So when the PC failed again I tested it with the PSU I originally removed and it powered up. Reading this thread I’m now thinking that the CMOS battery could be the culprit.

All I had to do was put it in the right place to have the system boot up again without any further issues. Could be a grounding issue google earth pro free download full version then, try unplugging it from the wall and hold the power button a while to dissapate. Verify that no stray wires and such are around and try booting again. I have had a grounding issue in one case before that was semi-similar. A dead or dying CMOS battery may cause your computer to take a long time to boot up. This is because your computer has to actually recreate the BIOS settings from scratch every time you reboot.

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Try A Different Power Cable

I swapped out the PSU and the PC worked fine for a couple of weeks. In the intervening period I tested the PSU I previously removed with a multimeter, cleaned it up and it checked out OK.

Honest, Objective Reviews

I’ve seen lots of fan failures, exploding caps on the motherboard (especially around over-heated north and south bridges), on and on. Fortunately, power supplies are usually well labeled and you can open one up and with a simple inexpensive multi-meter check all the inputs and outputs pretty quickly. Some older MB’s have CMOS set-ups that will actually prevent power-up when the CMOS has no power at all… Meaning the battery is dead. If you work on these things long enough, you know to keep a CR-25 battery (new, in it’s sealed package) in your tool kit. New in the package I’ve had them last 5+ years in my tool-kit and still able to save the day when needed. One of the things that helped me several times as an IT support worker is to unplug the power cable and keep the power button pressed for at least 30 sec. The power on button was stuck on the PC that would not boot this morning.

Here’s the problem, when your system is powered up, your motherboard supplies the power to the CMOS circuit. The battery only comes into play when your machine is powered off… Even then, the CMOS only draws a very small amount of current to keep the SRAM alive. However, after 30+ years in this, looking at the big picture, a computer that won’t power on, or one that spontaneously powers off, tends to be power supply related, probably half the time.

If you open your PC case, you’ll notice some cords connecting the front panel buttons to specific slots on your motherboard. Unplug the reset button cord from the motherboard and see if the unexpected reset issue persists. If the problem is indeed a faulty reset switch, you might be able to contact your case manufacturer for a free front panel replacement. Unplug any/all CD/DVD, Floppy any/all hard drive and remove your Video card. Another common issue is the plastic housing holding the switch in place breaks, or if a metal housing, the metal prongs holding the switch in place bend back affecting contact. If that case does not have a reset switch, you can buy replacement switches – though they usually don’t mount in the same place so may have to dangle outside the case.

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