Power Cycles On And Off No POST I'm Stumped

CraigAP

Posts: 11   +0
Hey, gang. I have an issue with a new build that really has me stumped. At startup, it powers on for about three seconds, powers off for about 15 seconds, powers on for 3, and so on ad infinitum. Before you jump up and say it's the PSU or RAM, please read all the things I've already done to address it because I've ransacked the web looking for ideas. NONE of them have had any impact: it continues to do the same thing. Intel blames the motherboard. MSI blames the CPU. Sigh.

First, the Specs:
MSI Z390-A Pro Motherboard
i9-9900k w Cooler Master
2x32GB DDR 4 4GB RAM 2666
Zotac 1050 Ti GPU
2 x HDD, 1 x CD/DVD

Actions Taken:
Tested and tried 1 900w PSU and 1 650w PSU (both high quality). Both passed tests at perfect specs.
Also tested both with different cables.
Removed RAM and rotated 1 and 2 sticks between different slots and combinations.
Reseated and cleaned ALL cable connections and hardware.
Removed all unnecessary hardware items 1 at a time.
Replaced motherboard with same as spec.
Replaced CPU with same as spec.
Cleared CMOS both with the jumper and by removing battery for up to 1 hour.
Removed motherboard from case and ran all combinations of above.
I'm not a rookie: it's not ESD.

I can't find any other ideas to even try at this point. It doesn't appear to run POST or, if it does, it powers off before completing. The only "error" code I get is "00". This is just a lower end setup for a friend but I'm already almost $1,000 into EXCESS costs not to mention 10 hours more work than expected. I am absolutely stumped!

Has anyone ever encountered this before? Any fresh ideas? Any help GREATLY appreciated.
 

Kshipper

Posts: 456   +101
TechSpot Elite
I am more of a AMD Ryzen guy but I did check the motherboard manufacturer's support pages for the MSi Z390-A Pro and they specify a couple compatible steppings of I9-9900k. I assume your CPU is one of those steppings? In the AMD Ryzen world, we sometimes need to use an older CPU to get the BIOS level up to put in a newer CPU. Is that any help to you? Does that apply to Intel CPUs?

When I have problems with POST I take the board out and isolate it on the motherboard box or a rubber mat and I remove everything except one stick of RAM and try to get it to post without drives.
 

CraigAP

Posts: 11   +0
Hey, Kshipper! Thanks for reply. Where did you see that? I thought I'd scoured everything on their page but that doesn't sound at all familiar.

I have pulled the motherboard out and have it on blocks and I've done every hardware combination possible. I'm quite sure I've never had an issue that's been this intractable.
 

CraigAP

Posts: 11   +0
Yeah, I did look through that but don't think it can get to my issue. It's got the necessary BIOS update that I need but so far I can't even get to the BIOS: powers down before POST.

I liked your earlier idea about using an older CPU to at least get through to BIOS and I have done that in other instances, but the older CPUs I have are pre-1151 and ready for the Island of Misfit Toys. Maybe I can borrow one from the guys at the shop.

On that page, they have a list of PSUs they've tested with the mobo and I thought that was kind of strange -- I've never heard of a PSU not talking to a particular mobo -- all it does is offer the power. Neither of the PSUs I tested it with are listed but both had stellar test results and aren't "cheapo" brands (Rocketfish and Thermaltake). That can't be it can it?
 

Kshipper

Posts: 456   +101
TechSpot Elite
Rocketfish...is that Best Buys internal brand? Thermaltake? I have had lots of bad Thermaltake PSUs so I put them in the budgo bin...I use Seasonic mostly...Corsair (since I heard Seasonic makes their PSUs)..there are other good ones too..PC Power and Cooling etc...

I don't think you need to change out your PSU yet but if you can't find an older CPU to get your BIOS up with then a PSU swap in never hurts since you are at your wits end
 

CraigAP

Posts: 11   +0
Well I did try each of them and both produced the same result. Both also tested perfectly on my handy PSU tester. While connected to the tester, they stayed on for several minutes with no fluctuations at all. Unless there was some code-exchange between the mobo and PSU that I've never heard of, I'm pretty comfortable ruling out the PSU.

Not sure if Rocketfish is Best Buy brand or not but that is likely where I got it. Thermaltake is a pretty highly rated brand but I suspect I will go to the Corsair's from now on as they appear to be the top one.

Thanks so much for your time, Kshipper. I really appreciate it!
 

Kshipper

Posts: 456   +101
TechSpot Elite
Happy to help but we are not out of the woods yet. Those PSU testers only test that voltage is correct...they don't actually put a load on the PSU so as you could guess I have had a ton of bad PSUs that were fine on the tester...just not under load.

Speaking of PSUs...what are they rated for wattage-wise? 80+ Bronze type PSU?
 

CraigAP

Posts: 11   +0
The primary one (Rocketfish) is 900W 80+ Silver. The other (just a backup that's never been used) is 650W. Both ample power since the GPU (when installed) just powers off the mobo. I've mostly disconnected it for testing but have tried everything with it as well.

I'm thinking of trying an Asus motherboard. Maybe its BIOS is more current and will see the CPU... if that's the problem. Guess I could try another PSU, too, and just return it if it doesn't connect -- though I'd probably get a Corsair and want to keep it rather than the other two... :)
 

CraigAP

Posts: 11   +0
So... here's a thought. Just looking at the mobo specs. It says RAM maxes out at 64GB so I put in two 32GB sticks. Should I, instead, have done 4x16GB sticks?
 

