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  • #2291187

    IDE Ports Kill HDD Power

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    by txtopgun ·

    After 22 years working on these things, I have just ran into something I have never seen before. I have an emachine that one day was working fine and after shutting down it wouldn’t come back up. I first thought it was the hard drive because it wouldn’t spin up. Then I noticed the CD drive wouldn’t open either (I was going to try to boot from it for diagnostics). Since it would be extremely unlikely for the CD and hard drives to be go bad at the same time, and they were connected to the same power lead, I thought it must be the power supply…no such luck. I decided to try a known good drive and it wouldn’t spin up either…power supply good and drive good. Well then I decided for some reason to see if the drives would spin up if not connected to the IDE cable…they both did. Note: One is connected as the primary master and the other as secondary master. Has anyone ever seen this before? What could cause it? It just seems strange to me that both the IDE connector circuits would short out at the same time. Every drive I have tried worked fine until I connected it to either one of the IDE ports (changed cables too). I am confused.

    Thanks

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    • #3293081

      Is that the only problem you are seeing?

      by hal 9000 ·

      In reply to IDE Ports Kill HDD Power

      I know it’s hard but can you get into the BIOS?

      Do you get any form of image on the monitor?

      Strictly speaking this is a Q & A thing but I’m interested and would like to know more so you can either post here or contact me through the Peer Listings and we’ll see if we can get anywhere.

      Col

      • #3292874

        The problem

        by txtopgun ·

        In reply to Is that the only problem you are seeing?

        Yes and no…I don’t get any image at all on the monitor so I assume it isn’t getting power to the onboard video either. Come to think of it, I did put a PCI IDE controller in and it still wouldn’t come up. With that in mind, I guess there is a short somewhere else on the board that is also shorting out the PCI slots.

        Like I said, in my 22 years of working on these things I have never seen anything like this before. One other thing I did try was resetting the BIOS but naturally that didn’t do anything either.

        Thanks

        • #3292788

          Well I suspose you tried the obvious

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to The problem

          So now it’s time to start looking for the far less obvious.

          I’d start by pulling the M’Board just to make sure that there isn’t something caught between it and the chassis which is causing the short. I once found a M’Board mounting screw between a M’Board and the chassis but it wasn’t doing any harm but I think I got to it before it created any problems.

          Also while it’s out have a good look at both sides of the board to check for any scars that it may have I suspose it’s always possible that a power surge came through and damaged the thing particularly if the Power Supply was not one of the better ones.

          As you’ve said that you are not getting any images on the screen I’d also check the BIOS Chip just to make sure that it hasn’t worked its way out of its socket that could be causing part of the problems.

          Failing that there is always the extremely sharp knife to slash your wrists with {part of the reason I’m no longer allowed sharp knives.}

          But post back and let me know how you get along.

          Col

        • #3291028

          Been there, done that

          by txtopgun ·

          In reply to Well I suspose you tried the obvious

          I have taken the board out of the case and can’t find anything wrong with it…in fact it is one of the cleanest I have seen. Everything looks perfect…even swapped out the DDR chip.

          I am about ready to just pitch it. One more thing I plan to do, just to check, is take the CPU out and try it in another board to make sure it is good. If so, I will probably just chalk the board up as experience and pitch it in the trash.

          The on really strange thing about it is the fact that it was running fine one night and when they turned it on the next morning (hadn’t been moved), it wouldn’t work.

          Thanks

        • #3292632

          I think you’ve just answered your own question

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Been there, done that

          The fact that it was working properly one night and not the next morning points to a power surge that got past the PS and degraded the IC’s on the M’Board to such an extent that they no longer work with each other or at all.

          By all means test the CPU but I’ll bet that it has gone the way of th M’Board as well. Maybe a different CPU just might alter the tolerance’s enough to allow it to temporally work but I would imagine if this was the case it would be a short term fix.

          Col

        • #3292630

          Thanks

          by txtopgun ·

          In reply to I think you’ve just answered your own question

          I believe you are right…I was just hoping to find someone else that had seen it before. Just seems really strange to me. Thanks for the interest.

