Bad PSU or ghost in the machine?

Relatively new build, less than 90 days old. It's kind of hard to describe what is happening on the written page but I will try.

I shut down my pc's every night before turning in, a couple nights ago, maybe 2-3 hours after I turned in I think I hear a 'clicking' sound, rhythmic and steady, so I get up and follow the sound to my office and my game computer is 'pulsing' , for lack of a better term, as if it is trying to turn itself on. All the lights are flashing, my external HD has powered up, I have the side of the case off currently so I can see the lights on my GFX card pulsing on and off too. So I reach back and turn off the PSU and go back to bed. The next morning I turn the PSU back on and it starts the clicking again. So I completely shutdown and unplug the PSU for about 20 minutes, when I go back the pc starts up fine.

That night I shut it down again and it shuts down fine, and surprise, about 3am or so I hear the clicking again, same process and it comes back on. This time I change one parameter in the Bios about 'Wake on LAN' thinking that may be the problem. Nope, about 2-3 hours after shutting down last night it happened again, so I came in and shut the thing off.

This morning however I cannot get the flashing to stop and cannot turn on the pc. If I plug in the main power cord with the PSU switched on, it immediately starts flashing again.

This is a problem I have never encountered before and I hope I have described it well enough that you can picture what is happening. Anyone heard of something like this before? My first thought is the PSU but the bloody thing is less that 3 months old. Granted is a cheap E-power 500 watt unit but I got because of other people saying it worked well for them.

Any help would be terribly appreciated as I was just really starting to enjoy gaming again on this new rig. :(

My Specs:

AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz

GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3 AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard

Kingston 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066

ASUS EAH 4870 Graphic card

ePOWER EP-500NE-XV 500W ATX12V v2.2 / ESP12V v2.91 Power Supply
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More about ghost machine
  1. symptoms seem more to mainboard issues with shutdown/BIOS, but, I suppose a PSU could cause it, and would certianly be far faster to change/confirm...

    (might want to find your mianboards BIOS reset switch/jumper as well!)
  2. I was thinking along those lines as well but why would it shut down fine and wait 2-3 hours later to magically start up again? I mean, it was completely shut down, external HD was dark, everything.
  3. Solved- I think. I cleared the CMOS and it will boot now etc. I will wait to mark this solved when it doesn't jump to life at 3am a couple days. :o

    Thanks for suggesting to clear the CMOS because that is something I probably would not have thought to do based on the symptoms.

    Just for my own knowledge, what in the Mobo or Bios might have been causing the pc to try to power up out of the blue like that?
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