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Not booting - No Beep, Fans start and stop

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March 23, 2012 4:41:02 PM

Hello,

First of all, my build:

i5 2500k @ 4Ghz, 2 cores (I've been using dolphin, which demands high clock speeds but supports only 2 threads - has never gotten hotter than 58ºC) and Cooler Master Cooler
Gigabyte GA-Z68P-DS3
2x 4GB Corsair 1600Mhz
HD 6870
Cooler Master 550W RP-550-PCAR

When I first assembled the PC, I ran into a problem: it would not boot, the fans would start for a second just to stop immediatly afterwards and to start and stop again and again. There is no beep and the green light follows the start-stop pattern of the fans. I thought I had done something wrong and took a look at all connections, but found nothing weird. When I tried again, it worked. This problem happened a few other times, but eventually it would boot (most of the time simply removing the CMOS battery worked).
Other than that, the PC has always worked perfectly fine.


Today, after leaving the PC off the plug for a week, that very same problem struck again, but this time nothing seems to bring it back to life. I have already unplugged-replugged, disconnected-reconnected everything (but the cooler/CPU); tried with one RAM, the other RAM and with/without GPU. I have also tried a different power source (edit: power supply), but to no avail. I've even tried without the 12v rail to test for a CPU problem.

My suspicions now rest on the MB itself, but I have no idea about what could be causing this problem and how to fix it. Considering it is a problem that this PC has always had, I don't think it is something that can't be fixed (I can't RMA it anyway - I imported everything from the US)


On a side note: could it have something to do with solar storms? I'm live in Brazil, and it was summer here, which means more sun rays and radiation. I know it's a little far-fetched, but maybe it's not all that absurd: I've heard of at least 4 PCs suddenly dying after the onset of some weird problem last month alone.


Thank you
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 23, 2012 4:58:19 PM

You said you tried another power source, by that I assume you mean the outlet you plugged it into. The Cooler Master power supply is a suspect if I understood that correctly.

Yes the motherboard is a potential suspect too, but I'm leaning towards the power supply, as its more likely to have a fault that gets progressively worse over time than the motherboard. The motherboard would probably just die and the end rather than have a progressive problem. It is however completely possible that if the power supply did finally die for good that it could have taken the motherboard (and other things out with it). Murder-suicide is not uncommon with faulty power supplies unfortunately.

I don't know much about solar storms, I'm no scientist by any stretch of the imagination. I would suggest trying another power supply if thats possible. If another power supply gets it running, I would recommend reverting all overclocked settings back to factory and running it for several weeks to check for system stability before overclocking anything again.
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March 23, 2012 5:02:14 PM

Thank you for the reply nekulturny and sorry that I've used the wrong wording: by power source I meant power supply. It was a very old 450w generic supply, but however bad, it should have been able to boot the PC, especially without the GPU.

What makes this problem especially weird is that it happened very suddenly. Last time I used this PC it worked without a hitch. Along the week I've even left it off the plug, so any strong electric fulctuation or anything of the kind would not have affected it. It makes no sense for the MB or anything else to just go kaput while turned off.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 23, 2012 5:16:41 PM

luizedu said:
Thank you for the reply nekulturny and sorry that I've used the wrong wording: by power source I meant power supply. It was a very old 450w generic supply, but however bad, it should have been able to boot the PC, especially without the GPU.

No problem, I wish I had better news. (But as a disclaimer: I'm am a Computer Tech student, while my grades are pretty good, I still have much to learn-so I'm not always right) Maybe someone else has another idea but,

I would be inclined to think that the power supply that you originally had was bad from the start, and you may be correct in assuming that the motherboard is now dead as a result.

I can tell you that I personally have had bad experience with Gigabyte motherboards, of course everyone has good and bad experiences, I'm sure if I say Gigabyte is a brand to be avoided, 20 people may show up and tell me I'm a moron and Gigabyte is the best there is yada yada. So for what its worth, I had a Gigabyte board that died on me 3 weeks after owning it, and the week before it died, it may have killed one of my brand new RAM sticks (had to get that replaced under warranty)
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March 23, 2012 5:29:17 PM

This Cooler Master 550w is indeed not very new, I used to use it in an older PC of mine (which, despite being more energy consuming, has never had a problem with it), but I assumed that any problem it had would not fluctuate.

By that I mean that if the supply was bad from the start (which would be the reason why I've had this on-off problem), how did I manage to use this PC for heavy task for many months before the supply died? Shouldn't the supply's performance draw a quasi-linear donward line, and not a sinusoid curve (perfomance going up and down)?
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 23, 2012 5:36:18 PM

luizedu said:
This Cooler Master 550w is indeed not very new, I used to use it in an older PC of mine (which, despite being more energy consuming, has never had a problem with it), but I assumed that any problem it had would not fluctuate.

