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Computer Won't Boot! Motherboard fried?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Capnbob, Sep 27, 2007.

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  1. Capnbob

    Capnbob Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2004
    Messages:
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    This is a long one. I apologize but I’m trying to give as much detail as possible and I hope someone can follow…

    I think either my motherboard or power supply is toast.

    A few weeks ago my computer started shutting off randomly while playing games. Then it started getting progressively worse and turning off at any time, sometimes immediately after booting, sometimes several minutes after boot. Sometimes it wouldn’t even get past BIOS before crashing. I suspected it was my ATI Radeon X800 XL graphics card because the ATI graphic utility program would pop up with an error before the computer crashed sometimes. So I reinstalled the drivers and that didn’t fix the problem. I even reformatted the computer and then reinstalled the drivers and that didn’t fix the problem. So I picked up a NVidia GeForce 8600 GT OC graphics card. The computer was better with the new card but still shut off randomly.

    A couple days after getting the new graphics card my computer finally shut off and wouldn’t turn back on at all. I would hit the power button on the front of the computer and the little power light would come on, but nothing else would happen. The power supply fan wouldn’t even kick on so I figured it was my power supply. This made sense too because I still had the stock 300 watt crap-o power supply that came with the Gateway computer and I discovered the ATI Radeon X800 called for at least 350W.

    I bought a new Cooler Master 500W power supply. After I installed that, the computer booted normally and performed problem-free with the new Nvidia card in it for a couple weeks. However, it still did the same thing where it wouldn’t even boot into BIOS with the ATI card.

    I assumed that the previous power supply, being insufficient had toasted my ATI card. I sent it off to ATI for repair/replacement.

    I just got the ATI card back from service today. I uninstalled the Nvidia drivers, put the ATI card back into the computer and again it wouldn’t boot. The power supply fan doesn’t even turn on. Assuming they just failed to fix the card, I put the Nvidia card back in and the computer is doing the same thing. The computer also won’t boot from the onboard graphics card, with neither card in.

    I don’t know where to go from here. It seems like it could be the power supply considering last time it did this I had to replace it but at the same time I don’t see how it could be the power supply, because it’s brand-new and why would putting the ATI card back in suddenly make it fail. If it’s not the power supply, then I’d guess it to be the motherboard?

    I don’t know where to go from here. :confused:

    Any help is greatly appreciated!
    -Capnbob
     
  2. win2kpro

    win2kpro

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2005
    Messages:
    11,670
    You go to the beginning. If you don't have a power supply tester, take the tower into a shop and have the power supply tested, it only takes about 10 minutes.

    Because it's only a few weeks old really doesn't mean much. I've seen power supply's defective out of the box brand new. Power supply's may last an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year or several years.

    IF the unit you purchased was a COOLER MASTER eXtreme RP-500-PCAR ATX from factor 12V V2.01 this is a very low end power supply. IF this is the unit you have, and it tests bad look for a better quality unit.

    Good quality power supply's to consider are PC Power & Cooling, OCZ, Zippy, Silverstone, Antec, Seasonic, Enermax, Thermaltake.
     
  3. Capnbob

    Capnbob Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2004
    Messages:
    160
    Alrighty... So I took my power supply in to be tested. The local computer shop place said there was nothing wrong with the power supply.

    I came home, put my power supply and ATI graphics card back into the computer with the intention of bringing the whole thing back into them to be tested. To my surprise, the computer started right up and is now running normally.

    I'm hoping that something was just loosened or unplugged while I was switching out cards. I'll post back if it doesn't start again.

    Thanks,
    Capnbob
     
  4. win2kpro

    win2kpro

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2005
    Messages:
    11,670
    I've seen this numerous times before. Sometimes all it takes is re-installing an add in card or memory and the machine starts running. Such is life in the world of computing.
     
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