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Intermittent start up issues


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#1 Mark889

Mark889

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 03:56 PM

First, here is my system:

CPU Intel E8600
EVGA GeForce GTX 260 graphics card
3 Gb Corsair RAM
MSI MS-7380 Motherboard w/ nVidia chipset
WD Raptor hard drive
Corsair TX750 power supply
OS Windows XP Home edition

Within the past month or two my computer has been acting up. Most of the time, it will turn on but will not post to bios.....just a blank black screen. I had also noticed that my graphics card would not start (fan wasn't running). Whats really got me is that it didn't do it all of the time, only most of the time. After 2 or 3 attempts to start it, it usually booted up and ran. On some days, it would start up first time. Going back to when I first noticed any issues, I would have to say that before the "no start up" problem began the first symptom was that the computer would not shut off completely. That is, the display and hard disk would shut down but the case fans would continue to run. I wasn't even able to shut off the computer by holding the power button on the case, I had to shut down the power at the PS switch. During this entire time I've been trying to isolate the issue and here is what I've done but with no luck:

Checked graphics card by installing it in another computer and it worked fine. I then installed a different card in my computer and it didn't work either. Keeping in mind that the computer never posted to BIOS with the different card either. Out of frustration, I let computer sit for several days and I was able to get it started again after 3 or 4 attempts and use it like there was never an issue. Next day, computer would not start (AGAIN).

Changed CMOS battery (original battery was almost 3 years old). Computer started up after that. Figured I finally found the culprit! The next day I had same issue again....computer wouldn't start up/post to BIOS.

Next I purchased a power supply tester and tested the power supply. It appeared to be functioning ok, but I also realize that this test is a no load test and there could still be an issue. The computer had been sitting for over a week waiting for the tester. After hooking everything back up the computer started right up. I was not overly excited since I knew that I did nothing to correct the original problem. Sure enough, the next day the computer would not start again.

Disconnected all drives and fans (except CPU), and removed RAM and attempted to start......no beeps whatsoever, though CPU fan did come on.

Switched to a spare (less powerful) power supply which I believe to be good. With everything still disconnected the computer started and beeped 3 or 4 times. At this point I'm feeling confident that my power supply was at issue. Placed RAM back in, started up again and get several beeps, but shorter in duration. On a whim, I hooked up power supply #1 again and nothing.....no beeps whatsoever. Just for curiosity sake, I hooked up power supply #2 again and now the same thing happened.....no beeps or anything. Remove RAM again and still nothing...WTF!

One of the things that I had noticed was on the occastions when the computer would start and work fine, even if I had to restart the computer for updates, it would always restart. The problem just seemed to rear its ugly head after the computer sat and cooled down.

I'm leaning toward the motherboard being the culprit but Im not confident about it. If anyone would offer their advice before I start the process of blindly buying parts to fix this computer I would be grateful.

Thanks you for any help.
Mark

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