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PC won't start?!

By unforgiven1977 ยท 43 replies
Jul 31, 2006
  1. unforgiven1977

    unforgiven1977 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I put the old CPU, mobo and RAM back in and that baby fired up like there was never anything wrong.
    Now I got all these extra parts laying around that I have no use for and speant all that money on (well only about 130 bucks worth) but I'll just say that's the price for the learning experience I guess. At least I did get to make good use of that enormous new heatsink and cpu fan.
    Guys I can't thank you enough. Especially you SOcRatEs and kirock. My wife is also eternally grateful to have her PC back.
    I'll certainly be coming back here for any future advice. Thanks again.
  2. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966


    Glad we could be here for you!
    You are welcome anytime.
  3. unforgiven1977

    unforgiven1977 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Alright. How's about now.
    I'm sorry but it appears I spoke too soon. I was rather excited because it booted up normally and left it to the wife to enjoy. You must understand I've been trying to figure this thing out for about a month now.
    Anyway it ran fine for about 15-20 minutes then it froze and the blue screen of death followed. It said something about the bios shutting it down because of a (unspecified of course) problem. I didn't get to read and try to understand what it was telling me because I noticed this thing on the bottom of the screen counting upwards and saying "dumping physical memory".
    When I shut it down and tried to restart it it began to boot but then prompted me to enter safe mode. I selected "start windows normally" and it gave me the same dreaded blue screen.
    So I shut it down again and removed the cover to take a look. The PSU and the CPU fan were pretty hot to the touch so I'm guessing it's overheating for some reason.
    I know the fans are working and I made sure there was thermal paste under the heat sink (although it was smeared a bit) so I've no idea why it would overheat.
    After all this messing around the only thing different from the original working configuration is the new PSU and the new heat sink and fan. The latter two being quite massive so I would think it would take alot to overheat them.
    Any ideas?
  4. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

    No problem!
    Booting into safe mode (assuming you can) will allow you to get the
    mini dump from the big dump it did..Go here for a good read Then
    make a fresh post HERE for Howard to look at, he's awesome with them.
    General rule of thumb here is PSU or ram but lets wait to see what the mini says.
    This ram is original Emachine ram?
    Hang in there as best you can, we'll get it figured out.....
  5. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Hi Guys sorry I was on a CAL match (CS:S) all last night.

    As for your old set-up, how do you feel about backing up data and reinstalling Windows? This is what you would have had to do anyways with the new mobo/cpu combo. I'm concerned though about the CPU and new PSU being so hot! Are you sure the HSF is installed on the old CPU correctly, I mean it is still compatible right? As for the PSU being hot.. like how hot, warm hot, or ouch hot? Ouch hot means something is touching the case or otherwise shorting and you're going to cook your new PSU. Could be a dieing fan or drive motor.(optical)(I'd suspect booting issues if the HDD motor was failing).

    It's a real shame you can't get the new mobo/CPU combo to work, the sysmptoms sound like a shorted mobo or a dead CPU.

  6. unforgiven1977

    unforgiven1977 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    @SOcRatEs - I'll do my best to follow Howard's suggestions but it might take me a bit.
    As far as the RAM is concerned there are two sticks. In slot one I have the original eMachine RAM which is 128 mb ddr pc2100 dimm which is all it originally came with (seems odd you'd want to sell a PC running win XP with only 128 doesn't it?!). In slot two I have a 512 mb ddr pc2100 dimm which I picked up shortly after buying the PC from a local computer store but I have no idea what the brand is. It's done just fine in the system for years though.
    I do have a new stick I could try if needed but I never tested in the system before (or any system). It's 512 ddr pc2700 made by PNY.

    @kirock - I wouldn't have a problem in the world backing up and reinst windows but I'd have to borrow a copy as I don't have one on hand.
    When I say "hot" I mean it's definately a step up from warm. Nothing that I could cook breakfast on or anything but certainly hot. I first noticed the heat when I touched the top of the case to remove the cover. The case directly over the psu was hot. I don't think I've ever fealt it get that hot even after running games that have caused it to lock up.
    I'm not sure what you mean about the hsf (that's heat sink fan right?) being compatible. I didn't know it could be incompatible. Here's the one I bought.
    I do still have the old heat sink and fan that I could put back in. The new one is just so much bigger and I didn't think it could give me any trouble so I thought I'd give it a shot.
    In case it's helpful information at all the old motherboard (meaning the one I'm using) is an AM37L manufactured by FIC and the CPU is a 1.8 gig athlon xp.
    As long as I can get this thing working I'm not too worried about the new mobo and cpu. I might find a use for them in the future anyway. The mobo is a foxconn though and I've had people tell me to stay away from them but it was cheap so, eh!

