Computer stopped booting...I think?

Multiple / N/A
April 21, 2018 at 10:54:50
Specs: Win7, 8GB
Hoping that wise heads can give me some steps that I might try to try and bring my desktop PC back to life? I was just using a browser when the screen when black, the monitor went to its power saving mode and didn't come back to life as it normally would when I move the mouse.

I then had to hold the power button down for a hard reset, at which point the fans spun up, though sounding slightly different. The monitor still didn't display (no idea whether booting proceeded to the desktop). The light on the wired, USB-connected keyboard didn't come on at all.

Another hard reset produced the same again, though this time not even the "power-on" LED on the chassis lit up, only the sound of a fan or fans and possibly the HDD spinning.

Power supply? Motherboard? Are there ways to test them in isolation to definitively find the culprit? It's a self-built thing that's almost five years old now, should boot to a much newer SSD with Windows 7, and is fairly well-maintained, cleaned, etc..

Thanks in advance,
Sarah.


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#1
April 21, 2018 at 11:41:24
For starters, please post the make/model & wattage of the power supply.

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#2
April 21, 2018 at 12:00:14
Apologies for the lack of detail, riider, wasn't sure what information would be relevant...

Seasonic G-360 (360W) - http://www2.seasonic.com/product/g-...

message edited by Repeat3


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#3
April 21, 2018 at 13:35:15
try this one:

1) Unplug the power cord from the wall&turn PSU off
2) Hold down the power button for about 30 seconds
3) Put the power cord back in& turn PSU on
3) Start it up..

i5-6600K[delid]@4.8GHz/4.4GHz@1.39v LLC=6 | 2x4GB Crucial-DDR4-2133CL15@14-14-14-30 1T 2800MHz@1.37v
MSI Armor RX 570 4GB@1430Mhz core@1.25v/1920MHz memory@1.0v BiosModded


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Related Solutions

#4
April 21, 2018 at 16:47:24
"How Do I Test the Power Supply in My Computer?"
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/tools...

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#5
April 21, 2018 at 16:49:53
Seasonic is a decent brand & the PSU has good specs for a 360W unit. If hidde663's suggestion doesn't work, I suggest temporarily eliminating as much as possible to see if you can at least get the BIOS screen to display.

Try the following making sure to unplug the power cord 1st:
- unplug all external devices except for the monitor & keyboard. Keyboard should be USB (wired) or PS/2.
- unplug the power & data cables to all internal drives (SSD, HDD, DVD, etc).
- if you have a video card installed but your motherboard has onboard graphics, remove the card & connect the monitor cable to the motherboard port.
- if you have any other add-on cards - wireless, audio, etc - remove them too.

After doing the above, plug in the power cord & see if it will power up. If it does, tap the appropriate BIOS key (Del, F1, F2, F10, Esc, etc...whichever is used by your board) & see if you can access & maneuver within the BIOS using the keyboard. Double check all your settings, change as needed, save & exit, then shutdown. Start reconnecting the hardware (1 or 2 things at a time) to see if one of them causes the problem again.

If you are unable to get a display with the minimal hardware, try doing a BIOS reset. Unplug the power cord, then either use the Clear CMOS jumper or remove the CMOS battery for a few seconds. Plug in the power cord & then try again booting & tapping the BIOS key again.

If none of this works, you've narrowed it down to the board, PSU, or CPU.


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#6
April 22, 2018 at 07:32:42
Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to help, sorry that it's taken me until now to reply.

@riider: I only found your latest post after having tried the following, hopefully my version of your testing method isn't too cringeworthy to read!

Having read hidde663's post late last night, and having already disconnected every drive, I tried the power button with only the case fans, CPU cooler fans and memory connected (I don't have a graphics card). The led around the power button lit up and all fans spun up. I don't get to see it very often with the case closed, so I don't know if it's any different, but the CPU cooler fan doesn't seem to be spinning very fast, certainly not as fast the case ones, and with a slight wobble.

I then attached the monitor, the SSD, and the the wired keyboard and mouse, and tried again. It booted to the desktop perfectly. It's still working with the HDD reconnected too.

The only things not now reconnected are the CD/DVD SATA drive, a USB dongle that connects to a secondary wireless keyboard, and a USB extender cable that I only very occasionally use for a webcam.

Some kind of overheating, perhaps? It was cleaned not too long ago so it's survived worse in the past. I know my mothercard offers some kind of temperature monitoring (always between 28-38°C from memory), might there be some way to log it so I can keep an eye on it?

Again, thanks so much for your guidance and willingness to help, it's really appreciated!

Sarah


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#7
April 22, 2018 at 07:37:02
"but the CPU cooler fan doesn't seem to be spinning very fast, certainly not as fast the case ones"
If the blades are a blur, the speed should be Ok.

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#8
April 22, 2018 at 09:11:13
@Johnw: Yes, a definite blur. I'm probably just comparing them to the case fans for no reason, looking for a fault where none exists. Still seems to be working ok, touch wood...

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#9
April 22, 2018 at 15:59:11
Install HWMonitor to see your temps real time.
The USB issue may be a drive issue that needs an update from the system manufacture's web site.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#10
April 22, 2018 at 16:27:00
@Fingers - that you mention USB is funny in that I finally got around to solving one of those yellow flag 'unknown device' warnings in Device Manager today by finding an appropriate driver.

