[SOLVED] PSU or Mobo Dying?

Jan 13, 2020
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Hi there!

I have a 4+ year pre built workstation desktop. A few days ago after I put my pc into sleep mode, it wouldn't boot back on. My fans and lights would flash on for 1-2 seconds and then turn back off when pressing the power button. The mobo showed it was receiving power but never displayed an error code on the mobo LED. I turned off the power supply and unplugged it from a wall outlet, plugged it back in, and my pc launched into windows, and works fine even under stress. All temps on hardware check out okay too.

Now every time I shut down my pc or put it into sleep mode, it wont post unless I turn off the PSU and unplug it, plug it back in a few times. Once on, the pc launches into windows and works fine without any issues. I tried testing the ram by testing each stick and the issue still occurs.

This is the first time I've had any issues with this machine, and use it to work from home daily.

I have to make a decision fast in order to continue working, and my gut tells me its PSU or MOBO related. Any ideas? Thanks!

Edit- When opening the side panel I noticed one of the metal prongs on my GPU looked loose, but i suspected this didn't have anything to do with failing to post.

System Specs

Windows 10 64 bit

i7-4790K 3.60ghz

Z97-WS Mobo

Nvidia gtx 960 2gb OC'd

16gb RAM

Corsair RM 650 PSU

1TB Harddrive
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Ok, so ON those occasions when it does not POST, there is NOTHING displayed, no codes at all, of any kind, good or bad, on the Q code display, right?

And when it DOES POST, then it does display normal Q codes, at the various stages and then AO once the POST process is complete?

Yes, if that is the case it could still definitely, and probably, be a motherboard issue. The fact that your motherboard is likely about five to five and a half years old, makes it a bit more likely since for motherboards that see high rate usage for professional or gaming applications they tend to start showing problems in a lot of cases right around the five year mark. Not always to be sure, but at five years, it's very common.

Your PSU is suspect though, because I've also seen an awful lot of those RM units start acting up at right around three to four years as well. Is yours actually an RM, or it is an RMx or RMi?

Totally understand not wanting to sink money into a new platform if it's not necessary. I'd much prefer to not do that.

DO me a favor, download HWinfo. Install it. Run it. Choose the "Sensors only" option and disable the "Summary" option. Scroll to the system voltages for the 12v, 3v, 5v system voltage. Run Furmark or Prime95 Small FFT (With AVX/AVX2 disabled) or some other high stress steady state utility, and take screenshots of the system voltages in HWinfo and post that information here. Also do it at idle with nothing running, after three or four minutes just sitting on the desktop, take another set of screenshots. Probably do the idle screenshots first.

Below is information on HWinfo and posting screenshots, in case you need that information.




Monitoring software

HWmonitor, Open hardware monitor, Realtemp, Speccy, Speedfan, Windows utilities, CPU-Z, NZXT CAM and most of the bundled motherboard utilities are often not the best choice as they are not always accurate. Some are actually grossly inaccurate, especially with certain chipsets or specific sensors that for whatever reason they tend to not like or work well with. I've found HWinfo or CoreTemp to be the MOST accurate with the broadest range of chipsets and sensors. They are also almost religiously kept up to date.

HWinfo is great for pretty much EVERYTHING, including CPU thermals, core loads, core temps, package temps, GPU sensors, HDD and SSD sensors, motherboard chipset and VRM sensor, all of it. When starting HWinfo after installation, always check the box next to "sensors only" and de-select the box next to "summary".


Run HWinfo and look at system voltages and other sensor readings.

Monitoring temperatures, core speeds, voltages, clock ratios and other reported sensor data can often help to pick out an issue right off the bat. HWinfo is a good way to get that data and in my experience tends to be more accurate than some of the other utilities available. CPU-Z, GPU-Z and Core Temp all have their uses but HWinfo tends to have it all laid out in a more convenient fashion so you can usually see what one sensor is reporting while looking at another instead of having to flip through various tabs that have specific groupings, plus, it is extremely rare for HWinfo to not report the correct sensor values under the correct sensor listings, or misreport other information. Utilities like HWmonitor, Openhardware monitor and Speccy, tend to COMMONLY misreport sensor data, or not report it at all.

After installation, run the utility and when asked, choose "sensors only". The other window options have some use but in most cases everything you need will be located in the sensors window. If you're taking screenshots to post for troubleshooting, it will most likely require taking three screenshots and scrolling down the sensors window between screenshots in order to capture them all.

