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COKEDUDEUSF

Desktop computer is only turning on for a few seconds

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My desktop computer is only turning on for a few seconds after that it turns off. I assumed it was the power supply so I bought another one. Last night I installed the power supply. It took awhile with me reseating everything and taking out the cmos battery to get the computer running. After that I used it for about an hour. I went home and came back to the office the next day. Unfortunately it reverted back to the behavior of only turning on for a few seconds after that it turns off. Can I please get some suggestions on what to do?

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Check the temperature of the CPU/that the heatsink is properly connected, first thing.

Then, if that is OK, disconnect EVERYTHING from it (and from the motherboard).

Leave ONLY video and keyboard connected.

Boot (actually fail to boot) and enter the BIOS.

If it stays on on the BIOS page, switch it off and re-add (one at the time or in small groups) all the other peripherals, add-on cards, hard disk(s), CD/DVD, etc. and repeat the above boot test (without starting the OS).

jaclaz 

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3 hours ago, COKEDUDEUSF said:

Can I please get some suggestions on what to do?

In addition to jaclaz suggestions: check all heatsinks' fans to start turning when you power on the PC. If any of the fans don't start, clean it gently. If cleaning don't help, replace the fan.

 

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On 8/18/2018 at 4:41 AM, jaclaz said:

Check the temperature of the CPU/that the heatsink is properly connected, first thing.

Then, if that is OK, disconnect EVERYTHING from it (and from the motherboard).

Leave ONLY video and keyboard connected.

Boot (actually fail to boot) and enter the BIOS.

If it stays on on the BIOS page, switch it off and re-add (one at the time or in small groups) all the other peripherals, add-on cards, hard disk(s), CD/DVD, etc. and repeat the above boot test (without starting the OS).

jaclaz 

 

How do I check the temperature? The only way I know to do that is to use a program like Everest or check in the bios. It cuts off to fast for me to do that.

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3 hours ago, COKEDUDEUSF said:

 

How do I check the temperature? The only way I know to do that is to use a program like Everest or check in the bios. It cuts off to fast for me to do that.

Well, you first check the heatsink (visually, by prodding it, etc., even better dismounting it, making sure that thermal paste/grease is fine), if it is properly seated, good (and of course, as Yellow Horror suggested the CPU fan shoulf be spinning).

A common issue (when a computer shuts off quickly) is that the processor is overheating, like when there is no heatsink properly connected, there is a thermal protection on it that will switch off the computer.

Then, if that is OK, you do the routine of stripping each and every unneeded piece of peripherals, leaving only the video and jetboard connected and see what happens.

Typically it is likely than an "external" (in the sense of anything not physically soldered to the motherboard) device or that cable/connection to it is either defective or mis-connected (or badlt seated), so removing everything often makes the thing "stay on".

jaclaz 

Edited by jaclaz

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Do a visual inspection of barrel capacitors on the motherboard. These are the ones that look like there is a + (or three pronged "mercedes benz") shape in the top and the tops are silver. They should all be flat. If any are raised or have discoloration on the tops, then this may be a problem. If you are not certain about it, you can post a picture.

Another situation where I have seen this has been with the RAM. You can try having just one stick inserted and rotate them. Also you can try turning the computer on without any RAM installed. Of course, the computer will not boot with this type of setup, but it should still turn on. Some computers may have an audible beep code when no memory is installed.

There are various other things that can cause this situation, but when it comes down to it, one of the main components is failed or failing. The only time I have seen this issue where there wasn't a component failure, was due to a grounding issue. However, on a previously known working computer, this is usually not the cause.

BUT, while you're in your case, good a time as any to get any dust out of there! And you know, if you do end up posting a picture of the insides and there is dust in that picture, I'm sure someone will point it out! :D

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I know this is an old topic but I want to add two possible other causes which resulted in a similar problem.

1). New build PC which worked fine for two weeks then suddenly gave a blank screen even before POST.  No error messages or beep codes, no way to get into BIOS/UEFI or Safe Mode it just powered up. Fans, including GPU fans, HDDs and disc drive close/eject, on/off and reset all working.

Cause: I eventually determined it was the cheap PCI Sound Card I had fitted, as an afterthought, that had apparently just died. With that removed the PC went back to normal as if nothing had happened. Why a sound card dying should have had such system wide effects I have no idea.

 2). Same PC six weeks later, working perfectly until out of the blue it refused to boot. This time I had a beep error code but it did not correspond to any of the listed beep codes for my MB: 33 beeps/2 shorter beeps/3 or 4 beeps then nothing. Again no way to enter BIOS/UEFI or Safe Mode but PC power supply as before OK with everything spinning up as it should but nothing else happening.

Cause: a PS/2 Keyboard. I have this as a rather good way of starting the PC. Many MB BIOS include this option "Start from Keyboard" or similar. What they don't mention is that it only applies to legacy PS/2 Keyboards not USB ones. You can use an USB keyboard alongside it like and other USB device but it won't work until the basic USB drivers are loaded.

I'd been using this PS/2 start by keyboard option to save wear and tear on the notoriously fragile start button spring on the otherwise decent CoolerMaster case I used. Of course nobody had told me this before I bought it.

