PC won't power up, need help to finish troubleshooting

By mrbiggs
Jan 10, 2008
  1. Apparently my computer is entering it's "golden years" because I can't seem to turn it on. No matter what I try, I just can't get it up (and running). Actually, I built it about 2.5 years ago. I've already done quite a bit of troubleshooting on this, so I'll give you info I think might help you help me.

    About 7-10 months ago it started giving me problems starting up. I would often have to hit the button several times, or finesse it just right (holding it 3/4+ the way in, but not clicking it). Back then I thought the button itself was acting up. I highly doubt that now. The problem got a bit worse as time went on. Then I went abroad and left it unplugged and alone for three months. When I got back, it was EXTREMELY hard to turn it on. I left the computer on for a couple 2-3 day periods as I knew how hard it would be to start up. I was dealing with this for about two weeks, fiddling with all sorts of things that the culprit might be. On different days, different things would seem to coax it to life. One time this meant booting with the monitor disconnected (this did no good because though it appeared to boot into windows, reconnecting the monitor didn't give a display). I believe towards the end the monitor would often not turn on if the PC happened to.

    And then came the finale! When it would be running the POST there were stationary lines of distortion that looked like something you might expect from a busted video card. When the windows loading screen came up, this distortion was present as well. It started off covering a bit less than half the screen (every other line or so), but the distortion built and spread rapidly as windows loaded until eventually my monitor was little more than some psychedelic trip out. The colors were the very simple BIOS type...pink, green, maybe yellow. Windows would never boot.

    I knew the PSU might be the culprit so I took a known good one out of a good machine and tested it in mine. Still no luck. Not the psu.

    Also, right before it died, while playing CS:S the image would slightly distort and freeze, which lead me to suspect the video card. I installed the 6800GT into a problem (and videocard) free PC and the problem remained... or so I thought. At first it booted fine. Then I upped the resolution from 1024x768 and the screen went black and stayed that way, there was no auto reset back to default resolution that comes when you don't click the "accept new settings" in 15 seconds box. This lead me to believe that my card could no longer handle high resolutions. I now have a feeling I may have increased the resolution above the 1600x1200 that the old CRT could handle and that might, MIGHT have caused the problem. Unfortunately I didn't do further testing in this manner (didn't cross my mind my conclusion might be wrong and now no longer have access to that pc).

    I ordered an 8800GT and installed it and my PC still won't boot. Yay for wasting $270 -- I would have been happy to ride out my 6800GT another year or so. The pc won't do anything when I try to boot it with this card in.

    - The little yellow standby light on the mobo still lights when the computer is plugged in.
    - I've checked all connections and reseated everything except the cpu.
    - Cleared the CMOS.
    - Set all BIOS settings to default while it was still staggering on one leg (rail?).
    - Going to try 24 hour CMOS clear tonight.

    I now think that it is either the DFI Lanparty Ultra nforce4 mobo or the CMOS battery. Considering the battery would be a cheap, low labor fix, I'm betting it's the mobo. What do you think? Any help is greatly appreciated.

    System Specs:
    DFI Lanparty Ultra nforce 4
    AMD Opteron 165
    2x512 patriot ram
    6800GT ---> 8800GT
    Audigy2 zs
    Antec neopower 480
    74gig raptor
    200gig WD
  2. mrbiggs

    mrbiggs TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well I got a new CMOS battery today and it still won't boot up.
  3. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    aged capacitors can cause all kinds of errors.
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