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Computer Turns Off After a Few Seconds

  • CPUs
  • Computers
  • Power
Last response: in CPUs
September 24, 2011 12:31:45 AM

Hi I building a new PC and have run into a problem. Here are the parts I used. When I power it on it shuts itself off after a couple of seconds. I tried only plugging in all the basic items and the same thing happened. But when I unplug the power to the CPU it will run fine. So what is the problem? Is the CPU or Mobo? I tried a different PSU and same problem. I don't have anymore spare parts. Thanks.

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a c 173 à CPUs
September 24, 2011 7:39:16 AM

Because you have a new build, work systematically through our standard checklist and troubleshooting thread:
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 no luck, 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.

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 (standby power supply): 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.

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.

September 24, 2011 1:06:30 PM

I tried a different PSU and RAM and same results. I do not have a video card because I'm just using onboard. There are no system beeps.
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a b à CPUs
September 27, 2011 12:50:42 PM

What does that mean exactly, could you please explain,
"But when I unplug the power to the CPU it will run fine"

This is a miracle if not anything else. According to me.

Have you tried starting the Mobo outside the case on a box, with just the PSU plugged in with the processor and the RAM?
September 27, 2011 11:16:19 PM

When I unplugged the CPU power it would turn on the case fans which were plugged into the motherboard. I ended up sending my motherboard back for a replacement in hopes that it will solve my problem.
October 5, 2011 12:10:24 AM

Best answer selected by w1nks.