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Computer rarely boots, blank screen, will boot without power to hard disks

Posted on 2005-03-24
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
In the last week I am having trouble booting. I turn the power on, the fans turn on and lights come on, but the screen is blank, no error beeps, no error messages through the asus voice reporter. If i keep turning on and off eventually it decides to post of its own accord. There are some strange clciking sounds coming from the hard disks as if they are not powering up correctly, so I unplugged them all, and the computer will boot to post every time. As soon as I plug power into the hard disks, but not the sata cables, it will not boot. This seems like a power problem as the disks are not connected to the motherboard? At the same time in windows, games will not even load, but freeze the computer. My new ipod shuffle will not connect through usb, but flashes with a green light, which i have found out through forums means a lack of power to usb. The power supply is a few months old and is very powerful. Until last week the computer has worked well.

AMD Athlon 64 FX-53
ASUS SK8V S940 VIA K8T800
OCZ 2x512MB PC3200 Reg
ATI Radeon X800XT
Antec TRUECONTROL 550
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Question by:timdh5
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9 Comments
 
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Callandor earned 1000 total points
ID: 13622762
I think you have identified the cause - your power supply.  Newness is not an indicator of function; a new power supply can be unable to provide enough power or be broken, and all your symptoms point to it.  Swap a new one in and see if your situation improves.
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by:stockhes
ID: 13625479
Althoug I agree with Callandor that the PSU seems broken, There is a vague possibility that one of your harddrives is shorting the 5 volt or 12 volt line. Or emitting electrical noise.

You have plugged in the ATX12v connector ? 4pin square with additional 12 volt for CPU
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by:nobus
ID: 13628785
>>   There are some strange clciking sounds coming from the hard disks as if they are not powering up correctly  <<
i agree with above comments, but this could indicate a disc problem, so i suggest testing the discs one by one on another system, or on this one
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Author Comment

by:timdh5
ID: 13629113
I will try another psu when i get one, shorting out is a possibility, but I've tried booting with each of the three hard disks on their own, so they can't all be shorting out. I also don't think it can be a disk error because the computer isn't booting with just the power plugged in, when the disk is not connected with a sata data cable, therefore it has no contact with the motherboard.

I'm on the computer now, I eventually managed to boot by leaving the computer on for 5 minutes until the hard drive kicked into life and stopped clicking, I quickly turned off and on before the drive had a chance to power down, and it booted! None of this seems to explain why all games crash in the loading screens, can that be power related?
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by:nobus
ID: 13629432
what happens if you boot with one stick (try the other too) or without ram? does it beep then?
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Author Comment

by:timdh5
ID: 13630806
I suspected ram first, so bought a new single module 1gb, a mere £240. Its not ram, cpu or video. some people have said its motherboard, but it wont boot even if the sata cables arent connected.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 13631057
it looks like one of 2 things :power supply or motherboard; this

"I quickly turned off and on before the drive had a chance to power down, and it booted" <--- points more to the power supply than the motherboard, since all was powered up already.
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Expert Comment

by:Sparky568223
ID: 13631707
It would seem to me as if your power supply is maxed out. Especially since you stated the USB wasn't getting power.  From what you have stated your computer is going to need 325 watts, maybe more if you are running case lights, more than one CD-Rom, or extra fans.  The power supply does not actually output 550 watts, that is peak power, if it ran perfect, nothing is perfect.  According to this spec sheet, http://www.silentpcreview.com/article58-page1.html the power supply only gets 68% efficiency, which means 550 x 68% = 374 watts average output.  So several months of hard use and a sub-standard manufactured power supply the power supply may even be outputting less watts.  Antec's website stated this power supply came with a 3 yr warranty.  I would get ahold of them and get it exchanged. And review how much power your system needs.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 13635302
if you want to know your power needed, look here,and allow a margin :

http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/      

Also, add the amp figures on the 12 V rail, and compare them to your PSU
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