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

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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Most power problems can be traced to a bad power supply or bad capacitors on the motherboard.  You can see examples at  Swap out the power supply first.

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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.
wwrollerAuthor Commented:
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...

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I think more importantly, what wattage is that PSU rated for. Check what you need in there with a PSU cacluator like this one.
It will give you a guideline as to what wattage you will need for the components you have in that computer.
It may also simply be something is poorly seated.
Ram, CPU, PSU connectors, video card,, all come to mind.
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.
wwrollerAuthor Commented:

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...
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.
Remember 18a is the bare minimum, 22a gives you enough room for comfort depending on the other +12v components in the system.
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:
test your hard drive
        chkdsk /r
wwrollerAuthor Commented:
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.

wwrollerAuthor Commented:
Sorry again for this delay.  I will not let this drag on past end of next week.
wwrollerAuthor Commented:
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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