CraigAP

Posts: 11   +0
Man, if that's it, it will actually be cheaper for me to get the other motherboard with 128GB RAM than buy the memory! :)
 

CraigAP

Posts: 11   +0
But... I always understood that overdoing it on RAM doesn't "break" anything so long as the other specs are compatible, it just won't access all the available memory...
 

Kshipper

Posts: 456   +101
TechSpot Elite
The more ram the better in all cases especially if you plan on working with this PC. Your PC loadout suggests you are a photographer or video editor of some type. This is certainly not a gaming rig. Gamers don't require that much RAM. If I don't have a lot of experience with a motherboard I will rely on the QVL to guide me on RAM buying or I will use the configurator on the RAM maker's website to see if they think the RAM kit will work in my board.

For testing purposes the board should stripped down to the basics ...Remove the board from the case and only install 1 stick of RAM..no video card then since your CPU has an integrated video card. The PSU hooked up to the 24 pin and the 8 pins (or more) near the CPU (that gets missed a lot). BIOS reset should be performed to be sure you have not corrupted the BIOS settings. Cooler on CPU working. and then short the 2 pins briefly to signal a start and wait at least a minute or 2 for RAM training. It should load to BIOS screen announcing it has been reset. If that doesn't work then we are back to the original problems...BIOS too old for that CPU...Wrong stepping of CPU (incompatible)...PSU defective...bad board..bad cpu..damaged board..damaged CPU.
 

CraigAP

Posts: 11   +0
This is actually my girlfriend's computer. I told her I could build one better than she could buy for $1,000. She surely DOESN'T need 64GB RAM and I told her that but when they insist, you just sigh and do what they say: albeit for $200 more. ;-) MY rig has 128GB with three video cards -- I work in architectural CAD. :)

But I think you missed my earlier comment on the RAM. The mobo specs say 64GB max and it has four slots. I put in 2x32GB. Do you think that could cause the issue?

I have cleared the BIOS multiple times, both with the jumper and by removing the battery for an extended period. Improbable that I could have corrupted it anyway since it's never gotten beyond POST, or perhaps POST doesn't even start since I get no POST error either. I haven't ever gotten to BIOS. It just turns on for 3 seconds, turns off for 15 seconds, turns on for 3 seconds, etc.

I'm going to check my rig and see if its memory is compatible. I know I have 8x 16GB sticks. That should answer the question.
 

Kshipper

Posts: 456   +101
TechSpot Elite
I just checked the board and it says 128GB max:


2 32GB sticks should be fine..if they are on the QVL, then they should work..if they are not ...they still might work OK.

It really sounds like the CPU is wrong on this one---back to BIOS issue----stepping? What stepping is it? It was on the box
 
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CraigAP

Posts: 11   +0
Well what the heck was I just looking at?! I spent two hours today just comparing specs of all my equipment over and over again just making sure I hadn't missed anything! Must have picked the wrong one and not noticed. I need to take a break from this tomorrow...

This is the RAM:


It's academic now: I sent the MSI back and ordered a Gigabyte today. Hopefully it will have a more current BIOS at least. Arrives Tuesday and will let you know.

More likely the BIOS than the CPU as I've tried two brand new i9-9900k's ordered a week apart. Odds of getting two bad ones aren't that great, though the way this has gone, might just be my luck.
 

Kshipper

Posts: 456   +101
TechSpot Elite
Oh Ok ...well it if you still have problems let's scare up the exact part# of that ram kit...(there are many part# of Vengeance kits). If you find the stepping info that would be handy too. It would have been on the box that the CPU came in on the flap. Intel compatibility is smaller than AMD that's why I have preferred AMD for such a long time...even back when they were awful.
 

CraigAP

Posts: 11   +0
Well, Kemosabe, I have a new one for the troubleshooting checklist, at least for mine.

As I went gradually insane the other day, I fired off an email to Rosewill, the maker of the tower case, asking if they could think of anything that might cause the power cycling issue. It was a longshot, granted, but I was going insane. She sent me an email this morning saying it might be the power supply switch on the case. I thought that was highly improbable so when I got the mobo today, I plugged it in by the book, fired it up, and... same result: power cycling. So, I did what the Rosewill tech suggested: replaced the power connectors to the motherboard with the reset switch and used it instead of the power switch. Bingo! It fired right up!!!

How's that for a bizarre situation!?!?! I'll have to wait for a new case but Lord Almighty it looks like it's resolved! Can't thank you enough for walking me through everything. I'm quite sure I would have given up last week if you hadn't kept pushing me on it. You're awesome!
 

Kshipper

Posts: 456   +101
TechSpot Elite
Well, Kemosabe, I have a new one for the troubleshooting checklist, at least for mine.

As I went gradually insane the other day, I fired off an email to Rosewill, the maker of the tower case, asking if they could think of anything that might cause the power cycling issue. It was a longshot, granted, but I was going insane. She sent me an email this morning saying it might be the power supply switch on the case. I thought that was highly improbable so when I got the mobo today, I plugged it in by the book, fired it up, and... same result: power cycling. So, I did what the Rosewill tech suggested: replaced the power connectors to the motherboard with the reset switch and used it instead of the power switch. Bingo! It fired right up!!!

How's that for a bizarre situation!?!?! I'll have to wait for a new case but Lord Almighty it looks like it's resolved! Can't thank you enough for walking me through everything. I'm quite sure I would have given up last week if you hadn't kept pushing me on it. You're awesome!

Oh wow.....I'm so glad you figured it out and that I was part of your journey! Hats off to you tho' for thinking about the power switch in the case itself being shorted in the (close) position.

You would have found that on the Sun instructions where I have you take the motherboard out of the case ...therefore bypassing the start switch.

All the best to you! =)