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Can anyone help me repair this Computer That WILL NOT REMAIN RUNNING?

Posted on 2013-01-31
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Last Modified: 2013-02-19
I have a E-machines with a 1year old Motherboard.  Capacitors appear good.

The PC starts up and as windows Vista begins to scroll to initiate, the PC shuts off. It has never made it to the password login page. It does the same thing when I put in a rescue disk. or click on "do a repair".  Basically it stays running for about 90  or seconds or 2 minutes, then completely shuts down usually in mid-statrt-up scrolling, no matter what i am doing.  It does not get past 3 or 4 scrolls, then it dies.

The only exception is it remains running when I am in the Bios at 1st start.  The Desktop wont even give me enough time to input anything from a 3rd party repair disk. It just shuts off.  

Having forgotten most of what I knew, i believe this is a hardware issue of some kind. THE QUESTION IS: Can anyone help me repair this computer so that it will remain running?
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Question by:Donnie616
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by:Brian Pringle
ID: 38840592
To rule out a hardware problem, download Ubuntu Linux (http://www.ubuntu.com) and burn it to a CD.  Then, boot the computer from the CD to see if the problem occurs there.  If it does, then it is probably a hardware problem.  If it does not, then it is a Windows problem.
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by:Brian Pringle
ID: 38840595
If it is a Windows problem, a backup and reinstall will be the quickest way to get it up and running.  If you do not feel comfortable doing that, then you may need to take it to a local computer shop to have it repaired.
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by:Thomas Grassi
ID: 38840601
First thing to check is for dust build up inside the machine.

First thoughts is a heating problem. Heating problems can come from too much dust inside on the fan that sits on top of the processor.

Second could be a bad hard drive.
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by:Brian Pringle
ID: 38840607
Are the fans running?
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38840635
Thanks guys.  I will stick in a knoopix CD that I have to see if it is windows.  Will check fans again. Also I thought I might try another Hard drive.  Let me check knoppix 1st andf I will return in hour or so.  Gotta go to doctors in a while.

Thanks again for the "ruling out" tricks I forgot about but used to know well.
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by:dbrunton
ID: 38840697
>>  Also I thought I might try another Hard drive.

Try it without the hard drive connected and using a boot or rescue CD.
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38840745
Ok guys before i walk out the door, here is what happened so far.  I booted with knoppix (going to download Ubuntu later when i have time), and computer did same thing. Next time I hit F3 as an option and it is still running a memtest from Knoppix, so it does run with a linux disk. Fans are all good.  CPU Heatseak is very cool to the touch

So am I right to assume that this looks very much like a windows problem?

 Will try thais also later>>Try it without the hard drive connected and using a boot or rescue CD. , from dbrunton

Thanks again to all
D.
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by:ScottCha
ID: 38840746
Also disconnect anything you don't need to boot such as optical drives, sound cards, etc. to rule them out.  I've had a bac CD drive keep a machine from booting.

One other thing to try once you've made sure to blow any dust out is remove and reseat everthing, by this I mean memory, cards, cables, etc.

Sometimes a connection is bad and can cause problems.
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by:Darr247
ID: 38840782
I suspect bad power supply.
Do you have a power supply tester?
e.g. Coolmax PS-228
or Rosewill RTK-PST
Leave them plugged in/turned on at least a couple minutes (they have load resistors in them, so they should get warm... but that would simulate the conditions you're seeing, of shutting down after 90 seconds or so) and see what happens.
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38841586
I am still checking. will be back
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38841726
Power supply ok. DVD ok. not sure about HD yet but i think its ok.  Is this a windows issue? if so how can I get a rescue or reinstallation Vista disk to keep going?  how can I reinstall? it will just shut itself off. Right5?
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by:dbrunton
ID: 38841932
Does it boot and run OK on a CD with the hard disk disconnected?
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38842004
No more.  It did once.  it shuits down with the HD plugged in also not plugged in.  Wioth or without a CD in the drive.  I have reason to believe something is wrong with the power button on the case..  Linux cd worked fine with hd plugged in earlier today. thanks
gotta go to bed. be back tomorrow.  to test more.
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by:Darr247
ID: 38842083
>  Is this a windows issue?

