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computer struggles to power on


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#1
r55741

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Hello
thanks in advance for your help

2 days ago I shut down my pc by pressing on the power button without shutting down windows. because i was in a hurry.

next time I tried to power on it struggled to power up. the LED's would dim up and down.

i reset the psu by unplugging it and reseting the power switch on the back.
next time I powered on the pc it did manage to stay on. but ran very slow.

after 3 reboots using the computer normally

the computer again struggles to power on.

So i swapped the ocz 730 psu( which had ben rma'd in the past for causing the exact same problem) for a thermaltake 430.

Again I get the same problem. struggles to power up.

These are the steps I have taken to trouble shoot it:

swapped psu's
I removed all hard drives.
swaped the ram. tried each one by one.(one ram stick produces long boot up beep, the other one doesnt)
removed the video card. (hoping to use onboard graphics) there was no change
uplugged pc, removed mobo battery

I am attempting to power up with just the processor and the good ram stick.

and all though the pc powers up and stays on. I get a black screen the whole time. and it seems to sit there doing nothing. I don't see any signs of a bios booting up.

it seems to me like the hardware problem I am having could just as likely be caused.
by either of or all of the following:
the mobo
processor
ram


so am i right to asume my best option is to build a new system?

the computer is 3 years old. and is ALWAYS on
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#2
Digerati

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2 days ago I shut down my pc by pressing on the power button without shutting down windows. because i was in a hurry.

NEVER do that! You might as well have yanked the power cord out. The reason why is Windows (and other running programs) has many files "open" when ever it is running. These files on the hard drive are actually marked as open in the tables. When the system "crashes" like that, some of those open files are not "closed" properly and can become corrupt. So the next time they are accessed, they fail to load properly.

Next time you are in too big of a hurry to "gracefully" exit Windows and shut down the computer, just turn off the monitor and walk away.

I am attempting to power up with just the processor and the good ram stick.

and all though the pc powers up and stays on. I get a black screen the whole time. and it seems to sit there doing nothing. I don't see any signs of a bios booting up.

That is not a good sign. You might try resetting the CMOS. Check your manual for how to do it with your motherboard. Or unplug from the wall, touch bare metal to discharge any static, then pull the battery for 30 seconds and put it back in. I use a clean sock over my hand to avoid getting corrosive skin oils on the battery.

You should see the initial boot screen and it should make it through POST, then freeze when it can't find a boot drive.
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#3
r55741

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Digerati

Thanks for your prompt response

I did as you suggested. I cleared CMOS as indicated in the mobo manual
(moved a jumper around and removed battery for 30 seconds)

on first start the computer again struggled to power on as I heard the cpu fan make a weak noise.

2nd start it did not struggle to power on

3rd start I heard a beep and powered on strong but still black screen

4th and 5th start up it did not beep and just struggles to power on.

I seem to get random results regardless of weather i reset the power supply or clear the CMOS
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#4
Digerati

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That does not sound good. Are you sure this second PSU is good? I would want to be positive I have good power. If it is good, then it is looking like the motherboard, or CPU.
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#5
r55741

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Yes the Thermaltake, I just took out of the box.

I went ahead and took out the mobo, psu and processor out of the case put them on my bed. and powered it up with the case switch.

and there is no change.

I also swapped back to my old psu. the symptoms are the same.

Interestingly enough, 5 months ago I rma'd the ocz 750 because of these same problems. thinking it was the psu.


also I just realized that it's not just the processor fan struggling to turn on. it's the fan in the psu also.

so I guess the conclusion is that either the mobo or the processor is bad?
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#6
Digerati

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Well, you could have two bad PSUs, but my guess is something is dragging your PSUs down - most likely the motherboard.:) Or something plugged into it. Perhaps your graphics card.

BTW, you should not put your motherboard on your bed. The case standoffs also hold the board up to let air underneath but perhaps more importantly, the cloth materials, especially if synthetic, can generate massive amounts of static electricity. If operating a motherboard outside the case, it should always be on a flat, hard surface, like an unfinished cutting board.
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#7
r55741

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Thanks
I don't have the video card plugged in.

just mobo and processor..monitor plugged into onboard graphics.

it is either the psu, mobo, or processor.

looks like my best option is to replace those 3.

Thanks let me know if anything else develops otherwise. i think there is no where to go from here
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#8
Digerati

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looks like my best option is to replace those 3.

Well, you have tried two PSUs, but since good power is so critical, and replacing the motherboard and CPU is more costly, you may want to verify the TT PSU is still good. Below is my canned text on testing PSUs.

To properly and conclusively test a power supply unit (PSU), it must be tested under various realistic "loads" then analyzed for excessive ripple and other anomalies. This is done by a qualified technician using an oscilloscope or power analyzer - sophisticated (and expensive) electronic test equipment requiring special training to operate, and a basic knowledge of electronics theory to understand the results. Therefore, conclusively testing a power supply is done in properly equipped electronic repair facilities.

Fortunately, there are other options that are almost as good. I keep a FrozenCPU Ultimate PSU Tester in my tool bag when I am "in the field" and don't have a good spare power supply to swap in. While not a certain test, they are better than nothing. The advantage of this model is that it has an LCD readout of the voltage. With an actual voltage readout, you have a better chance of detecting a "failing" PSU, or one barely within specified ATX Form Factor Standard tolerances. Lesser models use LEDs to indicate the voltage is just within some "range". These are less informative, considerably cheaper, but still useful for detecting PSUs that have already "failed". Newegg has several testers to choose from. All these testers contain a "dummy load" to fool the PSU into thinking it is connected to a motherboard, and therefore allows the PSU to power on, if able, without being attached to a motherboard - great for testing fans, but again, it is not a true load or suitable for conclusive testing.

Swapping in a known good supply is a tried and trued method of troubleshooting, used for years even by pros. If you have access to a suitably sized, spare power supply, carefully remove the suspect supply and replace it with a known good one and see if the problem goes away.

I do not recommend using a multimeter to test power supplies. To do it properly, that is, under a realistic load, the voltages on all the pins must be measured while the PSU is attached to the motherboard and the computer powered on. This requires poking (with some considerable force) two hard and sharp, highly conductive meter probes into the main power connector, deep in the heart of the computer. One tiny slip can destroy the motherboard, and everything plugged into it. It is not worth the risk considering most multimeters, like plug-in testers, do not measure, or reveal any unwanted and potentially disruptive AC components to the DC voltages.

Note the required voltage tolerance ranges:

Posted Image


And remember, anything that plugs into the wall can kill. Do not open the power supply's case unless you are a qualified electronics technician. There are NO user serviceable parts inside a power supply.


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