Resistance may be futile, but my computer is doing a good job...

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RT

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This has bothered me since I purchased the dang thing, but I've learned to live with a reluctance of my computer to power up.
Hit the on button, the amber light comes on (drive light), the fan comes on, the CDROM light comes on, amber light goes out, but it won't go to the green light (meaning power on, I guess, but the fan remains running) and commence boot up right away. It sort of stays torpid for awhile.

After an indeterminate amount of time, I can hit the on button again and it goes to the green and boots. Doesn't seem to be the on switch, it generally boots up with a gentle touch (though I have given it a vicious stab more than once).

Sometimes I have to hit the reset button and then it will boot.

As I say I have learned to live with this, mostly, until today.

Start up this AM resulted in the normal state of affairs, but it took a loooong time to get it going. Reset did nothing, I even unplugged it for awhile.....finally I left the fan running and came back about an hour later, touched the on button, viola.

Later in the day we had a brief power outage, and I had to go through the whole loooong wait to get it to fully startup.

I have never seen a computer behave this way before. I got worried that it might be the motherboard, because some of the same symptoms were evident in my old puter that got struck by lightning.

Anyway my goal is to be able to push the power on button once and have the thing cooperate.

Comments, suggestions, bids welcome.....
 
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RT
What is the make and model of the computer or do you know the mother board make and model.
I am taking a stab but what I am thinking you may have a power management problem in the bios that is causing your condition.
Dave
 

RT

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Hiya, Dave

The computer came from Explorer Micro,

The manual says motherboard pc266 M810, (I fear that is a PCchips mobo, not what I ordered, they reserve the right to substitue, ect.) an AMD Athlon Socket A Tbird 850mhz processor I also have Win98SE, Nvidia Vanta LT 16mb on AGP slot, and an AMR modem...

The only bios changes I have made is to boot with NumLock on...
 

RT

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Now when I restart all my desktop icons are moved about...?

Happened this morning as well.

Also ran scandisk and defrag today, scandisk found an error, claimed it fixed it......

Time to do a restore registry?

I'm too nervous, you'll have to guide me :(

May be two different problems, might I have a bad boot sector as well??
 
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RT
I do not think the two are related but I could be wrong.
I need to research what you available bios setting are since I would like you to disable APM in some fashion.
If you Icon problem and startup are related it could be a video problem and I also believe you have on-board video on that card.
Dave
 

RT

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There is an SiS 630_730 chip on board, probablly for sound (and maybe video?) I added the Vanta card when I ordered. May be a conflict there, but...

Yes, you are probally right, the two are not related directly, so one prob at a time, eh?

I had a link to what I thought was my Mobo, but now I'm getting "page cannot be found"...

I would supply more info if I had it at hand, if memory serves, the mobo is model #M810LMR.

And I've wondered about the AMR modem conflicting with other hardware...save that for later.

If I disable the AMR modem, I'll have no connection to the web, so I'll wait on that bit.
 
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RT
Two things come to mind here. APM and Video. You stated this problem existed from day one which makes me think someone did not do thier homework in updating drivers upon install.
You may have to do the work for them unless the unit is still under warrenty? You will have to find out exactly what mobo you have and download/install the up to date drivers for it first and then do the same for the video card. After that if problems still exists then we will have to try the APM Disable stuff. Something is hanging the start and it could be either. Since your drive is not even lighting up it would tell me the problem is early bios related.
Well I have to call it here shortly and my mind is slowing.
Dave
 
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One of my comps has a similiar problem. Amber
light only on monitor, HD spins up but no activity
light, the boot process stops.

Originally I reseated the CPU and thought that
solved it, but eventually it started again and has
become more frequent. The last time it was off,
I had to temporarily disconnect the MB battery
before it would again complete the boot process
(definitely a BIOS indicator), so I'd agree with
Davey on this one.

BTW, the comp is an AMD K6-II 333, Award BIOS...

Cheers, Mac
 
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Hi RT

If it were my PC I would first try reseating everything in the case. then if that did not fix the power up I would try a different power supply. You are using a 300 watt one right? Could be a PC chips motherboard problem also. I have had some of those brand motherboards in the past and do not have a good opinion of them.

