PC won't start from cold

By Cheerful Dragon
Jul 5, 2005
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  1. For some months, I left my PC on 24/7. September last year, I found the PC wouldn't start from cold. I thought it was a glitch, but had the same problem at Christmas, so obviously not a glitch. The symptoms are these:

    Switch on PC. Monitor stays blank. No lights to show any drives being accessed. Not getting as far as BIOS, by the looks of things. I can hear the system fan going, but that's about it. After a few minutes warming up, CD drive lights flicker. At this point I power down, wait a few seconds, then switch on again. I have to repeat this a few times to get the PC to start. Once I've got the PC to start, everything seems fine.

    Things tried:
    Vacuuming inside of PC - no effect
    Ensuring cards and RAM are correctly seated (cleaned edge connectors) and all cables are firmly attached - no effect
    Replaced battery on mobo - no effect (*more on that later)
    Tested RAM - tests out OK

    *I replaced the mobo battery for two reasons. Firstly, somebody said it might be causing my problem; secondly, the PC clock lost time while the PC was off. When I turned the PC off recently, I found the clock was still losing time - 43 hours over 10 days (the calendar is now 1 day out).

    PC Spec: AMD Athlon 1.2 GHz CPU, Chaintech CT-7AJA mobo, 128Mb RAM, SoundBlaster 5.1 Live soundcard, nVidia GeForce2 graphics card, 40Gb hard drive

    I have not added or changed any hardware since the problem occurred, nor did I add or change anything immediately before the problem occurred. I don't have access to a second PC so I can try swapping things to try to find the problem. I can't afford to take the PC to a repair shop, which is why I'm here - free advice! That also means I need an answer that doesn't involve replacing bits 'on spec.' to see if that fixes the problem. :rolleyes:

    Please help!
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    All symptoms point to a dying powersupply. Check all the voltages in your BIOS or get the free Everest Home program from www.lavalys.com
    If the voltages shown are within max. 5% (under or over) of their nominal values, your PSU is still OK.
    Report back with results please.
  3. Cheerful Dragon

    Cheerful Dragon Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Results from EVEREST report:

    Sensor

    Voltage Values:
    CPU Core 1.73 V
    +2.5 V 0.23 V
    +3.3 V 3.28 V
    +5 V 5.08 V
    +12 V 12.23 V
    Debug Info V 86 C2 9F 91 13 CE CD CC

    Don't know what the CPU Core value should be, but the +2.5V is way out! :eek:

    I also spotted this under memory:

    Physical Memory:
    Total 127 MB
    Used 122 MB
    Free 4 MB
    Utilization 96 %

    I'd recently rebooted my PC and the only things running were Everest and Notepad. I started IE and rechecked. Memory usage went up to 124MB - 98%! :eek: What is using up so much memory and how can I fix it? :confused:
  4. Cheerful Dragon

    Cheerful Dragon Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    On running msconfig.exe, I found loads of unnecessary stuff being run on startup. I removed the things I know I don't need. Memory usage dropped to 76% It still goes up to 98% when I go on to the Internet, though. :-(
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