I THOUGHT I knew what I was doing...

...but after several decades of system building I've hit an issue that has me completely dead in the water.

I have the cycle on/off issue with no post displayed. My Asus CPU red light is on. OK, don't jump on it until you hear the rest of the story. I've been through dozens of posts on various solutions to that and none fit. Here's why:

It all started with my best machine ever to run Windows. 9.8 on the experience index, near instant running of everything, and 6 second boots for less than a grand. Then, a lightning strike and it went down. WTF? Looked at my UPS and I'd plugged it into the non-battery side. Pushed the power button and the nightmare began. Cycle on/off, no post. Now, this was a Gigabyte, not an Asus board so I tried everything and finally decided the CPU was toast. Wrong. Same issue. Mobo next, the Asus. Power supply, nope. Same same. Trust me, lots of other stuff in between with RAM, etc.

So I seem to have only two theories, one of which seems absurd and since I already feel like an idiot and ready to go public rather than just throw more money at it. That would be the case itself...though I simply cannot imagine what could happen in what little there is in a case could cause this. The other would be that whatever toasted the first CPU on the Gigabyte also toasted the second. Now, these are (or were...) I7 CPUs and I am through either toasting them or just buying more.

Thoughts? Sympathy? Anybody know a good exorcist?

25 answers Last reply
More about thought knew doing
  1. test the system outside the case.
  2. lightning can do many things to a pc... its likely the whole thing is toast no just the cpu or motherboard.
    the psu didnt blow but is likely to be damaged. try the cpu in another build same for the other components. gfx ram hdd cpu first then motherboard and then psu...

    no post suggests the motherboard is the main fault as cycling is normally cause by bad ram or wrongly configured ram but if the mobo vrm's have gone there wont be any way to know if the other parts are dead till you try them in another build. problem is the motherboard would also beepcode for this... if you have 1 attach a motherboard speaker and see.

    its odd the psu didnt blow... normally a psu will blow if the amperage gets 2 high but saying as lightning can jump 2km to the ground its unlikely to be stopped by a fuse... or circuit breaker... thus my reasoning the motherboard and cpu are likely toast 2. but you never now. like i say test the components in a different build working from the gfx card backwards to the psu, but the chances are if the higher voltage and amps got past the psu's protection the whole system will likely need replacing.
  3. Is is possible the outlet itself was damaged, or the UPS took the hit? Try using a different outlet, just to rule out that posibility.
  4. And try without the Ups if you haven't already
  5. Have you tried a different electrical outlet or circuit? It's possible that lightning could have damaged the wall socket, or the entire circuit. If you can confirm at the outlet you are testing with is working, you might want to test everything outside the case.

    Can you jumper your PSU using a paperclip if it's not connected to your ATX plug on the MB? Are you testing with more than one PSU?
  6. Gents, I've not read anything yet I haven't done. Partial list:
    Changed CPU
    Changed Motherboard
    Changed PSU
    Disconnected HDD and everything else
    Changed power cord (fer cryin out loud...)
    Moved RAM around including total removal
    Different outlet

    Only thing is the case itself...

    Spookiest issue I've ever seen.

    ONCE yesterday it ran past the normal and I stopped, put a graphics card in and connected a monitor...and it resumed cycling. Removed it all and no change.

  7. then in that case remove it from the case entirely , it may be shorting on it. so if you take it out and set it up on a table(make sure its insulated (not sitting on a nylon table cloth). and give it a try. but it doesnt sound good.
  8. Quote:
    then in that case remove it from the case entirely , it may be shorting on it. so if you take it out and set it up on a table(make sure its insulated (not sitting on a nylon table cloth). and give it a try. but it doesnt sound good.

    Yeah, might as well. Then it's time for the exorcist...

  9. I take it you have tried without the KB and Mouse that was attached during the strike ?

    My damn Asus MB hates my G19 KB - never completes post checks with it plugged in (hangs on USB check but that is another story)

    My current system was a Pain to start with... www.overclockers.co.uk sent an pre-owned motherboard that must have been RMA'd out as new just before Xmas
    was a Damn intermittent erroring piece of ****
    (They were Really unhelpful even denying sending out RMA'd box as new - all part packs were torn open etc... and BIOS had already been messed with and OC'd)

    + turned out my new OCZ RAM was also faulty at the same time >_<

    yea, so I feel for you, and wish all the best luck ahead!
  10. could be a damaged on-off switch that is not make and breaking but just making? you can test it by removing the pwr switch lead to the mobo and short with screwdriver, should only need momentary contact. no idea why it would fail like this though.
  11. Hmm...in all that I failed to mention that the switch to the Asus board provided the diag lights on the board. The CPU fault light is on.

