Help?

Discussion in 'Hardware Discussion & Support' started by LeanWolf, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. LeanWolf

    LeanWolf alpha male

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    Hi guys!

    So my rig (listed under my specs) died today, here's what happened. Last night it suddenly rebooted on me while surfing, odd.. I thought. Then it did it again maybe 40min later. At this point I was worried but it was late so I went to sleep.

    Today it rebooted maybe 5 min after starting it up, then again almost immediately upon reboot. Then it died in the middle of a reboot. Then i got the windows diagnostic thingie which i opted for and it died while trying that. Now it won't boot at all but sadly keeps trying.

    The led on my CPU fan flashes steadily (should be constant) and I noticed that the dvd drive light was flashing constantly while it tries to reboot so i disconnected it from the motherboard but not the PSU. It still flashes. I'm guessing its my PSU that has died?

    Or is it my HDD? I have a pair of Seagate Baracudas (500GB each) in RAID 0 for my operating system. I have a WD Caviar 2TB for storage.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated! :confused:
     
  2. mkk

    mkk Well-Known Member

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    I'd suspect some relatively major surface component failure like n the motherboard, graphics card or possibly the PSU. If you would happen to have another PSU or an old graphics card around that would be the easier thing to try to replace. Obviously when suspecting a PSU it's best to try it first. Going by the specs a relatively simple PSU at around 300W capacity would do.
     
  3. LeanWolf

    LeanWolf alpha male

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    unfortunately this was my first rig and so I have no replacement components to try.. but thanks for the feedback!

    I was recently thinking to upgrade but I assumed that the PSU was one part that wouldn't need replacing! But as you say maybe it's not the problem...
     
  4. steves6403

    steves6403 Active Member

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    can you pull the vid card ,is there any beepin going on?
    can you get into bios ?
     
  5. Trusteft

    Trusteft HH's Asteroids' Dominator

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    Can you check ALL the connections?
     
  6. LeanWolf

    LeanWolf alpha male

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    I've checked the connections and all seems fine. It won't boot at all, turning it on now just gets the case fans blowing, the cpu cooling fan doesn't turn, just stutters and the dvd drive light blinks repeatedly. I think the mainboard or the PSU are dead :(
     
  7. Trusteft

    Trusteft HH's Asteroids' Dominator

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    Possibly. The cheap way of course to test it is to try removing hardware and trying to see if it ever loads. I would start with the memory (obviously leave one DIMM there and if it doesn't work, replace the DIMM and the slot) only plugged in (and of course the CPU).

    Or you know, the usual try a new PSU thingy etc. You've got the brains to figure it out. :)
     
  8. LeanWolf

    LeanWolf alpha male

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    Thanks. ;) I'll give that a try but I'm guessing I'll be on my old laptop for a while now.
     
  9. steves6403

    steves6403 Active Member

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    Thats pretty close what happened to me you,ll need an other vid card to really verify.My vid card died and it really seemed like the psu or mobo so went out and bought both psu and mobo.Installed them and got the same prob.I thought to myself or really i shouted wtf.For some reason trying to boot with the defective vid card locked the mobo,i tried removing the bios battery etc.The only way i was able to get into the bios or boot was to insert another vid card (for some reason i could not boot up on the onboard vid card unless i inserted another vid card)...After repeating this step on both systems i now have 2 computers.....

    ps my vid card was pronounced doa...rip
     
  10. LeanWolf

    LeanWolf alpha male

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    Hmm interesting! Unfortunately I don't have a replacement vid card to try or even an onboard vid card (there's nowhere to connect a monitor) but I'll certainly keep this in mind. Thanks for the tip!
     
  11. LeanWolf

    LeanWolf alpha male

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    Okay I opened it up and did some checking according to your suggestions.

    First I unplugged the power to the graphic card. That resulted in the alarm wailing when I turned it on, which is normal I guess.

    Then I removed the graphic card and disconnected everything. Turning it on with just RAm and CPU didn't change anything (i'm not sure how i'm supposed to know how it's doing without a screen?).

    I noticed the CPU cooler wouldn't spin so I removed it- and found ALOT of fine dust built up behind it. I cleaned that up but it made no difference. I unplugged the cpu fan and plugged it into one of the other fan outlet on the mainboard. There it worked again. So this leads me to believe that something in the mainboard is fried? I guess the CPU isn't getting power either or it would at least work until it overheated, or maybe it's also fried... I don't know.

    ok i have some questions:

    1. my case the CM stacker is covered on all sides by mesh, I didn't realise this when i bought it online. This MUST be bad for dust, should I get a new one or are all cases somewhat 'holey'?

    2. cases now seem to mount the PSU in the bottom. why is this better, doesn't heat rise?

    3. CPU coolers. Mine, the ruby orb is quite big and therefore hid alot of dust behind it that i couldn't clean with regular maintenance. Is there a prefered solution (small/accessible but effective) or is the stock cooler that comes with cpus good enough?
     
  12. mkk

    mkk Well-Known Member

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    I used to have as Stacker so I know all about that. While wiping the outside of the mesh off once a week or so can take care of most of it, about twice a year I did some careful vacuming or blev dust outward with a can of compressed air. All cases need some intakes but there are those without open meshed fronts and sides like the. Some sort of fan filters have gotten fairly common, but then again the mesh itself kinda acts like a filter if one cleans it now and then. The more air a system circulates the more dust is also likely to be transported in, so an somewhat unorthodox solution may be to slow down the fans as long as the temperatures stay within safe limits. Improvising a disposable fan filter with some very light fabric over for instance a fan intake can be worth experimenting with.

    The main benefit is to keep the PSU much cooler than if it has to fight the heat of the CPU and graphics card as well. A hot power supply runs a little bit less efficient and naturally has to speed up its fan. In a way it may be argued and I would, that the PSU is the most important part to keep cool since it's such a critical part of the system. Some cheaper manufacturers performance ratings are also only valid at near room temperatures, which is hardly ever the case even at idle with a top mount.

    Cleaning tight finned heatsinks is quite difficult without compressed air. Get a can of clean air made for electronics. Short bursts to not overspeed the fan. If possible it can be a good idea to move the case outdoors if there seems to be a lot of dust in there. :)
     

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