windows wont boot...

By dae_amp_ika_dtp ยท 32 replies
May 9, 2006
  1. hi. my computer wont boot. i had it stored in a room for a good 3 months. now that i have a network i wanted to add it in a new room. the first thing i noticed is that when i pluged in the ac power cord into the power supply, less than 3 seconds later the computer turned on, on its own. i didnt push the power switch. the power light on the tower is yellow instead of green, and it doesnt attempt to boot windows at all. it doesnt even show a picture on the monitor. i was wondering what would cause it to just turn on when i plug power into the power supply. and why the light just stays yellow? there no sign of beeping codes. the other light doesnt even flash. idk what light its called. it the one that always blinks when your comp is loading a program its a red light but it doesnt blink at all. the only light that goes on is the power light. which is yellow instead of green. any help is apreciated. thank you.
  2. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    Theres not a lot we can do if we have no idea what computer it is????
  3. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    yes.. pleas expand more on your computer now you've explained your problem.. pc specs/model etc..

    yellow light could mean anything, and may mean its on standby or recharging the battery (if its a laptop/mobile pc) or something else.. have you tried seeing what happens when you press the power switch, as if to boot up a pc normaly?
  4. dae_amp_ika_dtp

    dae_amp_ika_dtp TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 42

    its a gateway. 933mhz pIII, 512mb sd ram. 40 gig hd. pretty basic. as its only a guest computer. i dont know the exact gateway model. but yeah. i was wondering if it could be the power supply? i never had that happen to me, where it just turns on after pluging it to a wall. the power supply is for a mini tower and it has no on/off switch at the back.
  5. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    If i were you I'd pull it all apart then put it back together, by that i mean pull out all card, the ram, and the processor. It could be as simple as a bad connection somewhere. Also, get rid of all dust with something like a cheap paintbrush (that's what i use) and see if it will then boot, if not, let us know and we will do more to help.
  6. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,472   +126

    On the PIII CPU they had a problem like this, you could try this:

    Unplug open the case and remove the CPU.
    Put the CPU back on and press in the center of the CPU where you see the black bump with your thumb once. Now place back the FAN. On the board there should be a jumper pin for CMOS pull it for ten secs if you have the battery also or you could remove the watch battery looks like a silver coin and wait 10 secs. Then place it back on.

    Turn on the darn thing and see if it goes to post? If not the Power supply could be bad? There is a tester for that cost is around $5 bucks to see if that works. Make sure video card is re-seated as well as the memory. If you don't get a video on the monitor and you the monitor is good then it could be the video card or on board video is bad?

    It could be a number of things to try.... Virtual Tech is hard to do sometimes, I do try..
  7. dae_amp_ika_dtp

    dae_amp_ika_dtp TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 42

    ok my computer is a Gateway ProV700Cse. i canceled out that the graphics could be the problem. i took out the add in card and used the integrated, and nothing. so i plug the ac cord in and 2-3 seconds later it turns on on its own. but shows nothing on the screen. no flashing lights. just a yellow one thats supposed to be green. i tried the removing the cmos jumper and the battery. i tried completely rebuilding it and cleaning out the dust. im kinda stuck now. my firt guess was the power supply. cause after the 5 years that i had the computer it never turned on, on its own. yes i said it. 5 years. but i have upgraded it. 512mb ram pIII 933mhz. thats the fullest it could be upgraded. and its a windows xp. its fine for a guest computer. or whats supposed to be a guest computer. i cant try switching the ps because. its a micro atx tower and the connecter for my standard atx ps will not fit it. i hear no beep lights at all..
  8. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    try... unpluging the pc off the wall, then hold the power button (to reset the psu) for a minute or so.. then try booting it again.. or see if you can get the manual for it to find out what the yellow light means? even if you find the motherboard model/make then we can try to look it up...

    try going to basics: integrated vid, audio, psu, mobo/cpu, 1 stick of ram...

    if they fail to boot still, then it could very well be a mobo, cpu or psu problem.. which is the tricky bit to diagnose... since you've dont have access to a micro atx psu (unless you can borrow it from a friend, or purchase it) then you may have to take it to the shops or someone who has the parts to test them out for you..

    does the pc inside show any signs of damage? like scorch/burns/physical damage, smells, popped capacitors, loose bits, etc..

