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Booting problem (PSU related?)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
You know, we really need a general "diagnosis" or "troubleshooting" section around here...

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone could clue me in here to a problem I'm having. My girlfriend has an old Dell Dimension 3000 that's giving me trouble. When you press the power button, the lights on the front kick on, the HDD spins up, and the fan whirrs away. Then, maybe 2 seconds later, it all shuts off (before the monitor gets any signal). You can do this as many times as you like to the same effect. I tried other power cords and electrical sockets to no avail.

So I'm thinking that it's one of three things - PSU, motherboard, or something wrong in the power switch itself (unlikely).

Well, I was sitting there using my rig the other night, and when I got ready to leave to go to bed, I heard this odd clicking noise in the room. After tracking it down, I realized that the Dell's fan was turning on and off...by itself. I don't know how long this had been going on, but about 30 seconds after I had noticed it the fan started and stayed on. I quickly turned on the monitor and PC (yes, the machine was off when the fan was running) and it was displaying a message about the computer having shut down due to thermal failure.

??

I don't know if this is related or not, but we just moved. This is the first time the machine has been on since it was shut down at the old place. A thermal failure seems to me to be unlikely. Maybe if the heat sink became dislodged, but it wouldn't be so quick, would it? That said, it seems an awful coincidence for the PSU to fail just as we move (although, oddly enough, that exact thing happened to her sister a couple of months ago, haha).

All cables and components are properly seated, and the BIOS produces no error beeps.


To recap:
  • System powers on for about 2 seconds, then shuts off
  • Fan was going on/off without any action on my part, and while the rest of the system was off
  • Reports of a thermal failure

I have it unplugged from the wall for now; if it can turn it's own fan on, I don't want to know what else it's doing by itself.
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5-2500k ASUS P8P67 B3 Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 G.Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz 7-8-7-24 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200RPM Lite-On 24x DVD Burner Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit HP 2310m 
PowerCase
NZXT Hale 90 650W NZXT Phantom White 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5-2500k ASUS P8P67 B3 Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 G.Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz 7-8-7-24 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200RPM Lite-On 24x DVD Burner Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit HP 2310m 
PowerCase
NZXT Hale 90 650W NZXT Phantom White 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 4
Since the computer told you it was a thermal failure, it's gotta be worth it to check out the heat sink on the CPU and turn on the air conditioning. Besides that, it sounds to me more like a motherboard problem than anything else. Why not take your PSU and hook it up in that system and see what happens?
Stealth Strike
(18 items)
 
The Dog
(17 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-6300 Asus M5A97 Sapphire Tri-X R9 290 4GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 8GB DDR3 1600 MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Samsung 840 Pro SSD Samsung Spinpoint F3 Seagate Barracuda Generic Drive 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Corsair A70 CPU Cooler Windows 7 Ultimate 3x Asus VS247H-P Saitek Cyborg V.7 MW2 Edition 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
EVGA G2 750w 80+ Gold Certified Corsair 600T Razer DeathAdder 2013 Edition PureTrak Talent 
AudioAudio
Asus Xonar DG Sound Card Audio Technica A900X 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 955 BE @ 3.8GHz NB 2940MHz Asus M5A97 Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 G.Skill Ripjaws X 8GB DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung 840 Pro SSD Samsung Spinpoint F3 Seagate Barracuda Corsair A70 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit Asus VW246H Saitek Cyborg V.7 MW2 Edition Antec HCG 620w 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Cooler Master Elite 430 PureTrak Valor Puretrak Talent Asus Xonar DG 
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Stealth Strike
(18 items)
 
The Dog
(17 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-6300 Asus M5A97 Sapphire Tri-X R9 290 4GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 8GB DDR3 1600 MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Samsung 840 Pro SSD Samsung Spinpoint F3 Seagate Barracuda Generic Drive 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Corsair A70 CPU Cooler Windows 7 Ultimate 3x Asus VS247H-P Saitek Cyborg V.7 MW2 Edition 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
EVGA G2 750w 80+ Gold Certified Corsair 600T Razer DeathAdder 2013 Edition PureTrak Talent 
AudioAudio
Asus Xonar DG Sound Card Audio Technica A900X 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 955 BE @ 3.8GHz NB 2940MHz Asus M5A97 Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 G.Skill Ripjaws X 8GB DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung 840 Pro SSD Samsung Spinpoint F3 Seagate Barracuda Corsair A70 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit Asus VW246H Saitek Cyborg V.7 MW2 Edition Antec HCG 620w 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Cooler Master Elite 430 PureTrak Valor Puretrak Talent Asus Xonar DG 
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
The heat sink seemed secure, although I didn't re-seat it. I did, however, find an old PSU from another Dell I had laying around (same wattage, about a year older). It seems to be running fine with that.

So it looks like the PSU was bad. Still wondering why it had registered a thermal failure, though...
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5-2500k ASUS P8P67 B3 Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 G.Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz 7-8-7-24 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200RPM Lite-On 24x DVD Burner Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit HP 2310m 
PowerCase
NZXT Hale 90 650W NZXT Phantom White 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5-2500k ASUS P8P67 B3 Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 G.Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz 7-8-7-24 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200RPM Lite-On 24x DVD Burner Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit HP 2310m 
PowerCase
NZXT Hale 90 650W NZXT Phantom White 
  hide details  
Reply
post #4 of 4
Personally I wouldn't let it boggle your mind since it's running fine now. Lol. It is strange though a PSU was causing errors like those.. Never heard of a ghost fan turning it self on with everything else off...
Stealth Strike
(18 items)
 
The Dog
(17 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-6300 Asus M5A97 Sapphire Tri-X R9 290 4GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 8GB DDR3 1600 MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Samsung 840 Pro SSD Samsung Spinpoint F3 Seagate Barracuda Generic Drive 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Corsair A70 CPU Cooler Windows 7 Ultimate 3x Asus VS247H-P Saitek Cyborg V.7 MW2 Edition 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
EVGA G2 750w 80+ Gold Certified Corsair 600T Razer DeathAdder 2013 Edition PureTrak Talent 
AudioAudio
Asus Xonar DG Sound Card Audio Technica A900X 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 955 BE @ 3.8GHz NB 2940MHz Asus M5A97 Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 G.Skill Ripjaws X 8GB DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung 840 Pro SSD Samsung Spinpoint F3 Seagate Barracuda Corsair A70 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit Asus VW246H Saitek Cyborg V.7 MW2 Edition Antec HCG 620w 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Cooler Master Elite 430 PureTrak Valor Puretrak Talent Asus Xonar DG 
  hide details  
Reply
Stealth Strike
(18 items)
 
The Dog
(17 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-6300 Asus M5A97 Sapphire Tri-X R9 290 4GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 8GB DDR3 1600 MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Samsung 840 Pro SSD Samsung Spinpoint F3 Seagate Barracuda Generic Drive 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Corsair A70 CPU Cooler Windows 7 Ultimate 3x Asus VS247H-P Saitek Cyborg V.7 MW2 Edition 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
EVGA G2 750w 80+ Gold Certified Corsair 600T Razer DeathAdder 2013 Edition PureTrak Talent 
AudioAudio
Asus Xonar DG Sound Card Audio Technica A900X 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 955 BE @ 3.8GHz NB 2940MHz Asus M5A97 Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 G.Skill Ripjaws X 8GB DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung 840 Pro SSD Samsung Spinpoint F3 Seagate Barracuda Corsair A70 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit Asus VW246H Saitek Cyborg V.7 MW2 Edition Antec HCG 620w 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Cooler Master Elite 430 PureTrak Valor Puretrak Talent Asus Xonar DG 
  hide details  
Reply
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