Monitor only wakes up every 2nd boot?!

  MalkyH 16:22 28 Jan 2007

Hi all. New poster with weird problem.

Set up:
AMD K7, 256Mb memory, AMI bios
Video from NVidia GEforce FX5200 2048kb, AGP
Running WinXP Pro

Recently replaced my PSU when the old one gave ceased working.
OK, confession time. The old one gave up when I was trying to connect up an extra hard drive, so I fear that I may have fried something through static.

Anyway, new PSU is XPower ATX-400TD. The old one that it replaced was the 300W model that came with the case.

When I now press power button to switch on, fans come on, lights for CD flash and all sounds as per usual. Except that the monitor doesn't always come out of sleep.

If I hold down the power button to switch off and then try again, the monitor will then wake up and all is fine.

But if I then reboot again, back to square one - fans, lights but a sleeping monitor!

I've taken the new PSU back in case it was faulty - got an identical replacement and got identical problems.

Outputs of old/new PSUs as follows:

Old. Maxima 300W:

+3.3V 16A
+5V 20A
+12V 10A
-5V 1A
-12V 1A
+5VSB 2A

New. X-Power ATX-400TD 400W:

+3.3V 30A
+5V 28A
+12V 17A
-5V 1A
-12V 1A
+5VSB 2A

So, at least as much power on each rail?

Ideas anyone? Here are my thoughts to date:

1. PSU faulty? Unlikely as I've just swapped it out again.
2. PSU not up to the job? Also unlikely as my old 300W unit has been replaced with a 400W unit with more power on each rail?
3. Poor Power_OK signal from PSU? If this is the case, why does it work on the second boot but not the third?
4. Damaged motherboard or video card? Possible, but why this regular works/doesn't work pattern?

  Totally-braindead 16:35 28 Jan 2007

Do you know whether the hard drive boots even when there is no display? Does the light come on and keep whirling away?
The reason I ask is it sounds to me as if some item in your PC is having trouble starting up. It could be the hard drive. A sign of a failing hard drive can be that it has problems starting from cold but once up and running it appears to be working fine.
Do you know that make of your hard drive because a lot of hard drive manufacturers have tools you can download. Seatools for Seagate, Maxblast for Maxtor drives etc.
Do you an old graphics card you could try in case its that?

  MalkyH 17:19 28 Jan 2007

Thanks for thoughts, totally-braindead.

On a "failed" boot, the hdd light will come on and stay on. There is initial sound of disk whirring, but this does not continue through the usual sounds of a successful boot.

So I think you may have a point - the PC is having problems starting up and is hanging right at the beginning, before getting any text fired up to the monitor.

However... I'm not convinced this suggests hard disk failure. If you are correct that the hard disk is only appearing to work once up and running, why does the machine fail to boot if I switch off and on again after a successful boot.

Remember that the typical pattern is:

1st attempt: no joy
2nd attempt: successful boot
3rd attempt (ie reboot after the successful session): no joy again.


  Taff™ 17:37 28 Jan 2007

This is a graphics card issue. In the BIOS disable "fast boot" options and the graphics card will kick in.

  MalkyH 18:26 28 Jan 2007

Taff - thanks, but no.

I presume fast boot is the same as what my Ami Bios calls "Quick Boot". I tried disabling this but no change in the PCs behaviour.

  Totally-braindead 19:39 28 Jan 2007

MalkyH from what you've said you must have already tested the hard drive to eliminate it.
If that is the case then you are left with faulty graphics card or faulty motherboard. The only other thing is RAM but as far as I know with faulty RAM you would still get something.

You have made no mention of beeps, do you have the onboard speaker connected? The beep codes would tell you what is wrong.

  MalkyH 13:38 29 Jan 2007


1. Hard drive. I haven't tested the hard drive so I guess I'd better do so to rule it out. I presume you mean more than running Windows' error checking on the drive?

- Sorry, I note you referred to tools from the drive manufacturers in your earlier post, so I'll try those out once I've reminded myself of the make of drives. (I have two, one Seagate and one other).

Am I safe to assume that it is only likely to be the boot drive causing a problem, ie not the slave drive?

2. Beeps. I guess a speaker must be connected somewhere as a successful boot will result in it beeping once (to say ok) just as XP starts to load. There are no beeps during an unsuccessful boot.

  sinbads 14:08 29 Jan 2007

I have a simular problem and have tried various things to cure the problem click here
there seems to be lots of things that cause boot failure.

you might find this interesting gives you an idea of what happens at startup. click here unfortunately my problem is not solved yet, afraid its a slow proccess of elimination.My thoughts are it could be a faulty conponant on the mother board ;but live in hope its something else. As said first check your HD using the manufacturers tools, good luck

  MalkyH 21:23 29 Jan 2007


Thanks for the comments. As you suggest, these kind of problems are darned frustrating as it seems like anything bar choice of socks* could be the cause of the problem, so there's a lot of eliminating to be done!

Interesting links.

* I was going to say choice of system case then I thought someone will say it COULD be the cause!

  MalkyH 11:49 04 Feb 2007

Latest update:

Have tested the main (boot) hard drive (Exelstore) using their diagnostics software. Passed fine.

Would have also tested the slave drive (Seagate) but their software throws up a message about possible overlaps in extended memory. Frankly, I didn't understand the message so gave up at this point. I guess I could disconnect the slave drive if I want to eliminate it.

Have also now tried an alternative monitor, this suffered exactly same problem.

Have tried removing graphics card to clean the contacts, don't have a second card to test.

My guess though is that I'm looking at a new motherboard.

  sinbads 12:38 04 Feb 2007

Have you set defaults in the bios and is there any info in the bios log events. I am resigned to the fact that it is my motherboard having exhausted all avenues. Replacing the motherboard on this old girl is not economical, so i'm thinking of a new uptodate system. Meanwhile i leave the computer on 24/7.

You could try bootvis click here good luck

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