computer won't start

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View
Computer I built three years ago - on Sunday started shutting down
before booting was complete. After doing this twice, it won't do more
that blink the fans and drive lights, then turn off. I disconnected all
drives and removed all cards except video and one memory bank. Still
won't do more than pulse the fans (2 case fans, cpu fan). Figuring it
was the power supply, I changed it to another working one I had. No
So I went and bought a brand new Antec 440 watt supply and put it in.
Again no help. Can someone give me a checklist of what I should try
next?  I can only guess at this point that for some reason the CPU blew?
How do I check that?  Any ideas?

The computer has a Gigabyte motherboard GA-7VRX Version 2.0, AMD CPU
2000+ Athlon XP, Enermax CS-A102USB case, ram 512Meg Crucial.

Re: computer won't start

CPU's VERY rarely fail.  The odds are that the motherboard has likely


Quoted text here. Click to load it

Re: computer won't start

The first goal is to get that POST bios beep (Power On Self Test) when
you power
up, this you will get with the CD, DVD, Floppy and hard
drive disconnected, you
must get this beep that wakes the CPU from

Three years ago you
say........... emmmm wonder if the bios battery is
duff, you don't say you can
get into bios or not, worth a try and if
you can make a note of all the settings
and maybe try a bios reboot
or at least check or change the 3V battery.

Obviously you have all the clocking speeds set ok as it's been
working, so I
would suggest the first task is check that battery, do
a visual inspection for
swollen electrolytic capacitors (caps for
short), their tops should be nice and
flat, no swollen cases or gunge
leaking from them.  

Try re-seating the graphic
card, pull the card out and then re-insert
it, sometimes this can be the cause
of many problems.

See how we go from here.


Re: computer won't start

Davy wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
I tested the 3v battery, and it still puts out 3v.  No swollen caps on
motheboard or any of the cards. Pulling video card and putting it back
did not help.  I can't get to the bios, it does not stay on long enough.
I also tried clearing CMOS, but it did not help.  Based on other posts I
  have seen on this forum, I will try blasting the reset and power
buttons on the case with canned air. Just before the problem started I
did have to press the reset key, so maybe it is bad or junked up.

Re: computer won't start

On Tue, 30 May 2006 09:16:06 -0500, Bill Silbernagel

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Put a power supply in it, and if you already have one that
you forgot to mention, suspect it.  Also clear CMOS with AC
power disconnected, pull out and disconnect all things
nonessential to POSTing, leaving only CPU, video, one memory
module, heatsink/fan.   Make sure you also unplug all USB
and PSU devices, including keyboard and mouse, printer, etc,
etc... this with the PSU unplugged from AC.

If that works, add back keyboard, mouse and the OS HDD and
retry it.  Check voltages with a multimeter, fans, and

Above you mention only shutting down before booting was
complete... if you think it could be a windows problem, try
Save Mode.  Later you mentioned not being able to get into
bios, which would rule out windows and place most suspicion
on the power supply and motherboard.

Re: computer won't start

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I have tried 3 power supplies. Two were good brands, Enermax and Antec
(brand new 440Watt), the third was a Deer. I removed the MB and Antec
Power supply last night, putting the MB on a phone book with only video
card and one memory module hooked up. Again, when I short the power
pins, there is a brief pulse that starts the CPU fan and the power
supply fan, then it shuts down. It only works for about half a second. I
also tried a different CPU fan in case it's sensor was bad.  And I did
clear the CMOS.  If, as I read in this forum, the fans should stay
running under the scenario I ran it under last night, I have to conclude
the motherboard or the CPU has failed. So if you agree with what I am
concluding, I believe I have only one option, swap the CPU for one in my
daughter's computer to see if it is the CPU or the MB at fault.  Am I
right, or am I missing something?

Re: computer won't start

On Wed, 31 May 2006 09:03:12 -0500, Bill Silbernagel

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Without the system here, it's often hard to get inspiration,
but yes based on evidence so far it seems most likely the
motherboard, unless the heatsink had come off the CPU while
it was running (which would be obvious, unless it was
mounted wrong or defective somehow).  You might try just
removing your CPU and then trying to turn on system... of
course it won't post, but to see if the PSU and fans, etc,
then remain powered.  

It might also be good to hook up a multimeter and observe
the PSU voltages just before it turns off.  Unfortunately if
the system only stayed on for a fraction of a second, the
voltages might not have stabilized yet, but if your other
components, particularly HDDs, are unplugged then it
(voltage stabilization) should happen faster.

Re: computer won't start

I recently got into same problem with two motherboards of the same
type. Looks like an issue with this specific MB model. I have got into
bios occasionally, but after I quit Bios system just powers off again.
One might try to push the SW1 switch to ON. I got to the self test beep
and got into bios more often after I made that switch.

Replacing swollen caps from one bad MB to the the other did not do
anything, not worse nor better.

Site Timeline