Question My computer keeps restarting randomly. Narrowed it down to either the power supply or the motherboard

Jun 8, 2019
12
0
10
0
A couple days ago, my computer hard restarted. I didn't think too much of it, but about 5 minutes after it booted up, it restarted again. At the beginning, it lasted between 2-7 minutes before restarting again, but now it's just in an endless restart loop (about 2-5 seconds) and the only way to stop it is to unplug it. I've disconnected the GPU and switched out the hard drives in a hail Mary, but it didn't effect it any.

Also, sometimes the GPU starts and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't start up, the fans shake; as if they're trying to spin but they don't have enough power? Which leads me to believe that it's a motherboard problem because, even if the power supply isn't hooked up to the power supply, the motherboard should provide power to the fans (which it does when the GPU decides to work, but not often anymore).

It's an i3 (not sure which one), an MSI H81M-P33, an EVGA 500B, and an R9-380, if that helps any.

Thanks.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
So, you've tried removing the graphics card from the motherboard, completely, and connecting your monitor to the motherboard video output for the CPU integrated graphics?

If the power supply is bad, then there isn't anything for the motherboard TO supply to the graphics card through the PCI slot, so that theory is not very solid regarding the graphics card fans not working making it a motherboard issue. It MIGHT be, but it also might not be.

That EVGA B series power supply is a VERY mediocre unit, with poor quality capacitors, so if it's more than three years old there's a very good chance, especially if it's been paired with a gaming card all it's life, that it is the culprit and that is probably what I'd go after first.

Unfortunately, unless you have or have access to a volt meter or a power supply tester it's kind of hard to determine if it's the power supply or the motherboard.
 
Jun 8, 2019
12
0
10
0
Unfortunately, unless you have or have access to a volt meter or a power supply tester it's kind of hard to determine if it's the power supply or the motherboard.
I do have a volt meter but I honestly have no idea how to use it, honestly. I guess I'll be googling some tutorials lol. Anyway, thanks for the advice.
 
Playing with PSUs and volt meters or useless 'testers' is a waste of time....(what a PSU does under low load or no load is not really helpful in dealing with 'my rig randomly resets itself' scenarios...


Install a known good one of sufficient wattage...; if your problems are gone, you might be done quickly, and, you want it to be the PSU anyway, not a high cost part for most. (If/when you swap PSUs, swap all modular cables with it, as they are not interchangeable, as folks accidentally find out far too often. (Disastrous for both $250 SSDs and $1200 GPUs...)
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Playing with PSUs and volt meters or useless 'testers' is a waste of time....(what a PSU does under low load or no load is not really helpful in dealing with 'my rig randomly resets itself' scenarios...


Install a known good one of sufficient wattage...; if your problems are gone, you might be done quickly, and, you want it to be the PSU anyway, not a high cost part for most. (If/when you swap PSUs, swap all modular cables with it, as they are not interchangeable, as folks accidentally find out far too often. (Disastrous for both $250 SSDs and $1200 GPUs...)
It's never useless to know whether or not the PSU is not supplying voltages that are within the specified ranges when its NOT under a load. Saying that part of a standard, accepted process, that has been in use since before computers were even "a thing", that, is useless.

No, it won't tell you what the loaded voltages are, but for a system that won't even get far enough to put a load on it, yes, you need to know whether the PSU is putting out 10.1v or something when it should be putting out between 11.6-12.3 or thereabouts. I am seriously dubious about your post quality if you are going to be making statements like that on a publicly viewable forum.

Not everybody, in fact MOST people, don't just have an extra PSU sitting around or know somebody who does. Most people, have one, and all their friends also have only one. And even in cases where that's not true, there are no guarantees that the other unit is any better or is high enough capacity. Test the unit you HAVE, and then worry about trying a different one if the voltages are out of spec.

If if the voltage drops below spec under a load, but doesn't without a load, it's not going to cause the system to simply shut off every 2-5 seconds. Shutting off every 2-5 seconds is NOT the same as "shutting off randomly". Read the OP before you start making silly statements.
 
Jun 8, 2019
12
0
10
0
Install a known good one of sufficient wattage...;
Unfortunately this is the only power supply I currently have access to right now, so no dice on that one. But thanks for the information on modular cables, I didn't know that they were specific to certain hardware so I'll definately use that information in the future.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Yes, as I mentioned earlier but you never addressed, have you tried removing the graphics card and using the integrated graphics only by connecting the monitor cable to the motherboard video output? Your PSU is not a very great model to begin with AND it is about 50w below the recommendation for a system using an R9 380, so I'd move forward with eliminating both the graphics card and the power requirements of the graphics card from the equation by using only the iGPU temporarily to see if there is any change.


How much memory do you have installed and what slots are they installed in, exactly? As in, counting over from the CPU socket towards the side of the motherboard, are they(it) in slot(s) 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.

A2 and B2 are the slots that SHOULD be used for a dual DIMM configuration and those are the second and fourth slots over from the CPU socket. Try one stick in the second slot over from the CPU. If the same problem remains, try the other stick in that slot. If the problem still remains, try each stick individually in the B2 slot which is the slot closest to the edge of the motherboard.

