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Computer shuts down w/HD plugged in

Posted on 2004-08-13
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
Moved a big (120gig) IDE hd from one computer to another. Second computer dies (or won't start) as soon as it's plugged in - display disappears if running, no display at all if starting up, other HD makes 'clunking' noises(!), etc. Problem also appears if new HD is the ONLY thing plugged in. RMA'ed the HD; new one does the same thing - plugging it in turns it into a boat anchor. 'Puter runs fine without it.

Computer is a PIII / 600 MHz and thus old. But older computer runs HD fine.

Suggestions?

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Question by:awacs0
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Author Comment

by:awacs0
ID: 11794095
Oh, just to emphasize: above happens (even) w/o data cable attached.
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11794219
Do mean attaching the hard drive causes problems, or booting from the hard drive causes problems?

If you are trying to boot from a hard drive from another computer and are using WinXP, you need to do a repair install, because the hardware abstraction layer has changed.  

WinXP: http://www.dougknox.com/xp/tips/xp_repair_install.htm 
Win2K: http://www.windowsreinstall.com/install/other/motherboard/win2k.htm
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Author Comment

by:awacs0
ID: 11794305
Attaching the hd causes problems. It never gets even to the first BIOS screen (when restarting). Clearly not an OS thing.

Using Linux Mandrake 9.1.
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11794339
Would this be a Western Digital drive?  It has a different jumper setting for Single (no other drive) versus master (assumes a slave is attached).

If the problem is not the drive, then I would try a different IDE controller on this system - the one you tried may be defective.
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Author Comment

by:awacs0
ID: 11794432
Yes, it's a WD - believe I played already with the jumpers on the first hd, but (anyway) that shouldn't matter if HD is the only thing plugged in, right?

Only two IDE controllers on the MB - tried 'em both. Darn.
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Accepted Solution

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eccs19 earned 750 total points
ID: 11794506
I wonder if your power supply is causing trouble.  Perhaps the new harddrive is just drawing enough power to put the PS over it's limits.  I think unlikely, but not impossible.
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11794516
If the only HD is the Western Digital, then it HAS to be set to Single.  However, that should not cause the computer to shut down.  Have you tried a different cable?
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Author Comment

by:awacs0
ID: 11794541
to Eccs19: I've thought of this. But a 250w P/S having trouble powering the MB and ONE hard disk? You think?

to Callador: Yup, two cables on the MB, tried 'em both.
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Author Comment

by:awacs0
ID: 11794554
... and, if the P/S were bad, wouldn't it blow a fuse? This one DOESN'T work with the drive plugged in (oh - another detail - if left plugged in long enough, it shuts down and won't restart right away - could be overheating? - but doesn't seem like it) - but does work when the drive is removed.

?
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11794664
Bad power supplies can cause the behavior you describe, without blowing a fuse.  They need the most current on startup, and if the power supply can't deliver, the system doesn't start up.  The 12v rail is the crucial one.
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Author Comment

by:awacs0
ID: 11794724
And plugging in running HD would shut everything down? Hmmmm.

Really weird when I do that: the screen display disappears, the keyboard goes dead (lights on, but numlock etc. don't shut them off) and the other HD makes a clunking noise.

Very well, I'll swap P/S's Sunday and report back.

Thanks to both of you,
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Expert Comment

by:eccs19
ID: 11794775
Yes, even a 250 Watt PS sounds low for a P3.  I usually don't put anything less than a 350W myself.  

Power supplies can be very troublesome from issues like strange crashes to worse.  I've had a PS take out a hard drive, CD drive & MB.  CPU, sound & ram was about all that survived.
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Expert Comment

by:eccs19
ID: 11794802
"And plugging in running HD would shut everything down? Hmmmm.

Really weird when I do that: the screen display disappears, the keyboard goes dead (lights on, but numlock etc. don't shut them off) and the other HD makes a clunking noise."

This may sound like a strange question, but from what I'm reading above, are you plugging in the hard drive while the computer is powered on???  If you are doing this, this is a VERY BIG no no.  Perhaps clairify.

Best Regards
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Author Comment

by:awacs0
ID: 11794955
Yes - just the power cable, not the data cable
"A very big no-no?" Is it really that unsafe? I never had a problem before ...
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Expert Comment

by:eccs19
ID: 11795036
My opinion is the data cable, definately not.  Power cable, not as bad, but when you do this, you are suddenly putting an unexpected load into the system that is currently running.  This could cause a crash definatly.  I guess the best way to explain it would be like having a brownout.  Suddenly your power is getting drained from somewhere and the lights go dim.  Usually electronic items don't like losing power like that.
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Author Comment

by:awacs0
ID: 11795304
Ok, maybe that's true (and can the effect be worse than a laser printer starting up - although this is inside the box, where things are more sensitive), but that's NOT what's happening here.

"There are old technicians, and there are bold technicians, but there are NO old, bold technicians." - author unknown.
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Expert Comment

by:eccs19
ID: 11795407
The power from your lazer printer is not loaded on your PS, whereas the HD is.    If you've been doing this for a bit, could be that it's just had it's toll on the PS.
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Author Comment

by:awacs0
ID: 11869852
Swapped for identical P/S. That fixed it.

But I still wonder what was wrong.
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