[SOLVED] PC won't post.. same issue I have had to fix three times now!

zacharythach

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Sep 19, 2018
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Hello everybody, before I start, yes, I have read the sticky and performed all steps on it, except for the breadboarding part as I currently do not have enough time to do so.
This issue is definitely the most annoying issue I have ever had, in all of my life. So about a year ago, my PC suddenly stopped posting. The fans would turn on, and after every couple minutes it would reboot and fail to post. I solved this problem by getting a new motherboard, and the PC worked completely fine for about 6-7 months before I ran into the same exact problem; the PC failed to post, the fans turned on, and rebooted every couple minutes. I solved this issue yet again by installing a brand new PSU, and the PC worked for maybe around 3 months before the same issue occurred again! I posted a thread on this forum, and I was told to flash the BIOS. I had the motherboard sent in for repair, and they flashed BIOS for me, and from then on the PC worked for about maybe a week before.. what do you know?? It's the SAME EXACT ISSUE. At this point, I'm just about ready to sell the PC for parts because of how extremely frustrating it is to have to fix the same issue time and time again.

Specs:
CPU: Intel Core i7 4790k (LGA1150 Socket)
GPU: MSI GTX 980Ti Gaming 6G
PSU: Corsair RM750i
MOBO: Supermicro Micro-ATX DDR3 2600 C7Z97-M-O
RAM: G Skill Sniper Series 16GB DDR3 1866 Model F3-1866C9D-16GSR
CASE: Azza Csaz-XT1B
SSD: Samsung SSD 850 Pro (512 GB)
OS: Windows 10 64 bit

In the past, I thought that my broken USB ports on the front of the case caused a short to my motherboard, so after getting the new motherboard I never plugged in those usb ports to my mobo, only the working USB 3.0 ports. Despite doing so, after I fixed the issue, in different ways, several more times, it keeps coming back. Temperatures of all parts were normal, I used CPUID and the only high temperature was my CPU, which would go to around 65 degrees when gaming for several hours. I want to know, what could be causing this problem? I just want to fix the core issue so it never happens again, because there is no worse feeling than pressing the on button on the PC and hearing no beeps. Please, any help at all would be greatly appreciated, because at this point I'm just getting depressed whenever I look at my computer in the corner of the room.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Memory very rarely just "goes bad". It usually either comes from the factory with a defect or it lasts long past the point at which it has become obsolete and generally without value. That being said, it IS an electronic component and it certainly CAN become "damaged" from handling or exposure to electrical stresses outside of it's prescribed specifications.

If a motherboard or CPU are faulty, it CAN kill the memory. If there is a short somewhere in the system, it COULD kill or damage the memory. Other things, such as motherboard, CPU, PSU, storage devices and wiring could cause a stick or set of memory that would have otherwise lasted long past the point where you'd be inclined to throw it away because it is superannuated, to prematurely take a dirt nap.

Fortunately most all memory has a lifetime warranty. Whether that is useful to anybody depends on the situation AND whether you have access to the original purchase information or not.

Buying at least one stick of new memory might afford you the ability to determine if there is some residual damage to the memory from your previous failed hardware or whether this is simply a motherboard or other issue. Notice I say "other issue" because it is always good to keep in mind that short of being able to physically SEE bulging or leaking capacitors, or burned out electrical traces, or broken solder points, on the motherboard, it is practically impossible to 100% determine that IT is the problem without simply replacing it and in most cases these days unless you are lucky enough to come across a tremendous deal it is not worth the investment into a new board for a system that is more than three years old due to the artificially inflated costs of those hardwares.

It makes more sense to either roll the dice on replacement used hardware, which I don't normally recommend but might be a persons only real option in some cases, or simply shuck the whole works and get a new CPU, motherboard and memory. I feel like money invested is ALWAYS better invested if it is invested in something which offers a GAIN over your current hardware, rather than simply a reinstatement of the previous capability.
 
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Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Are you 200% certain that there is no motherboard standoff in a location beneath the motherboard where there is no matching mounting hole in the motherboard? Because it really sounds like one of the ghost issues we see from time to time when there is a standoff shorting out the motherboard to the motherboard tray when using a micro ATX board with standoffs in the all the locations for a full size ATX motherboard. I'd pull the board and make sure that EVERY standoff in the motherboard tray has a matching hole in the motherboard. If there are ANY that do not, then that is probably your issue and it needs to be removed although it may not fix the issue if damage has already been done and that CAN cause damage to the board, CPU or memory, depending on where the standoff is located and the particular design of the board.

