Computer won't boot!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by William Ward, Jun 12, 2002.

  1. William Ward

    William Ward Supporting Actor

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    I'm having trouble booting my computer. It's one of those with standby and also when you shut it down, it turns the cpu off itself. You just have to turn off the monitor. I'm using Windows ME on a 667mhz Celeron processor.

    Basically, you turn on the power and the power button turns green, but the computer won't come on. The monitor stays in standby mode as if the cpu isn't active. I get a light on the DVD-Rom but not one for the A: drive or the keyboard...

    After turning the thing on/off for a few minutes, it usually boots....

    But today, I've been trying it since 11:30 and it's now after 6:00. Luckily, I have a backup but I want my primary one back....

    Any ideas???

    Thanks....
     
  2. Mike St.Louis

    Mike St.Louis Supporting Actor

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    When it is NOT booting up successfully, is the computer making any sounds at all. That is, can you hear the hard drive spinning up like it normally does?

    The first thing I would try is removing the cover and making sure that all your connections are firm and tight.

    Be careful not to shock any of your components. If you don't have an anti-static wrist strap then touch the power supply case to remove any static charges. MAKE SURE THE POWER IS OFF OF COURSE!!

    Let us know your progress.
     
  3. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I'd crack it open and check for loose cables and cards. If a card worked its way loose (especially the video card), it may not start up. Also, if you can, (and you've had it for a few years), try and check the battery.

    Glenn
     
  4. William Ward

    William Ward Supporting Actor

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    How do I check the battery....

    I've been inside and I didn't notice anything loose...everything seemed to be in it's proper place.

    Also, what's a decent price for a new tower with just a motherboard(1 Ghz), modem card(or do they now come with them), USB ports, and a decent 12-16MB Video card...
     
  5. William Ward

    William Ward Supporting Actor

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    What screws up most theories is the "occasional boot". If it never booted, then it could be BIOS or CMOS or something....

    But by doing it sometimes, it seems to be more mechanical or electrical....computers are either 1 or 0. No halfway stuff...

    Puzzling...
     
  6. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    You probably have a loose connector somewhere. Or the power supply has given up the ghost. Another possibility is that the CMOS is corrupted and needs to be reset. Check your motherboard manual for the procedure on resetting the CMOS.

    Normally you'd reset the CMOS after replacing the CPU, as the motherboard's BIOS doesn't know what speeds to run it at, and so refuse to boot. Resetting the CMOS forces the BIOS to run the CPU at the lowest possible settings, and the user must then set the appropriate speed for the new processor.

    Also, try removing all the cards in the computer, and put them back in again. A card that is partially unseated will cause all sorts of problems.
     
  7. William Ward

    William Ward Supporting Actor

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    After many unsuccessful attempts at trouble shooting, I've decided to get a new computer...

    Thanks for the suggestions...
     
  8. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

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    Here are some steps to try (gets more advanced the further down you get):

    A) pull the power cord for both the monitor and PC and reinsert each after about 3 minutes. This totally cuts power to the parts and may clear some "sleep mode" setting that just isn't fixing itself. Seen this fix weird sleep problems lots of times.

    B) can you plug your monitor into a different computer? It may be your computer is booting, but the monitor just isn't showing anything.

    If still no-joy, then its time to open up the case.

    C) Check for loose cables/etc. If one is found, fix and then try a reboot then. If not, then:

    D) Try swapping video cards. You don't have to get a fancy AGP port card to test this. Any card should work in any of the available slots. I usually keep an el-cheapo card I know works just for this.

    E) If still no luck, unplug EVERY card but video. Unplug IDE cables and floppy cable from motherboard. Leave memory and processor installed.

    If motherboard is good, it will POST and you'll see video that should show basic bios messages and then stop and give a warning message when it finally can't detect a boot device. Thus you know the problem is with one of the components you disconnected. Reconnect individually until it fails. Problem identified.

    F) If still no solution, then you know you either have a bad motherboard, processor or memory. The goal now is to determine which. To do this you need to be able to interpret POST beeps. If your computer has an onboard speaker, you can hear these. If not, you may need a voltmeter connected across the speaker jumpers. Unfortunately each BIOS has its own beep codes. Hopefully your motherboard manual will allow you to interpret these. Otherwise there are websites out there that can let you know what they are.

    If the computer doesn't even POST at this point, then its definately motherboard related. As mentioned above, this could be relatively simple, such as resetting the CMOS, or an actual fried chip requiring total replacement.

    The power supply usually either works or blows in my experience, but I suppose there is the possibility it might be mysteriously putting out voltage levels the motherboard can't take. If you get into a position where its either the motherboard or power supply, it doesn't hurt to try checking voltage levels of the latter.
     
  9. Scott McC.

    Scott McC. Stunt Coordinator

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    first, i'm new here, but if you need serious help, arstechnica.com's open forums are a great place to start, also, do you know any kind of specs?(PSU, drives, Hard Drives, RAM, etc.) No detail is too small to help, also, if nothing works, do not just try to build a new PC, research like hell, because based on what seems to be your current knowledge, you would royally kill a computer. also; Modem cards are about $20, and are pretty much dead, cable and DSL are the way to go, 1Ghz CPU's don't come with a motherboard, and they are extremely lowend (1 Ghz Duron~$37 at newegg.com)Your best bet is to buy a Thoroughbred Athlon XP 1700+ with an Asus A7V 266 motherboard, 512 megs of Crucial RAM, a WD1000JB Hard Drive, Optical drives to taste (40X plextor burner and 16X toshiba DVD drive come to mind), an antec SX1040B case that comes with a 400W powersupply, a GeForce 3 Ti200 videocard (by the way, 16 meg videocards just plain suck ass, they are way way way obsolete, and the lowest of the low end are GeForce 2 64 meg cards) and lastle a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz soundcard, add monitor and speakers as you wish, all for roughly $1200, and don't forget to buy good thermal compound and a nice HSF (thermalright AX-7 with a panaflo is awesome)
     
  10. Jeff

    Jeff Supporting Actor

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    Maybe William is just looking for a reason to get a new computer. [​IMG] I'm always doing that with HT equipment and computers.
    Jeff
     

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