Computer Woes

As if moving apartment wasn’t stressful enough, my PC decided it wanted to break on me. Thanks computer, thanks a bunch. It’s only 18 months old and has been giving me grief for the past six. Is it too much to ask for a computer that just works and runs nicely?

A few months ago, my PC started having trouble booting and wouldn’t POST if it had been off for less than a few hours. Very strange indeed.Three weeks ago, however, I replaced the PSU with a sexy Corsair 650W one and it seemed to fix it completely. I was able to power off and on to my heart’s content and, suffice to say, I was incredibly relieved and very happy. Until two days ago.

On Sunday evening, after being out of the room for a while, I returned to find that my PC had restarted on me. The Windows Event Viewer reported a 6008 error – unexpected shutdown – but mentioned nothing else. It then ran fine the rest of the evening. Yesterday, however, my computer restarted twice and tonight it’s just done it again.

There’s no BSOD and the machine seems to shut off and then attempt to turn on again rather than restart. I say this because (what I assume is the CPU fan) whirls very noisily for a few seconds before it POSTs and it doesn’t do this on a normal restart. Also, yesterday after one of the restarts, it failed to POST and had to attempt to power back on twice automatically (it turned off during the first fan whirl and then powered on the second time).

It’s all very bizarre and highly annoying. If it hadn’t been for the fact that it has a brand spanking new PSU, I would’ve assumed that was the culprit. Right now I’m thinking it’s the motherboard but honestly I guess it could be anything.

So this is my plea for knowledge from all you geeks out there. Anyone got any clues? In the words of Princess Leia, “help me Obi-geek-Kenobis, you’re my only hope”.

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26 Comments

  1. Mark Arndt Loenquist says:

    Checked the GPU tempature? Download GPU-Z and check it out, might need a new fan or a whole new card.

    My PC started to do the same thing (restarting without warning etc), and I replaced the fan. No problems since then and a lot less noise (and LOWWWWEERR temps!)

    But for now, check it.

  2. Tipa says:

    It really sounds like a case of overheating. Check your CPU fan. The temperature doesn’t look all that high but it really does sound like overheating nonetheless.

  3. Longasc says:

    My GeForce runs at 60 normal and goes up to 91°C at times, no reason to worry. It can even exceed 100 according to the specs.

    I blame it on either
    1.) the mainboard (cold soldering point, capillary crack, …)
    2.) memory (can always be, but does not seem likely to me, judging from the symptoms)

    I strongly suspect the motherboard is the real culprit. I hate such stuff, it is something you have to find out yourself, tech support often takes ages, often does not find out anything and usually demands a lot of money. And yours seems to be a home made system anyways, and I know no computer shop who is good enough to fix such things and demands a reasonable price. And usually you can do stuff like this yourself if you can put together the parts anyways.

    Ironically, this is why I now order notebooks mostly over the net – you have 14 days to give back the thing, without having to give a reason. They have a right to keep some of your money, but most stop this if you say you will then buy somewhere else. :P

    Tell your motherbook you will send it to me if this weird shit happens again. You know how Germans freak out if their system does not run: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AedhvS7pG0

    • Gordon says:

      I don’t want to put it into a shop. I’d much rather fix it myself as, to be honest, apart from swapping in and out parts, I’m not sure they would have a clue what was wrong with it either. The time and expense can be a real pain too.

      I think it’s the MB too unfortunately which is a shame cause it’s the hardest piece to replace.

  4. I keep a small desk fan by my tower for problems like this. When something slows down or restarts, I turn the knob and never have another problem.

    I’m also cheap and don’t feel like finding, buying, or installing a new cooling system for my dinosaur.

  5. Ogrebears says:

    It sound like something overheating, but the temps you gave are not hot enought to cause that.

    It could be the power supply is getting to hot. (If you can figure out which fan is spinning really fast before the computer shut down that might point out what is over heating).

  6. SmakenDahed says:

    Not to pour salt in open wounds… okay, maybe a pinch… but I’ve got two systems at home running successfully for 3 and 5 years now. Only just started having issues with the older machine which was due to the video card’s fan dying – replaced the video card and all is well again.

    Enough with the salt. Isn’t a 650w PSU a little low for a more recent system?

  7. LaminatedSmore says:

    I have had the same problem as you, although I have no idea if there is the same cause. A short while ago, my computer would restart randomly maybe once every two days, just from basic stuff like internet + word. If I tried to play a game, it would restart within 5 minutes.

    I got a friend to fix it, and I think they said it was overheating :) But I can’t really remember, so I’m not much help to you :P

  8. Jharek says:

    I had a similar problem for a few weeks after I moved house over the summer – frequent enough to be annoying; rare enough to not be arsed to fix – until I finally took things apart to nail it down: A SATA cable attached to a disk had cracked across the horizontal axis (but not fully snapped off) and other wires around it were pressing slightly and disconnecting it randomly. For want of a nail, the kingdom was lost…

    Unlikely to be the same in your case, but you get the idea – A CSI-fine-toothcomb check of all the cheap but important wires and connecters might throw some light on it, especially before shelling out for a new mobo etc.

  9. Hi Gordon,

    I had the same problem about six months ago. Same error message, same behaviors, same everything right down to it following a move, except I’m running a 260GTX. The minimum power requirement on the card was 550 watts and my PSU was 650, so I thought for sure that wouldn’t be the problem.

    As I researched the symptoms, I found out that the 6008 error and refusal to post can also be caused by a faulty or dying motherboard battery but you can usually tell that’s the issue because your computers time will start to be off.

    Since you recently moved, try this before anything else: find the CMOS battery on your motherboard and reseat it. It’s possible the vibrations typical to moving may have shaken it a bit too much. Your computer is too new for it to be dying out, I would think.

    If that doesn’t work, try to disconnect any peripherals you have working with the computer; dvd drive, second hard drive, USB devices, unhook them all. They all use minimal amounts of power but if it works after unhooking them all, you know that it’s a power issue. Sometimes card companies (XFX as evidenced by my card’s power rating) will underrate the required wattage on a card to sell more copies of it. It’s crappy but that’s how it goes.

    Hope it helps. Since I did the above, it got rid of the problem and I thought for sure I’d have to buy a new motherboard.

    - Chris

    • Gordon says:

      I haven’t actually moved my computer it. It moves tomorrow! So unfortunately that can’t explain the issue. It just started happening for no reason which is really weird.

      I’ll certainly try what you suggested though and see if that fixes it. Thanks!

  10. Qutazs says:

    When I think about it, when I was 14 I had a PC which restarted randomly aswell.. Thankfully, the guarantee still covered it, so I sent it in for repair and they replaced the MB – Worked with no problems after that :p

    I wouldn’t say its hard to replace the MB, it’s just that it takes the most work / time :)

    But GL finding the solution! (It was the GPU fan I replaced ;) – Answer to the earlier question you asked me)

  11. hegemon says:

    Shame you’re over on the east coast or I could have helped you out.

  12. [...] readers will know that my PC has been acting up on me for some time. Back in March it decided it wouldn’t boot if it had been on previously within the past 4 [...]

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