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Is it the PSU, CPU, RAM, Video Card or Mobo?

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by Paiasoloco, May 27, 2005.

  1. Paiasoloco

    Paiasoloco Guest

    My Pc was acting weird laterly, it would take a long time (up to around
    3 min) frozen in the BIOS presentation screen before eventually booting
    up. A couple of times it did reset completely, not even giving windows
    bluescreen.

    Until yesterday when it finally gave up. When I turn it on now the hard
    drive would start spinning, lights on the cd and dvd rom flash, CPU
    fan, Video Board's fan, case fan start spinning, everything seems to
    strart working fine, the monitor turns on but no signal at all. No BIOS
    screen, no audio alerts like when there are CPU or RAM problems.

    This is what I've tried already:
    -Removes BIOS battery for a full day. Tested it and has full charge.
    -Removed all boards, usb conectors, all drives but the hard drive.
    -Removed and re-seated the CPU and fan
    -Removed 1 DIMM so that only 1 would remain on.

    I don't know what else to do. COuld the Video Board be causing this? Or
    a faulty BIOS is more like it? Also, could the Power Supply be
    outputting less voltage that needed? I couldn't test its output
    voltage.

    P4 3.0 800 MHz
    INTEL D865PERL Mobo
    2x512 184-pin DDR 400 SDRAM DIMMs
    ATI 9700Pro
    Creative Sound Blaster Live!
    80gb Maxtor HD.
    Floppy, CD-Rom, DVD-Rom
    350 watt PSU

    Any ideas?
    Thank you,
    Paiasoloco
     
    Paiasoloco, May 27, 2005
    #1
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  2. Paiasoloco

    Chris Hill Guest


    You're going to hate this answer: it could be the power supply, video
    card, mb or cpu. That's the order I'd replace things in, anyway.
     
    Chris Hill, May 27, 2005
    #2
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  3. Paiasoloco: I suggest you obtain and run the hardwaare diagnostics.
    In many cases these are in a separate partition.

    Skip Knoble, Penn State GEaRS


    -|My Pc was acting weird laterly, it would take a long time (up to around
    -|3 min) frozen in the BIOS presentation screen before eventually booting
    -|up. A couple of times it did reset completely, not even giving windows
    -|bluescreen.
    -|
    -|Until yesterday when it finally gave up. When I turn it on now the hard
    -|drive would start spinning, lights on the cd and dvd rom flash, CPU
    -|fan, Video Board's fan, case fan start spinning, everything seems to
    -|strart working fine, the monitor turns on but no signal at all. No BIOS
    -|screen, no audio alerts like when there are CPU or RAM problems.
    -|
    -|This is what I've tried already:
    -|-Removes BIOS battery for a full day. Tested it and has full charge.
    -|-Removed all boards, usb conectors, all drives but the hard drive.
    -|-Removed and re-seated the CPU and fan
    -|-Removed 1 DIMM so that only 1 would remain on.
    -|
    -|I don't know what else to do. COuld the Video Board be causing this? Or
    -|a faulty BIOS is more like it? Also, could the Power Supply be
    -|outputting less voltage that needed? I couldn't test its output
    -|voltage.
    -|
    -|P4 3.0 800 MHz
    -|INTEL D865PERL Mobo
    -|2x512 184-pin DDR 400 SDRAM DIMMs
    -|ATI 9700Pro
    -|Creative Sound Blaster Live!
    -|80gb Maxtor HD.
    -|Floppy, CD-Rom, DVD-Rom
    -|350 watt PSU
    -|
    -|Any ideas?
    -|Thank you,
    -|Paiasoloco
     
    Herman D. Knoble, May 27, 2005
    #3
  4. Paiasoloco

    Jeremy Boden Guest

    The only time this happened to me (similar problems), it was caused by
    the Motherboard - did you notice that any CMOS values started to change
    (e.g. current time) before the big freeze up?
     
    Jeremy Boden, May 27, 2005
    #4
  5. Paiasoloco

    Arno Wagner Guest

    I second that. You might want to first borrow a normal video card
    somewhere, i.e. one that does not draw a significant amount of power.
    If it works with that, then you have narroved it down to video card
    or PSU.