If it does it when booting from linux boot disks like SystemRescue CD or Knoppix, then it's not a windows problem.
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by:nobus
ID: 38842950
Donnie - it looks like a temperature problem to me
when it shuts off -  boot again into the bios, and verify the temperature
or just remove the cpu heatsink - and renew heatpaste

i assume you have cleaned out all dust - and check that all fans run fine?
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by:ScottCha
ID: 38843556
Did you blow out the dust and reseat everything as I suggested?  This is really looking towards a hardware issue not a software.
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by:Thomas Grassi
ID: 38843592
Donnie

IF the unit is powering off after you plug in the hard drive or cd player then you have a power problem. Your power supply is going bad.

Replace the power supply or if you have a power supply tester or can get your hands on one then you can test your power suppply for sure. But sounds like it is the power supply

I got a power supply tester from frozencpu.com
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38844540
Hi guys Power supply tested perfect with TWO different testers.  I just dont get this problem.  I have not reseated the CPU of memory yet.  Yes to everything else.
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ScottCha earned 500 total points
ID: 38844673
If reseating those items doesn't fix the issue then it looks like you have a faulty motherboard and you either need to replace it or purchase a new computer.
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38845601
UPDATE:  Not much i have not tried.

Two hours of testing and re-seating gives me nothing but inconsistent performance as the only certainty.  It runs for long time with cd in-sometimes. Also with cd  drive empty. Then it does the opposite.  All hardware disconnected--then connected. Running then shutting off. No ryme, reason, or purpose to its actions.  Tho Im no real expert, I ever saw this before. { Good to see you two, nobus and dbrubnton. ( I Used to have my own repair shop for basic repairss only. Cant make a diagnosis  When I think it is the OS, then suddenly it acts like a hardware issue..  I know from nothing.  Only one common factor is that when I try to run a windows Vista startup repair or try to boot the OS.  it shuts down every time.  I cant install an OS if I tried.  It wont load.  Something is amiss with the power button connection but I cant get consistent wrong-doing with that either.

Because of my lack of knowledge today, I am embarrassed to say that i built this PC from the shell of an E-mach. case.  Replaced the PS,  memory, HDD, cables even the MoBo.  (ALL BRAND NEW PARTS.about 2.5 years ago. I remember cheap stuff from my parts list. It was a practice job I ended up selling to this lady cuz it went so well. Now I dont know how to fix it.  E-Machines CASE is all that remains from the original set up  I souped it up with the cheap brands except the memory which was a new, good matched pair. (maxed out for that AMD K-8 MB)

Another thing is I am using a 24 pin 3 inch adapter cable to a 20 pin PS.  Personally I dont like to do that but it seems to have worked for a long time like that.  I will try to swap that cable if I have another new one lying around.

Otherwise, question is still the same---is it a windows issue or a hardware issue??? Cant tell yet because of the inconsistent actions>>different at each boot.  It seems to be running better since I reseated evereything but it wont fully start..  Bios shows 27 degr. C. when running  a memtest or burn-in test.  but next tiome I boot It wont start to the linux CD. (it does start most of the time with the cd in, but one X it died when I hit a key. even changed mouse and keyboard.  They are USBs.  Sorry Im such a pest.  Cant figure this out.

I am going to have to learn linux all over again too. I forgot everything--been away from repairing for 2 years due tioo family issue.  Windows 8 has me mystified even tho I tried a pre-sale tester. Dont like it at all. Anyways--->>>thanks
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by:compfixer101
ID: 38845796
I'd replace the PSU, Yes it may test fine, but doesn't mean some circuitry inside it is fully working, might be a intermittent issue. seen it before,

also try it with the bare min. 1 ram, main hard drive, CPU, disconnect all other drives/ connections.
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 38845889
Did you check the cpu is not overheating? Remember when adding thermal transfer paste less is more... you should use no more than a grain of rice
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38846061
Below is ALREADY DONE: thanks,
>>the bare min. 1 ram, main hard drive, CPU, disconnect all other drives/ connections.

