Weird Power Problem with PC

I know my PC is getting power, yet it does not properly boot up. All the peripherals get power, and a little yellow light on the mother board is on. However, it seems to be stuck in sleep mode. I tried cutting the power and restarted. However, whenever I hit the on switch, the machine briefly flickers to life (cathode tubes light up, fans start spinning), but in less than a second it dies and goes back into “coma mode.”

Some background. My PC has been having trouble coming out of sleep mode for some time. 1/3 of the time it does so with no problem, another 1/3 of the time it does so and something needs to get closed (like Superfetch or Windows Defender), and the last 1/3 of the time it will either blue screen or none the less need to restart. This has not been a big problem for me, usually I just leave a program running to prevent sleep mode or just turn it off. Last night I forget to do so, and this morning I discovered the problem.

So, I am a bit clueless right now. Yes, I tried turning it off and on again. The PC has not been hooked up to the internet for 2 weeks so I doubt virus. I am just not sure what can cause a near total shutdown like that.

I’ve had plenty of systems that had trouble with S3 sleep mode but never one that would refuse a cold boot after cutting the power. Your motherboard might have a defective component, or perhaps some residual charge remains in the wrong capacitors after the failed wake-up.

If you do manage to reboot your system… may I suggest simply turning off sleep mode in the Windows power options?

I had this, and it turned out to be a blown power supply. Specifically, I suspect that one of the supplemental rails that supplied power to the video card was burned out by plugging both adapter leads for a Radeon 5500 into the same outgoing wire inadvertently.

The solution was getting a new power supply. I think that I’ve decided at this point to just keep a spare around to test for this sort of thing.

Due to the way the PC was assembled, replacing the PSU is a big deal. I wiring was done to be kept out of the way, so I’d have to remove some components. It would be a weekend project at least.

However, if it really is some ghost in the MoBo, I might be able to exorcise it by removing the CMOS, or the motherboard battery. I’ve never done that before, but a PSU failing overnight when I was gaming fairly intensively beforehand strikes me as unlikely, even with the similar symptoms. Brian, did you PSU die soon after the jury rigged wiring, or did it take a longer amount of time? The only hardware I changed recently have been a new CPU fan and some externals (including a hard drive).

If it’s the capacitors thing, couldn’t you unplug it from power source, then wait an hour or so for the capacitors to bleed empty again?

Yes, that should help if that’s indeed the case.

I tried this. Turned the PC power off from the PSU and unplugged it and let it sit for several hours. At first I thought I had made progress as the PC started running and stayed on. However, the monitor kept flickering on and off and after about 15 to 20 seconds it powered down again. Peripherals went off.

I tried again, and this time it actually booted and stayed on for several minutes. Then it died. I tried again this morning, but it died pretty quickly again.

So, I am leaning towards a new PSU now.

And 2 months later I finally picked one up, and would like some advice.

It was on sale at Best Buy where I had some gift cards and while I am not looking forward to messing around inside my tower, I decided to I had delayed long enough.

So, it is a Thermaltake tr2 600W for $80. My old PSU was 550W, so I wanted a bit more power. While Thermaltake is not a name brand, it does come with a 5 year warranty, which is probably more time than I will keep my current desktop.


Thermaltake’s actually a decent enough brand for a lot of components, and other TR2 models are reviewing extremely well (4-4.5 stars) on Newegg. . . one (the 430W model) has something like 2400 reviews! Assuming they have any consistency whatsoever across the product line, you should be in good shape.