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system acting strange

By karenlee ยท 6 replies
Mar 5, 2006
  1. Help...I began having problems with my computer a week ago, with a noise coming from the heatsink fan. I cleaned it, but the noise continued, and I could actually see the fan slowing down and speeding back up. This went on for two days, while I put in an order for a new fan. On the third day, when I turned my computer on, BIOS came up followed by a black screen that listed the master/slave disks and bus controllers, and at the bottom of this page it said this:

    Boot from ATAPI CD-ROM: with a tiny flashing _ at the bottom of the page.

    I tried turning it on and off a couple of times, and about the fourth time, it loaded normally...like now, and allows me to use it without crashing or freezing or acting up at all...normal. I have not got the fan yet, and every day it gives me the black screen until about the fourth time I turn it on, then it is normal.

    My computer is an AMD Athlon (tm) 2400+ with 2.00 GHz. 576 MB of RAM, and is less than two years old. I have two hard drives, and am basically ignorant.

    I did some googling and found this place. I do not have a floppy in the drive, and although I do have a Bart PE builder boot disk, I am not sure how to use it.

    My heatsink fan is not overheating, and I have a cooler on it and it is registering about 35 C.

    Any suggestions?

  2. PhilC2005

    PhilC2005 TS Rookie Posts: 39

    i don't think it is to do with your heatsink/fan, have you got a CD or DVD in when you are starting it up?, if you have take it out and it should work.
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409


    She said she could visibly see the fan changing speeds.
  4. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    The fan changing speeds can only mean 1 of 2 things:
    1) The fan is about to die (but you have a replacement on order..good)
    2) you are having problems with your PSU 12V rail. This could just be the PSU itself, which is no big deal and a reasonable replacement can be bought for less then $50 US. But it could also mean the 12V rail is being "pulled" down by some other device in your system. As in the HDD, there by BIOS is not picking it up on boot up and defaults to your secondary boot order, i.e. the CDrom.

    Hopefully when you get your new fan you will be able to confirm if it still slows down.

    I strongly suggest it's a failing PSU 12V output, this would prevent the HDD from spinning up to its full speed thus again disabling BIOS's ability to read it and thereby creating your symptoms again.
  5. karenlee

    karenlee TS Rookie Topic Starter

    First of all, I apologize for not creating a proper title for my thread. I will read the guidelines, I promise.

    The fan is supposed to be here today. What I did when I got home from work just now, was to check all connections to the hard drives and the fan, and switch to a brand new surge protector. Now earlier today, before I went to work at 6 AM, I tried to turn the computer on, but just got the black page with the info on it. This has been it's typical behavior for the past 5 days. Usually on the third or fourth try, windows will load right after BIOS. This morning, it looked bleak.

    But, to my great surprise this afternoon, when I turned the computer on after checking all the connections and switching the surge protector, voila! It came on. Granted, the heatsink fan was making a terrible noise, running really slow...but it got up to speed and right now my computer is sounding normal. So, my first big test was to shut windows down and restart it. It started right up. I am going to read all my email before I shut it off and see if it will come back on without the black screen.

    If not, I will be changing the fan as soon as it comes. And if there are still problems, I will let you know.

    Thanks to those of you kind enough to help with suggestions.
  6. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +419

    I'd say the noisy fan points to the fan as the likely problem. You'll know for sure after you change it.
  7. karenlee

    karenlee TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks, mailpup...I hope you are right! The fan is not here yet. But so far, after I checked all the connections and plugs and changed surge protectors, my computer has come on every time without the black reboot screen. The heatsink fan is still making noise as soon as I turn the computer on, but after the noise and the slowing down and all, it appears to kick into high gear, and then sounds perfectly normal..it will keep on running without further slowing down until I turn it off and let it set for awhile, then makes noise again on start up. So I won't know much more till the fan comes or something else happens, hopefully not anything bad!

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