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  1.    27 Oct 2015 #1
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 181
    Windows 10

    Dying PC


    My son's computer is dying.

    It locked up suddenly yesterday while he was browsing the PBS Kids website, which he has done countless number of times. Nothing would revive the computer from its frozen state, so my wife had to do a cold boot.

    It took a long time before booting, but it never booted up to even the BIOS screen. The power would come on, with the fans whirling and the lights coming on in the case, but only for 3-5 seconds. Then it would power off on its own, and a few seconds later, the power would cycle on again on its own.

    It would keep cycling like this forever until I kept the power button on the case depressed to manually power down the computer.

    I thought for sure it's a problem with a dying PSU, so I got a new PSU. I built this system in 2008, so it's been many years after all. I replaced the PSU this evening, and the problem persisted.

    Does it mean that I have a dying motherboard?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    28 Oct 2015 #2
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 181
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    I am buying a new CPU, motherboard, and memory for this computer.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    What do you think of the parts? It's not meant to be a top-of-the-line gaming PC, but a respectable one.

    I am keeping the GTX 460, the new PSU, the HDD and DVD drive, and the case.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    28 Oct 2015 #3
    Join Date : Jul 2014
    San Jose, California
    Posts : 2,207
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64

    The power would come on, with the fans whirling and the lights coming on in the case, but only for 3-5 seconds. Then it would power off on its own, and a few seconds later, the power would cycle on again on its own.
    The CPU has a temperature sensor, if it detects the temp exceeding the limit, it will shutdown the PC to prevent further damage. Double check if the CPU heatsink somehow got loose.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    28 Oct 2015 #4
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 181
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the advice.

    But if it were a heating issue, wouldn't it take a while before the CPU heats up? The computer shuts down after 2-3 seconds of powering up, even before POST.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    28 Oct 2015 #5
    Join Date : Jul 2014
    San Jose, California
    Posts : 2,207
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64

    Quote Originally Posted by satchmo View Post
    Thanks for the advice.

    But if it were a heating issue, wouldn't it take a while before the CPU heats up? The computer shuts down after 2-3 seconds of powering up, even before POST.
    No, the temp of the CPU spike up at boot time and that's why you hear the whirling sound from the fan speed increased.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    28 Oct 2015 #6
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 181
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by topgundcp View Post
    No, the temp of the CPU spike up at boot time and that's why you hear the whirling sound from the fan speed increased.
    Thank you again. I learn something new every day.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    28 Oct 2015 #7
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 181
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    I got it working again!

    I pushed down on the CPU heat sink to ensure that it's making good contact with the CPU. I checked all the power connectors again, especially the 4-pin connector to the CPU. I pressed down firmly on all the memory modules. I turned on the computer while the case was open, checking all the fans.

    And it just worked! I was so surprised that I couldn't believe it at first.

    Thank you!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    28 Oct 2015 #8
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 181
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to topgundcp again.
    Darn!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    28 Oct 2015 #9
    Join Date : Jun 2015
    N.Y.
    Posts : 3,069
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit

    Question, if this heatsink was in fact possibly loose wouldn't there be then an issue with thermal paste also or it may need to be reapplied now again too? Maybe it wasn't this at all, but makes me wonder pushing down on it if loose. Also first thought of PSU issue, maybe was loose connectors or RAM. Surprisingly no beeps at boot.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    28 Oct 2015 #10
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 181
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Question, if this heatsink was in fact possibly loose wouldn't there be then an issue with thermal paste also or it may need to be reapplied now again too?

    That's what I thought, so I monitored the CPU temp throughout the day today, and it never exceeded 40 Celsius.

    My suspicion is that the PSU was the culprit all along. What I can't explain is why didn't the computer boot normally the first time after I replaced the PSU.

    Whatever the cause, the boogeyman is gone.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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