    Thanks for bearing with me through this guys.
  7. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Ok, my only point about the HSF (yes heatsink fan) was if it's not a correct match it might look like it installed correctly but is not really sitting flush/properly on the cpu. But if it's made for the Socket A cpu series then you should be ok.

    I think my real concern here is the PSU being hot enough to make the top of the case hot to the touch. This is a problem. Check your mobo stand-offs, make sure they are installed correctly. Sometimes a stand-off or two needs an insulation disk to prevent it from touch a mobo trace and thus shorting it to the case ground. Other times the stand-off is meant to ground the trace (that trace is a ground plain) and without it being grounded you get alot of noise pick-up (buzzing in the speakers and other weird electrical pick ups)

    Is there some things you can disconnect (floppys, CDROM, second HDD etc) to isolate power draw? Spare video card would be great (not likely though), even an old PCI gfxcard just to see if yours is a problem.

    Hopefully it's just a stand-off on the mobo. BING!....check and double check the new oversized HSF....make sure it's not touching something on the mobo it's not suppose to.

  8. unforgiven1977

    unforgiven1977 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry, I've been pretty busy so I haven't had alot of time to respond. Tonight I went to try out a few of the suggestions you guys have given to me. But alas I find myself back at square one. When I push the power button on the PC I get absolutely nothing.
    Now yesterday a big storm rolled through the area and caused some major power outages and surges so I'm thinking this is the likely culpret. My living room PC was very slow to respond to commands when I started it back up but it seems fine. My coffee machine is toast though (is there no god?!). I also talked to a guy at work that said he had to reinstall divX and a couple of other things on his PC because of it. Convenient timing I know.
    So I'm guessing the psu (the newer than the new has gone south because of the power troubles. So I may try to push my luck and get another free one from the guy I bought it from. Again!
    But then I have to wonder about these psu's then. I got the first one from this guy who owns and runs his own pc building and repairing business. When I took the last psu back to him I told him it had only lasted me 6 weeks and asked if he ever had any problems with the brand (Apower). He said no and he always uses them. So I looked around the shop and did notice that every PC he had on his work table was indeed the same brand. Also the new psu did come right out the box so I know he didn't just pull some junk out of a drawer. But I also recall him telling me that he only ever uses intel celeron D's in every machine he builds. Now this guy builds gaming PC's for people. I may not know much about this stuff but I know that if I were to build a serious gaming PC I wouldn't go with a celeron.
    So I began to wonder if maybe this guy tries to make more money by using subpar components in the machines that he builds and maybe the psu's he keeps giving me are...less than reliable we'll say.
    I have two other PC's in the house and niether of them suffered from the power issues caused by the recent storm other than running slow at first.
    Does anyone know of this Apower brand?
    The problem PC was plugged in but it wasn't powered on so I don't understand how the system could've damaged it.
    Please let me know what you think. Should I try getting a new psu from somewhere else?
  9. joked u 2

    joked u 2 TS Rookie Posts: 128

    I have a question do you have your computer plugged directily into the wall or into a GOOD surge protector or ups?? if not get one quick because a small surge will knock out your psu again. i would reccomend an APC and one that has a three prong connector. do not use the adapters for 2 prong to 3 prong unless u screw them into the outlet {sry i dont have a pic}
  10. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

    I would not get another psu from same source, unless it's being warranted.
    Yes to all the other stuff about small shops. In most cases they have a tremendous overhead, they'll cut corners to make rent...not being bad people, just makin ends meet and makin it work.
    Most small shops fail for this reason.
    If at all possible I use a full "wholesale" shop or newegg for eveything.
    I'm sorry it's hitting you this way but I guess your payin your dues to the Computer Gawds.
    Tell you what though, you've learned alot quickly! Thats gotta be worth something.....
  11. unforgiven1977

    unforgiven1977 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply joked u 2.
    It is on a cheap surge protector. Also the protector is plugged into the outlet using a 3 to 2 adapter but it is screwed in. Unfortunately this is an old house so I've had to resort to adapters for quite a few things I haven't had the opportunity to rewire yet. But like I said the surges had minimal effect on my other PC's. One of which uses the exact same type of protector and also uses an adapter.

