PC only boots intermittently

  rabbitpoo 13:19 19 Jun 2006

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 3:40 pm Post subject: Weird PC start up problems


I have a problem with my PC not starting properly.
The PC will start and run all day long, except it takes about 20-30 power ups to get going.

When I try and initially start the PC, all the lights flash as normal, then
nothing happens. Only the CPU fan and graphics card fans are operational. There is no HD activity, except the HD light will flash at first then go off - you cant hear any further HD activity. The CD and DVD drive doors will not open.
I have changed the PSU so I know the problem does not lie there. After 15 or 20 restarts the PC will sometimes get to the desktop but then I lose power again and have to reboot. It seems to be something in the boot and power up process. Have swapped the RAM, & have tried starting it with the CD & DVD drives disconnected but to no avail. Have also tried disconnecting all the USB devices in case it was a power problem, but still no solution.

My PC has the foll spec (if it makes any diff)

AMD Athlon 2600+ Proc
512mb RAM PC3200
80gb Hitachi Deskstar HD
Leadtek Winfast CR18G Pro mobo
Audigy 1 s/card
Leadtek Winfast A340 graphics (FX5200, 256mb RAM)
TV card
300w PSU

Its been working fine up until a month ago - no new peripherals connected
for ages.

If I take out the cmos battery and then replace it the PC starts straight away. Have put in a new battery just in case the old one was dead. The PC starts first time, but not second time, (or 3rd, 4th,5th). Its not the hard drive failing, tried another HD with XP on it and still no boot. HD light sometimes flashes but then loses power, as does CD/DVD drive. It starts - in the end - after about 30 restarts.

Wud appreciate any suggestions I can try o/wise it looks like a trip to the repair shop.

  johndrew 13:51 19 Jun 2006

There is a letter in this months PCA (August 2006 issue 133) on page 148 from someone whose PC freezes at startup but runs normally when it gets there. The answer indicates there may be a `warm up fault`.

Any help?

  rabbitpoo 14:01 19 Jun 2006

Thanks yr reply.
Does it suggest any solutions ?.

  rabbitpoo 15:21 19 Jun 2006

Its deff not the PSU, have tried 3 now incl a 400w PSU.

  Giggle n' Bits 15:23 19 Jun 2006

Sounds like the HDD is intermitanlty not reading correct on boot.

  rabbitpoo 15:27 19 Jun 2006

I've tried about 4 diff HD diagnostic utilities but they all show no problems.

  johndrew 17:06 19 Jun 2006

It`s not very helpful I`m afraid. It says that you can press and hold the start button for a few seconds and this will have the same effect as trying a start several times if it is a warm up problem.

It also says there are no tests and it may not be temperature related as some components take a `few` seconds after startup to reach stable operating conditions.

I suppose the first move would be to hold the start button for a couple of seconds and see if this helps, if so you either live with it or start taking components out and swapping until you cure it.

Not a good situation either way.

As Big Byte says it may also be something going down that is needing more time to get going properly. You could ensure everything is seated properly - ensure all residual power is discharged and you are earthed before you start.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:44 19 Jun 2006

Go into BIOS and disble Quick Boot.

This will give HDD time to spin up to speed before being requested by boot routine.
may well cure your problem or at least eliminate one of the failure possibilities.

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