>>Did you check the cpu is not overheating?   27 degrees C. nice and cool.;


NOT TRIED YET:
Have not re-pasted the CPU yet or
>>I'd replace the PSU.
Doing that will in effect have basically rebuilt the PC so hopefully ne PSU or I even have a boxed older AMD CPUs that I never got around to putting ionto new builds.  Actually obsolete now, but that is exactly what I am running myself---built in 2007 {except with better quality  components} I have many new but obsolwete computer components, so if it is hardware I most likely have the parts.  I still have boxed Maxtor hard drives:  IDE not SATA. I also even have about 4-5 new AMD IDE Motherboards (no Sata connections). Very old but actually new and still in the box with matching CPUs.  Wish I could sell them.  Soon they will have antique value.

Thanks to all. will report after making hardware changes tomorrow.  Is it safe to use fail safe defaults from the BIOS to see if it isn't windows issues?
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by:Darr247
ID: 38846073
This might sound implausible, but try changing the SATA cable on the hard drive.
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by:nobus
ID: 38846194
you must start with the minimum - then troubleshoot that
look also if the parts are compatible : cpu and Ram, with the board - check the board manufacturer site for compatible cpu and ram
look at the operating voltage also of the ram
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 38846315
Check your hard drive boot options and whether or not AHCI is enabled... you may have to set these back if you use the Bios Fail Safe Options.
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by:Merete
ID: 38848237
Here's a few more I can add,
One thing you can try to determine if it's HDD, do you have a spare computer take this HDD out and slave it to this other computer, either use a USB external case or if you have ide and an ide cd/dvd rom drive drop it in there, either way if there is a problem with this Drive your good working computer wont boot with a bad slaved HDD.
That would rule that out then.
How big is the HDD gigs /terrabytes?
How big is the PSU?
350 watts PSU? minimum? 400 watts or more is better
600 watts perfect as you would never exceed 70% of PSU on load.
Check the date and time is correct in the bios.
What's the motherboard?
Does it support the old never used cpu ?
Ram matches the motherboard< as in ddr3 not ddr2?  whichever it supports?
And your trying run Vista?
Has this Vista ever been used installed before?
Is Vista registered activated?
Possibly if it has not it wont boot?
Vista x 32  requires at lest 3 gig of ram with what is on the video card
Vista x 64 can add lots more
Which video card? Vista requires a reasonable video card.
Can you get to safemode?<< if it is hardware or activation you wont get safemode either.
I have even seen a computer none boot because the display of the monitor was wrong it was set via a video card and it had to use it's native display settings.
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by:nobus
ID: 38848506
if you want to know what power you need, calculate it here - and add 50-100W as margin:
http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

you'll often find you need MUCH less power than you thought
and nomore of this "350 watts PSU? minimum? 400 watts or more is better. 600 watts perfect as you would never exceed 70% of PSU on load. "
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38848876
Thak you all so much.  I am going to do everything that is suggested above. and come back. It mite take 2 days so please stand-by for me. I bet it is a simple thing like the SATA cable. It has to be something unexpected or un-suspected or the implausible..  Once it was the ide cable.  Another time it was the SATA cable.  Another time a memory stick was not fully seated and so on>>>>:SOooooo> here I go: testing the implausibles.

 Hope to be back real soon rather than much later to xclose this question.,....  Remember i agree and hope that darr247 is correct.  (SATA cable)  or mabe the connector on the MB Or this or that or anytghing else that is mystifying the best of the experts.  Something real simple that we are missingt.
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by:nobus
ID: 38848914
yep - remove and reseat ALL cables, after inspection
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38849328
I have swapped everything out .  All thats left to do is to try the HDD swap. Also need to re-paste the cpu altho it is Ice cold.  At square one wherein the only time it runs more than 90 seconds is in the bios or ONKLY IN CERTAIN CDs.  System Rescue CD is absolutely NOT one of those.    But I am thinking that it might be an activation issue with windows. I would like to use my cd that has a product key changer on it and try that.  But the Vista PK is on the rear of PC so i dont think activation is the issue will call owner to see of one of her folks messed with tghis PC. with another disk than mine.

