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OK guys I need help trouble shooting a non starting PC

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    OK guys I need help trouble shooting a non starting PC

    My weather server is sick. When I power it up it fails to start up about 7 times out of 10. When it doesn't start I never hear the "beep" that normally accompanies the boot up process. I can't figure out what is wrong. I thought the power supply was going out but it spins up the fans and hard drive along with the floppy just fine. It could still be the power supply but I'm just not sure if the fans would spin that are connected to the MB if the Power supply were going out. When it doesn't start up nothing is ever displayed on the monitor. Any suggestions? TIA
    -Rupp
    sigpic

    #2
    It is probably the power supply, especially if it is an ATX power supply. An ATX power supply has a starting relay of some sort. When these relays get "weak" the 'puter doesn't always start. Sometimes when it does start it'll run for 5 or 10 seconds and then quit.

    It's happened to me!

    drm

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      #3
      Might also be a bad memory chip.

      Rick

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        #4
        It could still be the power supply as there are multiple pins with multiple voltages coming off of it that plug into different ares. If even one of those is going bad your system won't start despite the fact that various items appear to be working ok.

        Comment


          #5
          Rupp, If this is the Dell Server, double check that the power supply is a standard ATX. My old 933 RDRAM Dell used a non standard PS. If the PS is bad, you might have to replace from Dell direct, or get the wiring diagram out to convert a standard PS to the connectors on the Dell (be careful).

          This is why I don't buy Dell anymore...I burned up more time with non standard BS than any price difference on the PC.

          If it is a standard deal, swap some parts from another standard PC until it works to condemn the bad part. If you are using more than one memory stick, pull one out at a time to see if it gets better. Keep in mind some PCs require pairs of memory.

          Pull all nonessential boards from the PC to make sure one of them isn't bad - serial converters, modem, LAN, sound card and swap the video card with another PC

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            #6
            I agree with DavidL on nonstandard parts. Its not just a Dell thing either. I've seen Gateways, Compaqs, Dells, IBMs, all use nonstandard power supplies which always cost at least twice as much to replace when it goes out (which, if you have a machine long enough, it always will) as a standard power supply. Watch out for mother board costs as well as often times standard boards won't fit quite right in the case and those get really expensive when you have to buy a board that's a few years old from an OEM.
            Those reasons alone are why I would never buy from any of those places.

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              #7
              Update,
              Bought a new power supply, installed it and the funny fan noise is stll there. It also still doesn't want to boot consistantly. I thought I had checked every fan in the case BUT I couldn't see the small fan on the graphics card. So I unplugged this and the noise at least is gone. If the graphics card is /has been overheating and its going out this could indeed cause the pc not to boot. Right?
              -Rupp
              sigpic

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                #8
                Yes, any card or even USB device connected can cause the PC not to boot. Unplug it all, swap video cards, and start from there.

                Hmmm, I am wondering if you could just take out the video card and RDP or VNC (which I know you like) to the box from a different PC. Not sure if a PC will boot without a video card.

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                  #9
                  Hi Rupp,

                  Long time no speak.

                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Bought a new power supply, installed it and the funny fan noise is stll there. It also still doesn't want to boot consistantly. I thought I had checked every fan in the case BUT I couldn't see the small fan on the graphics card. So I unplugged this and the noise at least is gone. If the graphics card is /has been overheating and its going out this could indeed cause the PC not to boot. Right? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                  Not sure what your computer set up is, so a general analysis.

                  If the graphics card has destructed it's self, then yes the comp. will not boot, but also you will have no display on the monitor! If your Motherboard supports a monitor without a graphics card try changing the plug over to that socket, remove the graphics card and see what happens.

                  Have you tried doing a "Safe Boot"? If so what happened?

                  From experience with computer hardware, I'm useless with software, it does sound like a power supply problem. That does not necessary mean the Power Supply is faulty, just something is draining it. As suggested in other posts remove plug in board one at a time until it boots. If that does not work create, or get a friend to create a "Boot Disk" then see if that works.

                  It could be a Virus, Heaven Forbid.

                  A test we used to use, long time ago, was to put a Windows install disk in the CD slot, after resetting the Bios, power down the comp. then power up. If it started to install, it was a software problem.

