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Confuzzed computer - will it, won't it

By Tritton ยท 51 replies
Feb 25, 2009
  1. I just upgrade a computer for my brother. It got a new processor/motherboard/RAM(MB bundle) and a new sata hard drive. clean install of XP pro sp2. I left it and it was in full working order. not long after my brother had he found 3 problems
    1 of the optical frive was working full (either though i use it to install OS)
    it would't stut down (either though I stut it down fine)
    and couldn't install his wireless USB stick

    First thing I did was to check the CD drive (cables etc) and i saw that the jumper was set to cable select so I set it to master as it should of been, after what the computer failed to be able to boot it would frezze on a black screen after you see the window logo. I put it back to cable sect just to check it if it was that, but not is still didn't want to boot.
    So my next step was to boot in safe mode. was in safe mode I installed sp3 waht corrected the first 3 problems, but not the boot problem, but then it did boot suddenly after a few restarts although the CD drive problem a the wireless stick problems were back like sp3 hadn't been install. so I went back into safe mode where those 2 problem no longer there. and after a restart i was unable to boot normally again.

    I'm really confuzzed (and so is the computer it seems) can some one please help.
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  3. Tritton

    Tritton TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 108

    well first off we don't have the means to back up data
    Don't have a disk that will let me to a repair installation
    and it was a clean install so I don't understand why a repair would be needed

    (as for the cd drives there are both old)

    UPDATE-I keep going back to the computer to restart it and it just booted, but other problems still there
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Clean install ?

    I'd say do another clean install to confirm you haven't upset any Windows system files
    If you need to backup on your "clean install" UBCD is good
  5. Tritton

    Tritton TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 108

    no it a matter of having something to store my brothers data on

    and waht could have quote upset any Windows system files
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    I don't really like quoting anyone, I feel that they wrote it, they should already know (basically it's disrespectful)

    But presently you have "data" and you tried installing "Wireless" and I suspect it has been on the Internet.

    It aint clean anymore ;) It worked when it was clean though :suspiciou I say some system file is corrupt :grinthumb

    Then you say you don't have a setup cd :confused: and the computer CD drives are old (possibly the computer as well :confused:

    Here's you best option:

    Clean install to confirm that it's not software (on a new computer this takes half an hour - on an old one ~ 45mins)

    Newegg is selling XP CDs with SP3 included

    XP Pro: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116515

    XP Home: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116511

    XP Media Center Edition 2005: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116049

    XP will stop selling soon !
  7. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    You upgraded almost all components but still using the same case and power supply I assume?!

    If you could not boot but after some time you could, it points to the capacitors in the power supply having failed or getting there. See, they get cold and able you to boot but soon after start giving problems.

    Even if you did get a new power supply at the time of upgrade, please post the make and model of the power supply, motherboard, RAM, Video Card and processor.

    Don't attempt to start the system anymore till we are sure you are OK in the power department or you might end up having to RMA the board and more.

    Let us know.
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Note: It worked when it was "clean installed" a few days ago
    Are you saying the hardware has suddenly faulted?
  9. Tritton

    Tritton TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 108

    well then in that case it must have been the motherboard drivers and ulitles as that was put on first then the wireless so that updates could be downloaded
    don't need cd my one case do as many installations as i like

    as for power i have a few spare i could try those
  10. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    Not the hardware, I just don't feel comfortable to troubleshoot without knowing what components are in the system.

    The symptoms do point to power, the power supply tried and worked hard and it would fail if it is operating at max load or even above with system in full load.

    The fact that it did not boot but after some time it did, points to the power supply cooling down and somewhat working for a short period of time thereafter!

    This was an upgrade, we don't know the old config or the new config in detail, but it is safe to assume the power supply was OK for the old components, I guess we can't tell till we know more.