It is most helpful if you can take a series of HWinfo screenshots at idle, after a cold boot to the desktop. Open HWinfo and wait for all of the Windows startup processes to complete. Usually about four or five minutes should be plenty. Take screenshots of all the HWinfo sensors.

Next, run something demanding like Prime95 version 26.6 or Heaven benchmark. Take another set of screenshots while either of those is running so we can see what the hardware is doing while under a load.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
When you say "never displayed an error code on the mobo LED", do you mean NOTHING was displayed, or that the code being displayed was the same as normal?

How long has that RM 650 been in service?

Are you sure this was a prebuilt that came with a Z97-WS, because that would be VERY unusual unless you bought it from a specialty prebuilt system manufacturer or system builder. Not impossible, but I have never seen an aftermarket board like that come in any of the prebuilt systems sold by Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc.

Have you tried disabling hibernation. Windows 10 tends to have troubles on some versions and if it has been recently updated with Windows updates, could be related. Could also not be. I'd try it first, since it's free, and should generally be done for all Windows 10 desktop systems anyhow.

To Disable Hibernation:

  1. The first step is to run the command prompt as administrator. In Windows 10, right click on the start menu and click "Command Prompt (Admin)".
  2. Type in "powercfg.exe /h off" without the quotes and press enter.
  3. Exit the command prompt.
  4. Hibernation is now disabled.
 
Jan 13, 2020
4
0
10
0
When you say "never displayed an error code on the mobo LED", do you mean NOTHING was displayed, or that the code being displayed was the same as normal?

How long has that RM 650 been in service?

Are you sure this was a prebuilt that came with a Z97-WS, because that would be VERY unusual unless you bought it from a specialty prebuilt system manufacturer or system builder. Not impossible, but I have never seen an aftermarket board like that come in any of the prebuilt systems sold by Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc.

Have you tried disabling hibernation. Windows 10 tends to have troubles on some versions and if it has been recently updated with Windows updates, could be related. Could also not be. I'd try it first, since it's free, and should generally be done for all Windows 10 desktop systems anyhow.

To Disable Hibernation:

  1. The first step is to run the command prompt as administrator. In Windows 10, right click on the start menu and click "Command Prompt (Admin)".
  2. Type in "powercfg.exe /h off" without the quotes and press enter.
  3. Exit the command prompt.
  4. Hibernation is now disabled.
Thanks for your response. The Rm 650 is 4 years old. I bought the pc from ORIGIN PC, and it came with the z97-ws. When the systems fails to post the mobo doesn't display any codes. After I'm able to get the pc to start, the mobo code is displayed normal. I'll give the hibernation disable a try.

Thanks!
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
If there are NO codes displayed, not even the normal ones usually seen during the various stages of the POST process, or errors, or OK code after POST, or anything at all, then it is almost 100% certain to be a motherboard issue. Unfortunately you are not likely to have a pleasant experience trying to replace that board because those Z97 (And all 4th/5th gen chipset boards) have been out of production for about 4-5 years and those that are still available in new condition are grossly overpriced. Used boards at this point are almost a waste of money because the caps are likely to be the same age as those on the board you already have and just as likely to already have or soon have problems as what you've already got.

So, that's something you'll have to weigh when the time comes, as to whether it's rolling the dice on a used replacement or paying an obnoxious premium for an unused board to avoid upgrading the whole platform.

Depending on what you do it might be worth it to simply upgrade the whole platform since most of the new in box Z97 boards still out there are around 50% higher in price than when they were originally the current new platform.

Z97-A for 200 bucks on Amazon isn't much of a deal when you can upgrade the whole platform to a newer, much better performing CPU, motherboard and memory for around 350-ish, with something like a Ryzen 3600, MSI B450 Tomahawk and 16GB of DDR4 3200mhz.

Highly unlikely that the PSU would have any effect on the lack of Q code display. Anything is possible where lack of adequate power or out of spec voltage regulation are concerned, but I've never seen a bad PSU cause that if there was signs of power everywhere else.
 
