New computer, shutting down

Okay, I’m in the process of building a new computer (2.93GHZ, Socket 775, Asus MB, etc…) Here’s the problem: I start the computer and within a minute is just shuts itself down. I barely have enough time to look around in the Bios and if I try to load windows, it shuts down at that start up screen.

Having said that, it’s a 400W power supply, there aren’t any error beeps or on screen messages (although initially it did say that overclocking failed, but I didn’t overclock it). I can’t get into Windows, and as I said, have very little time in Bios before it abruptly turns off.

Another thing I should mention is about the heatsink. I got one that “screws into the board” and although the dealer said and showed that it was a 4 pin, when I got it it was only a 3 pin. So, I plugged it in anyway, therefore it doesn’t have it’s monitoring ability but otherwise it seems to be working well.

Any ideas? Suggestions?

Some ideas I had:

[li]not enough heatsink compound (I used a very thin layer of silver based compound) - would that cause the computer to shut down so quickly?
[/li][li]the lack of the 4th pin on the heatsink fan?
[/li][li]Heatsink screwed in too tight or not tight enough?

:confused: Please help!!

Welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

I had a similar problem after assembling my new computer, and cause was an insufficient cooling of CPU. In my mainboard, this situation cause automatically shut down of computer before that CPU will damage.

Lacking of a pin on heatsink fan can cause malfunctioning of the fan itself, that don’t cool CPU.

Finally, if you don’t put a termal paste between CPU and heatsink, heat can’t be dissipated correctly, and CPU will overheat.


I think that Geno is right. It sounds like your’re over heating. Open your case and then boot up and keep an eye on the CPU fan to see if something is blocking it or it isn’t working.

Welcome to the forum.
I agree, look carefully at the heat sink and make sure that it seating correctly, it has heat conducting paste between the sink and CPU.
Is the heat sink mounted the right way round? Sometimes it’s the simple things that defeat us.
Best of luck.

Take a look also to case fans: if they are installed in the wrong direction, hot air will be introduced into the case instead of expelled

First thing I would do is reset the bios (because of the overclock warning). I’m wondering if your bios settings are screwed up. There should be a jumper on the motherboard to reset the bios. Second, defanatlly check out your heat sink mounting like everyone is sugesting. One thing I have noticed with bolt on heat sinks, with some, if you screw it down wrong, it can sit canted and not get proper contact. I usally let the heatsink actually sit on the cpu, the tighten each screw a little at a time making sure each turn is about the same amount of ratation. the board will flex a little to even out but only to a point. Some sort of cpu cooling problem is defanatlly a possibility. If it is overheating, alarms will usally go off (if you have a speaker hooked up or if it has its own). You didn’t say what heatsink you used. Some (even more expensive ones) have pretty bad surfaces as far as being true. try using a lot of heatsink compound but don’t go to overboard (I certainlly wouldn’t leave it like that permanantly, but it can help troubleshoot).

Very carefully pull the heat sink without twisting or smearing the thermal compound. You should be able to tell by looking at it how much contact it had with the CPU. Seems pretty obvious that it’s not seated right.

What CPU? If it has a large integrated heat sink on it. you should never apply the grease in a thin layer, but in one blob in the middle. Consult the appropriate instructions at

IMHO, anything other than pulling the heat sink is a waste of time and further trials risk frying your CPU.

Just a litle additional info since lots of people will read this. I’m guessing that by integrated heatsink he means what I have always heard called a heat spreader. If the top of yur cpu is a big flat surface, that means that there is a heatsink plate already mounted to the die (factory installed to the cpu). with these types of cpu’s, it is absolutlly right to just put the proper amount of thermal compound (use artic silver 5 unless you have reason to use another kind of artic silver). You can really see where it spread if you carfully pull one. If your cpu (athlons, maybe some semprons or intel chips which I know little about) has a die in the middle with electronics around it, absolutlly spread the as5 thin across the die (rdgrimes, dont forget about others reading this, as I know you directed it to the poster, but lets make the distinktion about the two diffrent mounting surfaces for others that might read this post).