Windows – Computer randomly restarting: motherboard or processor

cpucrashmotherboardrebootwindows 7

My computer randomly restarts. Is it more likely my motherboard or processor? So, I know which one to return or replace first.

  • Windows 7 SP1 64-bit
  • Motherboard: Asus P8Z68-V/GEN3
  • CPU: Intel i7

Times it restarts

  • randomly during use in Windows 7
  • during boot
  • while in BIOS
  • before BIOS
  • basically randomly as soon as I press the power button

Attempted solutions or diagnostics

  • I have taken the computer down to the bare minimum of hardware
    components to see if it fixed the problem; CPU, mobo, PSU, 1 memory
    stick, 1 HDD. The problem still persisted.
  • I swapped all the memory sticks and problem still persisted.
  • I did a memory check on the memory and they seem fine.
  • Nothing is overheating.
  • I tried replacing the PSU with another one that works and it still
    persisted.
  • Nothing, besides the notice that the system did not shutdown
    properly, is showing up in the hardware or application logs in
    Windows.
  • I have reseated everything.
  • I have taken everything out of the computer and cleaned it completely
    out and still having the issue.
  • I have moved the computer to a different outlet in my house and the
    problem still persists.
  • I have tried a second working CPU and it still does not work.
  • Checked for blown caps.
  • Swapped out all cables with known working cables.
  • Sent Motherboard for repairs and they repaired it and sent it back and it is still not working

New Verdict @ 12 August 2013

I sent the motherboard for repairs to ASUS a few weeks ago. They said something was wrong with it and repaired it and sent it back. However, it is still randomly restarting.

I did some more part swapping over the weekend and discovered the problem is still the motherboard. I am going to talk to ASUS again today and see what they can do about replacing the motherboard. Will update this post when the problem is resolved.


UPDATE @ 28 August 2013

Got the replacement motherboard last night and everything is working fine so far. It has not restarted for 12+ hours. Will be letting it run for the next couple days to see if it restarts. Typically it would have restarted numerous times within the 12 hours. So far so good. =) If it does not restart today or this evening i will create an answer and close this question.


UPDATE @ 29 August 2013

Still no restarts with the replacement motherboard. Declaring it fixed.

Best Answer

  • Your options are:

    • Remove all but 1 stick of ram
    • Disable sound card, network card, and any other devices in the bios
    • Remove any other PCI devices (video card, sound card, cd rom ect..)

    Once you have done that, and the issue continues:

    • Remove the motherboard from the case. It could be grounding out on a motherboard stand off.
    • Borrow a compatible CPU

    If you have swapped every part, and removed the motherboard from the case, then the only other options are:

    • Bad power cable
    • Bad motherboard

    Just because it came back from RMA, doesn't mean they fixed it.


    Lastly Verify the following:

    If you have a modular power supply, make absolutely sure you use the cables that were provided with it. Modular cables do not have the same pinouts between manufactures.

    Double check that you are using the cables in the right places. I've seen 8 pin power connectors intended for video cards, that fit inside the 4 pin cpu power header. (They are not the same pinout)

    I've seen counterfeit cpu's which are over clocked and are extremely unreliable. (very unlikely)

    Check for blown capacitors. Also unlikely since the board just came back from RMA

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