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Computer restarts randomly - tried different components issue getting worse

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January 26, 2014 9:21:51 AM

Hi everyone,

I have a HTPC build that I bought used last year that is giving me a lot of trouble. For the past month the computer will restart itself randomly during use. The restart is not a clean windows restart, it is a hard power down then immediate restart with Windows displaying "Your computer did not shut off cleanly....". The error displayed in Windows 7 event viewer is Event 41 Kernel-Power with BugCheckCode0.

Recently I found that I can reproduce this hard restart if I do this: Boot up computer and wait for Windows to load up to desktop. Immediately start clicking frantically around and almost every time the computer will restart.

I've switched out the old PSU with a new one, but the same restart happens. I've taken out both memory sticks and replaced with a stick from my other build that for sure works. Same problem.

The BIG problem is now the computer won't even start up 80% of the time!!! I've put all the components back in their place (except for PSU, using the new one) but the computer won't turn on!! The lights will be on, fans will spin but no BIOS screen, and no Windows booting up.

Please help, I'm not sure what to do now.

PC specifications (If I remember correctly, since I can't boot up)
Processor: Intel i3-2120
Mobo: Asus P8H61-I
RAM: Kingston HyperX 2x4 GB (http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...)
Hard drive: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD
New PSU: Silverstone SFX 450W (http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...)
Old PSU: FSP group SFX 300W

EDIT: It may be useful to mention that I don't think it is a software issue with Windows because once when I was checking the settings in the Asus BIOS menu, the computer also restarted on it's own.
January 26, 2014 9:30:44 AM

Try with the old RAM, see if you can get the display. The problem could be your MB.
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January 26, 2014 10:22:52 AM

lonewolf7 said:
Try with the old RAM, see if you can get the display. The problem could be your MB.


I've put the old RAM in, seems like computer boots up ok now (strange, it wasn't before). But now instead of rebooting itself randomly, windows hangs/crashes. The display is frozen and pressing the CAPS LCK key on the keyboard has no effect.

I'm restoring windows to a previous restore point. I'll see if that gets rid of the hanging.

As for the motherboard, I was hoping no one here would say that. This is because as you know I would need to detach everything and reassemble it all back together.

I will wait a bit longer to see if there are any more idea. If not then I guess I must try the motherboard then.

EDIT: system restore was no use. The thing hangs during booting into safe mode.

Oh man I hope I didn't completely fry my mobo and RAM this morning trying to fix it.

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January 26, 2014 11:13:31 AM

I assume you have another desktop computer and you can get into the BIOS of your HTPC. Correct? It's just that your machine can't boot. right?
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January 26, 2014 11:17:27 AM

Remove all the RAM sticks, start the PC, try to hear for beep sound, if the MB is beeping than probably its ok, but may not be completely ok. If it doesn't beep then its dead for sure. Try it see what happens. I will be back tomorrow, till then good night.
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January 26, 2014 11:40:00 AM

voodooking said:
I assume you have another desktop computer and you can get into the BIOS of your HTPC. Correct? It's just that your machine can't boot. right?


Yes I have another working desktop computer. The original problem of HTPC was that the computer reboots itself randomly. Now the problem is that it will sometimes boot up Windows then hang at a random point, or it will not boot up at all, not even the BIOS.
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January 26, 2014 11:55:52 AM

lonewolf7 said:
Remove all the RAM sticks, start the PC, try to hear for beep sound, if the MB is beeping than probably its ok, but may not be completely ok. If it doesn't beep then its dead for sure. Try it see what happens. I will be back tomorrow, till then good night.


There is no speaker attached to the motherboard of the HTPC.

I had another mobo which had the speaker but I removed it and placed it somewhere, I can't find where it is now... I never thought it would become useful :( 
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January 27, 2014 6:21:24 AM

Most MB's has built-in speakers for error beep messages, so try the method I said earlier. The MB should beep without RAM stick regardless of speaker or no speaker.
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January 27, 2014 7:02:57 AM

lonewolf7 said:
Most MB's has built-in speakers for error beep messages, so try the method I said earlier. The MB should beep without RAM stick regardless of speaker or no speaker.


Not this MB. This one does not have built in speaker. Like I said I remember the MB speaker is a little attachment that would be connected to a 3/4 pin SPDIF out from the motherboard. There is no speaker attached to that 3/4 pin out on this motherboard.

Regardless, I think I have found the issue to be the motherboard. I've attached SSD to another working computer and used it as primary boot drive. I've installed Windows fresh on it and then returned it to the HTPC. As soon as it is returned to HTPC it crashes, so it is not SSD problem.

The memory slot closest to the processor does not seem to work. A memory stick that works in the second slot will behave differently if changed to the first slot. Any memory in the first slot causes the computer to not POST, or crash/hang. I will proceed with RMA of motherboard from Asus.

Thanks for your help.
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Best solution

January 27, 2014 7:46:23 AM

Yes RMA would be the only option. Good luck and welcome.

BTW if you have formatted the SSD on a different MB, and now if you are trying the SSD on your HTPC as a primary drive then it should crash, nothing abnormal in it. About RAM slot : That slot could be faulty, but not all the slots, atleast I think so. Now its your call on RMA.
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