PC randomly doesnt start

  explicitlyrics100 17:34 19 Feb 2004

Ok, I got an old system from a friend and had about £175 to spend on upgrading it. I have had to change mb/case/proc/graphics/psu. The ram is still in the mb as pc133 which is not the end of the world as the mb supports it. The processor is a xp2200 and the graphics is an ATI Radeon 9200+. The PSU is rated at 300Watts. Running windows XP

Heres the problem, sometimes when starting the computer it starts - you can hear the hd chug and you can hear fans whirring. But it shows nothing on screen. The screen is working. This happens completely randomly, it may work one time and not another and it can run for hours fine with no problems once started. However if it shows nothing on screen you can start as many times as you like and it wont turn on. The power light doesnt turn on. I have tried replacing the graphics card and that did not help and I have unplugged and replugged the ram in different orders to no avail.

Where is the weak link? I cant for the life of me work out why the problem is so random and hard to emulate.


  Diemmess 18:05 19 Feb 2004

This has to be a Power supply problem.

Not necessarily the PSU itself, it could be the switch itself, since you have replaced the PSU.
These days, the on/off switch like the reboot one merely uses a low voltage to toggle a transistorised switch which governs another circuit.

It is possible that the PSU is not quite there!... So what can you do?....... Like all intermittent faults they are a pain to diagnose.

If the old PSU has a chance of further life you could try it for a few days, or better still try a substitute On/Off switch.

See what others say.

  mudpack 19:35 19 Feb 2004

i have the same problem,this also started after a new mb and proccesor was fitted,i think its the procesor because i have no problems if i use a duron 1100 instead of my athlon xp2600,try using a diferant chip

  explicitlyrics100 19:56 19 Feb 2004

i cant just change the chip i spent 45 quid on the processor - out of 140 for a complete pc this a huge chunk to just chuck in the bin! I have not tried replacing the psu because I did not have a spare psu with me when I went round to his house to have a look at the pc. Im pretty sure there is nothing wrong with the power switch - it still works and it still turns the mb on/off so it must be connected. Given that even when the pc doesnt start the pc still starts to spin I would rule this out. I dont know if i can rule out a faulty motherboard.... I dont know if i can rule out a faulty processor (and i dont know how to test as have nothing to test with)... I dont think its faulty ram.. I dont think its a faulty graphics card... i have no idea if its the psu.

sorry for the long post... any ideas?

  dewskit 21:38 19 Feb 2004

Just a thought - try taking out your Graphics Card and then reseating it. I had similar problems with a Windows 95 machine a few years back and that cured it. Dan (of blessed memory) tech support said it was a very common occurence and was always something to check when a machine appeared to be dead on arrival


  Rennaissance 21:41 19 Feb 2004

i had sort of a same problem. how is your power plugs connected? Maybe your four way socket if you use one is faulty, thats what happened with me. Or maybe you need a new PSU. Try New ram aswell.

  explicitlyrics100 21:42 19 Feb 2004

i took it out and used a different graphics card and it worked for one boot up but then failed on a restart 5 mins later. Then I put the original back in - it didnt boot for 5 or so boots - then suddenly worked and didnt bot on restart

  gudgulf 22:11 19 Feb 2004

I think you are right in blaming either the motherboard or processor.If you use an AMD processor yourself or know anyone else who does ,try using the new processor in another pc.That will either confirm or rule out the cpu.If you are not getting any video output and substituting graphics cards does not solve the problem then you may well have a duff motherboard.I'm assuming you have checked the obvious things like the mobo shorting out on the backplate.
One other thing ,when it fails to boot properly are you getting any bios beeps which may indicate the source of the problem?

  explicitlyrics100 22:14 19 Feb 2004

i get no bios beeps and I cant find any indication of what that would mean in the manual. How can I test the motherboard/cpu when i have none spare? I have a syntax kt266a motherboard with xp2200. It appears to support it.... You dont think its the PSU then?

  gudgulf 22:37 19 Feb 2004

No I dont.I've recently undertaken a similar rebuild for a friend---only their pc had gradually died.They had been having problems for a while whith it randomly refusing to boot,and finally giving up the ghost altogether.Fortunately I had a similar spec pc lying around doing nothing so was able to swap and change things around so I could try all the suspect components in my working pc.

If you are not able to find a way of substituting the processor then you ought to consider returning the mobo and getting a replacement.You can after all use the old power supply to check if the new one is faulty.

  explicitlyrics100 22:45 19 Feb 2004

i cant use the old one as it does not have the right connectors. Hence I bought a cheapo £6 psu to fill its place. I shall see if the psu has any effect. If not I should probably sent the motherboard back? What rights do I have on this? I bought it about 2 weeks ago from ebuyer.com.... thanks

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