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I have the power!!! Or not...[Updated]

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May 8, 2011 6:13:59 PM

Hello all!

Recently my computer has been shutting down at random times. Usually it will try and reboot on it own for about 10 seconds and then shutdown again. It will then try and boot again but only with the hard drive light on solid and nothing else and then after 10 seconds or so the fans and everything else will come one on and it boots up fine. If I shut it down and leave it off awhile like overnight, when I start it the next day it will go through this routine again. Sometimes it will not respond at all to the power switch and I will have to cycle the power strip to get it to start up.
:pfff: 
I have scanned for viruses and malware, repaired the registry, and ran HW Monitor. The volts seem fine when it is running but I have no way to monitor any drops right before it shuts downs or fails to boot. I thought maybe a thermal cut off but it does this after being off all night. Would the CMOS battery be causing this? It is the original that came with the MB. I assume it is the PS but what else could it be?
:( 
Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!

Build date: Dec 2006
ASUS P5B-E
Intel E6400 Core 2 Duo 2.13GHz
EVGA 7950GT KO 512MB
Corsair XMS2 8GB
OCZ Game Xtream 700W
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200KS 320GB
SAMSUNG 18X DVD±R DVD Burner

More about : power updated

a c 122 B Homebuilt system
May 9, 2011 1:27:23 PM

Sounds like the PSU. After you shut the system down, does the little motherboard LED remain lit? If not, definitely the PSU.
May 11, 2011 3:52:11 AM

Thanks! I will look into that. What about the ACPI drivers? The Win 7 defaults are installed now and the ASUS drivers fail on install.

Build date: Dec 2006
Asus P5B-E
Intel E6400 Core 2 Duo 2.13GHz
EVGA 7950GT KO 512MB
Corsair XMS2 8GB
OCZ Game Xtream 700W
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200KS 320GB
SAMSUNG 18X DVD±R DVD Burner
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May 12, 2011 7:50:04 AM

Got some more information to add. I powered it down tonight to install updates and it did the usual try to restart on its own and fail. I turned off the light to leave the room when I noticed a blue flickering coming from inside of the case. The only blue light in there is from the power supply. So I pull of the side panel and sure enough the flickering light is coming from inside the PS but when it flickered the CPU fan would turn a little. Sort of like a engine that wont turn over, the fan just sputters. I wait awhile and it just keeps doing this so I switch the PS off at it's own switch and back on, and all is queit. I then pressed the power switch and it tries to boot but shuts down after the beep right before Windows starts loading. It then restarts on its own but then it gives a BIOS error, Overclocking failed, press F1 for setup. This board will OC but I never tried to. So I unplugged it and left it that way. If it is the PS, I don't want it to go out in a blaze of glory, taking my MB, CPU, and all with it. Am I being paranoid? I have to find the MB manual to find the motherboard LED that JSC mentioned. Any ideas anyone before I just order a new PS? It would be a pricey guess if this is something simpler.

Thanks for your help everyone!

Build date: Dec 2006
Asus P5B-E
Intel E6400 Core 2 Duo 2.13GHz
EVGA 7950GT KO 512MB
Corsair XMS2 8GB
OCZ Game Xtream 700W
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200KS 320GB
SAMSUNG 18X DVD±R DVD Burner
May 23, 2011 3:22:43 AM

Ok, so I broke down and ordered a new power supply:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Got it for $119 last Saturday on a Daily Deal. It arrived Thursday and I installed it today.

Nothing...no lights, no sound, no action.

:pfff: 

I followed the instructions and rechecked them several times looking for the obvious I may have overlooked. Still not a peep out of it.

Any ideas anyone as to what I am doing wrong?

:cry: 

For now I will keep chugging along on my 8 year old Dell Dimension 4600 with it's stock 250W power supply. I should ask Dell who makes their PS because it appears to be more reliable then anything OCZ or Corsair puts out.

:fou: 

Build date: Dec 2006
Asus P5B-E
Intel E6400 Core 2 Duo 2.13GHz
EVGA 7950GT KO 512MB
Corsair XMS2 8GB
OCZ Game Xtream 700W
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200KS 320GB
SAMSUNG 18X DVD±R DVD Burner
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
May 24, 2011 10:00:58 PM

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.
The following is an expansion of my troubleshooting tips in the breadboarding link in the "Cannot boot" thread.

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.
!