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PC crashing - seriously need help.

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
When I make physical contact with the PC, whether by connecting a USB or SATA device to the front ports (probably rear ports too, haven't tried.), or by setting the side panel up against the case, or by (this happened yesterday!) LIGHTLY touching the front of the case... And, other physical contact.

It often crashes. It has crashed in different ways. It used to give red streaks across the screen and would then restart. A few times it acted like the HDD was disconnected, and would then restart. Lately it is just instantly restarting.
It is in a HAF 932. It does this even with a CPU/Mobo that has never been overclocked (my replacements.)

For troubleshooting, I have tried:

All screws are using paper washers.
All standoffs are being used.
All case components are disconnected, i.e. front USB, SATA, etc.

Plugging into a standard power strip, instead of UPS with "pure sine wave."
Running molex black wires to motherboard tray, wrapped around a screw.
Replacing 750 HCG power supply with Seasonic Gold 750 (700? can't remember)

Memtest passed.
Never crashes during a game, implies no error with GPU.
Prime95 never fails.

Replaced MOTHERBOARD and CPU (Today, in fact. It has crashed twice while I was in bios, when I set the side panel against the case.)
Replaced S1283 with NH-D14.

I believe there are other things I have tried, but I fail to remember them at the moment.

What on earth could be causing these issues??

Please help this poor sucker. headscratch.gif

Thanks.
Edited by icor1031 - 2/4/12 at 12:08am
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post #2 of 41
definitely doesnt explain all of your problems, but the front panel "pod" on most cases is not grounded (they ground through the usb connection). i have had a couple higher end cases that would randomly reboot when i plugged the headphones or a usb cabl into the front panel. maybe check you grounding there too.
    
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post #3 of 41
Have you done a bench test and seen if you could recreate any of the crashing problems?
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post #4 of 41

The first thing that I'd do is check the integrity of the main PCs power cable that you're using for electrical faults. Swapping it out for another one is a quick test.

 

I suspect that it's a short. I suspect the case, a problem with your I/O panel, or one of the cable runs that you're using. If you've changed PSU's, then you've eliminated most of the cables that could be faulty. You can try swapping out any removable cables and using them in a known good system to eliminate the possibility that it's a shorting cable. (SATA cables, etc)

 

As Fatalrip suggested, a bench test would be the best way to isolate which components are causing the problem. If it will boot from a bench but not in your case, then you know it's something in the case.

 

Start with a known good system that is NOT the computer that is failing, and test out your mouse and keyboard on it. Test out any essential USB devices on the known good system. This will eliminate your peripherals as causing the fault. With your peripherals and the cables eliminated, you're a few steps closer to solving it, as it's possible that it could be one of your front panel USB devices shorting out or the cable that goes from your USB header on your motherboard to your front panel. It's also possible that it's the small wires going from the power switch, reset switch, HDD lights, and case speaker (for the motherboard POST beep) to the control header on the motherboard.

 

Speaking of peripherals, are you using a GP diagnostic card or some other form of boot-up diagnostic unit? I actually had one of them short out on me, overheat, melt, and prevent the PC from booting. Removing the diagnostic card fixed the problem.

 

It's unlikely that it's a faulty CPU or RAM, as you said you've replaced the CPU and that it was passing memtest. At this point, with a replacement motherboard, it's unlikely that you have two faulty motherboards in a row.

 

You'll have to eliminate the HDD as a possible source of the error, but doing that in a second PC isn't such a good idea; it's better to do that on the bench.

 

I still suspect the case. Do you have your case on a bare floor, or on carpeting? Have you tried placing your case a few inches off of the floor on some 2x4s or other electrical insulator, and keeping it away from any other metal in the room, such as your desk? Static electricity, if it's severe enough, can cause the sorts of problems that you have.

 

It's remotely possible that if you're in a carpeted room and you are wearing rubber soled shoes and your own body builds up a high static charge that when you touch the case, if there's some chassis ground issue in the case, that your static charge spikes the chassis ground, feeds into the components, and causes the error. This is remotely possible, but highly unlikely and also easy to eliminate. Proper benching techniques would eliminate this as a possibility as well.

 

However, if that static electricity scenario turns out to be the cause of the problem, you still have a chassis ground fault in the case, for that static to be feeding back into components. So even if you determine that it's a static charge on your own body causing the errors, you still have some homework to do in the chassis itself.


Edited by shad0wfax - 2/4/12 at 2:32am
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post #5 of 41
Possible loose contact or Short? Try checking your HDD Temps, Dying HDDs can cause a wide array of problems.. well, that happened with me today, my front fan wasnt cooling my HDDs.. redface.gif
   
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post #6 of 41
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure yet, it could have been a fluke.
However, I swapped PCs. I swapped nearly every thing over to a new case.. I even took the old standoffs, mobo screws, and sata cables with me.

