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PC shut itself down, won't turn back on.

shutdownboot gpu psu full speed burning smell 970

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#1
zxcymn

zxcymn

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PC Specs:

    CPU: i5 2500k @ 4GHz

    GPU: EVGA GTX 970 FTW x2 SLI

    RAM: 16GB (4x4gb) DDR3 1600

    Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Professional Gen3

    PSU: Corsair HX850 - 850W 80 Plus Gold

 

 

I built this computer 7 years ago back in 2011. It's been doing fine since but last night I left the room while playing a game and when I came back the PC had shut itself down. I hit the power button and nothing happened. I turned the PSU off with its switch in the back and left it for a couple minutes. When I tried to boot again, the fan lights flashed and the fans started to spin for a very brief moment but ultimately nothing actually happened. Leaving it off for longer, when I tried to boot again it did the same thing but the fans and lights remained on for longer (talking milliseconds here so it's still over before any fans can finish a half rotation) but again nothing actually happened.

 

Now on to the weird part. I unplugged the bottom GPU and the SLI bridge to check if my PSU couldn't deliver enough power for everything. Nothing happened when trying to boot, but there was a very faint burning smell that almost seemed like it wasn't actually there. I unplugged the top GPU as well (only from the PSU - both cards remained in their slots but unplugged) and suddenly the computer boots. I shut the computer down again and plugged the bottom card back in to see if it's just my top GPU messing up instead of the PSU. The computer booted up again but the bottom GPU's fan was blowing max speed. I shut it down again and plugged the top GPU back in along with the SLI bridge. Strangely, the computer boots up. This is weird as everything is plugged in the way it always has been and earlier it couldn't boot this way, but now it suddenly can. However now both of the GPUs have their fans immediately going max speed and the burning smell is stronger. Fearing that I'm further damaging components, I've left it shut down since and decided to wait for someone more knowledgeable to chime in.

 

I'm having trouble deciding if it's my PSU, GPU(s), or the motherboard. Maybe it's something else entirely, who knows. I do feel it's worth mentioning that a couple days ago we had a storm that blew a light bulb, tripped the breaker, broke our AC, and fried our modem (actally fried - it sizzled and popped before dying). However this was a full 2 days prior and the computer had been running just fine since the storm until this happened so I don't know if it's related or not. Also I have no extra components laying around that I can swap out for testing so I'll have to find a way to test what I have by itself. This computer is all I have so I'm hoping someone can help me with this. Thanks for any advice you can give! Let me know if there's any more information you need.


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#2
phillpower2

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Now on to the weird part. I unplugged the bottom GPU and the SLI bridge to check if my PSU couldn't deliver enough power for everything. Nothing happened when trying to boot, but there was a very faint burning smell that almost seemed like it wasn't actually there. I unplugged the top GPU as well (only from the PSU - both cards remained in their slots but unplugged) and suddenly the computer boots.

 

 

Some clarification please.

 

You mention the following; That you left the two GPUs in the slots and the computer booted, by this do you mean that you connected the screen to one of the video ports on the MB and the computer successfully booted into Windows.

 

The both cards remained in their slots and the computer suddenly booted up, this suggests that you disconnected things while there was power going through the computer, is that correct.


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#3
zxcymn

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Nah, every time I unplugged a GPU or plugged it back in I turned the PSU off with the power switch then waited for the light on my motherboard to go out first. I left the GPUs in the PCI-e slots and just unplugged the two six pin connectors from them when testing. I never removed the video cable from the top GPU as I was more concerned with just getting it to start up at all. With the burning smell I'm not too comfortable waiting to see if it boots into Windows so I haven't worried about that yet.

 

Also sorry for the misunderstanding. "Suddenly" boots was a poor choice of words. I guess I meant surprisingly it booted. I pushed the power button to turn it on, it didn't turn on by itself.


Edited by zxcymn, 24 July 2018 - 01:59 PM.

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#4
phillpower2

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Thanks for the clarification  :thumbsup:

 

every time I unplugged a GPU or plugged it back in I turned the PSU off with the power switch then waited for the light on my motherboard to go out first.

