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Here's one for the Pink Panther

Posted on 2003-03-14
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I have seen this problem on other boards, but mine is a little more unique.  I left my computer on, and when I returned later the monitor was in power save mode.  The computer would not come back on.  I shut the machine down and still no video signal.  I can go back the next day and the machine will boot up fine.  If I restart, again no video signal.  It's like it will only boot if off for several hours.  I have had at least three different video cards in it and still the same thing.  It's not the monitor because it works fine when hooked to my Mac or laptop.  I have replaced the motherboard (EPOX EP-3SPA3L) with an identical copy and still the same thing occurs.  I have reinstalled operating systems and nothing changes.  I have 2 sticks of ram and I have tried using only one to see if I have a bad stick.  Same problem.  I have been told to try to flash my BIOS, or clear my CMOS, but I'm not sure how to do this and it sounds dangerous.  The thing that ticks me off is, it appears to work fine if I leave it alone, but when I go to restart it doesn't come back to life.  Any suggestions???  Thanks for your time and potential help!
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Question by:smallpoppa
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18 Comments
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:dxf224
ID: 8142099
Did you try turning off all power savers, disable screen saver, anything that would go into standby?Anything in msconfig (startup tab)?
Turn off whatever sends it into powersave....
Why was it suggested to you to flash the BIOS? Except in a few situations, its not that tough or dangerous to do.
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Author Comment

by:smallpoppa
ID: 8142114
It's not going into powersave.  If i turn it on, it works.  If I restart, it just plain doesn't.  If it's booting up, I can't see it.  I can turn it on right now and it will boot fine.  Then say, I install software and need to restart, it doesn't send a VGA feed.  It's like its not booting properly or acting like the video card is bad.  I've tried a couple video cards and it always does the same thing, no booting.
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by:Snowguy
ID: 8143254
Try a new higher watage power supply.
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Author Comment

by:smallpoppa
ID: 8145249
just curious, what would the higher wattage supply do?  I've had this case for a while now, and have had different boards in it.  Do more powerful computers need higher wattage power supply's?  I've got an 866mhz PIII processor, 133 bus, 512mb ram, GForce4 64mb video card (the cheap one), modem, SCSI card, network card, firewire card, and sound card.  I still have the same probelem when i take everything out but my HD, vid card, and one stick of ram.
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by:dxf224
ID: 8145413
If all you have is vid card hd ram and mb you've got lots unless your power supply was running a 486 or something  of that vintage.  Even then ..
Explanation and sample calc. at bottom of link page  http://www.tdl.com/~netex/cases/ps.html
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Author Comment

by:smallpoppa
ID: 8145855
Interesting stuff.  From what I gather, with everything running I might be exceeding my power supply, however, i don't get why when I take all my PCI cards out, it still would be exceeding the power supply's rating.  I don't know that much about power supplys, but I pulled mine out and here is what it says:
------------------------------------------
POWER MAN
model no: FSP300-60BT

AC INPUT: 115/230V~, 10/5A, 60/50Hz
DC OUTPUT: +3.3V - 14.0A (org), +5V - 30.0A(red), +12V -           11.0A (yel)
           +5Vsb - 2.0A (purp), -5V - 0.3A (white), -12V -           0.8A (Blue)
FUSE RATING: 6.3A, 250V-
MAX OUTPUT POWER: 300W (+3.3V & +5V = 150W MAX)
------------------------------------------
Is that good or bad?  Thanks for the help!
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by:Snowguy
ID: 8146380
It is possable that the power supply is failing and not performing as it should. The only way to know for shure is to use a known good working power supply. You may want to get one from a store that has a good return policy and try one. That way you can know if that is the problem or not.
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Author Comment

by:smallpoppa
ID: 8177968
Ok, I got a 400W power supply from Sparkle, which appears to be a decent name in that industry.  No go.  The same problem occurs.  I boot up, everything appears normal, then restart, no signal.  I then tried to flash the bios.  Same thing.  I noticed something this time though.  It asks me for a password to get into the bios, which, i guess it always did.  When I give it the password it lets me in, but doesn't let me modify anything.  I don't know what other password I would have used other than the one I tried.  Any thoughts on how I can get full access, or if there is a setting in the bios that might be enabling some powersave feature that I don't have access too?  Also, would the settings be as they were even after I flashed the bios?  Is it time to just scrap the motherboard and start anew?  Thanks again.
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by:dxf224
ID: 8178172
Not familiar with bios passwords  ..I assume you were not allowed access to tweak bios etc? because you entered the wrong password?  Try this ...(won't Hurt)
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by:dxf224
ID: 8178177
oh yeah ... before you try to change anything, write down what your old settings are ... or generally Shift+printscreen will give you a printout.
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by:dxf224
ID: 8178186
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by:dxf224
ID: 8178197
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by:smallpoppa
ID: 8178699
Thanks dx, I was actually able to get a hold of epox and they told me how to reset the CMOS with a jumper on the motherboard.  However, even when I get into the bios and change settings, upon restart I still get no signal.  The more I try, the more lost I get.  Any clues??
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:dxf224
ID: 8184951
You're running out of parts to replace.
So, you've turned everything off/on or whatever in the bios that might cause the problem (Ithink it would be under advanced power management),and you've "never"'d the power management stuff in control pane
You've traded video cards etc.
You're working on your second motherboard... including new cpu when you swapped????
IFIT'S THE ORIGINAL cpu, I'd be suspicious of that or something heat-related.  What's the cpu?  There are freeware tests you could run on it... google search test cpu or cpu test.
...who set up the bios?If it were mine, I'd first do the above, and if that didn't help,  reset bios to DEFAULTt settings after making note of existing settings.
 

 
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by:dxf224
ID: 8185050
DOH..ignore comment re default .. assume that was done when you reset cmos...
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Author Comment

by:smallpoppa
ID: 10485269
Thanks to everyone. After completely rebuilding the machine with spare parts I had, I found that the video card was the culprit. I noticed on some AGP and PCI cards, the face part that you screw into can be up to a quarter inch away from being flush on the case, and when you tighten the screw down, can pop the rear part of the card's contact into the motherboard out. A new card fixed the problem. Too bad you pay big bucks for cards that can't even fit the case. Next time I'll use the die grinder. Thanks again.
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