By that I mean that if the supply was bad from the start (which would be the reason why I've had this on-off problem), how did I manage to use this PC for heavy task for many months before the supply died? Shouldn't the supply's performance draw a quasi-linear donward line, and not a sinusoid curve (perfomance going up and down)?


Ah I see. Umm, I would say it depends on what was wrong with it whether it just went downhill at once or had good days and bad days. Electronics are funny like that sometimes, no I don't really know why either, but thats my best educated guess. The capacitor in the power supply does degrade in performance the older it gets. The high power computer its now running, may have been too much for it. Looking at reviews on newegg, it looks like it wasn't a super great PSU to begin with.

As to electronics being funny, well For example the CD player in my car, I've had it for years, its been in my last 3 cars. Sometimes when I start the car the CD doesn't play unless I turn it on and off 3 or 4 times. Other days it starts playing right away. Its not affected by weather conditions or anything else I can see. I'm sure theres some technical explanation for the power supply having good days and bad one that another forum member might be able to provide. But either way, I wouldn't trust that PSU any more, its done its job and I would retire it accordingly.
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March 23, 2012 5:54:34 PM

All right, thank you for your help nekulturny. Buying a new PSU would do no harm indeed. But I still have some questions, if you don't mind answering them.


Is there some way for me to diagnose whether the MB is really gone?

Why did this very same issue could be fixed the other 4-5 times it showed up but not now? Okay, maybe the other times the MB could still be working, but if it is now burned, why does the PC show the very same symptoms as before?

How can the computer have worked flawlessly the last time I used but now, after a week's rest (even off the plug) it won't even turn on?

How can I check if the CPU has not also been burned? (Without putting it into another 1155, which I don't have at hand)

Given all these question (and my lack of professional knowledge), I still lean to suspect the problem is in the PSU exclusively. But then the question remains: why did it not boot with a different PSU? (Albeit old and bad)


I ask all this because if there is really no salvation for my current setup, and something more than the PSU and MB is kaput, I won't buy new parts; I've spent already too much money on this.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 23, 2012 6:21:52 PM

Quote:
Is there some way for me to diagnose whether the MB is really gone?


Yes, you've pretty much done it based on your OP. But there are a couple other things you can do. You can try different RAM (as opposed to just trying different configurations of the RAM you have), a different CPU. As you can see, this rests on having access to spare compatible parts.

Quote:
Why did this very same issue could be fixed the other 4-5 times it showed up but not now?

Thats what led me to the conclusion of a failing/faulty PSU lol. It may have been that the PSU although severely degraded was still able to fire up the computer after a few tries. Then it finally decided to give up the ghost and take the motherboard with it.

Quote:
Okay, maybe the other times the MB could still be working, but if it is now burned, why does the PC show the very same symptoms as before?


That I can't really explain.

Quote:
How can the computer have worked flawlessly the last time I used but now, after a week's rest (even off the plug) it won't even turn on?


I can't really explain that either. I can say that the Capacitors in the power supply and motherboard are essentially batteries. They can hold (and deliver) electrical charges for years after not being plugged into an external electrical source.

Quote:
How can I check if the CPU has not also been burned? (Without putting it into another 1155, which I don't have at hand)


No way that I'm aware of short of having access to another 1155 board.

Quote:

Given all these question (and my lack of professional knowledge), I still lean to suspect the problem is in the PSU exclusively. But then the question remains: why did it not boot with a different PSU? (Albeit old and bad)


My suspicion is that the the power supply on its last blaze of glory (pardon my metaphors, I am a nerd afterall) decided to take the board down with it. And now the damage is done. Just to cover all bases, are you certain the old generic one works?

Quote:

I ask all this because if there is really no salvation for my current setup, and something more than the PSU and MB is kaput, I won't buy new parts; I've spent already too much money on this.


I understand, and in light of your situation of being out of the realm of US backed warranty policies, I'm really reluctant to call your build a lost cause and have been since I started posting in this thread.

I would say to make absolutely certain your old backup PSU at least functions. You said you used it in an older computer, if you still have it, at least put it back in there and see if that computer will fire up with it.
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March 23, 2012 6:25:16 PM

Best answer selected by luizedu.
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March 23, 2012 6:29:35 PM

Thank you for your answers.

The Cooler Master PSU I'm using is the one I used with my old computer (which is no longer with me), incidentaly, without a hitch. The other one I tested is a generic one from my father's PC.

I'm gonna call a technician to bring some spare parts for me to test before I make a decision about what/whether I'm gonna buy.

