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Computer suddenly dead, please help

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April 23, 2012 6:25:28 PM

Hi everyone, my computer was suddenly dead yesterday when I was playing Battlefield 3. :( 

I tried to unplug the power supply and plug it back, but it won't start even i tried to turn it on directly from the motherboard. At first I thought it was PSU problem, but after I contacted OCZ tech support, they asked me to short circuit the PSU (using paper clip to connect the green and black wire from the socket) and the PSU is working. They told me that probably there are short circuits of the motherboard and the casing or other part.

Can anyone suggest me what is probably wrong with my pc? How can I check each component individually to see what is wrong?

My spec:
- ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
- Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
- EVGA 01G-P3-1560-KR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB
- HITACHI HDS721050CLA362 (0F10381) 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
- G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
- OCZ Fatal1ty 550W Modular Gaming Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom
- Thermaltake VM34521W2U V4 Black Edition Mid Tower Gaming Case - ATX, M

Thank you very much for your help :) 

More about : computer suddenly dead

a b B Homebuilt system
April 23, 2012 6:46:32 PM

Try re-seating both PSU connectors to your motherboard.
Try re-seating your GPU (you could also try removing it altogether and using your mobo VGA).
No "magic" fixes, just a lot of testing and elimination I'm afraid.
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April 23, 2012 6:53:37 PM

Hi Chaz,

Thank you for your reply. Yes, I have tried to re-seating PSU connectors to my motherboad, and I have also tried to remove my VGA and re-seating all the connectors. I haven't tried to use my mobo VGA though, i'll try it later.

Any other suggestion how to do a "trial & error" method to determine which part may be broken?

Anyway, can I assume that my PSU is working well from the quick test suggested by OCZ's people?

Thanks!
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 23, 2012 7:07:31 PM

Not definitively without a multimeter or PSU tester. While OCZ's test is used by many all that it tells you is that the PSU actually comes on (and in most cases that's good enough). The reason for the multimeter is to see if the PSU is supplying the voltage that it's supposed to, where it's supposed to. The voltage to the 8-pin connector (strictly for the CPU) is a good example. The PSU could still power on (as in your test) but not be supplying anything to the CPU if that plug or "line" were faulty.
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April 23, 2012 7:15:10 PM

Do you think it's better for me to bring my pc to pc repairer?

Anyway, yesterday I managed to get my pc on for a while, I pressed the CMOS button on the motherboard and it works for a while. It tried to boot windows into the selection of safe mode screen, however my keyboard seems not to work, thus i pressed the reset button on my casing. After that it just refused to be turned on.
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April 23, 2012 7:19:19 PM

First, when you try to power the PC on, do the fans start to turn briefly then stop? That would be the normal behaviour for a short-circuit.

The usual drill for testing the whole system would be:

1. Start with the absolute minimum of system components. That would be the motherboard, CPU. No memory, VGA or hard drive yet. Verify that your internal speaker is properly connected. There should be an alarm for not having RAM installed. If there is no alarm, it's either a bad motherboard or CPU.

2. If there was an alarm, add the memory and a VGA and see what happens. If it boots, all these parts are fine. If there is a different alarm, your RAM is likely bad. ***CORRECTION: If your RAM is bad, the alarm will probably be the same. Try different sticks.

3. If it did boot, add the remaining RAM and storage. Do it one at a time if you have to, so you can identify what giing you trouble.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 23, 2012 7:24:36 PM

ivandjaw said:
Do you think it's better for me to bring my pc to pc repairer?

Anyway, yesterday I managed to get my pc on for a while, I pressed the CMOS button on the motherboard and it works for a while. It tried to boot windows into the selection of safe mode screen, however my keyboard seems not to work, thus i pressed the reset button on my casing. After that it just refused to be turned on.

