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PC turns on & off in boot loop. Tried everything I've found, please help!!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone, I've extensively searched through the forum here and elsewhere but my PC is still failing to boot properly so I figured I'd start a new thread. Would extremely appreciate any input! smile.gif

Problem: After pressing power button, PC starts for about 1-2 seconds then turns off, turns on for 1-2 seconds again then turns off again and is stuck in that loop. Blue CPU cooler light and red mobo L.E.D counter flicker on for the 1-2 seconds then off. NOTE: This happens even with just PSU, motherboard and CPU connected.

- I have breadboarded and stripped everything down to essential parts; power supply, motherboard and CPU (with its cooler, not stock) with the two main power leads plugged into the mobo (24 and 8 pin), yet problem persists.
- Tried the paperclip short method with the power supply and it turns on and runs fine under no load.
- CPU has been remounted twice with thermal paste but no difference.
- There are no broken/exploded/bulging/damaged parts on the motherboard.
- Case fans and everything else is disconnected.
- I cannot acquire any spare parts from myself or others nor do I have much money to quickly spend on replacement parts without hesitation. Warranty has also expired on all parts besides RAM, which doesn't seem to be the problem though.
- I have checked for loose screws and wires and broken pins.
- I have cleared CMOS multiple times via taking out the battery for ages, moving the jumper as described on here and in motherboard manual and pressing the Clear CMOS switch on the back plate.
- I've let the PC rest without power for 12 hours.
- Held power button down for various lengths of time while PC is off.
- There are no beeps and have never heard any since first building it four years ago, so I guess there's no mobo speaker.
- Tried booting it while the mobo is not in the case, same problem.
- Cleaned everything, gotten rid of all dust and taken things apart, cleaned and put back together as if new.
- Tried using different wall power plug and different wall sockets.

Backstory:
Built this PC in 2010, never had any problems until last week. Watching YouTube while Folding@Home is running (medium priority) and the PC randomly shut off. Every time I tried turning it on it turned on and then off instantly, and I had to press power to turn it on again. Cleaned everything, tried many different methods online and one time when I powered on the PC something made a loud pop/explosion sound followed by a smell of smoke near the CPU area I think (happened fast). I cleaned more and reseated everything, problem was then solved somehow.

Couple minutes into playing intensive game next day it bluescreens. Underclocked GPU and increased fan speed very high (and loud) before gaming, no bluescreens occurred. Note that all parts inside are always low temps due to significant cooling.

Two days later I thought I'd overclock CPU in BIOS as PC was running slow IMO. Overclocked CPU ran perfectly fine, very low temps. Thought I'd then try one of the motherboard features which would supposedly increase PC performance by 40%, saved that setting, restarted PC and then from then on this whole boot loop thing happened and I haven't been able to even boot into BIOS let alone Windows since. I took a couple of photos of some BIOS settings before enabling the 40% system performance increase settings which I'll attach below.




Last thing I have done is open my PSU up to look inside, and noticed blue "gunk" around a screw, I'll attach a photo, though I'm pretty sure that's just glue or something irrelevant.


Last idea I've got is to purchase a power supply tester to make sure the PSU is working fine, which would mean the problem is with my motherboard or CPU, right?

Am hoping someone has another suggestion that doesn't involve spending money but if it can't be fixed, I'd at least like to identify the problem/faulty part and take it from there. Thanks very much for reading! Honestly any suggestions or information would mean a lot to me, this is extremely stressful and driving me crazy, thank you.


Specs:
Motherboard: ASRock P55 Extreme
CPU: Intel Core i7-860 LGA1156 @ 2.80GHz
PSU: Antec 850W CP-850
GPU: ATI Radeon HD 5850 1G
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600 (4GB x2)
Case: Antec 1200
post #2 of 14
I am thinking its either PSU or motherboard as you said you can buy a digtal multi meter to see if its the PSU

Which PSU is it you list brand and wattage but not model

Edit is it the CP?

