Computer shuts down a few seconds after power switched on

Hey guys,

I've recently been having this problem with my computer, which I built in late 2010. It was running fine until about a month ago when it started shutting down immediately, before anything comes up on the screen. I went through this checklist and nothing there was the issue:

I ended up buying a POST debug card to try to figure out my problem, although I don't understand the information it gives me that well. It shuts off along with everything else when I try to turn the computer on, but it consistently ends on "03 dA" or "03 d9", and occasionally it gets one step past that to "2A 24". From reading the manual on the POST card it seems that that points to the CPU?

To make things more interesting, for about a week (after it had been nonfunctioning during my tests for 2 weeks) it was able to turn on and function seemingly fine, but now it's back to the same failure (and now consistently gives only "03 dA" on the POST card). While it was on I went to my task manager and looked at the performance page, which showed that my 4th core was stuck at max usage for about 30-60 minutes. Here's a screenshot:

After paying attention to the LED's on the POST card I noticed that all the voltage lights and the CLK light stay on, and the reset light flashes on and off during the 5 seconds of power before staying lit for the last half a second (after which everything turns off). Not sure what this means.

I've reseated the CPU, checked it for bent pins and whatnot and any other obvious problems. I checked all the cables and reseated everything else, and the side CPU power is plugged in as it has been for years. I also checked all the voltages out of my PSU and they are fine.

Here are my computers specs:


Thanks in advance for any help you guys can provide! My next step is replace the CPU but I'd certainly welcome any ideas that might prevent me having to do that, or give me a more definitive answer as to what I might have to do.
7 answers Last reply
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  1. My OS is windows 7, by the way, if that changes anything.
  2. Have you moved the PC to another room that gets very cold?
    remove memory and add only one stick to the system and boot and see what happens.
    disconnect power, remove BIOS battery... wait, insert battery again, plug back in and try again.
    on board motherboard video so you can see if it is the GPU?
    check all main power cables, check CPU power cable also check thermo paste on CPU cooler.
  3. My room is in the basement, so I don't think it's going to get any colder than that. I tried booting with only 1 stick of ram as well as resetting the battery. I checked all the power cables visually and with a multimeter, and I reseated the CPU with new thermal paste.
  4. well i had the same problem with my pc when i had it in a room that has no climate control in winter, it would boot, turn off and i would do this 3 times until it stayed on, moved it back into the house and also when not winter it worked fine, Computers hate being to cold and to hot. Just something to try.

    It seems you have done everything i would do, good luck. Please post here if you find the answer.
  5. Well I will move it to a more neutral room and give it a shot, thanks for the advice.
  6. According to AMI's website (, the description for the "03" checkpoint, which is almost always where my system fails, is:
    "Disable NMI, Parity, video for EGA, and DMA controllers. Initialize BIOS, POST, Runtime data area. Also initialize BIOS modules on POST entry and GPNV area. Initialized CMOS as mentioned in the Kernel Variable "wCMOSFlags." "

    Could someone explain what that means to me?
  7. bump
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