Let's Play: Which component is dead? :D

Okay guys, I need your combined wisdom and experience.

I bought and built my computer from the ground up around January 2010.

Up until a number of weeks ago, I had never had any issues.

Here are the specs:

AMD Athlon II x4 620 2.60GHz

4GB(4x1GB) G.Skill 1333MHz DDR3 Ram

ASRock M3A785GXH/128M Motherboard

EVGA Nvidia 9600GT 512MB

Hard Disks
SAMSUNG 160GB 7200rpm HDD SATA300
SAMSUNG 160GB 7200rpm HDD SATA300
Seagate 400GB 7200rpm HDD SATA300
Seagate 320GB 7200rpm HDD SATA150

Power Supply
Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 550W

So who's ready to play:
Which component is dead?

Here are the symptoms:

-Prebios reboot loop.
Before I see the bios screen, the computer restarts. This is literally less then a second intervals between reboots. This carries on indefinately most of the time, but on occasion when I leave it for a while it will pull out of it and get to and past the bios screen, notifying me it failed to boot several times.

-Random Freezes:
These can happen anywhere between the starting windows screen and being logged on and doing something. Usually they occur most frequently within the first 5 minutes of being booted, and rarely after up to 20 minutes has passed since boot. The only way out it to do a hard reset, which often results in a pre-bios reboot loop.

-Random Restart- No Blue Screen:
These occur during the first 20 minutes of power on. More frequently within the first 5-10 minutes. Black screens, and then boot. Also can result in the pre-bios reboot loop.

-Random Restart- With Blue Screen:
These occur during the first 20 minutes of power on. More frequently within the first 5-10 minutes. A bluescreen shows on my primary monitor. Sometimes it is there for a good few seconds, like it should be, but others it is only up for a split second. If I can get a snap of it before it reboots next time, I will and post.

So these are the basic problems I have. They only occur after being recently booted or after I wake it from sleep. Even during intensive tasks like gaming (BF3) it does not fall over. It does not seem to be a load related problem.

Now, I am thinking it's either the board, or the powersupply. My fingers are crossed for PSU.

The board has a decent build quality as far as I can tell. All the caps I can see are solid. This system has been running with this setup for months with no issues. Like I said- it only started a few weeks back, and it was not following any significant incidents which occurred to the machine.

The reason I have two video cards is because I run 4 displays, and they only support 2 each.

Has anyone got any ideas as to which is most likely, and what tests I could perform to become more certain?

Thanks for reading, I appreciate any input.

p.s Possibly unrelated, but the only thing that has ever been odd about the setup is how hot my ram gets (It has heat spreaders). It gets to a point where touching it for more then a second burns.
3 answers Last reply
More about play component dead
  1. My bet is on the PSU. Also I once had similar problems with a bad power cord.
  2. power supply is also my bet... Try to swap with other PSU (quality ones, of course)...better than the hassle of trying to replace the motherboard, right?
  3. PSU or ram would be the common 2 problems.
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