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Desktop PC refuses to wake up fully


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#1 naiku

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 11:07 AM

I have a desktop PC that essentially acts as a media server, it was originally built as an HTPC but sort of morphed into more of a server type set up primarily running Plex. For a few months now it will go to sleep at some point overnight but not wake up in the morning. 

 

Whenever this happens, if I push the power button the CPU fan comes on as does a second fan, however, 2 other case fans do not come on and the computer is completely unresponsive to any input from a USB keyboard or mouse, in fact, nothing even comes up on the screen, it still acts as though it is asleep/hibernating, not even sure what it is doing, to be honest.

 

Typically in these cases I have to hold the power button down to shut it off entirely, then push the power button for it to start up. However, there are times when not even this works and I have to remove the power cord from the PSU, press the power button, plug the PSU in again and just generally try any combination until it comes on. Usually by about the second or third attempt. Today, even after trying these steps several times it does not boot up fully, nothing appears on the screen, just the CPU and one other fan start. I have unplugged the PSU, opened up the case and unplugged the PSU from the motherboard, but it still will not boot further than those fans coming on. 

 

I was running some software called "Lights Out" to put it to sleep on a set schedule, I uninstalled that a couple weeks ago wondering if that was the cause, since it is still doing the same thing I doubt it was that software. I have also set the BIOS back to factory defaults on any power settings, I forget what the windows power settings are. I have also tried disconnecting all the hard drives, removing RAM and removing CMOS battery, to see if it would boot with one of them unplugged, nothing makes any difference. 

 

Any ideas? Short of starting to throw new parts at it I have no clue what to try next. When the machine is powered on it runs fine with no stability issues at all, if I remember correctly it is between 4-5 years old. 

 

Thanks.


Edited by naiku, 11 April 2018 - 11:24 AM.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 11:19 AM

Disable Fast Startup in Windows 10. Open an elevated command prompt. Windows key + X > command prompt as admin (may be called powershell). Type the following commands.

powercfg.exe -h off
shutdown /s /f /t 0

Reboot the computer and see if you can sleep and wake the computer. That's the only idea I have other than this may be a PSU problem. I had an old computer that refused to come out of sleep until I installed a new PSU. You may want to consider replacing the CMOS battery with a new one but I have doubts that would be the problem.



#3 naiku

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 11:32 AM

Unfortunately, without getting it to even boot into Windows I can't enter any commands. If I can get it to boot, will certainly give that a try. I posted an edit after your reply, but since creating the thread I tried to get it to boot with all hard drives, cd drive etc. disconnected, also with the RAM removed and then removed and replaced the CMOS battery. None made any difference. 

 

I may try a new PSU next, I read a thread somewhere about someone with similar issues and the PSU was the cause. The one in there currently is a Corsair CX430, I have an old Dell PSU laying around but I don't believe it will work, although I may check just to see if it will for testing purposes. 



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 11:39 AM

Sorry, for some reason I thought you got the computer to boot. I would hazard a guess it's your PSU. If you have a multimeter you can manually check it. PSU's can check fine but under a load will fail. They do sell PSU checkers on Ebay too.

 

 

Do you get any post beep?



#5 naiku

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 11:48 AM

Funnily enough, I have a multimeter sitting on my desk right here with me, will take a look at that video shortly and test the PSU.

 

No beep at all, but it also does not have a speaker installed. Literally, all it does is power the CPU fan and another fan on, which I suspect is just a secondary CPU fan. In the past I have eventually been able to get it to boot fully, but if the PSU is failing it may have finally decided to give up entirely.



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 11:58 AM

The motherboard should have a two pin header where you can add a speaker.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/PC-Case-Computer-Motherboard-Internal-Code-BIOS-Beep-Speaker-Buzzer-Mainboard-/222692113135

 

Edit: When you removed the RAM did you boot with only one stick and after each boot move the stick to a different slot then substitute a different stick doing the same thing between slots?


Edited by JohnC_21, 11 April 2018 - 12:00 PM.


