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Old 09-14-2009, 01:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Computer power working, but won't boot

Hi guys,

this post will be a little sparse, as I'm fairly new to diagnosing hardware concerns, so please bare with me.

System is xp based, about a year old, and I perform regular virus and spyware checks on it. I recently reformatted C: and re-installed my OS. Things have been working absolutely fine, then this morning, the problem occured.

When you hit the power on button, the fan activates and the lights all turn on, but the machine can't seem to boot. You can hear the hardrive whirring on and cutting out over and over again. The power lights on the front are also flickering along with the odd noises.

I figure this would be a good opportunity to crack the thing open and start learning how to do this stuff myself. If I mess things up too badly, so be it!

I know that's not a lot to work with, but are there any good ways to get started checking into things?

Thanks!
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer power working, but won't boot

reset cmos.

strip the computer down to just cpu, ram and vid card. See if you can get into bios.

Only have power into motherboard, should be two connections and video card if applicable.
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Old 09-15-2009, 11:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer power working, but won't boot

so after doing some poking around, turns out the pulsing is coming from the power supply. I've had these crap out before but they were just...dead. This one is still supplying SOME power, just sporadically and not enough to boot the machine, also it's internal fan isn't on.

Is there anyway to salvage this or is it time for a replacement?
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Old 09-15-2009, 03:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer power working, but won't boot

Junk the PSU. You can't work on them.
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Old 09-15-2009, 03:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer power working, but won't boot

Yep, a solid psu is only about 50 bucks, its not worth trying to repair it. Besides, depending on age, its probably only about 60% efficient.

Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Power Supplies probably enough for what you have.
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer power working, but won't boot

Thanks for the tips and the link; on that note, while I was trying to diagnose the problem, I followed one of the suggestions and reset the CMOS. IF/When I swap the PSU and it boots up properly, will I have to do any configuring in the BIOS? Other than resetting the system time of course...
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer power working, but won't boot

Swapping a PSU won't affect the BIOS. The CMOS battery should preserve the system time.
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer power working, but won't boot

Ok, so I swapped the PSU for a Corsair 550W (Brand new) and still no luck. The machine powers up, with all fans (cpu, heatsink etc) but doesn't boot and the lights on the front flicker at a steady chop. Also, you can hear the hardrive clicking at the same interval as the lights. Does this mean it's the HD and NOT the psu?
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer power working, but won't boot

Certainly sounds that way. You could try putting it into another machine as a slave drive.
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer power working, but won't boot

and last but not least...removed the HD and the blinking/clicking continues. So since the thing is basically stripped down to the psu and motherboard now; looks like the problem is there. Is there anyway to test if the motherboard is bad (other than the obvious fact that it's not working
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