[SOLVED] Can faulty drivers stop system from POSTing?

Jul 22, 2020
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Hi,
I recently assembled a gaming PC and I used it for 2 days. On the third day, system just shutdown all of the sudden without any warning. I powered the system On again and it did turn on. After logging in to windows, the system just shut again.
This is what happens now.
  1. I press the power button
  2. Few codes starting from 00, 01,...runs on the motherboard with all the lights illuminating (mobo, RAM, fans). While in between, it just just shuts. When I power system again, it shows the code it had displayed before shutdown and wont POST. For example if the system shuts while the code A4 was shown, next time I turn the PC On, it shows the same Code and just stays that way, with some chasis fans not running. This code differs in each tries. It also shows 'VGA Bios' or 'reset CMOS' or 'HDD detect' on the motherboard (I dont remember the words correctly). No signal to monitor.
  3. I press the Retry button 3 or 4 times, and the motherboard starts from code 00 again as mentioned in step 1.
  4. If I am little lucky, the system boots, I log in to windows and Boom!! Shuts again.
  5. After few attempts, if I am extremely lucky, the system may even boot and I may even be able to game foe hours without a problem.
Can I confirm that this is a motherboard problem? Or can corrupted windows or drivers cause this problem?
My specs:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3950x
Mobo: Asus Crosshair VIII Formula
Graphics: Asus RTX 2080 Ti OC 11 GB
RAM: Gskill Trident z neo 16X2 GB 3600MHz CL16
PSU: Corsair AX1000

Things I have tried:
  1. flashing BIOS from USB, multiple times
  2. Clearing CMOs
  3. enabling LN2 jumper on mobo
  4. updating all drivers using driver booster free version.
  5. checking all connections
  6. using one stick of RAM in all slots.
 
Last edited:

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
External fans do nothing. At all. Ever. Ceiling fan, desk fan, even a box fan pointed directly at the case, does absolutely ZERO, ZILCH, NADA, when talking about CPU and GPU core temps. It MIGHT have a minor effect on the motherboard VRMs or memory if the airflow is close and DIRECTLY flowing over them, otherwise, it wouldn't. So I wouldn't bother wasting my time with that.\

As far as the case fans go, I didn't want you to just disconnect them, I wanted you to disconnect them from whatever they were connected to that came with the case and connect them directly the the CHA_FAN1, CHA_FAN2 and CHA_FAN3 headers on the motherboard. Also, I wanted you to connect the rear exhaust fan to any of the other headers and then reconfigure it in the BIOS so that it is using the correct fan curve and is responding to the motherboard thermal diode.

But, that's all irrelevant, because even with no case fans going, if the side panel is off and the CPU cooler is running properly, it should remain cool enough that thermals are not a problem. My biggest concern was that the integrated controller for the case was causing a problem.

I'm not sure what to tell you at this point other than to RMA the motherboard.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
No. Windows drivers CANNOT stop the system from being able to POST. If the system cannot POST and gain access to the BIOS, then there is a problem with some piece of hardware such as the motherboard, CPU, memory, graphics card, storage device or power supply.

It could be that something is faulty, or that the BIOS/CMOS configuration is not suitable to the hardware, or something is not connected OR not connected correctly.

DO you have the most recent BIOS version installed?

HAVE you pulled the CPU to check for bent pins?

What is the EXACT model of your memory kit?

How old is your AX1000 and is there a specific reason you are running a 1000w power supply, a very good one, with a system that requires no more than 750w at the MOST, even if everything was overclocked?

Why would you enable the LN2 jumper, when that is only used for situations where extreme overclocking using liquid nitrogen are in progress?

Do not EVER use ANY programs like "driver booster". ALWAYS download your motherboard drivers DIRECTLY from the motherboard manufacturers product page EXCEPT for the chipset drivers which you should get directly from the AMD website.

Do you have ALL three 4 pin EPS/CPU connectors plugged in along the top edge of the motherboard?

How old is your AX1000 PSU, or rather, how LONG has it been in service?
 
Reactions: CountMike
Boot your system into Safe Mode then check your Control panel>Device Manager.
Here you should check all categories for any yellow triangles which indicate a bad driver. If there are any then uninstall the offender and update the driver from the manufacturers website.

