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Comp won't power up! Tried EVERYTHING! powers up for second and dies

Ok I built this system about 4 years ago and I've NEVER had any hardware failure. When I power up the system it only stays on for a split second and then turns off. I already looked at many threads with this problem but nobody has confirmed the real issue, or if they figured out the problem. Having said that let's make this thread actually helpful to people with this problem. K let's go!

Specs and age
Mobo- Asus P5N-E SLI (3 years old)
Intel core 2 quad 2.4 (3 years old)
(4GB) Corsair XMS2 pc6400 (2x1gb sticks, 1x2gb stick) 4 years old
120gb seagate sata HD (4 years old)
320gb seagate sata HD (4 years old)
CoolerMaster 550 PSU (4 years old)
EVGA GeForce 8600 GT 512mb (4 years old)
Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro 7 HS (3 yrs old)

*I have tried taking it out of the case and booting (breadboarding)
*I have disconnected EVERYTHING in every possible combination
*I have tested PSU by plugging in just a case fan and bridging green and black wire of the 24 pin connector with a paperclip and it will power the case fan.
*I do not have spare parts to test with, so that's not an option :/
*removed CPU heatsink and inspected grease, refitted back on the CPU
*made sure all jumpers are set in proper place
*made sure CPU fan connector was in correct socket and always plugged in
*No smoking parts, or leaky capacitors
*unplugged/reconnected case power switch, restart switch, etc.. wires to mobo

I can't think of anything else I've tried at the moment.

I never messed with anything before it died on me, and I'd like to believe I have a healthy knowledge with computers. If I need to provide any additional info to get good answers from you please let me know.

Thanks so much and I hope this thread will be useful unlike all the others I've read

14 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Oh and my theory is I think I have a bad mobo :)
  2. Bad Mobo or bad PSU since those are the parts you can't test. You should find extras. I assume you've tried running it with individual RAM sticks? One bad RAM stick will prevent a Post.

    Have you tried other graphics cards? Does your system Post, or just turn off? Is your CPU fan on? That could cause an immediate shut down. I assume you've removed your CMOS battery to reset your BIOS and other BIOS resetting options.
  3. Thanks for responding. I don't have any spare parts to swap unfortunately. I cannot get it to post no. Only turns on for a half second. The case fans and CPU fans all spin up for that half second of power but I cannot get my system to post.

    I have not tried to remove CMOS battery, and will try that

    I have tried only 1 stick of ram in different slots and still same problem

    I have tried powering it up without a video card and with and get the same results.

    Another note to add: I hear a feint short single beep before it turns off tho. It sounds like it's getting cut off tho. It's very feint unlike a normal error code you would typically get. So weird...I'm totally stuck with this and have deadlines. Sad how much we need these things ha. Any further help is more than welcomed!
  4. You have the Power Cables connected everywhere right? I've forgotten the CPU power before. Are your front panel connectors right? Maybe you're pressing the Reset Button instead of the Power Button? Restart with the CMOS battery out, all RAM in, video card in, hard drive out, DVD out. See if it posts. If not, RMA your motherboard.
  5. Lol I've had this comp for 4 years and I'm 100% positive everything has power, and is connected correctly. I've tripled checked all these things and still no luck. I believe it's faulty hardware and I'm going to purchase a new mobo. If this solves it I will make sure to post it for others who are as frustrated as I am.

    Thanks so much for your help I really appreciate you man
  6. Since your system is kinda old (but CPU still capable), I suggest you see if a friend will let you test out some components on his motherboard so you don't waste money on a motherboard if it isn't the problem. Or you could buy it retail and return it if it doesn't fix it.

    Tiger Direct has a nice deal on GeForce 9800GT's right now ($50--w/ coupon, no rebate) and two of those would let you play nearly anything with high settings (but the 512MB memory on each would limit the max resolution you could handle). Of course, 1 would be a HUGE upgrade to your current video and let you play anything on low-med settings (WoW on high). I mention this because your system could be solid for another 2 years.