There are many things you could try before paying for a repair.
Try removing your cmos battery for about 5 minutes.
Don't forget to try this also:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-ste...
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April 23, 2012 7:29:09 PM

Murissokah said:
First, when you try to power the PC on, do the fans start to turn briefly then stop? That would be the normal behaviour for a short-circuit.

The usual drill for testing the whole system would be:

1. Start with the absolute minimum of system components. That would be the motherboard, CPU. No memory, VGA or hard drive yet. Verify that your internal speaker is properly connected. There should be an alarm for not having RAM installed. If there is no alarm, it's either a bad motherboard or CPU.

2. If there was an alarm, add the memory and a VGA and see what happens. If it boots, all these parts are fine. If there is a different alarm, your RAM is likely bad.

3. If it did boot, add the remaining RAM and storage. Do it one at a time if you have to, so you can identify what giing you trouble.


yes, when i tried to turn the computer on, both my VGA and CPU fan start to turn very briefly then stop (it's like less than a second).

great! i'll try that later :) 

thank you very much for your help, i'll let you guys updated after I perform some of the steps you suggest

Chaz21 said:
There are many things you could try before paying for a repair.
Try removing your cmos battery for about 5 minutes.
Don't forget to try this also:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-ste...


great! thank you very much for the link given, i'll try that later :)  :) 
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April 24, 2012 3:47:18 AM

some update:

so i tried to unplug all but cpu from the motherboard and try to turn the computer 1 by 1 to see what is the problem

it turns out that when i unplug the vga, the computer turn on, thus i believe the problem lie on the vga card.

any idea to troubleshoot the vga card?

i have called evga tech support and ask about RMA, the problem is RMA will take about 1 week and I am leaving the US for like 3 months in 1 week time, any suggestion on this?
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 24, 2012 12:16:47 PM

Did you try your GPU in the other PCIe slot?
You might have to change the setting in bios for it to work.
Also make sure that your bios is set to use the PCIe slot and not your on-board VGA.
There is not really any good way to troubleshoot a GPU except to try it in another computer. You could also make sure all the contacts are clean (slot and card) and that nothing is loose or disconnected on the card.
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April 24, 2012 4:42:04 PM

Chaz21 said:
Did you try your GPU in the other PCIe slot?
You might have to change the setting in bios for it to work.
Also make sure that your bios is set to use the PCIe slot and not your on-board VGA.
There is not really any good way to troubleshoot a GPU except to try it in another computer. You could also make sure all the contacts are clean (slot and card) and that nothing is loose or disconnected on the card.


hi chaz,

yes i did, and it didn't work. I also cleaned both of the PCIe slot and try to re-attach the VGA on the motherboard, it still didn't work.

The other interesting fact is that when I put the VGA on the motherboard without attaching the PSU cable to the VGA, the computer will still turn on, but even if I don't attach the VGA to the motherboard but attaching the PSU cable to the VGA, the computer refuse to be turned on.

I called EVGA people yesterday and they asked me to look at my +12V on my bios which is about 12.41V which they say to be "still within normal but not necessary that high", and they suspect something is wrong with my 12V railing on my VGA card.

The problem is I don't have any other system that I can use to test some of my components.

Do you think I should call the PSU manufacturer and ask for a replacement? I hear that voltage within +/- 5% is still acceptable.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 24, 2012 4:50:09 PM

Well you could try the PSU mfg route if you wish but to me it sounds like a "short" in your GPU.
Does the shroud (cover) on your GPU come off? If so check for any loose wires, foreign material on the GPU board.
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April 24, 2012 4:54:39 PM

nope, it doesn't. the cover is still perfectly attached to the GPU and as far as i can see, there is no loose wires or foreign materials on the GPU board. I don't open the cover though, do you think I need to open it and see?
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 24, 2012 5:05:48 PM

ivandjaw said:
nope, it doesn't. the cover is still perfectly attached to the GPU and as far as i can see, there is no loose wires or foreign materials on the GPU board. I don't open the cover though, do you think I need to open it and see?

Yes.
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