    That's why I was wondering if perhaps the surge caused a fault in the Gigabyte board that toasted the CPU, and then toasted the replacement CPU before I switched out for the Asus. I've tried both CPUs in the Asus and the CPU light shows for either and the thing cycles.

  12. if the power switch was permanently on then you'd have similar symptoms.
  13. A faulty motherboard could fry a CPU, my friend had a similar story, but his board didn't destroy the CPU's all the way through, and they still would work some of the time.
  14. First, thanks for the tips.

    So, tried the "insulate from the case" thing. No good.

    Down to two possibilities, though I'd like to hear more:

    1. Fried two expensive i7 2600k 3.4ghz LGA1155 CPUs in the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3-B3 mobo which was somehow damaged in the power hit before switching to the Asus P8Z77-V which exhibits the identical symptom.

    2. Something in the case switching system that could both cause this and the CPU light to come on (hard to imagine).

    Still looking for a good exorcist...

  15. Okies...third CPU and same thing. Please see above before responding. This is absurd. The only thing not replaced is the case and according to Sherlock logic it's all that is left, but for the life of me I cannot see what could happen to a switch in a lightning strike that could cause the CPU light to be on.

    So I either have 3 perfectly good CPUs and 2 fine motherboards, or all of them are toast.

    "When you don't know what to do, don't do anything." That's about where I am at the moment. If anyone can examine the above thread and provide something not already tried I am all ears.

  16. RMA everything?

    Or atleast the boards.
  17. have you breadboared it?
  18. I do not know the term "breadboard." As to RMA, well past that as this presented in such a bizarre manner I do not actually know for a fact whether ANY of these components are bad.

    At the moment, my next plan is to use the one of these CPUs in a new build miniitx destined for my audio system. It will be the only piece of this disaster involved. I will gradually do the same with the other components, one at a time, in two more systems as time and money allow.

    I don't like it and I always believe there is a root cause for any such failure but I completely out of ideas.

  19. put it on a wooden table and build it there, no case at all.
  20. Quote:
    put it on a wooden table and build it there, no case at all.

    Did that in isolating it from the case...but the switch was still in line. I do not know how to fool the current power supplies into powering a board without the switch.

    While I still can't see how anything in the switch could cause the CPU light to come on, it is, to the best of my knowledge, the only thing in common with this symptom that has not been replaced.

  21. find out which is the power switch on the front panel connection pins and just use a screwdriver to short those two pins out. thats all.
  22. Thanks, 13th. That's the old way. Might give it a try since everything else has pretty much been done.

    What a strange situation!

  23. the whole point of trying your components in another build like i said in the beginning is to see if they actually work. a dead cpu or gpu wont kill a motherboard just by putting it in and trying it. doing this would have saved you spending a lot of cash on parts you will have to send back.
    it really is the easiest way to check components. you do it 1 at a time till your left with a bare motherboard with no psu attached. thats the last test. what ever your left with or fails to start in the other pc is the culprit.
    the only issue is whether a m8 will allow you to test your parts in his build.
  24. You haven't detailed if jumping your psu's has worked that i could see (paperclip short the main 20/24 pin connector where the green wire is to the black wire next to it). The psu should come on, you can connect a case fan to it to make sure if you want.

    You've tried most eveything, but without testing outside the case you wont know if you are accidentally shorting inside somewhere. My son and I were at the dump a few weeks back and I picked up a free old Themaltake Typhoon case (whose front bezel weighs more than the rest of the case practically). He liked the case so I told him to go swap it out from his current pc. He kept on having problems with it booting. A friend of his from high school came down, took the mb out again, put in some mb mounts where my son forgot, still had problems. I tried tinkering with it, got it to beep sometimes, other times not display, etc. Different PS, ram, etc...

    Finally, I was just looking at the inside of the case, making sure the mb mounts were tight, and guess what? He or his friend had left ONE MATX mount on the board. It was shorting the mb right where a cap was. Took it out, all was fine thereafter. Any slight movement sometimes caused it to short, sometimes not.

    If you actually had lightning hit, did you check your homeowners insurance? Or the ups warranty, many of them have surge failure to to protect coverage. I am assuming by different outlet you used one in a different room or have plugged a light into the outlet to test if it works. If the lightning fried a breaker, you can have all sorts of odd problems. If you have a multimeter, test the outlet and see what the voltage and frequency is.

  25. Thanks, ngoy and hexit. And yes, I've tried all that. I try NOT to think about it now as it is mind boggling. So, as per hexit I will begin to use parts in entirely new systems, one at a time. Wanted a new audio/HT pc anyway so I just ordered a 1155 mini itx MB. I've a known good case and PSU.
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