Jan 13, 2020
4
0
10
0
If there are NO codes displayed, not even the normal ones usually seen during the various stages of the POST process, or errors, or OK code after POST, or anything at all, then it is almost 100% certain to be a motherboard issue. Unfortunately you are not likely to have a pleasant experience trying to replace that board because those Z97 (And all 4th/5th gen chipset boards) have been out of production for about 4-5 years and those that are still available in new condition are grossly overpriced. Used boards at this point are almost a waste of money because the caps are likely to be the same age as those on the board you already have and just as likely to already have or soon have problems as what you've already got.

So, that's something you'll have to weigh when the time comes, as to whether it's rolling the dice on a used replacement or paying an obnoxious premium for an unused board to avoid upgrading the whole platform.

Depending on what you do it might be worth it to simply upgrade the whole platform since most of the new in box Z97 boards still out there are around 50% higher in price than when they were originally the current new platform.

Z97-A for 200 bucks on Amazon isn't much of a deal when you can upgrade the whole platform to a newer, much better performing CPU, motherboard and memory for around 350-ish, with something like a Ryzen 3600, MSI B450 Tomahawk and 16GB of DDR4 3200mhz.

Highly unlikely that the PSU would have any effect on the lack of Q code display. Anything is possible where lack of adequate power or out of spec voltage regulation are concerned, but I've never seen a bad PSU cause that if there was signs of power everywhere else.
Sorry I meant to clarify. The mobo does indeed display codes when posting is successful. And displays "AO" when booted into windows. Only when post fails, the mobo does not display codes. Could this still be a mobo issue? I haven't had any blue screens or driver failures.

Fortunately this is the only issue I've had with this build. If the machine decides to completely die after a next reboot, I'll definitely consider changing platform. I Just want to make sure if it's a small fix, I take advantage of it.

Appreciate your help!
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Ok, so ON those occasions when it does not POST, there is NOTHING displayed, no codes at all, of any kind, good or bad, on the Q code display, right?

And when it DOES POST, then it does display normal Q codes, at the various stages and then AO once the POST process is complete?

Yes, if that is the case it could still definitely, and probably, be a motherboard issue. The fact that your motherboard is likely about five to five and a half years old, makes it a bit more likely since for motherboards that see high rate usage for professional or gaming applications they tend to start showing problems in a lot of cases right around the five year mark. Not always to be sure, but at five years, it's very common.

Your PSU is suspect though, because I've also seen an awful lot of those RM units start acting up at right around three to four years as well. Is yours actually an RM, or it is an RMx or RMi?

Totally understand not wanting to sink money into a new platform if it's not necessary. I'd much prefer to not do that.

DO me a favor, download HWinfo. Install it. Run it. Choose the "Sensors only" option and disable the "Summary" option. Scroll to the system voltages for the 12v, 3v, 5v system voltage. Run Furmark or Prime95 Small FFT (With AVX/AVX2 disabled) or some other high stress steady state utility, and take screenshots of the system voltages in HWinfo and post that information here. Also do it at idle with nothing running, after three or four minutes just sitting on the desktop, take another set of screenshots. Probably do the idle screenshots first.

Below is information on HWinfo and posting screenshots, in case you need that information.




Monitoring software

HWmonitor, Open hardware monitor, Realtemp, Speccy, Speedfan, Windows utilities, CPU-Z, NZXT CAM and most of the bundled motherboard utilities are often not the best choice as they are not always accurate. Some are actually grossly inaccurate, especially with certain chipsets or specific sensors that for whatever reason they tend to not like or work well with. I've found HWinfo or CoreTemp to be the MOST accurate with the broadest range of chipsets and sensors. They are also almost religiously kept up to date.

HWinfo is great for pretty much EVERYTHING, including CPU thermals, core loads, core temps, package temps, GPU sensors, HDD and SSD sensors, motherboard chipset and VRM sensor, all of it. When starting HWinfo after installation, always check the box next to "sensors only" and de-select the box next to "summary".


Run HWinfo and look at system voltages and other sensor readings.

Monitoring temperatures, core speeds, voltages, clock ratios and other reported sensor data can often help to pick out an issue right off the bat. HWinfo is a good way to get that data and in my experience tends to be more accurate than some of the other utilities available. CPU-Z, GPU-Z and Core Temp all have their uses but HWinfo tends to have it all laid out in a more convenient fashion so you can usually see what one sensor is reporting while looking at another instead of having to flip through various tabs that have specific groupings, plus, it is extremely rare for HWinfo to not report the correct sensor values under the correct sensor listings, or misreport other information. Utilities like HWmonitor, Openhardware monitor and Speccy, tend to COMMONLY misreport sensor data, or not report it at all.

