PC I built 5 years ago won't turn on, help me diagnose it?

nedney

Member
Jan 5, 2007
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My rig that I built in 2013 (with assistance from some very helpful people on this forum) had run like a dream until the other morning, when I turned it on and heard a strange *POP* sound. Since then it has not turned on at all. Per this r/buildapc thread, I had been advised that the PSU had likely blown out, which I confirmed using the paperclip test. Thus, I ordered a new PSU. However, after confirming it functioned properly using the same test and installing it, the PC still would not turn on. However, the CPU fan does spin a quarter-turn when I press the power button.

Therefore, it appears that my motherboard has gone out as well, but I want to get some other opinions here before I buy a new one. The core components from the PC are as follows:

-Intel Core i5-3570K Quad-Core Processor 3.4 GHz 4 Core LGA 1155
-MSI Computer Corp. DDR3 1600 Intel LGA 1155 Motherboards (Z77MA-G45)
-Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB kit (4GBx2) DDR3-1600 1.5V 240-Pin UDIMM
-PC Power & Cooling ModXStream Pro Series 600 Watt 80+ Semi-Modular Active PFC Performance Grade ATX PC Power Supply (held over from my previous PC, purchased in 2011)

Is there any way to test my motherboard without getting a whole new one? Is it possible/likely that a different component (CPU, RAM, etc) has gone out instead (or as well)? Finally, if I do need another motherboard, are there any recommendations based on the above specs? I am thinking about doing some upgrades anyway, or eventually building a whole new rig in time for Cyberpunk 2077, so that may factor into what I decide to do.

Any and all advice or recommendations are welcome and appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

Malogeek

Golden Member
Mar 5, 2017
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It's more likely the motherboard is dead as opposed to the CPU. Without compatible spare parts it's not really something you can diagnose.

You could probably pick up an old motherboard very cheap off eBay.
 

nedney

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Jan 5, 2007
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Okay thanks. By any chance do you have any recommendations for a replacement? As I say I'm on the cusp of upgrading/rebuilding but for the time being I'd probably rather keep my same setup with a new motherboard.
 

nedney

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Jan 5, 2007
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Well a board like that wouldn't fit my case anyway (I have a MicroATX), and anyway I'd be looking for a more permanent solution if it is indeed the motherboard that has died. I posted a recommendations request thread here if you have any other suggestions. Thanks.
 

nedney

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Jan 5, 2007
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Because I don't really know anything about which boards are worth getting, so I'd rather get some recommendations from people here who know more about and have experience with particular products.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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Because I don't really know anything about which boards are worth getting
It's not like there's a huge selection, when you're talking about used, obsolete, motherboards. It's not like they were new any more.
 

richaron

Golden Member
Mar 27, 2012
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If you head a "pop" there's likely visual evidence of some component failing. Like gunk leaking or burns around one of the components on the motherboard. If you pull the motherboard out and search closely it might provide an obvious answer.

Whether you need a new system or replacement parts really depends on your usage...
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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Personally, I think the CPU died. I wouldn't bother rebuilding around that same platform. Get a Ryzen.
 

clamum

Lifer
Feb 13, 2003
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Could be the motherboard or CPU I'd say.

I would double, and triple, check that you hooked up the new PSU correctly. Something could be just a little loose and not causing it to start. I've had that happen at least once or maybe twice, when I thought I had everything hooked up and it wouldn't start.

Other than that, yeah it seems like you'd have to swap out parts to diagnose further. I recently had a similar issue with a bad PSU and I contacted a local computer shop (they had good Google/Yelp reviews); they said they'd hook it up and take a look and diagnose it for $50. I thought that was fair, especially since I had no extra stuff to swap out with.
 

nedney

Member
Jan 5, 2007
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Personally, I think the CPU died. I wouldn't bother rebuilding around that same platform. Get a Ryzen.
Yeah I think you may be onto something. I just bought a $30 Intel DH61CR and installed it but it still won't turn on, though an LED on the board does light up when I turn on the PSU. Seems like it may indeed be the CPU, or the RAM.