    5 years is a lot of age for a single piece of technology so there aint much to go on, parts wise that is - even if you do manage to get an exact replacement motherboard/cpu.. and usualy pre-built machines skimp on good parts to keep within budget, and usualy means the PSU, the heart of the machine gets an al-cheapo..... and for those playing at home you know what disasters that can lead you to...

    i'd say if you cant fix it or its too much $$ then salvage the good bits and either add it to your new rig or upgrade to a P4 or AMD setup..

    so to summerise, all that is needed is to replace parts and pray...
  9. dae_amp_ika_dtp

    dae_amp_ika_dtp TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 42

    my motherboard is from gateway. its a Intel 700 Celeron (Bryant) Motherboard SAC R3 [Part #2512235]. theres no burnt smell the only thing that smells a little burnt is the power supply, but from opening other power supplies this smells normal to me. but idk im not a eletrical tech. i know 5 years is long. but the ram is about3 years old the cpu and the power supply are about a year old. i did a new test.

    the ac cable was out for the whole night.
    plug the cable into the power supply, the power supply turned on without me pushing power switch.
    hold the power switch down. the pc shuts off. push the power switch, computer doesnt power on.
    unplug the ac cord for 30 seconds, plut into power supply, doesnt turn on on its own, i push the power switch it turns on, i hold the power switch and it turns off, i push the power switch and it doesnt turn on.
    repeted the previous steps with the same things happening.
    the light stays yellow, the dvd-rom tries booting and then nothing, just a solid yellow light. i'll send in some photos soon.
  10. dae_amp_ika_dtp

    dae_amp_ika_dtp TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 42


    heres the yellow light, that will stay on until i pull the plug or hold down the power switch

    heres something that looks burnt, or leaked...

    the thing that looks leaked was there, even while the computer was operating fine. the weird thing about this is. my computer was fine until i kept it in a storage room at about 70degrees.

  11. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    70 degrees? Are you talking celcius or farenheit? lol

    Silly question perhaps, but everything, including keyboard and mouse, are plugged in correctly are they? Are the motherboards headers connected properly, and is the additional power plug connected to the motherboard (if applicable)?
  12. dae_amp_ika_dtp

    dae_amp_ika_dtp TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 42

    yes everything is conected properly. 70 degrees ferenheit
  13. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    hows the pc? have you tried swapping parts yet?
  14. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    You mentioned something looks like it leaked or burned. If its a capacitor then you could be out of luck. Capacitors are those kinda battery shaped things that stick mostly straight up and connect to the mobo. There are a whole lot of capacitors on a mobo. In the area you are mentioning look at these capacitors (caps) and see if any are bulging at the top or separated at the mobo, or leaking from any of them. If so you can scrap the mobo but you could get another P3 mobo real cheap these days and salvage your rig. Heck, i have a fairly new P4 setup but i also have a P2 500 that works just fine, nothing wrong with oldies!
    Can you at all remember the last thing you did before putting the pc away, any change of hardware or such?
    The bios reset has been mentioned but it might be worth doing again. Standard method is to remove power to the pc from the wall, remove the battery, then near the battery you will find a jumper. Move the jumper from pins 1 and 2 to pins 2 and 3 for a few minutes. Then move the jumper back to pins 1 and 2, put battery back in, put power cord in wall and try it out.
    Also, some older pc mobos did the bios reset different. Most noted were some Pc Chips boards. So go to Gateway and make sure its the standard method i have mentioned.
    If all the above fails then remove all ram but one stick, take all add on pci cards out, any usb you can live without, anything else that doesnt have to be on the machine to boot, even unhook the floppy, then see if it will boot.
    Take ram and use a pencil eraser to clean ram where it connects to the mobo and clean vid card same way if you have one ( could be built in vid). Make sure all connections are properly connected. Also clean all dust bunnies out of the pc.
    If no luck then totally disconnect the hard drive and re-connect the floppy and try using a win98 boot disk to boot to dos. Doesnt matter what os you have installed, you can use a win98 boot disk to boot to do.
    Check all pins, like monitor, ps2 mouse & keyboard, etc and make sure no pins are bent. Unhook main power from power supply to mobo and re-attach.

