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The strangest problem... (updated 10-14-06)- please help!!

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October 11, 2006 1:45:55 AM

My computer randomly doesn't start up from time to time... the thing is, it only happens when I move it.

Case 1:
-Built it, wouldn't start at all... the mobo power indicator turns on but nothing else works. After unplugging and replugging it a few times, it worked perfectly fine until...

Case 2:
-A week later when I took it to college. I checked all connections and nothing would work (except the mobo power indicator). I reseated the memory and it worked fine for a month and then...

Case 3: (here's where it gets odd)
-I take it home this past weekend, and it works fine. I decide to move it downstairs so that I can hook it up to our big TV so I can watch some avi/mpg movies. As soon as I try to start it downstairs... nothing (again, mobo light is on). I try everything and nothing works and then it starts up after about half an hour of trying stuff. I'm not sure what exactly it was that I did...

Case 4:
-Back in college (today) and I try to start it and no dice... and this time, it looks like it won't be powering up at all. The mobo power indicator is on, like aways but nothing else works. I've check all connections, tried different power outlets, reseated my memory a few times and even reconnected everything.




What could my computer's problem be? I don't understand why this happens when I move it... after I can get it to start once, it runs perfectly fine until I move it again. I thought a loose connection might be it but everything is connected very well.

Can any of you help? This is really more headache than I really need. :cry: 

EDIT* New info:
I noticed that after removing and replacing the mobo back into place, when I pressed the power button, the fans for the CPU, GPU, and PS would spin for a little bit before dying. It only does it once but I can make it happen again if I unplug the power cord, let it sit for a while, and then try it again.

And sometimes, after it's been unplugged for a while, the PS LEDs light up (again for a split second) as well.

Is this new info any indication?
October 11, 2006 3:00:23 AM

Long ago with my first build I had a similar problem, mobo light on, the pc turned on only when it wanted. After hardly looking I found out the case was doing short circuit with the Mobo with a loose screw. The mobo turned on when the screw was not doing short circuit, the while it was on it worked perfectly, but when it sensed a short circuit the PSU didint turn on preventing hardware damage. So im not stating you have a loose screw in your case but look at the possibility of having a short circuit somewhere in your build, if possible try another PSU or case to discard the problem.
October 11, 2006 4:17:07 AM

I'll try reconnecting everything... I can't possibly think it's a loose connection.

My PS did have some rather low volts on the rails but I thought that was fixed when I manually adjusted them (it has adjustible rails). I've already ordered another PSU, exactly like the one I have now, and will see if that helps. It'll be here in a few days.

Until then, I'll have to check my connections and maybe reseat my CPU. I never did check that and it does look like it's on a bit awkward. Too bad I forgot to bring my AS5 with me and have no other thermal compound! :?
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October 11, 2006 4:36:22 AM

my experience from intermittent unexplained losses in power is faulty PSU.

maybe u could troubleshoot by stripping down to barebones and work your way up?

hope this helps
October 11, 2006 5:27:05 AM

I had the same problem for the longest time with my old P3 440bx mobo. I just couldn't figure it out. I pulled it apart piece by piece so many times to replace stuff of try different things that I overlook a screw for one of the mobo stand-offs. On every mobo I've seen, the screws that go to the stand-offs are also ground points. After I replaced the missing screw it worked fine until it die from natural causes. I've seen some "low noise" setups that use rubber gromets, or people that have acrylic cases, that have problems like this. Rebuld that puppy piece by piece, you'll find the problem. Good luck!
October 13, 2006 6:02:24 PM

I put in the new PS... and I got nothing.

I don't know what's wrong. I had to reconnect everything, which I did carefully, and got a new PS and still nothing.

I also made sure that all the screws for the mobo were in so that can't be it.

The only thing that I haven't been able to try is another case. How can I check to see if my case has a short circuit?

Could it be something else? Maybe a bad mobo?
October 13, 2006 6:27:50 PM

Is it possible that you had a standoff shorting and was slowly killing the board - and now its dead?

Can you take the board, GPU and PSU out of the case and hook it up on a non-conductive table?
October 13, 2006 7:01:20 PM

I've had the same problem with my old Dell Inspiron 4150. Whenever I move it somewhere, the power light turns on, then everything just shuts off.

After going through hours of tech support, I found out that it was the motherboard, which had practically melted itself over the course of the 4 years I owned it (A laptop running at 91ยบ celsius while playing games is likely to melt silicon). And for anyone that doubts the high temperatures, it's a Pentium 4 (that should say it all).

See if you can get your motherboard replaced or borrow one and test that out.
October 13, 2006 8:01:58 PM

I'm also thinking it's the mobo now... for one reason or another. The mobo I have isn't known as the best but I didn't read too many things about it's reliability. Still, I can't see what else it could be besides a loose screw somewhere.

I'll check and tighten all the screws and hopefully that'll fix the problem. If not, it'll be a long time before this baby is up and running again.
October 13, 2006 9:03:56 PM

A friend of mine just pointed something out... whenever I hit the power button, the PSU fan spins and lights up for a split second.

What does that mean? I'm assuming it's safe to bet my mobo is the problem?
!