Are you sure your Bios update was successful ? and how did you do it?
If post will not advance. Where does it stop? I mean the Qcode.
Do not switch the LN2 Jumper. This mode is meant for Overclocking using Liquid Nitrogen.
 
Jul 22, 2020
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Are you sure your Bios update was successful ? and how did you do it?
Yes. I am sure. I downloaded the BIOS from Asus Website to a flash drive and inserted it to my motherboard BIOS port. Pressed the BIOS key. I got a 'BIOS FLBK Successful' message on the motherboard display.



Boot your system into Safe Mode then check your Control panel>Device Manager.
Here you should check all categories for any yellow triangles which indicate a bad driver. If there are any then uninstall the offender and update the driver from the manufacturers website.
This I will try soon and let you know the result.

If post will not advance. Where does it stop? I mean the Qcode
It is not consistent. It may stop at any code. 00, 01, A4. It has even stopped after AA. Sometimes I get a message on Motherboard 'HDD not detected'. But after I press 'Retry' button 4 or 5 times, the system will post and run fine.
Recently I installed Heaven benchmark and ran it. System shuts down few minutes after the benchmark is started. Next time when I turn On, I get CPU overheat error. So I installed MSI afterburner to see if CPU or GPU temperature is going high. The GPU temperature was at 67° C and CPU temp was around 69°C according to MSI afterburner where as between 56 to 60°C according to my motherboard when the system shut down last time.
@Darkbreeze please read this
 
Last edited by a moderator:

rickypicky5

Commendable
Sep 9, 2019
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Assuming you've done everything you said you did, my guess is either the motherboard or your PSU is the culprit. If possible, borrow a working PSU of sufficient wattage and quality from a friend and give it a try.

If that doesn't work, the next thing I'd try is pull everything from the case and start from scratch again.
 
Reactions: MeanMachine41
Jul 22, 2020
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DO you have the most recent BIOS version installed?
Yes. I have the latest BIOS that I installed from Asus website.

HAVE you pulled the CPU to check for bent pins?
Yes I have. And I am 100% sure that there are no bent pins. Sytem is POSTing and Booting some times. A faulty CPU means it will never boot, am I correct?


What is the EXACT model of your memory kit?
Its GSkill Trident Z Neo 16GBX2 sticks (total 32 GB) 3600MHz CL16 (item model: F4-3600C16D-32GTZNC)


How old is your AX1000 and is there a specific reason you are running a 1000w power supply, a very good one, with a system that requires no more than 750w at the MOST, even if everything was overclocked?
Every single component I used including AX1000 was fresh and out of box. The reason to use such a heavy PSU was to make it future proof. I had a plan to do an SLI in future.


Why would you enable the LN2 jumper, when that is only used for situations where extreme overclocking using liquid nitrogen are in progress?
My vendor asked me to do it to see of the error goes away. I disabled it when enabling it didn't solve the issue.




Do not EVER use ANY programs like "driver booster". ALWAYS download your motherboard drivers DIRECTLY from the motherboard manufacturers product page EXCEPT for the chipset drivers which you should get directly from the AMD website.
I installed all my drivers manually. Only after I started getting these problems, I used the Driver Booster to make sure that all drivers are up to date.

Do you have ALL three 4 pin EPS/CPU connectors plugged in along the top edge of the motherboard?
Yes, all 3 of them are connected.

@Darkbreeze thanks a lot for taking your time to help me.
 
Jul 22, 2020
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Assuming you've done everything you said you did, my guess is either the motherboard or your PSU is the culprit. If possible, borrow a working PSU of sufficient wattage and quality from a friend and give it a try.

If that doesn't work, the next thing I'd try is pull everything from the case and start from scratch again.
I did my PC assembly 3 times from scratch to be sure that nothing is wrong with the connections. I will try using a different PSU to check. But can a faulty PSU result in 'CPU Overheat error' I mentioned earlier?
 
Jul 22, 2020
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I will add in the suggestion (if you have already not done so) that you configure POST to be as verbose as possible and allow more time for you to read or to react to whatever is shown.
I am a noob when it comes to PC building. So will you please explain to me what you just said?