See y6a. gotta get ready for the game now. and other chores to do. See you late tonite or tomorrow..
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by:dbrunton
ID: 38849446
Hmm.  Have you done a CD/DVD drive swap?

And then try the hard disk swap and see if you can install Linux on it.

>>  At square one wherein the only time it runs more than 90 seconds is in the bios or ONLY IN CERTAIN CDs.

If it can run the UBCD can you run the Stress Test on that CD.  Let's see if it can handle 10 minutes of that test.
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by:compfixer101
ID: 38849633
do you try the PSU swap?  

also what comes up on the screen before the shutdown?
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 38849655
Boot from a live-cd, run any memory test routines or anything that will stress the machines cpu and memory..

You are either getting a memory error which is faulting the machine or temperature shutting down the cpu, or a bad power supply..

I'd start swapping out parts with a known good system (psu/ram) and see if you can reproduce the fault.
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by:nobus
ID: 38850099
>>  altho it is Ice cold  <<  i suppose it does not stay  cold when running from CD
can you post the hardware used in this system?
if it runs with certain cd's - i suppose it does NOT run with Windows PE created ones?
eg  - linux based ones do run - like UBCD, knoppix maybe also? and Dos based

when starting to swap, be sure you have known good swapping parts, otherwise you'll introduce more problems than solve them
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38857022
>>Boot from a live-cd, run any memory test routines or anything that will stress the machines cpu and memory.. (Did this already over nite 9 hours.)  No errors, no excess heat.  Jumped from 24 C. to 28C.  Dont think it is heat issue.

>>also what comes up on the screen before the shutdown?  {Nothing It just dies quickly.}

>>i suppose it does not stay  cold when running from CD {yES IT DOES SATY COLD.  i DONT THINK IT IS HEAT ISSUE.)

It runs with  Knoppix,  also with Geeksquad.  (Does NOT stay up with ""Justin's Multi-Boot DVD", nor Vista Rescue Disk. )

>>Have you done a CD/DVD drive swap?  NO swap-Just disconnected it
>> i suppose it does NOT run with Windows PE created ones? 9 I burnt the Iso wrong so I have to do that nall over again.)

If it can run the UBCD can you run the Stress Test on that CD.  Let's see if it can handle 10 minutes of that test. (Did this but from Geek squad, not UBCD)

Will make list of what boots and what doesnt.  Have a dozen different boot disks varied.Have not tried ERD yet. habve to find it.

Also I dropped my phone in toilet yesterday, so i am totally absorbed with learning new Iphone. Never had one before.  Been on tech support for 4 hours.(no english speaker) No idea how it works and need the phone It is taking time

So thanks to aLL FOR PATIENCE WITH ME.  I am still on this thing.
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by:dbrunton
ID: 38857084
>>  Have you done a CD/DVD drive swap?  NO swap-Just disconnected it

Let's try another CD/DVD and then test the non working CDs DVDs again.  Looking at there being a faulty unit not permitting certain disks to run.


>>  If it can run the UBCD can you run the Stress Test on that CD.  Let's see if it can handle 10 minutes of that test. (Did this but from Geek squad, not UBCD)

Check if the Stress test on the UBCD is the same as the Geek squad one.  If it isn't try it.  If the CPU isn't any good (or the motherboard) this test will find it out.


>>  So thanks to aLL FOR PATIENCE WITH ME.  I am still on this thing.

No problem.
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by:nobus
ID: 38858352
test if you can install XP, or Ubuntu on a drive, and run it  
www.ubuntu.com
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38865092
DB and Nobus>>2 of my oldest helpers here.  Thanks to you (and all of you) It is doiing such inconsisitent things that i seem silent for a while because I am scratching my head. I am going to doi last 2 suggestions but it will take time.
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by:Thomas Grassi
ID: 38865341
Sorry to say but I think it is time to swap out this motherboard and get yourself a new hard drive.

