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Power Problems


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#1
ninja88

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Been lurking these forums for many months and have finally found myself in a position where I'm completely stumped. =(

Having problems with my HP slimline s3200n desktop PC. Unfortunately this is the PC running my POS at my business so I've been at this for about 6 hours already.

History:
-workers have complained of startup/shutdown/performance issues. no error messages, just extremely slow (or complete halt) of startup and shutdown. almost daily.
-was running on vista, i wiped the HD, installed Windows 7 and everything was working without a hitch for about 2 weeks.
-yesterday and today a worker complained of the system hanging, and on attempted reboot, would not start until she switched the outlet a few times.

Now:
-no response to press of power button OR a short of the corresponding pins on the F_PANEL plug of the motherboard.
-it may (MAY) randomly decided to turn on (both by button press/pin short). has done so a total of 4 times in the past 6 hours (of 50+ tries, i stopped counting)
-shorted green and a black wire on ATX connector while mobo is detached: PSU turns on, spins up connected drives/peripherals.
-did the same thing with mobo ATTACHED: does not respond at first. discovered purely by accident (left the short wire in while I was creating my geekstogo account) that the system will suddenly turn on if i short the wires, and let it sit there unresponsive for about 5 minutes. it does this consistently.
-i have not observed any pattern to the darn thing deciding if it wants to turn on or not aside from the last point about shorting the ATX pins and letting it sit for a few minutes.. I got it to turn on twice in a row once. Went ahead and turned it off to try a third time, and it just wouldn't turn on again!
-tried reseating ram and other cards/connectors. tried removing parts one at a time. tried using one stick of ram at a time (i have 2) tried using a stick of ram I had laying around (last time I checked, it worked) tried taking the whole thing apart and putting it all back together. no loose metal bits flying around the case.
-have not tried a bench test as I have been hesitant to remove the mobo from case in case i put it back in wrong or break something. and i'm banking on HP putting the thing in correctly since it's been working since 2008.

note: unfortunately I have no special diagnostic (or otherwise) tools available. only some basics which allow me to take the computer apart.

Thanks so much, hope someone (anyone?!) can help me.

edit: the PSU light on the back always turns on when plugged in. most of the time, it stays on no matter what i do, even if the computer does not turn on. a couple of times after unplugging power, and fiddling around (disconnecting and reconnecting) things in the case) the light will turn on, and turn OFF as soon as a press the power button or try to short the power button pins! then i'll unplug it, fiddle some more, and it will go back to staying solid green until i unplug. have not noticed a pattern to this either. as far as i know, all i'm doing is reseating cables/reconnecting drives.

*UPDATE*: So I've now discovered that I can get the power to turn on fairly reliably so I'm not touching anything in the case and putting the cover back on. However, it doesn't turn on everytime i press the power button. But I found that if it DOESN'T respond to a single press, it will respond (every time) to a press+hold of about 5 seconds (during which time it will stay quiet, then make that quiet whizzing sound that you usually get when you discharge the last bit of power out of an unplugged machine, and THEN turn on)

Still confused as heck.

Edited by ninja88, 11 August 2010 - 06:23 AM.

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#2
dsenette

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have you tried moving to computer to a power outlet on a different circuit than the one that it's plugged into now? there could be a problem with the actual power coming from the outlet.
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#3
ninja88

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dsenette: yes, tried outlets all over the place, and I've actually moved from my store to home and back. no dice. =( thank you!
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#4
123Runner

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By your description, you either have a PSU issue or a bad main board.
You have done a good job testing.
Even though the PSU started by your test, it is not under load.

I would try another PSU 1st.
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#5
ninja88

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By your description, you either have a PSU issue or a bad main board.
You have done a good job testing.
Even though the PSU started by your test, it is not under load.


I would try another PSU 1st.


Thanks. Will try to get my hands on another power supply to try. In the mean time if anyone else had any suggestions, I am willing to fiddle. I have nothing on this machine that isn't backed up.

A strange new development: the power has gone back to working intermittently without a short of the atx wires. Thus far I had been (stupidly) testing without a monitor. I just plugged one in and found that when the machine DOES turn on, it does not boot. No bios, no post, no beeps, nothing. Screen shows no video signal. The drives are spinning, leds are on, and cpu fan is on (albeit on max speed, it never does that for more than a couple seconds). Is this the cpu running under load? It also turns on sometimes just from unplugging and re plugging, without shorting our pressing anything. Or if It isn't turning on and I leave it sitting on the counter it will just suddenly turn on by itself!

I hate being defeated by a machine!

Edited by ninja88, 11 August 2010 - 07:02 PM.

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