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PC Won't Boot

By hpywndrer ·
I'm running XP2 on an AMD Athlon 2.5 Ghz or thereabouts with 512 MB of RAM. The system is about a year and a half old, and I had to change the power supply about 9 months ago.

The system started rebooting on its own periodically, on a seemingly random basis. This went on for a period of about one month, then the system died and now won't boot at all.

When turned on, the lights on the CD and DVD-ROM drives flash as though going through the normal boot process, but I cannot boot from either drive (CD nor DVD), nor will the machine boot from the hard drive; pressing ESC, which is my bail-out into the BIOS setup does not work, nor does F8 boot me into Safe Mode.

A visual inspection of the mother board and components does not show any obvious signs of burning or shorting, disconnected or cut wires or anything loose.

What am I missing? What's my next step? Any ideas are appreciated.

Thanks!

Todd

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by TheChas In reply to PC Won't Boot

Since this is an AMD Athlon system, the next thing to check is the CPU and fan.

It is very possible that the re-booting was from the CPU over heating from either fan failure or inadequate cooling.

Next would be to remove and reinstall your RAM modules and plug-in cards.

Chas

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by hpywndrer In reply to

Thanks for the thoughts Chas, but in this case they did not help. The CPU fan is is running fine (although I won't swear that this is keeping it adequately cool), the CPU itself looks fine, I've reseated the CPU, heatsink and fan, RAM and all pluggable cards, with no change.

Thanks, Chas, for your input.

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by willcomp In reply to PC Won't Boot

Before doing anything else, check capacitors (caps) on motherboard for deformation and leakage.

Tops of caps should be flat. Any bulging or leaking electrolyte indicates bad caps. If caps are bad, motherboard replacement is required. The manufacturer may replace it under warranty since this is a known issue with many motherboards.

There were millions of bad caps used for several years until problems started appearing. Low cost, defective caps were manufactured using electrolyte produced from a stolen formula. Only problem was that formula was not complete and electrolyte is defective causing cap failure.

Have not seen any failed caps on Intel manufactured mobos, but have seen them on mobos from Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, and Abit. These are all quality first tier manufacturers, so problem is not limited to cheap mobos.

If caps are OK, start on Chas' suggestions.

Dalton

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by hpywndrer In reply to

Dalton!

I had seen your similar advice on another post, and, so, had already looked to verify these issues. My mobo is Matsonic, but appears to be completely clean from the standpoint of failed capacitors.

In following Chas's recommendations, above, I also thoroughly blew-off everything (dust-wise) on the mobo, and reasserted all connections.

Still back where I was.

Thanks for your advice, any other insights?

Todd

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by hpywndrer In reply to PC Won't Boot

Point value changed by question poster.

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by TheChas In reply to PC Won't Boot

Since you are not getting any POST error beeps, I stand by my first suspect of CPU failure.

2 ways to verify:
Different CPU.
POST card.

Here is a link to a low cost POST card:

http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=SY-TECHAID&cat=MBB

The only other thing I can think of is to try resetting the CMOS.

Chas

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by hpywndrer In reply to

Will pulling the battery be sufficient to reset the CMOS?

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by willcomp In reply to PC Won't Boot

Something I overlooked earlier. Are you getting any display on monitor? You mention trying to enter BIOS and boot menu, but are you seeing anything? If so, what is on display?

Also cannot rule out power supply completely. They can cause strange problems. Borrow one and swap out just to be sure.

Dalton

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by hpywndrer In reply to

Interesting point Dalton! I'd meant to mention this earlier, so I'm glad you've brought it up. The monitor shows only alternating RGB, as though it is getting no input whatsoever (I assume it is getting no input whatsoever!).

Hmmmm...?

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by TheChas In reply to PC Won't Boot

If you do not have a CMOS reset jumper, then you need to remove the battery AND pull the power cord.

You might need to let it sit that way for up to 1/2 hour to clear things out.

Keep in mind that your symptoms still point to a hardware failure.

Chas

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