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Built a PC in Tokyo, but it just repeatedly powers on and off. Power supply problem?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 6, 2013 9:30:17 PM

Hello, first time on this forum.

A few days ago I began building my own gaming PC for the first time. So I am very ignorant of a lot of computer hardware (and software!) things, apologies in advance. And I don't know if it is relevant, but I built this computer in Tokyo with parts bought at local electronics stores.

I have assembled everything, carefully following online guides. However, when I try to power up the system it goes through a cycle of continually booting and shutting down. During this time, I can hear/see the CPU fan, case fans, graphics card fans, hard drive, and optical reader all briefly running. No output to my monitor though.

I've spent literally over 10 hours going through every troubleshooting checklist I could find on the internet, including the list on Tom's Hardware, and I've tried EVERYTHING suggested, but none of these issues have resolved my problem. Really, I tried every single thing I read - re-installed the CPU (it is not fried), tried turning the motherboard on outside of the case to see if it is a electrical short problem... I even tried all three power outlets in my apartment.

So I am wondering if I don't just have enough power. The box for my Twin FrozrIII graphics card say the PSU requirements are 450w, but the manual that came with it says 550w. Why do you think the package and the manual state different power requirements? I am about to go out and just buy a Corsair 650w PSU to try it out, but I wanted to check here first before I waste any more money.



System specs:
Graphics card: msi GeForce GTX 660 Twin FrozrIII (OC Edition)
PSU: Corsair cx500m (500w)
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570k 3400mhz
HardDrive: SCI 7200rpm
Motherboard: Gigabyte LGA1155 Z77-HD3
RAM: Team Elite Dual Channel 1333Mhz DDR3 4GBx2

Steps I have already tried:
1) Assemble just MOBO and PSU outside of case and attempted boot-ups with one stick of RAM, two sticks of RAM, and zero sticks of RAM.
2) Checked for bent pins on MOBO and in PCU.
3) Reset BIOS with the CLR_CMOS jumper and by taking out the battery for a few minutes.
4) Checked that 8-pin and 24-pin cables to the MOBO at firmly attached.
April 6, 2013 9:36:36 PM

The voltage in japan is 100v, while in america it's 120v. Does the psu have a setting on it for 120v? It should be a inset switch on the back to change voltages.
April 6, 2013 9:42:07 PM

thor220 said:
The voltage in japan is 100v, while in america it's 120v. Does the psu have a setting on it for 120v? It should be a inset switch on the back to change voltages.


Thanks for the quick reply.

It seems there is no switch on the back of this power supply because it has "Universal AC input from 90-264V".
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April 6, 2013 9:47:59 PM

1st, try resetting the bios. Do this by removing the battery for a few minutes with the power unplugged and put it back in.

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April 6, 2013 9:53:01 PM
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I had a similar problem, and it was fixed when I realized I hadn't put the RAM in right. Push it in until the plastic tabs clicks back into place without you pushing them, it might require a firmer hand then you expected. You do have RAM, right? You don't mention it in your specs, but I assume that was an omission for time.
April 6, 2013 10:07:32 PM

Yes I do have RAM, and yes I forgot to list it haha.
Team Elite Dual Channel 1333Mhz DDR3 4GBx2

I've checked the RAM sockets countless times, and in different order/placement, as well as just 1 RAM stick at a time and I still get the same result. I'll try again though.
April 6, 2013 10:09:27 PM

thor220 said:
1st, try resetting the bios. Do this by removing the battery for a few minutes with the power unplugged and put it back in.


Left battery out for 10+ minutes again and still getting same results. I've tried "shorting" the cmos_reset fuse thing too, but didn't work. :( 
April 6, 2013 10:17:37 PM

Does anyone know why the package for the graphics card and the manual for the graphics card would list different wattage? Again, the package lists "450w required" while the manual lists "550w required". My current power source is only 500w, so I am really close to just going and buying a 650w power source to try it out, but I wanted to hear what you all think first...
April 6, 2013 10:18:05 PM

Is the motherboard operating? (fans on, indicator lights ect)
Does it still occur when there is no ram present?

If the answer to the above is yes:
Try switching power cables

If that's a no go:

was the computer working in tokyo?

If you didn't find out it could be either the PSU or motherboard (bent pins)

I do not know how to isolate further though, unless you get another PSU. If you do get to this point just buy a cheap one for testing.

Unless someone else knows how to isolate this without additional parts. . .

