PC No Start


Old 11-22-03, 10:47 PM
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PC No Start

Basically, the black screen comes up, the it will read that it's recognizing the processor (800 MHz Duron), then it goes no further. I can't get into the BIOS or anything.

Sometimes it will go a bit further and say "Detecting IDE drives...." but then it stops there.

It's been doing this for a while and sometimes I'll just unplug it for a while, then turn it on and it will work. And it works just fine after it has started.

My feeling is the motherboard is dead. However, my resources are pretty low right now in fixing it, so I want to be as sure as possible about what's wrong before I buy new parts.

Any other possibilities as to what might be causing this?


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Old 11-23-03, 01:23 AM
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My guess is that I would draw your attention to the bios. The moderators will be responding to your message soon. Give them alittle more information. For example, What did you do on the computer before this ever happend, after it happened what do you do in order to try and get it going. For example, are you trying to get into safe mode when your computer does startup right to fix problems, that sorta thing. Tell them about any new programs you have installed on this computer. Tell them if you opened any attachments in a email or surfed anywhere on the web where you might of gotten a virus. If you ran a program recently to update your bios? These are questions you can answer for them and they will be able to help you better.
Old 11-23-03, 03:51 AM
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PC No Start

Is this a problem that has just started or are you building a new computer? If it is an existing system how old is it? What make is this system? This info will help us find a possible fix.

Have you recently been making any changes in the BIOS or have you added any new hardware, memory etc? One thing to try is to remove and reinstall all the cards plugged into the motherboard as well as the ram. I just went through this same thing on a system and it was cleared up by reseating Ram modules. Be sure to unplug computer before doing this.
Old 11-23-03, 10:17 AM
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It sounds like it could be a heat issue, or as mentioned, a RAM issue. Answer some of the questions posted above and we'll go from there.

Good luck!
Old 11-23-03, 10:29 PM
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To take a stab in the dark

I would make sure all of the connections inside the machine are tight and not jossled, Especially your RAM.

It could be any number of things but, with behavior like turning itself off sometimes but not all the time makes me think there is something wrong with the power stream, I would also check to make sure inside the case (turned of and unplugged of course) that there is nothing metal touching other metal on the Mother board that isn't something that is plugged into it, like a lose wire or a lose screw, this type of thing would cause a short and potentially not all the time.

Often people think thier Motherboard is to blame when really it is the powersupply, if the motherboard doesn't get clean consisntent power it can fail to work propperly.

You might consider your power supply it is something capable of malfunctioning like what you have described, is a pretty cheap fix ($30.00 from Comp USA or Best buy) and if it doesn't fix your problem is refundable with at most $4.00 for restocking (Comp USA) $ 0.00 (Best Buy).

You are going to want to make sure that you get the right 'type' (ATX or AT) power supply and with a wattage that is sufficient to handle powering all the hardware your systems runs. I would guess that a 800 mhz Duron system could run on a 250+ Watt ATX power supply.

If you have never replaced a power supply it is a very easy project.

1. : Remove cord (unplug from both the wall and the case)

2: Open the case and unplug all connectors from each connection in the case, on a piece of paper noting which item used which type of plug

3: Remove the 4 screws that bolt it to the case (you will see these by looking at the computer from the back where all your input plugs are, then just simply pull the supply out, BE careful when you remove the last screw they have a tendancy to want to fall onto your other components so it may be wise to turn the machine on it's side.

4: Put the new one in and screw the 4 screws in, close case connect power cords and turn it on.

Supply more information about specifics of the problem, Have you made any hardware modifications in the recent past since this problem started happening?

Last edited by veritech; 11-23-03 at 10:40 PM.
Old 11-23-03, 11:09 PM
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My feeling is the motherboard is dead
If the motherboard were dead, it would not POST, and you would not see "Detecting IDE...."

If the computer is reasonably new, reseat all the cards and RAM. If it is a couple of years old or so, replace the power supply. 300 watts at a minimum.

I have to agree it sounds to be a power problem. Reseating all the cards is cheap, and may solve the problem.

Hope this helps.
Old 11-24-03, 12:52 AM
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Another possibility is the hard drive is going south. They do some weird things sometimes.
Old 11-24-03, 05:31 PM
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Thank you, everyone. I felt I should probably given more info when I first posted, but did not know what quite yet.

This PC is about 3 years old, it is a generic system with a k7sem (or ecs elitegroup?) motherboard. 40 gig IBM Deskstar HD
I haven't done anything weird to the computer lately. A few months back, I put in a DVD-RW drive, but I haven't used it yet, except to watch a few DVDs. I replaced the power supply more than six months ago.

It does have a connection to the internet, but I don't use it for surfing or email, so I doubt a virus is to blame.

As for safe mode, I can't get far enough to get into safe mode.

I haven't updated the bios at all.

I HAVE thought about a possible heat issue. I keep this machine running inside a large metal cabinet. As long as it has started properly, it runs just fine. But I imagine if it's too hot, it may have trouble staring up.

Thanks again, everyone. I'm going to try reseating everything, and then see what happens.
Old 11-24-03, 08:16 PM
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I reseated everything, powered it on, and it worked fine. I restarted at least once, and it was fine. Then the 3rd or 4th time I restarted, same problem as before - it hangs on recognition of the CPU, or on detecting IDE drives.

As far as the heat issue goes, I don't know. I have the side cover off. It is inside the cabinet, but the doors are wide open. It was running for less than 30 minutes, so I doubt it got too hot.

I forgot to say before, I have a PCI TV tuner card in it too (Aver TV).
Old 11-25-03, 03:48 AM
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PC No Start

A couple of other things you might check.

Is the CPU fan running and is the fan on the power supply running?

Is the heat sink on the CPU clogged with dust?

Since you said you recently replaced the power supply it would seem that we could rule that out.

One thing you can try would be to remove all the cards plugged into the Motherboard except the video card. see if it starts that way as you could have a problem with a card. You might want to boot to a floppy so that windows does not have to redetect the cards once you reinstall them. Be sure to put them back in the same slot.

I staill worry about RAM module seating. I have just repaired two machines with the same symptoms as yours.

On one ,I had to remove the RAM module and used a soft eraser, cleaned all the contacts, as they were quite tarnished. That system hung right after detecting CPU and would only start up once every ten times I powered it up. After cleaning pins on Ram module and all the other circuit cards the machine is still working fine.

Thers is one othe issue but will wait to see how you make out with these suggestions befor bringing that up.

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