Welcome to OCN by the way
Edited by shilka - 3/19/14 at 3:41pm
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post #3 of 14
I would point my finger at the power supply first. If there was a loud pop and smoke, you may still smell residual smoke from the power supply. Quick sniff of the power supply vents may tell you that but sometimes not so obvious. Even if you do the paper clip test and it works at no load, it may well be failing when it does have load when its connected to your MB, GU, HDD, etc. 12V, 5V, 3.3V outputs could read normal but some component inside has gone bad so the power supply can be hitting current limit thus shutting down the power supply. And the power supply could keep power cycling on/off. Power supplies tries to turn back on. See's the voltages are normal but hits current limit and shutdown again. It'll keep repeating this.

Since you're already opened up your power supply. Check all the caps to make sure their seals are not popped/bulging. (Do this with your MB too.) Check the mosfets for any signs of arcing or smoke residue. Mosfets are typically attached to heatsinks. Check the heatsinks for arcing/smoke.

The blue "glue" is just solution like loctite. It's to keep screws locked in tight.
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post #4 of 14
Quote:
Blue CPU cooler light and red mobo L.E.D counter flicker on for the 1-2 seconds then off.
Quote:
one time when I powered on the PC something made a loud pop/explosion sound followed by a smell of smoke near the CPU area I think
All the pins intact? I've seen plenty of threads where weird things happen like your GPU fans, and trust me. Never rule anything out. Although, I am going to say it is probably either the board or the PSU.
Welcome to the site, and remember shilka's name, he's one of our PSU gurus.
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post #5 of 14
When you do a bios reset are you disconnecting the PSU from the mains too?
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post #6 of 14
I had bent LGA 1366 pins on my X58 motherboard and it would boot, light on on the mobo, fans spin then shut down over and over it would do this until I unplugged the machine. I think this a PSU problem though, especially if everything been working since 2010
post #7 of 14
I had this exact same problem about three weeks ago. It came out of the blue and I don't know what happened. When the system finally did get into boot it tried to repair the system drive but something got corrupted and it would never fully load windows (I suspect that it was a driver but since I couldn't even boot into safe mode, there really was no way to trouble shoot). PSU tested right at spec. I ended up gettng a bigger SSD for the system drive and reinstalled Win7 and all the software. Everything has been stable since then and there haven't been any problems. Have you tried a system restore to see if you can rule out any software issues (may have to reinstall Windows and run at stock settings for a while).
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post #8 of 14
I also had the same problem. Turned to be a faulty reset switch on the case.
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post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for the replies, really appreciate it! And thanks for the nice welcoming smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by shilka View Post

I am thinking its either PSU or motherboard as you said you can buy a digtal multi meter to see if its the PSU

Which PSU is it you list brand and wattage but not model

Edit is it the CP?

Welcome to OCN by the way
Quote:
Originally Posted by redxmaverick View Post

I would point my finger at the power supply first. If there was a loud pop and smoke, you may still smell residual smoke from the power supply. Quick sniff of the power supply vents may tell you that but sometimes not so obvious. Even if you do the paper clip test and it works at no load, it may well be failing when it does have load when its connected to your MB, GU, HDD, etc. 12V, 5V, 3.3V outputs could read normal but some component inside has gone bad so the power supply can be hitting current limit thus shutting down the power supply. And the power supply could keep power cycling on/off. Power supplies tries to turn back on. See's the voltages are normal but hits current limit and shutdown again. It'll keep repeating this.

Since you're already opened up your power supply. Check all the caps to make sure their seals are not popped/bulging. (Do this with your MB too.) Check the mosfets for any signs of arcing or smoke residue. Mosfets are typically attached to heatsinks. Check the heatsinks for arcing/smoke.

The blue "glue" is just solution like loctite. It's to keep screws locked in tight.

