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Boot -up problems

Posted on 2003-02-20
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Hi, my other pc is playing up and I need guidance

When I power on, the red disk and green power LED's come on but the pc won't boot up.  The distinctive 'beep' as it comes alive after a second or two is missing.  All power to external hardware (monitor, keyboard, printer etc)is ok.  Basically lights on but no one at home.

This has occurred a couple of times and seems to rectify itself if I leave it off for few hours.  Maybe that's luck but who knows.  So far it's been dead for last 5 hours.  It has happened 3 times now during last few days and always immediately after it has mysteriously powered off whilst in use, ie been typing away and phutt....

If it comes back up, could do with some idea what to check after I manage to back my critical data up.

Not sure how to allocate points on this one as probably won't know who is right etc (I'm not one for taking the thing apart and re-assembling).

Thanks
K
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Question by:Kyliem
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10 Comments
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 7988744
Most likely your power supply is failing or the CPU has gone bad, or the motherboard is dead.  I'd vote for the power supply as the most likely cause.  If you don't feed comfortable taking the system apart, take it in to a PC repair shop and have them take a look at it.  It might just need to be cleaned out (dust can accumulate and block the fans, etc).  You can use a can of compressed air to blast out the dust from the CPU heatsink and the power supply unit.

-dog*
0
 

Expert Comment

by:cybertronixs
ID: 7989316
There could be 1 or more problems with this.  One problem may be an overheating issue.  If the fans are not running in the compute (not just the one on the back of the power supply) the computer could be heating up and shutting down.  This is a very common accurance with overheating systems. SOLUTION: If the fans are not running take to a local repair shop to replace the fan (est. cost, $25).  Make sure you blow out any dust from the inside when you open it (blow it out witha can of air.  you can get this at any office depot or place like that)  Dust is an insulator in this environment.

The second could be hard drive related.  If you can "feel" or hear the hard drive spinning you are ok.  If not what could be happening is the actuator arm on the inside is slowing down and "grabing" the platers (disk itself) and melting to it.  The actuator arm "sticks" to the drive and it will freeze there.  After a while it will cool down and break free thus starting the computer again. SOLUTION: "smack" the hard drive to break the arm loose. (lightly though)  its not a slap boxing match!
0
 
LVL 45

Expert Comment

by:patrickab
ID: 7989495
The absence of the POST bleeps probably indicates an absence of info'. Are you're sure your cmos battery is OK? If your machine is over 5 years old the chances are that the cmos battery is dead. It's 2cm in diam and the thickness of a coin - costs about USD3 and should be available locally. I'm afraid it does mean you will need to take the lid off your machine. Mind you this suggested solution does not explain why it's OK after a few hours.

If the actuator arm is sticking to the disks as cybertronixs suggests you need a new hdd as fast as possible.
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Author Comment

by:Kyliem
ID: 8010749
Plot thickens - or thins I hope - but the pc actually reboots when left on for about 10 mins after it has gone down.  Thats to say it reboots happily whether it has gone down whilst in use or has been freshly switched on.

I guess my original post is therefore misleading as I had never actually left it on in a powered on state before as I saw no reason to.  

Cmos battery seems fine as all settings and clock are ok.

Hopefully this may more accurately identify the problem.  Many thanks guys
K
0
 

Accepted Solution

by:
claesy earned 102 total points
ID: 8056962
Dear Kyliem,

I think your problem is the memory.
In case of removal of the memory, and pluging it back in, then usually, the first time it allways boots, but fail when rebooting

Something to try:
If you can get some memory from a friend, then get yours out, and put it in there. and boot and reboot.(and pray :-) ) or but your memory in his pc.

If not, if you have more then one bank of memory, get 1 out, try to boot, and reboot. And do the same with the other one.

If you have only one bank, you can do this: Boot, and reboot untill failure, get the memory out, plug it back in, and then it shoot boot again. (and probably, will fail one of the next times)

If this is the case, you can be sure you memory is broken

Greating
Yves
0
 

Author Comment

by:Kyliem
ID: 8063278
Am behind on work stuff but will try out stuff soon.
K
0
 

Author Comment

by:Kyliem
ID: 8147731
Hi, haven't pinpointed exact cause yet but I have requested moderater split & allocate points equally to dogztar, cybertronix and claesy.   Patrick I missed you off since I have discounted my cmos battery but appreicate your input.  I trust this allocation is agreeable with you all.  Thanks

K
0
 

Expert Comment

by:modulo
ID: 8148052
Dear Kyliem

I've refunded 66 points to enable you to accept the comment for one expert and to post "Points for <expertname>" Q's for the other experts in the same topic area.

Please:
1) Post the link to the original Q in the "Points for <expertname>" and
2) Add in the original Q a comment with the link to the "Points for <expertname>", thus the email notif will warn the expert.

modulo

Community Support Moderator
Experts Exchange
0
 

Author Comment

by:Kyliem
ID: 8150626
Points have been split as advised.  Moderator request posted in Community Support area for cybertronixs and dogztar.

Thanks everyone.
K
0
 

Expert Comment

by:modulo
ID: 8170319
Points for posted in wrong area, moved points.

dogztar points at:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_20556706.html
cybertronixs points at:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_20556707.html

modulo

Community Support Moderator
Experts Exchange
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