Sometimes we must bite the bullet.
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38865544
While I was downloading and building a ubuntu DVD as per Nobus I did the following:

Ok I almost agree with yioutrgraqssi..... But I am Not quite ready to give up yet.  But I do think it is the HDD. Heres why...Ok Then:  I swapped old DVD rom for new one.. o of box IDE DVD rom.  Then I tried ten (really) different rescue cds both Win and linux versions. (new builds) Now NONE of them would go very far.  Kaspersky's, System Rescue cd, Knoppix, UBCD, Win XP Black rescue, Justin's, etc, >>and then finally, UBCD4W loaded windows xp (PE) somewhere however it shut down the moment I hit the first key. (thought I had it for a sec.) The OLD DVD  was very hot to the touch so it may be defective also.

 As per Nobus, I Tried to install win XP...90 secs and PC died. So now the status is a new DVD rom is connected.  I also have a new ADDITIONAL HDD connected.   I am at the point of the installation wheer I have to choose the partition to install Win XP. The old Vista Part. or the New  Volume (empty).  It has been running that page for 35 mins now w/out dying on me.

So now I am more confused because of fact I even got that far so would someone please tell me what to do next? To be honest the girl gave me permission to wipe the drive and reinstall but this is the first time I have been allowed to get this far by the PC, to do so ...ONLY AFTER I installed the 2nd SATA HDD.  what does that say please? What do I do now?  Am I right (Or rather you all) right about a bad hdd?

I could easily replace HDD and install OS 2 weeks ago but as some of you know, I wont do that.  IMUST find out the cause because that is who I am.  I think 2 of you remember that about me.

Thank you all and once more the OS disk (win XP is waiting for me to tell it where to  install. What do I do now. PC is still running without having shut down on me.  (I hit f8) If I could have 2 OS, I could access Vista HDD from the new Win XP HDD volume and maybe fix Viusta from there, If I remember correctly, but I dont know.  Is that right? so Thats why I ama sking you folks what to do. I need to learn the business again and this is a good start.  You would cover your eyes and laugh at me if you saw how I try to run my new Iphone that I was forced to buy cuz I dropped my nice basic phone in the toilet.  I thought iphone features  might help me for the future for Win 8.  That is false so far. Anyways thanks again.  D.

thanks in advance.
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by:dbrunton
ID: 38865979
Hmmm.

You could try installing XP on the second (new) hard disk.  Don't know if it would work but try.  It could fail as it is a SATA drive, your XP installation may or may not have the required SATA drivers but still worth the test.

If it does fail then disconnect all hard drives from the system and see if any of your CDs or DVDs will load and run.
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38866139
ok will do
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38866704
Part one--XP install failed.  Nwxt will try ubuntu on new HD. Then i will try it with 1st drive unpowered.  If no good, will try CD rom loading and running. then will come back.  next i will throw it in the river if that dont work.

Nite,
D.
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by:nobus
ID: 38867071
>>  NONE of them would go very far  <<  this points more to the cd drive, and cables, or controller on the mobo
  anyway - try swapping the cd/ and or disk drives to other ports for testing
and do not connect extra devices - determine the cause with only 1 cd drive, and disk drive at the time
you can test from the live cd's if they run fine WITHOUT disk connected also
or install an OS (ubuntu, W7) on a disk drive on another system -connect it back to this pc,  then  boot from it
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by:Merete
ID: 38867356
Hi again hows the mobile learning curb going lol.
Can you access safe mode?

Looking for a global connection to everything is the PSU and RAM/ CPU and!! Cmos battery
The function of the CMOS battery is to maintain important information for the BIOS to begin the start up sequence in computers.
Without it, your computer wouldn't know the time and date, your basic hardware settings, how to boot up or how to talk to the motherboard and hard drives.
CMOS battery symptoms may be intermittent or continuous, making it harder to tell what's wrong.
All your tests and symptoms seem to point to cmos battery as a possible cause as well
How long has the system parts been sitting without power connected?
CMOS signs sometimes causes problems when the computer starts malfunctioning for no apparent reason.
 The computer might randomly shut itself off, or it could refuse to start.
Disappearing Programs
You will have to reinstall programs again and again upon startup.
Symptoms.
•Invalid configuration will appear on your screen.
•Run Setup appears on your screen.
•Press F1 to continue appears on your screen.
•Invalid drive specification appears on the screen after you've pressed F1.
•Clock Error or Clock Message appears on your screen.
•The clock on the computer loses time.
•The computer is constantly showing the wrong date.
Should you experience any of these symptoms, it's time to change the battery in your computer, for a couple of dollars replace it.

