCqS.pdf
If this power supply uses modular cables, use only manufacturer supplied cables. Other cables might not be compatible and could cause serious damage to your system and power supply
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eddiewan
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/10 18:44:20 (permalink)

In 2 years, if you cant find your manual, pick up your phone and call EVGA. A few minutes on the phone will save hard drives and time. The support techs are usually pretty nice.

Mistakes were made. Its too late to fox the past, but you know in the future that there is a written manual, and online manual, a forum, and a whole website that can tell you not to make the same mistake.


All of our manuals are easily accessible under Service at the top of this very page. Once again, we apologize you lost data but this information is always available and the person up above stated a simple call to us would have avoided this very situation. 

You're missing my point. I still have the manual, I made a mistake, and I care about my lost data, but that's not what I'm arguing for here. I'm arguing for the next guy who's about to do the same thing. Bob already said earlier in the thread that it's happened to others as well. A simple search on Reddit would support that, too. So instead of defending your current documentation and process like it's written in stone, would you be open to considering my argument that this mistake was all too easy to make? Don't products improve when customers have a chance for input? Maybe if enough people made a noise, we could change things. It appears I need to escalate this to someone who would actually consider what I'm saying instead of just saying, "That's how it's always been around here."
post edited by eddiewan - 2018/07/10 18:45:37
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the_Scarlet_one
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/10 18:50:44 (permalink)
Do you drive a car? Have you ever bought a new car after owning an old one? Do you check the manual to see what kind of oil car takes, or do you just the same stuff as the old car and dump it in without checking?

Mistakes are easy to make when people are too busy to read the documentation. People need to stop trying to blame others after the didnt read the plain writing that is right in front of them.
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eddiewan
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/10 19:00:21 (permalink)
What if all oil containers looked identical with no indication of their contents?
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the_Scarlet_one
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/10 19:09:02 (permalink)
They dont, just like these dont. There is indications on these in the form of part numbers. Just like oil. Again, you are trying to place blame somewhere else. Read the instructions and dont mix parts.
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eddiewan
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/10 19:12:46 (permalink)
the_Scarlet_one
They dont, just like these dont. There is indications on these in the form of part numbers. Just like oil. Again, you are trying to place blame somewhere else. Read the instructions and dont mix parts.

OK, it boils down to this...I learned my lesson. Let's stop talking about me now.
Why I'm here is to be a voice for the people who will make the same mistake in the future. I believe there really has to be one more layer of safeguarding here. And I guess that's all falling on deaf ears so I'm going to leave this thread alone now. Thanks.
post edited by eddiewan - 2018/07/10 19:14:15
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the_Scarlet_one
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/10 19:25:01 (permalink)
The voice of the people says READ THE INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE INSTALLING. Usually in capitalized print just like that.
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eddiewan
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/10 19:25:59 (permalink)
THANKS
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EVGATech_LeeM
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/10 20:39:08 (permalink)
Let's take a step back here for a second.
 
To confirm, yes, the GQ power supplies and the GP (or G1+) power supplies do not share the same pinouts on all cables.  Most relevant in this case, of course, is that the SATA power pinout is different between the two sets of power supplies.  Plugging the SATA cable from one series into the other series will likely kill anything plugged into the SATA connectors.
 
The issue here, and I'm being fair, is that an assumption was made about how power supplies and modular cables work together and, unfortunately, it turns out that the assumption was wrong.  I could point out, as others have, that the OP could have contacted Customer Service, read the manual more closely, or done any other number of things that would have suggested some degree of caution for using modular cables on a different model power supply, but I won't belabor the point.  The OP owned up that a mistake was made, and we are all aware of what happened now.  However, we have all made similar mistakes in the past due to a wrong assumption (except for maybe 3 or 4 people), so it's painful, but we can all relate to an extent.
 
@eddiewan, I do appreciate that you want to make sure that we are doing what we can to prevent issues like this from happening to other customers.  One thing to keep in mind is that the GQ power supplies have been around for quite some time.  There probably won't be many changes left, if any, for that series before its time is done.  That's not to say, however, that there are no safeguards or checks in place to prevent this sort of issue from happening.
 
