comp failure due to something?

By filthy_mcnasty
Jul 20, 2004
  1. So I was given this computer to "fix up" and lo-and-behold the best way to fix this is going to be with a sledgehammer.....

    During the boot process (right after / during the bios screen) the computer just stops, shuts down and starts back up. On the rare occasion that it actually makes it into windoze it works fine for a bit but then locks up.

    I think I've pretty much checked everything. The power supply, cpu, hard drive all seem ok. The "memory scan" done during startup claims that the memory is ok and I've even checked the bios to make sure it's proper. As far as i can tell, this computer should work. I thought maybe it was some bad drivers interacting or something (it had WinME when I started this process so I wouldn't discount anything) but that doesn't explain to me the failures while booting. I thought maybe the bios was screwey but then there shouldn't be that rare occasion where it gets into windoze. but even when it does get into windoze the only way it can stay active for more than a minute or two is if i boot into safe mode, again suggesting a driver thing. All I can think up now is that the memory is bad in some manner or the mobo itself is fubard.

    i tried taking out all the unnecessary pci cards (all of them minus the video) and still no luck.

    so my question is....does anyone have any ideas on what might be causing this at this point? i'm about to tell this lady to save her network card and harddrive and turn the rest into target practice.


    250 watt antec psu - pp-255xh
    633 mhz celeron cpu
    epox mobo - ep-3vca2
    256mb pc133 ram ("valueram" is the brand, screams weak to me)

    originally i got this w/ winme but i have reformatted (on one of those rare occasions where it got far enough along to let me boot from another device) with win9x. even using a boot disk it manages to do this before the floppy can load 4 times out of 5. so this has to be a hardware thing right? the fact that i was given NOTHING that came w/ this computer doesn't help the matter (apparently this is an office hand-me-down from some company)

    i'm stumped.

    any feedback would be welcome and appreciated. and seeing as how i've said a mouthful, i'd greatly appreciate anyone who's made it this far. *mods feel free to move this thread too, i didn't know which forum to put this in*
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    You mentioned the hard drive appears to be good. Did you run a manufacturer's diagnostic program on it?

    There's an answer to just about anything, so if everything looks good, you aren't looking hard enough. ;) Run all your tests over and over again.. Memory... Hard drive... etc.

    Try cross checking them in another computer if you have access to one.

    Check for overheating, change the power supply, change the memory (memory tests are largely unreliable, but a good way to find to direction usually..) etc..

    If you keep hammering at it and swap out enough parts, you'll be able to find out what the cause is.
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