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Power up, shut down, rinse repeat ... crash, restart... WTF?


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#1 DPaulku

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 06:37 PM

Sorry for the WTF.

I've got a 3+ year old "house brand" i5 win 7 tower that is starting to show signs of being possessed.

 

There are a couple of info files attached with lots to chew on (from Speccy and MiniToolBox) but here's the cliff notes.

 

        Operating System
            Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1
        CPU
            Intel Core i5 3570K @ 3.40GHz    32 °C
            Ivy Bridge 22nm Technology
        RAM
            8.00GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 665MHz (9-9-9-24)
        Motherboard
            ECS H77H2-WM (SOCKET 0)    28 °C
        Graphics
            HP w1907 (1440x900@60Hz)
            1023MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 620 (ZOTAC International)    33 °C
        Storage
            1863GB Seagate ST2000DM001-1CH164 (SATA)    29 °C
        Optical Drives
            HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GH24NS95
        Audio
            Realtek High Definition Audio
Operating System
    Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1
    Computer type: Desktop
    Installation Date: 5/27/2013 2:30:49 PM

 

 

 

What it's doing.

A couple months ago it started to fail to complete the boot up.  I'd get the "maker's splash" and a little HD activity lamp activity, then it would sit idle for as long as I wanted before hitting the reset button and selecting "start windows normally" Then it was good t go. 'Ran "attempt repair" and "restore" a couple of times till it became apparent that it couldn't find anything that it could fix or a reliable restore point.

 

Then I noticed the case switch was hanging up a few times and caused some trouble. It's just a molded button that contacts a micro switch on the I/O ports bracket on the front panel.

 

Lately it's been really problematic. The case/CPU fan sounded like the bearings were shot on start up but in a couple minutes running they'd quiet down. I opened the case the other day and blew out the dust in the heat sinks etc. The fan making the noise was a large Cool Master CPU fan. I saw that it was "spring loaded" at the mounting screws, so I attempted to see if adjusting those would change the sound on the fan on boot.  Not much difference was seen. So I button it up and keep an eye and ear on it.

 

Now it's gone too far. Power switch on and for about 2 to 3 seconds it sounds like it will boot, then shuts down... waits for a three count and starts again... for 2 to 3 seconds... then shuts down... (repeat n times).  Eventually it will stay running to the log-in screen. If the log in process doesn't trigger a shutdown/reboot process, then I can  count on it running "normally" for minutes to hours.

 

Early this morning I started a check disk process and left it run all day while at work. I get home to see a black screen (screen saver mode) and when I wake it up, it crashes.

 

I've talked to a local laptop PC reseller tech and he suggested removing and reseating the Ram, pulling the button battery, and verifying all fans run, I saw all fans running but when I pulled the video card I see a fan that I can't see running when in opperation... Hummmm.

 

Tonight when I finally get it to come up and can run my diagnostic utilies it shut down as soon as I opened a web browser.

 

I'm leaning towards a bad mother board, then video card, then a glitch in the OS somewhere.  The HD makes no clicking noises on boot up so I think the data is safe for now.

 

Any thoughts? Thanks for hanging in there.

Attached Files


Edited by DPaulku, 14 October 2016 - 10:20 AM.


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#2 hamluis

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 01:52 PM

Well...I'd be thinking "PSU" first...when considering abrupt shutddowns and inability to show signs of powering up properly.

 

Louis



#3 DPaulku

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 04:18 PM

OK, I'll see if I can find a replacement that fits my case. Or, should I just buy a case/PSU that my MB will fit? Probably not much diff either way.

Thanks, Louis.



#4 hamluis

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 04:26 PM

Well...I don't encourage members to spend money on "possibilities".  And my "guess" (it's not even an opinion, just what I would try first because I have several PSUs on hnad all the time) is not intended to be more than it is.  Let's wait for some other opinions before taking action.

 

Louis



#5 ranchhand_

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 05:50 PM

You may have more than one problem here.

 

he case/CPU fan sounded like the bearings were shot on start up but in a couple minutes running they'd quiet down.

If you are hearing vibration noise from the CPU heatsink fan, you should take care of that first off the bat. Make very sure that it is coming from the CPU fan, it is easy so mistake it. An easy way to do it is to wait until it makes noise again, then LIGHTLY press your finger on the center of the rotating fan. The noise should shift volume as you press, and resume when you release. No, you will not hurt the CPU, you are only doing this for about 2 seconds. If the noise does not change, that is not the problem fan. The reason for the noise is that the bearings are failing. You might extend the life a while by applying a couple of drops of light oil to the center, but fans are cheap and it should really be replaced. It's an easy job. Just do not procrastinate it; from wear, even if the fan drops a few RPMs, the CPU will run hotter and you really do not want that. Long agoI once shorted-out a power supply that had a noisy fan and over-heated and corrupted my operating system. Big problem because I kept putting it off.