 

 

To keep in mind for the future.

 

To avoid the risk of electric shock or damaging your hardware before reaching inside the computer chassis you should always do the following;

 

Completely shutdown and disconnect all sources of power to the computer.

 

Press the chassis power on button for between twenty and thirty seconds, this gets rid of any residual charge that can be held in the caps on the MB and within the PSU etc.

 

Touch a bare metal part of the chassis or PSU to get rid of any static charge that you may have within your body, the smallest amount can take out one or more items of hardware.

 

Also sorry for the misunderstanding. "Suddenly" boots was a poor choice of words. I guess I meant surprisingly it booted. I pushed the power button to turn it on, it didn't turn on by itself.

 

 

No worries, that was why I asked for clarification, btw, a computer boots into an OS such as Windows, a computer that does not boot into an OS for one reason or another is only powering up and not booting.

 

To the task at hand, after following the safety steps described above I would suggest that you remove both of the GPUs and have a sniff around the back of the PSU and other hardware to see if you can pinpoint from where any burning smell may be coming from.

 

Please note that dust can cause things to heat up and give off a burning smell, this includes dust that may have gotten into the PSU over the past seven years.

 

How clean is/was the inside of your case.

 

Post back with an update once you have removed the GPUs and done your other checks.


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#5
zxcymn

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I do at least touch metal on the front of the case before diving in but I'll also start unplugging everything and holding the power button now. I've also noted the difference between powering on and booting up and will make sure to be more clear in the future. Thanks for the advice and correction.

 

I followed your safety procedure and removed both GPUs from the motherboard. The computer had a little dust in it but not much since I blew it out about 2 months ago. I blew it out again using a DataVac just to be sure. When doing this I always tape the fans and get in all the nooks and crannies, including inside the PSU as much as I can get it. I count to make sure I get all the tape off the fans. The GPUs don't physically appear damaged but I can't see under the shroud and heatsinks too well.

 

With the GPUs removed I turned the computer on. It powered on calmly so I let it sit for about 20 seconds and never smelled anything weird, whereas before it was within a couple seconds. I shut it down again and plugged up my monitor, running an HDMI cable to the motherboard, just to see what was happening. It boots into Windows just fine. Might be one or both of the GPUs but PC hardware is tricky so I'll wait for further instruction. I'm like 90% certain the smell was coming from one or both of the GPUs though.


Edited by zxcymn, 24 July 2018 - 04:39 PM.

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#6
phillpower2

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Thanks for the update and good work on the additional troubleshooting steps that you have also carried out  :thumbsup:

 

A great PSU the Corsair HX850 but being seven years old I would give run a couple of checks on it to see how it looks, the checks are only basic as the computer and PSU will not be under any load but at the same time something glaringly obvious may flag up, checking the temps and voltages in the BIOS will always give you more accurate results but likewise the computer and PSU will not be under any load.

 

With the GPUs still removed can you do the following for us;

 


Download [url="http://www.filehippo...load_speedfan/"]Speedfan[/url] and install it.  Once it's installed, run the program and post here the information it shows.  The information I want you to post is the stuff that is circled in the example picture I have attached.

If you are running on a vista machine, please go to where you installed the program and run the program as administrator.

 

speedfan.png

(this is a screenshot from a vista machine)

 

So that we have a comparison to Speedfan, download, run and grab a screenshot of HWMonitor (free).

 

To capture and post a screenshot;

 

Click on the ALT key + PRT SCR key..its on the top row..right hand side..now click on start...all programs...accessories...paint....left click in the white area ...press CTRL + V...click on file...click on save...save it to your desktop...name it something related to the screen your capturing... BE SURE TO SAVE IT AS A .JPG ...otherwise it may be to big to upload... Click on the More Reply Options tab then after typing in any response you have... click on Choose File...desktop...find the screenshot..select it and click on Attach This File...on the lower left...after it says upload successful...click on add reply like you normally would.

 

Screenshot instructions are provided to assist those that may read this topic but are not yet aware of the “how to”.

 

You are welcome btw  :)


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