Newly built PC powers off after 2 or 3 seconds



I just built my first computer from scratch, using this barebones kit from Tiger:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4371706&CatId=333

PNY GeForce 7150 GPU Motherboard
Intel Pentium DC E2200 2.20GHz
Corsair TWINX 2048MB PC6400
XFX GeForce 9600 GSO Video Card
Power Up Mid-T w/450-Watt PSU

Everything went together logically enough. When I applied power though, the front LED illuminated,
the CPU and Case fans spun up, and I was feeling rather pleased with myself -- for about two seconds,
then everything went dark.

Here's where I am on troubleshooting:

1) I THOUGHT the thin coat of some sort of grease which the CPU had on it when it arrived was adequate.
Various people and several websites said no, so I'll get cleaner and thermal paste on the way home.
It seems amazing to me that the lack of paste could be detected and cause a shutdown so quickly, but what do I know? CAN it?

2) I disconnected everything except the fans and RAM, tried again, same result. I even disconnected
everything from the case front to check for a bad power switch, jumped the start terminals with a
screwdriver, same result.

3) Belatedly, I checked the reviews from Tiger not just on the system, but on the case itself. Several
people said their Power Supply was Dead On Arrival, but did not elaborate. Could a failing PS allow the
fans to spin up, run out of amperage, and shut everything down?

I did install the MoBo on standoffs, so do not believe it's grounding against the case anywhere.

I am open to any and all trouble shooting ideas, but would rather not rush out to replace brand new
components until I know what's at fault.

Thanks in advance to all who offer help,

Kelly Fitz
Guam, USA
19 answers Last reply
More about newly built powers seconds
  1. You should check to make sure the HSF is locked into place. It came with enough paste, but all 4 pins might not be fully locked.
  2. "1) I THOUGHT the thin coat of some sort of grease which the CPU had on it when it arrived was adequate.
    Various people and several websites said no, so I'll get cleaner and thermal paste on the way home.
    It seems amazing to me that the lack of paste could be detected and cause a shutdown so quickly, but what do I know? CAN it?"

    Whoever gave you the advice was wrong. As long as the TIM (Thermal Interface Material) was intact and had no foreign particles in it, it's fine for standard builds.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-build-post-checklist


    You are always taking a big risk buying a cheap PSU. It's the most important part of your build, and a very complex item.


    You could have any number of issues though. the checklist will help.
  3. Thank you, Proximon.

    I've already decided I'll wander down to my friendly neighborhood computer store and buy a better PS before going any further. The checklist was helpful as well (and I can easily see how having to answer Redundant Rookie Questions all the time could become tiresome).

    I'll follow up with further troubleshooting results and observations as they become available.
  4. GhislainG said:
    You should check to make sure the HSF is locked into place. It came with enough paste, but all 4 pins might not be fully locked.


    Actually, it came with four screws that went through the MoBo and into an "X" shaped backing plate. They're all fully secured.

    Thanks,

    Kelly
  5. Hmmm did you get some non-stock cooler then?
  6. Yes, the Barebones kits from Tiger come without a CPU fan, I selected this one:

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3302739&CatId=493

    Thermaltake / RSI / Socket 775 / Aluminum / CPU Cooling Fan

    One thing about it -- I notice there were 4 pins on the Mobo but only three on the fan. I installed it the only way the plug allowed, which left the "Ground" pin open.
    Should I look fro a four - pin fan/heatsink?
  7. Normally an intel cpu will have no grease pre-applied. Is it possible that they sent you a returned unit? The retail cpu's will have three strips if tim pre-applied to the stock cooler. The oem cpu's will be clean.

    As to the amount of tim, too much is bad, because it acts as an insulator. It is hard to apply too little. As the cpu heats up, the tim will spread out and fill the small spaces where the cpu and the cooler do not exactly mate.

    As long as the cpu fan spins, you are ok. The 4 pin fans can be controlled by pulse width modulation, while the three pin fans are controlled by voltage. How this is done is mobo dependent. You can download speedfan which should be able to dynamically control the fan speed. The three pin fan is fine.

    Check that the ram is properly seated. You could also try booting with only one stick of ram. Also try differeent slots for the ram. Does the mobo instructions say where only one stick should be placed?
  8. It's an OEM Intel chip, so perhaps what I thought was grease was simply residue from something?

    I already stripped it down to MoBo and 1 RAM stick, no luck.