The PS/2 keyboard worked to turn on the PC even with this problem so it didn't seem a likely culprit but whatever the precise cause when I unplugged it the PC started booting normally again. I reattached the keyboard and since then I've had no repeat so whatever the problem was - go figure as they say.

Thing is I've done some searches and can find no reports of anything similar anywhere ever. A legacy PS/2 keyboard or perhaps the MB BIOS having some sort of temporary spat with it preventing a PC from booting.

The point is that when something with such sudden dramatic effects occurs the first thing you'll usually be told on forums is that it is CPU, RAM, MB or PSU failure or something else equally serious. That is not necessarily true. 

 

Edited by WalksInSilence

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1 minute ago, WalksInSilence said:

The point is that when something with such sudden dramatic effects occurs the first thing you'll usually be told on forums is that it is CPU, RAM, MB or PSU failure or something else equally serious. That is not necessarily true. 

 

Queer point, since on this forum someone :whistle:actually already suggested diagnostics (and diagnostics only) steps:

1) to check cooling
2) to disconnect EVERYTHING from the motherboard but the keyboard and video (which BTW would have solved your issue #1 - but probably not #2)

well before hinting that it could be CPU or RAM were bad (the PSU was already changed).

Besides PSU having been already excluded by the OP, it remains however a very likely cause when a computer either shuts off suddenly or fails  to fully boot or starts booting than suddenly switches itself off (as it was the OP case), so that would have been recommendation #0.

The next (good) ones were provided by Tripredacus:

3) check visually electrolytic capacitors for any bulging ones
4) try rotating or removing RAM sticks

Your #2 case is different, and as you say "rare", you were having a beep code when attempting to boot, and it remains - since it was not reproducible - an "unsolved" case, for all we know it could have been an oxidized ground that re-gained contact when you wiggled the PS/2 connector (or even a bend in the PS/2 keyboard cable) or *anything else* that was somehow reset moving the case.

In absence of a better explanation, I tend to categorize these issues as "voodoo". 

jaclaz

 

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I really just wanted to record these cases somewhere as the second, in particular, appears to be a rarity so it might prove useful to someone in the future.

With threads named like this it is certain to turn up in any search results about boot problems in general.

I wasn't questioning any of the previous advice at all, far from it. But it doesn't hurt to mention that the cause of a suddenly malfunctioning PC is not always going to be something serious and expensive. People need to be given a bit of hope the cause might indeed be just a loose connection or something that is not going to cost them a big wad of money for a new PSU, RAM or on whatever is needed to fix it.

The PS/2 keyboard thing still has me flummoxed - the connector or cable could not have been jolted or moved, Voodoo or gremlins is as likely an explanation as anything I can come up with. :)  

  

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1 hour ago, WalksInSilence said:

gremlins

:dubbio:  Maybe you should call:  GhostBusters.png

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> ...taking out the cmos battery to get the computer running.
Try this again. If the computer is again revived, do not unplug the computer the next time you turn it off. Leave any surge protector or power strip it is plugged into powered on. The battery also needs to be replaced.

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Good advice but another often offered suggestion for boot problems. But how often does it turn out to be the cause?

Only if the BIOS was seriously messed up on both banks enough to cause a boot problem like that described would clearing the settings by removing the CMOS battery fix the issue. The OP's description of his problem I'd be thinking overheating and the causes thereof like others here suggested back then.

Clearing the BIOS settings is worth trying for sure. It was the first thing I tried in the (1) case I described, but since I had not updated the BIOS and the settings were still all factory at that time ie. 'optimised default' I did it with no real expectation of it working; and it didn't. 

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Oops, my suggestion was for the OP who is long gone. The system I am using right now (and for the last 16 years) eats CR2032's and loses BIOS setting changes unless I leave it plugged in 24/7.

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On 9/19/2019 at 3:50 AM, dencorso said:

:dubbio:  Maybe you should call:  GhostBusters.png

Naaah ;) ;

Quote

“Hi there. You’ve reached the Ghostbusters hotline. Due to the considerable rise in paranormal activity, we can’t take your call. If you’ve experienced strange noises or feelings of dread, just ignore them and hope they go away. If you are troubled by a floating apparition, open a window or turn on a fan. Anything worse, run! And leave the ghostbusting to us. See ya”

jaclaz

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21 hours ago, jumper said:

Oops, my suggestion was for the OP who is long gone. The system I am using right now (and for the last 16 years) eats CR2032's and loses BIOS setting changes unless I leave it plugged in 24/7.
 

That should not be happening - I've not been using a desktop that long, only about 4 years, but I bought the MB almost 3 years before I actually fitted it and finished the build. I've not had to replace the now what must be a 7+ years old CMOS battery yet, My PC is powered down every day and as I use another one too with an equally old battery. One or the other is often not receiving any mains juice for 48hrs or more.

As a result of the problem with that (2) PC described when I took out the CMOS battery I used a multi-meter to check the output and it was 2.9v. Pretty much perfect despite its age.

The CMOS battery in the laptop I mentioned lasted 13 years before it died reverting the BIOS back to factory default.

So if your PC is eating batteries there is something not right. The usual suggestions offered are the use of cheap batteries that have been on the shelf for years or a voltage leakage path draining the battery even when the PC is shut down. The latter is very difficult to diagnose and trace apparently.

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