    Didn't mean to post after you, we pressed submit at the same time it seems :)
  11. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Power supply is a reasonable possibility :grinthumb
  12. Tritton

    Tritton TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 108

    well i can give you the link tomz to where i can't the parts so you can see
    and the power was upgraded in a way i had to put a 400 watt in instead of the 300watt that was in, the 400watt wan't new, and is old
    as for the old config there nothink left of that

    anyways speck to more tomz i have work in the morning
  13. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    If after or during install the old hard drive was connected to move data or for storage before all windows patches and AV installed (specially with XP CD with earlier SP without a router connected to Internet) there is also a chance of infection.

    A move from a 300W to a 400W is not necessarily an upgrade, I've mentioned this before (not expecting having you read my posts or even if they are %100.00 right) I can show you a 300W that outperforms a 400W, Watts mean nothing in a switching power supply.

    After you give us full detail of the system, give us a reading from the power supply's label, Max Amp for +12V, +3.3V and +5V rails.

    Let us know.
  14. Tritton

    Tritton TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 108

    i upgraded it cus it have a 4 pin aux cable and the 300 didn't
  15. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    Thanks for the info,

    What I meant to say is that there are lot of different power supplies for computer systems, they are not like Notebook adapters, cell phones, your router and alike that provide so many volts at so many Amps max, computer power supplies are switching power supplies and have different rails, one 400W PS can have 14A max on the +12V rail and another 400W 16A, some of them have high output on the +5.0V rail which is not needed with today's processors and that reduces the max output on the needed +12V rail, some of them don't have enough output on the +3.3V rail for AGP systems. So we can't say I have a 400W and going to upgrade to a 500W, for each system based on it's configuration, we need to allow more than enough output on each rail for proper operation of all components under full load.

    Once you tell us the spec including number of hard drives, optical drives and fans, with a reading from your power supply's label, we'll have you confirm readings in the BIOS or with using a multimeter then recommend if the power supply should be changed or not since it is a used PS. Then we can get on with software part of it.
  16. Tritton

    Tritton TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 108

  17. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    Make and model of the PSU
    Reading from the label for max output on the +3.3V, +5V and +12V.

    In the BIOS usually under Hardware Monitor or PC Health, you can see, temperature, fan RPM and voltage.

    What does it report for the +3.3V, +5V and +12V.

    Will have a look at your manual to see if it shows the BIOS screen shots.

    After reading your first post again, I can see why kimsland suggested repair install.

    I've never installed any service packs in Safe Mode!


    I have few more question and suggestion for later.

    EDIT: is it me or the motherboard make and model is not included, There are many "AMD 740G" Motherboards?!
  18. Tritton

    Tritton TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 108

    it's a foxconn motherboard (are you going to need to know model NO. for that)and it didn't the Service pact in pafe as could't cus of unable to boot normally


    +5V & 3.3V max 225
    +5 & 3.3V & 12V max 380
    12V 240watt

    hope I given all the info you need

    just read to article for sp in safe mode, this would explain why my CD/ wireless USB don't work in normal mode but do in safe mode
  19. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    Thanks, I read the reason why you did it in safe mode, model number would be nice but I'm a step closer.

    The BIOS didn't show voltage for the +5.0V? If it is less than 4.75V or above 5.25V, there might be problems in the future.

    You provided good info for the max combined output of all the rails. Sounds like your +12V has a max output of 20A (20X12=240W), usually I look at the Amps for each rail.

    Your 6200 consumes about 117W idle and about 200W under load (75W of which is delivered directly from the PCI-E slot and with your 6200 not having any additional power connector, all that juice has to be delivered directly), the reason I wanted more info on the motherboard was to see if there are any additional power connector close to the PCI-E slot, BIOS update as well as any known issues with the motherboard alone or the combination of the 2.

    A decent 300W or 350W power supply would be enough for your system, I recommend a 450W with good clean power and 22A on the +12V rail.

    You need about 11.5A min. for the CPU, drives and fans from the +12V rail, under load up to twice as much.

