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Hardware trouble ?

I have a customer who is having a problem with intermitent video connectivity.  What is happenning is that when you hit the power on the computer sometimes it will not bring up any BIOS screen.  There is power to the monitor.  Originally the problem was the motherboard.  Got a new board.  The problem originally started before we got the new motherboard. I stripped it down to get troubleshoot the problem and suspected the motherboard because the power would go for a few seconds and then quit.   The power supply voltages checked out ok and I even tried another power supply and got the same results with the video and the  intermitent power to the motherboard.  Tried another outlet and power cords.  Since we put in the new motherboard we tried another monitor.  It seem to work great  for a while and then it start where  it would not have any video and thena few minutes later  and another reboot we would have video and see the BIOS screen.
What could this be and can anybody think of anything I have not tried?  I appreciate any and all help on resolving this issue.

Sincerely,

Compucharley
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compucharley
Asked:
compucharley
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2 Solutions
 
scrathcyboyCommented:
Get faster RAm chips.  You probably have RAM with CL3 speed, which is the most common.  That is too slow for new boards, especially if Nvidia chipset involved.  You must have CL 2.5 RAM or faster.  Try that, before trying a new video card.  Also, reset BIOS to safe power on settings to get the system stable.
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compucharleyAuthor Commented:
The problem was occuring before we got the new motherboard.
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nobusCommented:
check also the cpu temperature in the bios.
and check (or replace) all cables and connectors.
Then continue swapping 1 device at the time.

BTW, when this happened, did you ever reinstall the soft? or try with another disk + soft?
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oseebergCommented:
What kind of motherboard is this? Did you change the cpu fan, or keep the one from the first mb? I agree with user nobus, by suspecting this is an overheating problem. I had similar problems, with another computer, and that was caused by a combination of a bad housing design and an undersized cpu fan.
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Gary CutriCommented:
Some mainboards don't like certain brands of video cards.  Just try a different video card.
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compucharleyAuthor Commented:
Its a MSI with an AMD 462 set 133M.  There is no video card.  The heatsink and fan seem to be firmly seated on the CPU.
Would this be a problem with the CPU?
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compucharleyAuthor Commented:
Nobus,  This is an "E-machines"  That brings mer to another issue.   I tried to to use the recovery software  that came withthe computer.  It wiil load all three disks and then it goes to reboot and just sits there witha black screen.  I decided we'll I will load it up with a OEM XP Home cd.  The setup with the blue screen will go through it s paces and when it gets to the point  "windows is starting" it will just sit there and not go anywhere.   We are getting a new harddrive today to see if this will help the situation.  What could be the problem here?
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compucharleyAuthor Commented:
I will check the temps for the CPU in the BIOS.
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nobusCommented:
You mean at the reboot ?   >>    "windows is starting" it will just sit there and not go anywhere   <<<
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compucharleyAuthor Commented:
When you put in the OEM  where it says its loadiing and before it gets to any repair options before you hit F8,where the service agreement is, It will just sit there and not go any further.
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nobusCommented:
ok - if it stops there :
-bad cd
-bad ide cable
-bad RAM test with memtest86+ from   http://www.memtest.org/
-bad cd drive
-cpu stopping for overheating
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compucharleyAuthor Commented:
I will check all of these variables out.  
Thanks Nobus.
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willcompCommented:
Nobus is correct in what usually causes an install to fail.  Given the history involved, I highly suspect that you have a memory problem.
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compucharleyAuthor Commented:
I tried a another stick of DDR memory and it did not make any difference.  My main problem is that sometimes it will post and other times it will not.  I thought it might be the CPU.  I exchanged it out for  another 462  and this had no effect on the system either.  I am leaning toward the new motherboard may be bad or faulty. I seemed to have eliminated all the possibilities unless there is something I'm overlooking.
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oseebergCommented:
Here's a suggestion:

Unmount the motherboard from the housing, and put it on a non-leading surface (like wood). Stretch out and connect the ATX power connectors and ATX power switch. Unmount and connect harddrive and CD/DVDROM to the mb. Connect monitor, keyboard and mouse to the connectors on the mb.

With this configuration, if the heatsink and fan is working properly, you should have ruled out any overheating problem caused by tight housing. When starting the computer, enter the bios-->enter PC health-->read CPU temperature. Anything below 70°C should work fine.

If computer behaves OK, try to install from CD.

If computer still restarts without obvious reason, try to use a standard PCI vga card, and disable the onboard vga. (If I understood correctly you have an onboard video card?), and try again. If this does not work you may as you said have a faulty motherboard.

Good luck.

Ola
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oseebergCommented:
BTW... Be sure to connect both the 20 pin and 4 pin ATX power connectors...
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compucharleyAuthor Commented:
Update!!

I moved my monitor cable from the motherboard to a PCI video card and did this 4 separate times and it seems to be a faulty video port.  When it is plugged into the PCI card POST comes right up.  When it is in the motherboard I get no post.
  The next problem is that I cannot get the hard drive past the startup menu.  I tried to use the XP OEM and get into the "Recovery Console"  But will just hang on the blue screen where it says "Windows setup is starting"   Iam currenntly have the old hard drive slaved to a good system and I am formatting it.  I will then see if I can reload XP. Will I be able to use the E-machines Xp product key with my XP home OEM?  Or will I have trouble getting this activated?
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oseebergCommented:
The product keys usually will work if they both use the home version. You can not use xp home with pro- or oem key, and vice versa.

As to your initial problem, try to use only the secondary IDE-port on your mb after formatting the old drive. And/or check in your bios that harddisk type is set to "auto", or the motherboard will try to initialize a harddrive that's not present.

Ola
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willcompCommented:
From reports on this site and elsewhere, using an eMachines XP key on another brand of motherboard may be a problem.  It isn't with other PC brands that I've encountered.  Apparently neither M$ nor eMachines will authorize the installation.  I believe M$ may if approached correctly, but haven't had the need to try as yet.

I still think you have a memory issue.
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compucharleyAuthor Commented:
I checked out all of these components -
bad cd
-bad ide cable(s)
-bad RAM test with memtest86+ from   http://www.memtest.org/
-bad cd drive
-cpu stopping for overheating
I even tried a different hard drive
 after Windows setup  goes through its initial paces it it will just stall  at the end where it says "Windows is starting setup"
Its like it is not detecting the hard drive.  I checked the BIOS and it is detecting according to the BIOS.
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willcompCommented:
Sorry, missed that you changed out RAM.
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nobusCommented:
how long did you run the memtest?

look here also :

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=217073
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