The system is now booting up. But shutting down after some time(while gaming, sometimes even when idle) In a youtube video, I saw a guy facing this problem. In his case it was a capacitor that is heating up because of a huge cooler pump whose metal plate was in contact with the said capacitor.
I think it is some component on my Mobo that is heating up. However I am yet to rule out the possibility of a faulty PSU.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
POST is Power On Self Test.

For more explanation:

https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-post-2625953

Somewhere is BIOS there should be a menu or other list of POST options.

You generally can configure or otherwise select a variety of things. What is tested, what are the results, what is displayed, for how long, and whether you want to continue, stop, select some other option(s), etc..

Many people, use a Fast POST option to reduce boot time. That either skips some testing, does not display what is being tested, or reduces the display time. Varies....

Allowing a full POST is a way to see what the system is doing and testing when booting.
 
Jul 22, 2020
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POST is Power On Self Test.

For more explanation:

https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-post-2625953

Somewhere is BIOS there should be a menu or other list of POST options.

You generally can configure or otherwise select a variety of things. What is tested, what are the results, what is displayed, for how long, and whether you want to continue, stop, select some other option(s), etc..

Many people, use a Fast POST option to reduce boot time. That either skips some testing, does not display what is being tested, or reduces the display time. Varies....

Allowing a full POST is a way to see what the system is doing and testing when booting.
I will do that soon and let you know. But tell me this, what can cause a shutdown while gaming or browsing and gives a 'CPU over temperature error' on restart even when motherboard display and MSI afterburner showed a temperature of 60 to 70°C while shut down happened? Can it be faulty motherboard? Some bad heat sensors on the mobo?
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Ok, so, do this, first.

BIOS Hard Reset procedure

Power off the unit, switch the PSU off and unplug the PSU cord from either the wall or the power supply.

Remove the motherboard CMOS battery for five minutes. In some cases it may be necessary to remove the graphics card to access the CMOS battery.

During that five minutes, press the power button on the case, continuously, for 30 seconds. After the five minutes is up, reinstall the CMOS battery making sure to insert it with the correct side up just as it came out.

If you had to remove the graphics card you can now reinstall it, but remember to reconnect your power cables if there were any attached to it as well as your display cable.

Now, plug the power supply cable back in, switch the PSU back on and power up the system. It should display the POST screen and the options to enter CMOS/BIOS setup. Enter the bios setup program and reconfigure the boot settings for either the Windows boot manager or for legacy systems, the drive your OS is installed on if necessary.

Save settings and exit. If the system will POST and boot then you can move forward from there including going back into the bios and configuring any other custom settings you may need to configure such as Memory XMP, A-XMP or D.O.C.P profile settings, custom fan profile settings or other specific settings you may have previously had configured that were wiped out by resetting the CMOS.

In some cases it may be necessary when you go into the BIOS after a reset, to load the Optimal default or Default values and then save settings, to actually get the hardware tables to reset in the boot manager.

It is probably also worth mentioning that for anything that might require an attempt to DO a hard reset in the first place, IF the problem is related to a lack of video signal, it is a GOOD IDEA to try a different type of display as many systems will not work properly for some reason with displayport configurations. It is worth trying HDMI if you are having no display or lack of visual ability to enter the BIOS, or no signal messages.

Trying a different monitor as well, if possible, is also a good idea if there is a lack of display. It happens.



Then, if there is no change in behavior, do this.

Memtest86


Go to the Passmark software website and download the USB Memtest86 free version. You can do the optical disk version too if for some reason you cannot use a bootable USB flash drive.

Create bootable media using the downloaded Memtest86 (NOT Memtest86+, that is a different, older version and is outdated). Once you have done that, go into your BIOS and configure the system to boot to the USB drive that contains the Memtest86 USB media or the optical drive if using that option.


Create a bootable USB Flash drive:

1. Download the Windows MemTest86 USB image.

2. Right click on the downloaded file and select the "Extract to Here" option. This places the USB image and imaging tool into the current folder.

3. Run the included imageUSB tool, it should already have the image file selected and you just need to choose which connected USB drive to turn into a bootable drive. Note that this will erase all data on the drive.



