Odd Problems with an old Acer

I'm trying to fix my Dad's old Acer, Pentium 4. About 90% of the time, when you hit the power button, the fans scream to life (highest setting) but the system won't boot. No display, not even the BIOS screen. There is power to the devices, I can open the CD tray, but no lights. If you shut it off from the power source, and keep trying eventually it boots up okay, and almost silently. I think it may be the temperature sensors, thinking it too hot triggering the fastest level CPU fans then shutting down. Any Ideas?
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  1. It's not completing the power on self test (POST).
    Have you tried with a bootable CD/DVD in the drive?
    If there is a video card disconnect that. Test boot.
    Also disconnect the HDD drive. Test boot.
    More than 1 stick of RAM? Remove1, test boot.
    Test with other stick.
  2. Shut it down, brought it to my workshop, booted up fine everytime. It only seems to have problems starting from a cold start. Is there any reason this might be happening. If it was the RAM or Hard Drive it should be a pretty constant failure.
  3. Hm...not necessairly @ "constant failure"

    I admitedly only skimmed through your post..but...have you tried swapping the PSU with a known working one? I have an acer here...and it boots up but no display, DVD drive acting funny..... replaced the PSU and it works fine.
  4. Dust out fans using compressed air.

    Then, remove the battery, remove power cord. Hit the power button about 4-5 times, then hit it one last time, but hold it down for about 30 seconds. This on some machines resets their power manager. Then plug in, try to boot. If successful, add battery and see if it still works.

    If the above does not work, check and see if you can easily access the cmos battery. If so, then remove that for about 10 minutes with no juice plugged in and then reinsert and reboot.

    If neither of those things works, maybe try reseating the ram, and check the heatsink and heatpipes for signs of burning. You could also try at that point another power cord, but if the computer receives power and tries to boot and the above procedures don't help, then likely your motherboard is going wonky.

    Edit. For some odd reason I thought we were talking about a laptop at first. You can disregard the first part. However, I second checking the power supply.
  5. Tryed out a spare power supply, no luck
    Put in new RAM (He's been wanting an upgrade)
    Replaced the CMOS battery
    Still Nothing (It's getting worse, not we can't get it to fully boot at all)

    My Dad is not happy with me right now, as his PC is still not working, any ideas???
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