Custom 6 year old PC stopped turning on

sabot00

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May 4, 2008
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Hi guys,

My trusty gaming build of 6 years has stopped turning on. This has happened in the past but repeated restarting the computer (and pressing the CLR CMOS switch) solved it in the past.

Specs:
3570K
ASRock Z77E-ITX
2x8GB G.Skill DDR3 memory
1 TB HDD
1 256GB SSD
Sapphire RX 480
Cosair CX500

I've tried:
-Removing GPU (and plugging directly into Mobo)
-Removing all the drives (CD drive, HDD, and SSD)
-Removing each stick of RAM

This is the most barebones I can think of, just Motherboard, CPU, 1 stick of RAM (and the built-in wifi chip).

The symptoms are always the same. Monitor (which I've tested) works but senses no input. Upon turning on the PC all keyboard lights are on. All fans and lights (CPU cooler) are on. But nothing appears on the screen.

Is it the PSU? The CPU? Motherboard?
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
It could be either the PSU or the motherboard. Those would be the two most likely suspects. I'd try to borrow or purchase another PSU and swap that in to see if the problem resolves itself. If it does not, you probably needed a new PSU anyhow as that CX500 unit was not very good to start with and may have been your trouble all along, plus, being six years old, it has definitely lasted far longer than those CX units usually last by a fair measure.

If it does not solve the problem, then it is almost certainly the motherboard. But in any case, whatever you do, you are going to want a better power supply anyhow as I'd just about guarantee that it has been at least part of your issue from the start AND if the motherboard does have issues, it is very possible that the PSU has contributed to the destruction of your motherboard because those units always had poor ripple and noise after being in use for a while and those are two things that will quickly begin destroying the capacitors on a motherboard.

Also, I'd visually check the motherboard to see if you can identify any capacitors that might be leaking or bulging. If you can, those are pretty telltale signs of a faulty motherboard or at least of one that is not long for this world if it has not already failed.
 

sabot00

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Thanks darkbreeze. I have a EVGA Supernova G2 750W on hand. Going to test that. Do I need to place the PSU inside the case (does the case ground the PSU?) or can I have it outside the case and simply connect the ATX connect to the mobo?
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
It does not need the case for ground. Grounds are part of the wiring and are generally redundant throughout the harness for some connectors.

You should not have an issue with unplugging the existing unit and then plugging in the other unit without actually bolting it to the case.

We bench test systems on the counter or desktop all the time with no case at all.
 

sabot00

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Yep, tried it with the EVGA PSU and it still displays nothing. Would motherboard failure start out as intermittent? Also sanity check question, even without *any* boot media connected (nothing connected in SATA or USB connectors), the motherboard should display a message to the monitor, right?

Originally I had a nice Rosewill PSU (good reviews), but the shallow PSU bay depth of the Bitfenix Prodigy meant it didn't fit. Over these years, I have to say I'm not a fan at all of the case.
 

sabot00

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Thanks, I'm going to try to find an old Z77 motherboard for sale. Do you have any recommendations for an mATX case? I'd prefer something smaller than a full tower (which is why I originally tried mini-ITX).
 

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