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System failure before boot

By virexmachina
Oct 14, 2003
  1. Okie,
    I've got a MSI KT3 Ultra-2 C w/ AMD Athlon XP 2200+ and 512mb DDR and GeeForce2MX

    Today I was working and my computer just shut off all of a sudden. No shutdown, no freezing, no system halting. Nothing. Just the power turned off.
    I turned it on again and it proceeded to work fine, but after about 20 mins it did it again.
    I tried starting it again and it got to just before Windows boots up and shut down. I repeated this proccess a few times and it got to just before windows finished loading and it shut down.

    I opened up my case and felt the heat sink and it was pretty hot. I figgured it might be because of the heat and MSI's CPU Thermal Protection, so I let it cool for about an hour.

    I tried it again when it was cool and this time it stopped right after OS Boot. So I try again and it does it just before the os boots.
    Now everytime I boot i start it up, it stops before the os boots.
    I thought it might be windows, so I unplug the hard drives, and no change, reboots in the same place. Not even a "Operating System Not Found" message.

    My MoBo came with MSI's D-Bracket that has 4 LEDs that show the status of the sytem as it boots. If there is a problem with the proc or ram or something, the combination of LEDs would tell me. But that reveals nothing.

    Anyone have a clue what is happening?
     
  2. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 669

    Sounds mainly like an overheating problem. You may want to check if the heat sink is loose, be sure it's seated firmly. You also may want to reseat the RAM and be sure to clean off any dust.

    The only other possibilities I can think of is that your power switch may be malfunctioning or your power supply. When the machine shuts off, do all the LED's turn off? Often times LED's on the network card with remain on if a link is present. If they all shut off, it could be a problem with your power supply. Be sure all power connectors are firmly in place, and that you're powercord is well seated.
     
  3. virexmachina

    virexmachina TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah... that makes sense.
    Heat sink is firm, ram was installed a week ago. So no problems there

    I dont think it overheats within 10 seconds of starting up.
    Is it possible that it damaged the heat sensor to where it reports the wrong temp? If so, can I just replace the sensor and not the whole board?

    When it powers off, all the leds go off imidiately...
    In fact, I have to pull out the power cord and wait for 10 seconds the replace it before it will let me turn it on again. Boo.
    Is there a way I can be sure its the power supply before i go buy a new one?

    Thanks a lot Panic.
     
  4. alphnumeric

    alphnumeric TS Rookie Posts: 173

    If you can, check to see if the processor fan spins up OK. If it doesn't come on the processor will overheat very quickly. While you have the case open I would clean out any dustbunnies and then reseat your ram and any PCI cards. The power supply is being crowbarred, failsafe circuit, or overloaded. When that happens you have to remove the power so the circuit can reset itself. Most new motherboards can monitor the processor temp and fan speed. The BIOS can be set to shut down if a set temperature is reached. Some will shut down if the fan speed drops too low also. If your temp sensor has gone south you can just disable it in the BIOS. That is if you can get in. I believe there is a time delay on the sensor so you can go in the BIOS to adjust it. You could try to boot up with just 1 stick of ram and the video card, remove all your other PCI cards. IF it boots up OK start adding components until it doesn't post. If it won't post with the bare minimum you may have to swap power supplies and try again. If that doesn't work you are left with mobo, vid card or ram, take your pic.
     
  5. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 669

    This looks like a power supply failure to me, a possible SCR crowbar as alphnumeric pointed out. Which is a failsafe within many power supplies to protect your electronics. Is your power supply AMD approved? What is it's wattage rating?

    You can try and trouble shoot it by making sure you're connected to a surge protector, preferably a backup power supply. Then unplug any unnecessary hardware and throttle down your CPU in your BIOS settings if you can.
     
  6. virexmachina

    virexmachina TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Dust is not a problem, I just built the whole system a week or two ago.
    The proc fan spins up fine...

    My power supply is new, and its 400W
    The crowbarring sounds likely... I'm off to buy a new powersupply.

    Thanks alot guys, I'll let you know how it goes. :grinthumb:
     
  7. virexmachina

    virexmachina TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm back with the new supply, installed and running!
    w00t!

    I'll stick around and offer my advice now... try and repay the kindness I've recieved.

    Thanks ton guys!
     
  8. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    Darn, too late for this party. That last symptom, where you have to unplug the PS to get it to start again is a dead giveaway of a bad power supply crowbarring the input. PanicX hit it on the head. Glad you got it working.
     
  9. virexmachina

    virexmachina TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah... Is there any way you can prevent this from happening again?
     
  10. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Posts: 407

    it almost always seems to be faulty problem with the power supply. no wonder so many enthusiasts say that the power supply is the most important component to a system.
     
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