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When it gets colder, this PC will stop before it posts - black screen, power supply fan blowing. The colder it gets, the more consistent the behavior is. If I power cycle at that point, it boots fine with no issues thereafter. I've reseated all connections & flashed the BIOS to no avail. EE was never my strong suit, but I wonder if it's a weak power supply?

In any case, I'm wondering if anyone has troubleshooting ideas (short of swapping out parts) to help me get to the bottom of it. It's more of a challenge than a crucial issue, since the system has no other problems.

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Have you tested your memory yet? – Moab Oct 4 '10 at 2:25
@Moab I should've mentioned that - yes, the RAM came up clean. – Kara Marfia Oct 4 '10 at 2:28
You could try freeze spray on the system while it's running. Spray it on various components one at a time until you get a failure. – Dennis Williamson Oct 4 '10 at 4:37
Definitely do NOT go around spraying cold on various running parts... That is a recipe for horrible trouble. Why? Try opening your dish washer and take out an extremely hot glass and then pour in a ton of ice and water. – Trevor Boyd Smith May 16 '11 at 13:06
It does, indeed, sound like a good way to trigger a failure in a part. Permanently. ;) – Kara Marfia May 17 '11 at 13:06
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I've experienced this myself, and as far as I could tell, it was caused by poor grounding to the case combined with the CMOS battery not supplying power to the RTC (for whatever reason). I never found a definitive solution, and I'm not too concerned about it since I upgraded to a new motherboard. I still have the system, but I rarely power it down, so I don't experience the boot problem.

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I'll check out the grounding, and I suppose dropping a buck or two on a new CMOS battery would be worth possibly solving this puzzle. Thanks! – Kara Marfia Oct 4 '10 at 2:27

As a first troubleshot, I may want to read what does the specs of the power supply says about "Minimal Working Temperature".

If you are switching off the power strip after use, try to leave it on to see if can stay warm on "standby power consumption" ... last thing, check the outlet fuse.

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