One last question: with this config, what would be the minimally acceptable wattage for a new PSU?
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 23, 2012 6:37:41 PM

luizedu said:
Thank you for your answers.

The Cooler Master PSU I'm using is the one I used with my old computer (which is no longer with me), incidentaly, without a hitch. The other one I tested is a generic one from my father's PC.

I'm gonna call a technician to bring some spare parts for me to test before I make a decision about what/whether I'm gonna buy.

One last question: with this config, what would be the minimally acceptable wattage for a new PSU?



Sure thing, I hate to see you give up on it, but I know the feeling of throwing money into a pit too.

Considering you're intention to overclock, I would consider going with bare minimum 600 watt. Yes, its overkill in all probability, but like I said, the older power supplies get, they decrease in their performance, better than you need is not a bad thing. I can personally vouch for the quality of Corsair's TX750 (its what I'm using in my computer).

When selecting power supplies, the best way to do it is by the warranty. Even though being outside the US, you won't have a warranty, its a good rule of thumb as manufacturers are not going to offer a long warranty on a product they know is shoddy. Also, I would look for 80+ certification. This is also an indication of quality in the construction.
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March 23, 2012 6:47:53 PM

I won't actually overclock very much (or at all). I quite value the safety and longevity of my purchases, which is why though I've added some 700Mhz to my i5, I've disabled half the cores.

According to Hwmonitor, its power consumption never went higher than 35w for the envelope and 35w for the other thing it measures (the same or lower than stock speed and 4 cores). With 3 cores enabled it easily produces temperatues higher than 65ºC; With 2 it never went higher than 60ºC, despite being under full load and the air temperatue being over 30ºC. And I've only done it since otherwise I wouldn't be able to play The Last Story on Dolphin (Wii emulator) at full speed. Once I were done with it, I would set it back to stock speed.

I suppose 500w-550w would suffice, right?
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 23, 2012 7:22:57 PM

luizedu said:
I won't actually overclock very much (or at all). I quite value the safety and longevity of my purchases, which is why though I've added some 700Mhz to my i5, I've disabled half the cores.

According to Hwmonitor, its power consumption never went higher than 35w for the envelope and 35w for the other thing it measures (the same or lower than stock speed and 4 cores). With 3 cores enabled it easily produces temperatues higher than 65ºC; With 2 it never went higher than 60ºC, despite being under full load and the air temperatue being over 30ºC. And I've only done it since otherwise I wouldn't be able to play The Last Story on Dolphin (Wii emulator) at full speed. Once I were done with it, I would set it back to stock speed.

I suppose 500w-550w would suffice, right?


It should suffice yes, especially if you go with a Corsair PSU, they have somewhat of a reputation of being more powerful than they're rated for. Theres nothing wrong with overclocking, hell, I'm running a modest overclock on my system myself, its just a good idea to run it for awhile and make sure everythings working for awhile before you do. My Phenom II is more power hungry than a 2500k (despite being not as powerful- ironic innut?) I'm still an AMD guy.

But just like you said you had problems with it booting up from the beginning, leaving it with original settings makes it easier to diagnose a problem. If you overclock a brand new build, and something goes wrong, how do you know if a piece of hardware was the problem or the overclock caused it? Thats all I'm saying. A 2500k should be able to run hardcore overclocking with little problems with everything working as it should.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
April 23, 2012 2:22:06 AM

Hey, sorry I never saw your PM, I didn't get an email notification, I assume you don't either. I wont quote your PM, because that wouldn't be proper, but just to make sure you get my reply, I'll post it here hoping you get my reply since it was a month ago.


Your computer tech quite bluntly is wrong about power supplies not degrading in output over time. Hes got it half-right about the capacitors.

A capacitor for all intents and purposes is a battery, it stores up energy to compensate for fluctuations in power as needed, in order to maintain a consistent flow of electricity. The capacitors in power supplies can degrade over time, and not work as efficiently. If your computer tech guy doesn't think that sounds accurate, I'd ask him about his car battery.

Car batteries generally don't all of a sudden out of the blue stop working, they generally become less efficient over a period of time. Progressively slower to crank, and the older they get the less of a charge they can put out. Until one day, they just don't work at all.

As far as the PSU not taking out other components due to the power supply having protective circuits. This assumes the protective circuits are functional. He relayed to you that he only saw it happen once. I've never had it happen to me ever. But on the same token, I've never hydroplaned on the highway and collided into another vehicle, that doesn't mean it cannot happen.

On another note, I'm glad your system is working. Sorry I took so long to get back to you, I'll be sure to check my PMs more often.
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