    EDIT: Sorry SOcRatEs I replied before you posted. Thanks for the input. I suspected that might be the case so perhaps I'll go with a more "reputeable" source for a new power supply. Likely newegg. Any recommendations as far as brand goes?
  12. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

  13. unforgiven1977

    unforgiven1977 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I just ordered a new psu from newegg. This one wasn't on the list as either good or bad but out of 215 votes I think I only saw 3 negatives in there. So for the price it seems like it can't be beat. I just thought I'd let you know that I haven't given up yet. Once I get it I'll post back here and let you know how things came out.
    This will likely be the last bit of money I put into this machine. If this doesn't do it I'll just wait until I can afford another machine and swap out the hdd. I may need some advice on how best to do that should it come down to it.
    SOcRatEs you're right I have learned quite a bit in a short time and I definately consider myself much the wiser when it comes to all this hardware stuff. I intend to stick around these forums to learn as much as I can.
    Anyway thanks again and I'll keep you posted.
  14. joked u 2

    joked u 2 TS Rookie Posts: 128

    if you decide you want to swap out the drives you will need another drive [or partition] you wont ba able to boot off the old drive in a new computer or you will get a Bsod.
  15. unforgiven1977

    unforgiven1977 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry I've been pretty busy lately. I just got the new psu and put it in. The PC started up just fine although it hung for almost a minute on the boot screen. Windows loaded and all the startup programs fired up.
    Within less than five minutes (I hadn't really done anything yet) the PC froze. The mouse stopped responding as did the keyboard.
    Now I kept checking the psu and hsf to see if they were getting hot but they weren't even running warm. So it seems ok there.
    I tried rebooting and got a BSOD almost imediately upon booting up. The same physical memory dump sreen popped up. Now I've read Howard's advice on what to do to avoid a bsod but I haven't really tried much because of the psu dying again. Some of it doesn't seem to pertain to the situation though.
    So my question is, do I just go ahead and let the PC perform the memory dump? Because I have been turning it back off. What is it doing when it's dumping and why? I've looked around but can't seem to find that info.
    Thanks guys.
  16. jslloyd

    jslloyd TS Rookie

    Similar Issue- PC won't Start

    Ok, I'm not a complete newb, but I do have some questions about a PC I just built. It's a Rosewill case and a ASRock MB. Put everything together and plugged the front panel audio inputs into the MB audio jacks, push power and nothing. No light on the MB to see if it has power. I start to tear the thing down and am going to RMA it to newegg cause I think it's the PSU and when I pull out the audio cords, the thing comes to life. I think there is a short somewhere with the audio jacks or a grounding issue but I don't know where to look. Anybody think they can help me out?
  17. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

    What about a repair install? Here
    Sorry to keep sending you to other threads but this could help.
    Have you tried booting off a floppy or cd, are you able to boot into safe mode?
    Just to see if it locks up in DOS like atmosphere.
  18. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    unforgiven1977: The memory dump is just a log file so you can read what is was crashing at. You need the MS software in order to open these files which I've never bothered to download from the MS website (but it is free).
    Did you try post your mini dump file so Howard or someone can read it?

    What's the BSOD error code it posts?

    jslloyd: Technically you should open your own post, it makes for a cleaner read for all involved. Front panel audio jacks are polarity dependent. You may have installed the connector backwards on the mobo connector. Double check that carefully. (You have both out to jack and back from jack connections AND both left and right channel of those. For a total of 4 connections.) If it still does it then I'd suspect a short on the audio jack on the case itself. Be careful not to blow the PSU with a dead short like that.
    Edit: sorry SOcRatEs I didn't see your comment to jslloyd.

  19. unforgiven1977

    unforgiven1977 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry it's been forever getting back to this one. Let's just say I've been...busy.
    Anyway now I'm back trying to figure this out.
    Here's what's going on now. I let the PC do a couple of minidumps. Only now I can't even get to them to post them.
    The thing behaves irradically at best. If I let it boot up normally it wll usually hang on the windows XP loading screen for anywhere from a couple of hours to a day before finally loading. But when it does it freezes a few seconds afterward.
    If I try to boot in safe mode I may get one of two responses. One is that the PC will just restart completely. The other is that it will just hang on the WinXP loading screen forever. At least I think it's for forever as I don't actually have the time to test the theory of eternity. In other words I can't get it to boot up in safe mode.
    I've also tried booting from CD with the winXP disk and running a installation/repair. I will get to where it's halfway through installing files before it freezes and won't do anything. The drive with the disk will stop reading and the system will litterally won't do anything. If it had a face it would be sitting there with a stupid look on it. I've tried both drives with the same results. It always freezes at the same point in the installation every time.
    Nothing seems to be overheating. No PSU that feels even warm to the touch or anything like that.
    Could bad RAM be the issue? Any ideas?
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