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Sudden boot failure

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December 15, 2010 12:36:49 PM

A couple of days ago I noticed my CPU was over-heating a bit so I decided to replace the thermal paste on it, when i removed the CPU I saw that there was no thermal paste on the CPU or heatsink. I borrowed a tube of thermal paste from my brother from one of his previous builds and re-fitted the heatsink, the computer booted perfectly fine and nothing seemed to be wrong (even playing a game of CSS.) then I went to eat dinner for roughly 20 minutes then when i returned the screen was blank and the computer was off. When i tried to turn it back on the blue LED showing power begin blinking every second, apart from this the computer seemed to have no power, and I heard no sounds. After trying to boot with everything un-plugged apart from the cpu power and graphics card nothing seemed to work.

I have since tested my PSU in my brothers computer and it appears to work fine, I have also removed the cmos battery from the motherboard for 2minutes, and this did not help. I am now at a loss about what to do, however i am fairly confident it is a problem with the motherboard.

I would appreciate any insight and help from the community. Many many thanks!

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December 15, 2010 2:17:56 PM

While reading I was rolling my eyes, and surprised your CPU didn't thermally shutdown from having NO thermal paste. I would start at the CPU; if your brother's rig is the same socket type then {assuming he's okay with it} borrow his CPU - better swap CPUs to rule-out the CPU.

Thermal paste needs to be applied VERY thinly; often people use way too much. The layer needs to be almost see through and applied with a 'credit card' to insure it's evenly applied.

Therefore, first pull the CPU and clean-off the thermal paste and try again. Clean off excess on the surrounding components {if it's silver based it's conductive - meaning it can short-out the MOBO}.
December 15, 2010 3:14:38 PM

Jaquith has a very good point, Too much thermal paste can cause the board to short out if it is applied wrong with excess out of the sides. That would be the best place to start. What kind of motherboard is it, does it have POST lights on it to show where it fails, (this is mostly just on newer boards but worth asking). Do you get any response from the computer when you turn it on>? Does the fan spin up, does it have any lights on it at all. Check all parts like RAM, Processor, and make sure the board didn't get shifted and touch the Chassis in any odd places. Also, with the cmos, you could put it in upside down for 30 seconds to ensure it gets reset, then flip it back around and put it in correctly. If all the parts test out ok it mostly likely would be the board.
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