No memory should ever fail to pass Memtest86 when it is at the default configuration that the system sets it at when you start out or do a clear CMOS by removing the CMOS battery for five minutes.

Best method for testing memory is to first run four passes of Memtest86, all 11 tests, WITH the memory at the default configuration. This should be done BEFORE setting the memory to the XMP profile settings. The paid version has 13 tests but the free version only has tests 1-10 and test 13. So run full passes of all 11 tests. Be sure to download the latest version of Memtest86. Memtest86+ has not been updated in MANY years. It is NO-WISE as good as regular Memtest86 from Passmark software.

If there are ANY errors, at all, then the memory configuration is not stable. Bumping the DRAM voltage up slightly may resolve that OR you may need to make adjustments to the primary timings. There are very few secondary or tertiary timings that should be altered. I can tell you about those if you are trying to tighten your memory timings.

If you cannot pass Memtest86 with the memory at the XMP configuration settings then I would recommend restoring the memory to the default JEDEC SPD of 1333/2133mhz (Depending on your platform and memory type) with everything left on the auto/default configuration and running Memtest86 over again. If it completes the four full passes without error you can try again with the XMP settings but first try bumping the DRAM voltage up once again by whatever small increment the motherboard will allow you to increase it by. If it passes, great, move on to the Prime95 testing.

If it still fails, try once again bumping the voltage if you are still within the maximum allowable voltage for your memory type and test again. If it still fails, you are likely going to need more advanced help with configuring your primary timings and should return the memory to the default configuration until you can sort it out.

If the memory will not pass Memtest86 for four passes when it IS at the stock default non-XMP configuration, even after a minor bump in voltage, then there is likely something physically wrong with one or more of the memory modules and I'd recommend running Memtest on each individual module, separately, to determine which module is causing the issue. If you find a single module that is faulty you should contact the seller or the memory manufacturer and have them replace the memory as a SET. Memory comes matched for a reason as I made clear earlier and if you let them replace only one module rather than the entire set you are back to using unmatched memory which is an open door for problems with incompatible memory.

Be aware that you SHOULD run Memtest86 to test the memory at the default, non-XMP, non-custom profile settings BEFORE ever making any changes to the memory configuration so that you will know if the problem is a setting or is a physical problem with the memory.


Also, WHERE did you buy the motherboard from and was it sealed/shrink wrapped, or had it been obviously opened previously?
 
Reactions: m.shafeeksa
Jul 22, 2020
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I will be doing the memtest soon. But before that I just wanted to do a temperature check because when I restarted the PC after random shutdowns, at times I used to get 'CPU over temperature error'. Today when I ran the Heaven benchmark, it didn't shutdown but when I rendered a 4K video, it did shut down. I ran logs with HWinfo to see if there is any temperature issues. Here is the link to the file. Will you please check it and tell me if you see anything unusual? Thank you all in advance.
Log : https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bH_wf10zS4HhKAimVD8-H7GfqjJamhZw/view?usp=sharing
@Darkbreeze @Ralston18
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
I would prefer to see screenshots of the full range of HWinfo sensors in the actual "sensors only" window. Usually it takes three screenshots, scrolling down between shots, to get them all, however, looking through that data I do not see any excessive CPU or GPU temperature readings and it specifies "no" through the full range of tests for "thermal throttling".

I don't see this being a temperature issue based on the data in the spreadsheet.

I think it's at least an above average probability that the motherboard is to blame. While it's not a certainty, it never is when it comes to motherboard failures unless there is something visible to see such as leaking or bulging capacitors, burn marks or broken traces on the motherboard, or if swapping another motherboard in solves the problem, but random errors rather than something persistent, faulty error messages such as for CPU over temperature if no excessive temperatures were happening and the randomness of the problems tends to indicate it's PROBABLY a motherboard issue. That doesn't mean it is for sure though.

To answer your earlier question, no, a faulty CPU won't necessarily fail to POST or boot every time. Problems in the CPU can be extremely random or irregular, just as with anything. It completely depends on WHAT is wrong with it, but short of a CPU that has been dropped, seriously or continuously overvolted, physically damaged as with bent pins or shorted out because of some fault in the motherboard or power delivery, CPUs rarely fail and while it does occasionally happen that one comes faulty from the manufacturer, it's EXTREMELY rare.

