Over the past week I have received two Machine Check Exception messages, and a couple of times Windows has frozen while booting. This morning the system seemingly booted properly to Desktop but while trying to open a program the system shut down suddenly. The first few times I hit the power button after this the fans whirred briefly then the system returned to stand-by. Now the fans don't even do that. The green power LED on the mobo is lit.
I know I will have to dismantle the whole thing and go through a process of elimination but does anyone have any pointers as to where would be best to start?
It could be your power supply has crapped out.In fact it sounds suspiciously just like that.Start by using a different psu as this is the likely culprit.If that doesn't work,then pull everything out and start from the beginning.Goodluck.
About 3 months ago I had very similar symptoms on one of my machines (without the machine exception errors) - In that instance it was the PSU. It took a while to confirm this as I wasn't aware at the time that a PSU could fail gradually, but apparently they can.
I did the quick - remove cards; clean up dust bunnies; reseat proc; clean and reapply hsf; reseat mem and cards; - all went well until the last item went in and the machine started behaving erratically again. I tried reinstalling all drivers from scratch but that did not work either. The only thing left was PSU so I swapped one out from another machine and hey presto a working machine.
PSU's can fail gradually - I have no idea how - maybe mpilchfamily will know as he seems to be PSU guru hereabouts.
Opened the case up. Decided just to wiggle things about a bit, then powered up to see if anything happened...
... all started as it should but sadly this was accompanied by a short fizzling sound, a small wisp of smoke from somewhere behind the heatsink, and a very strong smeel of electrical burning. Despite everything continuing to work as it should I powered down sharpish.
Took everything apart, dusted everything, removed heatsink and cpu, cleaned them, reapplied thermal paste, put everything back in...
... and the system powered up perfectly.
No idea what was wrong but I now have a suspicion that the atx power cable may have come a touch loose from the socket on the board.