How to Determine if the CMOS Battery Has Failed
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?lc=en&cc=us&docname=bph03560
Computer CMOS help and information
http://www.computerhope.com/help/cmos.htm
You said>>
Only one common factor is that when I try to run a windows Vista startup repair or try to boot the OS.  it shuts down every time.  I cant install an OS if I tried.  It wont load.  Something is amiss with the power button connection but I cant get consistent wrong-doing with that either.
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by:Michael-Best
ID: 38872049
It looks like a bad Motherboard or CPU.
Try some stress and diagnostic tests in DOS
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html

"next i will throw it in the river if that dont work."
keep the good parts, then recycle the rest...The river may throw it back.
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38877432
sorry guys--My internet connect has been down due to NE snowstorm.  cable pole went down. just came online few minutes ago.  yeah!

PC Situation is getting worse and worse.  I cannot even get the new HD with XP freshly installed on it to boot now.  and the new DVD rom is not reading my boot disks.   Not even with my new CMOS Battery . Then within the past 10 days I have discovered 4 bulging capacitors that were not that way last week.

It doesnt run any CDs now, whereas it did so early on.  I think it is a corrupted (illegally activated) windows  install that needs re arming and thes e poor folks are stuck. I think that is combined with a bad MB.  I have to quit soon with this thing.  this is way to long to try to figure out.  Could buy 3 computers for the real cost of the diagnostics on this.  I notice the locals do not try to repair these pcs anymore.  they just reinstall the OS's and I get stuck with those illegal installs which cant be fixed because  MS wont allow it.  This is about the 5th one like this.  I just took a look at another Win 7 ultimate on an antique destop yesterday.  Same symtoms.  I told the kid I didnt have time to fix it and to take it back to the guy who put illegal Win 7 over my Win Vista (legal) of 2007.  

I have tried all that has been suggested.  I anm even getting the old "NTLDR is missing , please restart...." on this PC. 50 replies is too much.  I will try one more PSU then I quit and close this question.  besides I have to learn about Mobile EE now>>new Quest.
Will post one more time. thats it because I have practically built this computer from scratch with all the hardware swapping Ive done.

Thanks, D.
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by:dbrunton
ID: 38877454
I cannot even get the new HD with XP freshly installed on it to boot now.  and the new DVD rom is not reading my boot disks.   Not even with my new CMOS Battery . Then within the past 10 days I have discovered 4 bulging capacitors that were not that way last week.

Next i will throw it in the river if that dont work.

Yep.  Motherboard failure.  Don't even bother with the PSU.  Just take your own advice and throw it.
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by:Merete
ID: 38878258
Awe!!
yes it a failing motherboard, swollen capacitors!!
But keep the HDD and just slave it in a new system.
If there is any files stuff you want to keep there.
No don't throw it in a river get the gold out of it.
http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread812741/pg1
http://www.tomshardware.com/picturestory/550-gold-motherboard-chemistry.html
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by:nobus
ID: 38879141
swollen capacitors?  i never saw it mentioned, but if so - replace them all, or the mobo
if you want to go to the bottom of it, test the devices on aknown working PC to be sure :  disk and cd drives, cables, cards...
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by:Donnie616
ID: 38881451
Nobus my friend...they were not swolle when I started this question 10 days ago.  just noticed, Sunday I believe.  Since I have put so much time into this thing already cannot hurt to test things on good PC.  It will just take a bit more time. thank you all.
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by:nobus
ID: 38883485
take your time, Donnie; i'll be 'round
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Author Comment

by:Donnie616
ID: 38897610
I am still working on this.  So you know.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Donnie616
ID: 38906899
You told me two weeks ago but I did not see hidden bad capacitors.  I have worked on this for 3 weeks trying to re-learn the diagnostics things to do.  I should have known when it would shut down in middle of reinstalling the OS.  I did not want to believe it.  Thank you all.
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