Hardware start problem, reboot caused

By jeffkrol ยท 11 replies
Jan 14, 2009
  1. Quick question: What causes a MB not to POST BUT fans, HD light, CD lights all start up.
    See this morning I woke to my computer being off (generally runs 24/7). Not lately this isn't totally unusual as I have been experiencing intermittent startup problems. The shut down has usually been caused by automatic updateds in XP. Forced reboot has failed a few times in the past. Anyways originally (today) I couldn't get it to start (AT ALL, no post ect). I unplugged it and let it sit for awhile. Put the power cord back in. Turn on the power suppy, and before turning on the computer, the CPU fan, starts, case fans start, platters in the hd start to spin ect but zero post.
    Nothing, no signal to the monitor. Tried a new power suppy (common problem in my life) but no go.
    One very odd thing that was noticed earlier is after a restart, once in awhile, the BIOS would start a very slow memory test. I would just shut it off and it would then do a fast mem test (normal POST). This may or may not be related.
    Will update this but some general suggestions as to problem may help

    Unfortunately I have to start w/ a generic question and no hardware specifics.
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

  3. jeffkrol

    jeffkrol TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Some things tried

    Thanks for the link. Have tried reseating RAM, pullled vid card to see if I'd get a beep code.
    Pulled CMOS battery for a few hours. Replaced CMOS battery. Pu8lled some PCI cards.
    I suppose it could be the graphics card since this BIOS should post first. Monitor never receives any signal, ever. Disconnected the hard drives so as to not damage them. CD and DVD readers spin up and trays are accessible.
    To me the oddest thing is I can't shut it off w/ the front panel power switch no matter how long I hold it. Even disconnecting the MB plug (prior to replugging in the PS of course). Computer insists on "starting" anytime I plug the power supply in and flip the switch on the power supply. Hate these kind of problems.
    MB Chaintech VNF3-250. 2800+ AMD 64 CPU. Corsair Value RAM 2X512.
    Will look through the thread more....
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    The issue you describe sounds like PowerSupply as being the most likely
    Even though you have tried a new PowerSupply

    Other than disconnecting everything, your next choice would be to Benchtest the Motherboard out of the case (stated in the guide)
  5. jeffkrol

    jeffkrol TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Us mere mortals ;)

    Are not really equipped to bench test a motherboard....
    Anyways whats still really annoying (besides having to buy new parts) is the thing just won't shut off.... Once the power switch on the power supply is turned on.. off it goes.. I think that's odd and apparently the MB is "switched on" by magic ;)
    No amount of power off button pressing will shut the CPU fans or ect.. off.
    Pretty sure it's the MB or CPU.
    Oh, did the CMOS jumper as well and tried a new graphics card... The 2 power supplies are 1)ULTRA (new, but stored as a backup) and an XCLIO..
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    If you are contemplating replacing the Motherboard
    Then you may as well Benchtest the installed one first

    You may need to become "equipped" if you plan on replacing the Motherboard yourself
  7. jeffkrol

    jeffkrol TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Not to be arguementative but

    This "box" in one incarnation or another has been with me for 14 years and has had at least 5 motherboard upgrades since I first built it. I've had programs running on it since win95....(I've suffered through 95,98,98se, ME(forgive me) and XP sp1,2,3. Dabbled w/ 2000 and NT and still have a few boxes running 98.. really ;) I'm rather proud of that fact. Only time I've had any major OS (after installing XP)problems was when I went from a VIA chipset to an early nVidia chipset. Most board problems were due to bad caps (mostly easily identified).
    Currently I had to do a "workaround" because of some annoying incompatability w more recent versions of ntldr.... see my past posts if your interested..
    oddly enough I've never had any problems w "bit rot" or any of the other "normal" windows garbage. I've never had to reformat my drive to fix any problems in over 7 years and consider reformatting a sign of weakness (just kidding). Currenty I'm checking on MB's w/ nvidia 3 chipsets but have finally reached the tipping point where starting from scratch is becoming the only (logical and financial) alternatives. I probably wouldn't even stress the chipset problems (by really upgrading the board) except for the fact that the reason for the reboot was windows updates causing a required and unattended restart. Being in th middle of this may make my "upgrade" a bit trickier than usual...
    Now I'm sure my box could function better (and I'm not a gamer so my needs are quite a bit less) my crashes are few and far inbetween and hav been mostly hardware related (bad caps, bad power supplies). 7 years and 3-4 "minidump" may be a microsoft record... ;)
    Of course saying it's the same computer is silly.........
    I do appreciate your help though.... I just wish you had an idea of how to clear the "autorun" thing. Even if I don't get through POST I may get a feel for what the problem is....
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    I have been around since the dawn of PCs at home myself
    And certainly still have all genuine OS with me, including Windows 3.1 (it may be 3.11, but I'm not checking it ;) )

    Note "autorun" may not be the best terminology. As autorun is usually related to software issues

    Benchtest is the best answer still. This is not hard to do, especially with your experience :grinthumb

    I have not formatted for the last 3 years myself :)
    But agree that users should try this, if they want to
  9. jeffkrol

    jeffkrol TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Thanks.... I just bought a chip-matched ASROCK MB on ebay. I'm counting on the CPU to be OK... Worst case it's the CPU and I just buy another part. This SHOULD hold me over till I get the courage and ambition to just buy a new system... Prices should be tanking soon (actually it already began) and keeping at least 1 gen down will be quite a bargain. May even get Vista 64. :haha: XP, for me, has been real stable as alluded to earlier. Biggest problem is still software and email. Know of any e-mail recovery programs for old mail going back to "retail" versions of netscape?... ;)
    Actually Netscape 7.5(?) mail recovery should do. I really dislike the proprietary email stuff and programs that didn't/couldn't import/export from some programs... Ever use Corel mail (their attempt at outlook)? What a piece of work that was..
    As to software, repleshing to a Vista system may cost me a small fortune... Not to mention just the cost of a RETAIL OS.... Though MS hasn't been too picky w/ me and some OEM versions I really like the freedom of a retail license.
    Anyways back to the topic:
    I pulled the CMOS batt and unplugged it overnight. Same results.
    Sorry if I sounded a bit crabby earlier. As usual the time you really need something is when it decides not to work...

    I assumed you meant a more complicated "benchtest" then this...............
    I just call that goofing around.... ;)
  10. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    It's actually refreshing seeing the old program names come up every so often in threads. I seem to relate better with those than say Office 2007 (of which I have - but I'm running the Office 2003 toolbar on it ;) ) I still prefer DOS

    As for Vista 64Bit with free upgrade to Windows 7 (when it's released) Yes best idea there, even though I'm stuck in Xp Pro (authentic) Not many of those around :haha:

    I understand the issue of only coming to the forum under stressful computer error, don't worry, you have come across well.

    On topic: How's benchtesting going ? ;) ;) :)

    Yes. but not so complicated
  11. jeffkrol

    jeffkrol TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65


    New motherboard solved the problem... xp up and running fine... so far...
    I swear half the no boot problems are mb related... kind of annoying. Sorry never bothered to bench test the old board... was just easier to buy a new one.. it's only money ;)
    Now maybe I don't have to use the "safeboot" switch... long story.
  12. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Thanks for the update :grinthumb
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