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Hello. Recently, I am having a startup problem on my Windows XP machine, and I am hoping someone can help.

When I start the machine, sometimes it starts up just fine. No problems. Other times, the green POWER LED comes on, then I can see the CD-ROM access LED coming on, then may be sometimes I can see the floppy drive access LED coming on, then suddenly the machine goes dead, and the green power LED goes off.

OS: Windows XP SP2
Power: ACPI-compatible
RAM: 512 MB (2 separate 256 MB cards, second card installed much after the first)

Is this some kind of mechanical issue with the power switch (ACPI compatible) or is it faulty RAM? If the RAM card is faulty, any easy way to figure that out? I would appreciate any help. Thanks.

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Last Post by jbennet
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How is your system performing when you are able to boot? Is the system stable until you reboot? Heat can be another culprit for the issue you described. Check your CPU fan and vents. If you would like to test your memory you can use memtest86 http://www.memtest.org/ .

AJZ

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I would agree AJZ. Possible heat issue on the CPU fan. May need to be to dusty inside causing the FAN to slow down or it could be a Power supply issue. Power supply may need to be replaced.

RueB 2s De

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i would be very suspicous of your power supply. It issues a PS Good signal to BIOS which triggers bios execution and so on. If it then cannnot handle the load of assorted operations it will cut the signal. Everything just stops. No warning.

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How is your system performing when you are able to boot? Is the system stable until you reboot? Heat can be another culprit for the issue you described. Check your CPU fan and vents. If you would like to test your memory you can use memtest86 http://www.memtest.org/ .

AJZ

zelkea, as per your advice, i downloaded memtest86 and ran it for five hours on my machine. not a single RAM error was reported. so may be i should assume that my RAM (2 256 Mb cards) is fine and not the problem point.

the system is very stable other than this startup problem. crashes are extremely rare.


I would agree AJZ. Possible heat issue on the CPU fan. May need to be to dusty inside causing the FAN to slow down or it could be a Power supply issue. Power supply may need to be replaced.

RueB 2s De

i would be very suspicous of your power supply. It issues a PS Good signal to BIOS which triggers bios execution and so on. If it then cannnot handle the load of assorted operations it will cut the signal. Everything just stops. No warning.

may be i should take the external casing out and clean the area of the CPU fan and vents. i could also look at the power supply. as a temporary solution, i am using my laptop instead of the errant desktop.

thank you.

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A can of compressed air should be good enough to clean out the dust. Most motherboards have a led on the board that is on whenever the system has power. When your system fails is the led light on?

AJZ

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A can of compressed air should be good enough to clean out the dust. Most motherboards have a led on the board that is on whenever the system has power. When your system fails is the led light on?

AJZ

I will take the casing out and clean the dust on the desktop sometime in the next two weeks, and hope that solves it. If that doesn't work, I will check the power supply.

When my system fails, the motherboard LED goes off.

Sometimes machine boots fine.

Other times, machine doesn't boot. I will give you more detail on what goes wrong when it doesn't boot:
Step 1. I switch on the POWER LED on the front panel.
Step 2. POWER LED goes green.
Step 3: CD-ROM access LED comes on. Floppy Drive acess LED comes on. At the back, the fan starts whirring. (My boot sequence is CD-ROM -> Floppy -> Hard Drive.)
Step 4: All the lights including POWER LED go dead. Fan stops whirring.
Step 5: So now I am thinking will this darn thing start up or not.
Step 6: I press the RESET switch once.
Step 7: I switch off the main UPS switch.
Step 8: I switch on the main UPS switch.
Step 9: Try to switch it on a few times, often in vain.
Step 10: Take a coffee break.
Step 11: After some frustration and repeating the above sequence, the machine switches itself on.

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Do you have another PSU that you can try? It does sound like the PSU may have a problem, then again it could be the motherboard.

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Do you have another PSU that you can try? It does sound like the PSU may have a problem, then again it could be the motherboard.

Yah I would start with the Power supply. If all else fails with replacing the powersupply try your CMOS battery before you replace anything major like a motherboard.

If you don't get any errors when the system boots, I sounds like it is going through the boot sequence correctly. (just to let you know you can switch your boot sequence if you removed the CD rom from the boot sequence it would not effect this issue)

The CMOS Battery will effect your system by not powering up or minimal power to the devices connected to the motherboard.

Removing the dust on the Heat sink (the Fan above the CPU) and any dust inside the tower it will allow the devices to function better.

Power supplies are inexpensive and if you replace it, and it doesn't work you can return it normally to the store for a full refund.

RueB 2s De.

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thanks everybody. i haven't been switching off the desktop recently. i just keep it running 24/7, having switched off standby/hibernation.

in a couple of weeks, i will get around to trying a new Power Supply Unit.


Do you have another PSU that you can try? It does sound like the PSU may have a problem, then again it could be the motherboard.

Yah I would start with the Power supply. If all else fails with replacing the powersupply try your CMOS battery before you replace anything major like a motherboard.

If you don't get any errors when the system boots, I sounds like it is going through the boot sequence correctly. (just to let you know you can switch your boot sequence if you removed the CD rom from the boot sequence it would not effect this issue)

The CMOS Battery will effect your system by not powering up or minimal power to the devices connected to the motherboard.

Removing the dust on the Heat sink (the Fan above the CPU) and any dust inside the tower it will allow the devices to function better.

Power supplies are inexpensive and if you replace it, and it doesn't work you can return it normally to the store for a full refund.

RueB 2s De.

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24/7. You must be rich. Semiconductors age as current runs through them... of course switching things on/off every 10 minutes is not good either cos thermal shock is another wearntear factor. There is a good medium somewhere in there; my pc takes way under a minute to boot up and I find I can utilise that time in any number of ways. And if I'm going to be away for more than, say, an hour, off it goes. And I have all standby schemes enabled! Up to you.

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I changed the SMPS, but that did not solve the problem. So I gave it to my friendly local technician who fiddled with the motherboard and solved my problem. My computer now boots without problems. He told me that he did NOT replace the onboard CMOS battery. However I am not sure what the technician did, and I did not ask.

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24/7. You must be rich. Semiconductors age as current runs through them... of course switching things on/off every 10 minutes is not good either cos thermal shock is another wearntear factor.

1 reboot puts the same amount of wear on the HDD as 16 hours of average use. Thats a lot. PSUs are cheap, hdds arent

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1 reboot puts the same amount of wear on the HDD as 16 hours of average use. Wow!... i didn know that. wasn thinking of the psu tho, more every other lil semiconductor pasted here n there. processors, etc. So where is the hd wear? nothing touches, cept maybe on the rest zone b4 it speeds up... i think...
M$ could be in cahoots with hd manufs cos of that auto reboot on error setting... :) - don't ever go on hols n leave your sys on.

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im pretty sure that figure is accurate. Ive had my server running since like 2001 (before that it was running since like 98) and its still running fine. Its had about 12 reboots whereas my 3 year old dell which is rebooted constantly died recently of hdd failure

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