 

 

I noticed the case switch was hanging up a few times and caused some trouble

Be sure to check this out; a power switch that is shorting out is a common cause of many problems. Open the case; trace the cable that runs from the power switch to the connector on the mainboard. Pull it off at the mainboard terminal. Take a flat-bladed screwdriver and short the two tiny exposed contacts on the mainboard. If the computer starts up, boots normally and there are no problems, you have found your problem - a bad power switch.

If the above is not the problem, we can go further with diagnostics, but be aware that it can be a lengthy process of elimination 1x1 of your main components, so if you start you have to stick with it until completion.


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#6 DPaulku

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 06:52 PM

Thanks,

fan noise could be bearings or just gunked up? It eventually, under 1 min, normalizes and stays running.

 

I'll see if I can test the switch.  If it's the switch, it looks like a new case. 

 

'Appreciate the help.



#7 ranchhand_

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 07:23 PM

No, the bearings are worn and do not rotate smoothly. When they heat up with RPMs the metal expands and reduces the diameter between the worn bearing and the container so they do not "rattle" so much and quiet down. That does not mean that the problem is gone. Eventually they will fail and anything could happen then.


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#8 DPaulku

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 07:54 PM

Understood and I agree about the CPU fan. Easy to fix and good insurance.

 

I now have more information.  I think there's some bad action in the boot sectors of the HD.

 

I found that pulling power from the DVD drive eliminated 99% of the gross noise problem. The CPU fan contributes but to a much lesser degree.

 

Leaving DVD dive powerless, I try the switch.  The cycling returns.

 

I pull power to the HD... and the power stays on, the CPU fan settles down and everything sounds fine.  But of course it's not.

 

Powering up the HD again sends the system into the on off cycle so I'll have to either find a way to diagnose it or set up a new boot drive and transfer all my apps.  I almost hate that more than car shopping or moving apartments.

 

Agree? Disagree?

 

Thanks for all comments.


Edited by DPaulku, 14 October 2016 - 08:06 PM.


#9 ranchhand_

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 08:17 AM

Ok, the hard drive is easy to test. If it is starting to fail, best to know it ASAP so you can retrieve your data while it is still functioning.

Run Seatools for Windows hard drive tester. Download per the link below, install and run the program (free).

http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/seatools/#

 

> The opening screen lists all the HDD disks in your computer.

> In the header, "Basic Tests" you will run two (2) tests, S.M.A.R.T. Check, and Short Generic. Simply click first on SMART Check and let it complete, then click on Short Generic and let it complete. Do not run any other tests or features.

> When each test completes, you will get either "Pass" or "Fail". Post back with the results of each of those two tests.
Be sure to have your hard drive directly installed internally to the motherboard, not in an external case.

 

If the drive passes as good, next check your memory. I understand that so far memory has not come under suspicion, but I have seen computers do really strange things when memory begins to fail and it is easy to test.

>  Download the (free) zip file (2nd from the top) ISO of Memtest86+ and burn to a CD.

>  Make sure your BIOS is set to CD = 1st Boot Device, HDD = 2nd Boot Device.
>  If you have multiple sticks, test only one (1) stick at a time

Reboot with the CD in your drive. Allow it to run until you get a message at the bottom of the screen that testing is complete (about 20 minutes). Any red posts at the bottom of the screen means that memory stick is bad.

If Memtest will not run or you get error messages, let me know.

If you have any questions on how to do the above, post back.


Edited by ranchhand_, 15 October 2016 - 08:20 AM.

Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#10 DPaulku

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 02:32 PM

Ha, that would all be good to try, if the  machine ever fully boots up. As soon as I put the HD back in the power chain, the start stop cycling resumes.

 

 

Ed 2 add... i didn't mean to belittle your recommendations re/testing the HD. My problem I don't have another desktop unit with which I an add a drive and run the tests...


Edited by DPaulku, 16 October 2016 - 01:33 PM.


#11 DPaulku

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 01:41 PM

Well, today's story continues. I downloaded those tests, bought a HD docking station and was able to see and test the drive easily. There doesn't seem to be any physical damage to the HD as it passed the tests recommended by Ranchand.

 

In my buying spree on Saturday for a magic pill, I bought 8gb extra RAM, a replacement optical drive, a replacement CPU fan and a replacement 2tb Seagate drive and a copy of Win7/pro.  The only thing I don't have in hand is a different case, PSU, and MB.

 

Should I just get a new system? Goes against my philosophy of not tossing something if it can be repaired... but then in the end am I just working with Grandmas's ax? (In her lifetime, Granny only replaced her ax handle three times and the head twice...)



#12 DPaulku

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 08:12 PM

Well...I'd be thinking "PSU" first...when considering abrupt shutddowns and inability to show signs of powering up properly.

 

Louis

Well, Louis is again the master of insight and wisdom. I think he just wanted to see how far I'd run chasing down this problem, or how far afield others might want to take me.  :lol:  It was all a good learning experience but ... from now on... if I ever post another problem here and Louis is the first to respond, far be it for me to disregard his comments and wisdom. All was not wasted, however. I have a much quieter machine and additional ram that I consider a gift for sticking this out!

 

Thank you sir, you are a gentlemen and a scholar.  :thumbup2:






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