    I've had a couple people suggest that since the PSU is a cheapo (it came in a "Power-Up " case
    which Tiger sells for about $40 WITH the PSU) it could be putting out less amperage
    than is needed to start the system. I can see where a marginal PSU could endanger all my
    hardware anyhow, so just came back from the store with a new one, hopefully will fire right up
    (fingers, toes and eyes crossing).

    Cheers,

    Kelly
  9. That's actually a cute little cooler for a low heat CPU like yours. I wouldn't try to OC with it, but it's probably not any worse than stock.

    You might need an adapter if the fan isn't spinning.
  10. ^+1. More likely bad PSU (Im 90% sure of this).

    @OP: Seriously get a quality unit from Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Antec, OCZ.
  11. The cooler clearly came with TIM, just like the stock coolers do. It would have had some plastic covering on it to protect it.

    Hopefully you bought a quality PSU this time :p
  12. Proximon said:
    The cooler clearly came with TIM, just like the stock coolers do. It would have had some plastic covering on it to protect it.

    Hopefully you bought a quality PSU this time :p



    It's still no-name (Power Sys?) but the local computer shop says they've installed many hundreds without issues.
    It cost more than the old box AND PSU, and upgraded to 575 watts, so hopefully mo' bettah.
  13. Not much better, no. But at least you can blame the local shop if it blows up.

    It's pretty hard to buy a decent PSU locally. You can sometimes find an Antec Earthwatts at a Best Buy.

    Here's a link to a few:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341010
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139004&Tpk=550VX
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151040
  14. fitzguam said:
    It's still no-name (Power Sys?) but the local computer shop says they've installed many hundreds without issues.
    It cost more than the old box AND PSU, and upgraded to 575 watts, so hopefully mo' bettah.

    The wattage, particularly on a cheap psu means little.
    What most counts is the amps on the 12v rail/s.


    There should be a label on each psu; what do they say?
  15. Ya good point.

    Other things to look for are active PFC and 80-plus rating.
  16. OK, I went and got it from the car. Company name is "Logisys",
    and it claims 25 amps on the 12v rails.

    This is a pretty simple little computer for my kids, hopefully this will be OK, but if
    all goes well I plan to build a big one for myself, and will follow your parts sourcing advice.

    I'll let you know whether the new PSU solves my problem or not, and thanks again, guys!
  17. fitzguam said:
    OK, I went and got it from the car. Company name is "Logisys",
    and it claims 25 amps on the 12v rails.

    This is a pretty simple little computer for my kids, hopefully this will be OK, but if
    all goes well I plan to build a big one for myself, and will follow your parts sourcing advice.

    I'll let you know whether the new PSU solves my problem or not, and thanks again, guys!


    I think you may have a problem still. EVGA states that the 9600GSO requires a 400 watt psu with a +12v rating of 26 amps.
    http://www.evga.com/products/moreInfo.asp?pn=512-P3-N963-TR&family=GeForce%209%20Series%20Family
    Your psu is one amp short. Normally this would not matter since the vga card manufacturers are very conservative. I suspect that the psu may not be that good. 25amps x 12 volts = 300 watts. The useful watts are barely half of the 575 watts advertised. Another deceptive practice is to claim the watts as peak watts, and not the continuous which you need. They measure at 20c, or room temperature instead of the 40c which you might find in a case.

    By comparison, the PC P&C silencer 610 delivers 49amps, 49 x 12 = 588 watts, or most of the total of 610 watts for the unit. Those are continuous watts, the peak is higher. It does this at 40c.

    Some of the good quality units come from corsair, PC P&C, seasonic, and some others.
    Here is a somewhat dated list of psu's in a tier ranking:
    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=108088
    A decent lower priced unit comes from fortron(fsp)
  18. I had this happen to me. The problem I found was that I hooked up the LED, Power etc wires from the case wrong on the motherboard. Look at your motherboard manual and make sure they are correctly hooked up. Also if you have no CPU heatsink or if its not properly mounted it won't boot.
  19. Well, we have a solution!

    It turned out that I had received a brand new, factory fresh, dead motherboard.

    I would suggest that anyone with similar symptoms follow the troubleshooting procedure we outlined above, where the MoBo and fans are powered up OUTSIDE the case, to eliminate any chance that something is shorting against the case. Jump-start it by shorting the terminals for the power switch, to eliminate the switch/case as a possible cause.

    Given all that, and assuming that you have carefully installed your CPU and heatsink/fan, it SHOULD start and run. If not, you likely have, in this order, given all the discussuions I had here and elsewhere while trying to solve this:

    1) Bad RAM which is internally shorting

    2) Bad Motherboard, or

    3) A bad CPU (apparently VERY unusual, unless you've mishandled it)
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