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System failing to start


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#1
Basilik

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For the past few weeks, the system has been getting hung up at random. I restarted it yesterday and am now getting nowhere. The only screen that loads is as follows:

PheonixBIOS 4.0 Release 6.0
Copyright 1985-2001 Pheonix Technologies Ltd.
All Rights Reserved
Version 1.01

CPU = Intel ® Celeron ® processor 1.00 GHz
510M System RAM Passed
128K Cache Passed
System BIOS shadowed
Video BIOS shadowed
Fixed Disk 0: ST320410A
ATAPI CD-ROM: SAMSUNG CD-ROM SC-148




Press <DEL> to enter SETUP




I have tried pressing DEL to enter setup, but nothing happens. What is wrong with this computer? The system is 6 years old. It has a 20G HD. It doesn't sound like it's running as smoothly as it should be either. The CPU fan sounds like crap. I need to know what needs to be replaced to get this back up and running.

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#2
gen244drdr

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Hey Basilik,

My first guess would be that maybe your hard drive has kicked the bucket. Are you confident to pull the computer apart? If you aren't then please don't attempt anything you aren't comfortable with.

Firstly, from the BIOS screen you typed for us, I see that your computer seems to think it's okay from its power on self testing (the bits which say Passed). This is why I'd be checking the hard disk first. Can you hear it spin up when you switch the computer on? Does the hard disk ever make strange clunking/ticking/or power up/down sounds?

I suggest you try booting the computer with the hard drive unplugged. If the hard disk is the problem, the boot process will proceed just a little further and give you a message telling you to insert a system disk or something similar. Also note that you could get a message telling you the computer can't find your hard disk. If this is the case it means your hard drive has been set manually instead of being left on auto-detect in the BIOS.

The CPU fan issue shouldn't hard to fix. Simply remove it, take it outside, and blow all the dust out of it. I might also be a good time to give the whole computer a cleanout (once a year is nice and it probably has never been done in the last 6).

When replacing the fam be very sure it's attached properly and don't forget to plug in it's power cable!

Let us know how you go.
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#3
Basilik

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The hard drive was my first suspect as well. I took the HD out and took it to CompUSA to have it tested. They gave it back to me and said it was fine. I am turning my attention to the motherboard/processor now... with the intent of replacing at the moment.
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#4
Basilik

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I also tried your suggestion of starting the system without the HD attached. It didn't show the HD in the list, but it also did not prompt for the HD to be attached or a boot disk to be inserted.
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#5
wannabe1

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Basilik...

Take a look at the motherboard. Next to the CPU, you should see a row or group of capacitors (they look like little tin cans). Do any of them show swelling, discoloration, or signs of leaking?

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#6
Basilik

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No
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#7
wannabe1

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Basilik...

Prior to this happening, did your machine ever hang, shut down, or restart unexpectedly or randomly?

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#8
Tyger

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And I'd like to chip in with this suggestion. Go to the Seagate website and download the diagnsotic software to a floppy and run it on your machine to test the hard drive, and also just to see if it will boot from another, in this case a floppy, drive.
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#9
Basilik

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yes(first post)
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#10
wannabe1

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:tazz: Whoops.....lol

This is probably heat related and you may have fried the processor. If you hear no beeps when going to the boot sequence, the machine is not making it through POST. See if CompUSA can test your CPU in a different motherboard. I'd say at this point, the CPU is likely the suspect...BUT...there is a chance it could be the Power Supply, too...you might have it tested, as well.

wannabe1

Edited by wannabe1, 27 November 2005 - 04:54 PM.

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#11
gen244drdr

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Regarding the fried CPU theory, I wouldnt have expected a POST screen with a nuked CPU.
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#12
Basilik

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I think it's more the motherboard than the processor.
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#13
gen244drdr

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Try unplugging everthing possible from the mobo - as much ram as you can, any extra cards besides video, all data ribon cables etc. Then see if it starts. Try another keyboard if you can, just in case it has an unknown stuck key contributing to things (I've seen it happen). If it still doesn't work, I'd be considering if its worth bothering with any more effort on your part, sentimental value aside.

Edited by gen244drdr, 28 November 2005 - 05:44 AM.

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#14
wannabe1

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I think it's more the motherboard than the processor

This is why I suggested having the processor tested in another board...the processor is easier to remove and transport and if it tests bad or good, you'll have the answer to that question. I'd still have the PSU tested, too.

wannabe1
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