I'll find HWMonitor in the morning and report back.

Thanks for the advice!


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#11
April 22, 2018 at 16:35:19
"'unknown device' warnings in Device Manager"
Are there any more Sarah?

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#12
April 24, 2018 at 12:48:33
@johnw: There was one other marked, listed as "SM Bus....", but after pointing it to the appropriate place where the driver was stored, there are no more warnings listed.

Two days without issue so far, fingers crossed!


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#13
May 6, 2018 at 09:30:53
It seems I spoke too soon...despite having seen no issues with temperature (according to the BIOS software for the motherboard), it's still shutting down every few days.

Having had the same random shutdown happen again, this time during one of the old HDD's episodes of making some ugly noises while spinning up, I took to removing everything but the fans again. I also cleaned inside the case and PSU with compressed air.

This time I put back an old SSD with a Xubuntu installation, nothing else, and had another two days without issue. After being on for over a day, it's just shut down when I tried to use the mouse to stop a video playing in VLC.

Upon trying to restart, the power button and the LED attached to it work, the fans still spin up as normal, but the monitor doesn't detect anything and only goes into power saving mode again.

There's enough that seems to work to just confuse me as to whether it's the PSU, motherboard or CPU acting up, while simply waiting for 15-20 minutes has allowed me to reboot to the desktop again. I would guess at a temperature issue that I'm just not seeing...I've rebooted to the BIOS screen that shows me current CPU temp and will let it go for a few hours to see how high it gets doing nothing else (it's got to 37°C after 5 minutes).

After that, is there anything else I should try to isolate the problem component? Is riider's suggestion of a BIOS reset still worth trying, giving that I always seem to be able to get everything back after a brief wait?

Yet again, thanks in advance for anything you can suggest!

Sarah


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#14
May 6, 2018 at 15:16:34
Try Prime95 ( I would run an external fan on the comp during test. If PC, remove the cover )
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Others...
http://www.freewarefiles.com/Prime9...
http://www.freewarefiles.com/screen...
http://mersenne.org/
How To Run a CPU Stress Test Using Prime95
https://appuals.com/how-to-run-a-cp...
Tutorial W7
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorial...

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#15
May 6, 2018 at 15:38:45
Another way to test a power supply is to uncable the 360W unit & borrow someones unit from a discarded computer. No need to bolt it in.
Higher wattage is Ok.
Cable connector to the motherboard must be the same width.

Power Supply Troubleshooting: Basics, Overloading, Cooling
https://www.tomshardware.co.uk/powe...
https://www.tomshardware.co.uk/powe...
https://www.tomshardware.co.uk/powe...
https://www.tomshardware.co.uk/powe...
https://www.tomshardware.co.uk/powe...
https://www.tomshardware.co.uk/powe...
Extend the Life of Your PC – Care for the Power Supply!
http://www.brighthub.com/computing/...
Learn to troubleshoot power supply problems
http://www.techrepublic.com/article...


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#16
May 6, 2018 at 16:04:22
If you run HWMonitor, you can minimize it and after working or gaming for a while, you can bring it back up and see the current, min., and Max. Temps which will help you in diagnosing a thermal problem.
If you look at the basic voltages in HWMonitor or BIOS your 12V, 5V, and 3.3V should all be within 5% +/- from their nominal values. If they are off by more than 5% then replace the power supply. Dying power supplies, especially cheap ones can let voltage spikes through that can damage expensive components and though not fool proof, this is an indicator of the larger problem that may save you if you look for it.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#17
May 6, 2018 at 16:25:33
Is you screen connected to a GPU (extension) board or the onboard VDU?
If using an extension board, remove it and use the onboard VDU is possible.

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#18
May 6, 2018 at 16:43:01
@johnw: I've been trying to think of anyone I know who doesn't think me weird to want to have a desktop PC, let alone a friend that has one with a PSU I can borrow. Such an obvious test, but I'll keep thinking...

@johnw, @fingers: With linux being on that SSD that's now in the case, I tried a program called 'PSensor' that sounds similar to HWMonitor, however it's only giving me CPU temperatures that are normal and I can't seem to find if it writes log files to see if there are any suspicious fluctuations.

For what it's worth, and with the caveat that I'm not sure what I'm looking at, that BIOS screen that monitors temperature and fan speeds also displays voltages. They all looked within acceptable ranges, but I don't know of a way to see it measured over time to pick up on any spikes. Does HWMonitor do that?

Reading up on the PSU links you kindly shared, John. I'll put the Windows 7 SSD back in tomorrow, run both Prime95 and HWMonitor and let you know what they return.

Thanks yet again for your help!


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#19
May 6, 2018 at 16:57:30
@sluc, #17: I wish I was knowledgeable enough to be able to give you an answer about a VDU or extension board - please forgive my lack of understanding!

message edited by Repeat3


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#20
May 6, 2018 at 17:18:25
"I've been trying to think of anyone I know who doesn't think me weird to want to have a desktop PC"
Try public institutions, schools, libraries etc, or businesses, more often than not, they have them in their store rooms.

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