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HP desktop (DX5150) shuts down during OS boot


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#1 mh1983

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 04:51 PM

Hi all,

 

I'm at a loss here and have been troubleshooting for over a week. I'm hoping some folks on this forum can help me out.

 

I have an older system (DX5150 micro tower) that will sporadically shut down at the point when the OS starts to boot -- currently I have XP, but this happened with a bunch of Linux distros that I tested to. I've lost count of how many clean installs I've done and am at my wits end with this problem. It's like somebody cuts the power from the system -- no beeps or red lights or anything. I can't even turn the system back on until I unplug the PSU cable for 5 minutes or so then plug in again.

 

My first response was to strip out extra hardware and peripherals to see if I could isolate the problem. I removed all but one memory stick, removed my Geforce video card (using onboard ATI now), unplugged all but the necessary keyboard/mouse peripherals. I tried to reinstall Linux Mint a few times but noticed that my system would power down no matter what (boot DVD or USB stick).

 

I decided to backpedal and give Windows XP reinstallation a go. To my delight, the install worked perfectly from a boot DVD, and for a day or so I was happily up and running with an OS again (even if it's a dead one). I shut down my system after some testing/updates. Later in the day, I booted it up again; the system shut down during OS boot again.

 

I've tried everything I can think of, short of replacing the PSU (Antec 500W -- only 3 years old) or motherboard. I will say I can boot into Safe Mode (with or without networking), so I'm starting to think that it's something to do with software or drivers -- but again, I have a clean install and made sure to install the newest drivers.

 

I've checked cables, swapped cables, reapplied thermal paste on the CPU, reseat the CPU fan, blew dust out of the tower, to no avail. I even tried to downgrade the BIOS firmware by a version. I can still use the system now (safe mode), but I'm wary about whether the issue is resolved.

 

Sorry for the long post. I'm rambling, but wanted to provide some detail and context. If any of this sounds familiar or it's obvious that I'm missing something in my troubleshooting, please let me know. I really hope I've just been overthinking this and there's an obvious oversight on my part, but the realistic part of me is thinking my system is probably on the way out. :(

 

Any help is appreciated, and let me know if I can provide more specific specs or details about what I've tried so far.

 

Thanks in advance!!


Edited by hamluis, 02 September 2014 - 05:14 PM.
Moved from XP to Internal Hardware - Hamluis.


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#2 Hobb

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 08:37 AM

It may be worth trying a new PSU or if you have a spare try that. Also try replaceing the Cmoss battry on the motherboard. If it is not that then i am at a loss, you seem to have done everything that i would have done.

 

                All the best,

                               hobb.



#3 mh1983

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 08:44 AM

Thanks for your reply and suggestions, Hobb, appreciate them. I'm glad the steps I've taken are similar to what you'd try.

 

I forgot to say in my original post that I replaced the CMOS battery, too. Sorry about forgetting that detail; I've tried so many troubleshooting steps and diagnostics that they're all running together! :)

 

More tidbits, just in case it helps: I ran all scans and "fix all" from Seatools on the HDD. The drive has no errors. I also ran chkdsk /R and that showed no errors.

 

I'm thinking the PSU is the culprit, too. Worst case scenario, it's the mobo, I guess, but I'm still baffled as to why I'd be able to boot into the XP install disc and safe without any shutdowns, but other boot disks (Linux installs, specifically) and XP regular mode shut the computer down and cut the power. Baffling.

 

I don't have a spare PSU but I'll see if I can find something to test. For now, I opened a ticket with Antec (the PSU is an Earthwatts EA-500). Will update on the progress when I hear anything. Meanwhile, appreciate any other suggestions people may have.

 

Thanks again!



#4 zingo156

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 10:28 AM

Sounds like a psu to me however:

 

This particular model's motherboard was plagued with bad capacitors, open the computer case and look for blown or bulging capacitors on the mainboard and video cards etc examples: https://www.google.com/search?q=bulging+or+blown+capacitors+motherboard&noj=1&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=Iz_YU6aDLsS2yASnjoKwAQ&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=1031&bih=603 please report any caps you suspect may be bad, you can take a picture and post here if you are unsure.