My PSU is the Antec CP-850. Double checked for damage and found none. The smoke smell actually came from the CPU area not the PSU, so hopefully nothing went wrong there too.

I purchased a PSU tester (Thermaltake Dr. Power II) which is supposed to indicate any faults with the power supply clearly on screen, but when testing the PSU turns on for a few seconds, I begin the 12V test, then a few seconds later the PSU shuts off and the tester returns to its starting screen without displaying any results, doesn't even get to test any other outputs, so I guess all that means the power supply is faulty right?
It's also worth noting that the PSU fan seems to be running quite slow too when it's on, and when fans are connected one fan runs slower than the other.

Thanks again for the replies and information smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by JAM3S121 View Post

I had bent LGA 1366 pins on my X58 motherboard and it would boot, light on on the mobo, fans spin then shut down over and over it would do this until I unplugged the machine. I think this a PSU problem though, especially if everything been working since 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcEsSalvation View Post

All the pins intact? I've seen plenty of threads where weird things happen like your GPU fans, and trust me. Never rule anything out. Although, I am going to say it is probably either the board or the PSU.
Welcome to the site, and remember shilka's name, he's one of our PSU gurus.

All pins were fine, no physical damage anywhere, double checked!
Thanks, will do smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by billbartuska View Post

When you do a bios reset are you disconnecting the PSU from the mains too?

Yup! Tried it connected and disconnected, and also tried using a different CMOS battery too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan G View Post

I had this exact same problem about three weeks ago. It came out of the blue and I don't know what happened. When the system finally did get into boot it tried to repair the system drive but something got corrupted and it would never fully load windows (I suspect that it was a driver but since I couldn't even boot into safe mode, there really was no way to trouble shoot). PSU tested right at spec. I ended up gettng a bigger SSD for the system drive and reinstalled Win7 and all the software. Everything has been stable since then and there haven't been any problems. Have you tried a system restore to see if you can rule out any software issues (may have to reinstall Windows and run at stock settings for a while).
Quote:
Originally Posted by billbartuska View Post

I also had the same problem. Turned to be a faulty reset switch on the case.

Thanks guys, but it doesn't stay on for more than two seconds even with just mobo, CPU and PSU connected, so Windows and power switches can't be the problem.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by chanmasta6 View Post

Thanks guys, but it doesn't stay on for more than two seconds even with just mobo, CPU and PSU connected, so Windows and power switches can't be the problem.

Sadly I can't help you any further, but are you sure that you have applied the proper amount of thermal paste, your heat sink is mounted correctly, and the fan is plugged in? I know you said you have checked all that before, but that sound like what happened when I did maintenance on my secondary computer before. I forgot to plug in the heatsink's fan.
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i7-960 Gigabyte X58 ADATA 2x2GB 1600C9 1.65V-1.5V Generic DVD 
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Primary
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Ryzen 7 1700 ASUS Pro x370 Prime Gigabyte Windforce 1070 GSkill 3000MH C15 1.35V 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Seagate 1TB (ST1000DM003 9YN162) Seagate 2TB (ST2000DM001 1CH164 Trion 150 960GB Some LG Blu-Ray 
CoolingOSMonitorMonitor
Noctua D14 Windows 7 Profession 64bit Acer V246HL Acer G245HQ 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
ASUS MX25AQ Logitec G710+ Rosewill Capstone 450W Cooler Master Haf XB EVO 
MouseMouse Pad
Roccat Lua My table 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX 8350 ASUS Sabertooth 990FX EVGA 560TI ADATA 4x2GB 1600C9 1.65V-1.5V 
Hard DriveCoolingOSPower
Some 2.5in 1TB drive Stock Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit Corsair TX850 
Case
Cooler Master HAF 
CPUMotherboardRAMOptical Drive
i7-960 Gigabyte X58 ADATA 2x2GB 1600C9 1.65V-1.5V Generic DVD 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Asetek 510LC Linux with pfSense in VM Some generic 1280x1024 Generic 
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