If neither the graphics card or memory are the problem, then I'd say you most likely have a bad board, but it is probably worth double checking everything mentioned here:



And if that fails to turn anything up then I'd bench test the whole works as follows:

 
Jun 8, 2019
12
0
10
0
Yes, as I mentioned earlier but you never addressed, have you tried removing the graphics card and using the integrated graphics only by connecting the monitor cable to the motherboard video output?
Sorry I forgot to address that; I have tried using the motherboard's graphics and it still restarted at the same rate.

I have 2 sticks of RAM; 4 gigs each. I have tried removing each of them and switching them, but no change there either. I also may have forgotten to mention that this isn't a new system; it has worked fine for about four years, if that matters.

I think I've already done all the tests from the first thread you linked (or the tests aren't applicable to my rig), but the second thread is coming up dead. Not sure whether the thread is deleted or it's a server error, but it's a "thread could not be found" error.
 
Last edited:

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
So, it's not the graphics card, eliminated that with the iGPU.

It's apparently not memory, since it would be unlikely, possible, but unlikely to have two sticks both go bad at the same time unless there is some other related event that happened which you did not relate to us, so we'll assume it's not the memory.

Power supply tests good, and while there is always the possibility of it crapping out under a load this seems to be happening even without any substantial load so while that is definitely not a favored PSU model, and would be a good idea to replace with a much higher quality unit, it is probably not terribly likely to be the cause of this problem either. It would, if possible, not be a bad idea to buy, borrow or otherwise finagle a second power supply of 550w or higher to TRY, just to be sure, but it's not looking as though it's probable as the cause.

Since the system was working fine for a long period of time and the CPU has not been removed and reinstalled anytime recently prior to the problems starting, we can be somewhat sure that's not the problem either.

I'd probably recommend disconnecting ALL drives, both power and data SATA connections to them, and see if the system is able to POST normally and access the BIOS. If it can, then likely one of the drives has a problem OR the motherboard has a problem related to the storage controllers.

Otherwise, if that changes nothing, then considering the fact that it was a lower end motherboard to start with and it's probably somewhere in the neighborhood of about four to five years old now, it would not be unrealistic to assume you have a motherboard that needs to be replaced.
 
Jun 8, 2019
12
0
10
0
Otherwise, if that changes nothing, then considering the fact that it was a lower end motherboard to start with and it's probably somewhere in the neighborhood of about four to five years old now, it would not be unrealistic to assume you have a motherboard that needs to be replaced.
Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. I'll order one asap and post whether it helped or not.
 
Jun 8, 2019
12
0
10
0
I think it will, but if it doesn't we will certainly have significantly narrowed down the possibilities and can continue on from there if necessary.
It didn't fix the problem. I hooked the new motherboard up and it seemed like it might work; the computer turned on, booted up, let me log in, and I used it for about 4 minutes. Then it restarted. Booted up to the log in screen, then restarted again. Then went back to the same restart loop as before: restarting every 2-3 seconds. I have no idea where to go from here, honestly. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
Jun 8, 2019
12
0
10
0
Are you able to get into the BIOS, or does it restart itself even when you are not trying to boot into Windows? Or, does it only do this restart crap when Windows is trying to boot?
No, I can't get to the BIOS settings. It will restart even before it gives the BIOS options so I can't get to that point. It acts like it's turning on for about two seconds, then restarts again. Really, the only things that have a chance to come on now are the LEDs (for the mouse and keyboard), the fans, and the drives begin to spool up.

It does this regardless of what drive I have plugged in or even if I don't have any drive plugged in at all. I have another drive with Ubuntu on it that I tried, just to see what would happen; same result.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
I'd get a different power supply. I 100% don't trust those EVGA B1 series units at ALL even if it passed testing.

Did you ever try to test it with the graphics card removed, using only the integrated graphics. Looking back over the thread I don't see that you ever answered whether you tried that or not?
 
Jun 8, 2019
12
0
10
0
Yeah, sorry, I have tried it with the GPU unplugged; same result. I'm thinking that it's the power supply, too, I just wish that I had a way to know for sure, y'know? I can't really afford to keep buying parts lol.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
I understand. That's why it's a good idea to keep extra parts on hand even when you upgrade to something better, so long as they are still working properly, so that the next time you have something capable of being swapped in as a "known good part" for troubleshooting.

Any chance of borrowing a unit from somebody? Unfortunately without extensive and expensive equipment, it is sometimes simply necessary to throw parts at it after basic troubleshooting turns up nothing in order for the average Joe to eliminate potential problems. There are rarely any guarantees. Even most shops will swap parts out for parts they have on hand in order to determine what the problem is. Few have the high end test equipment necessary to actually diagnose a definitive issue.
 
Jun 8, 2019
12
0
10
0
No, borrowing one isn't really an option. I am fairly confidant it is the power supply now, though, so I'll go ahead and order one here in a bit. Thanks again and I'll update the thread when it gets here.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS