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Newly Upgraded PC Powered Up Twice, Now Doesn't

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January 5, 2009 7:33:34 AM

Today I upgraded my CPU and motherboard to a Q9550 on a MSI P45-8D. I'm running 4 gigs of G.SKILL DDR2-800 RAM, a EVGA GeForce 8800 GT, and am using a BFG 650W PSU. After getting it set up and hitting the power button for the fist time, the power came on normally.

After 3 - 4 seconds I heard the normal BIOS post beep, but after a second or two it was followed by a series of other beeps. I unfortunately did not catch the exact number, but I suspect it was at least 5.

I went ahead and powered down, and realized that I had not yet plugged in a hard drive. After plugging in the SATA drive, the computer would no longer start up. When I hit the power button the case lights flicker and all fans begin to spin, but everything immediately shut down in under 1 second. I switched the PSU off/on, tried a new outlet, but still had the same result.

After about 20 minutes of surfing the net for answers, I went ahead and tried again without changing anything. To my amazement, everything powered up - all fans began spinning and front case lights came on. BIOS posted, but I got an on-screen error saying CMOS needed to be configured. After about 5 minutes of poking around in the BIOS, I noticed the CPU was hovering around 30C / 85F, which sounds very warm to me. Upon exiting the BIOS and restarting, the system began to boot Windows XP 64 bit Pro, which was still installed on my HD from previous configuration. When the Windows logo came up, I got the blue screen of death. I'm sure it's simply because it was still looking for the old hardware, but figured I'd throw that detail in anyway.

Further attempts to boot over the next 5 - 10 minutes resulted in the same problem I had before: case lights flicker and fans start to spin, but everything shuts down in under a second. One hour later, I tried again and had the same results. I resat the RAM and tried a different hard drive with no new results.

The PSU, RAM, HDs, and GPU were all working flawlessly prior to the CPU/mobo swap.

I've built 3 PCs in the past and have done minor hardware troubleshooting, but I've never ran across a PC that would only boot part of the time. Got any tips before I start tearing this thing apart? What would cause the power to come on for only the split second?

Thanks a lot guys!

More about : newly upgraded powered

January 5, 2009 7:44:55 AM

WOW LOL< you need to load windows again most likely, wipe the drive, boot from the Windows CD and off you go...
January 5, 2009 7:49:20 AM

I tested it with a clean hard drive. Plus, a system should still at least power up regardless of whats on the hard drive.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 5, 2009 7:49:59 AM

Sounds like the HDD fried to me, your temps are fine. Another thing to try is a BIOS flash. If that still does not work, pop out the CMOS battery (oversized watch battery) for about 5 minutes. Put it back in, then attempt to boot. (good luck on a stable BIOS, you have an MSI)
January 5, 2009 8:41:12 AM

A doubt a BIOS flash will cure this, and IH8U is right, the 'auto' BIOS voltages always run a bit warm. Is you ATX aux power lead in? (the 4 or usually 8 pin one?) Just a thought...
January 5, 2009 9:38:12 AM

Did you plug your memory into the right slots, that board has 8 of them.
January 5, 2009 5:49:11 PM

Good news. I stripped everything down, resat the CPU and heatsink, and did a bench test (outside of the case) and it powered up fine several times over. One odd thing I noticed though is that when I hit the power button there is a delay of 2 seconds or so before anything comes alive.

Why do you think it wasn't working inside the case, but works fine when the guts are spewed out onto my desk? I suppose there could of been a short, but I was under the impression that something like that would permanently fry the board. It is working fine now.

I still haven't gotten around to installing Windows, but in the BIOS the core temp is still hovering around 25 - 30 C. This is acceptable? What would you say the cap is for the Q9550 running at stock speed?

This computer is going to be doing a lot of 3D rendering, so I will probably end up getting an after market heat sink and fan.

@ mighty442, yea I made sure to put the DDR2 into the correct DDR2 slots. I plan on upgrading to a full 16 gigs after I get this thing up and running.
January 5, 2009 10:41:52 PM

The computer is back to the old problem. I'm beginning to think it has to do with the RAM, but I don't see what it could be.

It was running fine all evening, though still laid out on my bench, not inside the case yet. I was able to format a hard drive and fully install Windows, meanwhile restarting and booting back up just fine.

However when the install got finished, I shut it down and installed a second stick of RAM, the same exact DDR2-800. When I went to power back up, it starting doing the same thing it was before - power flickers, fans spin for an instant, but everything shuts down immediately.

This is the RAM i'm using, and I made sure to follow the motherboards manual that lists which slots use DDR2 (as opposed to the other DDR3 slots).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I took the motherboards battery out for 5 minutes, but nothing changed.

