Gaming PC Won't Turn On - No Power; No Sounds, No Fans, No LEDs...just SILENCE.

Feb 6, 2019
PC Specs (I couldn't edit my PC specs in profile - not enough posts?):

1. Chassis - Thermaltake Chaser Series MK1, SECC ATX Full Tower
2. PSU - Corsair TX850M 850W (ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80) Semi-Modular
3. Motherboard - MSI Z87-G45 Gaming LGA 1150 (Intel Z87)
4. RAM (4x) - G.SKILL Sniper 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM 1600 (PC3 12800)
5. Liquid Cooling - Corsair Hydro Series H100i
6. CPU - Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell 3.5 GHz LGA 1150 84W Quad-Core
7. GPU - MSI GTX 980
8. SSD - Smsaung 860 EVO 500GB SATA

I've had this PC for about 4-5 years now after I built it, and have had no issues that I could think of, nor do I recall ever seeing the PC run hot (I use MSI Afterburner for fan controls). However, I haven't put on new thermal paste since day one (for shame!!).

ISSUE - The other night, I was in the middle of playing a game (Stellaris), and my PC just shuts off (no warning sounds, pops, or "electric smells"). I then start to go through the simplest solutions for the process of elimination.

1 - Unplug the power cable, drain the PC by holding down the power button.
1.a - I then tried another power cable, and another power outlet to rule out the outlet and surge protector (even though the monitor still has power), and repeated step 1 with all possible variations.

2 - Because I'm getting NOTHING at all, my natural assumption was the PSU.
2.a - I go to Fry's Electronics, and buy a brand new PSU (Thermaltake Toughpower Grand RGB 850W PSU 80 Plus (Fully Modular) **Note** I wish I would have know about the paperclip jumper test prior to buying a new PSU, so I'm going to try that tonight on both PSUs.

3 I finally get my PC all cleaned up, re-cabled, new thermal paste, new COMS battery, aaaaaand...NOTHING. Same symptom as before; no power, no sounds, no spinning fans, no LEDs...just silence.
3.a - I continue to screw around with it, thinking that maybe I hooked something up incorrectly, but everything looked correct.

Tonight, I'm going to go through a memory test (starting with a single card), to see if that changes anything. However, at this point, I feel that it may have be my motherboard and even possibly my CPU (which REALLY blows). What are the TH Community's thoughts on this?
Try leaving only CPU, CPU cooler, both 24 and 8 pin power cables connected. No other components or cables. Clear the CMOS by unplugging the power cord and removing the CMOS battery for a minute. Start the board and see if the CPU fan does spin.
Feb 6, 2019
alexou - Thank you for the quick reply. I followed the guideline above the night of your post, but sadly I ended up with the same results. I gave up for the night but decided to take another stab at the situation last night.

1. I performed a paperclip test on my Corsair PSU, but at first got nothing. I stumbled across a video tutorial from Corsair, and they mentioned that the PSU may not start on its own if it's not under load. I then took the case's linked LED/Fan cable and hooked it up...confirmed power. I repeated this with the new PSU - power good to go on both.

2. I then decided to go through all devices/peripherals, to rule out what the issue was. I was doing this test with everything plugged up to the PSU, except the 24 pin cable - I had it outside of the case, and utilized the paperclip test. Everything in the machine appears to have received power.

3. Since that seemed to work, I hooked my 24 pin cable back up to the motherboard (please turn off PSU power switch and unplug the power cable before moving stuff, or in-between tests folks!), and NO GO again.

4. I leave everything plugged up to the motherboard and start unplugging things to see if I can get power. It just so happens that I started with my GPU (GTX 980); I unplug the dual 6+2 pins – Viola! Everything powers up. I repeat this by plugging it back up, and off again just to confirm this, which I do. Luckily, I still had my old GTX 760, so I pop it in, using the same cables. Viola! Everything is working again.

In my personal experiences with PCs, I've never seen a PC get NOTHING, as if it was completely dead, and the cause be the GPU. Has anyone else ever heard of this?

Tonight, I'm going to try the GTX 980 in the secondary PCI slot on the motherboard, to see if it is truly dead. However, one would think that this would be a moot point, if the 760 works in the top PCI slot, but the 980 doesn't. Maybe it's just due to my lack of hardware knowledge/experience, but I was honestly surprised with the GPU causing those symptoms.