PC will not power on following hard drive installation

The specs of my computer (off the top of my head):
Intel D875PBZ motherboard
Pentium 4 processor @ 3.0 GHz
Thermaltake TR2 500W PSU
Thermaltake Xaser III Supertower
Western Digital Caviar SATA 120 GB HDD
**Western Digital Caviar SATA 320 GB HDD
Sapphire Radeon X1600PRO 512 MB
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Extrememusic

Up until yesterday my computer had been working fine for the past approximately 3 years.  Yesterday I installed the astrisked hard drive (not removing the other hard drive), but when I went to turn my computer back on, it did nothing.  When I switch on the power supply the green indicator light on the motherboard turns on, and the blue power light on the case is on constantly; but when I hit the power button nothing happens.

I made sure the power button was still intact and it seems to be, although I haven't yet completely disassembled my case to make sure the wires are still connected to the button (though for reasons later stated I don't believe thats the problem).  I tried unplugging the new hard drive, but it didn't make a difference.  I verified all the front panel connectors are connected properly to the motherboard, but it didn't make a difference.  I tried turning on the computer by directly shorting the power headers on the motherboard, but that didn't do a thing (which leads me to believe that the power button is not the problem).

With the green indicator light able to turn on whenever I turn on the power supply, that seems to indicate to me that the motherboard and power supply are both alright...though on the other hand I'm afraid that the motherboard might be the only remaining thing it could be.  I called Thermaltake and their useless technical support, after telling me to see if the power button fell into the case, told me "I don't think it is a problem with the case or power supply" and that was that.

I think that about covers everything.  Let me know if I can provide anymore information.  And please don't tell me I need to replace the motherboard or another component, for that matter lol.  Thanks for all of your help and 500 points to whoever can bring my baby back to life.
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Hi Griffon1426,

Either both hard drives are set as Master - or you have the cable to the new drive backwards

Hope that helps,

Griffon1426Author Commented:
Thanks for the comment.  Both hard drives are SATA so the cables can't be backwards and they don't need to be set as slave or master...I did check the jumper settings though and they are both set appropriately.
Sorry, I didnt even read that line :(

That changes things considerably...

If you unplug the new hard drive - does it work again?

If it does, what happens when you switch hard drive ports and cables (if disk 1 is using cable A and port x - and disk 2 is using cable b and port y - put disk 1 on port y with cable B)

OWASP Proactive Controls

Learn the most important control and control categories that every architect and developer should include in their projects.

Griffon1426Author Commented:
When I unplugged the new hard drive, there was no change.

I completely disconnected the new hard drive and reconnected the original hard drive with the original cable in the original port and with the original power connection and there was no change.

I also tried taking out the internal battery for 10 minutes to clear the CMOS, but that didn't change anything either.

The thing thats bugging me (well, other than my computer being completely dead) is the power light on the front of the tower.  What would cause it to be lit constantly?  And before all this, when I would turn on the power supply, the computer would always seem to switch on for a second...that doesn't happen anymore.  When I switch on the power supply, only the LEDs on the motherboard and the front of the computer will turn on.

Another thought I had was maybe I overloaded the power supply with the extra hard drive.  It is a 500W Thermaltake power supply though, so I figure its very unlikely.  And also right before I installed this hard drive, I had connected my brother's hard drive to my computer (also a SATA) because I used my computer to format it...and it worked fine for that.  It only stopped working when I installed my new hard drive.
Right, well then we need to take a few steps back.

Remove everything from the computer so you are left with ONLY

Motherboard, CPU, RAM, Video Card (onboard if you have it)

That is all the computer will need to fire up - it doesnt need hard drives, floppys, nothing - just that

If THAT doesn't boot, then you have blown one of those integral components - if it does boot, try adding another thing to the machine - just keep adding things and testing it till it boots.

The light on boot is also a concern - and smells suspiciously like motherboard...


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Griffon1426Author Commented:
Yeah thats what I figured I should try next.  I'll do all that when I get a chance tomorrow afternoon and post what happens.  Thanks for being so quick with your replies tonight.
Remember that some power supplies require a HDD to be connected to make the power demand sufficient. Just plug in the molex power connector, not the IDE ribbon cable.
Have you tried a different power supply? I'd try that before replacing the motherboard.
i think you have enough power, but if you want to calculate the amount needed, look here :
for the rest, i was thinking you may have dislodgedd something - check if the cpu is still inserted in the socket, and all cables and connectors inserted firmly.
to be sure it is not the drives, simply disconnect them, you should get a screen.
remove ALL the ram -> it should beep
try another video card (a cheap PCI one will do for testing)
What exactly does this mean?
""I installed the astrisked hard drive""
What exactly did you do?
Did you try to enable and existing drive that was connected and wasn't active or did you connect one that was unplugged or did you physically install a new drive into the case?
""astrisked hard drive"" .. ??????
pc bonez - i think he means the disk with the asterisks-->asterisked drive
Griffon1426Author Commented:
Sorry for the delay...thanks for everyone's suggestions.