April 6, 2013 10:20:51 PM

mhart said:
Does anyone know why the package for the graphics card and the manual for the graphics card would list different wattage? Again, the package lists "450w required" while the manual lists "550w required". My current power source is only 500w, so I am really close to just going and buying a 650w power source to try it out, but I wanted to hear what you all think first...


Many manuals have typos in them, yours is not the only one. On the power supply, it should be good unless you want to add drives, overclock, or hook up a bunch of USB stuff.
April 6, 2013 10:42:41 PM

thor220 said:
Is the motherboard operating? (fans on, indicator lights ect)
Does it still occur when there is no ram present?

If the answer to the above is yes:
Try switching power cables

If that's a no go:

was the computer working in tokyo?

If you didn't find out it could be either the PSU or motherboard (bent pins)

I do not know how to isolate further though, unless you get another PSU. If you do get to this point just buy a cheap one for testing.

Unless someone else knows how to isolate this without additional parts. . .



Thanks again for your suggestions.

Removed all RAM, and it still powers up and shuts down repeatedly as before. Motherboard seems to be working fine, the CPU fan and everything else connected to the motherboard (including DVD drive and hard drive) power up just fine. But I have never gotten any "beeps"...

Could you explain more what you mean by "switching power cables"? (remember, total newbie here haha)

I pretty thoroughly inspected the motherboard and found no bent pins or other apparent damage. The fans on the graphics card also seem to be running smoothly, so I don't think that is damaged.
April 6, 2013 10:50:10 PM

Could it be shorting out? Did you install the metal stand offs when you installed the motherboard?
April 6, 2013 10:54:37 PM

garrick said:
Could it be shorting out? Did you install the metal stand offs when you installed the motherboard?


Yes I have the metal stand things installed. But I forgot to mention that the first time I put the motherboard in the case there were two metal stands not installed. Noting was damaged when I did that (I don't think) because I checked the back of the motherboard and nothing is bent or cracked. Is it possible that some unseen damage was done by trying to start the machine without all of the metal stands set up?
April 7, 2013 1:37:57 AM

mhart said:
garrick said:
Could it be shorting out? Did you install the metal stand offs when you installed the motherboard?


Yes I have the metal stand things installed. But I forgot to mention that the first time I put the motherboard in the case there were two metal stands not installed. Noting was damaged when I did that (I don't think) because I checked the back of the motherboard and nothing is bent or cracked. Is it possible that some unseen damage was done by trying to start the machine without all of the metal stands set up?


No if you had most of the standoffs installed a few missing would not usually cause a short. It's when no stand offs are installed that the back of the motherboard short circuits because the solder points are touching the metal case. This happened to a friend and the computer would not power on and after much head scratching we figured the cause was the lack of stand offs.
Anyhow if you aren't getting enough power try this, remove your video card and power on your computer. If it stays on then most likely you are not getting sufficient power but if it does the same on off cycle then a lack of power is not your problem.
Next time you choose a PSU don't just go for total wattage but look for how much power it can run on the 12v rails. Most accessories use the 12v rail and not much runs on the 3v and 5v rails which used to be used more frequently in the past.
April 7, 2013 3:32:06 AM

garrick said:
mhart said:
garrick said:
Could it be shorting out? Did you install the metal stand offs when you installed the motherboard?


Yes I have the metal stand things installed. But I forgot to mention that the first time I put the motherboard in the case there were two metal stands not installed. Noting was damaged when I did that (I don't think) because I checked the back of the motherboard and nothing is bent or cracked. Is it possible that some unseen damage was done by trying to start the machine without all of the metal stands set up?


No if you had most of the standoffs installed a few missing would not usually cause a short. It's when no stand offs are installed that the back of the motherboard short circuits because the solder points are touching the metal case. This happened to a friend and the computer would not power on and after much head scratching we figured the cause was the lack of stand offs.
Anyhow if you aren't getting enough power try this, remove your video card and power on your computer. If it stays on then most likely you are not getting sufficient power but if it does the same on off cycle then a lack of power is not your problem.
Next time you choose a PSU don't just go for total wattage but look for how much power it can run on the 12v rails. Most accessories use the 12v rail and not much runs on the 3v and 5v rails which used to be used more frequently in the past.