Could it be a heating problem? My laptop does something similar when it gets too hot. The heat sinks in this case don't feel very warm, though.

I should also mention that after the initial start up attempt (when the power flashes for an instant), there is no response to the power button until after I shut the PSU off for a couple minutes. This worries me it still might be some kind of short.

How can I tell if my PSU meets the requirements for all my equipment? It's a 650W, but I don't know much more about the specifics of power distribution.
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
January 6, 2009 12:50:23 AM

Ok sorry I'm not trying to write a book here, but this is just too weird.

5 minutes after posting the previous post, I walked downstairs and hit the power button. System started up and booted no problem.

I should mention though that after the initial post beep, once the MSI logo cames up I got 2 additional very short beeps. No error codes were displayed, and everything continued to boot fine. This would happen each time I would restart, again encountering no other problems

BUT OF COURSE as soon as I put everything back into the case, the problem comes back. Tomorrow I'm going to go buy a new power supply.
January 6, 2009 1:10:39 AM

That is a really good temp for your CPU, it is NO WHERE near being too hot. I'm running a Q6600 and it's in the upper 30's, that's mainly because I have a case with a lot of sound insulation (which makes it like an oven). Email MSI and ask them for you motherboard's beep codes. I had to email Gigabyte to get mine. They may be able to help you.
January 6, 2009 4:14:49 PM

Hi, I have not posted much on the forums but I am fairly new. The problem you are having sounds extremely simular to a couple that I've seen before. Once with my own personal build and once with someone elses custom build. I would check the following things.

* First if it's working outside the case I would make sure that you have rubber washers under all of your motherboard screws. I've seen systems do this because there is metal to metal contact with the board and the case. This could cause it to do what you are suggesting.

* Also I would double check that you have your twelve volt connector plugged in tight.

* Third, I would reseat your processor. I have noticed that for the socket 775 cpu's you have to have heatsink/fan seated EXACTLY right or it will do just what you are describing.

This is the problem I had myself. I would turn the machine on and it would start to post, then beep and shut itself off. Then I would turn it on again and lights would flash but it wouldn't turn on. Another time it turned on and stayed on for about 30 seconds and then shut down. I popped off the cpu, cleaned it and the heatsink off, used new thermal paste, and then made sure the heatsink and fan were VERY secure.

Good luck and I hope this helps.
January 7, 2009 10:15:13 PM

axelf86, thanks for the tips. Everything seems to be in order, except I don't have rubber washers. I'm simply using the metal risers that came with the case, I wasn't aware any rubber washers were needed. I've built other PCs in the past and none have seemed to required the rubber. Plus, this problem also existed when everything was outside of the case, not touching any metal at all.

I resat the processor again, but it didn't seem to help this time.

I also tested my PSU with my old motherboard, and it seemed to work fine. This makes me worry I am dealing with a either a motherboard or CPU problem, as they are the only two new components in this whole deal.

How do I differentiate between a bad motherboard and a bad CPU?

Thanks a lot guys!
a b B Homebuilt system
January 8, 2009 10:47:46 PM

^You are right in believing you don't need rubber washers. The risers are usually for grounding. Also did you try clearing CMOS?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 9, 2009 4:12:25 AM

Sounds like a RAM issue. Try booting with only 1 stick. If it boots up right, shut it down and swap it for the other stick in the same slot. This can rule out a bad stick of RAM. If they both seem to work correctly in the 1 slot, use them in the other slot you had been using, this will check for a bad slot. You have had the same issue inside and outside of the case = not a grounding issue. You are well within proper heat tolerance. The beep codes point to the specific problem, but if you didn't catch it, doesn't help much. RAM is common culprit with issues like this.
January 10, 2009 3:14:24 AM

Power Supply was the problem. Part of it, anyway. I bought a "PC Power & Cooling 750W" PSU, and the computer started working immediately after installation.

However now I have run into an additional problem. After about 15 minutes of being on, everything locks up. It seemed like a RAM issue, so I pulled out all but 1 stick and tested each stick individually, yet the problem still exists.

I also get a beep error upon startup. Three or four seconds after the intial post beep, I get 4 beeps seperated by pauses: 1-1-2

I'm a little unsure how to interpret the beeps though, even after looking at the charts here:
http://www.pchell.com/hardware/beepcodes.shtml

I have AMI BIOS, but my beeps sound more like ones they have listed the Phoenix BIOS. Unfortunately, they say the 1-1-2 code means the motherboard is having problems.

One time when it locked up, the LCD screen began to flicker pretty wildly - so fast that it hurt to look at it.

I'll try with a new GPU and a few other sticks of memory, but otherwise I guess i'll start the RMA process at Newegg. :( 
!