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System takes 5-6 power-on attempts before it will boot.

Posted on 2006-06-26
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
Hi,
I recently built a new machine for the living room as a HTPC.

Everything works very well -- when it boots.  But it always requires several attempts powering it on before it will "catch".  On each attempt, I can hear the drive spinning up, but no cpu fan, no POST (not even any video signal at all), no beep, nothing.  Just the drive spinning.  After about the 5th or 6th try, I get the drive, the fans, POST, and everything is great.

After the system does boot, it works flawlessly all day (gaming, DVD's, music streamed via wireless from a different machine, large file transfers, etc, etc.)  But the next time I want to startup, it requires several power attempts again.

Any suggestions?

The system
-------------
Mainboard:    ASUS K8N-E (nVidia nForce3 chipset)
CPU:             AMD Athlon 64 3400+ Newcastle CPU
Memory:       1 GB (2x512) PC3200 (Crucial brand)
Video Card:   AOpen (nVidia Geforce) 6600GT
                    connected to Sony HDTV via component connection.
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Question by:wwroller
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14 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

by:
Callandor earned 125 total points
ID: 16986360
Most power problems can be traced to a bad power supply or bad capacitors on the motherboard.  You can see examples at www.badcaps.net.  Swap out the power supply first.
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Expert Comment

by:jamietoner
ID: 16987736
I agree with Callandor first thing i would suspect would be the power supply, the most common issue i see with home built pc's are using a generic power supply that shipped with a $20-30 dollar case. What i usually do when i buy a case like that is throw it in a pile and buy a good name brand psu, I have seen these generic psu's fail time after time and many times take other hardware with it. The first system i every built 4 years ago i just left the generic 450 watt psu that came with the $30 dollar case(generic also) and after 1 month it was dead and so was my motherboard, video card and my ram.
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Author Comment

by:wwroller
ID: 16987985
Well, it is an Antec case for over $100 (incl power supply), but I see your point anyway, and I'll try to hook up a known-good power supply this coming week and get back to you guys.  Thanks so far...

WW
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Expert Comment

by:Mark
ID: 16988647
I think more importantly, what wattage is that PSU rated for. Check what you need in there with a PSU cacluator like this one. http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculator.jsp
It will give you a guideline as to what wattage you will need for the components you have in that computer.
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Expert Comment

by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16989721
It may also simply be something is poorly seated.
Ram, CPU, PSU connectors, video card,, all come to mind.
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Assisted Solution

by:Mark
Mark earned 125 total points
ID: 16991825
Remember that the Athhlon 64 CPU's draw alot of power on startup. You need a PSU with at least 18a on the 12volt rail to accomplish a clean startup for those CPU's. The 5-6 trys on startup certainly sounds like a lack of power.
0
 

Author Comment

by:wwroller
ID: 16994614
hmm.

The power unit is rated 430 watts (more than enough for this system from what I read before building it), but I don't remember anything else about the specs.  I'll check on the 18 amps.  I'll also re-seat everything (although I'm pretty confident I did it right the first time).   Will be a few days before I can test a known-good power unit.  Thanks so far to everyone...
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Expert Comment

by:Mark
ID: 16995152
There should be a label on the PSU with each voltage rail . You're looking for the +12v  and there should be an output amperage next to it.
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Expert Comment

by:Mark
ID: 16995257
Remember 18a is the bare minimum, 22a gives you enough room for comfort depending on the other +12v components in the system.
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Expert Comment

by:FriarTuk
ID: 17022433
clear the cmos using the jumper on the mobo, try resetting the bios back to factory defaults, make sure you have thermal paste between your processor & its heatsink + fan

test your ram:
        http://www.memtest86.com/#download0
        http://www.simmtester.com/page/products/doc/docinfo.asp
        http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp#top
test your hard drive
        chkdsk /r
        http://www.hdtune.com/
        http://www.simplisoftware.com/Public/index.php?request=HdTach
0
 

Author Comment

by:wwroller
ID: 17061944
Bear with me a little while longer, guys.   I'll get to the bottom of it and wrap this up in a couple more days.  Thanks to everyone for your input.

-WW
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Author Comment

by:wwroller
ID: 17142328
Sorry again for this delay.  I will not let this drag on past end of next week.
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Expert Comment

by:FriarTuk
ID: 17254805
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Author Comment

by:wwroller
ID: 17264876
Ok, so I did let it drag.  Personal situation in the way, and out of town as a result.  I'll just replace the power supply and be sure it gets 22 amps on the 12 volt rail (which, by the way, this one does not).  Won't get to it for a couple more weeks, so points given anyway.  Thanks for the comments.

FriarTuk - thanks for the bump.
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