    You could also have a bad front power\on switch. To get around that unhook
    it from the mobo and use a plain flat screwdriver to touch the pins instead of the wires from the switch. If the pc boots then its the power\on switch that is bad. They are very very cheap switches and i have seen that happen!
    If no luck then it might be time to take the mobo out of the case and try and boot that way.
  15. dae_amp_ika_dtp

    dae_amp_ika_dtp TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 42

    ok. heres an update.
    thanks for all your help. i have been able to boot up windows. everythings fine and normal with my PC. i completely rebuilt it again and it worked fine. the only thing that remains is the annoying power thing. its still the same. does this mean that its the power supply? its possible for power supplies to go bad when not in use?


    another update... while the computer was on, and i was touching the chassis i felt a little shock. i unpluged the power source. and still felt it. then i unpluged the monitor and didnt feel the shock. is this something to worry about? or can it still just be the ps? the computer works fine and normal.
  16. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    Its likely to be the power supply. To answer your questions about do they go bad when they are off. Short answer is no. Its the turning on that creates wear and tear on power supplies, car engines, fridges, air conditioners, hot water kettles, home electrical sockets and panels, etc.
    The turning on is like a shock to the system and over time this, along with normal usage, brings the item closer to failing. Then, one day, when you plug it in and turn it on, bam, the burst of power is too much for one part somewhere and it cause a chain reaction and you know the end result, death of whatever it is.

    You have current leakage and thats very bad. Im no expert but i suspect its the power supply. Try turning the monitor on but leave the ps off and see if you get that shock. Better yet, put a multimeter on a metal part of the pc chassis and measure the current so you dont get hurt.
    Can you borrow a ps from someone to test and see. I would still hazard a guess that its your ps. If you buy one dont be sucked in by claims of 680 watts and such. I can get you a list of good and bad power supplies and will do so. Places like and directron have good power supplies for $30 odd dollars. Please give us a list of what you have on your pc and what you intend to add in the future so we can give an accurate answer as to the wattage you should get, although it should be at least 300 watts anyway. Make sure its an atx Pentium 4 style power supply.
  17. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    Good you have your pc up and running again...

    that shock thing most likely to be static.. it occures when you have carpet, dry environment, wearing wool or that poly stuff and you build up a charge on your body, then when you touch something going to earth (like a pc case) it discarges on it.. its pretty normal unless you have an unavoidable environment or an extreem case of grounding problem (pc grounding/building ground pin not wired correctly etc) then theres some cause of consern.. but its rare so dont freak out..

    i dont know if power supplies go bad after a period of inactivity but they do fail eventualy..

    i suggest (if you dont already have one) investing in a surge protection system, not one of those $5 power boards you get from your local groceries shop but something like APC or Belkin Surgemaster etc.. they cost a fair bit but worth every cent of it
  18. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    Here are lists of good and bad power supplies:
    list of some good and some bad power supplies:

    Another list is on one of the 2 below

    troubleshoot power supply with multimeter:

    atx format:

    Also, you can google info on how to test your own power supply with a multimeter that you can pick up for about $10 US. If you go to there is a very good tutorial there with pics. You can use screen capture to make a copy of it. You have to register but its free, a great site, and they dont bug you.
  19. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    N3051M, you make a good point. I am so used to automatically wearing my wrist strap and taking other precautions that i completely forgot about that very point! I just figured out he was talking about actual current running thru the chassis, or current leakage. You posted while i was preparing my answer, lol.

    As for the power supply, there is a tremendous amount of strain on it when first turned on. I good guess would be that that is when 3/4 of power supplies go bad. They is more wear and tear on them each day we use them, so actually they are going bad each day we use them, but its usually not until that sudden strain is put on them that they actually fail.
  20. dae_amp_ika_dtp

    dae_amp_ika_dtp TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 42

    i can recall a spark when i first pluged in the ac into the ps. the ps doesnt have the on off switch on it. so i guess, right when i connected ac to it it sucked in power and messed it up somehow. well i bought a bestec 185 watt ps for micro towers. i think 185 is good. not much going on in that PC. it will take 2 weeks to get here. but my sister is flying in from NY so i had it shipped to her. shes coming on the 25th. so my math so thats like a week earlier. cause im from guam and shipping takes a while here. i'll let u know in another update. thanks for all your help

    p.s. the spark came from the wall outlet area.
  21. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    Having a spark there speaks volumes. As i said, turning on the pc is when the power supply is most vulnerable as its an instant jolt of electricity and when they get older they cant handle it.