New Development:  I've started disconnecting everything.  I unplugged all of the drives and all the case fans (except for the processor fan of course).  I left all the PCI cards in for the time being.  Pretty much all I did was disconnect the hard drives and front bay drives completely, both data cables and power cables.  On a whim I plugged the case back in and switched the power supply on, and the processor fan started spinning...except now it doesn't stop spinning.  Usually whenever I switch on the PSU everything would kick on for a second, then stop...until I hit the power button.  Now when I switch on the PSU the fan starts spinning but won't stop.  That doesn't seem right to me...or do I just need to plug something else in?

I'll wait to see what you guys have to say about that.  Regarding the latest comments:

I do still have my old power supply that should still work.  Thats on my list of things to try if I can't get anything else to work.

I used that PSU calculator and it recommended 330W.  So I think my 500W is more than sufficient.

I do also still have my old video card so I can swap that in if I need to.

And nobus is correct...in my initial list of the specs, I have 2 asterisks next to my 320 GB hard drive...so that is the "asterisked" hard drive.
otherwise, try starting with the minimum :
mobo + cpu + 1 ram stic, video card. it should give a screen; if not it is one of the above
You are right.
The fan should not stay on at that point.
The fan 'kick' when you first enegize the PSU is normal on some PSUs but then it should stop until after you've pressed the power button to turn the system on.

On ATX PSU 'start' works like this.
The PSU sends a small voltage to the motherboard from only one rail.
When you press the on/off switch it shorts two contacts on the motherboard.
Shorting those two contacts causes the rest of the PSU to turn on.
(This is when power for the fans becomes available.)

One exception to that is if you didn't shutdown normally on the last shutdown (in otherwords you 'pulled the plug' to turn it off) --and-- you have the BIOS set to restart when power returns after a power loss. (Most people set this to have the system stay shutdown until turned on manually after a power outage.)

Assuming to have all the wires to the right connectors and you don't have that setting in your BIOS possible problems (as to the fan behavior) are:
Bad front panel switch or wiring.
Faulty PSU.
Faulty Motherboard.

For the faulty front panel switch, the system should finish starting up once the PSU is turned on.
That leaves:
Faulty PSU.
Faulty Motherboard.

I would try a known good PSU next.
Griffon1426Author Commented:
Well I was finally able to get the computer to work normally after turning the PSU on...for some reason the power button was stuck "on" and when I pushed it, everything shut off.  Then when I turned off the PSU and turned it back on, everything just flashed on and then off normally.  After that, I hooked up my primary hard drive, and the computer booted up normally.

After that, thinking it was "fixed", I stupidly hooked everything back up...and now I'm back to where I started...turning on the PSU and nothing happens, except for a slight buzz coming from the CPU fan and the power light staying on constantly.

So now I'm gonna go back to square one, and start connecting things one at a time until I figure out whats causing the problem (i.e. what I should have done in the first place).  Since it was able to start up with nothing connected it strikes me that the PSU, CPU, memory, and video card are all OK.  It must be another component thats for some reason causing the problems.  We shall see.
Griffon1426Author Commented:
Alright everybody...problem solved.

It turned out that the power connector I had going to the floppy drive was somehow taking a crap on the whole thing.  Whenever I would use that individual connector is when nothing would happen...disconnecting it and connecting a different floppy power connector would resolve the problem.

Now my dilemma is how to distribute points.  I'm open to suggestions.

My initial thought is to give redseattechnologies the accepted answer and most of the points...and give the remainder to nobus.  If anyone has a problem with that, speak up. (And not just because you want the points...I want to do it fairly, but everyone was pretty much equally a help, and equally not a help haha)
Rats, I am disappointed I didnt say floppy cable now - I thought about it and then dismissed it (figuring you hadn't touched it)

That's what I get for assumptions!

Split the points however you see fit

Griffon1426Author Commented:
I hadn't even thought about it at the time.  Initially I thought the only thing I changed was installing that new hard drive but after I realized what it was, I remembered that I needed to change around one of the power cords so everything could be hooked up right.  Thanks to Red and everyone for their help...I was so sure I'd be buying some new parts.
i told you that : "for the rest, i was thinking you may have dislodgedd something - check if the cpu is still inserted in the socket, and all cables and connectors inserted firmly." so i feel i deserve something better . . .
forget the post above, overlooked the other assisted post . .
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.