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#5 mh1983

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 10:39 AM

Sounds like a psu to me however:

 

This particular model's motherboard was plagued with bad capacitors, open the computer case and look for blown or bulging capacitors on the mainboard and video cards etc examples: https://www.google.com/search?q=bulging+or+blown+capacitors+motherboard&noj=1&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=Iz_YU6aDLsS2yASnjoKwAQ&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=1031&bih=603 please report any caps you suspect may be bad, you can take a picture and post here if you are unsure.

 

Thanks for the suggestion, zingo. Looks like I have two bad capacitors after all. :( See the following image (sorry about quality):

 

33a85y8.jpg



#6 mh1983

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 10:45 AM

Just checked my vid card and the capacitors are looking good! I'm guessing the mobo's toast, unless I want to get into soldering? 



#7 zingo156

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 10:56 AM

Those caps are definitely bad, also it looks like some of the others are bulging a bit as well. The 2 you have circled are blown.

 

Not always do bad capacitors cause problems but eventually they will. It is still possible the power supply is the problem however being that you do have bad capacitors I would recommend replacing the computer rather than repair. Your hard drive is likely still fine so data could be migrated to a new machine.

 

You can replace caps by soldering if you want. I have done it several times. In some cases it fixed the issue, in others it did not. It takes a fair bit of soldering knowledge to replace components without damaging traces. If you have the experience I would say go ahead and try, just order caps that match the original caps specifications.

 

EDIT: I try to use Japanese caps when I can, they are a bit more expensive but they rarely if ever fail.


Edited by zingo156, 03 September 2014 - 11:02 AM.

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#8 mh1983

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 12:02 PM

Those caps are definitely bad, also it looks like some of the others are bulging a bit as well. The 2 you have circled are blown.

 

Not always do bad capacitors cause problems but eventually they will. It is still possible the power supply is the problem however being that you do have bad capacitors I would recommend replacing the computer rather than repair. Your hard drive is likely still fine so data could be migrated to a new machine.

 

You can replace caps by soldering if you want. I have done it several times. In some cases it fixed the issue, in others it did not. It takes a fair bit of soldering knowledge to replace components without damaging traces. If you have the experience I would say go ahead and try, just order caps that match the original caps specifications.

 

EDIT: I try to use Japanese caps when I can, they are a bit more expensive but they rarely if ever fail.

 

Thanks Zingo. I think I may have to cut my losses unfortunately, because I have zero soldering knowledge. Shame, as it's been an otherwise reliable rock of a system, but I guess they're not built to last!
 

Great support, by the way, guys. I'm glad I signed up here!



#9 zingo156

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 12:33 PM

It is always tough to let something go. Computers are designed to last for only a few years it seems. Getting 5 years or more out any system is above average as far as retail built desktops go. Custom pc's with good cooling last longer.

Generally it is heat that kills components. Frequent cleaning/dusting helps significantly (I do this at least 2 times a year) and also a larger case with more airflow helps. Those smaller form factor computers always had higher instances of bad caps compared to the identical motherboard in a larger case with better cooling.


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#10 mh1983

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 02:52 PM

It is always tough to let something go. Computers are designed to last for only a few years it seems. Getting 5 years or more out any system is above average as far as retail built desktops go. Custom pc's with good cooling last longer.

Generally it is heat that kills components. Frequent cleaning/dusting helps significantly (I do this at least 2 times a year) and also a larger case with more airflow helps. Those smaller form factor computers always had higher instances of bad caps compared to the identical motherboard in a larger case with better cooling.

 

So true. Happily, this refurb DX5150 gave me 5 solid years of medium to heavy use, so it doesn't owe me anything.

 

I'll definitely make cleaning dust a more regular habit and will keep your points about larger case and airflow in mind for the next build.






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