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PC Dying on Start-up


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#16
foxoff

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Hi and thanks for your contributions to this problem.

Here are some points of clarification: The power supply's fan starts, in fact it isn't a problem at all. When start-up crashes the fan keeps going like the Energiser bunny.

I tested the RAM sticks individually and took out the only one with a problem. The other two are both Kingmax PC2700 512 MB Ram. Is there anything else I should know to match them?

The start-up process actually begins and runs through the usual memory test etc. prior to starting Windows. Sometimes nothing happens but the fan kicking in. It seems that if the DVD ROM light comes on immediately, it doesn;t start, but if the light on the DVD Rom flashes, disappears and then the DVD Rom fires up, the start-up process begins. Hopwever, this is no guarantee that start-up will run successfully. Sometimes I get through log-in to Windows and start an application and then BLANK! The screen goes to a default message that says something about "system not plugged in" or something and the system has crashed. I get no blue screens only blank......

Sorry, but this is as much detail as I can offer right now.

Thanks!

foxoff
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#17
pyron81

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Okay if you've checked the ram and it is not the power supply I would give the hard drive a check.

This can be done with hard drive tools usually found on the hard drive's site depending on who made it. If you know I would try hitting up the site and looking for a hard drive diagnostic tools. Generally this will run a test to find out if your hard drive is going bad.

I doubt it is your graphic card as your computer would probably end up being a blank screen.

Maxtor
Seagate

-----
Active Smart
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There is a ton of hard drive manufacturers so the list can go on and on depending where you bought the hard drive from or if it came preinstalled. The two links above are for Maxtor and Seagate two popular brands found in most general computer/walmart/best buy stores.

However if you are unsure if your hard drive manufacture consider using Active Smart. It's a program that will run test on your hard drive to see if it is going bad and just how much time you might or might not have.

Consider these sources. If you find out anything let us know.
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#18
foxoff

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Hi,

The diagnostics program on the hard drive manufacturer's website didn't pick up any problem. What I have noticed through the trial and error of starting up (which with all the attempts takes an eternity as you can imagine) is that each time the screen blanks to an error message (just a red box with a couple of words in it on a black background) and the system crashes, it is at the exact moment that the DVD ROM light flicks on. Sometimes while in Windows for a minute or so, suddenly the DVD Rom light kicks in for no reason and instantly everything crashes. This may not be significant, but thought I should mention it.

Thanks for you continued help. I really appreciate everyone's efforts for chipping in.

Fox
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#19
pyron81

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Hello again,

Have you opened your case and looked inside? I would recommend opening it and looking over all the wires. Unplug them and then replug them. Check your motherboard's battery, it should be a silver dollar shaped circle on the motherboard somewhere. Look over everything to make sure no connects are burnt or black.

Other than that when windows starts up does it always start up like this? Can you ever get to safe mode or just normal windows start up?

Your doing good so far. We'll find it sooner or later.
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#20
Samm

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I might also be worth disconnecting the DVD drive just to see of the problem goes away.
If the DVD is on its own ribbon cable, then disconnect this cable from the motherboard & disconnect the power from the DVD drive. If the DVD shares the ribbon cable with another drive, then just disconnect the cable from the drive itself instead.
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#21
foxoff

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Thanks again for your help, Samm and Pyron. I really appreciate your persistence.

I have disconnected all wires etc. and reconnected them, as well as checked for burnt out connections and wires. Everything seemed in order, but although I can see the battery, I have no idea how to actually check that it is ok. Anyway, I don't think this is the problem.

I disconnected the DVD ROM from the Motherboard and disconnected the power supply also. I had 5 or 6 successful start-ups without the power to the DVD Rom. When I reconnected it I also had some success but there is still a problem every now and then. This seems to be when the green power light on the DVD Rom stays lit during start up - when this happens 100% of the time I have no success starting up at all. When the green power light flicks on and then off (i.e. it doesn't stay powered on) I have success 100% of the time beginning the start up process. The only time it fails after this is when power seems to divert to the DVD Rom and then start-up fails. My system also crashes when the DVD powers up (i.e. the light flashes on) when I have successfully logged in to Windows already and am navigating around my desktop. I am just guessing here but I think that somehow the power in my PC is diverting to the DVD Rom and draining the rest of the PC's functions.

That's just a guess though. I would appreciate any guidance you can offer me.

Thanks!
Fox

Edited by foxoff, 25 November 2006 - 09:20 PM.

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#22
Samm

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Sorry for the delay in replying Fox, I've been away all weekend & only just got back.

Can you try one more thing please? Disconnect the DVD drives ribbon cable from the motherboard but this time leave the power connected to the drive.

Power up the system & see what happens. If it boots ok, then try opening/closing the DVD tray a few times using the eject button & see if the system crashes. Obviously Windows won't be able to see the DVD drive as the ribbon cable is unplugged, but the eject mechanism will work as the power is still connected.

Also, can you confirm if the DVD drive is the only drive on that ribbon cable or does it share the cable with another optical drive (or hard drive)?
Also, can you have a quick look at the label on the side of your power supply & let me know what the max power rating (in watts) is please
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#23
foxoff

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Hey Samm, no problem with the delay. Beggars can't be choosers after all :whistling:

I just tried your suggestion and I still have problems when the cable is disconnected but the power still runs to the drive. It is a single cable connection and my power supply is Max 300W.

Thanks again.

Fox

Edited by foxoff, 29 November 2006 - 05:37 AM.

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#24
Samm

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Hi Fox

Just to recap - your computers runs fine when the optical drive is completely disconnected but not if the power is connected to it, right?

Given the power rating of your PSU, I'm wondering if maybe the problem is due to the PSU being under-rated. I used to have a similar problem with my system - problem occured when everything was plugged in & only to way to boot the system sometimes was to disconnect one or more of my optical drives. The problem was resolved when I replaced my 400W PSU with a 500W one.
Its not uncommon for this type of problem to occur intermittantly & mainly at boot up, when the most power is consumed by the system.

What do you reckon?
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#25
foxoff

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Hi Samm,

The goal posts have just moved a little unfortunately. My PC now doesn't get me through the start up at all. I used to have a one in 10 chance, now that appears to have dwindeld to a one in a thousand. Sometimes it cuts out on the initial boot and other times when loading Windows. Other times (really frustrating) is when I successfully log in to my Windows desktop and then blink! I am out cut off.

As well it does not matter if the optical drives are connected or disconnected anymore (tried all different combinations with optical drives unplugged and plugged in - ribbon in power out and vice versa, as well as all plugs in and none in at all).

By the way can someone tell me how to check my Motherboard's battery? An earlier post here suggested that I check it and I haven't been able to find some way of knowing that it is okay. I can locate it on the mboard but can't check the battery life. It may not be this at all but I am getting desparate!

I appreciate your continued help.

Fox

Edited by foxoff, 10 December 2006 - 04:14 PM.

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