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Takes several attempts for pc to actually "turn on"


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#1 moomyo94

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 03:29 AM

Hi guys! I tried searching around for a topic similiar to this but couldnt find anything. Hopefully you guys can help me out.

My PC recently has become very sluggish, the front USB ports have also stopped working. The back ones work perfectly. The major problem is, when I turn it on, well, it won't. I press the power button and all the lights come on and you can hear the fan, but nothing happens. If i turn it off and keep trying usually by the 4th or 5th attempt the computer will make that beep sound and it will start to boot. Its not too bad of a problem because I can eventually get it started, its just a hassle. I've scanned for viruses etc using MAM in safe mode and a variety of toher things and there is no infections, so i have come to the conclusion its a hardware issue.

I appreciate any help you can provide! Thanks :)

P.S its a 4 year old PC

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#2 Kevin384

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 04:27 AM

Hi,
I think that the first question that must be asked, seeing that the machine is 4 years old - when was it last serviced (dust removed, fans and CPU Cooler cleaned) etc?

It is very important that the interior of the machine sould be kept dust free, as this will cause overheating and deterioration of the components if not cleaned out periodically. There are many turorials on line and, if I'm not mistaken, here on BC as well. See a good link for acomplishing this here on how to accomplish this.

This needs to be your first step, before we start looking at other possibilities!

Regards,
Kevin

Edited by Kevin384, 06 February 2013 - 04:27 AM.


#3 Kevin384

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 05:46 AM

Hi,
I think that the first question that must be asked, seeing that the machine is 4 years old - when was it last serviced (dust removed, fans and CPU Cooler cleaned) etc?

It is very important that the interior of the machine sould be kept dust free, as this will cause overheating and deterioration of the components if not cleaned out periodically. There are many turorials on line and, if I'm not mistaken, here on BC as well. See a good link for acomplishing this here.

This needs to be your first step, before we start looking at other possibilities!

Regards,
Kevin

#4 Nanobyte

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:59 PM

If there is a fault that clears after a few attempts, it would be very difficult to identify. From what you have described, the PC is only operating the MB/BIOS during the false starts so system infections will not be in play. No beeps either. There is an endless supply of procedures for this sort of problem if you google. One typical guide I found by googling "pc fails to boot up test procedure" is this one from HP. There may be something somewhere in BC forums, anyone? If you do a hard reset, change the battery while you are at it. You should work through some of the basic steps - your problem being intermittent complicates things.

Re: generally slow performance, there is a pinned thread on that subject in the Operating Systems/XP forum, some of which may be relevant regardless of your OS. It's impossible to say if that is related to your startup issue.

#5 moomyo94

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 10:02 PM

Sorry about the late reply.
Thanks to everyone who responded. I have honestly never cleaned the PC so I will be doing that today.

I have tried a variety of methods found on google (even the HP one you linked). I've also done alot of simple clean ups, defragging etc for performance but all to no avail.

#6 Mechanoid2k

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 11:57 PM

This sounds very similar to a problem I had recently, so I'll start by asking this : when you turn on your computer you say it lights up and the fan goes but nothing happens, When you start your computer successfully do you notice the fans are much louder than they would be if it didn't start successfully?

I figured out that this problem is caused by a burnt out power supply, for a couple years i was running a graphics card on a power supply that simply could not handle it, my computer was 5 or 6 years old and at the time i thought you could just slap any graphics card in and it was good to go. Not so it would seem, graphics card boxes and manuals have power ratings on them and if the graphics card sucks up too much power you can burn out the power supply.


Edited by Mechanoid2k, 10 February 2013 - 12:03 AM.


#7 Mechanoid2k

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 12:02 AM

And I'd also like to add that having to start your computer on the 4th or 5th time is indeed a hassle, but one day it will fail. I always left my computer on because of how hard it was to start, and one day i wasn't home and my mother shut the computer off. Unfortunatly she left it and it froze, when I got home and saw it i quickly powered it off manually. After that every time I tried to start it up i got an unsuccessful startup. I kept the computer around for about a week and a half trying to start it every day to no avail.



