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Computer won't start,

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It's an HP Pavilion a307x Desktop, old as the hills, belongs to a relative.

At first it would start, sometimes get all the way to the desktop, then after a few minutes the screen would either blank or get a bar of multicolored confetti across the top then the whole box would quit.

Sometimes it wouldn't respond at all when the power button was pushed.

Two or three times it kept trying to start, the fans would spin, the speakers would pop, but then everything stopped. It sort of had spasms.

Runs (ran) Win XP home, intel celeron processor 2.6 GHz.

The HD is only about 2 years old, is a replacement, worked great till now. The reinstall disks are available. CMOS battery is new. Box is pretty dirty inside. I suspect heat issues.

 

There are some really knowledgable members here so I am looking for just maybe a suggestion as to where to start. I am gonna fix it, but not sure what to do first. Clean it up, then ?

- Replace the CPU?

- Replace the power supply?

- Replace the user?

- Recycle the whole thing? (not the user)

 

Thanks very much for any ideas. :D

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Open it up and give it a real good clean with a fierce air can.

 

Make sure everything is seated properly, memory, graphics card (if it has one!) etc.

 

With it still open then see what happens when you press power button.

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What graphics card do you have in your machine??

 

Richard S.

 

Just what came with the motherboard, which is, according to HP:

Manufacturer's name - MS-6577 v2.x

HP/Compaq name - Xenon 3

Specs say this:

Integrated Intel Extreme Graphics with up to 64 MB shared video memory

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Sounds like either the Power unit or the motherboard

 

if you have a spare power unit try that and see if you far any better (just leave it outside the computer and connect everything up with the computer open.

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Sounds like either the Power unit or the motherboard

 

if you have a spare power unit try that and see if you far any better (just leave it outside the computer and connect everything up with the computer open.

 

OK, will do. Have to do a bit of swapping, have no extra one that is not attached. If it is the motherboard, then I'm back to Kroozers suggestion, probably won't invest in a new graphics card.

 

Now, I should have waited till I got to the house before posting this, now you guys will think I have asked a question then ignored you. Not so, but I have to assemble the "Tekkie Tool Kit" (the air can and a brush :P ) and drive over there. Back in a bit.

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Well, the project has been put on hold...orders from the lady of the house.

 

I arrived, air can and brush at the ready, to be advised that the project must wait for about a week. Is OK, will give me time to unhook that old power supply.

 

I thank you guys for the prompt and helpful replies, you guys are the best. :D

 

Will let you know what eventually develops, even if it is the recycle option.

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Sometimes a computer can get pretty caked up with dirt. This can cause overheating/shutdown issues.

 

- I have an electric vac/blower I use that works great. Instead of compressed air. It is much cheaper, blows harder & longer, & there is no "vapor" that mists onto the hardware. You will need to lock the blades with a qtip or other safe device before doing this, but I would blow the case out good. Do it outside, because if you do it inside, you will be breathing computer dust for days. Make sure you lock the case fan blades, graphic card fan blade (if you have any other graphics card installed), power supply fan blade, & CPU fan blade. Be sure you clean all of the areas that have fans, since they will need to be clean to operate safely.

 

- Try disconnecting anything you do not use. This includes if you have DSL (but still have a dialup modem inside), old sound cards, whatever. This is to eliminate all possibility that the connected hardware is/has got fried. I know 1 pc that kept rebooting because of a fried 56K modem that got really hot to the touch.

 

- Try disconnecting the memory sticks if you have multiple ones, & reseat (after you have blown the PC out) them. Alternately, try using only 1 stick at a time to be sure that it isn't failing memory. Be sure you first ground out static electricity by touching a bare metal part of the case while the computer is off so you don't fry the memory.

 

- Remove the battery & reset the motherboard to defaults (in case of overclocking/bad settings/timings). Usually, 30 seconds to 1 min is enough. Boot up, accept they have changed, then pop the battery back in. Alternatively, try disabling the shadowing options(s) for the CPU in the Bios.

 

- Inspect your capacitors. If they have rounded tops (instead of flat), you have something wrong. These will cause data errors & blue screens until replaced.

 

- Try something like Ubuntu. I tested React OS, Windows ME/2000/XP/Vista/7 on a laptop with motherboard problems. All failed. Ubuntu seems to have some sort of fault tolerance handling that isn't present in Windows. I thought about testing later to see if I ran Windows 7 inside a virtual machine (or XP!) while in Ubuntu to see if that worked...

 

- Also, if you have a PC with a good powersupply (or can visit a place that sells them), they are usually around $35 or slightly more. Not too bad. Failing power supplies can definitely cause above stated problem. Recommended you get a $45 APC unit with battery backup from Walmart to plug all your sensitive devices into (stereo/computer/monitor), being careful to not overload it beyond rated watts.

 

If any of this helps, let us know. If it doesn't, let us know.

 

Peace!

 

* Last resort -> Check for updated bios (usually from your PC manufacturer website, IE, Compaq/HP/Gateway, etc) & flash your computer. Use this only if you know what your doing & plug your computer into a UPS with battery backup so if power is unstable during flash, you won't end up with a brick for a PC.

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Thank you, Super Fast. Those are great suggestions. I would have not have thought to try a linux OS, good idea. That will be step 2, right after the cleanup. :)

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