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Booting Issue: BIOS appears for a couple of seconds or not at all

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September 23, 2012 7:49:52 PM

Hey. Didn't really know where to post this 'cos I don't know what the problem is, but this seemed like the most sensible.

Basically my computer won't boot. There's only been 2 situations of when I try to boot. Either:
a) BIOS does not show at all. Fans spin etc. yet nothing appears on screen. Also seems that no power is going to external hardware such as my speakers and keyboard. Shutdown is needed to be forced to turn off the computer.
b) BIOS does appear, for about a second before computer instantly shuts itself down and restarts. This cycle continues and never seems to break. This tends to happen when I leave it alone for a while (usually 15 mins plus). Once I power off then on manually, situation a) occurs.

Now probably the most important info: specs. Prior to this, I had the following:
Motherboard - Asus M5A88-M
PSU - 550W HEC Desktop Power Supply
Graphics Card - 1GB AMD Radeon HD6450
Processor - AMD FX4100 Quad Core
Memory - 1x 4GB 1600MHz DDR3 Memory. 1x Kingston 4GB DDR3 1333MHz (Different make. I know that's bad now)
1TB SATA II - 3GB/s 7200rpm Hard Drive
22x SATA Dual Layer DVD-Rewritable Super Format ±R/±RW/RAM
Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit OS

All parts except 2nd RAM card were built by MESH and purchased late January of this year.
Additional RAM card was bought and installed a few months after.
Over the months I have messed around with another Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 560Ti. Upon discovering PSU was not powerful enough, I switched back to the stock card.

I'm not 100% on this, but the computer seems to sound different when I power it on. (Does sort of a whistle for a second or so) before going back to what seems to be the noises it always has made. Also when BIOS does load, Apart from the usual jargon, "Four cores discovered" is displayed before it shuts itself down. Fairly sure this doesn't appear normally, but I could be wrong. Can't ever say I've paid a lot of attention to my BIOS before.

The most bizarre part about all of this is that the computer was working fine this morning. I used it for about 25 minutes before leaving the house, only to return about 5 hours later with this problem. While I was out, all that happened was my computer was moved so that my mum could do some dusting. Was assured that no wires were out of place, she didn't knock it or anything of the sorts. (Kinda weird I'm mentioning this, but I thought that any extra info could help)

What I've tried so far:
* Replacing GPUs between the 2 I have. Attempted booting both with and without a GPU. Still same situation.
* Removed both RAM cards. Tried every combination of RAM card placements using both 1 or 2 at the same time.
* Attempted to boot with only the monitor and computer plugged in, as well as all the normal connections I have. Also tried booting with only the power supply connected. Seemed to make no difference from what I could see and hear.
* Checked the wiring both inside and outside of the rig numerous times. Seems to be no problems from my limited knowledge on all of this. No components seem out of place and no bare wires are showing.


In terms of recent changes to my rig:
* Yesterday I did have an important Windows update which installed this morning, when my computer worked fine. I have no idea what the update was and I have no method of checking - obviously.
* I have noticed slight performance issues over the past week or so. Usually annoying FPS spikes or split-second freezes. Got really annoying at one point that I was forced to restart. Seemed to fix the problem.
* The usual security jazz. I'm a fairly cautious web browser and virus scan regularly.

Hope I was thorough enough (hopefully too thorough). Would really appreciate some advice on this one and wanted to assess all of my options before considering going to a store or trying to get a refund. If you've managed to read to the end, thanks in advance. Took a helluva long time to type this let alone read. I appreciate your time.

Thanks in advance,
Hepperfitz

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Edit: Added details on specs I forgot.
a c 160 V Motherboard
September 23, 2012 8:23:09 PM

After reading your post, I see two things missing I am curious about, 1) Power Supply and 2) Motherboard make/model.
I'm sorta thinking an issue on your PSU's lessor rails (5v or 3v) - do you have a Digital Multi-meter?
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September 24, 2012 8:22:10 PM

My apologies guys. I wrote down all my specs except probably the 2 most important ones of them all. Derp moment by me... Gonna amend the first post for ya.

I can't really tell you anything about the rails, but I did take a picture of my PSU unit a while ago. Hope everything you need is on here: http://imgur.com/Xqjno

(Ignore all the wiring pics, this was the only image I could find on my laptop with my computer being dead and all)

I don't have a multi-meter unfortunately. Probably won't be able to get access to one easily either so that option is probably out of the question.

I do have a spare PSU - sort of. It's an ancient 300W one I have collecting dust in my previous computer. Guessing that would be a stupid thing to try huh?

As for the jumping thing with the paper clip, I don't really trust myself with that and wouldn't know where to begin. I'm new to this whole thing you see. Is the 24 pin connector the one that links to the Motherboard from the PSU?

I was planning on ordering a new PSU anyways, as I need a bigger one so my GFX card can run. Provided it is actually the PSU and not motherboard, looks like I'm gonna be a very lucky and very happy chappy. Better make sure I know what the issue is first though.
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a b V Motherboard
September 24, 2012 11:23:08 PM

Just check one thing real quick, the reset button on the front of the case, make sure it is not depressed.
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a c 160 V Motherboard
September 25, 2012 4:33:45 AM

Actually, your 300W PSU may work... at least enough to isolate whether your issue is the PSU or not. If you're willing to try a swap out, go for it...
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September 25, 2012 5:24:56 PM

I checked the reset button, that didn't work. It's in the correct position and all. In a way, I'm kinda glad it did 'cos that would have been pretty embarrassing.

The next time I have a couple of hours free I'll consider just hooking up my Hard-drive, PSU and Motherboard on that 300W-er to see if it works. I've never changed a PSU before and the spare is a pretty old model so I reckon I might give it a shot. That's only providing if MESH decide they'll do something about it as I'm still awaiting a reply. I might be lucky enough to have this under warranty still.
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