Z-Axis Troubles

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Yesterday I printed a few things without issue, but midway through a print, the printer just stopped working. My LCD was frozen on the bootscreen and the knob was unresponsive. Powered off then on, asked to restart the print, selected "No". I then tried to autohome the printer and my Z-axis was turning very slowly, almost like it was binding. I then disabled the steppers and manually moved the Z-Axis without any issue (didn't feel any binding, smooth up and down motion. Is my stepper dying/dead? If not, any other thoughts?


Sounds like you might have a power issue.
Carefully pull out the Main Logic board and check the connectors and solder joints on the board.
I've seen where there was a connector that was loose on the board because it was barely soldered in place. This would cause the Ender to stop printing because of the vibrations making the connection open.
Also check the XT60 connector from the power supply to the Main Logic board. I just recently had to replace the connector on my Ender3 because the connections were crimped very poorly on one side (see photo). This caused arcing inside the connection and alot of excess heat which caused the connector to start melting.

So, after some playing around, unless I use the Restore Failsafe Settings button, my printer doesn't do anything (other than the ever so slight Z-axis movement). Essentially I have to do this after each power-down. One it's done I can print over and over without issue.

Have you done any firmware updates? I've updated my Ender3 several times and it always seems to need the firmware downloaded a second time because the first time the printer doesn't run right.

This almost sounds like the settings are incorrect or getting corrupted or your Stored settings are really off.
You can try Restoring the Failsafe settings (since they work fine) then Store Settings to kind of reset the default settings and see if that helps lock in your print settings.
When you power down and back on the Stored settings are what get reloaded each time you power up.

No firmware updates (not sure how to do it). I did restore failsafe and stored the settings. No problem to boot and then print, however my prints are now failing partially through a print. Printer just stops, plate cools, nozzle stays hot and the knob is completely useless, doesn't do a thing. Power off then on again and resumed a print to completion. Next print? Same thing.

Checked both, and they look solid to me. The crimps are good on my connectors. What about the PSU being the issue?

I will check these later, thanks for the suggestions!

So I ordered a replacement motor, and I am still having this issue. I also changed the power cable from the MB to the motor, and no change. I removed my latest modification (microSD to SD card ribbon) just in case that was an issue, and still nothing. I'm at a loss at this point.

I also just noticed when using autohome my X and Y axes do not move at all, and if I manually hit the Z stop, the motor still tries to turn (albeit very slowly). Plate and nozzle heat just fine.