Please Help - Hardware issues with homebuilt system


I built a PC system about 4-5 years ago. It's been great the whole time, with few problems.

Lately my system has begun rebooting itself randomly. Usually happens about once every 3-4 days, and when it happens it sometimes happens multiple times in a night. By rebooting I mean the entire system instantly switches off as if there was a power outage and then a couple seconds later starts back up again. Probably due to a piece of hardware failing or overheating.

A couple times I got a "Overclocking failed" message on reboot. I'm not currently messing around with overclocking settings on any of my hardware. I'm not sure what this suggests..

I took it to a shop to be looked at. They fixed my hard-drive (corrupt, probably from all the random reboots), and they tested it over night and couldnt' find anything wrong, and checked all the cables.

I'm at my wits end because I don't know how to troubleshoot this on my own, or how to narrow down the problem. It's obviously hardware related. Most likely overheating I suspect. I don't know which component is causing the issue.

Can anyone offer tips on how to troubleshoot this? Is there any way to monitor the individual components so I can narrow down which one is faulty? Is there software that will create an error log? A hardware failure record that can be analyzed or examined? How can I find out what I need to do to fix this?..

Any help is greatly appreciated. If any further info is needed, let me know and I'll try to provide whatever I can.

Thanks in advance!
5 answers Last reply
More about please hardware issues homebuilt system
  1. I would start with a new power supply. Even a used one off craigslist if you can't afford new. The antecs in the 350-450w used are pretty reliable, and I've seen some as low as $15.
  2. I would try resetting the CMOS.
  3. o1die said:
    I would start with a new power supply. Even a used one off craigslist if you can't afford new. The antecs in the 350-450w used are pretty reliable, and I've seen some as low as $15.

    I think you're probably right, o1die. I did some reading online about common reasons for systems to randomly shut-down without warning and power supply was #1. I can't say for sure though without any kind of hardware testing, which I have no idea how to do.

    I found an old spreadsheet I put together with a listing of parts for the new system 4 years ago. This is what I have:

    Asus P5E Socket 775 Intel X38 ICH9R Chipset Dual-Channel DDR2 1200/1066/800/667Mhz eSATA/ 6x SATA 3.0Gb/s 8-CH SupremeFX II Audio 2x PCI-E x16 Firewire 12x USB 2.0

    Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X4096-6400C5DHX Matched Pairs 4GB Kit (2x2GB) PC6400 DDR2-800 CL 5-5-5-18 240-pin Dual Channel DHX Memory

    Sapphire ATI RADEON HD 4870 512MB GDDR5 Dual Dual-Link DVI HD Audio Shader Model 4.1 800 stream processor PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card

    Antec Nine Hundred Case

    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600

    Enermax INFINITI 720W

    Seagate Barracuda (ST3500320AS) 7200.11 SATA NCQ 3.0Gb/s 500GB 32MB Cache (OEM)

    It appears my current power supply is 720W. What would you guys recommend, if I were to buy a new power supply? What are the best brands or models for this system? Is there a simple way I can test my old one to see if that is indeed the problem? Power monitoring software? Or cheap hardware I can use to test with (a meter?)?

  4. Yes. You can test the ps with a simple ohm meter that gives the voltage output. I've never tried it. You'll have to do a search for the procedure or wait for someone else to reply.
  5. Hmm...Enermax usually makes really good units.
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