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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I've run into a gnarly issue and I'm wondering if anyone can help me wrap my mind around it. Today I left for work and left my brother at the computer. He says that shortly after I left, the fans were stuck at 100% (despite SpeedFan's settings). He then played Rising Storm 2 for a bit, then the game crashed, and then the fans were working normally again. Once the fans were normal, he began just browsing the internet for a few minutes and then the PC crashed again. After crashing that time, it appears my PC degraded to the point of FUBAR. The only thing that is different about today and yesterday is that last night I installed a couple of major Windows 10 updates and updated my NVIDIA drivers (very out of date).

Now?

1) Initially I could get into the UEFI but if I booted to either of my drives, I would get 0xc0000001, 0xc0000225, "Device Not Connected or Needs to be Repaired", "Kernel is Missing or Damaged", "/windows/boot/winload.efi is missing or corrupt", etc. - a variety of errors indicating that I can't boot.

2) I can't boot to USB anymore. Worked a couple days ago, but now it just gives me the same errors as above. Can't access the Windows RE (PC just restarts), leaving me virtually no way to repair boot issues.

3) After turning on my PC with both drives disconnected, I am unable to get any video output. I reconnected the drives but now the PC is now 100% bricked (turns on but no image sent to screen).

The PC is a HTPC which is decked out with a 1080Ti and Swiftech H2-220X liquid cooling. I can't take out parts individually (e.g. RAM Sticks) without disassembling my whole PC.

My instincts tell me that if it were the CPU was dead, I would not be able to access the UEFI or my boot options like I was previously able to. It's a Skylake PC so I find it hard to believe that it's already burned out.

But I've never seen issues like the ones I mentioned from faulty RAM or a bad CPU. Instead of boot errors, I figure I'd at least be able to boot to my drive but would experience other issues like intermittent crashes. Is my assumption wrong?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I'd start by taking out the 1080ti and use the video out on the mobo.
Thank you kind sir. This was indeed the first step because by taking it out, I was also able to access and test the RAM sticks. Nearly broke my mobo and the videocard taking it out (which is why I was avoiding this in the first place, have to bend my videocard 15 degrees in the PCI-E port to remove) but now I'm closer to figuring out what's going on.

I moved my HTPC setup to my desktop area so I can work on it. I took out one of my RAM sticks and booted the PC. My PC booted to the UEFI and everything seemed to work fine for a moment. I took that opportunity to undo my 3.5 -> 4.5 GHz Overclock and set it to the UEFI defaults.

And now it won't boot. I tried switching the RAM into the other slot, and then tried using other stick in both slots. Still no boot.

It's down to the motherboard or the CPU. How am I to figure it out between the two? I've fried both motherboards and CPU's in the past, but most recently it's been motherboards giving me trouble. Is there a way I can know for sure?

Am I wrong in thinking either way, I'm better off replacing both? Currently using the ASRock Fatal1ty Gaming Z170 ITX and i5 6600k Skylake.
 
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