Computer Down

After a morning of playing around in Draenor, I went off to do other things, leaving my computer sitting idle.

I came back a while later to find it off and unable to power up.  I figured it was probably the power supply, as the whole thing had been making some odd, high pitched noises when I started up that morning.

I ran down to Fry’s and picked up a new power supply, took the old one out, blew out all the dust bunnies while I was there, installed the new one and… nothing.

Well, not nothing.

The unit starts to power up.  The fan on power supply starts to spin for a second, and then everything stops, save two LED on the motherboard.

Motherboard lights...

Motherboard lights… yellow and green

I have been digging around to find out what that might mean for a Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R motherboard, but haven’t had any luck.  I opened a ticket with Gigabyte, but I do not expect they will get back to me quickly during a holiday week.

I have pulled everything out, pared down the motherboard to the bare minimums, and no change in behavior.  Then I put everything back, piece by piece again, and still no luck.  The power supply looks good (I went out and got a second one just to make sure it wasn’t the first one I bought) and various components such as RAM or the video card or the various fans have no effect on the status, so I am at a loss as to what to try next at the moment.  This is, of course, made more difficult by not being able to use my computer to look things up.

I hate to chuck the lot, but I am not sure I can pare this down to what needs to be replaced.  Just a new motherboard seems like a possibility, but then I thought just a new power supply was all I would need a few hours back.

Anyway, there will likely be a dearth of posts as there won’t be much video game playing while I work on this.  Not the way I wanted to start a week’s vacation.

15 thoughts on “Computer Down

  1. zaphod6502

    Do the usual Wilhelm. Remove a RAM sticks in turn, reseat cards, blow out dust, etc. It’s had a good innings though assuming you bought this motherboard back in 2010 when this model was released. Also this has a dual-BIOS so you might want to try that if it is a BIOS corruption.


  2. Helena Khan

    I had a bracket on an after market cooler break. Heard the thunk, but didn’t know what exactly it was. It shut down, and when I rebooted saw a very quick error message and down it went. Again.

    About the third or fourth attempt I actually managed to see what was flashing up so very briefly. Overtemp alarm…. uh-oh….

    Wasn’t till I opened it up and saw the cooler hanging off the mobo that I realized what the sound was. And yes. It’s well and truly puckered.

    Not sure yet if it’s “just” the chip… In any case, good luck….


  3. Pia

    Eep! I am just finishing vacation today – and I would have been well and truly unhappy had my computer died at the beginning. I can loan you my laptop =)


  4. Stropp

    Just a suggestion, get yourself a power supply tester. I bought one about a year ago for around $45 Australian. It’s probably cheaper than running out and buying a new PS when something goes wrong, especially if it’s not the PS.

    And if you are finding your power supplies are dying regularly, it’s probably the electricity supply in your area. You can mitigate that with a UPS. A surge protector only catches surges but a UPS protects against low power conditions too (which can be more damaging.)


  5. Adam

    Oh man, I feel for you so much – start of week off and computer goes down. The only explanation is that you’ve angered the computer gods in some way.


  6. wowstorylines

    Computer problems are always a pain in the backside and to have it go down when you’re just starting vacation is really awful. Good luck in getting it fixed soon. *hugs*


  7. bhagpuss

    Hope you get it sorted out in time to enjoy most of your week off. I’ve had all kinds of minor issues with mine and Mrs Bhagpuss’s over the last few weeks. Both the PCs are getting kind of elderly but I’m trying to last till the Spring before replacing one or both.

    All of the issues have eventually been resolved by my fiddling about but if I’m honest even after I’ve fixed a problem I’m not always entirely clear what particular action I took that made the difference. If I couldn’t get online to google stuff I wouldn’t even know where to start because everything I ever learned about the inside of a PC goes straight out of my head within a day or two of the problem going away so I always have to start over from scratch.

    Of course, because I’m a pack rat by nature, we have several old PCs lurking around the house plus two laptops so the only thing that would knock us completely offline would be the power company or our ISP going down.


  8. SynCaine

    This is what happens when you play WoW…

    Really tough break; when I came back from vacation one time my liquid cooling had dried up in the pipes, had to rip the whole thing out. Not fun.

    Email me if you want to buy a new machine from a shop.


  9. Jack Dancer

    Bummer. Mysterious computer problems always are mysterious.

    Mine started spontaneously re-booting a few months ago. That usually (at least in my non-techy mind) means too much heat somewhere (the fans had been sounding weird). So I took off the side panel and tried running things. Still re-booting. Next was to grab a table fan and blow air into the side of the computer. That worked! It’s still in this configuration and runs fine.

    This is the same computer that, when I bought a new video board to play Eve in even a prettier mode, didn’t have enough juice from the cheap stock power supply. So I went to Best Buy to get a bigger one. I had the stats for the power that the video board needed and showed them to the salesman. He grabbed a box and said, “This power supply will run anything you have in your computer.”

    At that point I should have remembered the old joke about the difference between a used car salesman and a computer salesman – the used car salesman knows when he’s lying to you…

    I took it home and of course it didn’t work. Took it back and went to Frys where they had a better selection and paid attention to the requirements. That power supply/video card combo has been fine for several years now.

    Good luck with your investigations!


  10. Chris

    A few years ago my dad (who was in my guild at the time) and I were mid-raid, Firelands I think, when I heard a series of loud pops, followed by smoke and little fireballs shooting out the back of my power supply. My computer went dead (no shit, fire is a bad sign) and the smell of burning electrical equipment filled the room. We ran to Fry’s, bought and installed a new PS, and everything worked fine – finished the raid no problem. Made for a good story :)

    If your comp isn’t POSTing (you don’t get the flash screen telling you about your motherboard) it can only be the power supply or the mobo. None of the other components come into play until after POST, making troubleshooting at that stage pretty easy. You’re most likely well out of warranty if it’s 4 years old, so you’ll probably need a new one, unfortunately. Unless you’re an overclocker or run multiple video cards you can get a really solid mobo for less than 100 bucks – don’t bother with the more expensive options if you don’t need them, they won’t make any difference at all in performance. Good luck!


  11. tsuhelm

    HOPE its fixed by now…er hope you have a great vacation :)
    My wife’s computer was dealt what I thought was a mortal blow last weekend (from her!), it unseated the MB and even the cable mounting at the back…3 rebuilds later and it fired up again…phew!


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