The PC doesn't boot up when two HDDs plugged in.

Posted on 2008-06-25
Last Modified: 2013-12-11
i cannot boot up my machine when there are two hard drives connected to it. The master is a  SATA Maxtor drive. Boots up nearly* fine when all alone in the box. If i connect an additional drive (either IDE or SATA), after pushing the power button the machine comes up for 1 second (leds go on, the cpu and power supply fans spin) and then just dies. it doesn't go as far as the POST beep. no matter how many times i try it won't boot up.
I'm not sure though if it's the motherboard or the power supply or something else.
*It actually happens sometimes when only the main HDD is plugged in. But after 2 or 3 attempts it boots up eventually.
Any help will be appreciated.
Question by:kiilaa
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Expert Comment

ID: 21864822
i would suspect the power supply but what rating is your you have cd rom drives etc. aswell

Expert Comment

ID: 21864839
Killa, methinks the power supply...  because you say it happens with either ide or sata drives...  so here is the test...  attach the additional harddrive, but no data cable.  If the issue continues then it is the power supply...

Author Comment

ID: 21864982
Thanks veru much for your comments gentlemen.
Delldiag: all i can remember right now (the machine is at home, i'm at work) is that it's a 500W one. I've got a cd drive connected to that.
the_b1ackfox: your test sounds very reasonably (i should have figured it out myself:). i shall try when i'm back home.
I will keep you updated.
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LVL 69

Accepted Solution

Callandor earned 250 total points
ID: 21865090
Bad capacitors on either the power supply or the motherboard can lead to this.  If the problem is on the motherboard, the_blackfox's test will fail in all cases and would mislead you into thinking it is the power supply.  A better test is to swap the power supply with a good one that is rated the same.  See for examples of what bad capacitors look like.

Author Comment

ID: 21866469
Thanks Callandor. I'll have a look at both, PSU and m-board.
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 21872294
i found that Asus mobo's have problems with mixed disks ide - sata
So, if possible, test it on another brand of mobo..
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 21872298
btw - you can calculate the power you need here :      

Author Comment

ID: 21872730
Nobus: thanks for the useful link. this motherboard has problems starting up with either IDE or SATA additional drive. testing another mobo would be an ideal solution. the problem is i haven't got any:) . I didin't get round to checking the other suggestions yesterday. hopefully i'll have more time tonight.
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 21873369
you can look at my problem - abit similar, and also on asus board :

Author Comment

ID: 21879808
Looks like Callandor was right. One of the capacitors in the PSU packed up. if you don't mind waiting i'll assign points as soon as i sort it out ie get a new PSU and check whether this works.

Author Comment

ID: 21890273
After changing the PSU everything's fine. Thanks Callandor and everyone for your contribution.

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