If there is for CERTAIN no chance of a standoff installed that should not be there, then my next guess would be that perhaps replacing the CMOS battery would be a good, cheap, possible solution that you can easily rule out by replacing it. Given the age of the board, it's likely, however since you've had this problem for a long time I'm not hopeful that it IS the problem, but I would STILL do it anyhow because it is always possible even from the factory to get a board with a weak or old CMOS battery installed and it won't always cause an issue in every case but it certainly CAN in any case.

Beyond that, barring any issues with the graphics card (Have you tried using the integrated graphics with the GPU card REMOVED completely from the motherboard to rule that out?) or one of your drives, about the only other thing that seems likely is a problem with the front panel mini board for the various USB and sound I/O ports. You might try completely disconnecting all connections from the front panel and powering on the motherboard using a flat tip screwdriver to jump the + and - pwr pins on the motherboard that the front switch normally plugs into, to rule that out.

And, of course there's always a chance that it's been the same problem from the start, and that the problem is the CPU, but that would be extremely rare as CPUs rarely fail or are faulty from the factory. But, it does occasionally happen. By now, way too late to RMA though, so if that is the problem you're stuck with finding a replacement or simply ditching this and moving on to a new platform.

Also, you might try doing a hard reset, just to see.

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 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 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, 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.
 
Last edited:

zacharythach

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Sep 19, 2018
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Are you 200% certain that there is no motherboard standoff in a location beneath the motherboard where there is no matching mounting hole in the motherboard?

If there is for CERTAIN no chance of a standoff installed that should not be there, then my next guess would be that perhaps replacing the CMOS battery would be a good, cheap, possible solution that you can easily rule out by replacing it.

Beyond that, barring any issues with the graphics card (Have you tried using the integrated graphics with the GPU card REMOVED completely from the motherboard to rule that out?) or one of your drives, about the only other thing that seems likely is a problem with the front panel mini board for the various USB and sound I/O ports.

Also, you might try doing a hard reset, just to see.
200% certain there are no extra standoff or any wires touching the back of the motherboard.
I have already put in a new CMOS battery.
I also tried using the integrated graphics, as well as unplugging all the various USB and sound ports and jumping it with a screwdriver to no avail.
Hard reset also does not work.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Technically, that board does NOT show support for your 5th gen 4790k. It ONLY shows support for 4th Gen Intel CPUs according to it's product page and I cannot find any updated CPU support documentation that indicates that support for 5th Gen CPUs was added through BIOS updates. Due to the similarity and nearly identical architecture of 4th and 5th Gen CPUs, it would generally "run" but there is potential for issue without specifically having support and this is an area where Supermicro has been known to fall VERY short in the past, by not providing much in the way of extended support for newer hardware beyond the initial generation of the hardware for which is was primarily designed.

It could definitely NOT be the problem as well, but generally when a specific CPU or generation is supported then the motherboard documentation rarely fails to specifically say so.

https://www.supermicro.com/en/products/motherboard/C7Z97-M

Aside from that, given your troubleshooting history already, I'd say it's likely a faulty CPU if everything else you've indicated is accurate.

Since you can't POST, there is obviously no way to run the Intel processor diagnostic test, so there is really no way to determine for sure if this a motherboard or CPU issue, or memory, without swapping in other hardware, and honestly given the age of the platform it's really not worth just throwing additional money at that would be better spend on a newer platform. Sucks, but there it is.
 

Dragos Manea

Admirable
Well i7 4790K is not 5th gen but neither 4th gen, 5th gen is broadwell and 4th gen is haswell but 4790k is devil's canyon so i dont know in which gen to put the 4790k. Usually is refered as 4th gen even on intels page but it is not true because it is not 4th gen, maybe a 4th gen refresh.
This si from intel:
Essentials
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Ok, you're right, Broadwell is actually 5th Gen, but TECHNICALLY, Haswell refresh should have been FACTUALLY 5th Gen. There was Nehalem (1st gen), Sandy bridge (2nd gen), Ivy bridge (3rd gen), Haswell (4th gen) and then Haswell refresh SHOULD have technically been listed as 5th Gen since it was a refinement and most boards required a BIOS update to support the 4690, 4690k, 4790 and 4790k. It is really NO different than Coffee lake being 8th gen and Coffee lake refresh being 9th gen and IS the way it should have been designated for Haswell refresh as well since it is the same type of process refinement, and not really a new architecture or process at all.

