Intermittent Boot Problem

I built my system a few months ago, and things ran fine from the moment I got it all together.

In the last month, however, it sometimes won't start up. I push the button, the case fan spins up for a second, then it all powers down. This is becoming more frequent. At first I would just try again, or hit the reset switch and it would run. Now, the most reliable way to get it to turn on is to kill the power to the whole thing, wait for the standby light to turn off, power up again, and it usually starts just fine from there.

At first I thought it was a case problem, but the "kill the power" method makes me thinks it's more trouble than a $30 button.

I do hear a "click" probably from the PSU as it starts to power up, then fails.

Any ideas? I really don't feel like replacing the motherboard. I don't have a system speaker, but I could get one if that's likely to clear something up.

CPU: Core i5 2500k 3.3Ghz
MB0: Asus P8Z68-V LX
PSU: Thermaltake TR2-600W
GPU: XFX ATI Radeon HD 6770
SSD: OCZ Agility 3 - 120GB (OS Drive)
HDD: WD Caviar Green - 500 GB (Primary Data drive)
HDD: Samsung HD642JJ - 600 GB (Old dell system drive, just pulling docs off it)
RAM: 4x4G Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600MHz
Case: Cooler Master Elite 371 Mid Tower ATX
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about intermittent boot problem
  1. have you put the thermal compound on the cpu, also make sure your cpu cooler run fine unplug it then re-plug it.
  2. sounds like a short in the power supply or motherboard. both unit has a anti short feature..if there is a short or over load the power supply and motherboard should shut off. what you dont want to do is keep forcing the mb or power supply on it could fail so bad it burns out you mb like this.
    if you have a volt meter see if the ps giving 5v out on the power line..
    connect to to one of the ground wire and watch the voltage on that pin when you turn on the pc.
  3. I'm using the heat sink that came with the boxed processor, which had thermal compound on it already. I'm sure PSU heat isn't causing the problem.

    I'd much rather get a multimeter than pay someone to do diagnostics for me. I wasn't sure what you suggested I check, but I did some reading.

    I watch the voltage on the Power Good pin during the boot process:

    Normal successful boot, it will go to 5V and things will start fine.

    If it goes to 5V, but the computer doesn't start, then it's probably the motherboard that has the short.

    If it does something else then the PSU is probably the problem. It could be shorting as it tries to stabilize, and therefore never signals "ok" to the motherboard.

    As I turned it on this morning, I noticed another problem I've been ignoring, but which might be relevant. I've had a few colored vertical lines appear on my monitor sporadically for a while now. I am fairly certain it's a problem with the GPU - my monitor seems to work fine with other computers, I've changes cable connections. It it possible that something wrong with the video card is complicating the start up? I've been ignoring the sporadic display errors, but if the problem is causing electrical issues I'd be happy to spend money upgrading that (much more glamorous) component.

  4. Best answer
    i would see if a friend has a power supply you can use for testing. i would start there and see if both errors stop. if you have an older video card i would toss it in and see if it errors out. bad power can cause gpu video issues.
  5. I replaced the Power Supply, added a system speaker, and have had two restarts with no problems. The vertical line problem wasn't fixed with the power supply replacement, but if my boots are reliable I'll call this a win.

    Thanks for the help. I'll give it a couple days before I call it "solved" though.
  6. try running a drive cleaner...clean up the video card drivers then reboot and install the newest ones. could be a damaged video card driver.
  7. Best answer selected by Zarakaar.
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