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System stuck in an infinite boot loop.


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#1 JanBroski

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Posted 01 November 2016 - 11:10 AM

Greetings people of Bleeping Computer!

 

After 2 weeks of troubleshooting, i found out that the cause of my troubles is most likely a short caused by overtightened cpu heatsink.

It all started when i changed the thermal paste and mounted the cooler back on (silentiumpc fera 3) the system would then start for about 2 seconds, shut off, start again, shut off.

 

I then opened the case, checked all connections and hardware positioning which seemed fine, but i re-seated everything anyway (except the cooler) the system then booted up only to show the same behavior two days later. I have tried to swap the power supply with a unit that im 100% certain works and can handle this machine without any issues - nothing changed. After this process ive decided its probably time to RMA the system and i didnt want to send it with the new cooler on  as it wasnt present when i bought it. I installed the first power supply back in, took the heatsink off and installed intel stock cooler. I then tried my luck once more and the machine booted up just fine! i left it running for about 2 days, did some stress testing with prime95, heaven benchmark and some gaming - no issues. This was the time to try and install my aftermarket heatsink once more only to see the "bootloop"  again. I then re-seated the cooler and made sure to only finger-tighten the screws on it and the machine works again.

i should note : all hardware on the mobo is definitely fine as it has passed hours of stress tests and memtests, i was grounded when working inside of the case, there was no thermal paste spilling where it shouldnt, checked all the mobo capacitors & none of them showed signs of damage.

 

now the question is - how badly could the board be damaged from this (i think) short caused by the cooler? is it still reliable ? the backplate of the cooler is plastic, but if overtightened could it press the mobo metal cpu backplate so hard to cause a shortage?

Thanks in advance for any info and please, excuse my english as it is not my native language. Have a nice day, Jan.

 

 

system : 

Motherboard - MSI H97 gaming 3 
Cpu - Intel Core i5 4460
Memory - Corsair Vengeance Pro 2x8gb ddr3 @1600mhz cl9
Gpu - MSI GTX 960 Gaming 4gb
HDD - Western Digital Blue 1tb EZEX
PSU - Bequiet pure power l8 600w



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#2 Demonslay335

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Posted 01 November 2016 - 09:38 PM

It sounds to me like there isn't proper conductivity of the aftermarket heatsink and the CPU. If it is shutting down after a few seconds, it must be overheating, or something else bad with the CPU (it's not an AMD with bent pins is it?).

 

Does the aftermarket heatsink get warm at all? Also, does the BIOS have any type of temperature monitoring? It would be good to get an idle reading on the stock cooler versus the aftermarket cooler. I've literally had customer-supplied aftermarket heatsinks that are designed in such a way that they are only slightly lifted off from the board, and would not make 100% connectivity with the thermal paste - usually they were ones not rated for the particular board or something.

 

I'm not an electrical engineer, but in my 8 years of experience on the bench, I've never heard of over-tightening causing a short to be honest - unless you are talking about actually torquing the mount to where contacts on the motherboard bend past the stand-offs and actually make contact with (or come within arcing distance of) the backplate.

 

I would believe temperature to be more of a factor first just from my experience, and it's certainly easier to check for.


Edited by Demonslay335, 01 November 2016 - 09:39 PM.

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#3 JanBroski

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Posted 02 November 2016 - 08:41 AM

It sounds to me like there isn't proper conductivity of the aftermarket heatsink and the CPU. If it is shutting down after a few seconds, it must be overheating, or something else bad with the CPU (it's not an AMD with bent pins is it?).

 

 

 

Hello Demonslay and thank you for the feedback!

Well, i forgot to mention that the temps are 100% not the problem. The processors temperature at idle is about the same with both stock and aftermarket heatsink 27 to 33 celsius - but idle temperature doesnt matter, load does. At 100% load after an hour of prime 95, im getting readings of 57 celsius max on all cores with the aftermarket, about 68 with the stock. And no, the cpu is intel i5 4460 as mentioned above, pins are not bent on the motherboard as far as i can tell, checked that too :/ 

 

edit : also ran intel processor diagnostics tool and it passed if that tells you something


Edited by JanBroski, 02 November 2016 - 08:52 AM.


#4 Demonslay335

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Posted 02 November 2016 - 08:57 AM

Ok, good then. The idle temp is always good for a baseline when suspecting overheating - if it overheats without even putting any load on it, then there would be a definite thermal problem. 134F (sorry I'm 'Merican, can't gauge C temps very well :P) is certainly great for running Prime95, usually that is only a concern when you start getting closer to 170F I believe.

 

I totally skimmed the specs, didn't register that it was an Intel chip, so nevermind the bent pins then, lol. I just run into that so much at the shop when someone brings in a custom-built machine with this kind of problem.

 

So with the aftermarket cooler, are you able to ever get into Windows? Or does it always reboot before login? Does it start up, shutdown, and start back up on its own over and over? Sounds like what we refer to as "going zombie" at our shop, which is usually a CPU issue for sure.

 

I'm a little perplexed on the aftermarket cooler being the only factor that makes it stop booting properly. If you are 100% sure it is installed correctly, and that it is making proper conductivity of the heat, then I'm not sure exactly what would be going on without having my eyes on it to be honest. Maybe someone more knowledgeable on that subject would be able to chime in.


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#5 JanBroski

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Posted 02 November 2016 - 09:13 AM

Yes, i made sure and triple checked if the mounting is correct and it is. Since the last installation of the aftermarket heatsink, the machine boots like a champ and handles 4 hour long sessions of battlefield 1 (it eats 100% of both cpu and gpu most of the time and the system is stable) i dont think it would be able to take all this load and show no signs of instability if the motherboard or cpu were permantently damaged, right? Ive done alot of googling in the last couple of days and found out that im not the only one that has faced this kind of issue. There is considerable amount of posts by people with systems that are refusing to boot up or getting stuck in on/off loops after aftermarket heatsink/waterloop installation. It should be satisfying enough that the machine works without problems now, but i just cant be at peace of mind until i find the cause of this :/

 

 

edit : Bios temp readings and Hwinfo64 voltage readings below (hwinfo64 has proven to read same voltages as bios does on this machine)

 

 

Attached File  WP_20161102_16_16_09_Pro.jpg   119.54KB   0 downloads

 

 

Attached File  volty.png   40.87KB   0 downloads

 

 

everything seems in order (correct me if im wrong) so should i be worried at this point if the system works fine? 


Edited by JanBroski, 02 November 2016 - 12:27 PM.


#6 JanBroski

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 09:48 AM

anyone?






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