          Dave

        • #3292598

          Doesn’t it give you that nice sinking feeling deep in your guts

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Thanks

          When you run across something like this?

          I’ve seen a couple previously and all occurred after severe storms where trees where brought down onto power lines or the overhead power lines came into contact with each other. Generally they are easy to pick as the M’Board has the hell blown out of every VLSI IC.

          But I had the occasional one where everything appears to be normal and it’s actually totally trashed and what makes it so hard is the fact that you just can not point out the damage as it is deep inside the IC’s particularly the CMOS type which are very prone to electrical damage once the voltages get beyond normal operating levels.

          The funny thing is that I’ve only seen this happen on the ATX Boards as they have constant power applied while plugged in and rely on a ripple from the on switch to activate everything.

          Anyway I hope that isn’t the problem but it sounds from you description it very well might be the problem. I’ve seen quite a lot like that but in every case they had poor quality power supplies which allowed the damage to occur. When something like an Antec PS is used I’ve never seen this happen but with the no name brands it is very common. Unless you have a CRO and some idea of what each IC is supposed to be doing it is impossible to trace any problems.

          Just another thought is the CPU fan working? I’ve seen a couple of these fail and allow the CPU to cook itself. A new CPU and heat sink/Fan cures this but if it is an old piece of hardware it just might prove far more expensive to get th bits second hand that to do a proper upgrade and make it as reliable as possible.

          I’ve also seen one occurrence where a Heat sink has come adrift and the CPU has been fried but of course when I got the repair the Heat sink had been replaced and it wasn’t until I pulled the CPU that the damage was obvious.

          Col

        • #3292520

          Re: Sinking Feeling

          by txtopgun ·

          In reply to Thanks

          Yep…I trashed the board. The CPU is fine (I put it in another board and it works flawlessly. The CPU fan running is what initially through me…that said the board was getting power since the fan is plugged onto the board.

          Thanks again

        • #3292486

          A Little Late

          by bruceand ·

          In reply to Thanks

          Since you pitched the MB this is a little late, but one thing that is not obvious is leaking electrolytic capacitors which will kill one or more voltages. These usually show a yellowish white “gunk” on top of or around the bottom of the cap.
          Just had to replace a Gigabyte board that had almost the exact symptoms yours had. Would boot sometimes but wouldn’t other times. Once while was running, it lost keyboard and mouse control.
          Don’t touch this leaking gunk, as it is acid and can burn you.

    • #3292567

      Generic – eMachine

      by at computers ·

      In reply to IDE Ports Kill HDD Power

      90% Of My Business Brings In An eMachine Bought From Walmart. I Found The Reason Why eMachine Offers It’s Computers To The Consumers At Mass Sales At Walmart For A Low Cost Of $399.00, eMachines Are Built From Generic Computer Parts, Second Hand And Refurbished Parts From Companies Who Sell There Refurbished Parts To The Makers Of eMachines. The Problem You Are Having Deals With The Motherboard. eMachine Uses Several Different Companies To Purchase There Motherboards, These Companies Give The Makers Of eMachine A Really Good Deal On A Mass Order Of There Motherboards That These Companies Do Not Warranty! Cause There Poorly Made Or Refurbished As Second Hand Parts. That’s The Reason Why eMachine Makers Carry A 1 Year Warranty With There Machines! Why? They Know Their Machines Are Not Guaranteed To Last More Than A Year, So They Offer An Upgrade To The Purchaser Of An eMachine Along With The 1 Year Warranty In The Amount Of $99.00 Upgrade. Why? If You Have A Problem With Your eMachine Within The 1 Year Warranty, You Send Them Your Machine And $99.00 Upgrade Cost To Get Your Machine Upgraded. Upgrade Cost: $99.00 Why? You Are Paying The eMachine Maker For Another Refurbished Part That Is Not Guaranteed To Last By The Makers Of This Part. In Other Words It’s Worthless! A Worthless Machine. I Tell My Customers This And They Go Nuts, They Will Never Buy Another eMachine. Please Note: eMachine Is A Generic Piece Of Junk! It’s A Fast Way To Get A Computer, But 90% Of The Time You Will Be Forced To Replace The Machine Within A Year! I Have Seen Some eMachines Last 2 Years And Maybe One At 3 Years! But 90% Of Them Fail Within 1 Year. I Hope This Helps With Your Descision, The Motherboard Is Your Problem! Buy An Intel Board Or Equivelent, Do Not Pay The $99.00 Upgrade Cost, You May Get The Same Problem!

