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dead computer (maybe)


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#1 OFFLINE   longgone

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 11:02 AM

I would like some troubleshooting info on this problem. Backround first, I was going throug my e-mail and out of the blue the machine decides to reboot (???), and it goes all the way back to the blank, black screen between the boot screens and the desktop screen and hangs there. Waited for a minute or two and nothing happened, clicked the reset button, machine rebooted and sounded like the NYC Philharmonic and moved into the case. It had more beeps than I have ever heard before, and it did not even go through the boot screens this time. I had the normal lights blink on the DVD rom and the CDRW but this time on the A drive the (use light) light came on, stayed on and I could hear the drive making a clicking sound. This same instance has happened twice before over the life span of this machine (about 3 years) and with each instance I removed the side panel and just made sure the floppy and ide cables were secure and tight and that seemed to cure the problem. At least until the next occurance, My question is, are these cables subject to becoming loose due to vibration from the air movement inside the case or is something else at play here. I have not yet opened it up to check the cables, I am making this post on the backup (second) machine. Would like some input/advice in this area,,  thank you in advance.
Dale

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#2 OFFLINE   Ed_P

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 11:14 AM

Dumb question, do you have a floppy in the floppy drive?  If so, remove it.  If not, try blowing the dust out of the drive, or suck it out with the vacuum cleaner.Devices do wear out, floppy drives included.  Maybe you need a new one.Another possibility is a virus.  There is at least one out that causes the pc to reboot on it's own.
Ed

#3 OFFLINE   nlinecomputers

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 11:18 AM

Continuous beeping is a sign of a bad power supply, motherboard, or keyboard.  I'd try replacing the Power supply first as that is often the cause of such things and borderline power problems can cause the random symptoms you are seeing.
Nathan Williams, N-Line Computers

How to kill a programmer:  Give him a shampoo bottle.  Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

#4 OFFLINE   longgone

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 11:27 AM

B) EdP/nlinecomputers,,,,,nothing in the A drive at all, haven't used it in a reallllll  long time.  The virus program that I run (actually two of them) V-catch and Panda do real well at catching them critters (I think). Panda has caught two infected intrusions in the past 3 weeks.  I will try the clean out process though, can't hurt.I failed to mention that the continous beeping (and other sounds) only happened that one time. I shut the machine off for awhile and restarted it and there were no beeps at all. I normally have one beep during the boot up process and this time (3 times really) there were no beeps at all. I had the power light on the computer and it was running but that was the extent of it. The monitor did not even come out of shutdown/standby mode. I do have spare power supplies, just not as large as this one is. The installed one is a 525w, could be over kill but there is a lot inside this case.
Dale

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#5 OFFLINE   nlinecomputers

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 11:40 AM

I stand by my what I said about the PSU.  If it is flakey you can have the problems you mention.  It might work months or years before failing enough to stop the system from working.  525 does sound large but if you have a lot then you need a lot.  I've got a 400 watt in my system and I need that much.
Nathan Williams, N-Line Computers

How to kill a programmer:  Give him a shampoo bottle.  Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

#6 OFFLINE   Ed_P

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 11:48 AM

To check out your power needs try this website.

Quote

I shut the machine off for awhile and restarted it and there were no beeps at all.
It could be a heat problem, either the PSU or the CPU.
Ed

#7 OFFLINE   Rons

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 01:35 PM

Like Nathan has mentioned, could be the P/S. Connect the old P/S -minus some toys - just to confirm that the P/S is at fault.  B) Let us know.

#8 OFFLINE   b2cm

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 05:19 PM

What's the brand/model of the motherboard, and the number/spacing of the beeps?

#9 OFFLINE   longgone

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 06:37 PM

b2cmthe mainboard is a Soltek (the specs are listed in my profile), and the one time that it beeped it was  like rapid fire on a .22 semiauto rifle.
Dale

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#10 OFFLINE   Gus K

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Posted 29 May 2004 - 08:20 AM

Have you opened it up yet?  Might be able to spot something as you blow it out and re-seat all your connections (power,  memory, PCI cards, cables).  Might be worth clearing the CMOS while you are at it.

#11 OFFLINE   longgone

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Posted 29 May 2004 - 11:42 AM

Update so far,,,,opened it up, did not see anything but made sure all the cables were in tight. Blew it out, vacuumed it out (cpu heatsink really dirty) wiped down everything I could get to without dis-assembly, it might come to that later. Turned it on with nothing attached except pwr cord, the result was one long "beep" at regular spacing, the "beep" lasts approx. 2-3 seconds, space between is about that also.  Shut it off, hooked up everything to it and tried it in the system. Turned it on and got a regular one PC band, rapid fire beeps continuing into at the end one long continous beep. There were actually 2 different series of beeps but it settled on the one that became one. Clicked on the reset button, it did that sequence and then all was quiet, no beeps, nothing. During this entire process the machine never once got far enough along in the boot sequence to bring up the Monitor from its standby (???) mode. All the internal fans are running (2 on the pwr supply, one on the CPU, one on the north bridge chip, one on the ram heat sinks, one on case back, one slot fan, and the fans attached to the two hard drives (one fan each)), and there  you have it so far.
Dale

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#12 OFFLINE   b2cm

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Posted 29 May 2004 - 03:36 PM

Try to ID the error beeps using the charts (AMI or Award) here:http://www.computerhope.com/beep.htm#3