So it looks like I'll be going the new-build route. One question, though, since it's been a long time since I built a box and I forget some of this stuff: if I get a new motherboard, CPU, and RAM but keep everything else (maybe upgrade my GPU at some point), can that work without me having to reformat my drives, reinstall Windows (I'm using 7 and don't feel like upgrading) and whatever else is usually done on the software side for a newly-built PC? In other words, if I replace only those three core components with all new parts, will I be able to turn on the PC and everything will be the same as how it was, just comparatively faster? Would really not like to go through the rigamarole of doing all that other stuff.

Thanks.https://www.ebay.com/itm/223172768593
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
56,299
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Sadly, no. Not unless you replace the dead board and components, with the same models (CPU can be different).

That said, every successive version of Windows since XP, is getting better and better at surviving a component swap. It will have to go through the driver-install process when you swap boards, however, and you need to make sure that your disk controller drives are set to the MS generic AHCI drivers before the swap, and make sure that the new board is set to AHCI mode in BIOS.

If your BIOS on the old machine is set to RAID, good luck getting it to boot on new hardware, unless it's an Intel platform, and you're just moving to a newer one. In that case, install the newest Intel drivers before the swap.
 

Ketchup

Elite Member
Sep 1, 2002
14,545
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Hi, sorry to hear about your dead system. To answer your last question, you have a better shot of things working if you stay Intel than going AMD. BUT, it going to be quite difficult to run new hardware (Intel or AMD) on Windows 7. The good news is that 10 is still a free upgrade from 7, you just want to prep for the fact that you may have to re-install everything.

What type of drive do you have (hard drive or SSD)?
 

nedney

Member
Jan 5, 2007
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0
76
Sadly, no. Not unless you replace the dead board and components, with the same models (CPU can be different).

That said, every successive version of Windows since XP, is getting better and better at surviving a component swap. It will have to go through the driver-install process when you swap boards, however, and you need to make sure that your disk controller drives are set to the MS generic AHCI drivers before the swap, and make sure that the new board is set to AHCI mode in BIOS.

If your BIOS on the old machine is set to RAID, good luck getting it to boot on new hardware, unless it's an Intel platform, and you're just moving to a newer one. In that case, install the newest Intel drivers before the swap.
Uhhh don't know anything about AHCI (first I've heard of it) but I do know I don't use RAID.

Hi, sorry to hear about your dead system. To answer your last question, you have a better shot of things working if you stay Intel than going AMD. BUT, it going to be quite difficult to run new hardware (Intel or AMD) on Windows 7. The good news is that 10 is still a free upgrade from 7, you just want to prep for the fact that you may have to re-install everything.

What type of drive do you have (hard drive or SSD)?

I have one of each drive type with my OS on the SSD.

So if I do buy new components and put them in with my old drives, assuming it won't actually transition smoothly, what will happen when I turn it on? Just a screwy boot attempt?

OR or or or... what if I just bought a new SSD, did a fresh install of 7 on that, and plugged in my old SSD and HD? Presumably I'd still be able to find all my files, right? It's nothing major because pretty much all my important stuff is on Dropbox, but there are a few personal things that aren't which I'd like to salvage.
 

Ketchup

Elite Member
Sep 1, 2002
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Yea, you can buy another drive, or do a fresh install on your SSD and remove the old installation (not much more than deleting the old folders after the fact and editing msconfig). Just remember windows 7 does not support some of the latest chipsets, so if you feel that you really need to keep 7, do your homework and make sure you pick a motherboard with a compatible chipset.
 

nedney

Member
Jan 5, 2007
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Yea, you can buy another drive, or do a fresh install on your SSD and remove the old installation (not much more than deleting the old folders after the fact and editing msconfig). Just remember windows 7 does not support some of the latest chipsets, so if you feel that you really need to keep 7, do your homework and make sure you pick a motherboard with a compatible chipset.
Ahh yes this is an important thing to keep in mind, thanks for pointing it out.
 

Flayed

Senior member
Nov 30, 2016
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If you're happy with the performance of your system you can get similar performance from a Ryzen 2200G.