    • #3292472

      Same problem IDE Ports Kill HDD Power

      by gerbst ·

      In reply to IDE Ports Kill HDD Power

      I had the same problem , it turned out that it was the Power supply , it was not putting out enough Watts.. it was ok with one drive but not two.. changed out to a 350 Watt power supply and problem was solved .. I was also getting problems with the drive findin data before change out , it fixed that as well.

    • #3292349

      Seen similar

      by easantos ·

      In reply to IDE Ports Kill HDD Power

      I have an emachines box that I have run nearly continuously for 4 years with an occasional problem that comes out of the blue. My fix has always been to open the case, give it a good vacuuming, re-seating all the boards and cables by removing and re-installing them.

      I swear, each and every six months I am forced to do this — but the box is as good as new!

      I would never but another of these pieces of c**p knowing what I know now.

    • #3292332

      Have seen that happen

      by 1stladytech ·

      In reply to IDE Ports Kill HDD Power

      I don’t know why, but that is a common failure on the motherboard. It is one of the ways that we check to see if the board is bad on initial checkout on the bench. Usually both controllers go at once, with no visual, but it has always been the mb that has failed. Usually there has been a power surge or lightning strike, but not always.

      Good Luck,
      Vickie

      • #3292321

        Tobacco smoke can cause this

        by zookeeperz9 ·

        In reply to Have seen that happen

        A friend of mine had a pc that would run 5 mins then go black. I found out his son was a cigar smoker and I sprayed the S**t out of it with contact cleaner. I guess the tobacco resin was shorting out the circuits once it warmed up. It works great now.

      • #3292319

        Tobacco smoke can cause this

        by zookeeperz9 ·

        In reply to Have seen that happen

        A friend of mine had a pc that would run 5 mins then go black. I found out his son was a cigar smoker and I sprayed the S**t out of it with contact cleaner. I guess the tobacco resin was shorting out the circuits once it warmed up. It works great now.

      • #3292318

        Tobacco smoke can cause this

        by zookeeperz9 ·

        In reply to Have seen that happen

        A friend of mine had a pc that would run 5 mins then go black. I found out his son was a cigar smoker and I sprayed the S**t out of it with contact cleaner. I guess the tobacco resin was shorting out the circuits once it warmed up. It works great now.

        • #3292308

          Check power supply

          by md63sc ·

          In reply to Tobacco smoke can cause this

          Be sure to check your power supply , with a meter.
          Just because it is working does not mean it is working. I have had the same problem before. Sometimes it would boot sometimes not. After checking the voltage I found only 11.4 and 4.4 volts.You can only vary by a couple of volts either way, and have a stable mach.So take advice as mentioned before and go with a high end power supply.

        • #3294021

          Actually on the 5 V rail

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Check power supply

          You have a very small tolerance which is less than .5 of a volt any more than that amount of difference from what is supposed to be the base voltage will cause problems. Mostly it is on the Low side because of everything that is connected and the PS doesn’t have enough in reserve to supply the required amperage to everything connected.

          In a severe case I saw all the MBR’s on one computer corrupted which in that case effectively meant to total loss of all the data stored as well as all the programs. Of course in that particular case there where 19 HDD connected so it was a bit more than a simple replace the PS and reload.

          Col

      • #3292317

        Tobacco smoke can cause this

        by zookeeperz9 ·

        In reply to Have seen that happen

        A friend of mine had a pc that would run 5 mins then go black. I found out his son was a cigar smoker and I sprayed the S**t out of it with contact cleaner. I guess the tobacco resin was shorting out the circuits once it warmed up. It works great now.

