View Full Version : Weird problem

08-25-03, 08:38 PM
I've encountered a problem with my secondary PC which has left me scratching my head since everything i've tried to fix it has failed. It all started yesterday when the computer after working for a few hours, crashed. I was able to get back to the desktop and had the sytem restarted. The thing was, it would not restart. It looked as if the monitor would not get a signal or something. Looking at the hard disk led, it would work like crazy (as if it was writing or erasing data). I also noticed that the initial beep from the speaker wouldn't sound at all. If you were to press reset, it would reset, then get back to the previous state without responding. If i remember well, after hitting the reset a couple of times, it all of sudden came back to life but next time i tried to open it, it would suffer from the same problem. The system specs are: PIV 3.06GHz, 2Gb OCZ DDR-466 (dual channel), MSI SIS655 MAX FISR, 2x60Gb Maxtor 7200rpm, SB Audigy 2 Platinum, FX5900 Ultra (MSI), LG DVDRW 4040, Antec True Power 550W, Viewsonic VG700.
As you can see, it's an exremely powerful computer, which all the more makes me furious that i can't get it to work. Most componets are identical to the ones on my primary PC, and that gave me an opportunity to change some of them and try to find what's wrong. Here's what i 've done so far: I've changed the FX card, i checked the hard disks, replaced the PSU with an identical one, checked the memory modules, everything was working fine. Just to be on the safe side, i disconnected most peripherals, started the thing with only 512Mb of RAM and one HD, but the problem would insist. I cleared the CMOS and it started normally one more time. However, upon entering Windows (98SE), it crashed and i had to reset which meant that the same crap would start all over again. BTW, the OS was a fresh install which was made two days ago. I noticed that during POSTing, it informed me that the m/b battery was low on power (that was the first time it showed that message). Just to be sure, i'm going to change the battery first thing in the morning, but could that little thing prevent it from booting? Does anybody have any ideas? I suppose that insufficient power from the PSU can be exluded as well as overheating (the CPU comfortably runs at 3.4GHz with 30-32C). Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

08-25-03, 08:42 PM
Originally posted by NAZCA M12
I noticed that during POSTing, it informed me that the m/b battery was low on power (that was the first time it showed that message). Just to be sure, i'm going to change the battery first thing in the morning, but could that little thing prevent it from booting?
Yes, yes it could. That little thing could be causing your bios to freak out and all sorts of goofy results can ensue.

Before I got to this part of your post I was already sort of thinking it might be the battery, with all the testing you've done I'd say you got about a 90% chance of the battery fixing your problems. (Although you might have to clear the CMOS again after adding the battery. I've had to on some, on others just replacing the battery fixes it right up. :) )

08-25-03, 10:44 PM
Can the problem appear when you just turn on the PC? Or does W98 have to crash before the problem?
Did you try using the PC with just only CPU, RAM, video and HD? (and obviously, the PC Speaker)

What's most strange here is the hard disk thrashing!

I don't know about new motherboards, but with old ones, the computer may not even turn on if it didn't have a battery! Even having an empty battery would let it work.

08-26-03, 04:34 PM
Well, i've changed the battery, nothing happened. I was almost certain that it would solve the problem, yet i too noticed that the HD was working like crazy. That has nothing to do with battery i guess. On top of that, if a battery is almost dead, if you let it rest for a couple of hours it should be back to normal even for a few minutes before it gets drained again. With or without it the thing should at least start POSTing, then fail all tests. Thing was, i thought that maybe the HD strange behavior could be down to the reset malfactioning or sth, since it looked as if it was starting, then reseting, then starting again etc. I disonnected the reset button but that didn't do the trick either. However i managed to start it one last time, started installation of Win98SE when it froze. I say, when it does that, it's overheating at fault most of the time right? However all temps seem fine. It's very strange. Anyway, i'll make more tests and post back when i find the cause. Thanks for the ideas by the way.

Rampant CL
08-27-03, 12:27 PM
Swap the proc and see. You didnt mention if you had swapped it and a screwed proc would lead to the HDD led going off the hook.

08-27-03, 04:27 PM
No i hadn't, i've left it as late as possible in case it was sth else. I don't think it's the CPU though. By the way, i started the thing yesterday, while i was reinstalling Win, i lost the monitor signal. I don't know, it's a nice conundrum. I'm suspecting a problematic AGP slot or something. I'm gonna rip it apart and see what it has in a day or two and have it running at the end of the week if i've got the time. I hope it's the motherboard, cause if it's the CPU, i'm going to start searching for my damn hammer.

08-27-03, 08:43 PM
I think i've found it. You won't believe this guys, but it looks like it was the freaking IDE cable!! That (round) cable was recently working fine in the other PC but looks like it's damaged because once i installed another one, it worked like a charm, everything installed without a hitch and it's been up and running for about an hour now without any problems. Looks like it's solved. Once again, thanks for the feedback.