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Power issue?  Computer won't start with home power.

bazemorebt asked
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
So I looked everywhere, but didn't see anything on this.  I just moved into a new home (major area with good utilities), and since this time, my computer boots very slowly.  It stops right before the memory test for about a minute before the memory goes.  This was always annoying, but now it gets to the stage where it is "verifying DMI pool" and then gives me an error that says "System Disk Read Error - Insert boot disk" (not verbatim - sorry, from memory) and won't turn on.  At first I thought it was maybe something with the hard drive, so I brought it into my office (3 miles away from home) to test.  At the office it starts right up with no delay at all.  My thought was that it was a power issue, so I brought it home and turned off every breaker in the house except the one it was connected to, and it started up (still with delay, though).  After this, I went and bought a power conditioner thinking it was noisy power lines, and it wouldn't start up with this either.  I am totally stumped!  Maybe it is an electrical issue?  Maybe an issue with the computer power supply?  I hooked up my multimeter to the outlet and got a voltage reading of 122 volts, so nothing out of the ordinary.  Also, I have some of the smarthome INSTEON light switches in my house which send commands through the power lines, but I don't think that would affect it.(http://www.smarthome.com/_/INSTEON/_/23b/land.aspx).  

Here is my system:
Custom PC
Vantec stealth power supply (550 watts I think?)
Windows XP pro
ASUS motherboard (nVidia chip)
nVidia 6800 GT video
corsair RAM
Seagate barracuda and WD raptor hard drives (SATA)
Athlon processor
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Top Expert 2007

Ultimate Boot CD (www.ultimatebootcd.com) is a downloadable boot disk that includes memory tests, cpu tests, hd tests, etc.  See if you can boot from ubcd, then start checking your system.
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I have seen this kind of problem before, and it was an easy fix. But no one believed me about it, try buying a new computer plug. The one from your computer to the wall, or borrow one from work to try it.
 Some plug cords are not up to date with US standards and can have an problem with our electrical standards. As silly as it sounds we get most if not all of our computer things from Japan and China.
 And their standards are way below ours.
  This is just a thought but it worked for two computers that would not boot at users homes.

l would open the case and reseat firmly power connections. Also check screws that tightened down the motherboard on chasis.

@ Zlito, I believe you. I experienced once while travel to Malaysia long ago. That is why I always use power cord with has gold plated.
Sounds to me like a failing PSU power supply in the computer.  Do not be duped by the brand name, ATX power supplies can fail easily -- and hang at the DMI message, because it is not giving enough power for all the devices to initialize.  SIMPLY REPLACE THE POWER SUPPLY.
Distinguished Expert 2019

if the above does not help, check the Grounding of the house; it can cause weird things !


Thank you everyone for all of your help!  It actually turned out to be two things.  Reminds me of the princess and the pea story - one little thing causes the whole computer to go down...  I left a Canon CF card in the reader for my Canon printer, so when I unplugged all of the USB peripherals as suggested, it started right up!  Just prior to this I also cleaned the whole computer out and re-plugged it all in, so that may have had something to do  with it, but mainly it was the CF card.  Thanks again for all of your answers and help...

Interesting. Thanks and good luck.

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