Broadwell was never released to mainstream consumers and while it IS 5th gen, it really SHOULD have been considered 6th Gen. Regardless, there are a number of motherboards out there, mainly OEM type motherboards that came in prebuilt systems, that never received BIOS updates that gave them support for Haswell refresh CPUs and as I said before, while most motherboards COULD run the Haswell refresh CPUs without a BIOS update there were often, usually, major problems because they are a changed architecture with some fundamental differences from the earlier 45xx series CPUs. So it is still one potential issue. I think Z97 supported it out of the box and Z87 required an update, but I could be wrong and if there IS an update available for your board it would be a good idea to update even though you apparently sent it in for updates at some point in the past. If you already have the most recent version available for this board installed then obviously there is not much you can do HOWEVER if you do not, it is good to do because your problem COULD be related to OTHER hardware than the CPU. Even Windows itself in some cases has been requiring some motherboards to release new BIOS versions in order to resolve compatibility issues.
 

zacharythach

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Sep 19, 2018
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Technically, that board does NOT show support for your 5th gen 4790k. It ONLY shows support for 4th Gen Intel CPUs according to it's product page and I cannot find any updated CPU support documentation that indicates that support for 5th Gen CPUs was added through BIOS updates. Due to the similarity and nearly identical architecture of 4th and 5th Gen CPUs, it would generally "run" but there is potential for issue without specifically having support and this is an area where Supermicro has been known to fall VERY short in the past, by not providing much in the way of extended support for newer hardware beyond the initial generation of the hardware for which is was primarily designed.

It could definitely NOT be the problem as well, but generally when a specific CPU or generation is supported then the motherboard documentation rarely fails to specifically say so.

https://www.supermicro.com/en/products/motherboard/C7Z97-M

Aside from that, given your troubleshooting history already, I'd say it's likely a faulty CPU if everything else you've indicated is accurate.

Since you can't POST, there is obviously no way to run the Intel processor diagnostic test, so there is really no way to determine for sure if this a motherboard or CPU issue, or memory, without swapping in other hardware, and honestly given the age of the platform it's really not worth just throwing additional money at that would be better spend on a newer platform. Sucks, but there it is.
Alright welp.. looks like it's time to ditch this build then. Would it be worth it to take it to the computer repair store? I feel like I'm just tired of dealing with this issue but at the same time I feel like the computer repair store wouldn't know much about it and would try to scam me for a different repair.
 

Tyrvidar

Distinguished
Nov 2, 2003
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Alright welp.. looks like it's time to ditch this build then. Would it be worth it to take it to the computer repair store? I feel like I'm just tired of dealing with this issue but at the same time I feel like the computer repair store wouldn't know much about it and would try to scam me for a different repair.
I wouldn't take it to a computer repair store... it' seems like a good setup and you might only be looking at a short or a single piece of failed hardware. So this thing was working for months and months... and you guys are discussing if the CPU is compatible with the board? haha

Power discharge the system.... Unplug power cable, hold down power button 10 seconds.... Then plug it back in see if it post.... if not get your screw driver out...

Unplug everything including drives... Take your GPU off the motherboard, take the motherboard out of the case.... Lay it out on a nice clear work area... hook your PSU up to it, then power it on With only 1 stick of ram, use the onboard video (not your GPU).... See if it post... If it post... well start back tracking..... power it off... plug in the other stick of Ram... Post it again... Hook the GPU up.... Post it once more.... Maybe leave it out of the case for awhile..... run some games/benchmarks WHILE OUT OF THE CASE....
 
Nov 17, 2019
56
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Hi zacharythach,
My 2 cents - more concerned for you than the PC that is clearly from a lesser known pit of hell.

Repair store? That will be another pit you don't want to wake up in.

Give yourself an A+ for effort and as a reward get a nice new build that meets your needs today, as that PC, even if it were running properly, would probably be doing less and less of today.

Put something in your room that will put a smile on your face, sell the disassembled parts 'as is'.

All the best.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Ok, so here's MY personal opinion on this.

I am not saying that your board DOESN'T support that CPU, because in all probability it does. Especially since you've had some runs of trouble free operation out of it.

