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Off Topic: Hardware Boot-Up Problem

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I know this if off topic but I hopefully someone can give some advice.Past few day, when I turn my computer on (via a button on surge protector), it won't boot up. There is the normal flickering of lights for the hard drive, etc., but the monitor stays blank. Also, I don't here the normal "buzz" associated with the hard drive. I have to cycle on and off the power switch and usually ffter about 5 cycles, it will boot up as normal. Once it is on, works fine, stable, no problems. If I then do a restart/reboot, no problems. Seems to only happen when the computer has been off for a while, over night, when it starts up and is cold. I expect it is either the motherboard (ABIT SAR-6), or hard drive. Any suggestions, any way to test which one it is? I have two more hard drives on the motherboard, through the raid ide connection. Could I load Windows on that, boot through one of those drives? If if boots then, that would eliminate the mb. Thanks in advance.

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Your problem might just be with the surge protector/power strip. I remember a time this happened to me with a new computer. The strip could not handle the surge load required for startup. Try bypassing the surge protector by going straight to a wall socket. If the problem goes away, I would then suggest the purchase of a good UPS (Uninterrupable Power Supply). These are inexpensive enough these days and well worth the cost to protect your equipment. Just make sure you get one with a large enough wattage to handle your system. Ex. I have a computer with a 400 watt power supply, 19" monitor and other associated stuff; I use an 1100 watt supply which will power everything for maybe up to 30 minutes in a full outage (OK, so maybe this is an overkill!)Larry

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I have a problem that sounds exactly the same. I can warm boot or cold boot with no problems - unless, that is, the computer is physically unplugged from the socket - even for just a second. Then I get the symptoms you describe.I have two (DVD/CDRW) removable drives and three HDD's - including a special edition WD 15,000 rpm Caviar setup using IDE1/2 and RAID IDE3 being powered by an Enermax 550W PSU. Although I know it isn't due to a lack of power since I ran only the M/B and cards using this PSU and ran the drives and fans using a second 430W PSU.Here's what I know: I know that 'sometimes' the Abit make of MB can have problems delivering the required voltage to the AGP port for some of the newer graphics adaptors. I use a Abit KT7A-RAID combined with Creative GF2-Ti (alright, this isn't one of the "newer" cards I described, but this Abit/AGP/power problem has been around for some time too!!!). When you do get the thing to boot, try changing "AGP DRiving Strength" in BIOS to "EA" or higher. This helped me to a degree.Have tried a different graphics card? When my sons PC suffered similarly, I swapped-out his card for an old Matrox Millenium I had hanging around. Worked fine - each and every boot! I eventually changed the motherboard.For me, I never really bottomed-out the problem (even moving the graphics card fan plug onto the motherboard to try to lessen the power load on the AGP didn't work 100%). The only thing that has worked for me 100% is 1) buying an APC Back-ups 650 UPS, coupled with 2) never ever disconnecting from the UPS or physically switching off the PSU with that little black switch around the back.As far as my PC is concerned it's never disconnected from the mains supply - and that's the only thing that fixes my problem! (makes it kinda heavy to move around though!!!!!)Best of luck,Paul

http://www.strontiumdog.plus.com/Fortress.gifVoted Best Virtual Airline of 2002 and Best CEO of 2002 by participants in the BIG VA Vote organized by FSPILOT.comVANF "Best" New Virtual Airline AwardOfficially licenced by British Airways plc for use of name and logohttp://www.strontiumdog.plus.com/saint_georgex1.gifhttp://www.strontiumdog.plus.com/RCsupporter.jpg

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I have exactly the same problem once in a while. The screen is blank after booting up once out of 10 boot-up cycles. Based on the startup sounds, WinXP appears to have successfully loaded but no screen. I recently upgraded my MOB to the Intel MV850 with 400 watts of power. I have the GF3 video card with the latest official drivers installed (40.72). The problem occurred with the old drivers too (w/o stereo 3d drivers). I do have the dongle for my 3d glasses installed between my monitor and video card but do not have the stereo 3d drivers installed (although I heard the 3d glasses still work, just no Stereo 3d Tab shown in the display settings). I've checked all my connections and they are tight. But the problem seems to have happened after losing the stereo 3d drivers NVIDIA provided with their older drivers. I think I'll try installing the old stereo drivers again and see if this fixes the problem. Will let you know if I come up with a solution. Jim

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Check the MOBO battery especially if your computer is several years old. It sounds like you are losing the CMOS memory that is kept resident with the MOBO battery. When you turn it on, the system starts to provide power which charges the CMOS memory. After a few tries, it finally loads a default BIOS load.

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>Check the MOBO battery.Sorry, I fail to see what this has to do with the problem. I don't even get the graphics card "engineering" text pre-POST. Like the original message, I get the usual power-up sounds from the HDD etc, but that's as far as it gets. Take your CMOS battery out and the thing will still POST - just with the default BIOS settings. You "may" get an error during POST and a beep or two, but the thing will still do 'something' that you'll be able to SEE on the screen.EDIT: I should say, Firehawk, that what you describe is not the "exactly the same problem" as you put it."Based on the startup sounds, WinXP appears to have successfully loaded but no screen."Not me!! No beep/POST/nothing!2nd EDIT: hey bdstorm! Take out you graphics card and then try to boot the thing. See if you get the no-graphics error beeps from BIOS! It's the motherboard, I tell ya!! Cheers,Paul

http://www.strontiumdog.plus.com/Fortress.gifVoted Best Virtual Airline of 2002 and Best CEO of 2002 by participants in the BIG VA Vote organized by FSPILOT.comVANF "Best" New Virtual Airline AwardOfficially licenced by British Airways plc for use of name and logohttp://www.strontiumdog.plus.com/saint_georgex1.gifhttp://www.strontiumdog.plus.com/RCsupporter.jpg

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