Weird boot loop problem

Mar 25, 2020
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Hi everyone!
I'm new to this forum and having solved many hardware issues in the past by checking it for simmilar problems and solutions. It is why I'm reaching out to you guys, to help me with this bizarre thing I'm dealing with.

I've build this PC in mid 2015:

MB: AsRock Z97 ANNIVERSARY SOCKET 1150
CPU: Intel Pentium G3258 20th Anniversary Edition
PSU: Corsair CX600
RAM: 2x4Gb kingston hyperx beast DDR3 @1600 Mhz
CPU Cooler: Hyper212 Evo
GPU: GeForce GTX 960

I've built this PC for a nice budget-overclocking system. It has worked wonderfully, up until a few weeks ago. I OC'd the CPU clock @4.5 Ghz USING THE IN-BUILT OC METHOD provided with the motherboard (hence the anniversary combo).
Almost a year ago, I gave this PC to my dad to use it for browsing and whatnot, since I got a brand new build for myself. But one day he called me saying that the PC keeps turning on and off for around 2-3 seconds after pressing the Power Button.

Note: I've swapped the GPU with an old Gigabyte card. VERY OLD, so old I don't even know the name, but I'm telling you it's irrelevant. See below!

So I took the PC to my house, and plugged it in (with a new power cord) and I also took out the CMOS battery and replaced it with a new one (of the same type). The same problem persists: Everything lights up (fan LEDs, mobo doesn't have any LEDS for troubleshooting unfortunately).

So I thought the PSU is done for. I swapped it with my new PC's PSU (Seasonic M12II Evo Bronze 620W) and surprisingly I got to the BIOS screen. Everything looked fine. I also managed to boot into Windows 10. Everything completely normal.
My thoughts immediately were: "I'm gonna get him a new PSU then". So I ordered the exact one that I have. The Seasonic M12II Evo 620w.
Suprise, suprise! When I plugged it in the mobo, the same old boot loop problem occured.
So I watched a few youtube videos, and started troubleshooting like a chinese old man: one component at a time:

Note: In before each step, I unplugged the power cord from the PSU and switched the power off from the button at the back. I also held the Power Button for around 20 seconds to perform a clean powercycle. And no, I don't have a carpet or anything that could create a static shock.

Firstly, I only plugged in the CPU cooler and the 24-pin mobo power connector and the CPU 8-pin power connector. After a brief cough, the fan started spinning and seemed as if it was working ( It wasn't looping anymore). So I proceeded to add more components and the problem became very inconsistent: with each component added, the computer seemed to restart once or twice after the boot, but then it turned back on and it was working constantly (not looping anymore).
I tried literally every component possible, down to individual connectors to the Mobo such as USB connectors. I also swapped the RAM slots, but didn't matter at all.

As I saw that the power gain was constant, and the PC wasn't constantly looping, I plugged in the DVI cable and got into BIOS again! Wohoo!!. I reseted every single option to default. I even reinstalled windows 10 (might be a virus?). The PSU, Mobo and CPU are actually alive...

That until I turned the PC off again... and it started looping exactly like the first time I brought it home with me. After all that testing and finally getting constant power delivery on my components, back to the very beggining.... sigh

Note: I've had problems with the CPU Cooler Fan before, as it stopped working cause of dust buildup, but I manually repaired it myself.

My theory is that maybe the CPU fan stopped working again, and the mobo sensor sent a signal to shutdown the system to not overheat.
I bought a new fan and when I did my testing it was working fine, except for the times the PC performed the boot loop again, then it wasn't even spinning (like the rest of the fans) for the 2-3 seconds of power looping. Although it was working for the time I got it to work and reinstalled the Windows.

So if the motherboard can BOOT (somehow) to BIOS and OS, the CPU seems to, do CPU things... , the PC should still boot without RAM, and even after switching the old PSU with a brand new one, it still does the looping boot, what could it be? How come after countless restarts, I boot into BIOS but then it magically doesn't want to run at constant power again? The motherboard has some power delivery problems? A software issue? Maybe some BIOS setting that sends a signal to mobo to shutdown?

I wish I had more components to test with, but it doesn't seem that either of them are the problem "individually".

So in conclusion, I believe it's either a software problem in the BIOS settings, or the power delivery of the MB is struggling.

Either way, I would love some advice, since I've hit a stone wall and dunno what to do anymore :(

-Thanks!
 

TheOcelotGamer

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Dec 31, 2015
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I've had spontaneous bootloops and boots (eventually only bootloops) which were being caused by my motherboard, all my issues there arose when I turned the lights in my room on and heard a snap crackle and pop. Has your dad had any outages or troubles with electrics?
In my case it was easy to see because a chip was visibly damaged on my board, you might want to check for that.
 
Mar 25, 2020
2
0
10
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I've had spontaneous bootloops and boots (eventually only bootloops) which were being caused by my motherboard, all my issues there arose when I turned the lights in my room on and heard a snap crackle and pop. Has your dad had any outages or troubles with electrics?
In my case it was easy to see because a chip was visibly damaged on my board, you might want to check for that.
Not that I'm aware though. It is possible, and after I've done a lot more testing with it, I figured out the motherboard struggles with the initial surge of electric current going through it the moment you press the power button. Sometimes it gets enough to power on and stay powered consistently, but most of the time, it doesn't get enough and it boot loops. Maybe faulty VRM or something else. I've tried resetting the bios a dozen times, by replacing battery and in BIOS setting, when I manage to get into it. I also updated the BIOS and it still does the loop. So I figured it is not a software issue. So I'm ordering a new motherboard.
 

TheOcelotGamer

Reputable
Dec 31, 2015
49
5
4,545
1
Not that I'm aware though. It is possible, and after I've done a lot more testing with it, I figured out the motherboard struggles with the initial surge of electric current going through it the moment you press the power button. Sometimes it gets enough to power on and stay powered consistently, but most of the time, it doesn't get enough and it boot loops. Maybe faulty VRM or something else. I've tried resetting the bios a dozen times, by replacing battery and in BIOS setting, when I manage to get into it. I also updated the BIOS and it still does the loop. So I figured it is not a software issue. So I'm ordering a new motherboard.
i would do the same, best of luck with the new motherboard!
 

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