I don't know what motherboard you originally had, whether it was the exact same model or if perhaps it was a different model BUT STILL a Supermicro motherboard or not. In my opinion, Supermicro makes terrific server boards, in some cases, but has generally pathetic mainstream consumer motherboards. My money would be on this being related to the motherboard in some way or another. They are just not on the same level as ASUS, Gigabyte, ASRock and MSI when it comes to consumer enthusiast hardware.

Does that mean the problem IS the motherboard? No, of course not. There is no guarantee, ever, when diagnosing a bad motherboard. All you can really do is try to eliminate everything else and by process of elimination if all that's left is the motherboard than that is what you give the stink eye to.

The bottom line though is that Supermicro board is not good quality really, and it's a five year old platform. Any money spent would be better spent on something WORTH spending it on, like maybe a Ryzen 3600, some flavor of budget board with good quality like the B450 Tomahawk max and 16GB of half decent memory. That's something you can get into for around 350 bucks. Even spending 100 bucks on a replacement motherboard or any other piece of hardware seems like a waste to me when it could go towards not only resolving your problem, but resolving it in a way that results in you having a much newer platform with features that are likely not present on your current platform such as support for multiple M.2 drives, USB 3.1/3.2 Gen 2, more PCI lanes, etc. plus of course a CPU with moderately higher single core performance and IPC AND much higher multithreaded performance.

A few last things to check though before throwing in the towel.

If you are using a power strip of ANY kind, don't. Plug the PSU directly into the wall. If you are using a UPS battery backup, don't. Plug directly into the wall. If you are already plugged directly into the wall, try a DIFFERENT outlet that is not on the same circuit as the one you are currently using, in case there is a problem with that circuit somewhere.

TRY benching the unit. A lot of times the problem becomes evident once you put the board on the bench and start plugging in only minimal hardware.

 

zacharythach

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Sep 19, 2018
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I wouldn't take it to a computer repair store... it' seems like a good setup and you might only be looking at a short or a single piece of failed hardware. So this thing was working for months and months... and you guys are discussing if the CPU is compatible with the board? haha

Power discharge the system.... Unplug power cable, hold down power button 10 seconds.... Then plug it back in see if it post.... if not get your screw driver out...

Unplug everything including drives... Take your GPU off the motherboard, take the motherboard out of the case.... Lay it out on a nice clear work area... hook your PSU up to it, then power it on With only 1 stick of ram, use the onboard video (not your GPU).... See if it post... If it post... well start back tracking..... power it off... plug in the other stick of Ram... Post it again... Hook the GPU up.... Post it once more.... Maybe leave it out of the case for awhile..... run some games/benchmarks WHILE OUT OF THE CASE....
Tried this just now, the motherboard beeped 5 times, continuously, without RAM. With either RAM stick installed, in either slot, there were no beeps and no post.
 

zacharythach

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Sep 19, 2018
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Ok, so here's MY personal opinion on this.

I am not saying that your board DOESN'T support that CPU, because in all probability it does. Especially since you've had some runs of trouble free operation out of it.

I don't know what motherboard you originally had, whether it was the exact same model or if perhaps it was a different model BUT STILL a Supermicro motherboard or not. In my opinion, Supermicro makes terrific server boards, in some cases, but has generally pathetic mainstream consumer motherboards. My money would be on this being related to the motherboard in some way or another. They are just not on the same level as ASUS, Gigabyte, ASRock and MSI when it comes to consumer enthusiast hardware.

Does that mean the problem IS the motherboard? No, of course not. There is no guarantee, ever, when diagnosing a bad motherboard. All you can really do is try to eliminate everything else and by process of elimination if all that's left is the motherboard than that is what you give the stink eye to.

The bottom line though is that Supermicro board is not good quality really, and it's a five year old platform. Any money spent would be better spent on something WORTH spending it on, like maybe a Ryzen 3600, some flavor of budget board with good quality like the B450 Tomahawk max and 16GB of half decent memory. That's something you can get into for around 350 bucks. Even spending 100 bucks on a replacement motherboard or any other piece of hardware seems like a waste to me when it could go towards not only resolving your problem, but resolving it in a way that results in you having a much newer platform with features that are likely not present on your current platform such as support for multiple M.2 drives, USB 3.1/3.2 Gen 2, more PCI lanes, etc. plus of course a CPU with moderately higher single core performance and IPC AND much higher multithreaded performance.

