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Computer fails to start.

By GiantPocky
Dec 20, 2006
  1. I can't turn on my computer after several failed attempts to fix an earlier problem. I have recently bought a new power supply, re-apply thermal grease so that it would be much much smoother. Now, whenever I hit the power button, only the red LED light in the front flash for a split second, the fan and the power supply moves for the same amount of time, and no other responsive actions. I am desperate for any suggestions, since I don't want to waste my school break stressing over my computer. Here is my computer:

    MOTHERBOARD:
    Brand/Model ECS P4M800PRO-M
    BIOS American Megatrends Inc. 080012 12/10/2005
    System Board ECS P4M800PRO-M 1.0
    Intel Pentium D 2.8 Ghz

    Corsair 667 DDR2 1gb RAM
    Seagate Barracuda 7200 400 gb Hard drive
    Maxtor 120gb hard drive
    Radeon 9200 video card
    SONY CD-RW CRX230E CD-RW
    SONY DVD RW DRU-810A DVD-RW
    Windows XP SP2

    thanks in advance.

    also, i'm sorry if i posted in the wrong section of the forums, as this is my first time here. If you would require any added information, I would gladly try to find out. Again, in dire need of assistance, =(
     
  2. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    Is this a computer that at one point was working but has suddenly stopped?

    First hunch is you'll need to RMA your motherboard, but I'd recommend doing some quick troubleshooting first.

    Remove everything from your motherboard, and take it out of your case. Stick it on a box beside your case and connect ONLY the following:

    cpu/heatsink
    one stick of ram
    your graphics card

    Then connect your PSU connections to the board. There should be TWO connections, the 24pin and the ATX12v connector. Also connect your case's speaker wire to the motherboard at this point if it has one.

    Are there any LED lights lit up on the board at this point?

    Next connect your monitor, keyboard and mouse, and take a screwdriver and quickly touch the two pins that are normally connected to your case's power on switch (shorting it). This should get you into your bios. What happens at this point? What color are the LED lights on the board, if any, and what fans are spinning? Any beeps?

    If it doesn't get you into your bios, we have narrowed it down to either your motherboard or CPU (since you have already tried a new PSU).
     
  3. Teaser261

    Teaser261 TS Rookie Posts: 121

    Question, did you set the voltage switch on the new power supply to your country's voltage. It would be 110 or 115 if you are in the USA. 220 or 230 in other parts of the world. It is a very common mistake, the switch should be just above or below the power switch on the actual power supply. Let us know how you make out. Also what did you mean by
     
  4. GiantPocky

    GiantPocky TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Here's what happened 3 days before. My computer tends to shut off random, restart randomly. I noticed in Task Manager that CPU often goes up to 50 when I'm running a full-screen game and almost 300k mem usage. Whenever I do a heavy task such as downloading or rendering in-game images, it would crash. Now, I COMPLETELY regret not reading the guide in your profile. I first thought it was the power supply. So I replaced my old one with an adequate 600w. (I honestly forgot how to find out how much w is your power supply, my old one, at least). Finished installing it, played my game and still random crashes. So I figured I needed more thermal paste/grease. I went on and applied Arctic Silver, re-apply it on the surface of the CPU, and put back the heatsink fan. At THIS point, however, it would no longer start-up.

    I'm doing this as we speak, where would I see the LED lights?

    The first time I installed the CPU, my hands were shaky and the thermal paste that came with it was smeared. When I took it apart, it seemed very thick and solid, so I came to the conclusion that I should remove the solids and re-apply a new layer of Arctic Silver. Sorry for the confusion. Thanks for pointing out the 115/230 voltage, and yeah, I live in the US and it's always 115 on the backside, so no problems there.
     
  5. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    Is is possible you put TOO MUCH thermal paste? You only need a tiny amount, about the size of a grain of rice. If you put too much, it could leek out the sides and into your CPU pins or even onto your motherboard. The paste conducts electricity very well, and would short anything it leeks onto.

    I would also take another look at your CPU pins and check if any are bent.
     
  6. GiantPocky

    GiantPocky TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Should I take apart the heatsink fan to see? No LED lights show up.
     
  7. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    Does your board have any LED lights on it? Some don't. If it does have some and they are not lighting up, your board is dead (since you already replaced the PSU).

    As for reseating your CPU, that's the next thing to do, especially if you think you may have put too much thermal grease. Again, another possibility is that you bent some of the CPU pins.
     
  8. GiantPocky

    GiantPocky TS Rookie Topic Starter

    On my computer's case, There's the big green light and the little red light. Whenever I hit the power button, the little red light flashes for a second, and so does the light on my 2 cd drives. If it really gets down to either my motherboard or my CPU, wil the only solution be that I have to replace mobo/CPU or both?

    I forgot one major, major detail.

    old PSU + original thermal paste = runs fine, only random shut downs
    new PSU + original thermal paste = runs fine, only random shut downs
    new PSU + added arctic silver = runs for 20 seconds with both fans running, no monitor display and shut down. After that first time, fans would only start for 1/2 a second, then halt completely. I seriously think I might've put too much thermal grease, and it ruined everything else. The more I think about it, :(.
     
  9. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    Did you remove the old thermal compound before adding the arctic silver? If you didn't, you should have.

    If you think you put too much, I'd go ahead and remove the CPU and completely clean off all thermal compound using isopropyl alcohol. If any leaked into the cpu pins, you can try to clean there as well, but be real careful not to bend any of the pins.

    Next reapply some arctic silver, a very small amount, and try your system again....
     
  10. GiantPocky

    GiantPocky TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes, I did clean off the old compound with isopropryl, and then re-applied the new one. Just wanted to clarify one thing before I proceed to remove the CPU. Since my heatsink fan twitches for a half a second, does that mean my CPU is alive and my mobo is dead? So it would be reasonable for me to buy a new mobo and dump this one?
     
  11. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    I wish it were that easy. If your board had any LED lights on it, or was producing any beeps it would help us to diagnose, but it doesn't seem like you do.... do you?

    Another thing that would really help is if you had another CPU you could use to test in there, like from a friend's computer or something. I know not many people have access to spare CPUs of course.
     
  12. GiantPocky

    GiantPocky TS Rookie Topic Starter

    :(. This Socket 775 is the only CPU of the type I have. No LEDs, no beeps. I thank you guys so much for devoting your time to help me. Let's hope this won't be a sad Christmas for me!
     
  13. GiantPocky

    GiantPocky TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I was wondering if there was a way to isolate the problem, down to mobo or CPU. Besides the usual get another of the type and test, of course. I want to replace this as soon as possible.
     
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