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Why will my machine not power up?

Posted on 2006-05-17
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
I have a custom built machine.  I normally shut it off each day.  Today when I came in and turned it on, I didn't see anything on the screen.  Upon further inspection the HDLED was solid and the Power LED wasn't on at all.  All of the fans are working on the inside.  I've tried new RAM, NEW HD, IDE Drives and tried powering the machine on with no IDE devices hooked to it at all.  I'm torn between the Mobo and the Processor.  Any ideas?  Thanks in advance.
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Question by:GTKINC
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Expert Comment

by:Mad_Jasper
ID: 16700025
Remove the CMOS battery from the mobo and replace.

If you remove the RAM or video card, does the mobo POST? Do you hear beeps? Have you tried a new video card?

My thought process is:
1.) Remove RAM, if you hear no beeps during POST, then it is probably the mobo. If you hear beeps, go to next step.
2.) No video, but drives spin, lights come on, etc.. ---> Replace video card, if this fails, go to next step.

If I am torn between the processor and mobo, I usually replace both.
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by:GTKINC
ID: 16700137
No Beeps.  I'll try and switch out the battery.  Video is onboard.  The HD LED will come on but it is solid.  Not blinking.  Also the only way to shut the machine off is pull the power cord or hit the PS switch.  Holding the case button down for a period of time doesn't do it as it should.

Also the machine is only about 1 year old.  Just FYI.
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by:Mad_Jasper
ID: 16700288
I am thinking mobo on this one. If you don't have any beeps, then you mobo is not POSTing.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:compfixer101
ID: 16701574
check the caps

www.badcaps.net

cf101
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by:GTKINC
ID: 16702471
Its an ASUS board.
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Expert Comment

by:mandude0
ID: 16702881
I am thinking power supply unit. I have seen this type of thing many times. Though, Porcessor and mobo can cause this type of problem, more times than not, I have found it to be the power supply has gone bad and not sending power where it needs to be. It can still function and send out power but not send enough to run all hardware.

I have seen this most often with "PowerMax" PSUs. I wouldn't rule out the mobo though 'cause that has been the second most seen cause of this issue in my experiences.
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by:GTKINC
ID: 16702924
Didn't try the PS.  Will do then repost.
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by:GTKINC
ID: 16704027
Tried a PS and no go.  I'll try the MOBO next.
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by:nobus
ID: 16706643
if you hold the power button for more than 5 sec, does it power off? this indicates a bit of CPU activity.
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by:nobus
ID: 16706645
and does it beep when powered without RAm? same as above
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by:GTKINC
ID: 16708099
No beeps what so ever.
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by:nobus
ID: 16708312
looks like a bad cpu. however, it is not foolproof. if possible , test it on another compatible mobo.
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Author Comment

by:GTKINC
ID: 16708361
I don't have the same MOBO but I do have the same Processor I can test in this board.
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by:Mad_Jasper
ID: 16708395
If is the same processor as the one on the board, then you should be able to safely test it. If there is paste on the old processor and heatsink, remove it thouroughly and re-apply. If it happens to be the processor, you don't want to burn the new one up.
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by:compfixer101
ID: 16710873
DID you look at the caps as in my earlier post?

cf101
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Author Comment

by:GTKINC
ID: 16712658
I replaced the CPU with another, still the same thing.  I'm smelling a MOBO coming on.  I'll replace and let ya'll know.
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Author Comment

by:GTKINC
ID: 16713378
I've replaced the motherboard.  That fixed it.  However I wasn't able to replace it with the same board.  Now It just loops after a blue screen of death.  Any way I can get this thing to work without having to reload it from scratch?  Thanks in advance.
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by:Mad_Jasper
ID: 16714058
That could be a problem. Are you able to get into safe mode (F8 at boot)?
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garycase earned 2000 total points
ID: 16715341
Hi GTKINC.

Motherboard vs CPU issues can be very tough to reliably identify -- the best way to isolate them is, as you did, simply try both.   By the way, the fact there are no "beeps" does NOT necessarily say "motherboard" -- remember those beeps are caused by the CPU executing the POST code in the BIOS !!   To further complicate the troubleshooting process, the delayed shutdown (5-sec hold of the power switch) is NOT a function of the CPU -- not the main one anyhow;  that's done by the I/O processor (in the chipset these days -- it was an auxiliary 8085 in early systems).

However,  you've isolated your problem and have a nice new motherboard, so on to your latest question ...

When you move an XP installation (I'm assuming it's XP) to a new chipset (i.e. a different motherboard) it encounters a LOT of new hardware elements.   In some cases it is able to resolve these -- in many others (such as yours) it is not.   You can resolve it without a complete reload by doing a Repair install.   Boot to your XP CD, and when prompted, press Enter to start the Windows setup.   You do NOT want to select "R" at the first prompt ("To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console, press  R").   Accept the license agreement, and when Windows finds your existing installation, THEN press "R" to start the repair.   If "Repair" is not an option -- then QUIT !!  (otherwise you'll wipe out your current install)

Here's an article on the process with a bit more detail:  http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm


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by:garycase
ID: 16715343
... one other comment:   as you probably know, this will require a re-activation of XP.   If it's been long enough, it will work fine on the internet;  otherwise you'll have to call the activation center; but for a replaced motherboard that shouldn't be a problem.
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by:nobus
ID: 16715531
how to swap mobo's :

http://65.24.134.81/KipSolutions/MovingXPNewMotherboard/MovingXP.htm      move XP to other mobo
http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=kb;nl;314070                       "     "     "    "      "   
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Author Comment

by:GTKINC
ID: 16717891
I forgot about the repair Gary.  I'll try that and repost.  Don't really want to reload as this machine has a lot of apps and such that will need to be reistalled.
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Author Comment

by:GTKINC
ID: 16725133
Did a repair Gary and that fixed it.  Thanks again.
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