It locked up when I plugged in USB devices to the rear... May have been a windows fault, but I'll see if it happens again.

You mentioned the hard drive.. For that to be the problem, it would as you said - still have to be a faulty case. I touched my PC, almost feather light on the front, and it restarted.

I am on carpet, as is the PC. It's low humidity, and I've been getting shocked by many things in the house lately. . .

Regardless, I have MANY things to try. It wouldn't take so long if it were intermittent. Some times it goes away for 2 days, and then returns. This makes bench-top testing extremely impractical. I can swap cases, but not remove the case completely. frown.gif
(Maybe because of humidity?)

Any way, thanks gents.

... Just touched my replacement case, and felt the shock. No crash this time.

Here's a science question for you....... How can I build up static electricity? That way I can go over to my case and touch it, see what happens.
Edited by icor1031 - 2/4/12 at 3:09am
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post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by icor1031 View Post

I'm not sure yet, it could have been a fluke.
However, I swapped PCs. I swapped nearly every thing over to a new case.. I even took the old standoffs, mobo screws, and sata cables with me.

It locked up when I plugged in USB devices to the rear... May have been a windows fault, but I'll see if it happens again.

You mentioned the hard drive.. For that to be the problem, it would as you said - still have to be a faulty case. I touched my PC, almost feather light on the front, and it restarted.

I am on carpet, as is the PC. It's low humidity, and I've been getting shocked by many things in the house lately. . .

Regardless, I have MANY things to try. It wouldn't take so long if it were intermittent. Some times it goes away for 2 days, and then returns. This makes bench-top testing extremely impractical. I can swap cases, but not remove the case completely. frown.gif
(Maybe because of humidity?)

Any way, thanks gents.

i'm pretty sure that your problem is the static electricity
post #8 of 41
check if there's no extra screw on the mother board plate which could be making contact
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post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by icor1031 View Post

Here's a science question for you....... How can I build up static electricity? That way I can go over to my case and touch it, see what happens.

1 word.

Carpet.
   
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post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by icor1031 View Post

I'm not sure yet, it could have been a fluke.
However, I swapped PCs. I swapped nearly every thing over to a new case.. I even took the old standoffs, mobo screws, and sata cables with me.

It locked up when I plugged in USB devices to the rear... May have been a windows fault, but I'll see if it happens again.

You mentioned the hard drive.. For that to be the problem, it would as you said - still have to be a faulty case. I touched my PC, almost feather light on the front, and it restarted.

I am on carpet, as is the PC. It's low humidity, and I've been getting shocked by many things in the house lately. . .

Regardless, I have MANY things to try. It wouldn't take so long if it were intermittent. Some times it goes away for 2 days, and then returns. This makes bench-top testing extremely impractical. I can swap cases, but not remove the case completely. frown.gif
(Maybe because of humidity?)

Any way, thanks gents.


Based on the first statement, which I bold-faced for emphasis, I would suspect that you have a short between your case and motherboard and that it may be related to the I/O panel, too short of a stand-off, or a faulty device or cable plugged into a USB header.

 

Based on the second statement, which I bold-faced, I strongly suspect that you do have a chassis ground issue in the case and that your own body is introducing a static charge into your PC that is feeding back through the case and into the components.

 

Start by putting the PC up onto some 2x4s to get it up off of the carpet. That should help with the case static electricity issues. The next thing you should do is ground yourself out on something like a metal lamp or metal desk before you touch your PC case. That will eliminate your body as the source of the static electricity. (But it still doesn't solve the likely short or fault in the chassis ground of the case.)

 

Check the fit and finish of your case and components carefully and make sure that nothing is touching where it shouldn't be. You can also try slipping a sheet of paper behind the motherboard in between the motherboard and the back-panel of your case to see if the paper slides easily without getting stuck. If it gets stuck, there's your short. I still suspect a faulty I/O panel or a faulty USB wire. With that in mind, unplug all of your front panel USB connections from the motherboard's USB header and unplug any peripheral devices that you don't need, such as extra USB ports in place of PCI cover/blanks if you're using any USB expansion covers.

 

Honestly, I think you've got a bad case, bad cables/wiring that came with the case, or you goofed something up in the physical installation of your PSU or motherboard into the case. Running the PC with a fan blowing directly on it sitting on an electrically insulated desktop without the case at all would be the best way to verify that you have a bad case.

 

The static electricity from your own body may be what's causing the problem to happen, but you still have issues with the case itself if that's resetting your PC.

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