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Computer Won't Boot-High Whirring Fan


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#1 pinkbeat

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 02:31 PM

Hi,
First post here. Two days ago I went to start my mom's computer as mine isn't unpacked yet and the lights came on the computer case but nothing on the monitor and I believe the CPU fan was whirring at high speed and staying there. I turned it off, unplugged it until the light on the mother board went out, replugged it and it booted as normal when I pressed the power button.

The next day it started fine.

Today, the third day I had the problem again. I tried the previous steps but it did not work. Then I turned the monitor off tried again and it worked again.

Any idea what may be going on? We were involved in the major power outage of San Diego on September 9th and I was using the computer when it went out but the surge protector did not trip. The computer had also been really slow lately.
It's quite old. A 2004 Gateway Media Center Edition of Windows XP SP3. Intel Pentium 4 CPU 3.0 GHz. 2 GB RAM.
Thanks!

Edited by hamluis, 15 September 2011 - 03:22 PM.
Moved from XP to Internal Hardware.


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#2 Required Field

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 02:51 PM

Could be a few things going on...Perhaps you did have a power surge which hit your power supply, or it may just be failing. Or, if you have a dialup modem, maybe it got zapped and is shorting out the motherboard. Then again, your processor fan may have come loose during your move, and the system is overheating. It's going to be a process of elimination, I think. My guess would be the power supply is dying, so let's start there. It probably got hit with a surge (lightning, even). To find out, though, you'll need another power supply to test it. I also recommend you get an APC or Tripplite battery back up (UPS), most "surge protectors" are little more than a place to plug in more stuff.
"Most quotes attributed to famous people on the internet are fake." -Abraham Lincoln

#3 pinkbeat

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 04:39 PM

I moved in with mom so her stuff was already here and not moved so, I don't think it's that. I do have a power supply tester, somewhere...in a box. Perhaps I can try to locate it and test it or just get a new power supply and try that.

I do have an APC battery back up for my computer, which I built but it will be months before that one is set up. Getting new flooring and painting and such. I'll start with the PS. Thanks.

#4 pinkbeat

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 04:40 PM

And and we have DSL not dial up. I would commit suicide if we had dial up. lol.

#5 Required Field

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 05:00 PM

If you can find the tester, that will obviously save you some money...either way, let us know what you discover, and good luck!
"Most quotes attributed to famous people on the internet are fake." -Abraham Lincoln

#6 pinkbeat

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 05:20 PM

Thanks, I will, though it might be a couple of weeks. Pay day isn't until the end of the month. Thanks again.

#7 westom

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 08:09 AM

Perhaps I can try to locate it and test it or just get a new power supply and try that.

A power supply tester will not identify most PSU failures. Your description involves another power system component known as a power controller. That controller determines if and when a PSU powers on, powers off, and if the CPU even executes. Fans can spin at highest speed if CPU is not permitted to execute by that controller.

Useful answer means obtaining a multimeter maybe from Kmart, Harbor Freight, or most stores that also sell hammers. If you disconnect nothing and touch its probe to six wires, then the resulting numbers should identify the suspect part immediately. Your only other alternative is to keep replacing good parts until something works.

Various failures that could cause your symptoms obviously cannot be identified by a power supply tester (that costs as much or more than a meter and that makes assistance from those with superior knowledge almost impossible). Numbers from that meter and six wires report significant information. A resulting reply can be substantially longer than this one. Numbers are necessary to quickly identify such failures even when the intermittent is not causing computer problems. One minute of labor with a meter means a next reply provides useful answers. Without "it could be this" or "might be that" speculation.

#8 pinkbeat

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 08:20 AM

Well, I got a new power supply and the same thing happened. Lights on and fan whirring without winding down and kicking on the bio screen. I jut turned it off and on several times until it kicked in to a low fan and got my bios screen and booted into windows. Could this be a CPU or motherboard issue? Maybe I'll get a multimeter tester but I won't know what to do with it exacly.

#9 Required Field

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 10:28 AM

Well, I got a new power supply and the same thing happened. Lights on and fan whirring without winding down and kicking on the bio screen. I jut turned it off and on several times until it kicked in to a low fan and got my bios screen and booted into windows. Could this be a CPU or motherboard issue? Maybe I'll get a multimeter tester but I won't know what to do with it exacly.

It could be a motherboard issue. You might check for bulging or popped capacitors on the board. Also, you can pull the RAM out of the system and try to boot up the PC. Most PCs will give you an audio error code when there is no RAM installed, usually three beeps, depending on who made it. If you get no error code, in most cases, your board is dead. If you do get an error code, try reseating the RAM and see if the computercomes up. What other devices are installed on the mainboard? Any card readers, or wnaything like that?
"Most quotes attributed to famous people on the internet are fake." -Abraham Lincoln

#10 westom

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 01:56 PM

Maybe I'll get a multimeter tester but I won't know what to do with it exacly.


Connect everything back as it originally was. Connect AC power to a wall receptacle. Set the multimeter to 20 VDC. Connect its black probe to the chassis. Touch the red probe to a purple wire where the PSU connects to the motherboard. Meter should read about 5 volts. But report all three digits. These numbers contain significant information.

Repeat same for a green and gray wire. Report numbers before and as the power button is pressed.

And finally monitor any one red, orange, and yellow wire as the power switch is pressed. Note any rise and final voltage number on each.

Post those three digit numbers. Relevant components will be accused or exonerated in a next reply based on those hard numbers.

#11 pinkbeat

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 02:05 PM

I'll try it right now.

There is a DVD/CD drive and built-in various card readers.

Edited by pinkbeat, 21 September 2011 - 02:08 PM.


#12 pinkbeat

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 02:36 PM

Okay, I did what you said with the RAM and when I started the computer I got a long beep. I put the RAM back in and pressed start on the computer. It started, thankfully, so, I wase to come back and post. No bulging or popped capacitors and there is one harddrive, 1 CD/DVD player, a few built in card readers, a dial up modem card, a video card and I think a tuner card. What next boss?

#13 pinkbeat

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 02:40 PM

Westom, I will have to wait to try your meter readings later when I go out to get one and take back the new PSU. Thanks.

#14 pinkbeat

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 07:03 PM

I've put the old power supply back in the computer and restarted the computer a few times. Seems okay for now. Perhaps the memmory just needed to be reseated. I'll report back to let you know how things are going. Thanks much.

#15 pinkbeat

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 01:34 PM

Okay, it's been awhile. All is well with the computer. The memory just needed to be reseated. Thanks everyone!




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