Turning off my computer is a gamble these days, and the risk is higher and higher every time. For Spring Break I took it with me to visit my family and I haven't been able to get it to start since coming back home on Easter. I turn it on and it beeps at me a few times and then shuts off.
So here are the details:
I have an Abit AX8 K8T890 motherboard
. It has two LED digits that show what it's doing when it starts up. The numbers and codes and their meaning can be found here: Award BIOS POST Codes
When the computer is off, the digits show 0.0. When I turn it on it starts going through some numbers at the bottom of the codes list on that site I linked. It goes through a couple really fast, but I manage to see 8.3. then it flashes FF then just 2. for about a second. Then it goes to 8.3. then 8.b. and that's where it stays until it beeps a few times, flashes FF and sits on 2. for half a second then goes back to 0.0.
So the strange thing is that it seems to shut itself down during the bootup process when it goes to F.F. then 2. for a second before resuming the POST codes. In fact, even the fans and hard drives and anything that was making noise goes silent (unpowered) while it is showing the 2.
There's also a red LED on the motherboard that lights up when the system is on, and it turns off during that second.
So I'm wondering exactly what the post code means. Since 8.b. means "AGP voltage ready" does it mean that it shuts down on 8.b. because that's where it failed, or did it successfully complete 8.b. and get stuck on the next part of the POST? The next part would logically be "8.C. - 3VDUAL voltage ready" if it goes in order.
So I guess my question is, is it failing at 8.b. or at 8.c.?
To me, 8.b. doesn't make much sense because my motherboard doesn't have an AGP slot. So unless it's talking about some other kind of AGP, that doesn't make any sense at all for that to be failing.
But if it's 8.c., and the 3V DUAL voltage is failing, I guess that could make sense. If it's a power issue that could explain why it seems to have a temporary power failure in the middle of booting up, and could also explain why it only happens when I shut the computer down.
Eventually I've been able to get it to start by trying lots of times and wiggling wires around inside, but I'm not sure if I just got lucky when it started or if the wire wiggling made any difference. This time, though, I haven't been able to get it started since I began trying on Tuesday.
As for troubleshooting: I've cleared the CMOS, I've removed everything but CPU and PSU (and mobo of course) and it still has the problem. I just got the PSU last year when the last one failed. One concern I have, but I'm not sure how much of an issue it is, is that this PSU is only 350 watt and my old one was 400w or 450w. This problem has been happening sporadically over several months and I'm not really sure when it began. It is possible it began when I got this PSU but I can't say for sure.
When it first started up, I'd usually only see the problem happen if the power went out. i.e. If there was a complete interruption of power. I'd usually just have to unplug and replug the power cord and flick the power switch to get it to start up again. But lately (as in the past few months) if the power goes out or I turn off the surge protector due to going on an extended trip, it will take hours to get up again. This last time, days, and it's still not up.