System Randomly Restarting without Warning (already swapped out Power Supply)

NJKilleen

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Jan 18, 2015
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I helped a friend build an entry-level gaming computer a couple years ago, and over the course of the past couple of months it has begun to randomly / intermittently shut off and restart without any warning. This isn't windows shutting down, this is the screen going black and the system starting back up from scratch - POST beep and all (the fans keep spinning and the lights stay on, however).

There doesn't seem to be any pattern to the restarts, just that they seem to be getting more frequent with time. It used to to happen once every week or so, now it seems to be once every day or two. It can happen after gaming for 2 minutes, 2 hours, or just while sitting on the desktop.

I've tested the temperatures on the CPU and the GPU, and everything seems fine - well within normal temperatures while gaming and while sitting on the desktop.

I had an extra power supply sitting around (one that I knew was fully functional) that I swapped out in my friend's computer since symptoms like this are usually indicative of a failing power supply, but this seems to have had no effect on the frequency of the restarts.

I don't think there's a problem with the outlet or the power strip itself, because when the restart happens the screen goes black but the monitor itself stays on and both the monitor the tower are all connected to the same power strip. Just to test it I grabbed an extension cord to get power from another outlet. No dice.

What else could cause intermittent restarts like this that isn't the power supply? Could it be something on the motherboard? The CPU/RAM/Mobo combo are all several generations behind, so replacing/upgrading any one of them would likely result in upgrading all of them. Really I'm just looking for what would be wise "next steps" in a situation like this. I don't want my friend to spend a bunch of money on a upgrade that doesn't solve the problem.

My friends' computer:
AMD FX 6300
Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 (rev 6.0)
G.SKILL 8gb (2x4gb)
MSI Nvidia GTX 960
EVGA 500W PSU
 

NJKilleen

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Jan 18, 2015
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Nearly a month later and the problem is continuing. Having considered that it could even be a short in the case's reset switch (since the behavior of the computer is as if a ghost just pressed the reset button), I unplugged the reset switch from that motherboard pins. This didn't change anything.

At this point I'm pretty confident the issue is connected to the motherboard, but I don't know of a way to confirm this theory beyond it being what I haven't been able to directly test. I don't want to have my friend buy something that doesn't fix the problem.

Any ideas?
 

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