    Arno
     
    Arno Wagner, May 28, 2005
    #5
  6. Paiasoloco

    w_tom Guest

    You could replace all those things and still not have a
    working machine. The symptoms are also common to a
    problematic disk drive. Just another example of why
    shotgunning is performed by those who don't first learn.
    Shotgunning takes longer and costs more money.

    First learn. Responsible computer manufacturers provide
    comprehensive diagnostics for free - both with the machine and
    on their web site. Otherwise download diagnostics from
    component manufacturers or third party diagnostics. Does
    computer also take forever to boot from floppy - either the OS
    or from comprehensive diagnostics? That learned fact goes a
    long way to identify a suspect - long before we swap anything.

    If your car mechanic shotgunned, you would call it a scam.
    Why is computer repair any different? Its not. Just that
    some people want to fix things rather than first learn what is
    wrong.

    BTW, the system (event) logs may have been reporting what is
    wrong long ago. Again, an example if 'first learning' or
    preventing total failure before it can happen. Superior
    operating systems record the problem, then work around that
    problem so a human can solve the problem later. But again, it
    requires the human to first learn.

    Is it a power supply. The 3.5 digit multimeter would have
    answered that question in less than 2 minutes and long ago.
    Just another example of first learning. Those who never
    learned how to work smarter promote shotgunning.
     
    w_tom, May 28, 2005
    #6
  7. Paiasoloco

    Tanya Guest

    did you start it with only the hd, keyboard, video +/- a memory chip?
    make sure the cpu is secure...
    yes it could be... try another psu or test it with a voltmeter
    since from what you describe seems that you cannot use a hw diags if it's
    not running...
    i'd try another video card first.

    if no go, test the power supply (with a voltmeter) or if you have another
    psu that works try it...
    (as above:)
    and ensure that the connectors from the psu to the motherboard are secure
    (likely not the problem) but could reseat them...

    make sure that the memory chip that you have is good and try IT in each
    slot (individually) (1 slot at a time)

    if these don't work, i'd unplug everything except the video card (and
    monitor), hard drive (OR floppy drive (perhaps with a boot disk)) the
    keyboard, and see if you get anything...
    (i guess you did this -- did you do this with no memory chips in? if not
    try that)

    but again imVHo try another video card...
    post back with results...
     
    Tanya, May 29, 2005
    #7
  8. Paiasoloco

    Paiasoloco Guest

    Thanks All for the ideas.

    Update:
    I had my diagnosis completely wrong, it turned out that it was the
    monitor that died. I had initially thought that it was the PC that had
    failed and was attempting to reboot.

    What threw me off was that the PC was taking too long to boot up in the
    first place as I mention in my original post. It's like 5 minutes that
    I had to wait until it eventually gets off the stupid INTEL branded
    bios startup screen and continue booting. I thought this was another
    problem altogether and never did wait long enough for the os to start
    loading under the black screen. Mind you, my monitor screen was black.
    It would receive the signal and turn on the "powered on" green light so
    it never occurred to me that it could have been the monitor.

    This is why I wasn't getting the BIOS sound alerts also. Anyhow, I
    thought it was the BIOS, so I downloaded a repair BIOS from Intel,
    copied it in a floppy, removed the jumper to tell the MoBo to do its
    thing and the BIOS was repaired this way. This didn't fix it, so I
    sneaked into the office during the weekend and snatched the Soyo
    TechAid Diagnosis board from the IT's office which is proving quite a
    'life saver' lately.

    Installed it and turned on the PC. I was getting POST code 85 on my AMI
    BIOS (Display any soft error message) and it was stuck there
    indefinitely, thus never fully booting. And here's the tricky part, I
    was supposed to be getting the error message on-screen, BUT it turned
    out that the monitor had died at the same time. And no matter how much
    I waited this time, the OS won't load. With my BIOS repair procedure I
    had returned to the defaults and it was trying to let me know that I
    had the second Dual Channel memory DIMM wrongly positioned. I didn't
    know that they should be placed across channels instead os filling 1
    channel first. Anyways, I had dismissed this message when I first
    installed the DIMMS but it reappeared after reset.