Run Memtest. See what happens. Also, because Memtest is not always 100% accurate at finding all faults, try running only ONE stick of memory, installed in the A2 slot which is the slot closest to the edge of the motherboard, and then try rendering your 4k video again. If you get the same problem, shut down and swap out the memory for the other stick, and try again.

Also, since I didn't mention it before, make darn sure you have your memory installed in the A2 slot, which on THIS motherboard is the one closest to the edge of the motherboard, and the B2 slot, which is the second DIMM slot away from the CPU. Those are the two slots your memory SHOULD be installed in, if there are only TWO DIMMs installed.
 
Reactions: m.shafeeksa
Jul 22, 2020
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I will post the screenshots soon. I dont see any physical damage on the CPU. I did check for bent pins and they all seem perfect to me. I am also 100% sure that it was never dropped and I have also not done any overclocking.
About the motherboard, its all covered with plastic, heatsink etc and hence I really can't see most of the components, but those which are visible all look perfect.
I too feel that the problem is with the motherboard, because of what happens at the start up. Every time I start the PC, it just stops at 'Code 00' and I have to press the Retry button few times to get it started. This is always the case, even if I start the PC after a proper shutdown.
Both RAM sticks are inserted in the appropriate slots as you mentioned above. Will soon run the Memtest and let you know. Also @Darkbreeze you are the best.
 
Jul 22, 2020
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I ran the MemTest86 and all the 4 passes were completed without any errors. I also rendered a 4K video with one stick of RAM at a time with my case cover removed. Below is what I noticed while doing this.
  1. When I rendered the video with the first stick, rendering ran till 6.0% and the system shut down.
  2. After removing the first stick I inserted the second stick and I also turned on the ceiling fan. When I started the PC, I got 'CPU Over Temperature Error'. I went through the BIOS, saved and reset. Logged into windows I started the video rendering and this time it ran till 17%. I was almost convinced that the other RAM stick is the culprit. But just to be sure that the ceiling fan is not altering the output of the experiment, I switched off the fan. To my surprise, just within two or three minutes of turning off the fan, the system shut down.
Hence, I think something is overheating. Now, when I then press the power key to start the PC, the system won't POST. Motherboard will show 'Code AA : HDD Detect'. After pressing ReTry few times system did boot. But it did not show the CPU Over Temperature Error like it did last time.
Please watch this video for an idea. Link :
View: https://youtu.be/25BXuU9VxQU
Even after I shutdown the PC normally, when I start the PC next time, it looks exactly the same like in the video. But instead of code AA, I get Code 00. The same steps I did in the video will start the PC.
I am also attaching the HwInfo log file of the time of second shutdown if that can help you find the issue.
Someone told me that my motherboard 'Asus Crosshair VIII Formula' is more for a custom liquid cooling setup. Is this true? Was it a bad idea to buy this over a Crosshair VIII Hero? Can we confirm that this is a Motherboard issue.
@Darkbreeze Please watch the video, you might be able to help me find the issue.
 
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Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
While the "Formula" IS geared for water cooling, that in NO WAY means you MUST use water cooling with it, nor does it mean that because you are not using water cooling it would have an overheating problem due to that. No, it was not a bad idea to buy that board, it is one of the best boards you could possibly buy for any purpose. Very high end. That doesn't mean there isn't a motherboard problem though. ALL motherboards, whether high quality or low, CAN have defects. Just like a five thousand dollar stereo system could come with a defect that causes the internal amp to trigger it's protections because there is a bad solder point inside it somewhere shorting it out.

It happens. Is that the case in THIS case, I don't know, but it's certainly possible.

Personally, I think it IS the motherboard, but it's hard to be sure when it comes to motherboards. It's POSSIBLE that some piece of hardware is CAUSING the motherboard to act like that. I would highly recommend that you remove the motherboard, radiator and PSU, etc., and bench test the system with NO hard drives connected and no case fans either. As outlined in my guide. That might be the best way to try and narrow down what is causing the problem. I'd like to say "Sure, it's the motherboard", but I might be leading you astray if I say that because it might not be.

