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My build is powering off every 5-20 minutes. I've tried everything!

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December 8, 2011 11:27:29 PM

I've had this build for about 2 years. Just a few days ago it started powering down ever 5 to 20 minutes. I've run coretemp and speedfan and all temps look normal (except a mysterious temp3 on speedfan). I've tried a different PSU, pulling the video card and running with on board, unplugging non-essential drives, different outlets and power cords, and it keeps doing it. The mobo and CPU are the only untested elements. Since my CPU temps are normal i'm thinking it's the mobo. Would you come to the same conclusion or am I missing something? Thanks for the help. I'm doing this from my phone so I'll reply as quickly as I can.

More about : build powering minutes

a c 136 B Homebuilt system
December 9, 2011 1:51:10 AM

howdoes it power down?

like someone yanked the plug from he wall socket?
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 9, 2011 1:51:57 AM

I would still suspect the PSU - under load, the PSU may not be putting out the required watts. (I did note that you tried a different PSU).
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December 9, 2011 2:09:41 AM

Outlander_04 said:
howdoes it power down?

like someone yanked the plug from he wall socket?


Exactly. In fact my first thought was my power strip was going until i realized th speakers plugged in to the same strip were still on.
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December 9, 2011 2:16:46 AM

Ubrales said:
I would still suspect the PSU - under load, the PSU may not be putting out the required watts. (I did note that you tried a different PSU).


I supposed it could be. It was the first thing I swapped. My psu is a 700w corsair and the swapped-expiremental psu was a 500w rosewill. Identical shut downs. I supposed it could be underpower but there doesn't have to be a load on the machine. It can just sit at the windows log in screen, waiting for my password, and still power down.

If it's helpful here's what i'm running:
Msi nf750-g55
Corasir performance 700w psu
amd phenom II x4 955 be (w/ an arctic cooler freezer 7)
8g (4x 2g) ddr3 g.skill rama
A 1tb western digital hdd and a 1tb Seagate hdd
2x e-ide DVD multi burners
Case is a raidmax smilodon (if that's relevant)
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a c 136 B Homebuilt system
December 9, 2011 2:48:36 AM

a shut down like the plug pulled from the wall is a power supply problem

Thats the only thing it can be .
Have you modified the case so there is no or restricted air flow to cool the psu?
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December 9, 2011 3:21:32 AM

I haven't modified the case at all. I will admit it's not the best at moving air and causes me to monitor my gtx 260 pretty closes in the warmer months. I've had the side opened since July and while i was swapping psu's i didn't even have either psu inside the case! Seems like psu to me too but after the swap i tried to look elsewhere.
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December 9, 2011 3:30:57 AM

Have you tried other os? Random shutdown/reboot may also from malware or virus. Try running those livecd that you can run straight from cd. If the problem occur then it's the hardware.
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a c 136 B Homebuilt system
December 9, 2011 4:12:16 AM

OK here is another possibility .


Try plugging it in to another wall socket in another room
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December 9, 2011 4:32:30 AM

Outlander_04 said:
OK here is another possibility .


Try plugging it in to another wall socket in another room


i did. I took it in to a whole other room that i knew was on a different circuit breaker, same results.
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December 9, 2011 5:05:31 AM

Time for a new PSU!
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a c 136 B Homebuilt system
December 9, 2011 5:09:53 AM

bourwa said:
i did. I took it in to a whole other room that i knew was on a different circuit breaker, same results.


It was a long shot .
Most likely PSU , but two bad PSU's is just confusing .

Can you borrow another one to try ?
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 9, 2011 11:11:01 AM

bourwa said:
I supposed it could be. It was the first thing I swapped. My psu is a 700w corsair and the swapped-expiremental psu was a 500w rosewill. Identical shut downs. I supposed it could be underpower but there doesn't have to be a load on the machine. It can just sit at the windows log in screen, waiting for my password, and still power down.

If it's helpful here's what i'm running:
Msi nf750-g55
Corasir performance 700w psu
amd phenom II x4 955 be (w/ an arctic cooler freezer 7)
8g (4x 2g) ddr3 g.skill rama
A 1tb western digital hdd and a 1tb Seagate hdd
2x e-ide DVD multi burners
Case is a raidmax smilodon (if that's relevant)

Rosewill is not a good quality PSU; besides that, 500 watts is inadequate.

Use a Corsair 650 watts or higher, and then repeat the experiment.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 9, 2011 11:22:43 AM

As much as this smells like a PSU problem, I think the identical behavior you're getting with a second PSU (you don't list your GPU, but 500W looks to be more than enough, especially not in games) suggests otherwise.
Google "Bad capacitors" for some images, then scour your mobo looking for any. That would be my best guess at the cause.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 9, 2011 12:05:01 PM

Bad PSU - failure caused by a bad capacitor on the primary side inside the PSU. These are the 2 extra large capacitors inside the PSU. However, user repair is not recommended.

All this conjecture can be eliminated by installing a known good PSU (Corsair) 650 watts or higher.
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December 9, 2011 12:15:33 PM

Have you tried to...
-load default bios settings?
-Swap memory modules (try one and then the other - assuming you run in dual channel mode)?
-Underclock your system?
-Monitor temps from the bios?

