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PC boots, then shuts down - after every reset, runs for longer!

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January 30, 2013 6:05:40 PM

Hey all - strange issue here with my homebuilt PC which is maybe five years old, upgraded regularly. A couple of weeks ago my PC had to restart, and got as far as the windows loading graphic, then shut off. I opened the case and fooled with some wires, and after several attempts at restarting, it finally booted all the way.

Huge storm last night, and we lost power - this morning when I went to restart, it booted for about 2 seconds, then shut off - nothing even came on the monitor. Did this over and over. I started it up and then hit reset, and it booted for a few seconds this time before shutting off. Restarted and immediately reset, and it went farther and farther each time. Finally got to where it would actually bring me to the desktop and play the startup sound, but then I heard that same "click" of it shutting off - the little loading circle would still spin, mouse moved, and desktop still showed, but it wouldn't get any farther. One or two more of these cycles got me to the fully-loaded desktop, and it worked fine.

Also, since this problem began, or two occasions it's gone to the BSOD accompanied by a very unpleasant buzzing sound instead of the Pandora I had been enjoying.

I did give the case many good shakes to be sure there wasn't a loose screw causing a short; also made sure all the cards were well-seated.

Any ideas on this one?

Many thanks,

Gerry

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a b B Homebuilt system
January 30, 2013 7:12:36 PM
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that old computer is asking nicely for a new PSU.
January 30, 2013 7:22:36 PM

I agree with anonymous1.. it's probably the PSU, but "fooling with some wires" making it work, makes me think that some motherboard or hard drive connection may not be securely attached. So before running out to buy a new PSU, make sure all PSU connections are firmly attached, check the I/O switch is all the way to I and that the power cable is firmly connected on both ends particularly to the PSU.
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January 30, 2013 7:34:10 PM

Will do. Many thanks, all - am I right in that my first course of action would be to unplug and replug all power supply cables? Then if it still happens, replace PSU, then test other components if failures continue?

I really, really, really appreciate the help. Really. A lot.
January 30, 2013 7:38:07 PM

I concur with everyone else who has posted, sounds like the PSU. What brand and model is the PSU?

RobDynamo also had good suggestions to check for a blown capacitor or loose connection.
January 30, 2013 8:42:57 PM

Will do when I get home tonight. I'll look over the whole mobo, but is there any particular portion of the mobo that might have blown capacitors? Perhaps near where the power supply connects?

Many thanks, guys.
January 30, 2013 9:56:16 PM

thetastycat said:
Will do when I get home tonight. I'll look over the whole mobo, but is there any particular portion of the mobo that might have blown capacitors? Perhaps near where the power supply connects?

Many thanks, guys.

Check around the Processor.. The newer solid and closed flat top caps are less likely to blow, but are not entirely foolpfoof. See the images.

Blown capacitors


Fluid filled capacitors


Solid capacitors
January 31, 2013 1:23:48 AM

Thank you very much!!
January 31, 2013 4:55:48 AM

Alright - update! Everything seems tight coming out of PSU, and no capacitors are blown on the mobo. One was a wee bit bent, but I straightened it out - hopefully didn't do any damage.

SO - since the consensus of the hive seems to be a dying PSU, would it be stupid of me just to order one from Newegg since they're running an additional $20 off until tomorrow? What's in there now is this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817128002 which is 580W, v2.2. This one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139028 is 600W, v2.3. And it's $39 after discounts!

I don't want to risk blowing up the mobo since it's only a year or two old and the PSU is from '06 :) 

Many, many thanks all!
January 31, 2013 2:14:15 PM

Personally, I would get this PSU instead:
Antec NEO ECO 620C 620W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Either way, definitely replace that PSU. The one you have is not a quality brand and is most likely the cause of your problems.
January 31, 2013 3:32:47 PM

Just ordered that one! Can't thank you enough, guys.
January 31, 2013 4:18:48 PM

thetastycat said:
Just ordered that one! Can't thank you enough, guys.


Right on time thetastycat... now that connections are double checked and capacitor damage has made itself evident, according to what I've researched, the likely cause is the PSU. Capacitor damage can ocurr due to overheating caused by fan low speed due to diminished DC voltage, or by overheating capacitors due to oversupply of DC voltage. So DC power fluctuations can damage capacitors and components when they don't get the regulated DC voltage they are made to run on.

Power surge protectors may controll AC surge but not DC surge. That can happen when a bad PSU is not able to properly regulate DC power. Other component damage is (or was) on the way; the youngish motherboard (bulged cap is a start), the older hard drive, anything that needs a steady supply of DC volts can suffer damage.
February 12, 2013 2:36:12 AM

Hey all - new PSU in and computer is not only running reliably but faster than before...how can that be? Many, many thanks for all the help!
February 12, 2013 2:36:38 AM

Best answer selected by thetastycat.
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