I removed the motherboard and tried to start it up with just the power supply and PCU attached (for at least the 8th time, literally) and the same start-stop repeat ensues. I checked the CPU (for the 5th time) and there are no broken or bent pins. What should I do at this point? Are my only options to go buy a new power supply, CPU, RAM, and motherboard and just see which fixes the problem? I really, really don't want to gamble like that, I don't have much money after buying all the parts for my new system, and actually can only afford to replace one of these pieces. Otherwise I'll be waiting 2-3 months as I save up money. Hah.

I really appreciate whatever support or feedback I can get on this, I've never felt as helpless, frustrated, and stupid as I do right now.
April 7, 2013 10:37:51 AM

Its very rare that a CPU is defective so you can probably rule out the cpu as the culprit. How long does the PC stay powered on before it shuts down? From what you've told me the motherboard sounds like the culprit here but without spare parts I don't think you can rule out the power supply either. Did you buy your parts new and if so which store?
If it's a computer specialized store like PC Depot they should probably have staff there that can take a look at it.
April 7, 2013 1:28:39 PM

Yeah i had the same issue when I installed my first 3570k. The PC would randomly shut down and start up. Turned out one of those tiny pins was bent just a bit by me accidentily moving the processor alittle to the side when installing it, was a big change from the ease of installing an AMD. Since we have ruled out many other factors, it seems the likely culprit. I don't know where you got it from, so I don't know their return procedures. If you are not able to return that mobo, might I recommend the ASRock z77 Extreme4?
a b ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
April 7, 2013 2:19:31 PM

What if you try it with no CPU? (some motherboards start without a CPU while others do not but worth a try)

At this point I would say either bad PSU or bad motherboard. Can you try a different PSU?
April 7, 2013 4:26:00 PM

Quote:
Turned out one of those tiny pins was bent just a bit by me accidentily moving the processor alittle to the side when installing it, was a big change from the ease of installing an AMD. Since we have ruled out many other factors, it seems the likely culprit.


Well I don't think any pins are bent. Here is a photo of how my PCU slot/bed/socket looked:


Do you see anything bad?
April 7, 2013 4:30:35 PM

garrick said:
How long does the PC stay powered on before it shuts down? From what you've told me the motherboard sounds like the culprit here but without spare parts I don't think you can rule out the power supply either. Did you buy your parts new and if so which store?
If it's a computer specialized store like PC Depot they should probably have staff there that can take a look at it.


I bought all my parts new from Bic Camera in Tokyo. The staff in the PC section there seem to know what they are doing, gonna call and ask if they will inspect my stuff if I bring it in.

By the way here is a photo of my power source. I am wondering if those two red-colored, slightly melty-looking brass wires are indicative of damage? All the other wires in that pattern are pure bronze-brass colored. What do you think?


a b ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
April 7, 2013 4:43:37 PM

Probably adhesive.
April 7, 2013 4:49:33 PM

UPDATE

I ran a test on my power supply, using a paperclip to short the 24-pin plug and connecting just the case fans, and it seems my power supply is fine. So I guess my motherboard is damaged?
April 7, 2013 7:26:47 PM

mhart said:
UPDATE

I ran a test on my power supply, using a paperclip to short the 24-pin plug and connecting just the case fans, and it seems my power supply is fine. So I guess my motherboard is damaged?


It's the only thing untested, so it looks like it. One thing before you go and get a new one/replacement. Can you run the motherboard outside the case on an insulated surface. Just ram motherboard and cpu. This will ensure that no shorting is occurring and that we can say for certain that it's the motherboard. I don't want you spending any money you don't have to.
April 8, 2013 12:41:56 AM

I bought a motherboard speaker attachment. Now when I start up the motherboard (with ONLY the PSU and PCU+fan attached), I get about thirty fast beeps while the reboot cycle goes on. Same thing happens with or without RAM installed (doesn't matter which slots, or one or two sticks of RAM).

Does anyone know what to make of this?
a b ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2013 12:53:45 AM

Did you try CPU out yet?
April 8, 2013 4:01:41 AM

Problem solved... It ended up being DOA RAM, thankfully.

I really appreciate all the help and advice I got here! I'll probably be back in the near future with other hardware problems, haha.
April 8, 2013 4:07:58 AM

mhart said:
Problem solved... It ended up being DOA RAM, thankfully.

I really appreciate all the help and advice I got here! I'll probably be back in the near future with other hardware problems, haha.


If you ever have problems in the future the beeps usually have some sort of meaning like bad or no ram will have say a series of short beeps and a bad video card will be one long beep or something like that.
It will be written in your motherboard manual so that is a very good tool to keep in mind. I'm glad you got your problem solved!
!