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inexplicable, fatal computer problem -- HELP!

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September 11, 2003 7:51:30 PM

I've recently been having some serious computer problems, which I'll describe in a moment -- I was told be a computer repair shop that my initial motherboard was shot, so I decided to buy the Asus A7N8X Deluxe. The problems continue!

Basically, the computer will get power -- fans will spin, lights will go on, the floppy drive, cd-rom and hard disk seem to powerup. Sometimes it sits there just like that, and nothing happens -- no pc speaker bleeps out of Post, nothing comes up on the monitor, no hard drive activity ...the computer doesn nothing, gives no errors, doesn't go into BIOS ...it just sits there, with power and with fans spinning, and it does so until I unplug the machine!

SOMETIMES though, it does something -- anything! It varies. It normally just sits there, but sometimes it manages to get somewhere along the way into the boot up process ...It'll freeze at the very first screen, the GeForce screen -- or I'll get that single "all is well" Pc speaker bleep -- I'll get to the Asus screen, or into the XP loading sequence .. BUT It usually it just crashes along the way -- it simply restarts, usually not (but somtimes!) freezing up. Sometimes it even makes it way all the way into XP, working fine until the computer restarts without any warning or error message at all.

Things seem utterly wrong -- the only real "sign" of the computer acknowledging this fact is when the I do get all the way into POST, the Asus board reads my CPU as an Athlon 1500+, when it is actually a 2100+ ...and it says new CPU detected? It freezes there sometime, not allowing the computer to go on ... is this a CPU problem?

I'm really, really lost, and I just put a lot of money into this situation! Can you help me?

As stated, I'm running an Athlon 2100+ XP, on Windows XP, A7N8X Deluxe, with 512 mb of Pc3200 corsair ram. I've got a Geforce Ti4200, though I supsect that has nothing to do with it -- sure, sometimes I get nothing on the monitor, but that's because the pc is not doing anything, I think. And my AGP slot light is not on... which is a good thing.

THINGS WORKED FUN UNTIL OUT OF NOWHERE, which is so perplexing. Then this happened! There was a short out of my Power supply a while back, but I replaced it and figured all was well, and my computer worked fine up until recently -- could some short out from then be finally rearing it's ugly head? If so, why these problems? It seems if any component was failing, except the mobo (which is new), the computer would still at least go into bios, or read some kind of error in post (no hard drive, cpu not correct, no dram, etc...).

Any ideas? This is getting far to expensive to just buy hardware on a hunch - I still supsect my CPU.

PLEASE HELP

Joe Jovanovich
September 11, 2003 8:04:45 PM

It sounds an awful lot to me like a power supply problem. (Though I suppose it could be a problem with one of the memory sticks or something.)

Any info on what the power supply is? When is the last time that you cleaned the dust out?

<pre><A HREF="http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20030905" target="_new"><font color=black>People don't understand how hard being a dark god can be. - Hastur</font color=black></A></pre><p>
September 12, 2003 12:50:24 AM

I'll have to 2nd the Power Supply suggestion. If ever there was a problem that reeked of Power Supply, this is it. The problem is too random to be memory.
-Brett
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September 12, 2003 1:09:48 AM

Unplug bothe cables from the optical drives, harddrives and floppy drives. If you have two sticks of ram, remove one. Take out all add in cards except the video card. Now see if it will boot to bios. If it does, set your fsb to 133, so it shows the right processor. After the bios is updated, shut the computer off. Put one thing back in, and see if everything boots again. Shut down again and add something else and try with that piece. In this way you should be able to find the problem part. If no problem part is found ,you fixed it anyhow. Good luck.
September 12, 2003 3:21:24 PM

The power supply is brand new -- I replaced just a month ago after my first one shorted out ... it's an Antect True power 430 watt ...it is a real deal thing, so I can't see how this would happen ...is there some kind of phenominon going on with electric that would cause two power supplies to crap out? Is there any way to diagnose/fix an unsteady powersupply?
September 12, 2003 4:11:58 PM

Its possible that you PSU short has also wrecked the mobo. Is your motherboard properly grounded to the case? Can you take just the mobo to your local shop and have them test it, see if they find anything.

Spec:
Intel P4 2.4B
MSI 645E Max-U Mobo
512MB DDR333
GF3 ti200 64MB
SB Live 5.1
WD 60GB
Quantum 6GB
LG24x24x32 CDR
WIN2K Pro.
September 12, 2003 4:53:01 PM

I'll readily admit that it sounds very odd. It is quite possible that you have faulty wiring in your house or something. Do you get a lot of surges or brown outs? Maybe you could get an electrician to check it. That or a UPS with automatic voltage regulation.

Who knows? There are always a million possabilities. All that we can do is help try to point out which are the most likely. That doesn't mean that it can't be something else though.

<pre><A HREF="http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20030905" target="_new"><font color=black>People don't understand how hard being a dark god can be. - Hastur</font color=black></A></pre><p>
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