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PC crashes during startup


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#1 Penguinator

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 12:57 PM

For the past while, my Dell Dimension 8300 has been running very slowly. I have been getting a message saying low battery voltage during POST for some time now, but I just would click continue and everything worked fine. I ran a scan with AVG and it found nothing. Then I decided to install the optional updates from windows update. One of them was a new driver for my graphics card (Nvidia GeForce FX 5200). After the updates, I restarted the PC and noticed the colors were off and everything simply looked larger and windows 95-ish. I thought that the settings on the card were off, but instead, I learn't that there was no driver for the graphics card, or the wrong driver had been installed. I went to the Nvidia web site and downloaded the proper driver. After a sluggish restart, everything was back to normal. I decided to install Advanced System Optimizer, which worked wonders on my laptop. The program installed perfectly and I did a couple of scans and fixes. I decided to then restart the computer. This is where the problem began. After the black windows screen with the small loading bar, the screen goes black and windows crashes. Nothing appears on the screen. Safe mode doesn't work either. Any ideas on what the root of the problem could be?

I know that the low battery voltage is caused by the CMOS battery. I will replace that as soon as I can.

I tried re-seating all of the internal hardware, but that didn't work. I tried booting with the bare necessities (monitor, keyboard), and that didn't work either. I even tried to do a windows repair, but the R option wasn't available.

Here are my PC Specs:

Dell Dimension 8300
Intel Pentium 4 processor 3.00 GHz
Level 2 Cache: 512 Kb integrated
1536 MB DDR ram at 400 MHz
Windows XP Home Edition SP3
Nvidia Geforce FX 5200 graphics card


Your help is greatly appreciated!

David

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 02:16 PM

Replacing the CMOS battery is a priority, since a weak battery can impact everything that occurs on the system.

Louis

#3 Penguinator

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 10:27 PM

Thank you for your response Louis. I will try to replace that battery as soon as possible. Once I do, i will see if it makes a difference. Hopefully it does because not all my files are backed up. Also, I hope that I don't need to replace my graphics card because I had replaced it a couple of years ago.

I will reply ASAP.

David

Edited by Penguinator, 12 August 2009 - 10:27 PM.


#4 Penguinator

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 09:11 AM

I replaced the CMOS battery this morning. Replacing it removed the low battery voltage warning, but hasn't helped the PC boot up. It still displays a black screen after the windows splash page.

Any other ideas as to what could be causing the problem?

Thanks

David

#5 hamluis

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 10:24 AM

Is the cursor blinking in the upper left corner of the black screen?

Louis

#6 Penguinator

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 11:24 AM

Nope. There is no cursor or anything on the screen. The screen goes black and the computer freezes. I have to hold the power button for 5 seconds to reboot it after.

David

#7 hamluis

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 12:34 PM

It may be time to suspect the power supply.

Louis

#8 Penguinator

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 01:28 PM

Are there any ways of knowing for sure that it's the power supply without testing it with a multimeter?

David

#9 hamluis

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 02:10 PM

Temporarily replace it with another...is the way that I test such premises.

I'm not a technician, but others here are and can answer your query better.

Louis

#10 Penguinator

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 07:30 PM

I borrowed my Uncle's multimeter. Following the online instructions I got from this site: http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-...11-1056686.html , I tested the power supply. When the voltage was supposed to be between 11 and 13 volts, my meter showed a reading of 16.5 volts. I'm guessing that would make it a faulty power supply. Can anybody confirm this? I followed the exact instructions given on the site.

David

#11 ThunderZ

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 09:29 PM

I borrowed my Uncle's multimeter. Following the online instructions I got from this site: http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-...11-1056686.html , I tested the power supply. When the voltage was supposed to be between 11 and 13 volts, my meter showed a reading of 16.5 volts. I'm guessing that would make it a faulty power supply. Can anybody confirm this? I followed the exact instructions given on the site.

David



Yep, that would be a bad power supply.

A simpler way of testing ATX mobos other then connected to the board is to bend a paper clip into a U shape. Then use it as a jumper between the green wire and any black wire. This fools the PS into thinking it is connected to the mobo and will allow testing of it a bit more easily.




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