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System turns on, but cuts out after 20 seconds.

Last Modified: 2010-04-25
To sum it all up,
the system turns on, but i get no video signal, and after about 20 seconds the system cuts out. It randomly started before when i had no power whatsoever, which was then fixed by replacing the PSU.

My motherboard is a biostar N4SLI-A9, (for more detailed system specs go here: https://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/WishList/WishDetail.asp?position=HISTORY&ID=1802414&WishListTitle=Am+I+Missing+Anything%3F )

The origional PSU i had was a 500W Antec Smart Power 2.0, then i replaced it with a 350W Antec Smart Power 2.0

uh, if you need an extremely detailed account of what happened, go here: http://dvdrom-guide.com/forums/showthread.php?p=77949 
Watch Question

What else do you have on your system?

If you are running dual video cards, a 350W is kind of pushing power budget there. It's recommended to get a power supply that has dual 12V rails and at least 20A per rail.


Its got:
BIOSTAR N4SLI-A9 Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
PNY VCG6600GXPB Geforce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Venice 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Processor Model ADA3200BPBOX - Retail
Update       gigaram 512MB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered System Memory Model GR1DD8T-512/400/OE - OEM
HITACHI Deskstar 7K80 HDS728080PLA380 -0A30356 80GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

So 1 videocard, and "The origional PSU i had was a 500W Antec Smart Power 2.0" and the guy at CompUSA told me it had the dual 12V rails
Top Expert 2006

hi Thuh_Granantlet,

I'm inclined to agree with mr-busta about your power supply

try this online calculator for an idea of how much you need to run your system...you'll have to add watts for the dual video card..and you may outspec some components,  remember it's just a low estimate.



Well, i had a 500W PSU with dual 12v rails, a 100$ antec powersupply.

Anyway, with this 350W one, it cuts out even though i unplugged most of the unnecessary stuff.
So, it was still cutting out, when all i had in was the CPU, the RAM, and the video card.

the heatsync was below room temp, so probbably not the heatsync, the PSU was brand new, so probbably not that, the videocard and the ram? i dont think those would cause a problem. so that leaves the mobo as the problem.

Ah my videocard isnt on that list, (i have the GeForce 6600GT, so i put in the 6800 vanilla) and my recommended minimum power supply is 252 watts.

Top Expert 2006


You could try diagnostics on ram and cpu
just to rule them out...

RAM - www.memtest86.com
CPU - Prime95 http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft.htm

you could pop in another video card ..if same...you can rule out your geforce

so what's left?

it looks like you may be right about the motherboard.
have you checked the capacitors? www.badcaps.com (photo examples)

Before you get more into it............
Remove and re-seat your RAM and CPU.
Replace the thermal compound betwen the CPU and heatsink while you are at it.
And, as said, get a more powerful power supply.
Top Expert 2006

BTW-i based my psu comment earlier on dual video cards, of which you only have one.  your usage is close considering a margin of error, and if you're gaming, it's questionable, but 350w really could be on the low end. As, I indicated earlier, if all components check out (ram,cpu, video card) I would just test with a more powerful psu before you scrap (or RMA, if under warranty) your board.


But see, i had a 500W one before this, and that didnt work either.
I just want this this power supply to make it stay on, but it doesnt even stay on with only the mobo, the cpu, the videocard, and the ram in. Thats all i have plugged in right now. And it cuts out still, after 20 seconds. 350W has got to be enough to power the mobo, ram, cpu, and the videocard. Especially with dual 12v rails...

Top Expert 2006
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Top Expert 2006

my last comment<<since the psu's power is questionable
it wouldn't be questionable (in the sense of enough power) for the configuration you have now, but could be faulty
is it likely 2 psu's in a row are faulty? probably not
the suggestion was just for the sake of conclusiveness

Im almost sure that its the MB,It happend to me when my PSU burnout it killed my MB so try all other hardware that u have on other MB, If it works its fine.


Ah, i dont have another mobo with an SATA header, do you have any other ideas for testing it?


Another question:
If the mobo is faulty, i will need to RMA it, is this a complex thing?
Or is it really simple?
In either case, how do I do it?
Top Expert 2006

usually simple, depends on the company
instructions at link below
Top Expert 2006

hi Thuh_Granantlet, just checking to see if you resolved your problem...did you rma the board?


ah, i have the rma numbers, but i'm not sure how to put in the proof of purchase (invoice)
i said rma numberS because I called biostar, and then i used my name, but my dad bought it. So then I got another one through newegg. Problem: Different shipping locations...the one with my name is in sou-cal, but the one w/ my dad is farther away (east coast, i think) so it'd cost more, so i need to call them tomorrow


if you're wondering about the points, i'll award them when I get the board back, and everything works. Just to make sure. (I'll update the point value to the whatever I have, so you get points for your patience :) )
Top Expert 2006

Thuh Granantlet, no, it's not necessarily the points..I'm just checking back on open questions, and would genuinely like to know the outcome. I like to hear positive outcomes.

Best of luck!
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