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Computer Having Posting Issues

Last response: in Systems
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June 26, 2008 7:56:36 PM

Hi All,

Well, I have having a small issue. This comp is slightly older. I have been thinking of doing upgrades to it, but I was going to wait for work to start. And right now, sorry for the length.

Current specs are:
Foxconn 945P7AA-8EKRS2 LGA 775 Intel 945P ATX Intel Motherboard
XFX PVT73GUGD3 GeForce 7600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Supported Video Card
Intel Pentium D 940 Presler 3.2GHz LGA 775 Dual-Core Processor Model BX80553940
CORSAIR XMS2 1GB (2 x 1024MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X204-8500
2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 ST3200826AS 200GB 7200 RPM SATA 1.5Gb/s Hard Drive
1x WD 400Gb SATA drive (got it has a gift, and my comp is currently running Memtest - only used for media storage)
Sony DVD-RW/CD-RW drive
TV Tuner by Leadtek
Antec TRUE330 330W ATX Power Supply

History:
My computer has always been running a little on the hot side. Mostly due to me being lazy and using the original thermal paste for the CPU and GPU. The other day I took the computer down and replaced the thermal paste on both the CPU and GPU using Arctic Silver 5. Worked great, overall temp of the computer dropped significantly.

A few days later the comp would not post. It took two reboots before it to finally boot. The next day (after being off all night) it locked up as soon as the blue wallpaper for Windows XP loaded up (the wallpaper that is default for the login screen) - no login prompt (it actually auto logs in).

Now yesterday, after being off all night, and all day, I get home at 11pm and go to turn my computer on. Takes me over 30 minutes to get it to post and boot. With this, I reset the BIOS, pulled HDs, re-set the video card. I DID NOT switch the ram around (though I am running Memtest-86 v3.4 right now).

I get it to finally boot and it runs fine till I shut it down (though all I did was watch TV and surf the web for about an hour).

This morning I go and turn the computer on (already knowing there is some kind of issue) and it will not post, yet again. I shut it down, reboot it, and it posts and boots up. I mess around a little, checking things out, and it works fine. Temperature is fine, etc (I cannot find the GPU temp anymore, one of the updates from nVidia I believe).

Once the computer boots up once it is usually fine. I can shut it down for a little bit, bring it back up. Occasionally it will not post again. If I leave it down for an extended period (like overnight) it takes a few trys to get it to boot up.

Thoughts:
The fan on the GPU is dieing. I know this, and noticed this yesterday. I currently have an external fan supplementing the video card fan, and it seems to help (though just the video card). Going down to Fry's to see if I can get a replacement fan kit.
Everything I have read on other forums is suggesting the PSU. Could it be that simple? I have another one in the house (same model, etc) that I could try, but the problem with this is that if the computer can finish booting, it will usually keep booting unless it stays off for a few hours.

Any thoughts? And if you do believe it is the PUS, any other way to test it? I already had a volt meter on it, and the only thing I noticed was that the +5V was on the low end, but still tolerable.

If it is the PSU, what do you suggest for a new one? I am planning on updating the comp to an Asus MoBo with a Core2Duo and 2x nVidia cards in SLI.

Any suggestions?

Thanks.
June 26, 2008 10:35:57 PM

Update:

Memtest has completed two passes (it is working on the third) and so far it is clean. So I am leaning towards the PSU as the problem.
June 26, 2008 10:46:12 PM

If you suspect the PSU... is there anyone nearby who's PSU you could gank for a quick test? If you're worried about overheating, you could always pull the ol' house fan in front of the case trick.

Since you're planning on building a new build anyways, it wouldn't be a waste of money to purchase your PSU (for the new rig) now which will A) test if it is indeed the PSU B) it'll one less component you have to wait for in the mail :) 

Also...

From the looks of your specs, you might be reaching the ceiling of what your PSU can handle. (From another forum) "When you cold boot the capacitors are totally discharged, and the psu must charge them while trying to power everything. The demand is tripping the overload protection of your psu. Once you restart there is enough charge in the capacitors to not be a problem and the overload is not triggered."

See if pulling a few components allows the computer to POST easily from a cold boot.
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June 26, 2008 11:12:19 PM

Thanks for the reply.

Any suggestions on a PSU and what size to get? Or a do you know of a site that can help determine what size I will need? I am torn between a 500 and a 750, as I am going SLI in my new build. Prob bump the ram up to a full 4GB and load Vista.
June 26, 2008 11:22:02 PM

i'd go 750/800 for that kind of rig. if they're 2 high-end gpu's, start thinking about a kilowatt, but 750 or so should to the trick.
!