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Possibly a bad power supply?


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#1 wayne937

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 09:12 AM

I am having trouble ocassionally getting my computer to start-especially if I turn the power off to the computer for some reason and then turn the power supply back on. If I wait for several minutes after turning the power back on, it will normally start ok. Yesterday morning when I tried to start the computer it would attempt to turn on but would not. The red hard drive light and the green light showing that the computer is on were both staying on and the fans appeared to be in high gear during this time period. Normally when I turn the computer on both lights will come on for a few seconds and the red hard drive light will go off and the green "on" light, of course will stay on, which is normal, and then it goes into a normal startup. The latter is the way it should behave. My question is; why does the red hard drive light stay on at times along with the green light and will not go off? Is this caused by the power supply on the hard drive? I can't figure out why the red hard drive light does not go off when it is supposed to. This is only an intermittant problem so far unless of course, I unplug the computer from the power source and then I have to wait for an several minutes before the computer will start. This condition is certainly not normal.

This computer is a Gateway 510S and about 7 1/2 years old with windows XP. Has anyone else had a problem like this? I am about read to buy a $40.00 power supply which I believe may be causing the problem. Does anyone disagree with this analogy? I would like to keep this computer until 2014 when the Microsoft Updates for XP runs out. By the way, I do not have any tools to check the power supply out. If some one can just give me an educated guess on this or maybe some of you may have had this type problem in the past.

Edited by hamluis, 14 August 2012 - 09:48 AM.
Moved from XP to Internal Hardware - Hamluis.


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#2 Artrooks

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 12:08 PM

Hello wayne937,

A failing power supply is always a possiblity.

1 ) To help us get a better look at your computer hardware, please follow the instructions below to "Publish a Snapshot" of your system using Speccy.
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic323892.html/page__p__1797792#entry1797792

Below is for those who cannot get online:
  • Please take caution when attaching a text file to your post if you cannot copy/paste the link, per above instructions. You will need to edit the text file to make sure that your Windows Key is not present.

2 ) Because the desktop is 7 1/2 years old, you might want to unplug the A/C from the tower, remove the side panel and inspect the motherboard. Look specifically at all the capacitors (small, rectangular canisters, attached verically on the motherboard, concentrated near the CPU/Fan). Their tops should be flat (not bulging) and there should be no sign of leaking (dry powdery substance).
See illustrations of bad capacitors - Capacitor plague then arrow down to "Computer symptoms."


3 ) With the computer side off, if you haven't cleaned out the dust in a while, give it a good cleaning -- See this video.

Awaiting your Speccy Snapshot.

Regards,
Brooks



 


#3 wayne937

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:35 PM

Artrooks, the information to this computer is located here: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/PUzNlyasUEJajdipHgZAq6y
I have not had time to check the capacitors yet. I do know what bad capacitors look like as I just replaced 4 bad capacitors in my 5 year old LG computer a few weeks back. Let me know if you need anymore information.

#4 Artrooks

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 06:38 PM

wayne937,

I was hoping that the Speccy Snapshot would give the motherboard voltages, but I guess the board is too old.

The best test would be to swap in a known good power supply (PSU) and test; most of the time easier said than done. My guess is either the motherboard or the PSU. Has the CMOS battery ever been replaced?

Regards,
Brooks



 


#5 wayne937

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:25 PM

Artrooks, firstly I will give the capacitors on the motherboard a good visual inspection for any bulging or discoloration. If I don't find any bad capacitors I will order a new power supply. Do you think there is any possibility it could be in my hard drive?

One more question. What is the best way to uninstall Speccy? Do I need to do this through the add/remove program? Thank you so much for your help.

#6 Artrooks

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 09:08 PM

Hello,

Do you think there is any possibility it could be in my hard drive?


Your hard drive SMART data looks fine. The drive is a Western Digital HD. My guess is that it is OK; however, it's easy enough to test by making a bootable CD should you wish.

Follow this link , arrow down, and download "Diag504fCD.iso."

