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PC turns on and right back off


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#1 Maddmike125

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 10:39 AM

Hey guys,
So here is the deal. About a week ago, I woke up and my computer was turning on and off by itself. So, I unplugged it and played around with it after I got off of work. I assumed something fried due to a power surge because the toaster oven died the same night and my cpu fan wasn't running at the time. I unplugged everything set it all back up and it keeps doing the same thing. It will turn on for maybe two seconds (all the lights and fans are working) and then it shuts right back down. Beings I was thinking about upgrading anyways, I figured I would use this as an excuse to buy a new setup. I got a new PSU, CPU, RAM, and MOBO. I put it all in and sure enough... its doing the same thing. Turns on and turns back off in like two seconds. I was hoping that it was something like the power button sticking or shorting out. So, I setup the reset button as the power and it still does the same thing. I am running out of ideas. Any advice? Thanks.

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#2 dc3

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 10:54 AM

It could be your hdd. Look at the hdd to find out who the manufacturer is and go to their web site and download their diagnostic tool. Usually it will be an ISO file which can be burned to a CD which you can boot from. You may need to change the boot order in the BIOS so that the optical drive is the first device in the boot order.

Another potential problem you could be facing is the fact that you've introduced a new set of chipsets to the registry. This is a problem because each chipset uses a different Plug-n-Play (PNP) ID to identify it. If you change your motherboard, your registry will have multiple PNP IDs (for the old hardware as well as the new hardware). If there are multiple entries in the registry, Windows cannot determine which hardware to initialize and therefore fails with a STOP error."

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#3 Maddmike125

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 11:20 AM

I cant get to the BIOS because it doesn't stay on that long. It literally lights up for like 2-3 seconds and shuts right back off.

Now, my most for my most recent test. I pulled the Mobo out of the case and tried to run it without a hdd or anything. Just a mobo, cpu, ram, and psu. I try stating it up with a paperclip (just in case the case has something wrong with it) and it does the same thing. It shuts right back off in like 2-3 seconds. I've also tried two different PSUs. I just tried my old Mobo the same way and it seems to be staying on now... WTF? Everything (mobo, cpu, ram, and PSU) are all brand new.

Would the CPU fan have anything to do with it? That's pretty much the only thing that is still hooked up obviously.

#4 dc3

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 11:29 AM

Did you make sure that the new motherboard wasn't shorting out to the case?

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#5 Maddmike125

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 11:39 AM

yes, that's what i did just now. I pulled the Mobo out of the case and put it on a piece of cardboard and ran it. Its still doing the same crap. So, I am assuming that my new Mobo is bleep now too. I don't understand how/why two entirely separate computers are doing the same dang thing.

#6 Maddmike125

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 05:14 PM

well... i sent the MOBO back to newegg and got another new one. Just hooked it all back up and sure enough, it is doing the exact same thing. Any advice please?

#7 Train2104

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 05:29 PM

Are you sure it's not the power itself? Plug something else like a hair dryer into the same outlet as the computer, then turn it on. A hair dryer draws more than a PSU, so if it cuts off, something is wrong with the mains electricity. Try plugging straight into the wall if you're using a power strip.

#8 Allan

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 05:32 PM

In the bios, look for a setting that says Wake On Lan or something similar - and make sure it is disabled.

It certainly is not the HD

Edited by Allan, 10 May 2011 - 05:32 PM.


#9 Train2104

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 05:34 PM

In the bios, look for a setting that says Wake On Lan or something similar - and make sure it is disabled


He said that the computer wasn't on long enough to even access the BIOS.

#10 Allan

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 05:40 PM


In the bios, look for a setting that says Wake On Lan or something similar - and make sure it is disabled


He said that the computer wasn't on long enough to even access the BIOS.

Well then he's going to have a tough time following my instructions, isn't he? :inlove:

#11 dc3

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 05:47 PM

As Allan suggested, this could be a problem with the hdd. If you know that manufacturer of this hdd you can go to their web site and download their diagnostic too. These usually will be in the form of an ISO file which you can burn to a CD making a bootable CD from it. You may need to enter the BIOS to change the boot order to have the DVD/CD-ROM as the first device in the boot order. Unless there is a hardware problem, you should be able to access the BIOS as is isn't part of the operating system.

