Computer not booting

By Hodsocks
Mar 7, 2004
  1. I have been given a pc to look at that is giving problems with booting up. When you power it up it the fans spin, the hard drive starts, the lights come on but after maybe 5 secs it then turns itself off. During this time there is no image on the screen and no beeps from the motherboard.
    So far I have fitted a different graphics card, it has onboard graphics, checked connections of ram, cables etc. I have also changed the Bios battery, all have made no difference to the problem.
    Tomorrow I will change the PSU incase that is the problem.
    Can anyone suggest what may be causing the problem or have I thought of the most likely reasons for the failure.
    It is quite an old pc, I have no idea what motherboard it is, there are no markings on it so I suspect it may be a PC Chips model.
  2. (=DoM=)

    (=DoM=) TS Rookie Posts: 230

    first of all, try booting the computer with only essential components, unplug anything which is non-essential, so only 1 stick of RAM, only 1 HDD connected as the master drive to IDE1 take out any soundcard it has too. If it still doesnt post, try replacing each component 1 by 1, starting with the RAM, then CPU, then Hard Drive, then PSU, and if all that wields no results, try resetting the motherboards BIOS. If all that still doesnt work, try replacing the motherboard too, you really need to post us what the spec of the system is, although it sounds to me like its either a screwed CPU or motherboard.

    Hopefully you'll get some better advice from one of the more senior guys who deal with problems like your more often than i do.

    Good Luck :grinthumb
  3. Hodsocks

    Hodsocks TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 370

    Nearly everything is onboard the mobo, but I have tried booting with the minimum too. Its an old socket 370 board so I don't have another processor to try but I agree with you, I think its either mobo or processor.
    I have tried a different PSU and another memory module so basically I have changed all I can apart from the mobo and processor.
    Just before it failed the graphics on the screen went weird ( zig-zags) and then when it was rebooted it would not fire up.
    Ah well I gues its gonna mean a rebuild.
  4. lowman

    lowman TS Rookie Posts: 380

    Sounds like it's lived it's last few days...
  5. Hodsocks

    Hodsocks TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 370

    As an update to this, I finally changed the motherboard, processor and memory and now it boots into windows (ME) but for some reason it does not show the cd-rom in my computer or in device manager, yet it is shown in the BIOS. Therefore I am having probs with loading the new drivers for the motherboard. Strangely device manager also does not how half the things is should normally CD, hard drive, usb, floppy,ports, monitor etc.etc.
    Has anyone any suggestions?
  6. Hodsocks

    Hodsocks TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 370

    Ok I finally got to the bottom of this, I finally managed to get the drivers onto the hard drive but it made no difference. I then tried to remove everything in device manager and reboot....expecting it to want to install all the drivers on boot up....but not in this case. So I went into add new hardware and asked it to search for hardware and it found only about 5 of which was the ACPI. As soon as I loaded the acpi.sys file and rebooted it it then it finally started to load all of the drivers.
    Finally I can happily put this to bed....:grinthumb
  7. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Whenever you change your mobo (unless it is identical with the old one) you should make backups of your important files, then swap the mobo, and completely re-install from scratch. This will save you hours of hunting for small niggles and incompatibilities.
    The best benefit is a clean installation without all the crap-leftover from previous uninstalled stuff.
  8. Molongal

    Molongal TS Rookie

    I have the same problem with my new computer:
    P4 HT 2.8Ghz
    512ddr400 ram (one stick)
    128mb Radeon 9200 SE
    Win XP home

    and i cannot find a solution.It is still under waranty though so i can send it back but that will take over a month (sigh) coz i have to ship it to sydney. Which is really annoying. But wtih mine it will turn on and lights up and everything, cd opens, everything there is just no beeps from the POST or is there a display on the moniter. The moniter works coz im using it on my old computer now.
  9. steveinfl22465

    steveinfl22465 TS Rookie

    make sure you reformat and partition the drive...

    I was reading all your troubles. Sorry to hear your frustration...but I have been there and done that many times!! When ever you install a new motherboard, and if the motherboard is different from the old one, make sure you erase the drive entirely and start over from scratch. There is an excellent utility out there that will wipe the hard drive clean so you can start with a new install. Here is the link for the wipe program: it is a GREAT program!! Has helped me out a few times. You can either boot from a floppy or a CD. After you erase the hard drive, you can then add your favorite OS, and then it will add the motherboard drivers for your new system. If not, it should at least boot up to the operating system so you can add the motherboard drivers that came with your motherboad. Any other questions, please feel free to ask. Hope you are having better luck with your system.
  10. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    Darik's boot and nuke is a very useful program just dont forget you have the floopy or cd its on in the cd drive or floopy drive when you boot if you dont want to erase your had drive.
  11. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    From the sound of it, you aren't even POSTing, in this case, no utility is going to help, you will need to start by reseating everything, then try barebones and add things one at a time till it fails again. To tell for certain if it is POSTing, you can watch the keyboard lights when you power the machine on, after they blink, try toggling the caps lock, if it will toggle, you have POSTed, if not, you have no POST.
  12. steveinfl22465

    steveinfl22465 TS Rookie

    What is the bare minimal that will boot the computer up. I was told all you need is a RAM chip on the motherboard in order to post. I tired it in my girlfriends computer, but it never even powered on. Any helpful hint?? Thanks!
  13. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    barebones means a single drive, video card, CPU, RAM, keyboard and monitor.

    If any of those are missing, you should still get an attempt to POST. You should get beep errors with any of those missing except for the monitor. Many newer boards however, will not power on if the HSF is not connected properly. They have a safety feature which checks to see if a signal is being looped through where the HSF connects to the board, if none is present it will refuse to power on.
  14. steveinfl22465

    steveinfl22465 TS Rookie

    Thanks for your help StormBringer!!
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