Instant Death, tries to start but dies again

By Hurriken ยท 14 replies
May 26, 2008
  1. I was wondering if someone could give me some direction as to troubleshooting my machine. Last night I was playing COD:UA and all was well (except I was dying a lot!) when the CPU just shutdown. I unplugged everything and tried to power it up again. It acts normal for about 30 seconds. Then the fans start running really hard and it shuts down again. Hopefully this is just a power supply problem. How can I start troubleshooting this? I have tools and electronics experiance. I'm no expert but not a newbie either. I don't have much hardware experiance with computers.
  2. SittingDuckie

    SittingDuckie TS Rookie Posts: 47

    Can you describe in a little more detail exactly what happens? i.e. does the monitor light up, does it start loading windows etc...

    What PSU model do you have? How old is the psu/computer?
  3. Hurriken

    Hurriken TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 231

    The computer is about 18 months old. It's an HP Pavillion a1630n. I'm not sure what you mean by PSU. I had a crash in December and I changed the HD and it has worked well since. My drop down shows system specs.

    When I push the power button. one fan comes on for a few seconds then shuts off. The screen comes up asking me if I want to start windows normally or not. Then the Windows logo on black screen comes up as it normally does and then a fan comes on full bore. After about 5-10 seconds of that the computer powers off again.
  4. SittingDuckie

    SittingDuckie TS Rookie Posts: 47

    (can a more experienced techie than myself verify this is a reasonable route for Hurriken to take pls?)

    psu = power supply unit.

    Okay, first things first you need to establish whether you are looking at a software issue or a hardware issue. As you get as far as starting to load windows, you can't rule out a software problem.

    Try pressing 'del' repeatedly on bootup to enter the bios. Is the computer stable in BIOS, or does the same shutdown occur?

    If you can get into the BIOS safely, then you can surely try booting from a bootable disk, and try to resolve the issue on the software side. A guide for this is then here.

    If the same crash occurs in the BIOS, try resetting the CMOS. Your motherboard manual should explain how to do this. If this is not available, its probably just easier to remove the battery on your mobo and then put it back in after 5~10s than for me to explain how to find the cmos jumper on your mobo. If this fails, try flashing the BIOS.

    If this fails, will need to start troubleshooting hardware, but lets see how you get on with that first.
  5. Hurriken

    Hurriken TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 231

    I tried pressing DEL but nothing happens. It still does the same thing, no change.

    Then took off the side panel and layed the system on its side. I decided to turn it on to confirm which fans were coming on. AND now it works! I have no idea whats going on. What should I do?
  6. SittingDuckie

    SittingDuckie TS Rookie Posts: 47

    Check all the internal connections, place it upright, try again.
  7. Hurriken

    Hurriken TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 231

    OK man, I'll give it a shot and let you know. Thanks for your help.

  8. Hurriken

    Hurriken TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 231

    Well it worked great for two days. Today while I was working the fans kicked on full bore and within 5 minutes it shutdown. There has to be something wrong.

    This morning the system blue screened and rebooted itself. Windows told me it was a driver problem but not much more than that. Yesterday HP sent an update that I installed.

    I'm not sure what to do now. I don't suppose HP would help me.
  9. Hurriken

    Hurriken TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 231

    It's fixed. I was at my wits end and thought for sure my MoBo was dead. I called HP and purchased phone tech help... He had me do a power drain disconect all cables, remove the RAM, CMOS battery, and do a system restore. Pretty much what you told me to do Ducky. It was over my head though so I guess it was worth it. The system is working fine and in fact seems very fast compared to recently. He told me to do a power drain on a regular basis.
  10. Hurriken

    Hurriken TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 231

    Not fixed. It worked for three days and started doing it again. I discovered the CPU fan bracket had broken and the fan was not touching the CPU. I read that HP fans are usually barelly good enough so I bout a Zalman fan. I could still turn on the computer and use it for small tasks but it would eventually overheat again. So yesterday I installed the new fan and now when I turn it on there is no signal to the monitor.

    I thought that if you remove the RAM and turn it on it should beep to tell you the MB works fine. I tried it, no beep.

    What should I do now?
  11. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Did you clean the old thermal paste off and reapply new thermal paste, when you installed the Zalman HSF?
  12. Hurriken

    Hurriken TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 231

    Yes I even bought the Artic Silver paste because I read it was better. I went to HP's site and followed some trouble shooting tutorials and it points to my on board video card.
  13. fullmetalvegan

    fullmetalvegan TS Enthusiast Posts: 123

    Yeah, this all sounds like the CPU overheating. When the CPU isn't sufficiently cooled, the system will shutdown within 10-20 seconds of a power on as a satefy switch to stop CPU damage.

    The only thing I can think of now is that are you sure you didn't dislodge the CPU from its socket/have the fun connected properly/etc? If your system isn't doing the memory check, either the memory or the CPU may have been dislodged. Also, try a CMOS reset if everything is in properly.
  14. Hurriken

    Hurriken TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 231

    I tried the CMOS reset. No go.

    I bumped the heatsink next to the MB really hard when I was reinstalling it but it seems Ok. I'll check the chip again. I'm thinking about buying a new MB
  15. Hurriken

    Hurriken TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 231

    I have been on the road and am just getting back to this. I found the RAM was not seated but the problem stayed the same. I checked the CPU and it seems like its in there solid. I tried a different HD and the problem is the same. I installed a different Video card and it still does the same thing. I measure the output of the PS at 5 volts and 12 volts. I am assuming now that the problem has to be with the MoBo or the CPU. What do you think?
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