Another consideration would be the PSU. The procedure below will allow you to bypass the motherboard in order to determine if the problem is with the PSU or the motherboard.


The purpose of this procedure is to bypass the motherboard to test the PSU.

When a computer begins the boot process the motherboard initiates the start up of the PSU. Because of this it is difficult to determine whether the problem is with the motherboard or the PSU when a computer shows no signs of starting up. The purpose of the procedure is to determine if the problem is with the motherboard or the PSU. For safety purposes please follow the instructions step by step.

This test is for ATX PSUs. Some manufacturers use non-ATX PSUs with 20/24 pin connectors that do not have the same pinout as a ATX PSU.

First, shutdown your computer. Then unplug the power cable going into your computer.

Once you have opened the case, touch the metal of the case to discharge any static electricity.

The connector of the PSU which connects to the motherboard is readily recognizable by the number of wires in the bundle. To disconnect it you will need to press on the plastic clip to disengage it and then pull the connector up and away from the motherboard. Please take notice of the location of the locking tab and the notch on the socket of the motherboard, this will only connect one way as it is keyed. This wire bundle will have a memory of the way it has been installed and will want to bend back that direction, you may have to play around with it to find a position that the connector will stay in the same position while you run the test.

Posted Image

From the top left to right the pins are 13-24, the bottom from left to right are 1-12.


Please notice that there are PSUs with 24 pin and 20 pin connectors, the location of the green wire in the 24 pin connector is #16, and the green wire in the 20 pin connector is #14. If you look at the connector with socket side facing you and the clip on the top the number one pin will be on the bottom left corner. This makes the pin out for the 24 pin connector from left to right 13-24 on top, and 1-12 on the bottom. The pin out for the 20 pin connector from left to right is 11-20 on top , and 1-10 on the bottom. If you look at the connectors you notice that these are sockets that fit over the pins on the motherboard where the PSU cable attaches, this is where you will place the jumper. For a jumper you will need a piece of solid wire about the size of a paper clip (20-22 awg), preferably a wire with insulation. It will need to be large enough to fit firmly into the socket so that it will not need to be held in place while testing. You are at risk of electrical shock if you are holding the jumper when you power up the PSU. Insert one end of the jumper into the socket of the Green wire, and insert the other end into the socket of any Black wire.

Once the jumper is in place plug the cord back in. If the PSU is working properly the case fans, optical drives, hdds, and LEDs should power up and remain on. I would suggest that you not leave this connected any longer than is necessary for safety purposes.

To reconnect the 20/4 pin connector unplug the power cord, remove the jumper, and reconnect the connector. Take a moment at this time to make sure that nothing has been dislodged inside the case.

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#12 Allan

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 05:53 PM

As Allan suggested, this could be a problem with the hdd.


Just to be clear, I said it is NOT a problem with the hd. The hd cannot cause the system to spontaneously power up.

#13 dc3

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 06:16 PM

Allan is correct, I was asleep at the wheel with that part of my post while thinking of the ramifications of a failing PSU. But with the fact that you went through a power surge which took out other low voltage controls it is a distinct possibility that this problem is related to the PSU.

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#14 Allan

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 07:09 AM

Yeah, I would have thought it's the PS also if he didn't say that he'd already replaced it.

#15 dc3

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 10:36 AM

When you installed the CPU heat sink and fan did you apply thermal compound between the heat spreader of the CPU and the heat sink?

Do any of the fans start to spin in the short period of time it stays on? Especially the CPU fan?

You can test to see if the power on button is the problem by either checking it with a multimeter set on the Ohm scale, with the power off, or you can remove the two leads from the power on button from the two header pins and short the two pins very briefly with a screw driver.

Since you replaced the PSU you would think that this wouldn't be the problem, but it would be worth ruling it out as the cause of your problem. The procedure I posted above will help to determine this. To check the different rail voltages you would need a multimeter with a DC voltage scale. If you are interested in checking these voltage I can post instructions for this.

With any new build it is always a good idea to go back over all of your connections, check to see if the RAM is seated properly, the PSU connections to the motherboard are properly seated and the CPU 12V connector is attached.

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