PC Start up problems

  HenryVII 12:27 05 Nov 2011

For no reason that I can recall or determine my PC has decided to cuss about on start up.

When I switch on the power and disk lights are both amber for a while , then they switch off. The fans continue. Sometimes the lights then return, blue and amber, and the machine beeps "dah-dit-dit-dit". The HD seems to be very busy, but the monitor remains in standby mode throughout, so I can't see what might be going on. Switching off and restarting, or resetting, leads to the same sequence, until eventually I get the single "dit" beep and it all starts working properly. The number of retries needed varies, and occasionally it starts with no problem at all. I have no further problems while the machine is running, be it for a short time or all day.

No hardware or software had been changed.

I replaced the PSU on the advice of a retailer, but this made no difference, so I put the old one back. While I was about it I also changed the system battery, and thoroughly cleaned the inside of the case.

Any educated guesses?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 12:44 05 Nov 2011

Beep Codes http://www.pchell.com/hardware/beepcodes.shtml http://www.computerhope.com/beep.htm

1 long 3 short sounds like memory problems.

remove and refit the memory sticks and retry (they work loose with thermal cycling). or memory could be failing

Memory Test

MemTest - http://www.memtest86.com/ Tutorial: How to use Memtest - http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic62524.html

Windows Memory Test - http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp

  birdface 12:45 05 Nov 2011

Are you sure it was not dit dit dit- dah dah dah-dit dit dit.

Have you tried starting in safe mode.or system restore to when it was working ok.

  HenryVII 13:34 05 Nov 2011

Thank you, Fruit Bate & buteman.

System Restore has never worked for me. In the past whichever restore point I've selected is the one that fails. I did start up in Safe Mode (eventually!), but since I had no idea where would be a good place to start checking I gave up. The memory issue will be worth trying, although when I cleaned the innards of the PC I did check the seating of components as a matter of course. I had also run a memory test, which reported no problems.

I am hoping, of course, that the very worst would be something like a failing graphics card (mind you, my one is not that old),which is easy to replace, rather than a failing motherboard.

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