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Intermittent PC booting up problem, advice sought.

Discussion in 'Computer Systems' started by Ged, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. Ged

    Ged Member

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    Hi,
    this PC has started to develop a start up problem which eventually works.

    It has happenened a few times recently but has been bad today, essentialy the PC has;
    1 Sat "beeping"
    2 Shown the graphics card info
    3 Done nothing

    after variables of resart and plug pulling it will eventually come back to life.
    Fortunately, I now have a USB HDD and I have backed up photo's, documents and driver downloads etc.
    I fully expect to take it to the shop but wondered if anyone has any ideas or a recommendation to a utilty which may help?
    On all occasions the HDD light hasn't blinked and I wonder if this is the problem?

    Thanks.
  2. DaveP

    DaveP Guest

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    The beeps should tell you what is wrong. Make a note of them and then do a search for POST Beep Codes.

    You sound like you don't want to take the lid off. If you do feel brave you could re-seat the memory for a start and check that your cards are all seated firmly in there slots.

    TBH though the beeps should tell you the problem
  3. Ged

    Ged Member

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    Hi Dave,
    the beeps aren't always present, sometime nothing happens other than the fan noise, nothing on the screen.
    I have downloaded a utity from the Maxtor site (mine is a 6L200PO), this required a floppy creating but it is ignored at start up. I don't mind flipping the lid but I haven't since it last was in the shop.
    Funinly, it has started to reboot OK, my suspiscions are with an intermittent faulty drive, fortunately the photos are backed up but it is a time consuming pain in the but.

    For info the beeps are approx each second and the M/B is a Shutle MK35V/MK35VN, any clues?
  4. tinoest

    tinoest Member

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    Have you told it to boot of floppy and start/boot? You should be able to select that in the bios.

    Why do you think its your hard drive?

    The Fans spining but no post suggest that your battery on your motherboard isn't remembering the settings correctly how long have you had the motherboard?
  5. DaveP

    DaveP Guest

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    I really don't think think the hard drive is the problem as it sounds like you don't get to see the bios screen - can you get into the bios? (usually press Delete as soon as you see the VGA screen.

    If you can ,you can change the boot sequence so that it boots from floppy first. Whilst there you may wish to have the order set to be floppy first, then CD-Rom and then the hard disk. This will help should you need to re-install the operating system at some point.
  6. Ged

    Ged Member

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    Thanks for the help guys, I don't want to start messing as I have the ability to destroy stuff, a bit of a Frank Spencer when it comes to this.

    As mentioned it is intermittent and has been OK this session of messing, I have finaly learned to back stuff up and bought the missus a Ged free laptop.

    The only reason I thought it was the drive was because it wasn't loading, regarding the PC it is about 2 years old and has spent all but 2-3 weeks plugged in.
  7. mjn

    mjn Active Member

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    when it beeps, 8 means dead VGA and continous beeps means dead memory, try with known good memory and vga card.
  8. Ged

    Ged Member

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    mjn,
    it eventually boots up, the beeps don't always happen. When you say 8 beeps and continuous is memory, could it be a faulty memory RAM, they were fitted a couple of months ago as the 512 had some faults, the guy fitted two 256 and had them on test when I went back to pick it up.
    Looking like I will have to keep backing up and take it back, it needs a new smaller case anyway.
  9. mjn

    mjn Active Member

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    It could be either, by the sounds of it.
  10. Ged

    Ged Member

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    Just been messing and swapped about these two new and the old RAM and it wouldn't start until I put the single old RAM into the slot on the right, put back the old RAM and it has started 5-10 consecutive starts.
    I am now left with the dilema of just leaving it alone, or, taking it to the shop with a working, intermittent fault.
    It leaves me wanting it to break once and for all.
  11. tinoest

    tinoest Member

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    Ged where do you live if its either near southampton or Norwich im happy to have a quick look at it. Sounds like a memery combatibilty problem to me. Shuttle are known for this problem at least that is the case with there sff's.
  12. Ged

    Ged Member

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    Thanks for the offer but I live in Manchester.

    I have decided to take it into the shop as the RAM was bought from them last time had it fixed, if that's it. Yesterday, it booted up quite alot until I left it off for a few hours, then the same old monkey business.

    We have had a small bedroom fitted out as a study and the case is too big, so going to go with a case upgrade, so it doesn't quite hurt so much and I can use the wife's laptop. Acronis True Image 8.0 has just arrived, must get to grips with it for my next round of PC disaster!
  13. Ged

    Ged Member

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    Sorry to ressurect this but after a trip to the shop all was well for a while and now it is back to not starting up first time. Various plug pulling and restarts senarios will get it going, some beeps then no beeps etc.

    Tried an old HDD which wouldn't get past the loading screen.
    Tried without the graphics card and the old RAM.

    The only constant is the fact that pulling the plug and restarting will get it going.

    The final thing I can think of is a reformat and not load any peripherals for a while to see if things go OK.

    Any ideas wellcome, plus how do I reformat the HDD? I have Windows XP upgrade over a 98SE disc.

    Forgot to mention that I will buy a new PC if this carries on and don't mind the chance it may break this PC.
  14. martian1

    martian1 Member

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    My pc has been poorly for a while and i am not fully convinced its better..basically after about a week of re-instal it bombs and no recovery was possible:mad:
    After about 6 installs i got a copy of hirens boot disc 7.7 [search for it ,its free] did a hard drive test and it was broken with bad sectors. So i got another drive but not before a new power supply as i thought this was problem. New drive in about a week and it seemed great..then one day i left pc for an our came back and it was at the boot screen..again no recovery possible. :mad: :mad:
    I thought hard drive dead but pc shop fixed it and i now have it running again :rolleyes: they told me to download a windows memory test utility from the windows site. I have done this and created a boot floppy which has tested memory and all is ok,i have also ran tests from hirens boot cd which has tested.
    Memory [to be sure 3 tests] ......All OK
    Hard drive........OK but i loaded old drive on as slave and seagate tool found bad sectors the tool fixed this so i am using it for back up until i get another.
    Motherboard...Some tests were over my head but generally ...All ok
    I ran a stress test...All ok!
    I have now left the side of my case off for a while as since i have added a Radeon 9800pro and i Audigy sound card things are getting cluttered in there!
    I am hoping failures are heat related ventilation in case is pretty crap so if all runs well for a month i will modify case to improve this.
    As a safeguard i have used hirens tools to clone my drive i never done this before but if this sounds right i have cracked it.
    On my new drive C: i have original operating system and on backup slave drive D: i have the clone, to test i booted into bios and changed boot order disabling new drive [HDD-0] and enabling old drive [HDD-1] all seems good.Hopefully if it goes tits up again i can just boot from clone drive rather then re-install from scratch again.
    I know cloning to a dodgy drive isn't the greatest idea but its only temporary until i can get a new drive.Hope this helps someone :smashin:
    Oh..one more thing if you copied over 98 thats not good you need to re-format and install xp fresh!
    1.Enable boot from rom in bios
    2.put xp disc in rom drive and shut down.
    3. when asked to boot from rom press enter key
    4.let Windows load
    5.When prompted were to install select C:drive [unless you have 98 on a different drive then choose that!]
    6.you will be told its not good to install with an existing operating system and offered to re-format press the arrow keys to highlight drive [ensure you select the nfts file system] with 98 on and then press F key
    7.It will re-format then re-boot
    8.You will be guided through installing Windows xp
    • Thanks Thanks x 1

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