#8 Kevin384

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 02:11 AM

Hi Again,

As an adendum to all the posts, (sorry about the double post earlier BTW)  once you have physically cleaned your box out, I suggest that you remove all of your RAM modules, as well as any PCI and PCIe cards and clean the contacts. I normally use a plastic eraser to do this, and then wipe them off lightly with a lint free cloth just to remove any dust that may have accumulated on them.

 

Reseat all the cards, and try to restart again.

 

I agree with Mechanoid2k that this could also be power supply related,

 

Nanobyte also has it right in suggesting that you replace the button battery on your motherboard. After doing this, you would normally have to reset your bios settings, so before you do that, make a note of the existing settings in the bios before you do repalce the battery.



#9 Mechanoid2k

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 03:04 AM

Well we can basically narrow it down to 3 options for him.

A. Dirt collected in his computer (Personally I dismiss this one, as a former dust collecter, I've never seen any amount of dust render a computer useless)

B. Something is wrong with his BIOS ( I know very little about bios so I can't give any advice on that)

C. Hardware problem (and more specifically a psu, and I stand behind the problem being a power supply as his symptoms are identical to what mine were, and when I went searching for the answer there was very little information on the subject and my amateur independant research came to the conclusion that it was the power supply)

Granted my advice is purley anecdotal since I base it on my own experience, but I would definetly put down 10 bucks that its the power supply.



#10 Kevin384

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 03:36 AM

@Mechanoid2k

 

I am in full agreement with you on this. I have experienced the same problem with my niece's machine, but in the same breath I have to say that, after replacing the PSU, there were still problems, specifically with a heavy accumulation of dust on the CPU cooler fins, and also on the RAM slots.

 

Admittedly, her PC would not start before the replacement of the PSU, but we still encountered the same problem as moomyo94 (4-year old machine, possibly not properly maintained because the owner was not advised properly) until the dust was cleaned out.

 

This was mainly because, with the dirt on the cooler, the CPU was reaching thermal shutdown within seconds of trying to start the machine - just cleaning the cooler led to perfect startup every time!

 


This is why my first recommendation will always be to clean the box out first, as it may save the user some unnescessary expenditure.

 

Regards,

Kevin


Edited by Kevin384, 10 February 2013 - 03:38 AM.


#11 Mechanoid2k

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 03:57 AM

I knew computers when overheated will shut down, especially when dust is added to the equation, I just had no idea that dust could make it happen so fast, I've seen a thermal shutdown happen but it was after an hour or so of gaming. So....Yeah I guess moomyo clean your box (dirty joke intended) and if that doesn't work start checking around for PSU's.

[next paragraph is personal advice and my opinion, Don't take it as law]


And if it is your PSU my suggestion before running out and buying a new power supply is to check out craigslist and other classifieds for your city, you can probably pick up a really sweet gaming rig for very little money. Even if the gaming computer is 2 years old it will still run anything you throw at it. Consider most PC games now are ports of the console version. Consoles don't need 8 core processors and 64gb of ram to run. If PC games gave people an incentive to owning hardware that is 10x more advanced than a console these new 8 core PC's would be selling like hotcakes, Instead people run borderlands 2 on hardware that is increadibly more advanced than their xboxes or ps3's. So what I'm saying is if you do end up with a burnt power supply check for good deals on second hand gaming computers, and don't feel like you need something top of the line you'll only have hardware that your not using to its potential



#12 Mechanoid2k

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 04:10 AM

I don't know if links are allowed on the forums but here goes

http://www.amazon.com/Power-800W-SATA-PCIe-Black/dp/B001M5DSNI

$40 power supply 800 watts, really all you should need

though if you go with my advice on a second hand gaming console it will cost you more than 40 bucks but you'll have a better chipset, and if it was custom built you know the person put at least some time and effort into making an awesome computer.

