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Need Help!

Level 7
So I have been having an issue over the last month that I can't seem to figure out. Every now and then while playing a game or streaming Netflix my computer will randomly shut off. Cannot turn it back on unless I do a power drain by switching off the PSU and holding the power button.

I thought it might be due to heat so I got a bigger case, more fans, and an AIO water system. No dice. Maybe it was the PSU failing, tried it in my wifes computer and it worked fine. Threw a friends 700W into my rig and same issue. The CPU was the last thing I could think of. I launched Prime95 and let it run for just over 13hrs with no problems.

Problem disappeared for about a week and a half then all of a sudden I am having it again. Systems logs don't show anything out of the ordinary either.

Any help at this point is more than welcome as I am completely lost :confused:

Level 14
First and foremost, it could be time for a new CMOS battery. Maybe a quick and cheap fix, doesn't hurt to try it before mucking around with everything else.
Korth wrote:
Check your mobo "CMOS" battery with a voltmeter. It might be dead/dying (even if "new" from the ASUS factory), it might simply be improperly installed or misaligned within its socket and making poor electrical contact. Generic CR2032 batteries can be purchased in 3-packs at your local dollar store and (in this application) should last around 2 years (anywhere from 18 to 30 months). Premium CR2032 batteries (branded by Duracell, Energizer, Panasonic, Sony, etc) can cost $5-$20 each and do pack higher mAh capacities, they might last up to 3 years (say 30-36 months) or a little longer. All CR2032 batteries are built with the same internal chemistry and have a shelf-life of around 5 years. Counterintuitively, the "best" CR2032 batteries are usually found at the dollar stores simply because they sell and restock so often, they're always "fresher" while the ones found at Wal-Mart and specialty/electronics stores get "stale" sitting in warehouses/shelves for months or years between stock orders. A new CR2032 can push over 3.2V, a dying one under 2.8V. A weak or dying mobo battery can cause all sorts of frustrating and "random" intermittent errors which appear unrelated and difficult to troubleshoot.

Perhaps you're inadvertently hitting a Sleep/Power button on your keyboard?

It's possible the wires from your Power/Reset switches (or even the entire ASUS CVFZ Q-Connector block) have somehow wiggled loose or been connected improperly. They're usually labelled. Confirm correct pinout with the CVFZ user manual. You can also confirm the wires and switches function properly with a DMM. Also:
Confirm your mobo ATX power connectors (24-pin EATXPWR and 8-pin EATX12V) have firm contact. They sometimes loosen after cables get wiggled around during hardware installs; they can also loosen from movement, vibration, and heat within the chassis. Individual pins can sometimes loosen (and be repaired through some bending/pinching with pliers) after many insert/remove cycles. Individual wires (or their solder points) can become frayed or damaged in subtle ways invisible without close scrutiny when they're bent or twisted or stretched or kinked too severely; their insulation can be cut or punctured when forced around/through sharp metal edges within the chassis.

You might have ground faults or open shorts in your chassis. Make sure everything (especially the PSU and mobo) are electrically connected to a common ground (usually the chassis metal).

Your 650W PSU and your friend's 700W PSU might not be enough for your system, especially if they're getting older and weaker. Your FX-6350 is rated 125W, your RX 480 is rated 150W. Both will suck more (much more) if overclocked, and both lose significant power efficiency (run hotter and heavier) as they age. So I'd say your CPU+GPU need 550W at peak load, before counting chipset (maybe 25W from 990FX, SB950, and addons) and memory and drives and peripherals, etc. Not a lot of overhead at peak load. None at all (something will power-throttle) if you're overclocking.

You might be suffering from electrical issues at your wall receptacle. Surges, spikes, brownouts, line noise, whatever. If so, you should get an electrician to fix it if you can or get some sort of power conditioner, line filter, battery UPS, or PSU upgrade if you can't. Simplest way to test (for the non-electrical minded) would be to plug your PC into another outlet in another building which is known to be clean and stable: if you're still getting random shutdowns then you can rule this possibility out.

I see a variety of 750W Silver/Gold PSUs on sale at for under $100. More watts is obvious, and I'd recommend about 750W for your system to ensure it runs stable now plus at least five more years. "80 Plus Silver" (or Gold, or better) ensures better design, build quality, and part selections. "Active PFC" and ">16ms Hold Time" are very useful (and even help reduce your bill) on dirty/unreliable electrical service. Warranty period is going to be at least 3 years on any kind of half-decent PSU, 5 years if they're highly confident in their product, 7-10 years on the best of the best. Any PSU which specifies an EPS12V rating (and some promise of working in 50C "server/enterprise environments") is going to be built with steady reliability in mind. Modular (full or semi) is entirely optional, it makes cable management much cleaner and easier. All of these things are worth paying a little extra but not worth breaking the bank.

Clear CMOS (after noting down anything important, lol). Update to latest BIOS, if you haven't already. Repair or reinstall your WinOS (clean, if you can), or at least reinstall your drivers and run full anti-virus and anti-malware scans to ensure no compromised/malicious software is causing the fault.

It seems unlikely to be caused by thermal alarms (running in firmware or software) because things must suddenly exceed all the lesser alarm thresholds to force instant shutdown. You can always repaste in case your old TIM has cooked off, but I don't recommend ripping things apart (and possibly causing new problems or breaking things that work) until existing problems have been identified and fixed, lol.

The Windows Performance Monitor (built into Win7/8/10) automatically runs all the time and automatically logs every trivial thing that Windows doesn't like. It will certainly note any sudden shutdown events (and perhaps helpfully identify the device or process which invoked them) along with any finicky issues reported or detected on subsequent startups. The logs are often filled with useless info, but now and then a real timesaver. You can always download another performance monitor if WPM doesn't work for you.
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