    If you get it working--match your RAM (2x2GB or 4x1GB) at all the same speed, you'll get better RAM performance in dual channel. Also, a Q6600 (that's your CPU, right?) will overclock on stock cooling to 3.0GHz at stock voltage (well, both I've tried will). It'll thermal throttle at 70'C if you run LinX or other CPU benchmark, but will be stable. I have some extra DDR2 1GB sticks I could mail you. My extra LGA 775 motherboard can't support Quad Cores though--so I can't help you there.
  7. I personally would try and get another PSU - I have a very similar problem, but my PC will eventually boot after three four tries, it just needs for the PSU to somehow not turn off until POST starts and then it is fine.
    The chances are that it is either weakened electronics in the PSU that are unable to handle the extra load at startup or else the motherboards power regulator that has given up. Check for any "bulging" capacitors, they may not be leaking but the top could be bulging, not totally flat.
    Before spending hard $ on a MB, first try swapping PSUs.
    If PSU test fails - then try connecting only PSU and MB - no CPU, no nothingk. Then try CPU and fan. then CPU, fan and VGA.
    if PSU and MB fail, try taking your MB our of the case and powering up outside the case, maybe you have a short between case and MB. if PSU and MB fails then -> MB has a prob.
  8. All in good fun: Check your m/b for bulging capacitors/domed capacitor tops/vent residue. I'm guessing the m/b won't have this.

    So my money is on the PS. The PS also uses electrolytic capacitors that degrade with heat and electrical transients. I'd open the PS, and look for bulging caps. The fan test is inconclusive because the load is inadequate, and on the wrong lines. PS are designed for a some proportion of load on every rail. A compromised PS would still turn on with sufficiently low loads (like a fan).

    You did say you tried without graphics, try without the drives, and just one stick of memory.

    You did not say that you had to wait to retry; this indicates you haven't activated the short protection. If you have to wait 2~7 minutes to retry, your m/b has a short-like condition. Replace m/b + PS.
  9. more than likely its PS. Try to borrow one to verify. Or just buy a new one for like $40, and return it if it doesn't fix the problem
  10. Best answer
    I think it is your Mobo. The fact that this is a consistent error points to the mobo. I maintain and repair all the computers for my family and friends. I have run into this same problem several times and it has always been the mobo. It could be the PSU, but PSUs don't just die, the usually get sick for a while before going completely out. What I mean is that if it were the PSU you should have been experiencing system instability for a while. Things like Blue Screens, random restarts, failure to shut down or complete the start up process. If none of these are true and your system was running fine and then one day would not post; a sound guess would be that it is your mobo. Very seldom would any other piece of hardware cause your your system to consistently not even reach the post screen.

    Your best bet would be to either buy a new mobo and try it, or find a friend with a similar system swap out parts The fact is that this is a hardware issue. That much we know! Few hardware issues will cause a system consistently not reach the post. The four hardware components that can cause this are the mobo, CPU, PSU, and the ram. Without being able to swap out parts to narrow it down my best guess for which one is at fault is as follows,

    Motherboard - 70%

    PSU - 15%

    Ram - 10%

    CPU - 5%

    Good luck!
  11. Thanks for replying. Unfortunately I cannot test my components with any friends or family since I just moved to Texas and am still getting to know peeps out here. Gaming is not so much my thing anymore however the info you provided about the vid card deal is totally awesome!

    I was able to get ahold of Asus tech support (which is totally lousy and rude btw) and the tech said it sounded like I had a leaky capacitor which makes perfect sense to me.

    I am just going to upgrade to the i-7 870, or 930 with an intel DH55HC board.

    Do you have any tips on best hardware for running audio recording software like Cubase, pro tools, logic etc.?Thanks again for your help!

  12. Thanks to everyone who has responded. Lots of great answers and advice!

    The issue has come down to a leaky capacitor. Glad this all got solved and hopefully the next guy with this problem will find this thread useful!!!
  13. Best answer selected by Nirnglaud.
  14. This topic has been closed by Maziar
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