Having computer boot/stability problems, power supply?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by BrianShort, Jan 30, 2003.

  1. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    I normally leave my computer on all the time, but over the past month or two, if I ever left it off for an extended period of time, the computer would fail to boot when I turned it back on. The power light would come on, the fans would spin, and the HDD light would light for several seconds, but otherwise, the computer didn't do anything else. They keyboard lights never came on either. The only way I found to get it to boot was to turn it off, then on again right away. Since I usually leave it on, this wasn't a huge deal.

    Well, a couple of nights ago, I got back from gangs of ny, and it looked like my computer was in sleep mode. I moved the mouse to turn it back on, but it reset instead. I left it on during the night, and the next morning, it looked like it had powered down. After getting it into XP, I went to play racquetball for an hour, came back, and the computer was totally locked up. Rebooted buy turning off then on right away, used the machine for a bit, then went to work. Came back from work, computer totally locked up. Rebooted, used computer for maybe 3 minutes, locked up hard. Rebooted. Windows starts to boot, but just before it gets to the XP login screen, it reboots itself. Repeats this 2 or 3 times, gets into windows, I use it for about 2 minutes, then it resets itself again. Turn off computer in disgust.

    It's a Micron I purchased 2.5 years ago... I guess it only has a 1 year warranty, and the tech support for out of warranty computers is $2.25 a minute. I asked this in another forum, and a few people suggested it was probably the power supply? Does everyone here agree? I think I may go pick one up today if the local shop sells them, and try that, before messing with tech support.

    Hope it is just the power supply, since those are cheap.

    Brian
     
  2. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    It could be the power supply, or it could be the motherboard is going, or the processor is overheating--I'd check the HSF (heatsink fan) on the processor to make sure it's working.

    Also, I'd remove and reseat anything that can be removed--memory modules, cards, processor, power connectors, and see if that helps. While you're in there blow or vacuum the dust bunnies out.

    Lastly, try removing all non-essential cards (everything but video) and see if the machine runs ok. Then replace cards one by one until it fails. If it acts up after inserting a card, that card is bad. If you have multiple memory modules, or extra memory kicking around, try switching them out too.

    KJP
     
  3. Joel Mack

    Joel Mack Cinematographer

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  4. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    Kevin P: Yeah, I tried some of that, to no avail. It was full of dust bunnies though, ick. The CPU heat sink itself doesn't have a fan on it. Instead, the case has two HUGE fans in the back that suck air through, and the video card has a fan as well.

    Joel Mack: Yeah, the more I think about it, the more it sounds like the power supply. I will check the local shop today to see if they can sell me a power supply.

    Brian
     
  5. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    Start with the cheapest solution ... replace the motherboard battery.

    I'd hate to buy a new power supply for $40 when a $3 battery will do.

    Brent
     
  6. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    These are not symptoms of a bad motherboard battery. All a bad battery would do is lose your CMOS settings. If the date/time in CMOS is correct, then the CMOS battery is fine.

    This definitely sounds like a dying power supply.
     
  7. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    Well... I'm not sure what to think now... I picked up a new power supply after work, installed it... still no go... the fans come on, the power light comes on, and the HD light comes on for maybe 10 seconds, but the monitor never turns on, and it doesn't boot. I should add that there are no POST beeps either. I took out all the cards other than the video card, same thing... reseated all the cards, same thing. Moved the RAM into different slots, nada... removed and reseated the CPU, still no go...

    Ideas? I'm thinking now it's a bad motherboard, or some combination. [​IMG]

    Does it make any difference as to which drives the peripheral cables are plugged into? Since they all have the same jack, I'm guessing it doesn't matter... the PS I picked up has one set of wires coming out with 2 peripheral plugs, a 2nd with 2 peripheral plugs and a floppy disk plug, and then the motherboard plug.

    Brian
     
  8. Joel Mack

    Joel Mack Cinematographer

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    What's the wattage on the PS you bought? What type of processor are you running (AMD or Intel)?
     
  9. Martin Fontaine

    Martin Fontaine Supporting Actor

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    I had the same problem about a year ago and changing the motherboard fixed the problem. But oddly, I lent the defective MoBo/CPU to a friend who plugged it in a different case and he said it works fine. Really strange...

    Edit: Actually, I changed the CPU also since the old system was a P233 MMX and the new one is a Duron 1G. But I'm pretty sure it was the MoBo's fault and not the CPU's.
     
  10. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    The PS was 250 watts, so was the new one. Running a P3 733 (slot 1) on a Tyan Trinity 400 mobo.

    **edit**

    I'm going to try my fathers video card in my machine tomorrow just to rule out that it's not that. If that still doesnt work, I think I may just order a new MB/CPU and I suppose some ram. Can anyone recommend a good combo for under $200? It doesnt need to be that fast, as long as it's not slower than 733 [​IMG]

    Brian
     
  11. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    250W isn't enough. I never get a PS less than 400W. You might not be getting enough juice to your PC on boot-up.
     

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