      • #3292316

        Tobacco smoke can cause this

        by zookeeperz9 ·

        In reply to Have seen that happen

        A friend of mine had a pc that would run 5 mins then go black. I found out his son was a cigar smoker and I sprayed the S**t out of it with contact cleaner. I guess the tobacco resin was shorting out the circuits once it warmed up. It works great now.

    • #3294059

      Don’t Forget About Cards

      by willcomp ·

      In reply to IDE Ports Kill HDD Power

      In 15 years of repairing PCs, I have only seen 2 PCs destroyed by power surges coming in via the power supply. Both of those were severely damaged by lightning caused surges. In other cases, the power supply failed but did its job and saved the PC.

      The most common problem I see is phone line surges coming in through an internal modem. Symptoms can range from a failed telco connector (no dial tone) to severe internal damage of mobo, drives, CPU, and memory. Most people have some sort of surge protector, but very few have one with modem protection.

      One of the common failure modes is internal shorting of the modem which shorts out the PCI bus. Symptoms can range from strange boot behavior to PC not powering up.

      Although your mobo may have failed, always remove all cards (except video adapter, of course) and disconnect drives when troubleshooting boot up problems. If system boots with minimal configuration, sequence components back until you find the culprit.

      Dalton

      • #3294020

        That is interesting

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Don’t Forget About Cards

        Over this side of the pond there are very strict regulations on any modem which must be totally isolated from the mains supply and the phone line. This is always achieved by having an optical connection on both of the incoming and outgoing lines with the power for the optical connections on the phone line side of the modem being supplied by the phone line and the other side is supplied by the computer in the case of an internal modem or a plug pack in the case of an external modem.

        I didn’t realize that the regulations over there where not as restrictive.

        Col

    • #3293973

      Reply To: IDE Ports Kill HDD Power

      by jays37 ·

      In reply to IDE Ports Kill HDD Power

      I too have similar problem w/Dell XP. Have replaced power supply, memory, IDE cable, chip, and yes motherboard. You could try to go into BIOS and change settings, then set it back, and let it come up. This has worked for me so far. Now I have your problem w/CD access. It will work, just not all the time. The one thing I have yet to do, and yes it should have been the first, is to flash the BIOS to latest update.

      • #3293968

        You could always try a

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Reply To: IDE Ports Kill HDD Power

        Firmware update on the CD Drive if one is available. With XP that is quite often a very easy fix but a BIOS update should always be the first attempt to rectify any problem.

        Col

        • #3311006

          Don’t you just hate it

          by txtopgun ·

          In reply to You could always try a

          Don’t you just hate it when your put in a new motherboard and it has the ‘old’ BIOS from your previous board…..hehehe….I just couldn’t resist.

    • #3293840

      eMachines and USB problem

      by house ·

      In reply to IDE Ports Kill HDD Power

      I have an eMachines PC that was having problems with the USB controller. It seems that certain devices would appear to hog the resources. When on seperate controllers, the devices would work properly. Strange?

      I guess I should mention that one of the devices was the Logitec MX Duo. I’ve actually slapped on the usb -> ps/2 adapters and it seems to be fine now.

      I also tried the USB port on a DSL modem before and it was acting up. This doesn’t make any sense to me, but on USB I lost my sync/link. I quickly went back to UTP…and then back to cable internet.

      • #3293832

        Emachines USB

        by txtopgun ·

        In reply to eMachines and USB problem

        Emachines are notoriously underpowered. I have seen them actually fry the power supply because of things powered through USB ports. Replacing the power supply may very well fix your problem.

        • #3293768

          assumed that it was a power issue

          by house ·

          In reply to Emachines USB

          I assumed that it was a power issue, but the devices didn’t just stop working, they were going funky..

          I don’t feel like investing any more into the piece of crap anyways. I’m a heavy gamer and it doesn’t even have an agp slot.

          I’ll my own and leave that for my GF…she never gets off it anyways.

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