Generally, when this issue has occurred in the past, it's due to one of our staff sending the wrong cable when an end-user requests the cable.  When the user tries out the new cable, a similar issue to yours would occur.  This happened a number of times over a handful of months several years ago, so we did a couple things to fix it.  One of those things was to train our staff better and do a better job of organizing how the request was processed from start to finish.  Another thing we did was to begin manufacturing the cables to print the PSU series name on the ends of the connectors to make it clear which cables belong to which power supply.  After taking these steps, those sorts of problems have become virtually non-existent.  However, I cannot honestly recall the opposite issue where customers simply swap power supplies and run into this problem.  I'm sure it's happened before, and I'm sure it also happens sometimes when people change brands of power supplies, but it's a rare occurrence.
 
One other major change, which is more recent, is that we've started manufacturing all new fully-modular and semi-modular power supply series with the same pinouts, regardless of the OEM.  For example, both the G1+ and PQ power supplies share the same pinouts as the B3, G2, G3, P2, T2, etc. power supplies.  This was mostly done to have consistency for both end users and to make sure that customers that also purchase our individually sleeved cables can continue to use them if they upgrade or change to a new model.  So, we have made changes to minimize the possibility of this occurring in the future.
 
I understand that this doesn't help you now, but I also want you to understand that we do look at issues like these as an opportunity to review whether we can improve or prevent a situation for our customers.
 
*Edited to clarify that new power supply series, and not simply new power supplies, will share the same pinouts going forward.  
post edited by EVGATech_LeeM - 2018/07/10 20:43:59
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eddiewan
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/11 10:08:43 (permalink)
Thanks for the update, LeeM. Very knowledgeable and helpful. It satisfies me as a customer that you're seeing the bigger picture here in your response. Thanks again.
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scotthay
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/11 19:32:04 (permalink)
Maybe a 2 cent sticker over the ports of new power supplies that says something like "don't reuse your old cables because even though they use the exact same connector and will plug into this PSU the wiring isn't standardized and you will fry your computer"  would have prevented this (and many other people) from having assumed the cables to be standard.
 
As someone who has been building PC's for close to 30 years I can tell you that I don't think I have ever read the instructions for things like fans, power supplies, heat sinks, etc.  Things that are pretty much plug and play shouldn't be made more complicated by using the same connectors but wiring them different. 
 
Imagine if a phone company made a charging cable and accompanying custom charger that used a 2 prong US A/C plug instead of a usb A male connector for the charger side of the cable?  How many people do you think would fry their phone when they plugged that cable directly into an A/C outlet instead of the custom charger first simply because it looked like it should work?  Connectors and pin outs are standardized for a reason. 
 
As an engineer I see this as a major design flaw.  You can't control compatibility between other manufacturers, but you certainly can from one model to the next of your own products.  Otherwise you should have changed the connectors on the power supply side of the cables every time you made a PSU that was wired different so the plugs couldn't physically plug into the wrong power supply.
 
I agree with the OP on this one, you could and should have done more to inform people of this issue, a sticker over the power supply ports would do the trick. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
#22
pbniel
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Re: Modular Power Supply fried my drives...who's to blame? 2018/07/12 05:09:45 (permalink)
It really makes no difference who actually makes the power supplies as long as the EVGA name is on the supply and they sell it - it is an EVGA product from a liability standpoint.
 
While I am all for personal responsibility I can understand how anyone could treat them as interchangeable if the sockets are compatible. A product like a power supply from the same manufacturer with this kind of reverse polarity seems to be a major error on the part of EVGA. While all the supplies have the same EVGA name, one becomes a bomb if you plug in the wrong cable into an identical socket. Agree with scotthay and the OP, there are probably numerous specific comparisons but that would just start another discussion. Suffice to say that car manufacturers have spent millions on compensation for errors less harmful than this could be.
 
EVGA should not have let this happen and certainly bears some of the responsibility. There could have been better warnings or really better - different socket types!
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