PC switches itself off


I've recently run into an issue with my computer which I thought was related to the video card, but now I'm not so sure.

The symptoms:

Machine will switch off as if the power cable has been pulled from the wall socket leaving the monitor blinking at me as if it's in standby mode. This used to happen only whilst using 3D (i.e. games) but now it does it even whilst trying to open the BIOS config.

I did think it was an issue with the VGA card as when I pulled it out and used the integrated VGA there are no issues at all, however the problem now happens with my sound card as well leaving me using just the board with no devices plugged into PCI or PCI-e.

I used it for a couple of weeks with nothing in at all but as most of my software is 3D (yes, games) I really wanted to plug in at least a decent 3D card but now find that the machine won't power on at all with either the sound card or the VGA card plugged in (or combinations of the two).

Steps attempted to resolve problem:

I've tested the VGA card in another machine and it appears to run fine, although I've only tested it for around an hour.

I did think there was a driver issue at one time as I consistently got an error message stating that the video driver has recovered from a problem, however I'm thinking this is more a hardware issue now.

I've also tried taking memory out and changing BIOS setting to failsafe settings (I never overclock anyway).

My question is:

Is there anything else I can try to get this board going with the VGA card in? It worked fine for eight months before this started happening. I've heard that power supplies can cause problems and it could be that. The power supply did go about four months ago so I replaced it, however the PSU I have is four pins short but it has worked fine like this for four months.

I've also recently had a HDD die on me but the drive is working fine in another machine (I used two machine in a RAID0 config but I would regularly get one of them dropping out of the arrary for no apparent reason).

If I do need new bits what would you recommend I get first? A new card, a new mobo or a PSU (I have a gut feeling it's this)? Is it possible to run a PCI/PCI-e slot test?


My system:
Giga-Byte MA78GM S2H Rev 1.0 motherboard
8Gb RAM (Comprised of 4 sticks of OCZ DDR2 1066Mhz 8500 Reaper Memory)
Seagate ST3500320AS 500GB (did have two of these but taken one out)
Q-Tec PSU 650W Triple Fan PSU
Sapphire 3870 512Mb VGA (not used at present)
4 answers Last reply
More about switches
  1. Sorry forgot to mention my soundcard is a Creative X-Fi Music
  2. My first guess, too, would be PSU... My second, something else failing, or close to failing, and overloading the PSU, causing it to 'fold back' a rail (like blowing a fuse...)

    BTW - large drives are natuarally 'prone' to dropping out of RAID - they have a 'deep recovery cycling' feature, meant to try to 'get back' lost storage units marked as 'tentatively bad'; problem is that the RAID firmware/controller 'thinks' it has 'lost the drive'; really need something like the WD RE3's or RE4's for RAIDs...
  3. Thanks for the reply Bilbat. I didn't know about the HDD recovery cycling feature so I guess that explains the HDD issue I had. I using the computer with just one drive now and everything appears to be okay, except I'd really like to use the computer for stuff that I built it for (i.e. mostly games but with some photoshop/3D design thrown in now and then).

    It's looking likely that I need a new power supply. Just out of interest I've noticed that motherboards tend to come with four extra pincs on the ACPI connector. What are these for? My guess is that they are something to do with power saving (standby for example) as they don't appear to do anything. Could running my motherboard without these connected cause any problems?

  4. Not sure what you mean by ACPI 'connector'? ACPI is the overall spec for power-state management; if you're refering to the ATX12Vx4 &x8 power connectors, the info is here:
    under the Power Supply - Connectors topic...
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