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sporadic start up

Have a system that will only start up occasionally, runs great when it comes on. Owner just will not shut it down once he gets it going. According to owner system is overhauled, had a new motherboard and processor and case a year ago. Hard drive failed recently, that is where I came in. Replaced the hard drive and added a genuine  Windows XP home. They had a "bootleged" windows xp before. Only 128 mb of memory and a 300w power supply. Could this be the power supply, memory or both. Bios has no beep codes. Suggestions?
1 Solution
Most likely a failing power supply. Check the voltages in the bios pchealth page if there is one, although it can look OK. Try disconnectiong CD/DVD and any additional equipment temporarily to reduce the load, case fan etc (not CPU fan). If this makes it start more reliably, then PSU is at the top of the list.

Chris B
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
Most "300W" power supplies are crap.  Check the make/model of the psu, and check reviews or ask us if it's good quality or not.  Also, if the guy had this 'overhauled' a year ago, and got a new motherboard/processor/case and ONLY 128Mb of RAM, I'd guess all the parts are suspect...  Might be the cheapest upgrades possible...

Re: disconnecting devices... it's possible to use that method to troubleshoot, but not necessarily accurate as it really depends on whether the devices are powered by the same voltage rails as the mobo...  All psu's provide different voltages to different devices on 3.3v rails, 5v rails, 12v rails, etc...    
More information would help.
What is the make and model of the computer? Is there a service tag? Is it stock or comprised of various components?

If not already done, go into BIOS and elect to have the RAM tested and displayed during the POST.
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>>  Could this be the power supply  <<   calculate what you need here :
>>   memory   <<  test it with memtest86+ from www.memtest.org
bitsbytes06Author Commented:
Thanks for the help Power Supply was the problem. Still sugesting to the owner that they need to increase the RAM.
more ram is always the best option to speed up a pc

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