BOL
 

RT

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Hi folks,
Thank you all very much for all the info and suggestions.

Dave and Mac, one of the first things I did when I got this system was check for updated drivers for the vid card and the bios...the pcchips site recomended not to flash the bios (same an bios upgrade?) if you are not having problems. I considered it more of an annoyance then - now I have upgraded to a problem.

Also I snooped around in bios and found that APM is already disabled.

Lurker, I will begin with your suggestion and reseat everything. I suppose heat and vibrations could loosen something inside. I'm not sure at the moment what wattage my power supply is. They slipped this mobo in on me, I thought I was getting an Abit or Asus, but they have in thier terms "reserve the right to substitue an equivilant... " :(

Thanks for that link, jakoval, that site is WAY better than the old pcchips site.

The CD for the mobo has a bios update utility...I presume it would link to the old site, though. If I choose to up the bios should I use the utility that came with it, or try from the site jakoval has provided? Seems more likely to find the latest version there...

I'll look at both of them, crack the case, reseat and get back to ya (if the dang thing will power back up).
Thanks, guys.
 

RT

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OK, case cracked, reseated all components gingerly (after a good vacuuming - what the heck, was in there already), still took a seeming age to boot (multiple stabs at the power button and reset button...plus about 30 min).

To clarify, Davey, I think the amber light IS the drive light (or activity light, as Mac calls it :) ).
You said
"Something is hanging the start and it could be either. Since your drive is not even lighting up it would tell me the problem is early bios related. "

So, you see I've been re-reading this post and have found something I don't quite understand, Dave.....update drivers for the motherboard? 'Xcuse me fer bein' a redneck, I wasn't aware of that. Perhaps I should do that before trying the bios flash?

I'm still nervous, but able and willing.

BTW, I checked the bios utility on the CD, ran it, got 3 lines:
>Chipset type - SiS 730
> Flash Port - SST 39VF 020
>Error 2 - File does not exist

To confuse matters the mobo CD says System pc133, the mobo manual says System pc266 :confused:

(BTW, Lurker, it's a 250 watt supply (AMD approved), and changing power sources is not an easily accessable option for me at the moment, unless I go to one with LESS power :), got one of those hanging around...)
 

RT

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Oh, I see what you mean. Do I really need all those utilities?
Any driver advice you care to give would be welcome - I've done diver updates to the vid card and peripherals, but never to a chipset and like.
To let you know where I stand at this point:
This morning I went ahead and updated the bios. When rebooting I got an error: CMOS/GPNV Checksum bad.
And froze there.

Not knowing exactly what this meant I had the option to F1 for setup or F2 for default settings, and I went into setup. In bios I disabled the Trend Chipaway virus prog, disabled power management, and enabled SMART - I recalled those settings from the previous bios. Next time it booted to windows OK.

I had to reset the clock (not unexpected, should have done that in bios). Also had to reinstall my printer.

Everything seemed OK for the moment, so I tried powering down.
Tried to power back up, the amberlight came on, went off.
Then the green light came on and started blinking like the computer was in suspend or standby mode. Repeated pushings of the power button and reset did nothing.

Went to work thinking maybe I shouldn't have updated bios...

About two hours later I called my wife and had her push reset again (greeny still blinking) - viola! - booted to windows.

I have run a few apps and restarted several times this afternoon and noticed nothing really weird about icons, performance, etc. so far.

Now it seems I'm reluctant to power down, but it's gonna happen sometime.
 
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RT
No you do not need all those diag programs. The green flashing does sound like a apm function. Strange since you said you disabled apm. Anyway I am not sure I would at this time update your chipset. You said you recall apm being disabled. Next time you power back down and if it does the dance again enter the bios and enable the apm and acpi if you have it. If acpi is there and is enabled make note. If boot fails then disable both and retry. I know its a pain and I may be a hound on the wrong tree,
but I feel its a symptom of power management.
Dave
 
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