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Old April 5, 2013, 11:25 AM
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Unhappy Computer randomly restarting

Howdy folks, I'm at a huge loss right now and after spending hours scouring these forums and trying everything I could think of, I figured it was time to stop lurking and openly beg for help.

I have a rig I made about three years ago with minor updates within the past year (new memory and video card). It's been working like the dream I built it to be, but yesterday my not quite so tech savvy girlfriend wanted to see the inside of my computer to see what all the parts were like.

And so I heaved off the case lid and realized it was pretty dusty, so I q-tipped off the fans and did some basic housekeeping, nothing really invasive. However, a few hours after that it started doing random reboots and as I type this it's stuck in a reboot loop at the bios level.

Symptoms: reboots randomly at any stage of the boot, including idling within windows 7. Heavy graphic use doesn't seem to affect anything, in fact playing games this morning was the longest it's been running. Reboot window is anywhere from 30 seconds in to two hours with an average at around five to ten minutes.

Attempted fixes:
1) Removed all but one memory stick, and rotated that one. (Can't do memtest because computer won't reliably boot.)

2) Removed hard drives, video card, DVD player, power and reset buttons, USB ports on the front of my computer...basically if it was at all extraneous I removed it.

3) Core temps seem to be fine from what I can get from the bios before any restarts...mid to upper 30s on the CPU. CPU fan is at about 2100 rpm

4) PSU is what I'm leaning toward, but I have no backup so I'm curious if anyone has any insights on this that I haven't been able to find.

This is my baby, and I'm freaking out trying to fix her. Any help you can offer at all would be incredibly welcome.
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Old April 5, 2013, 01:01 PM
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Thanks to kiriks advice, I've stripped it out of the case, went down to nothing but a psu, stick of ram, mobo, and processor. Still no dice. I'm thinking its probably the psu still, I get a cold boot that lasts maybe thirty seconds and then reboot cycles that make it maybe five seconds. Any thoughts?
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Old April 5, 2013, 01:21 PM
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Sounds to me it could be indeed be the PS or it could end up being the MB. Hopefully it turns out to be the PS.
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Old April 5, 2013, 01:28 PM
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Have you tried clearing the bios?
To me your problem is more likely to be hardware based than software based, but a bios reset often fixes weird behaviors.

You started having issues immediately after cleaning your components. So you should also make sure your cleaning did not leave any contaminants behind. Such as cotton pieces stuck on pins, or on any circuits or whatever. Your cleaning may have left something behind that causes a short when specific criteria are met.

I'm sure you checked that already but, your cleaning procedure may have pulled on a wire or connector that no longer makes a proper connection. So make sure all wires and connectors have a solid connection.
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Old April 5, 2013, 01:31 PM
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I did try resetting the bios. That unfortunately didnt work out either. I'm about to go buy a psu and just pray to god that its that and not the motherboard.

The psu has had a three year run, and I'm no expert on life expectancies of psus, but that seems like a decent number to me? It's an ocz, don't know if anyone has experience with them.


Edit: It was actually closer to a day after cleaning of the pc according to the girlfriend. But that also crossed my mind and I'm going to be air dusting it more after I pick up some canned air.

Thanks so much for the suggestions folks! I'm hoping to get this done by the end of the day.
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Old April 5, 2013, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdbarrett View Post
I'm about to go buy a psu and just pray to god that its that and not the motherboard.
Unless you have money to burn, don't throw any of it on parts you don't know are going to fix your problem.
If you post your general location, you may find a member that's close enough and willing to lend you a psu to test. Or another system to test your psu in.

We have a pretty good community in here.

Also, if you have a speaker connected to your mobo, you could listen for the beeps and use that as your primary diagnostic when your get bios reboots. The beeps may indicate nothing is wrong but, they may also point you in the right direction.

Last edited by blaze_125; April 5, 2013 at 01:40 PM.
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Old April 5, 2013, 04:09 PM
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Looks like the new psu worked! Thank you to everyone who gave me help getting through to the specific problem.
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Old April 6, 2013, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdbarrett View Post
? It's an ocz, don't know if anyone has experience with them.


ocz psu. now it all makes sense.
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Old April 6, 2013, 09:46 AM
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Hahaha yeaaahhh, totally read up on it, bad choice three years ago. Tossed in a corsair
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Old April 8, 2013, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdbarrett View Post
Looks like the new psu worked! Thank you to everyone who gave me help getting through to the specific problem.
Good.
It is still weird that it would crap out following a clean up.
But then again, according to reviews... who really knows what to expect from them...
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