    I hope all goes well with your new ps. And if you dont have a lot of "goodies" on that pc then 185 watts will do fine. In fact, a heck of a lot of pc's dont have much more or around the same, most especially a micro-tower. I have seen people run a few hard drives, cdrom and burner with that wattage. More important than wattage is how well built the ps is.
  22. dae_amp_ika_dtp

    dae_amp_ika_dtp TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 42

    sorry...ive been really busy and had no time until now to test the new psu out. the same things happening.. so what does that leave me with? ram, cpu, and mombo??
  23. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    Ok, this thread is long so give us info on what kind of pc it is, whats in it, etc.

    However, heres the first thing to do. Leave power cord in wall and press and hold the power on\off button for a whole minute without taking your finger off it. Then unplug power at the wall and do the same thing, hold the on\off button in for a minute. Its because i just woke up and cant remember if you do that with power at the wall in or out, lol. But do it both ways and you cant go wrong.
    Then try a bios re-set. You know, you take out the battery and move a jumper. Check your manual or go to mobo mfgrs website and get the info. Some are standard, others arent, so check this out. Then do the bios reset and see if your pc will now boot.

    If it wont boot, and if you have already checked all your connections and done the standard, normal stuff, then its time to take the motherboard out of the case.
    Unplug everything, take out all pci cards, usb, keyboard, etc etc and then take out the motherboard (mobo). Remember which pci slots had which cards in them, though, very important, or could be.
    Now you have to unhook the power on\off connector at the mobo and many other connectors. Its best to get paper and pen and write down where each one went, but its no big deal, you can do it by trial and error without using pen and paper, but its easier of course if you write it down.
    Set mobo on a desktop, with foam underneath so you dont break any solder on the bottom of mobo, even a small towel will do.
    If you can connect the main power supply connector to mobo with the power supply (ps) in the case, go ahead, if not, take the power supply out and connect it to mobo. Connect the minimum, keyboard, mouse, video,
    ram, and see if it will boot. Now, instead of the wire connector that runs from the case to the mobo, you will use a flat screwdriver and simply touch the 2 pins with the screwdriver flat end. That does the same job as the power on\off switch! Its easy, go ahead and do it that way. If its gonna boot you will only have to hold the screwdriver on the 2 posts for a second or so. But make sure you put the screwdriver on the correct 2 posts on the mobo, the same posts that you took the wire connector off that ran from the case to the mobo.
    Will it now boot, if not will the fans start or do you see any lights on the mobo, any action at all? At this point you wont have any pci cards or usb or any other extras, just video, keyboard, mouse, ram, no hard drive, no floppy drive, no cd, no dvd, no burner, etc.
    If it does boot up then add in one card or one use item at a time and boot up, make sure everything is working. Then put all back in case.
    When taking mobo out, be careful screwdriver doesnt slip onto the mobo.

    If you dont mind spending a couple bucks you can go to a pc store, and even cheaper online and find a power supply tester. When you plug the tester into the power supply and turn on the power supply switch to the on position, the power supply will either start or not. If it starts, it might be good, if it doesnt its garbage. Unfortunately, the power supply tester will only tell you if its completely dead, if the power supply does turn on, it means its good or partly good as some lines may or may not be up to par, but thats a different area to look at later. One word, these days you can buy a power supply tester with 20 pins on it and one with 24 pins. I would buy the one with 24 pins as it will service newer pcs down the road when you get one and the 20 pin tester wont. The 24 pin power supply tester will work on both 20 and 24 pin power supplies. If i have confused you, dont worry, just get the newer 24 pin tester. This tester does save some time as if the power supply wont start you know for a fact its no good.
  24. dae_amp_ika_dtp

    dae_amp_ika_dtp TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 42

    umm.. i started the thread... all the info is in it. its just been a while since i replied beacause ive been busy. i got it to boot. but i have no clue about the whole turning on issue that im having... when i want to shut it off "as i mentioned in previous post" i have to unplug the ac cable. if i turn it on i have to plug in the ac cable. even with the new psu unit.
  25. dae_amp_ika_dtp

    dae_amp_ika_dtp TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 42

    ok. i rebuilt it. stripped everything out of the case. used the minimum ram, cpu, psu..the same thing happedned.. i put the ac in and it turned on without me pressing the switch.. i removed the switch cables nd used the screwdriver instead. same thing happened.. i canceled out everything except the motherboard and the cpu. can the cpu do this? or is it most likely the mombo?
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