A few last things to check though before throwing in the towel.

If you are using a power strip of ANY kind, don't. Plug the PSU directly into the wall. If you are using a UPS battery backup, don't. Plug directly into the wall. If you are already plugged directly into the wall, try a DIFFERENT outlet that is not on the same circuit as the one you are currently using, in case there is a problem with that circuit somewhere.

TRY benching the unit. A lot of times the problem becomes evident once you put the board on the bench and start plugging in only minimal hardware.

Previously, I did have a ASUS Sabertooth Z97 board, that lasted me a good 3-4 years before it died and I had to buy a Supermicro board since it was the only one with the z97 chipset that was also brand new and relatively cheap (was not going to spend $600 on a brand new motherboard when I can buy a new CPU with that).


I tried taking the motherboard out of the case, plugging in only the PSU for motherboard and CPU, and no RAM. With no RAM, 5 continuos single beeps; with 1 stick of either RAM in either slot, no beeps, no post.
 

Tyrvidar

Distinguished
Nov 2, 2003
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Previously, I did have a ASUS Sabertooth Z97 board, that lasted me a good 3-4 years before it died and I had to buy a Supermicro board since it was the only one with the z97 chipset that was also brand new and relatively cheap (was not going to spend $600 on a brand new motherboard when I can buy a new CPU with that).


I tried taking the motherboard out of the case, plugging in only the PSU for motherboard and CPU, and no RAM. With no RAM, 5 continuos single beeps; with 1 stick of either RAM in either slot, no beeps, no post.
Darn well you tried sir! perhaps a failed motherboard then. I've seem multiple sticks of ram go Kaput in one go too but I'd lean towards Mobo first, Ram, then the CPU being bad (I don't think your CPU is bad). You could probably score another motherboardused in local trade Facebook market place/Craigslist. You could still salvage the setup and save lots of money/restore your system. $50 for a motherboard on ebay of descent quality. Good luck!
 

zacharythach

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Sep 19, 2018
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Darn well you tried sir! perhaps a failed motherboard then. I've seem multiple sticks of ram go Kaput in one go too but I'd lean towards Mobo first, Ram, then the CPU being bad (I don't think your CPU is bad). You could probably score another motherboardused in local trade Facebook market place/Craigslist. You could still salvage the setup and save lots of money/restore your system. $50 for a motherboard on ebay of descent quality. Good luck!
Yeah I think I'm going to try to buy new RAM sticks but I read that these should last almost forever, so I'm doubtful. I also may RMA the motherboard, for the third time, and if that doesn't work I'm going to sell the parts minus the power supply and build a new beast. Thank you!
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Memory very rarely just "goes bad". It usually either comes from the factory with a defect or it lasts long past the point at which it has become obsolete and generally without value. That being said, it IS an electronic component and it certainly CAN become "damaged" from handling or exposure to electrical stresses outside of it's prescribed specifications.

If a motherboard or CPU are faulty, it CAN kill the memory. If there is a short somewhere in the system, it COULD kill or damage the memory. Other things, such as motherboard, CPU, PSU, storage devices and wiring could cause a stick or set of memory that would have otherwise lasted long past the point where you'd be inclined to throw it away because it is superannuated, to prematurely take a dirt nap.

Fortunately most all memory has a lifetime warranty. Whether that is useful to anybody depends on the situation AND whether you have access to the original purchase information or not.

Buying at least one stick of new memory might afford you the ability to determine if there is some residual damage to the memory from your previous failed hardware or whether this is simply a motherboard or other issue. Notice I say "other issue" because it is always good to keep in mind that short of being able to physically SEE bulging or leaking capacitors, or burned out electrical traces, or broken solder points, on the motherboard, it is practically impossible to 100% determine that IT is the problem without simply replacing it and in most cases these days unless you are lucky enough to come across a tremendous deal it is not worth the investment into a new board for a system that is more than three years old due to the artificially inflated costs of those hardwares.

It makes more sense to either roll the dice on replacement used hardware, which I don't normally recommend but might be a persons only real option in some cases, or simply shuck the whole works and get a new CPU, motherboard and memory. I feel like money invested is ALWAYS better invested if it is invested in something which offers a GAIN over your current hardware, rather than simply a reinstatement of the previous capability.
 
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