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January 9, 2011 9:11:59 PM

:hello: 
Hi peeps,

I've been having some serious troubles with my computer, and now I have no idea what could be wrong. You might want to grab a cup of coffee because the amount of problems I seem to have with this computer could fill a Bible.

Basically my computer started to turn it self off recently, but I made no attempt to fix it. It would last for a couple of hours. Then I had to leave it for a few hours. I kept on using it until a point when a HUGE spark came out the side of it, thats when I thought "Better try and fix this". I replaced the PSU, which was a terrible one, with a Corsair. So that's all good. I replaced the CPU, from an AMD Athlon Dual Core to a Phenom Dual Core ( Which I realise seems counter-productive to reducing problems but I was looking to upgrade anyway so thought now was the time ). I also bought a new heatsink, as well as some Arctic Thermal Paste. AND I bought a fan as well. So installed all that, and it still cut out. So I've just reapplied the Thermal Paste and replaced the heat sink, but now it cuts out even quicker.

I understand this a jumble of words but please bear with me, as I cannot figure out what is wrong with it.

To recap:
My computer started cutting out. I kept using it till a spark came out.
I cleaned it out.
I replaced the PSU.
I replaced the CPU.
I replaced the Heat sink.
I bought an extra fan.
I've opened the side of the case as well as some parts of the front of the case to increase the air flow to all the parts.
I reseated all of the parts.
I've tried unplugging certain parts (HDD & CD).
I re-did the paste and heat sink.

But my comp is still turning off without any warning. So if anyone has any idea what this could be please reply. I'm pulling my hair out not being able to play any games :pt1cable: 

Specs if ya need 'em:
AMD Phenom 9850 2.5ghz Quad-Core
Corsair-CMPSU 430X
2gb DDR2 800mhz (No idea what model, doesn't say on website I got it from and can't go on comp to find out)
Nvidia GeForce 9500GT 1gb
500gb Seagate hardrive (I think)
Foxconn M61MPV Mobo (Again I think)
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2

And if anyone helps solve this I will love you forever :love: 

More about : question

a c 104 B Homebuilt system
January 9, 2011 10:59:28 PM

New PSU, new CPU, old motherboard, power problems, possible motherboard failure.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 10, 2011 6:21:59 AM

+1 for motherboard. Look for any popped/leaking capacitors, burn marks, other brokededs.
Related resources
January 10, 2011 7:01:08 AM


External sparks,, the first thing which comes to my mind is ... EARTHING.

Make sure cabinet is properly insulated and no wire inside is touching its cabinet walls.

Motherboard is the next area I will look into as it can cause sparks too. The reason your PC is rebooting is somehow higher voltage is suddenly rushing in which is overheating the components (most likely CPU) and so in order to prevent itself System is shutting down.

It can also happen if you are using a faulty or old UPS.

This is not only harmful but dangerous. If nothing works then get an electrician check the input output thoroughly with Voltmeter.

Do update us what you find. :) 
January 10, 2011 7:43:11 AM

Yet another thing to replace ;)  I've got someone coming over tonight to have a look at it, but I assume it is something to do with the motherboard.

I have actually been staring at the insides of my computer for 2 days straight now so I'm sure there's nothing leaking in there, but I probably couldn't notice a defect on a Motherboard as I haven't researched much, if anything, on them.

Will update if the guy figures it out, if not new motherboard will take most of the week to get here :(  Very sad face indeed.
January 10, 2011 8:47:47 AM



before that get it checked as I suggested.
January 10, 2011 11:41:50 AM

Hello Clinch,

Please let us know the watts of the PSU and how many 2GB RAM you have and is integrated in which slots ?
Try booting the system with minimum componets, i.e: try booting it without the HDD, ODD any other external components you have, leave it into the BIOS and check how frequent it goes off.

Observe this for atleast 15 - 20 minutes please. Let us know the result. This will help in isolating the issue.

One more thing, let me understand it correctly, it the system rebooting or completely powering off?

Thanks
SAM :-)
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
January 10, 2011 12:08:35 PM

asheesh1_2000 said:

Make sure cabinet is properly insulated ...

If by cabinet, you mean the case; it's supposed to be grounded.

asheesh1_2000 said:

... and no bare wire inside is touching its cabinet walls.


asheesh1_2000 said:

The reason your PC is rebooting is ...

