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PC either keeps reseting or unable to boot

Posted on 2003-11-15
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
Hi,

My PC has been behaving strangely recently. The first discovery was when I could not boot it up, what I noticed was that the power LED on my monitor was blinking and there was power on the machine. The power, HDD and CDRW LEDs were lit and the lights were steady but there was nothing on the monitor display.

However, this problem seems to go off after a few days of non-usage. This problem is intermittent and sometimes after booting up and using for awhile, the monitor blacks out and the symptoms were exactly like what were described above.

Or the PC keeps reseting and attempting to reboot before it loads up the O/S.

This is a 2 year old PC and the setup is listed below:
- ASUS A7V mainboard
- AMD Duron 800mhz
- 256MB SD RAM
- CD ROM
- CDRW
- Creative 32MB Geforce 2 GTS video card
- Windows XP Pro O/S

I had tested that the monitor was working fine. The fans were in working condition in all cases.

Could anyone help me on this?

Thanks in advance!
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Question by:tubbycub
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by:proziath
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It may be that your power supply unit is defective. Possibly the best way to find out is to replace it and see how your system behaves.
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by:slink9
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If the PS is not the problem you need to back this system down to a bare bones config.  Take the mobo out of the case and set it up on your bench.  Now only plug in a known good video card, memory, cpu, and floppy.  Does it boot?  If yes, add one more piece in at a time until you find the problem.
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by:rayt333
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Did you give it a good cleaning? no dust build-up??

You may want to remove and reseat the video card a few times to be sure it has good connection. actually it wouldn't hurt to remove and replace the memory, the CPU, all power connection, ect, to be sure all has good connection.
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by:qualserve
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#1 cause of such behavior is a faulty video card.  Reseat, if not better, replace.
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by:c141medic
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Your problems may actually be due to overheating. You mention that these issues go away after a period of non-usage and occur after you have been using the computer for a while. This is a classic symptom of overheated components. Is this system "overclocked" in any way? If it is that may be a part of the problem especially if you don't have additional cooling devices like extra fans, etc. My suggestion is to download a few good utilities such as Motherboard monitor and SiSoft Sandra (both shareware). Use Motherboard monitor to monitor your temp (both cpu as well as motherboard). Then use SiSoft Sandra to "burn-in" your system. Good luck.

C141medic
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by:philby11
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It is your PSU.
It wont be heat cause you said "The first discovery was when I could not boot it up".
I have seen these symptoms many times & 9 out of 10 times it's the PSU
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by:slink9
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It would be nice to hear from the questioner about this.
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by:tubbycub
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First of all, great thanks to everyone who offer your kind advices.

Based on everyone's responses, it seems like the cause could be due to several factors from PSU, mobo, video card, CPU to RAM etc...

I have done the following prior to posting :
- cleaned out all the dust in the interior
- the CPU has 2 fans attached and had checked that both were running
- reseated the video card and RAMs
- I was not able to swap the PSU as I don't have a spare with me now :(

Many of you had mentioned that it could be the PSU, but the LEDs were on and I could hear the fans running. So far, have not seen any sudden power failures. I am using a 300V PSU by the way.

So far, there was power when I powered up the PC but the problem will be seen after some time (from a few minutes to several hours). The PC will go into some kind of "suspension" where the monitor screen blacks out and the CPU, HDD and CDRW LEDs will light up. There was no response when I pressed the reset button. I had to press and hold the power button to switch the system off.

After that, when I tried to power up the PC, it either stays in the same mode  (the 3 LEDs were lit) as it was before I power it down and nothing happens but the fans could be heard running; or it will boot up but it was just a matter of time before the problem arise again. The problem could arise anywhere from the initial system checkings to after the O/S had booted up nicely.

No error messages or beeps were seen or heard in any case.

Apologies for posting the same question on another section :)

Thanks again!
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by:slink9
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Have you tried a "bare bones" config to see if that helps?
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by:tubbycub
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slink9, I have not tried the "bare bones" method as this is a very tedious method and I could hardly find anytime to do it. Secondly, I don't have any spare parts lying around for me to test it out. Next, as the problem is intermittent, sometimes it can be very difficult to isolate the problem completely :(
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by:slink9
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You don't have another video card?  More memory?
You may want to take it to a shop where they can properly troubleshoot and fix this.  Without spare parts to swap out you are pretty much SOL.  Without a half hour or so to set it up on the bench you definitely need to let someone else look at it.
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rayt333 earned 250 total points
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Check the power management and disable it completely, maybe it is going into standby or suspend mode even though you didn't want it to.
Make sure both the BIOS PM and the Windows PM is both disabled, allthough you should be only using one, I have seen both active and sometimes would conflict with each other.
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by:zolpo
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Dozens of reasons can make your pc behave like that.

You have just  two ways!

One, to go to the nearest tech and let him break his head on your PC. (Easy but pricey)

OR

Two, to replace your PC totaly with KNOWN GOOD PARTS. One part at a time. then to wait and see if the problem persists. As soon as you will find THE RIGHT COMBINATION of old and new parts that you PC can work with, you will know which part(s) is "bad" (or conflicting)
(BIG headace, but with big satisfaction, and you will pay exactly what you should)


Good Luck

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by:c141medic
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Just curious, throughout this whole process did you ever do a full system virus scan? One of the more recent viruses (believe it may be the blaster worm) caused PC's to reboot.

c141medic
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by:blc92562
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Try doing a rest on the Bios...may have to pull on-board jumper or just pull the battery (make sure you document the bios settings in case system doesn't auto configure on boot).  Turn system on let it boot... then shut down.... leave system off for 1min and do this 3 times before placing the jumper or battery to original configuration.  Next disable All Power Management via the hardware bios ..Cmos whatever you want to call it.  See what happens!!!
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by:blc92562
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If resting the Bios doesn't do the trick update your Bios to the latest release.  Most Manufac....Dell...Gateway..Etc all update the system Bios regularly on their web sites.

Hope this helps
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by:asurada2003
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Have u try to Take out the CPU to check??

See if it was Clean or not.

How many ram u using??

If the 256 is 2 piece u can swap the ram for test.

If not try to get a new power supply for testing. It was not expensive to buy.
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Author Comment

by:tubbycub
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rayt333's suggestion seemed to have solved my problem. I had disabled the BIOS power management and the problem seems to be gone. At least, it has been running fine for the past couple of weeks. Thanks!
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