Quick reference: Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for DOS

  • Burn the "Iso" image to a CD.
  • Don't know how or can't burn an "Iso" image?
  • Download ImgBurn from here.
  • Install the software then start ImgBurn.
  • Select "Write Image file to disk" then under "Source" click on the "folder icon" Posted Image to the right and select the "iso" file location.
  • Click on this icon to "Start." Posted Image
  • Restart your computer with the Diagnostic Disk. (For how to set CDROM drive to boot first, go here)
  • Press ESC and then "Y" to accept the agreement.
  • Your drive should be listed to the right. If you have more than one hard drive, highlight Select Drive and then make a selection.
  • At Main Menu, highlight Quick Test, press <Enter>, and then "R" to start the test. Hopefully it will report "Test Completed Without Errors;" otherwise, please note any errors.
  • Press ESC to return to Main Menu, arrow down and select Extended Test (this test could take several hours).
  • Note message: We recommend that you back up your data before proceeding, then press "R" to start the test or Escape (ESC) to return to Main Menu.
  • If given the option to repair the drive, allow it but ONLY if you have backed up all important data on the drive.
  • Any reported errors in either test should make you suspect a failing hard drive.

Speccy can be removed via Control Panel -> Add and Remove programs.

Regards,
Brooks



 


#7 wayne937

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 09:42 PM

Thanks for all your information, Artrooks. I found a power supply for $40.00 online. I may just go ahead and order it and see if that takes care of the problem after I check the capacitors. If this does not help, I will do the rest of what you suggested.

#8 Artrooks

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 07:00 AM

Good luck. :)

Regards,
Brooks



 


#9 wayne937

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 11:10 AM

Artrooks, I want to give you an update on my problem. I took the side panel off the computer this AM and I found a leaking capacator near the CMOS circuit. This is most likely the cupprit that is stopping my computer from going into a normal boot. I do not have any problems what so ever when the computer is turned on-it only gives me this problem on startup. Probably next week if I get a chance I will take my motherboard out and replace the bad capacitor. Thank you again for all you help.

#10 Artrooks

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 01:31 PM

Thanks for the update.

Regards,
Brooks



 


#11 red_devil028

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 02:26 PM

hello wayne, good idea maybe just buy new motherboard cpu and RAM, this pc seems to be old ((socket 478 and we are at 1155)), if one of the capacitors has been leaking, there is a chance that some hardware might have also suffered some damage.
Current systems: CM STACKER Custom PC / MSI CX 620 / ACER Z5751 Touchscreen

Current role: PC Technician @ Computrac Belgium - Specialisation: Hardware.

#12 wayne937

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 02:53 PM

red-devil028, thanks for the advice. I can put in a new capacitor for aroound $3.00 or less as I will be doing the work myself. I don't want to put much more money into an old computer. This computer has served me well for the past 7 1/2 years but I plan on retiring it on or about April 8, 2014. This is the date when Microsoft is going to cease putting out anymore updates for windows XP with SP3. I have 2 other computers, one with Vista and one with windows 7 so I am in good shape.

#13 wayne937

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 05:43 PM

Artrooks, I wanted to let you know I took the motherboard out of my computer today and replaced the bad capacitor. It was a 2200 MF 10 volt capacitor. I just happened to have that particular capacitor left from where I had orderd several of them to fix my LG television that had bad capacitors. I will give it 2 or 3 days to see if I have any more problems. If so, I will replace the power supply. I have a sneaky feeling I will be replacing the power supply as well. If I have to replace it, I already have a place on line to order it from. I really did appreciate your help.

#14 Artrooks

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 07:04 AM

We appreciate the continued update.

Regards,
Brooks



 


#15 wayne937

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:18 AM

Artrooks, sorry I am so late in getting this posted. I just put in a new power supply yesterday. It seems that this has taken care of my problems. The computer starts up right away now. I want to thank you for all your help in getting me headed in the right direction. Thank you again.




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