Cold boot problems: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2P

So I have been running my University PC system for about three years now, and it has been extremely reliable since day 1. But recently, I have been having a problem.


Above: Inside the University PC with the Fractal Design Arc Mini case. The mainboard is the Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2P revision 5.x.

The problem only occurs when the PC is cold (room temperature or below). It refuses to POST. I press the power button and it powers on and lets the drives spin up, before shutting off again. I find that pressing reset during this period helped for a while – the PC would then POST, but this has stopped working now and it just shuts off again. The power button is totally unresponsive at this point too – you have to turn the power supply off and wait for the capacitors to discharge enough.

So I’ve had to start using a hair dryer to heat up the middle of the motherboard and after about 15 seconds of heating the system boots up with no problems. I aim the heat right at the centre of the board, where the silver northbridge heatsink is. I think that is the problem – it is a BGA chip that could have some soldering issues that are manifesting over time.

Subsequent reboots are fine, the problem only occurs when the system is left to cool down. Putting the system to sleep is also fine – there are no problems waking up.

With the cold winter months rapidly approaching, I suspect I am going to have more and more problems with this board. I am looking to upgrade to the ASRock 970M Pro3. Then I can do some experiments with this Gigabyte board and figure out exactly where the problem is and maybe attempt a repair (not likely!).

GRUB: Editing the Boot Selection List
Great Scott!

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