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PSU making clicking/ticking noise. PC won't boot

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June 24, 2010 9:08:29 PM

I've been trying to boot my PC after swapping many parts over several months (primarily motherboards). After installing the third motherboard, the PC still wouldn't boot (nor POST). The PSU made a ticking noise and the LEDs on my case fans were flashing. I tested the PSU on a different PC and it started up fine. Though the other PC had less power demanding hardware. Before i blow another $150 on a motherboard, do you think it's the power supply?

TL;DR power supply ticking and not starting PC but works on other PCs. Is the PSU dead?


P.S. This PSU DID work on my computer before this happened with the same hardware.

PC specs:
XFX Nvidia 780i 3-way SLI motherboard
Intel Core2Quad 2.66ghz Q9400
4 Gigs DDR2 800 AMPX SDRAM
XFX GTS 250 1GB
Western Digital 1TB HDD
4 120mm Case Fans (two with LEDs)
850 Watt XION PSU
a b V Motherboard
June 24, 2010 9:21:02 PM

The ticking noise is probobly one of the protection circuits in the power supply, depending on the brand a new attempt is made every 1-3 seconds or based on the circuits own programing.
"I tested the PSU on a different......it started up fine" "Is the PSU Dead"
Not unless the different computer was dead and a resurection occurred.
Can't believe you asked that! I know you're just frustrated.
Suggest you hookup a system speaker to motherboard and hope for the error code to give some direction.
Breadboard it minimul configuration, one ram chip, cpu/with fan nothing else, next add video. Keep adding one more item-harddrive last.
June 24, 2010 9:57:41 PM

there was already a speaker connected, didn't get any beeps. This problem happened with the other boards too. None of the phase LEDs on the mobo lit up and gave any error codes. It was just a ticking noise and LEDs on the case fans flashing. If it's acted the same on three different motherboards, it has to be the PSU, right?
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June 24, 2010 10:34:52 PM

Shameless self bump! Cmon guys i need ideas. I've been waiting many months to fix this problem :/ 
a c 144 ) Power supply
a c 156 V Motherboard
June 24, 2010 11:54:13 PM

madregoose said:
I tested the PSU on a different PC and it started up fine.

What's that mean?
The fans run?
It POST's?
It boots?

The only sound you should hear out of a PSU is "whoosh" of the fan.

Our standard checklist and troubleshooting thread:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...
June 25, 2010 12:41:09 AM

jsc said:
What's that mean?
The fans run?
It POST's?
It boots?

The only sound you should hear out of a PSU is "whoosh" of the fan.

Our standard checklist and troubleshooting thread:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...


It started up just fine, no lag or beeps. As if there were no problems what so ever.
a c 144 ) Power supply
a c 156 V Motherboard
June 27, 2010 3:29:47 PM

The ticking could be as simple as a clearance problem for the fan blades. But that would not stop the PC from booting.

You can use a multimeter to check the PSU (sort of). Measure between the colored wires and either chassis ground or the black wires. Yellow wires should be 12 volts. Red wires: +5 volts, orange wires: +3.3 volts, blue wire : -12 volts, violet wire: 5
volts always on. Tolerances are +/- 5% except for the -12 volts which is +/- 10%.

The gray wire is really important. It should go from 0 to +5 volts when you turn the PSU on with the case switch. CPU needs this signal to boot.

You can turn on the PSU by completely disconnecting the PSU and using a paperclip or jumper wire to short the green wire to one of the neighboring black wires.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FWXgQSokF4&feature=yout...

This checks the PSU under no load conditions, so it is not completely reliable. But if
it can not pass this, it is dead. Then repeat the checks with the PSU plugged into the computer to put a load on the PSU.
a b V Motherboard
June 28, 2010 1:20:34 AM

If the psu works on an equivalent system there seems little reason to suspect it.
Breadboard the system, you have memory, videocard, cpu left to verify functionality.
You don't need the hd plugged in during any of this testing or anything else.
July 5, 2010 9:51:42 PM

I fixed it, but after 4 years of building computers i feel so dumb after finding out what the problem was. There was a shortage with the motherboard and the case (was using rubber risers instead of standoffs because of the I/O shield). Installed the standoffs and tried just CPU, Memory and PSU. Started up just fine. Kept adding components and it worked just fine.




Lesson learned here: USE YOUR STANDOFFS
!