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Has my power supply gone bad?


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#1
JCastaldi

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My problem began when trying to boot the PC (Gateway Windows xp pentium 4, 2.4GHz, 512 KB RAM). The power would shut down in less than a minute and then begin the reboot cycle, repeatedly unless I turned off the computer.

I tried re-installing Windows but have never been able to complete the reinstall because the power shuts off, and then recycles. More specifically, as soon as the PC boots from the reinstall CD, it begins by saying "Setup is being restarted." Then, it goes to the screen where it has a column on the left side, with the following: "Collecting Information"; "Dynamic Update"; "Preparing installation"--which are already checked with a green dot. The unchecked categories on the left column are "Installing Windows" and "Finalizing Installation". These last 2 categories never have a green dot. Also, it begins this cycle by stating that Setup will complete in approximately 39 minutes. I get to the point where it says it is "completing installation", at 25 minutes left, power turns off and the computer reboots on its own--every time exactly at this point.

Since I tried re-installing Windows, the PC will always ask for the the reinstall CD, and I do not ever get the blue screen which says "Welcome to Setup" although I probably got that message the first time.

Before I tried reinstalling Windows, I could never get past the Gateway screen which gives you the option of going to BIOS (F2) or boot menu (F10) (unless I took one of those options, then it would take me there and did not shut down on its own); otherwise, it would take less than a minute before the computer would shut down and re-boot.

However, now that I am "stuck" (since it now always asks for the CD) in the Windows reinstall process, the reinstall will continue for about 15 minutes, then shut down and re-boot when there is 25 minutes left to reinstalling Windows--always at the exact same spot.

I cannot get to XP repair because I cannot install Windows completely and I do not know how else to get to that feature.

Another tech website suggested that I try unplugging all of my USB devices (at the same time) "since they
are notorious for causing problems. Also unplug anything hooked to your parallel and serial ports." The only connections I had left to the PC were the keyboard, mouse and monitor. No success.

A tech from that same website also suggested: "Try unplugging your PCI devices one by one. If you have a spare video card try swapping it out." I have not tried this yet. Does anyone agree with this approach?

I do not think it is an overheating issue (I may be wrong, of course) since the fan seems to be working ok, and this does not seem to make sense that in one instance the power would shut down in less than a minute, and then in another (reinstall), it shuts down after 15 minutes. Someone suggested it might be a memory problem, but I do not download movies and I am not a "gamer." Besides, I am not sure how to check this.

I am getting tired of not being able to resolve this problem on my own (of course with your help), and I am on the verge of giving up and buying a new computer (or taking it to a epair shop). Your help in trying to solve this problem would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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#2
fleamailman

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Not my strongest subject, but it would be more likely to be temperature than power here, check temp in BIOS, check cpu fan for clogs.
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#3
JCastaldi

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How do I check the temp in BIOS? I've gone to BIOS setup utility and do not see any reference to temperature.
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#4
fleamailman

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normally there somewhere, keep looking, here is a link on temps to give you an idea

http://www.heatsink-...t=maxtemp.shtml

also, contacting the mobo marker's site is another idea
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#5
ultimateslacker2

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Your right, it could be a going power supply or a very corrupted version or windows but you said you keep getting reboots it could be a power supply. Lets see what others think.
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#6
SpectreNZ

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Temp issues usually cause a complete shutdown, which you have to power up twice from before being able to restart the computer. It could be the Power Supply, or possibly a RAM issue. If you have more than one stick of RAM, turn the PC off, remove one stick, and power up again. If it still happens, remove the other, and replace it with the first one removed. If using one stick resovles the issue, try that stick in the other slot, and if it that also works, then you have a bad stick of RAM. If using a certain slot, causes the problem, then you have a faulty Motherboard. If you've swiched both RAM Sticks out, and tried different slots, and the issue is still happening, it could be a Power Supply issue. Removing the PCI Devices, unplugging additional hard drives, CD Roms etc would reduce the strain on the Power Supply, which could be why the Tech advised you to do so. How old is the PC? Have you added any additional Hardware to it prior to the restarting?

Edited by SpectreNZ, 12 October 2006 - 02:52 PM.

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#7
JCastaldi

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I am not present at the problem computer. However, in response, this is a 3 year old Gateway for which the only hardware I added was a DVD drive over 2 years ago. If it has 2 sticks of RAM, Gateway would have put it there. I agree with your points regarding temp issue. Clearly, after the computer is off for virtually 24 hours, and when I tried to boot up, the power went off in less than a minute--that is not enough time to overheat. Even though the Windows reinstall always loses power at 15 minutes into the install, I know I have walked away from the computer for longer than 15 minutes while leaving the BIOS setup window open, and the power is on the entire time. Plus, even when it powers off 15 min into the reinstall, it immediately reboots. So I don't believe yet that it is a temp issue.

But I will look into the RAM stick--assuming I have 2.

Also, I still have no clue how to determine the BIOS temp, as suggested by an earlier poster.
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