Computer Failed Today

Back in October 2017 I built a new system with an AMD Ryzen 1800x CPU. The system has been great. With 8 cores and 16 threads and a nice Nvidia RTX 2060 Graphics card, it has been a real performer for gaming and video editing.

In January 2020, the power supply died and I replaced it with a similar model to avoid having to rewire the system power lines.

Today, I’d played FFXIV through the morning and just finished a 1/2 hour dungeon run – nothing special or stressful. And as I finished that and it suddenly stopped working. Just rebooted out of no where. No blue screen. Just a reboot. Boot loop. I tried to trigger a repair but looks like windows has removed “Safe Mode” boot. But after booting a couple of times, it displayed a message  that it was attempting to “repair and restart”, but it just kept rebooting.

I assumed at this point that the SSD was bad, or so worn out that it was causing the error. So I tried SpinRite, a HD diagnostic that I have which boots into DOS from a DVD. No go. That booted, but then just looped forever with the message “Discovering Systems Mass Storage Devices…”.

Isolate and Simplify

At this point, I removed all the hard drives, replaced the video card with an old GTX 760 I’d saved, and replaced the SSD with a brand new 1TB m.2 NVMe Samsung 970 Evo Plus, that I happened to have, and tried to install Windows 10 on the new SSD from a USB Stick. re-seated the DRAM and checked the Power Supply with a tester I have. PS appears fine. BIOS shows correct amount of DRAM and I can stop every time in the BIOS.

The system just won’t boot to anything after that. Not a USB stick or the SSD..No go. Just kept rebooting.

Send Out for Repair

So now the system has a cheaper older video card, nothing but the new SSD, no personal data of any kind in it anymore. So I called a local computer shop to see if they can repair it. I’ll drop it off tomorrow with instructions to spend only a couple of hours before calling me. If they can’t make any progress in a couple of hours, then I’ll just rebuild it. Use the new SSD and the 32GB of DDR4 DRAM, and replace the Motherboard, and processor. The power supply is new in January 2020, so I assume it’s ok. The PS checks out with a tester that I have and I expect the shop to check the PS too.

Next Steps

The shop mentioned that there 18 “Tickets” ahead of me, so it may take a week or so, I’m guessing, to get around to my problem. No clue what’s up with the system, but if the shop can’t get it going easily, I guess I’ll replace the Ryzen 1800x with this:

And get a new Motherboard too. I didn’t get any “Over temperature” warnings, so I assume the cooler is ok. So I’ll rebuild the system with the cooler I have and use new paste on it. Same PS, Hard Drives, new Sata cables. I’ll try to get a MB with 2 M.2 slots if I can and put two 1TB SSDs on it. You can never have too much fast storage. I’m pretty sure the RTX 2060 is just fine. No video glitches in or beyond the BIOS, just a boot loop.

I would rather have waited for 3 generations of Ryzen Processors, but I guess I’ll go with 2 generations if the shop can’t find anything to fix. Can’t see replacing either the processor or the motherboard without replacing both.

Slumming It

So until my primary system is back up, I’ll have to slum it using this older computer:

I’ve updated and played FFXIV, Wow Starter and GW2, and they work just fine on this old beater. I’ll be fine until I get the main computer working again.