#13 OFFLINE   Ed_P

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Posted 29 May 2004 - 04:08 PM

Quote

Turned it on with nothing attached except pwr cord, the result was one long "beep" at regular spacing, the "beep" lasts approx. 2-3 seconds, space between is about that also.
You need at least the keyboard.  Possibly the monitor too.  Everything else is optional.
Ed

#14 OFFLINE   longgone

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Posted 29 May 2004 - 07:30 PM

EdP,,,I did that after the first time I powered it up and got the evenly spaced beeps, I put it back on line into the system and that is when I got the   one  PC band. I have a list of the bios beep codes here but the link that  b2cm gave me is quick and from what it says it rougly could be ram so I will remove and then reseat and see what happens. Hope that cures it, if not then I'll just come back for more info .......     :)
Dale

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#15 OFFLINE   longgone

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Posted 31 May 2004 - 03:10 PM

Some more info on this ..  problem ..Dug out a trouble shooting guide and followed all it had to say. It has a segment called initial test which I used and it has the minimum of items in the machine ... one stick of ram, vide card (if no onboard video), CMOS jumper to normal, then energize the machine and the cpu fan should spin, should get the one beep and the monitor should come on.  Well the only thing that happened was the cpu fan came on, no beep, no monitor. This test is done without having anything hooked up except what I listed. The next step is to remove all the plug in cards, ram, ide cables, floppy cables and in the end the only things connected to the mainboard are the cpu/cpu heatsink/fan and the main pwr supply cord. From that you turn it on and the cpu fan should spin, mine does that. Went back an connected all that was disconnected, turned it on, no beep/beeps no monitor, but all the fans work great   B)  ;)  ... anyone got a suggestion, that I can try (well get a spare pwr supply tomorrow Nathan).
Dale

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#16 OFFLINE   b2cm

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Posted 31 May 2004 - 08:17 PM

Yes, try another power supply unit. (To rule out ps issues.)Try clearing the CMOS (set the short to CLEAR for at least 5 seconds, and return to NORMAL) and restarting with only the keyboard, video card and a memory stick.Check the monitor signal and power connections. Test the monitor on another computer. Change the memory stick. (To rule out bad memory.) Try it out on the other banks. (To rule out bad memory slot.)Change the video card with a PCI card on first expansion slot. (To rule out display controller issues.)

#17 OFFLINE   Ed_P

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Posted 31 May 2004 - 09:46 PM

And if all those things fail you can always remove a PCI card, insert a large metal ring half way into the open slot in the case then fill the case with cement and use it as a boat anchor.   ;)  :lol:
Ed

#18 OFFLINE   longgone

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Posted 31 May 2004 - 10:37 PM

b2cm/EdPb2cm,,,cleared the CMOS, did the single ram stick test (using the currently installed ram) and also with a spare stick, currently have two sticks PC2700/DDR333 in it (spare stick was PC2100/DDR266, using monitore with my second machine as I make this post,,   :D  :)  ,, don't have a spare  PCI video card laying around for that test. When I cleared the CMOS only thing in the machine was the ram, video card and cpu, did not have keyboard hooked up but after I did all I said in last post I still have no "boot" beep nor video display. I hope the pwr supply is the cause of this because I have several spares laying around of them.EdP,,,,, :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  ;)  :lol:
Dale

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#19 OFFLINE   greengeek

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Posted 31 May 2004 - 10:52 PM

:lol: Did you clean any dirt and dust from between the motherboard and the case?  Also make sure the motherboard isn't touching the case anywhere it shouldn't be.

#20 OFFLINE   b2cm

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 12:40 AM

Quote

Also make sure the motherboard isn't touching the case anywhere it shouldn't be.
Best done by moving the mainboard out of the casing, hooking it to the power supply and starting it up (a ball pen tip to ground the power on pins) with just the keyboard, video card and memory.

#21 OFFLINE   Ed_P

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 09:02 AM

Quote

a ball pen tip to ground the power on pins
Bent paper clips work too.  :lol:
Ed

#22 OFFLINE   b2cm

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 01:23 PM

So, Dale? Curious about the status of your motherboard.

#23 OFFLINE   longgone

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 02:19 PM

b2cm .......Wellllllll ......  don't give up on me  .... I have not  yet installed the  spare/reserve pwr supply ....  it is  a 450w unit. You might sa y I am not to enthralled about pulling everything out of the case to bench test it, but I know if I must then I shall. I did send an e-mail to the mfgr to see if they still have them or if they have a like replacement. This board is about 2-3 years old so I am not really holding my breath. I hope they have something as this board has  two  "dip" switches on it, one for the frequency multipler set and the other for the FSB set ...  but I have not yet received a reply. Probably sometime during this week I will do what has to be done.
Dale

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#24 OFFLINE   b2cm

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 03:15 PM

We are here with you.   :D Just keep us updated.If the power supply swap doesn't fix the problem, try other processor/FSB settings. Maybe underclocking your processor (using those dip switches) to 100 MHz (instead of 133).Joy's suggestion regarding a possible ground is also worth looking into.

#25 OFFLINE   longgone

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 05:06 PM

b2cm.....Thanks ... I need the moral support  ...  I would think though that if there were some sort of a ground like that it would short out and I should have gotten one of three things, smoke (bad), sparks (worse) or an explosion (mainboard is junk). The explosion being a capacitor, did that once already on a SOYO  board, do not want instant replay.
Dale

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