PC startup problems!!!

  *Gary* 19:34 01 Feb 2004

Operating system: Windows XP
Processor: Athlon xp 1900
Motherboard: Asus A7A266-E
Ram: 1GB

I would be grateful if somebody can help me because I have got no idea what to do next.

The problem:
When I turn the power on, the fans and lights and hardrive will start up but the monitor doesn't come on. When the problem first started the PC monitor would come on after a few restarts and I would get a warning in the bios saying that the PC hung because the processor frequency was incorrect. But now I have to wait for about 30mins since the pc was last on and then if it does come on, it starts up normally without this message.

This problem started ever since I added a 2nd hardrive, however I was careful not to damage any components whilst installing and have since even disabled 'jumperfree mode' and manually set the frequency to ensure that the processor speed is right but the problem remains.

* I have removed any dirt and dust from the motherboard and all the fans are working
* The monitor cable doesn’t look damaged
* I have upgraded the bios to the latest version
* I have left the pc on permanently for two days in a row and it works fine

I have checked previous threads regarding start up problems and my problem is almost identical to the thread click here but I have tried a lot of the suggestions to no avail.

I would be grateful for any ideas because I rely a lot on the pc and need it come on when I want it to not when it wants to!


  Gongoozler 20:43 01 Feb 2004

Hi *Gary*. A few points.

When you switch on the computer, do you get the POST beep from the internal speaker to confirm that the motherboard has passed it's self test?

When a computer takes a time to allow you to switch on, I first wonder what there is that can take this long, and the most likely is something cooling down. The parts that I think most likely are the processor heatsink and the power supply.

The monitor not coming on is usually caused by no signal, but if the motherboard isn't booting, there won't be any signal anyway.

If there isn't any POST beep, disconnect both hard drives and try again. The computer should still get to POST an then report that there is no Operating System.

  *Gary* 01:31 03 Feb 2004

I tried what you suggested and I couldn't hear a POST beep. After turning the pc off the last time it is only after waiting a good couple of hours and restarting a couple of times that I was able to get it working again.

The thing that I don't understand is that once it starts, it's fine and the PC can be left on for a couple of days without any problems but for some reason it never seems to be able to start.

The messages that I got before about the processor being set to the wrong speed are also puzzling.

I guess I could buy a new Heatsink and Cooler for processors up to Athlon xp 3400+ (which should definitely keep the processor cool) but do i really need one if the pc 'once started' runs fine?

  Â ÑÌÇKÑÂMË 02:09 03 Feb 2004

I had a similar prob once after i added a hdd it turned out i was overloading one of the power connecters i had to go back and rewire the hd and cds to find a combanation that worked took some time but it cured it.


  *Gary* 18:34 03 Feb 2004

Thanks for the advice, I tried loads of different combinations and even tried with just the Master hardrive connected but the problem remains. I also decided to switch the motherboard back to 'Jumper Free' mode. Since doing this, when the PC starts up, I get the following message in the bios:

"During the last boot-up, your system hung for improper frequency combination. Your system is now working in safe mode. To optimize the system performance and reliability, make sure the frequency combination conforms to the specification of your CPU, DIMM and other connected drives"

I have got no idea why this is coming up because in both 'Jumper' and 'Jumper Free' mode my Athlon xp 1900+ (1600mhz) has always had a CPU frequency multiple of 12 and a CPU MHz of 133. Why does this message always appear?

  Indigo 1 19:04 03 Feb 2004

Could be a Power Supply Fault. Just because the fans spin and it works sometimes etc doesn't mean the PSU's not at fault, can you substitute it for a known good one ?

BTW what is the power output of the PSU ?

  *Gary* 21:46 03 Feb 2004

The Power Supply for my PSU is 300W

In my system I have got the following:
Asus A7A266-E Motherboard
Athlon XP 1900+ Processor (inc Heatsink and Fan)
2 X 512MB Ram PC2100 (266MHZ)

80 GB Hardrive (7200 rpm)- Master
120 GB Hardrive (7200 rpm)- Slave
16 x DVD rom drive
24x10x40 CDRW

Ati Radeon 8500 with 64mb ddr ram
Audigy Soundcard
Lan Card
PCI fan
PCI 56K Modem
PCI USB1 PORT (FOR 2 Devices - All taken)
PCI USB2 PORT (For 4 Devices - All taken)

Do you think that a 300W Power Supply is enough for this? Should I perhaps try a 450W power supply?

  *Gary* 21:47 03 Feb 2004

Sorry about the layout of the text, I did actually write on alternate lines!

  Indigo 1 22:24 03 Feb 2004

It's difficult to say without seeing the specs for each device but I'd say that 300w is the absolute minimum for a PC with that much hardware and you should certainly try a 450w if you can.
Don't forget that when your PC boots up the PSU is having to start all devices at the same time but when it has been running for a time it shuts down those devices which aren't necessary.
Which means that the PSU is giving all it's power at startup but when it has been running for a while it has an easier time as the PC only keeps the necessary hardware running.

Therefore you need more power to start a PC than to run one for a long period of time.

I could be wrong though and you CPU could be developing a fault ! The best way to check is by substitution.

  Indigo 1 22:27 03 Feb 2004

You don't need so much RAM, try rmoving one stick to see if it helps, you might find that the excess RAM is draining the PSU (a sure sign that the PSU is too small).

  *Gary* 22:39 03 Feb 2004

I understand what you are saying about not needing 1GB ram and it draining power, but it's strange that the problem should start now when it has been running fine for the last couple of years. As well as this, I still have this problem even when nearly all of this hardware is removed.

I think I will definitely try a new PSU though because I also noticed that the PCI fan wasn't working and then when I touched a PSU power cable slightly it began to spin. Maybe the PSU or the PSU wires are faulty?

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