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Thread: PC won't boot, got me stumped!?!?

  1. #1
    Variable Bitrate quantum's Avatar
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    PC won't boot, got me stumped!?!?

    Hey all,

    I bought two of the PCs discussed in this thread and just received them today.

    Direct link to info/auction here.

    As they mentioned in the auction, it boots to BIOS, but that's about all it does, and I was wondering if somebody could help troubleshoot.

    Here's what I get:

    Push the power button, sometimes it starts OK and goes to the BIOS screen. Other times it just starts to go (fan spins) then shuts down 5 seconds later, not even getting to BIOS. Both do the same thing. When (if) it gets to the BIOS screen, it will run great, with just the BIOS screen staring me in the face.

    No major heat coming off it, even after running for an hour (at BIOS screen)

    OK - Installed a few hard drives...known good drives

    WHEN it boots to BIOS, it wants to go that extra step to begin Windows, but the HD clicks off right at that moment (when Windows starts to load)and the whole thing shuts down. Never ever made it to Windows...

    I changed the BIOS battery, no better or worse.

    I thought maybe the RAM memory is shot? I got 2 of these units, they both do the same thing. Hard to believe both RAM sticks are bad, but possible?...

    So, I'm at a loss. What else can it be? I almost want to say it's something easy to fix, maybe a setting or something? It would be great if I can use 'em, spec-wize they look pretty suffient for a CarPC

    Your help is greatly appreciated.

    TY

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate
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    I am stuck at work right now and can't really look up too much in the way of specs right now-

    But I can believe 2 sticks of ram are dead or incompatible.
    Some systems are VERY picky about ram.

    Other possibilities-
    power issue: if the ac adapter/supply is insufficient, booting can be a problem. Make sure it is rated for the voltage and at LEAST the amperage/watts required.
    ide issue: I have seen onboard ide controllers have a dead channel or completely quit: testing this is fairly simple: boot with NO ide devices attached. If it works every time, you have an issue. If there are multiple channels (each channel supports 2 devices) try them one at a time.

    Not sure if any of that will help.

  3. #3
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    Did you find out what the problem is...or did you get it to boot up?
    Owner of three automotive franchises, specializing in electronics.

  4. #4
    And then I was mod. Tidder's Avatar
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    Could also be bad CPU. I've had problems like this before where replacing CPU fixed the issues. Try to boot off a CD and run memtest86. Do you have any processors lyin around to test with?

    Pretty strange that both units would exhibit the same behavior.
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  5. #5
    Variable Bitrate quantum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tidder View Post
    Could also be bad CPU. I've had problems like this before where replacing CPU fixed the issues. Try to boot off a CD and run memtest86. Do you have any processors lyin around to test with? Pretty strange that both units would exhibit the same behavior.
    That's what I'm thinking, both of them doing the exact same thing...

    What is this memtest86 you speak of? Do I do it without the HD plugged in?


    It looks like the memory is from the factory, not an add on or replacement, they are the same in both. Power Supply is OK, plenty of volts and watts and stuff there. CPU was a thought, but then again, both???

    I did notice the drives were marked "wiped" Is there any way they could have damaged the PC during the wiping process?

    Appreciate the ideas, guys, keep 'em coming!! Many thanks!

  6. #6
    And then I was mod. Tidder's Avatar
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    Can boot off of a floppy or CD if I remember correctly. Very good software based ram diagnostics. http://www.memtest.org/ And yes, you can do it without the HDD plugged in.
    Tidder

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  7. #7
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    Dead cpu is always possible- I have a few keychains to prove it.

    It is very rare for a dead or dying cpu to sometimes work though.
    Possible but rare.
    And I would say that two doing it is so improbable as to be unthinkable, really.
    I have only seen one, and once it did that kind of thing once, it was completely dead a few reboots later.

    eta- memtest is great, btw, and can be run from hd, cd, usb drive- just about anything bootable.

  8. #8
    And then I was mod. Tidder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogerdugans View Post
    It is very rare for a dead or dying cpu to sometimes work though.
    Possible but rare.
    And I would say that two doing it is so improbable as to be unthinkable, really.
    I've had a couple of CPUs that were just partially bad. Just a couple I can remember, had a Pentium 3 that wouldn't allow windows XP to be installed, kept saying something about file copy errors. Guessing part of the on-dye cache was fuxored up. (Dye? Die?) Also had a P4 that would cause random lockups and reboots.

    But I agree with you that it would be almost impossible for 2 to have the same problem, unless it was a problem with the mobo or manufacturer defect. I see a lot of these on ebay now with the same problems, will POST but won't do anything else from what I gather. Very odd indeed. I even found an ebay listing with 6 of them, all same issue. Bizarre.
    Tidder

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  9. #9
    Constant Bitrate
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    That is pretty weird...

    And I certainly don't claim to have seen it all.
    A lot, yes. rofl

    I even had one system that died after a power outage/surge:
    tried everything, swapped every part out, nothing.
    For laughs, I set it aside for 3 days with no power connected and before throwing it away tried ONE MORE TIME.
    Ran perfectly for another year or two.

    Anyway- my last-ditc attempt is usually to remove everything: parts, heatsinks, case, EVERYTHING, and test outside of the case, with the minimum of parts, checks for bad parts and something on the case grounding.

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