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computer stops working


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#1
mawmaw

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My uncle has an old comp. It will shut off and not restart. I was able to get it to restart twice after many many restarts but it will shut down again before it gets out of black start up screen. I know when it is working as the light comes on the mouse and goes off when it shuts down.

He has a HP Pavilion a800n
AMD athlon xp 2.2 ghz
512 mb ddr sdram
160 gb

I know it is an old comp but he wants to know what is wrong and I just have no idea. Can anyone help here?
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#2
phillpower2

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Hello mawmaw

Possible causes include a bad PSU (power supply unit) and overheating, the overheating possibility includes a failed CPU fan, can you at any time hear the cooling fan working?

Further investigation will require inspecting the internal components, is this something that you will do yourself?
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#3
mawmaw

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Yes I will be doing it myself unless it gets way too technical. Both fans are running. There is a little light on the front that lights up (under the turn on button) so I figured the power supply was ok. But I could be wrong. I removed the fan on the mother board. Not the whole thing just enough to clean the coils behind it. they were badly dusty. Checked to make sure all plugs and wires and stuff were securely plugged in. And I must confess I looked at another web site and it said to touch a screw driver to a cl crt or something like that. I did that. After that it came on for a few seconds tried to bring up in safe mode thinking it might be a program and after the drivers loaded went black and shut off again. I figured I needed better advice and came here. Just found out today my grandsons comp is doing the same thing.

Just tried it after this post written and it wont even come on a little bit so maybe it is the power supply.

Edited by mawmaw, 09 October 2012 - 04:01 PM.

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#4
phillpower2

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If the computer needs cleaning out, first remove the power cord from the wall and open up the case, take anti static precautions before touching anything inside, you can do this by touching a bare metal part of the case, remove the video card, blow out the slot and re-seat the card securely, do the same with the memory sticks, clean all internal fans, if you use canned compressed air do not let any fan spin freely this can damage them, use something like a clean lollipop stick to hold the fan. Again make sure If all internal connections are secure and that there are no loose components, write down the PSU details (make and model) re-assemble the computer, boot up and see how it goes.

Post the PSU details with your next reply please.

Just a cautionary note, if you do use canned compressed air do not upend the can as it is possible for fluid to be emitted.
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#5
mawmaw

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It will not turn on at all.

Dynex
Model: DX-P350W
Serial: 3F137727
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#6
phillpower2

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I can only suggest that you either swap in a known good PSU for testing purposes or if you are unable to do that remove the present PSU and have a local tech store test the PSU for you, some will do this for free.

Some additional guidance regarding PSUs;

Please be aware that there are no user replaceable parts in a PSU so a bad one should be disposed of in a responsible manner and any type of conclusive testing will need to be done by a suitably trained Tech who has the required testing equipment and the relevant knowledge as to how to use it.

Please also note that there is one thing that is possibly worse than using a known poor quality brand of PSU and that is using one that is unheard of, for brands of PSU to trust and brands to avoid please refer to the two attached links http://www.10stripe....d/psu/brand.php and http://forum.pcmech....ide-inside.html
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#7
mawmaw

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Alright. I will try your suggestions. It will take a few days so if I don't respond back I am still working on it.
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#8
phillpower2

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No worries, reply when you are able to :thumbsup:
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#9
mawmaw

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OK. I installed the PSU. It works fine. No problems. The only difference besides the name was this one is a 300 instead of the 350. Hope it wont cause too many problems. He doesnt use it alot. just a little surfing and check facebook talking to family. and a few games. Sorry it took so long.
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#10
phillpower2

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Hello mawmaw

A 300W will be adequate but Only under the following circumstances, it is a quality brand, there is no add on video card fitted and there is only one optical drive fitted.

What is the brand of the PSU and is there only one optical and the one HDD fitted?

As an asides I am pleased that it has been established that it was a bad PSU and that there was no other further damage done to other components.
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#11
mawmaw

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The brand name on the psu is Bestec. He pretty much has a basic computer. One each Agere modem, seagate hard drive, Micron memory stick (512 mb ddr). He plays a few games chats on facebook. I can install the program that keeps up with his power usage. And will definitely get his anti virus installed. Avg and malwarebytes for sure. He only had what was on it long ago and never any updates. Have alot to do.
I am glad it was the psu too. I thought it was just a setting and broke it somehow by changing his settings.

Edited by mawmaw, 20 October 2012 - 06:45 PM.

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#12
phillpower2

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From my reply #6

I am sorry to say that the Bestec brand of PSU has possibly the worst reputation when it comes down to being of poor quality, unstable power output and high failure rates.

brands of PSU to trust and brands to avoid please refer to the two attached links http://www.10stripe....d/psu/brand.php and http://forum.pcmech....ide-inside.html

You will note that it is advised to avoid the Bestec brand at both links.

I do not mean to alarm you but please see the attached video showing what happens to poor quality PSUs
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#13
mawmaw

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Wow. Ok, I will look for another. I told him to unplug it when not using it. Should get him by til I can find another. Thank you for helping me.
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#14
phillpower2

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You are welcome mawmaw :thumbsup:

If you have any further questions please feel free to give us a shout.
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