Strangest problem ever

OK, I have trawled interent forums to attempt to discover the issue my PC has faced. The initial spec was taken from the Gaming PC component suggested in Custom PC mag and modified to:

Vista Home Premium
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
Asus P5K Premium/Wifi-AP
4 x 1GB OCZ PC2-8500 Reaper HPC Edition
Tuniq Tower 120
BFG NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS OC 512MB PCIe 2.0
Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro 650W
Samsung SpinPoint - 250GB
Samsung SpinPoint - 750GB
Antec P182
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi extreme Gamer

The system worked fine for over 3 months, including an overclock from 2.4Ghz to 3.1Ghz

Then I attempt to switch the PC on and no boot, classic dark screen, fans spin, lights up on motherboard etc. Nothing else

so I follow onlone instructions to strip system down and try again. This seems to work and I build system. Then it happens again, I phone engineer, he suggests motherboard, as I had run diagnostics on everything else. Ok new motherboard it is with an RMA on original ( I have work to be completed as I make films and cannot wait for weeks/months for replacement, buisiness will pay, sort out later) I take original board out to locate serial code and replace, trying it out once more. To my surprise it boots. The next day it fails

New board. Hoorah. Install new board, nothing, same problems.

Take to engineer, boots fine, evertytime.

take home, boots for a while, then not. Buy stick of ram to check system, no joy. hmmmmm

PC stays with engineer for a few days. It boots everytime for him. No problem with any other components

Look on forums, similar problem with P5K once bios is changed, suggestion to always boot from cold, power leads out etc. This works a few times. then no boot

Ok, check forums (this is all done on my trusty laptop btw) and discover thread with same problem, with pretty much same set up (Custom PC mag spec) User finds solution by buying a different Motherboard after 2 P5Ks. Asus Rampage is ordered, along with New Vista OEM (bloody licence con).

Take to engineers workshop, it boots and I remove all the data I need to save prior to reinstall

So today I put board in and same problem no boot.


... can it be my domestic power supply? I have no major power lines nearby and have tried in other sockets around teh house. Will be taking back to engineers to set up new OS etc and then no idea what to do.

I would suspect something wrong with a component, but it boots fine at the engineers.

19 answers Last reply
More about strangest problem ever
  1. Could very well be if it works fine everywhere but at your home. Where do you live?
  2. Replace that no name PSU pronto! It's like putting a Pinto engine into a Ferrari. Get a 650+W PSU from: Antec, OCZ, PC P&C, Corsair, Zalman, or Seasonic.
  3. 1) Is it possible that there could be some sort of a short when you put the motherboard back into the case? This can happen if you did not use standoffs, or if the screws for the standoffs had unususlly large heads. Look carefully at the ones Antec supplied, there are two different sizes.
    2) A poor quality psu will deteriorate over time. Try using a new top quality psu.
  4. IMHO it sounds like the PSU. I would get the Corsair 620w psu.

    Also a UPS in case you are not getting clean enough power from house current.

    Since the motherboard works when you take it to the Engineer.
  5. I would agree that it is the PSU...but then why would it work at a different location?

    What are you plugging everything into? Are you using an UPS? Power Strip? Straight to the wall socket?

    You said that you plugged it into different sockets around the house... but were they all on the same breaker?

    And when all this doesn't work (My gut feeling says it won't) go ahead and get the new PSU.
  6. OK, the power supply could be a problem and I have tried different sockets and boards, including surge protected units. None of this has worked, although it did work for months up until the issue and occassionally inbetween

    the fact that it works at the engineers and the parts test out ok is really confusing and thus leads me to consider an enviromental factor at my house rather than PSU.

    Surely a short on the board would be either resolved each time I've replaced MOBO or be constant rather than intermitant?

    I don't live near any power lines and unless the military garrison is testing emp that only hits my PC I'm lost for a reason

    The Be Quiet is considered a quality PSU.

    I'm waiting for an opportunity to take my tower, display, keyboard and USB mouse with me to engineers. I want install OS and get the system set up with MOBO. If anything rears its angry little head I will be able to lay the finger of blame on the machine rather than the enviroment.

    Its driving me and associates potty.
  7. I think it COULD be the PSU in combination with the power in your house. A good, solid, brand-name PSU is better equipped to handle power fluctuations than some dying, 6th tier, generic one. So if you're not willing to try swapping PSUs... consider purchasing a UPS. That'd even out the power going to your rig. If that solved it, I'd still think long and hard about a new PSU.
  8. I've just used an online power calculator and it appears that I could be overstretching my 650W PSU, the result was 702Watts.

    Does this ring true with others regarding my symptoms?
  9. A 500W PSU should be fine for that setup.
    Check for shorts.
    Check the wiring. The six pin cable can be plugged in opposite on some PSUs.
    Buy a $5.00 outlet tester and make sure there are no wires crosswired in your house.
  10. correct the 702watt usage on calculator, just rechecked and it comes in at 255watts. had checked wrong box
  11. A technical review of that PSU suggests it should not be the issue. It was almost 87% efficient in that review, with insignificant voltage drops under load. Still, a check of your house power might be in order. Perhaps it is different enough from where the engineers are that it is a factor. Make sure your ground is good too.
  12. Get a good UPS and see if that works. Power blips can wreak havoc on a PC.
  13. Tend to agree with the majority - PSU problem. Rodney and JTT283 have a good point in that it could be a combination of Household AC and PSU.

    I do recommend an UPS. BUT in your case, I would opt for the more expensive regulated output vs the lower end UPSs that only switch to battery when the voltage drops betlow a set point.

    In my house I can see the llights dim when I turn the Vacuum cleaner on. I've also found some wiring problems, Using ground for return, poor electrical connection at the socket ( which also affected other outlets )
  14. I vote for power problem of some sort. I will tell you this up front, the reason most electronics are now on UPS is that the outlets aren't really that reliable, meaning anything really expensive deserves a UPS, from tv's up.

    Now the problem, and I know because I saw it with my own eyes. Last year, I started to notice certain things were working differently than they used to, more interference with a radio, little things like that. Little signs went on for over 6 months....Then one day, I flipped a switch, and 4 compact fluorescent bulbs sounded like they exploded, that caught my attention, what with the bang and all. But I disregarded for a couple minutes, until I tried to plug in something big, I don't remember what it was, but it didn't work right. I put a meter on the socket, and I had bad readings, so I took it straight from the panel. I had 80 volts on one side, and 160 volts on the other side. Called the power company, and an animal had built a nest in my transformer, and corroded the neutral supply right off. Moral of the story, had anything expensive been plugged in, it would now be worthless. Buy a UPS.
  15. Rev Wright said:
    correct the 702watt usage on calculator, just rechecked and it comes in at 255watts. had checked wrong box

    I think the PSU is OK. It has had some good reviews, and the specs are plenty for your system. It is a modular unit. Are you certain that all of the leads are properly plugged in, and not loose. Could you try swapping leads and plugs around? If you had a bad lead cable, you could get intermittent problems.

    Is your wall outlet properly grounded?
  16. I'm pretty sure that the PSU is up for the job as it posts when at engineers (will check again as mentioned when I go over) as fo rthe domestic surply. It has passed testing recently but again unsure why it should not supply PC, when everything else in house is fine, no signs of brown outs or intermitant supply.

    thanks for feedback so far. These are new directions to take after spending £500 on mobos so far.
  17. All leads and connections have had a thorough going over, especially after replacing motherboard a dozen times. Double checked PSU connections today
  18. When you test at the engineer's, are you testing everything that you do at home?
    Same monitor, vga card, cables, keyboard, etc? If not, look at the component/s left behind.
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