    That's when I went back to the office and snatched one of my monitors,
    just to see what the hell was going on. I plugged it and there it was!
    The message waiting for my input. So now I have a useless 22" beast CRT
    sitting at home waiting to be trashed or... something.
    $420 and a SyncMaster 930B flat panel later, I'm still facing the very
    slow boot. It is freezing on POST code 38 which apparently means
    "Memory below 1MB is initialized". Also, the PC would reboot out of the
    blue, not even an XP bluescreen is shown. So, I have more research to
    do tonight and back to the POST codes debugging

    Paiasoloco
     
    Paiasoloco, Jun 1, 2005
    #8
  9. Paiasoloco

    w_tom Guest

    Did you hear those transistors inside saying, "Gotcha"?

    Note the trend. How long would you have been there swapping
    parts? How much money would you have spent on new parts that
    did not solve anything? Good techs have simple tools to learn
    facts rather than spend both time and money on "shotgunning".
    You fixed the problem ... AND .... because you know why the
    problem was, then you also know that problem is really fixed.
     
    w_tom, Jun 1, 2005
    #9
  10. Paiasoloco

    Paiasoloco Guest

    Since you are concerned about learning, may I suggest you learn a
    little about teaching Tom? Your post has no lesson that I could
    possible learn from. In fact I believe you didn't even READ what I
    posted in the first place.

    Lesson nr 1 about teaching AND learning: Understanding the problem is
    the fist and most important step towards solving it.

    Maybe it was my poor description of the problem, but you did poorly
    interpreting it also. For example, hard drive has nothing to do with
    the problem I described. My problem occurs before the HD can even start
    to be an issue. In fact, I can completely remove it and wouldn't be a
    difference. It all stops at the BIOS level. BIOS as I'm sure you have
    learned is stored in ROM, and can start successfully and without
    reported errors even without a hard drive. This allows for booting off
    of a floppy, network or even a USB device. Eventually and if you don't
    have any of these boot devices, it would give a message that a boot
    drive is missing but at this point all BIOS operations started
    successfully.

    Another one, what do the system logs have to do with these problems?,
    again, the OS is not even aware of any problems because this is at a
    lower level. Ay ay ay, I don't even know why I even bother.

    Thank you for your reply though it was... enlightening ;)
    Paiasoloco
     
    Paiasoloco, Jun 1, 2005
    #10
  11. Paiasoloco

    w_tom Guest

    The system need not be booting from the disk drive to be
    stuck in the BIOS due to drive failure. Disk operations
    performed by the BIOS can be hindered by a defective disk
    drive long before booting. Also add video monitor to the list
    of shotgunning. Yes the BIOS can be hindered even by a
    defective video monitor. You assumed the problem was not
    being reported in system logs? Nonsense. Symptoms of bootup
    failures today can sometimes be found in previously recored
    log entries. Entries not in that log also provide useful
    information. All part of step two described below. But step
    one is to appreciate why shotgunning is bad practice.

    Provided in the previous post was only steps one and two -
    enough information to appreciate the error of shotgunning, and
    the value of numbers and other facts. Important numbers were
    displayed in that BSOD. What were those numbers and error
    messages (step two)? Since numbers were not provided, I did
    not post what would be a "long description" flow chart for
    step three. First step two must be taken.

    Your original post is also symptomatic of a problem with the
    Power on Reset circuitry. Add that to a list of things to
    shotgun. Speculation of a POR failure also tells us little
    useful. Numbers such as voltages and information on that BSOD
    screen would have made a "long description" short enough to
    post. But first you must display an intent - ie provide some
    of that useful information even from system logs and other
    sources - step two. You are correct. I did not post a long
    "do this and do that" flow chart because based upon
    insufficient information provided, that "long description"
    flow chart for step three would be enourmous. Step one -
    don't shotgun. Step two, collect and provide all facts and
    numbers. Step three, break the problem down into parts.
    Provided was information only for the first two steps.
     
    w_tom, Jun 1, 2005
    #11
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