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Computer turns on for about 3 seconds then turns back off

Last response: in Systems
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April 18, 2012 5:35:03 PM

ok so ive seen this problem on this forum multyple times and ive tried all the solutions that were provided but non of them have helped me, so heres the story, last week i shut down the computer and unplugged it to set it up on my desk so i could clean my room after i finished i set the computer back up and tried to turn it on and it started then after about 2-3 seconds it would shut back off and after trying several times i had got it to turn on and i thought it was fixed so i used it for the day and shut it back down at night because i was leaving for the weekend and figured there was no reason to leave it on when i got back it did the same thing but now it wont even try to turn on until i switch of the powersupply for a few seconds to drain all the power left in it, i have tried everything that ive found so far, ive unplugged it all and help the power button for 30 seconds to drain the power left in it and that didnt work, i tried switching in a different power supply, that didnt help, i tried removing the ram and flipping over the bios battery, ive tried completely changing the bios battery, ive tried backing the motherboard screws a half turn (supposedly if they are to tight it could cause a short circut and the computer shuting off is its way of protecting its self) ive tried blowing it all out with air, nothing has worked at all. and the weird thing is my friend had owned the computer for years without this problem and ive been borrowing it for the last few weeks and it hasnt had this problem and now all of the sudden its happening and im not sure what in the hell to do.
sny help at all would be awesome
a b B Homebuilt system
April 18, 2012 5:42:06 PM

do you see any lights light up on the motherboard when you plug the system to the wall outlet?
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April 18, 2012 5:46:54 PM

Could be a number of different things.

I've seen similar behavior when an incompatible motherboard and GPU are used together. The old Geforce 6600 AGP version had some issues with some AMD motherboards with VIA chipsets if I remember correctly. The card wouldn't 'initialize' until the power was toggled for a few times. Since the computer worked for your friend, this probably isn't the case unless you've added something to the computer.

Overheating issues are possible (if the thermal paste has dried up), but that wouldn't fit the symptoms, which would seem to indicate a problem on motherboard level. I have seen very similar symptoms with a computer that has a corrupted bios/bios memory. Have you tried starting the computer without the bios battery, preferably after leaving it unplugged from the battery and wall socket for an hour or so?

Barring that, I would try swapping out the RAM with a known good stick and seeing if the computer would post with that. Hope this helps.
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April 18, 2012 5:58:02 PM

if this helps its an asus intel motherboard, i dont rember exaxtly with one its obiously older, i can check when i get home, it has a pentium 4 dual core 3.0 ghz cpu, with a nvidia geforce 6800 and the only thing ive done to it was replace his cd reader and his dvd reader with a single cd/dvd reader writer. and i added a wifi card, oh and i put my own hard drive in bc he took his, but it had been working since he leant it to me and that was a few days after xmas, havent had a problem with it before now. and its really irritating if you could understand because all i did was shut it down and unplug everything to set it up out of the way.
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April 18, 2012 6:00:47 PM

and yes when i plug it in the only led on the motherboard lights up green, like it should.
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Best solution

April 18, 2012 6:10:30 PM

The contacts in your "ON" button might be stuck. When you hit the on button it sends a momentary signal to the motherboard to boot up. If the "ON" button is stuck it continues to send that low voltage signal to the motherboard which after 3 seconds decides it is now a signal to turn off. To test and see if this is the problem find the two wires going into the "ON" button. Clip them and strip them just enough to be able to touch the two wires together just long enough to start the boot up process and then take them back apart. Don't worry about a shock since it is such low voltage. If your computer boots up normally you can buy a new switch and put it in the case or just leave the darn wires hanging out the front so you can touch them together to start or shut down your computer. (And yes - I am lazy enough to have done that in the past)
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April 18, 2012 6:13:06 PM

ok ill try that but would it make it so i couldent turn it back on until i switched of the psu and drained all of the excess power?
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April 18, 2012 6:20:47 PM

If you don't want to strip those wires just follow them from the switch to the motherboard and take off the little lead. Then touch a piece of metal across the power on contacts for one second to see if that will boot up your system. Just don't touch anything but those two pins with the metal
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April 18, 2012 6:24:19 PM

You can either power down the system in Windows by "Shut Down" or else you could power down the system by just touching the wires together again for a few seconds. This whole thing is just a test to see if your problem is the switch getting stuck. Another way to fix the switch is to beat on it enough to loosen up whatever is stuck.
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April 18, 2012 8:20:17 PM

i dont think i worded that question right what i meant was that right now i have to turn the power supply off to drain all the power thats in the system, i dont have reboot after loss of power on but once i try to turn it on and it shuts back off it wont even try to turn on untill i turn the psu off or unplug it completely so the idea of the power button being stuck is making more sense to me. and sorry if that seems hard to understand, im prety sure i just answerd it without even realizing it. when i get home im deffinatly going to test the power button since its seemoing more and more like the problem as i think.
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April 19, 2012 6:42:02 PM

Best answer selected by wheelerboy12.
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