Still, I remember PCs shutting down for overheating, have you tried a different CPU?
And lastly, boot with a different OS (any Linux live CD that you don't need to install would do)
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 9, 2011 12:29:51 PM

The identical failure on two different PSUs pretty much rules them out as the site of any bad capacitors.
RAM problems cause lockups and crashes, but I've never known them to cause power-off crashes. Are there any errors in the Windows Event Logs?
Is your power strip properly grounded? Any difference if you use a different power strip? Some PSUs (especially Active PFC models) will shut down if the input power is too funky.
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December 9, 2011 12:34:43 PM

my buddy has the same case , and similar setup , 2 hdd, 2 DVD, 500W, and pretty lights etc..500W is not enough, he actually got to the point where adding 1 more colored fan, and it would not start ..those cases while having some nice kool features are a pretty tight fit for all that gear, and the airflow can be restrictive causing slower build up of heat, that eventually take the CPU just over its threshold ..this might explain why it seems to be random from 5-20 min ..
How many Video Cards are you running ? and are you 100% sure that the HSF is installed good, and that the thermal paste is solid quality ..I am geussing the CPU is overheating auto shutting down. after 2 yrs of heavy use the Thermal Paste could be cooked.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 9, 2011 12:41:43 PM

An instant power down like that could also be a short. Do you have any old case fans, or cheap LED lights that may be dead shorting the 5v or 12v. The PSU would detect the short and power down. Has the case been shaken bumped, maybe the board shifted a fration of an inch and is now shorting on a standoff.

I would take the board and PSU out of the case and set them up on a anti static bag, like the one the board came in. Then i would plug in only the monitor keyboard mouse and HD.

Then play with the computer like that for a while. If it is a short this should remove any fans or case issues that might cause it.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 9, 2011 12:46:10 PM

I see where you have tried with onboard video. In that case particularly, a 500W PSU is easily more than enough. If it were not, your PC probably would not start. The fact that it worked for years also discounts a lack of power.
There's not much more I can suggest until you've let us know if you found any bad capacitors on the mobo.
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December 9, 2011 1:07:31 PM

If you've tried 2 PSU's, I'd be inclined to say it's not that.

Take out everything that doesn't *need* to be there.
Leave in 1 RAM Module, onboard graphics, no CD drives - Minimize the fault options.
Boot in safe mode, see if the problem still occurs.
Roll back any recent drivers.
Reset the CMOS.
Look in the event logs and check what the PC is doing prior to shutting down and also check performance monitor.

What are your Northbridge temps?
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December 9, 2011 1:39:40 PM

So I just typed this big long replay and someone called me and I lost it because I was pressing end to rapidly =(

Here's a quick version.

Idk about capacitors In any way shape or form. I will have to google that and check.

I know how to get in to my bios, but haven't seen temp there. I will check again, but coretemp & speedfan have been my friends.

I haven't been able to have it on long enough usually to burn another os's cd, but maybe i can go borrow someone's computer.

Idk if i had the 500w or my 700w in there, but i did remove the gtx 260, 2 sticks of memory (then the other 2 after it crashed), and the non-essential hdd. Extra case fans were left unplugged while my whole system was open.

I have already tried different outlets, strips, and power cords. Doesn't seem the make a difference.

I'm pretty sure resetting cmos is easy, but I've never done it before. It's an option in the bios, right?

idk specifically what my north bridge temp is, but i will say Speedfan has a temp1, temp2, and a temp3 reading. Temps 1 and 2 have a blue down arrow (should mean it's cool) but i forget the exact temps. temp3 on the other hand says 98c and has a flame by it but keep reading. A little google search says that many msi boards have a very high temp3 reason, usually 95c or higher, high and is likely caused by a missing sensor and speedfan is reading a voltage. If that's false then our 98c would be the problem, but other people with working builds don't seem to have a problem with the 98c.

If i forgot anybody's question I'll be back in a bit to check through and see what's new.

A big thanks to everyone wracking their brain with me!
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 9, 2011 8:46:55 PM

Well, let us know when you've checked the capacitors.
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December 11, 2011 4:13:00 AM

So here's the deal. Checked the capacitors, tried a third PSU, ran memtest, no problem. Roommate says he wants to try something in the BIOS. He gets a phone call while he's checking the BIOS and we notice it NEVER powers down while in the BIOS (spent like a half hour in there). Boots in to Win7 for 10 minutes - crash.

Stares at the dead screen for a minute. Digs through some settings in the BIOS about Green Power and Cool And Quiet, enables some things, disables some things, gets a Win7 boot error message once, changes some things back, and it runs perfectly. All he did was change some board power settings based off a hunch that Windows may have been reporting a power error and forcing the computer to shut down. He knows WAY more than me about all this and he wasn't even sure which setting fixed it or WHY it fixed it.

Sorry I can't give you a solution, but I've been up and running for a couple days now.

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a b B Homebuilt system
December 11, 2011 12:11:20 PM

Interesting. That's certainly something to add to the "index;" would be nice to know what the setting was.
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!