#7 naiku

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 12:08 PM

Got one of those speakers floating around somewhere, will try and dig it out later. I did not try moving the sticks to different slots, although I should have done that. Have to run out for a while, but will try the RAM in different slots and add the speaker if I can find it later.



#8 naiku

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 01:52 PM

OK, installed the speaker. No beep at all. Swapped the RAM to different slots, no change, no beep, nothing. Tried with no RAM, still no beep. I did notice one of the case fans very briefly spin when I pushed the power button and have noticed it before, starting to suspect the PSU may be the culprit. Is it worth unplugging almost everything except the boot drive and seeing what happens? Might just pull the PSU and start testing it though.



#9 JohnC_21

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 01:56 PM

One last time, pull the power cord and hold the power button down for a full 30 seconds. Attach the power cord. Boot the computer and at the same time look at the fan of the PSU if visible. If it spins slightly then stops I would think the PSU was bad but go ahead and check it will the multimeter. I would also look for any bloating or leaking capacitors on the motherboard.



#10 naiku

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 03:00 PM

The PSU fan started spinning and stays spinning, all capacitors look fine. Pulled the PSU, going to test it as much as I can with a multimeter. 

 

And PSU checks out with a DMM, although obviously there is no load on it. 3v, 5v, 12v all reading fine. Which looks like I am now headed towards the worst part of troubleshooting something.... throwing parts at it. The cheapest part is likely going to be the PSU, so will start there. Hoping to avoid replacing things like the motherboard, just because if I end up replacing that, I start to get a little too close to the rabbit hole of, well I might as well just get this newer motherboard........ oh, but that needs this CPU...... and this faster RAM, and while I am at it I should really increase the RAM. Before you know it, it's an all new machine!! 

 

Thanks for all the help, if you can think of anything else worth trying I am all ears. Nowhere local to buy a PSU so will have to mail order it. 


Edited by naiku, 11 April 2018 - 03:26 PM.


#11 JohnC_21

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 03:34 PM

In the video I posted it shows how to attach some case fans to the PSU to simulate a load. I don't know if that would give a clue or not.



#12 naiku

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 04:51 PM

Progress!! sort of.... so I made a pigtail like this demonstrated here: https://youtu.be/gKgziA46wFY

 

Without pulling the PSU out of the case again, I unplugged the molex connector that normally powers the SSD and DVD drive, plugged in the lightbulb pig tail to that and pushed the power button. Noticed the top case fan move slightly, shut it off, tried again and it booted into BIOS (could not get into windows as that SSD was disconnected to use the light bulb harness). Shut it down again, plugged the hard drives back in and it does the same thing. Will not boot. 

 

Unplugged the hard drive piece again, plugged light bulbs back in, sure enough, I can get into the BIOS. At this point I am leaning towards it being a PSU problem, is it possible that the SSD and DVD drive are pulling enough power that a failing PSU will not start? But the lightbulbs are pulling a lower amount so it boots to BIOS? 



#13 JohnC_21

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 05:00 PM

I don't know about the DVD drive but I would have to imagine during boot your SSD is pulling power but I can't say how much. With that load on the the PSU did you check the other connectors with the multimeter? 

 

Edit: You may find this post interesting. A BC advisor uses multiple case fans using splitters to add load.

 

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/538978/psu-testers/?p=3405292


Edited by JohnC_21, 11 April 2018 - 05:07 PM.


#14 naiku

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 06:35 PM

Went back to it and with the load (light bulbs) the other connections all still read fine, 12v, 5v, 3v. I would think that the SSD is pulling considerably less power than a pair of 26.9W light bulbs, but if that is the case I don't understand why it will boot with the light bulbs and not with the SSD. 

 

If it is a case of the SSD pulling too much power though, then logically I would think the computer would boot into BIOS with that unplugged (as well as the DVD) yet it does not. The only way to get it to boot to BIOS is with the light bulbs connected and pulling power.



#15 JohnC_21

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 07:03 PM

I'm not a hardware expert but only being able to boot with the load is strange. What happens with only one bulb? Can you attach the pigtail load at the same time the SSD is connected? 






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