Pay close attention when you remove it from the case, IF you do, that there are no stand offs under the motherboard that do not line up directly with ALL of the mounting holes in the motherboard, because if there are they might be shorting the board out intermittently.

Could be a drive issue.

I would also double check for bent pins. This acts a lot like what we see when there is a single, slightly bent pin, in some cases. You will, of course, have to repaste if you remove the cooler and then reinstall it on the CPU.


Also, where EXACTLY is each case fan connected? Where exactly is the pump and radiator fans connected?

Are we using a hub or splitter cables for anything fan related?
 
Jul 22, 2020
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@Darkbreeze thank you for your clarification. I really appreciate it.
I have connected the single exhaust fan (came with the case) to CHA_FAN1. The three Intake fans (also came with the case) are all connected together with the help of a connector (also came with the case) and then connected to CHA_FAN2. In Corsair H115i AIO cooler, the fans are connected to the pump and the pump is connected to the CPU_FAN header as mentioned in the manual. The fans and the pump is powered by SATA. There is also a USB connection from the pump to Mobo. I am not using any hub for fans.

Few weeks back I have taken the board out of the case and placed it on an anti static bag, have removed everything except the CPU, AIO cooler and the fans and I still had the Code 00 coming up on the Motherboard screen. I was expecting a different error since no RAM was inserted. I even cleared the CMOS, and also flashed BIOS but the Code 00 stayed. At that time, I didn't know that pressing retry button will solve the issue. I discovered it only recently.
As you can see in the video, the exhaust fan is working but not the 3 intake fans. So I just disconnected the exhaust fan from CHA_FAN1 and connected 3 intake fans to it. The 3 intake fans did work. Which means the port to which the intake fans are connected does not power the fans until I press Retry button few times. Yesterday I shut down the PC normally and today when I turned it On, I received 'CPU Over Temperature Error'.
I believe that the issue is caused by Motherboard or the CPU. I have checked the CPU for bent pins. I have been very careful when handling the CPU. Also will a faulty CPU cause the fans to stop?
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Ok, cooler is fine then. You might try NOT using the connector and hub that came with the case, and connecting those three front fans directly to the additional motherboard chassis fan headers. There are plenty of them since that board has a variety that are all configurable as far as source, thermal diode control, type of operation (DC control or PWM) etc. in the BIOS.

I'd connect the three front fans to the three chassis fan headers and the rear exhaust fan to one of the other headers. Make sure to configure each of the case fan headers in the BIOS to be controlled by the "system" or "motherboard" thermal sensor. Using the "CPU" thermal sensor will unnecessarily cause them to quickly and obnoxiously ramp up and down much faster than necessary based on the quickly changing core temperatures, rather than the much slower changing motherboard thermal sensor that is based on a variety of inputs. Only the AIO pump header should remain on CPU input and that should actually be set to 100% operation. You really don't want the pump to operating off a variable speed signal. Radiator fans, yes, but not pump. In fact, I'd probably, if it was me, connect the pump to the AIO_Pump header and the radiator fans to the CPU_FAN header via a splitter cable, and then control the speed and operation of each from within the BIOS rather than from the AIO software, but that's just me.

I think the integrated fan hub or cabling that came with the case for those fans is faulty, and might even be the root of all your problems. Try eliminating that by connecting those fans directly to the motherboard instead of through that triple splitter to the integrated hub for the case, unplug the hub or wiring that is there now going to the motherboard, and see if that makes any difference. Those integrated fan hubs and wiring adapters that come with cases, even good ones, are pretty low quality cheap garbage for the most part and this wouldn't be the first one I'd seen causing major problems or even burning up hardware.
 
Jul 22, 2020
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@Darkbreeze I tried what you said. I connected the radiator fans to CPU_FAN and CPU_OPT headers and the pump to AIO_PUMP header. I disconnected all the chassis fans and kept the case open. Used an external fan to keep air flowing in the case. The video rendering ran smoothly till 13%. Then I decided to turn off the external fan. As expected, within 3 or 4 minutes after I turned off the fan, the system shut down. I guess we can rule out the possibility of a faulty chassis fan or connector.
The pump is set to 100% by default in BIOS.
 

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