The reason your PC is rebooting is because you are losing at least one of the main (3.3, 5, or 12 volts) PSU outputs (probably dropping because of a short somewhere). This causes the PSU control signal PowerOK grey wire - pin 8 main PSU power connector) to go to a Logic LOW, forcing a reset/reboot cycle.

You need to try to isolate what is probably causing the short circuit. In all likelyhood, it is the motherboard. But it might not be. It's probably not the CPU and you have a spare to test with. You have a new, pretty good PSU. It is not as good as the old 400CX it replaces, but it is pretty good.

So on to some serious troubleshooting.

Work systematically through our standard checklist and troubleshooting thread:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...
I mean work through, not just read over it. We spent a lot of time on this. It should find most of the problems.

If not, continue.

I have tested the following beep patterns on Gigabyte, eVGA, and ECS motherboards. Other BIOS' may be different, but they all use a single short beep for a successful POST.

Breadboard - that will help isolate any kind of case problem you might have.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/262730-31-breadboardi...

Breadboard with just motherboard, CPU & HSF, case speaker, and PSU.

Make sure you plug the CPU power cable in. The system will not boot without it.

I always breadboard a new build. It takes only a few minutes, and you know you are putting good parts in the case once you are finished.

You can turn on the PC by momentarily shorting the two pins that the case power switch goes to. You should hear a series of long, single beeps indicating memory problems. Silence indicates a problem with (in most likely order) the PSU, motherboard, or CPU. Remember, at this time, you do not have a graphics card installed so the load on your PSU will be reduced.

If no beeps:
Running fans and drives and motherboard LED's do not necessarily indicate a good PSU. In the absence of a single short beep, they also do not indicate that the system is booting.

At this point, you can sort of check the PSU. Try to borrow a known good PSU of around 550 - 600 watts. That will power just about any system with a single GPU. If you cannot do that, use a DMM to measure the voltages. 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...

A way that might be easier is to use the main power plug. Working from the back of the plug where the wires come out, use a bare paperclip to short between the green wire and one of the neighboring black wires. That will do the same thing with an installed PSU. It is also an easy way to bypass a questionable case power switch.

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.

If the system beeps:
If it looks like the PSU is good, install a memory stick. Boot. Beep pattern should change to one long and several short beeps indicating a missing graphics card.

Silence, long single beeps, or series of short beeps indicate a problem with the memory. If you get short beeps verify that the memory is in the appropriate motherboard slots.

Insert the video card and connect any necessary PCIe power connectors. Boot. At this point, the system should POST successfully (a single short beep). Notice that you do not need keyboard, mouse, monitor, or drives to successfully POST.
At this point, if the system doesn't work, it's either the video card or an inadequate PSU. Or rarely - the motherboard's PCIe interface.

Now start connecting the rest of the devices starting with the monitor, then keyboard and mouse, then the rest of the devices, testing after each step. It's possible that you can pass the POST with a defective video card. The POST routines can only check the video interface. It cannot check the internal parts of the video card.
January 11, 2011 11:55:54 AM

Sam - The PSU is 430 watts, which I thought would be more than enough for what I have. I've only got 1 stick of ram in, though I have bought a second ( Which I don't plan on installing yet ;)  ).

JSC - I will try all those troubleshoot problems, and thanks for taking the time to give them to me, but right now I don't have any internet at home :(  My sister somehow managed to trip on the telephone wire and physically pull the wire out of the wall, so my Dad is having to pull out a chunk of the wall to get to the wire :p 

I should have internet today but I don't know, if I do I'll run through all the suggestions. Thanks for the help :) 
January 12, 2011 1:09:26 PM

Ok so I've ran through as many of the possible solutions as I can, and it is still cutting out. I think I might need to give some extra info:

I definitely do not remember buying a System Speaker, however when I turn on my computer it beeps once for about a second, then boots up. It will reach up to the Windows 7 login screen, then after about 4-5 seconds cuts out.

I've also tried going into the BIOS, as well as going into Safe Mode, but it cuts out then as well. It seems to me like overheating but I don't understand how. It probably isn't and is something to do with my motherboard.

Would it help if I uploaded a video of me trying to turn it on, so you can see for yourself what is happening?
January 12, 2011 1:20:21 PM

Couldn't hurt!
!