I've been having quite some unsettling issues with my desktop recently In the last 6 months up until now I've had an alarmingly growing rate of malfunctions.

In chronological order:

  • RAM started cutting out, wouldn't show full amount of RAM on system info. (Disappeared until today's return)
  • BSOD's regarding RAM (Frequent)
  • On boot will start up, power down and restart 1-3 times before completing boot-up. (Permanent)
  • CPU Fan malfunction, no longer starts on its own and needs a manual kickstart. (Recent, permanent)
  • Total CPU Fan malfunction, no longer operates, even after manual kickstart. (Recent, permanent)
  • Harddrives cutting out, 4 out of 6 no longer showing in Windows. States they are corrupt or wrong file format and need a formatting. (Note: The only drives not cutting out are SSD's on SATA6 chip) (Just now)

All of these issues lead me to a motherboard malfunction. I doubted up until 4 drives just decided to be inaccessible after a few hours.

My current PC specs:

  • OS: Windows 8 64-bit (6.2, Build 9200) Case: Cooler Master HAF 932
  • Motherboard: ASUS Rampage III Extreme
  • RAM: Corsair Dominator 6GB DDR3-1600 CL8 kit (3x2GB)
  • CPU: Intel Core i7 960 (@ Factory clock) CPU Fan: Scythe Mugen 2 Rev. B
  • GPU: 2x SLI MSI N580GTX Lightning
  • Soundcard: Asus ROG Xonar Phoebus SSD: 2x OCZ Agility 3 120GB
  • HDD: 2x RAID0 Seagate Barracuda 1TB, 2x RAID0 250GB 7200rpm WD
  • PSU: Corsair TX950W

The total computer is about 3 years old, except for the older, smaller hard drives which came from my desktop before that. This desktop was built myself.

Troubleshooting steps taken:

  • Tons of reboots
  • RAM re-positioned, connectors cleaned
  • Newest BIOS installed
  • Motherboard reset
  • Fan cleaned and serviced with contact spray Fan power socket swapped Checked if cables were properly connected
  • Cut power from computer entirely, gave capacitors a chance to empty, restarted.
  • Reverted BIOS to factory settings.

I'm at the point of losing sanity right now. Everything is dying and I have no clue why it is or how I prevent it. I do not have the budget to splurge on replacements parts since I'm a student and this desktop was a hefty investment for long-term use. Now I'm looking for input to help pinpoint and hopefully resolve the problem. I will happily take any suggestions!


RAM failing, frequent RAM related BSOD's, CPU fan failing, 4/6 hard drives inaccessible. Prime suspect = faulty motherboard.

  • Try to do memtest? (multiple pass is recommended) – Darius Sep 7 '13 at 11:20
  • 5
    Or the PSU is broken. – ZippyV Sep 7 '13 at 11:21
  • PSU seems to be in perfect working order as it can handle more strain without trouble. Running a graphically intensive application puts my GPU's to higher power consumption with no change on overall system performance. – Warheart Sep 7 '13 at 11:52
  • I would just replace the motherboard to be honest – Ramhound Sep 7 '13 at 16:52
  • A motherboard or PSU wouldn't likely cause a fan failure. If the problem was just described by the list of failures, then heat (too much of it) would be a top suspect. There's nothing in the rest of the post that even addresses, much less dispel, the possibility that heat (or lack of proper cooling and ventilation) is the root problem. Is there a photo if the PC's interior? – sawdust Sep 7 '13 at 22:54

On boot will start up, power down and restart 1-3 times before completing boot-up. (Permanent)

I've had this problem too earlier this year. I thought the problem was with the graphics card but after a couple of months the pc was completely dead. Turns out it was the PSU.

It's still possible your motherboard is broken. Look for broken capacitors.

  • I've just done a complete check up of the 3 individual RAM sticks and went through MEMtest. Two sticks performed flawlessly and without error, one stick would not even show BIOS or Memtest. I've now removed the faulty RAM and the PC no longer hitches on boot-up. The other problems (HDDs inaccessible) still persist, however. – Warheart Sep 7 '13 at 19:48

I agree with Warheart, by what you have told us and regarding the fact that you have 6 HDs installed it looks like you have a power consumption issue, try upgrading your power supply unit to one that supplies at least 600 W.

  • I agree with Warheart … it looks like you have a power consumption issue But Warheart said that the PSU is fine. try upgrading your power supply unit to one that supplies at least 600 W. You must have missed this part: PSU: Corsair TX950W – Synetech Sep 7 '13 at 14:53
  • If you are short of power you have two choices: increase power or decrease demand, it still loks to me a power issue even when he has a 950W PSU. Try to disconnect devices and see if you still have that weird behaviour if unplugging things helps the problem then you might have a chinese 950W PSU. If the described behaviour still happens I would think of an electronics component failure. In any case try to slim down your system and you will probably get to a point when things start working, this will help you to narrow down. – Daniel J. Sep 7 '13 at 14:54

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