Dead Hard Drive or PSU Low On Power

  timeteam2004 09:19 11 May 2005

I have a major problem. My PC was working fine last night but when I arose from my coffin this morning it had locked up. I have traced the fault to either my slave HDD or the PSU. If I unplug the second drive all is fine. If I then put it back the comp refuses to power up at all. I have taken power from another drive and still nothing. But if I unplug the master HDD with XP on it and plug the slave back in the comp boots but obviously it says no op system found. Win XP SP1 ( SP2 removed after problems).Main drive 80gb ,Slave 200gb ,2 x NEC3520 DVD -/+ R drives. Power supply is only 350w. Is this enough? If not why has this worked for several months.

  961 09:53 11 May 2005

Is device manager showing any faults? (Yellow exclamation marks or red triangles

Have you tried an alternative hard drive cable?

If both drives work separately they are likely to be ok

350watts should be enough but if the psu is failing there may no longer be sufficient power to drive both drives. Is the machine left on 24hrs?

  timeteam2004 10:12 11 May 2005

Cant get to device manager. If both drives are attached the PC will not power up. IDE cable changed and still the same story. Pc is left on 24/7 yes, but has been for ages.

  Gongoozler 10:19 11 May 2005

From your tests it looks likely, but not certain, that the PSU is faulty. You can get a PSU from Ebuyer for about £10 plus postage click here, so that could be the easiest thing to try.
You can get a good estimate of the power your system requires here click here.

  961 10:56 11 May 2005

Then try a new psu. If the existing psu has been finding it hard to cope, then 24/7 may well hurry its demise

  gudgulf 11:12 11 May 2005

Try unplugging one or both of your DVD drives and the case fan(s).If it is a matter of low power then that should let the computer boot with both hard drives connected.

Have you checked in the BIOS to see if both drives are listed? It might be worth clearing the CMOS with the jumper near the battery just in case it has become corrupted at switch on, before you buy a new psu.

  timeteam2004 11:33 11 May 2005

Right. I have just taken PSu out of my second PC. No Joy there. Replaced IDE Lead again. Zippo. Unplugged both DVD so only HDD powered. Same Problem. Unplugged Main Drive and secondary is picked up and working. Plugged all back in and nothing. Went into BIOS and fiddled around WITHOUT accepting any changes. Plugged everything back in and now it is working as if it never stopped????? I hate PC's :-(( I build all my own PC's but I have never seen this problem before. I had assumed that large disk support had somehow been disabled and this drive is 200GB, but I have been told it would show as a 130 something gig drive and not just stop. Many thanks to you all for your help so far.

  961 12:08 11 May 2005

Well that's computers for you, ain't it

Main thing is, it's working

Something has obviously spooked the BIOS or there is a "dry" joint somewhere. Do you have surge protection?

I know the arguments pro and con but allowing the computer to switch off and let everything cool down occasionally does seem IMHO to be a worthwhile exercise

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