HP Compaq d530s (SFF, small form factor) PCs use a proprietary ATX power supply. They are remarkably slim, and even include PFC (power factor correction) circuitry in an amazingly small package. These power supplies are quite efficient, which means they can be of a much lower wattage - 185 Watts in the case of the PS-5181-1HFE or HP-L185VA3P - and still be able to power a Pentium 4 system.
Quite often, these blow up with a bang and smoke upon connection to 240v mains power. The power supply will fail in one of two states:
Occasionally, the motherboard will sustain damage due to the PSU outputting excessive power during the brief instant of the boom.
Both of these failure states are caused by poor manufacturing: the glue used to hold the components in position whilst they are being soldered becomes conductive after long periods of being exposed to heat. Generally this happens after the PC has been in operation for an extended period of time, such as in school environments and corporate settings where the PC may be left on continuously for years at a time. The glue becomes hygroscopic, and when left unused for some time, it will absorb enough moisture to become conductive - causing an overload - and several critical components go short circuit as a result. The surge current is usually enough to trip a 16A circuit breaker.
Up to 30 percent of these PCs are affected after one to two years, especially if they have been moved, or unplugged for some period of time. Users have reported problems after moving the PCs out of an air-conditioned environment - moisture then soaks into the glue, exacerbating the problem.
If it were not for these PSU problems, the d530 SFF would have been an excellent and reliable corporate/business desktop PC. Note: The full sized d530 desktop tower PC uses a different PSU and is not affected by this problem. We also have information about the older sister of the d530, the Compaq Evo d510 SFF
Also known under the following names:
308617-001 - Compaq 185W PFC DC Switching Power Supply Business PC D530 SFF D538 D325 Workstation XW3100 RP5000 DC5000 DX2000
Part No. 308439-001
Replace with Spare No.: 308617-001
Model Number: PS-5181-1HFE
Alternative model: HP-L185VA3P, Series PDP-124P
HP will charge approximately $140 AUD for replacements, and depending on the age of the PC, this will not be economical, as the cost of the replacement PSU may be as high as one half of the value of a fully working secondhand replacement PC.
If you are interested in having the PSUs repaired for half the cost of what HP are charging for replacements, you can make an enquiry using the contact details on the home page.
Turnaround is usually a day or two per 4 computers. Discounts will be considered for bulk lots. If you are in metro Melbourne, You can send/deliver the entire PC to us - the PSUs are somewhat difficult to remove, and total removal is not necessary for repair. We can repair the PSUs whilst still attached to the rest of the system, so wiring looms are not disturbed or unravelled.
If you need instructions to remove the PSU, see How to remove a PDP124P PSU from an HP Compaq d530 SFF desktop PC.
Additional d530 info has some useful tips for getting a faulty system up and running in an emergency.
We also offer preventative maintenance to d530 SFF PCs, many of which have the problem waiting to happen. If you will be moving or purchasing large quantities of these PCs, we offer a preventative maintenance service to ensure that the power supplies do not succumb to the explosive failure upon application of mains power. Preventative maintenance only needs to be performed once on the power supplies which have not been serviced before.
Our rates are just a fraction of the cost of repair or replacement. Contact us for more information.