    If your power supply is decent (did it weigh more than few hundred grams?) I'm with kimsland on the health of XP installation. We might have you do a memtest as well.

    If you used the DVD-ROM to install, disconnect it and use the DVD-RW, it not opening might be a simple alignment, not sure how well it can read, sounds like it's an oldie! If it is failing, it might draw too much from the +12V to spin and the +5V to read causing POST and boot problems, have you tried disconnecting just to check?

    Can you use nLite and make a bookable XP CD from yours with SP3 integrated? It only takes a download, install, few mouse clicks and a CD-R, I can provide steps if needed.

    After I find the exact model of your motherboard, I can suggest steps to be taken before, during and after XP install.

    I might sound picky but like to have all details and follow certain steps before, during and after each build that has proven to work every time.

    My main concern is always clean adequate power to all components and cooling before anything else.
  20. Tritton

    Tritton TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 108

    k, so memtest is now running
    I already tried diconnected the DVD rom drive but I haven't tried disconnecting both
    as for power unit are you suggesting To get a new one, if so would this be a fair chose http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?NOV-PSU500
    by the way I'm using a power adapter to connect to the HDD if thats any use

    the motherboard is A74MX-k (edit) or do you still need nLite to be ran

    http://www.foxconnchannel.com/Product/Motherboards/detail_overview.aspx?id=en-us0000379 this might help ;)
  21. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    I didn't say change the power supply ... yet :)
    Large molex to SATA adapter is OK.

    nLite is used to slipstream SP3 to your XP CD so when you install windows, it already has SP3. nLite has other cool features.

    I already found the motherboard, the ATI 2100 would do as good a job if not better than the 6200.

    To test power, can you disconnect both optical drives and the video card, use the on-board. Eventhough this does not prove the output capabilities of the 400W per rail and combined, the results could shed some more light.

    I'm posting off site, back in the shop later.
  22. Tritton

    Tritton TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 108

    my xp cd is a corperation (meaning no product key is needed and i can do as many installtion as i like) so will it still work with that and what the risk of it damaging the disk as it's not something i can get hold of easy
    I'll do the power test after memtest has finished in the morning

    (by the way are you in the US cus i'm in the uk-i was just thinking time zones)
  23. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  24. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    I have a corporate CD as well that I slip streamed manually with SP2 and now with SP3. nLite takes the manual work away and does the same job with a few key strokes.

    With nLite, your original CD is not altered in any way, and more importantly, you get and ISO with Sp3 that you can burn as many copies as you want specially if the original CD has scratches and it's been used many times standing on it's last leg.

    All nLite does, uses your i386 folder from the CD and integrates SP3 in to it, it uses a space on your hard drive, basically it makes a copy of your CD, adds SP3 and any other changes you might want to make as in adding your Product Key, drivers, user name, Network perfrences, time zone and such, but let's keep it simple the first time.

    install nLite then run it, put your XP CD in your CD-ROM drive (close the box that comes up after you put the CD in)
    Select your language, click Next
    Use "browse" and select your CD drive, nLite will take a few seconds to ID the CD
    Click Next, leave the Presets screen blank, click Next
    Select Service Pack and Bootable ISO, click Next
    Cick "Select" and browse to the SP3 file, as soon as you select the SP3, it should start slip streaming, wait for the "Integrated install has completed successfully" message and click OK then Next.
    Now you can click on Make ISO and you're done, you can also change the Lable to something that you know what the ISO is, like XPCRPSP3 or whatever.
    Then find the ISO and burn.

    You do need to download SP3 in full first.

    I am in Canada but since I do 24/ 7 on-site service, I have crazy hours, never know when the phone will ring next!

    You realize the problem points to the XP install as kimsland suggested first, we can continue to make sure everything is OK or you can attempt to re-install with SP3 and few other steps which I will include later.
  25. Tritton

    Tritton TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 108

    k I'll do a clean install then
    why do you say i need to download SP3 (in full) when my computer already has SP3 or is it you need the file
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