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PC Wont boot with peripherals plugged in

Last response: in Systems
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December 6, 2012 4:55:46 PM

Hi, my dad has an ancient pc, it was custom built by a friend of his way back in like '03 or '04. It's got an ancient ASUS board, socket 478, 3.2ghz p4, 1gb ram, etc.. high spec for its day. Anyways, it's been running flawlessy for the last 8 years or so (i know he needs to upgrade badly) but now it's having strange boot issues. It's not a lights on but nobody's home scenario, or a failure to boot windows scenario, but nothing happens when the power button is pressed. First, this was worked around by unplugging the LAN cable, and voila it worked. But now that doesn't work either. I had a look at it, pressed the power button, no response, started unplugging cables 1 by one and as soon as i unplugged every cable but the PS/2 keyboard it turned on by itself. I attempted to replicate the results, however the next time, i had to unplug everything including the keyboard for it to turn on. And now it won't turn on even with nothing plugged in.

Is this a corrupted bios issue, or has the motherboard kicked the bucket, or maybe something with the PSU? i'm leaning towards a jacked up BIOS, but i have no idea how to reflash it if i can't get it to boot anyways. PC probably isn't worth buying a new BIOS chip on ebay or anything. Much appreciation for any suggestions
December 6, 2012 5:52:14 PM

I would say PSU as they usually die first. Do you have another PC you can borrow from and try a newer PSU?
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December 6, 2012 5:55:48 PM

If push comes to shove, i can try that, but that's my last resort right now, since it's such a pain to swap power supplies.. Do you think the PSU has anything to do with the peripheral thing though? the keyboard doesn't draw any power but as soon as i unplugged it, the pc started on its own
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December 6, 2012 6:01:00 PM

zdbc13 said:
I would say PSU as they usually die first. Do you have another PC you can borrow from and try a newer PSU?

Was going to throw out there that alot of newer USB devices can be detected as 'bootable' these days, but after reading your specific issue, I'd say yes, its most likely the PSU, or if that doesn't do it, something on the mobo probably blew from age/degredation from unstable PSU (also due to age, lol). Build him a new PC for Christmas! GL.
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December 6, 2012 6:09:34 PM

Thanks, I'll crack it open in a bit and have a look and report back if i figure anything out
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December 6, 2012 6:10:33 PM

It's worth noting that he had 2 pcs built with identical internals, 1 for work and 1 for home, and the PSU went out on the work one already (but it was a different model PSU)
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December 6, 2012 6:45:30 PM

Bite the bullet. If you have another PSU available you can leave the old one in the case, unplug all the power cords, set the new PSU to the side and, if they reach, attach the new PSU's cables. If you have trouble reaching the jacks set the new PSU on a piece of cardboard or heavy plastic on top of the case.
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December 6, 2012 6:49:16 PM

psychoclown81 said:
It's worth noting that he had 2 pcs built with identical internals, 1 for work and 1 for home, and the PSU went out on the work one already (but it was a different model PSU)

Even a super high end 850W 80+ Gold rated PSU (the one i'm referencing is the Corsair HX850 which I have http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) is only rated at a MTBF (mean time before failure) of 100,000 hours. Do the math. How long does he leave it on? 24/7, or only like 8 hour work days? It IS eight years old by your own admission, so if its a lower end PSU, and he used it alot, its likely that is indeed the problem, or a possible cause. Either you trouble-shoot possible causes of the problem, or say eff it and just save the data on the Hdd's and build a new system. Really your only 2 options. >.<
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December 6, 2012 8:04:51 PM

Thanks for the input, i'm probably going to build him a new pc for christmas. I set up one of my old ones for the time being so that he can still get online etc, and i'll probably copy over the data to the new pc later on. Nothing in that old machine is really worth trying to salvage other than the files anyways
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December 6, 2012 8:05:11 PM

Best answer selected by psychoclown81.
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