Motherboard Boot Loop over 4 RMAs

Alright guys, I’m looking for some computer build troubleshooting. This was originally my first build, though at this point I’m on my 3rd motherboard and 4th RMA and I’m really at the point of desperation here. I refuse to let one bad experience taint my opinion of CPU building, but this has been a wholly shitty experience so far and I’m here for help.

I think it’s best if I just provide a timeline.

December 2011, I first began my CPU build, followed the Newegg guide, etc. Got to the external boot test- and nothing. A click would sound (which I identified to be my PSU turning on), the fans would run for a few seconds, and it would click off again. It would repeat this cycle endlessly as long as it had power. Nothing would ever appear on the screen. Seeing as this was my first build, I assumed I had done something wrong and spent a great deal of time and sweat and tears reconfiguring it and trying to get it to work. Eventually I requested an RMA of my motherboard from Newegg, as querying online pointed to that as the source of the problem, and apparently many had had this “boot loop” issue with this particular motherboard.

Replacement arrived, it now being about late December. Seeing as I was not charged, I am led to believe Newegg determined my original mobo to be defective. Hooked everything up, and it finally worked and there was much rejoicing. This motherboard worked just fine for about four months, no issues, and I believed the problem was solved. Early April, when I turned it on one day, it was yet again boot looping. The symptoms seemed to be largely identical as last time, though I cannot recall whether or not it ever reached the BIOS screen. This is when I embarked on my largest troubleshooting venture, borrowing parts from friends to swap out and trying everything I could possibly find on the internet. In the end, everything pointed to the mobo being the problem once more, and I sent it in for a second RMA- Newegg’s warranty being expired, I went through Gigabyte, and my CPU was out of commission for about two weeks.

Third motherboard arrives late April. Checking the serial code, I find it’s the same board- a repair, not a replacement. Straight from Gigabyte I was told that my “BIOS was corrupted”. Regardless, it works just fine, and I carry on using my computer. Early July, it dies once more. Boot loop, though it does reach BIOS. I seek the counsel of a computer-literate friend, who deduces that the Windows installation is corrupt. C drive is cleared, Windows is reinstalled, and the computer functions once more. I am amazed, as I was absolutely certain from my previous experiences that the mobo was the problem. Lo and behold, late July it dies again. In the end, I am forced into RMAing through Gigabyte again, waiting another 2 weeks.

This brings us to my present motherboard, which arrived Aug 1 and functioned for a stunning 10 days before succumbing to the boot loop. The first boot is always very short, but the second and on reach the BIOS screen. However, if previous experience holds true, the longer I let it boot the shorter the boots will get to the point where it no longer even reaches BIOS. As such, right now it’s just sitting unplugging while I search for a solution.

The prospect of waiting another two weeks for a 5th RMA to die on me isn’t appealing. More importantly, I was under the impression that this boot loop issue is a rare one- the odds of the three separate motherboards I’ve received all suffering from the exact same issue seem miniscule. Additionally, every single motherboard bar the first has functioned for some time before dying, which complicates the issue- no part is just plainly nonfunctional, it seems to be degenerative. And each successive motherboard has lasted shorter than the last.

I have absolutely no idea what to do. Could another defective part in my build be causing all of these issues, and the motherboards were fine? If so, what part could it be (I’ve ruled several out with swaps and tests), and why would both Newegg and Gigabyte acknowledge the boards I RMA’d were defective? Or is it really just that I have absolutely terrible luck? Would purchasing a new, different motherboard even solve the issue?

If I have to shell out $100+ for a new part, so be it, as long as it fixes the issue. It’s irritating, and money that could have gone elsewhere, but at this point if it solves my issues it’s worth it. The last thing I want to do, however, is buy a new motherboard only to find out that that wasn’t even the problem.

I’m pretty much at the end of the line here, as nothing I do seems to fix anything and my numerous RMAs have only led to more headaches for me. So I’ve once again embarked on a vision quest to the four corners of the internet, to find once and for all what is causing these problems. Anything you can provide is immensely, immensely appreciated. I’d love to just have this work for once.

If you need any additional details, or even pictures, I will gladly provide them. Thank you very much for your time and assistance.

swapped PSU
swapped RAM and configuration
checked CPU pins
cleared CMOS
checked all cabling
unplugged reset switch
drained power overnight

i5 2500k
Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3
G.SKILL Sniper 2x4GB 240-pin DDR3 RAM
Seasonic X750 Gold PSU
Gigabyte Radeon HD 6850
Corsair Force Series 3 SSD (with Windows 7 installation)
WD Caviar Green 2TB HDD
Corsair CAFA70 heatsink
ASUS 24X DVD burner

I apologize for the wall of text, I tried to format it as presentably as possible.
2 answers Last reply
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  1. At this point I would cut my losses and run to a different motherboard. There's clearly something about this board.
  2. That's certainly what I though the first time- but now I've gone through 4 RMAs and 3 boards. I just want to be as sure as possible that it couldn't be another component causing these recurring issues.
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