Where I live most really really good second hand gaming computers cost around $350, they crazy stuff is around $750 and for $1,000 and over you can get a computer that has hardware that is WAY over-qualified to do what you want.

So for $350 for a complete setup thats pretty good. Or you can be sold a cheap, weak $500 dollar computer from futureshop from a sales rep who doesn't know what he's talking about (this happened to me as well, the person at futureshop didn't inform me i would need a power supply to handle the card, and lo and behold it burned it)

EDIT: Not only did it burn out my PSU the graphics card is also burnt out too.

i had a 2005 stock HP a1410n 300w PSU running a Nvidia 250 gts. The power supply was 300w and the card required 345w, so for all my other hardware i imagine it needs about 100w to 150w so i should have used a PSU somewhere around 500w. The fact that i used it as a fully functioning gaming computer for 3 or 4 years before it became a problem is the real head scratcher for me.

Now I have a stock HPxw9400 workstation 800w power supply with Nvidia Quadro FX CAD graphics card. Got it for 200 bucks used, some people say you can't game on a CAD graphics card but i can run dead island (A game i would consider "graphically taxing") perfectly so you can definitely game with a CAD graphics card


Edited by Mechanoid2k, 10 February 2013 - 04:21 AM.


#13 Kevin384

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 04:52 AM

Dust shouldn't normally cause too much of a problem if you keep on top of it, but when it accumulates over 4 years, it most certainly can. As you have no doubt noticed, I live in Durban, South Africa, and one our greatest enemies in the computer world is humidity, whch is almost always aound 90%.

 

Combine this with dust, and you will have what might be alluded to as mud collecting on your components if you don't keep the dust under control - I have just cleaned out my rig after purchasing a new box 3 MONTHS ago and noticing a temperature increase in my CPU and GPU!! (the box is a Corsair CARBIDE series 500R with multiple fans).

 

I do agree that purchasing anoher machine is a good idea, but a second hand machine may not have been maintained as it should be - it would be wise to confirm with the seller that it has been properly maintained, and cleaned as necessary to provide optimum performance.

 

As for using a CAD graphics card for gaming - you absolutuely can. The thing here is that a CAD card is a super-performance card intended for professional designers and has a way better spec than any consumer graphics card out there!

 

The problem with this, is that a CAD card is very expensive and any gamer IMHO will not pay for a graphics that will cost him more than the rest of his rig, including the best possible perpherals, put together!!

 

You got a bargain with your rig at that price!


Edited by Kevin384, 10 February 2013 - 04:53 AM.


#14 Mechanoid2k

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 05:08 AM

You're right I never considered the humidity, Everyone in my house smokes and the nicotine mixes with the dust to make this dense substance similar to the insulation in attics. This stuff gets dense and i live in a mountainous region in Canada, definitely not affected by high moisture.

I know It's expensive but have you considered a liquid cooling system? I imagine with less fans there would be less area for the "mud" to collect.

Also when i read the word mud i stopped and thought of just how hot that could make a computer, My conclusion is that it can make a computer very hot.

And you're correct I got an awesome deal on this rig. Sometimes I feel guilty that I have this awesome graphics card that can do all these cool things and all I use it for is gaming. Further evidence that you don't need top of the line hardware for games.



#15 Kevin384

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 06:08 AM

I have looked at liquid cooling on a number of occasions, but had decided against it for a number of reasons. (One being that my old box wouldn't have accomodated it)

 

I specifically chose my new box, because the fans are actually exhaust fans, that suck all of the stuff away from the components, but on further consideration, it turns out that it is actually pulling more dust into the box, supplied filters notwithstanding.

 

I will look again at liquid cooling again, as this box is designed for it, and the Corsair stuff is not that expensive, considerding.

 

Thanks for the suggestion.






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