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Startup Problem - Fans + PSU go on, but nothing else

By Smoan ยท 13 replies
Oct 30, 2005
  1. I'm sorry, the following is ReaLLY long, I've made it that way to make it as detailed as possible for you guys to try and find any warning signs.

    Hi, I'm new to this forum. Found it while trying to find a similar problem to mine, which didnt really happen.

    Let me start out with my Specs:

    Windows XP
    ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
    512 Mb Ram (damned if i know)
    2.8Ghz Intel
    Maxtor 80 Gb HD
    450 psu
    tw0 dvd drives + 1flopp

    Time for the beginning of the story:

    My computer had been running slowly, so I decided to go out and buy an Air Duster( Compressed air bottle). I did that, went home, sprayed in and around my case. Took out my video card sprayed that too since it was all dusty. Put it back in correctly

    I then waited 10 minutes to turn it on, It came on perfectly. Startup was faster than ever, I started up the opera internet browser, limewire. I was downloading music videos and surfing the net all normally and stuff for around 5 hours.

    Then I turn on an audioslave music vid put it fullscreen, have limewire + opera in the BG, watch it go around 30 seconds into the music video and then suddenly i hear a click. My computer turns off, monitor goes black, little green dot flashing near the monitor power button.

    I then go "WTF?!?!~111" and press the power button thinking this was some random reboot. The PSU comes on, the fans come on through out the whole computer, I breathe a sigh of relief.

    It's not over. The only other sign of life other than the humming of the fans is a click(Which i learned it happens each time that i turn on the computer).

    I then proceed to do this many times, and the same thing happens every time.

    I check the videocard connections, they seem to be fine. The power connections on the back, the monitor connection to the vid card... and so on. It just didnt seem right.

    ------- Take It apart time --------

    I've built a few computers in my time and taking them apart is easy. I took out the video card, put it back in, retest the comp, same crap. The clicking comes from around the Hard Drive, so i took that out. Rebooted. Hey look its still looking dead. I think that I dont have enough power for some reason so then i unplug my dvd drives, my floppy drive and then plug in the HD again, boot it up...... nothing again.

    I change the ram around, take out the HD, connect to another computer, it doesnt really do anything, but the computer actually shows signs of starting up! It says HEWLETT PACKARD, but then instead of booting up goes all black and shows a _ and keeps on making it flicker. I believe this to be normal since the HD is not really familiar to the system and has different settings and such.

    Now I'm going to test another monitor to my machine and see if it works.

    My conclusion is its one of these Five things:
    Video card
    Processor Chip
    Hard Drive
    PSU Must be dying?
  2. Smoan

    Smoan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Anyone? Please?
  3. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Hello and welcome to Techspot.

    I agree with your diagnosis.

    The click coming from the hard drive seems very suspect. Even though your hard drive has the wrong chipset drivers for the system you tried it in, it should post.

    Try putting the hard drive from the other system in your pc, and see what happens.

    Regards Howard :wave: :wave:
  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    sounds like a PSU issue.
  5. Smoan

    Smoan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, I had done that, and the same thing happens. So I think it might actually be the PSU, The video card, orrrrrrr the intel chip. I am probably going to bring it to the shop sometime this week but if i can resolve the problem myself its time and money saved.

    Thank you both for replying. Any more expertise is appreciated. :)
  6. Smelly

    Smelly TS Rookie

    Is the speaker plugged in

    The little built in speaker in the case usually makes a lot of noise if there is a problem with the RAM otherwise the computer is virtually dead. the klicking could be a broken speaker in the case and the problem could be associated with the RAM. Check it and post back.
  7. Smoan

    Smoan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well I've factored out the Ram, unless its the motherboard itself. I used several pieces in several slots, and none made the machine run. It might be time to try a new Psu, vid card or motherboard. Those I hope are the problem. Not the harddrive.. please not the harddrive...
  8. Smoan

    Smoan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    By the way, the clicking is just like two clicks coming from the floppy disk area.
    Either way, I think this ones gonna be figured out in the shop.

    Thanks though guys.
  9. Smoan

    Smoan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    One more post for the night: When i plug my other machines harddrive into this computer it says : Operating System Not Found.

    Does this mean the HD is dead? I checked to see if there was a difference when there is no HD in there, and the same message appears.

    The system i tried it on is from 2000. windows 98, 128 ram, etc.
  10. abercrombie_boy

    abercrombie_boy TS Rookie

    Hi, I was actually googling around for info about power supplies when I came across your post. I had the exact same prob last week. I had an old P4 socket 478 2.4ghz, laying around so I decided to get a mobo and built another system. After I had all the parts together and was installing windows, things started to get rather doggy, random lock-ups/reboots and slow operation. Then it got to the point where half the time when I restarted, it didn't even post, though the fans, mobo lights were on.

    I switched out the vid card, and hd and still nothing. I thought it was the psu so i had everything disconnected and ran just the mobo and cpu with a new one, but that didn't work either. I never heard any stories about cpus dying, but I thought it'd best to test it before I spend the pounds to have it looked at. I had to search a bit for a mate with a 478, but once the cpus were switched, mine would start up normally while the other system had just the lights and fans working. Sadly I've also found that 478's are scarse and the ones found are just as much as a new pentium D.

    As for your HD question, I too ran across this. I have an comp from 2001 on a 815 intel chipset. After looking around intel's website I found that older chipsets are incompatible with newer/larger hd and won't be able to read them. Hope this helps!
  11. Smoan

    Smoan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks alot abercrombie, Now i'm almost 100% sure its not my HD. taking it to the shop tommorow, this mean monsters gonna get a looksie and a fixup.

    Whatever the problem is, Im upgrading it instead of replacing.

    Thanks alot for the help techspotters!
  12. Smoan

    Smoan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    followup: Was the CPU. :(
  13. thomas4456

    thomas4456 TS Rookie

    Same Problem?

    My moms computer is a refurbished e-machine from Tigerdirect. Bought about a year ago. runs a Celeron 2.7 256mb ram. No hardware additions other than a LCD Monitor and the printer that came with the package deal. About a week ago we started having a problem where the computer would shut down for no reason. At first it did it while the computer had been on for a long time & now in the past 3 days I think the longest it will stay on is maybe 1 minute or 2. The power supply I believe is a 250watt & I switched it with a 200 watt from a barebones computer that I haven't built yet. No change, does the same thing. So i switched it back. A local computer guy told me it was a software issue and to reinstall windows XP. reinstalled windows XP (Computer actually stayed on to complete that task.) But when I started to go through the initial startup and re-enter all the basic information (time, date, where you live, who's computer, yadda yadda) it would shut down again. And it's not the whole thing it's just the main processor shutting down, it's fan goes off etc. The power supply is still running and still powering the hard drives, CD ROM, 3 1/2 etc. So based on this info, anybody have an idea or run across a similar problem?

  14. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    well one thing is blatently obvious... you downgraded to a 200W psu. Bad move.

    Most computers today run on at least 400 to 450w.... old models tend to do ok with 350w.

    Also upgrade the ram to a minimum of 512mb. That computer run run very slow with 256mb

    More info is needed about your shutdowns.

    Do you have a firewall and antivirus that is up to date and running?
    Is all your windows updates current?
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