                  Hope some of this helps you Rupp, Good Hunting.

                  Gogs.
                  sigpic
                  A founder member of "The HA Pioneer Group" otherwise known as the "Old farts club!"

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks guys for all the suggestions.

                    David that's what I was wondering. Will a PC boot without a graphics card? This PC doesn't even have a monitor so it makes it even harder to troubleshoot. I know without the fan the video card gets hotter than fire. It's up and running right now so the next time I need to do maintenance I'll try removing the card.
                    -Rupp
                    sigpic

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                      #11
                      A step further on Gogs suggestions would be to download Knoppix Linux. Its a Linux distro that runs completely off the boot CD. Download the ISO, burn it to disk, boot to it, and you can run it from there. You don't install it, you can use this in a computer that doesn't even have a hard drive. Give that a run through and that's a good way to determine if its a hardware or software solution.

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                        #12
                        I guess I am lucky. There is a small computer store near me that sells the parts to build your own. See if you can find one (not best buy or circuit city or comp usa).

                        Bring them your MB and ask them to check it out. They will normally do that since it is an opportunity to gain a customer and takes them 5 minutes. They probably also have a PS tester. They did that for me when my HS system blew about 2 weeks ago. Ended up selling me a new MB and a graphics adapter. I generally build my own systems from parts and buy only standard commodity parts. I am very pleased with the HS system now. ASUS N7A8X-E MB, 1 Gig main, Serial RAID 1 array at 120 Gig usable space, 2.4 mhz AMD processor on a Front Side Buss at 333 mhz. 6 USB ports, good serial connectivity, Auto power start after power loss. Couple of IDE 120 drives for media storage. Sits in the Closet totally unattended. I use RA administrater by framatech for remote control over LAN. Hardly ever go to the closet. HS runs completely on the Raid, and writes a BU every night to the D drives. I guess its belts and suspenders.

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                          #13
                          <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rupp:
                          Thanks guys for all the suggestions.

                          David that's what I was wondering. Will a PC boot without a graphics card? This PC doesn't even have a monitor so it makes it even harder to troubleshoot. I know without the fan the video card gets hotter than fire. It's up and running right now so the next time I need to do maintenance I'll try removing the card. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                          Rupp, it depends on motherboard. Usually not, but some motherboard (I read about them, but never actually had one) support this feature. From my hardware experience I can tell you that it can be almost anything.
                          Pull out all your cards and memories, blow the connectors with dry air, and re-seat everything back. Unplug all HDD's, FDD's, CD's but the motherboard. I had a bad floppy drive one time that drained power from power supply and the result was same like yours - black screen, no beeping. You can also try special chill spray to find out if you have micro crack in your motherboard. Anyway, I'd agree with Barry, if you do not have any hardware experience, take it to a shop that have PC test card (tests all voltages, bus signals and so on). It will save you some headache .

                          Hope this helps a bit
                          Marty

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                            #14
                            If it was a video card error, wouldn't the BIOS beep codes tell you? I think on most BIOS's a bad video card is indicated by three rapid beeps (rather than the comforting single beep of a healthy system) during startup.

                            THe video card in one of my PCs got knocked loose (unbeknownst to me) during my last move and the PC would not boot, I heard the three beeps, looked up what they eant, re-seated the vid card and all worked. My theory is that if you're NOT hearing the three beeps than the problem is NOT the video card, but something else.

                            I suppose, though, that if the vid card is failing AFTER the BIOS checks it, that it won't complain about it.
                            John
                            Hardware: i5-6400T w/16GB RAM & SSD w/HS3Pro, Z-Net, Harmony Hub x2, Echo Dot x2, Ocelot
                            Plugins: Z-wave, HSTouch, BLBackup, Harmony, GTS CPUXA, UltraMon3, Nest
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                              #15
                              Here is a silly question, Can you boot into the Bios? or does it seem to fail before you can do that. I agree with JRfruda in that a bad or missing video card will have the bios emit a warning (3 beeps). the Bios on my new MB speaks the errors if there are any. I hope I never hear it speak to me.

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