After installation, run the utility and when asked, choose "sensors only". The other window options have some use but in most cases everything you need will be located in the sensors window. If you're taking screenshots to post for troubleshooting, it will most likely require taking three screenshots and scrolling down the sensors window between screenshots in order to capture them all.

It is most helpful if you can take a series of HWinfo screenshots at idle, after a cold boot to the desktop. Open HWinfo and wait for all of the Windows startup processes to complete. Usually about four or five minutes should be plenty. Take screenshots of all the HWinfo sensors.

Next, run something demanding like Prime95 version 26.6 or Heaven benchmark. Take another set of screenshots while either of those is running so we can see what the hardware is doing while under a load.
 
Jan 13, 2020
4
0
10
0
Ok, so ON those occasions when it does not POST, there is NOTHING displayed, no codes at all, of any kind, good or bad, on the Q code display, right?

And when it DOES POST, then it does display normal Q codes, at the various stages and then AO once the POST process is complete?

Yes, if that is the case it could still definitely, and probably, be a motherboard issue. The fact that your motherboard is likely about five to five and a half years old, makes it a bit more likely since for motherboards that see high rate usage for professional or gaming applications they tend to start showing problems in a lot of cases right around the five year mark. Not always to be sure, but at five years, it's very common.

Your PSU is suspect though, because I've also seen an awful lot of those RM units start acting up at right around three to four years as well. Is yours actually an RM, or it is an RMx or RMi?

Totally understand not wanting to sink money into a new platform if it's not necessary. I'd much prefer to not do that.

DO me a favor, download HWinfo. Install it. Run it. Choose the "Sensors only" option and disable the "Summary" option. Scroll to the system voltages for the 12v, 3v, 5v system voltage. Run Furmark or Prime95 Small FFT (With AVX/AVX2 disabled) or some other high stress steady state utility, and take screenshots of the system voltages in HWinfo and post that information here. Also do it at idle with nothing running, after three or four minutes just sitting on the desktop, take another set of screenshots. Probably do the idle screenshots first.

Below is information on HWinfo and posting screenshots, in case you need that information.




Monitoring software

HWmonitor, Open hardware monitor, Realtemp, Speccy, Speedfan, Windows utilities, CPU-Z, NZXT CAM and most of the bundled motherboard utilities are often not the best choice as they are not always accurate. Some are actually grossly inaccurate, especially with certain chipsets or specific sensors that for whatever reason they tend to not like or work well with. I've found HWinfo or CoreTemp to be the MOST accurate with the broadest range of chipsets and sensors. They are also almost religiously kept up to date.

HWinfo is great for pretty much EVERYTHING, including CPU thermals, core loads, core temps, package temps, GPU sensors, HDD and SSD sensors, motherboard chipset and VRM sensor, all of it. When starting HWinfo after installation, always check the box next to "sensors only" and de-select the box next to "summary".


Run HWinfo and look at system voltages and other sensor readings.

Monitoring temperatures, core speeds, voltages, clock ratios and other reported sensor data can often help to pick out an issue right off the bat. HWinfo is a good way to get that data and in my experience tends to be more accurate than some of the other utilities available. CPU-Z, GPU-Z and Core Temp all have their uses but HWinfo tends to have it all laid out in a more convenient fashion so you can usually see what one sensor is reporting while looking at another instead of having to flip through various tabs that have specific groupings, plus, it is extremely rare for HWinfo to not report the correct sensor values under the correct sensor listings, or misreport other information. Utilities like HWmonitor, Openhardware monitor and Speccy, tend to COMMONLY misreport sensor data, or not report it at all.

After installation, run the utility and when asked, choose "sensors only". The other window options have some use but in most cases everything you need will be located in the sensors window. If you're taking screenshots to post for troubleshooting, it will most likely require taking three screenshots and scrolling down the sensors window between screenshots in order to capture them all.

It is most helpful if you can take a series of HWinfo screenshots at idle, after a cold boot to the desktop. Open HWinfo and wait for all of the Windows startup processes to complete. Usually about four or five minutes should be plenty. Take screenshots of all the HWinfo sensors.

Next, run something demanding like Prime95 version 26.6 or Heaven benchmark. Take another set of screenshots while either of those is running so we can see what the hardware is doing while under a load.
Will do! Thanks for the help
 

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