windows XP home compter starts then stops,starts,stops PLEASE HELP I use it for work

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xfile47

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A friend of my wife that works with her called and said her computer won't turn on, I looked and this is what it is doing.
You turn it on and the green light on the tower comes on and you can hear it starting up the green light on the monitor is on the key board lite is not. nothing ever comes up on the screen because you can listen to it and it starts then I think before it can really do anytning it sounds light it shuts itself off, then right away it starts up, then shuts down, then you can hear it start, then you can hear it shut itself down, you can hear it doing this and will keep doing it till you shut it down by the tower, could a cd being stuck in the cd unit make it do that or any idea's?? pleae help this lady needs it for her business, Thanks

Also if it makes a difference--you can get I think it is a white box with red trim on it you can get it on the monitor screen and it says something like saving power 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,and counts down and then goes to sleep
 

etaf

Wayne
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is the PC making any bleeping noise.

you say a CD stuck - do you have a CD in the CD tray??? - you can get this out when the PC is off - look at the front of CD and you will see a very small hole, usually around the middle.
put a paperclip in there and it will pop the CD tray open.
 

xfile47

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I tried to get it open that way but it won't open, I did mine at home and it opened but does the computer have to be on to get it to open??cause it won't stay on, it starts you can hear it but then you can hear it lose power in about 2 or 3 sec then it tries again and again I just added that it shows a screen for a couple of seconds on the monitor saying somethhng like shutting down to save power and counts down from 10 and goes to sleep, I am not positive about the cd now she thinks there is not one in there, do you think it is the power supply??
 

etaf

Wayne
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no it does not need to be on to do that. - also the latch behind the hole may not be exactly in centre - i have had to push at a slight angle downwards.

yes could be powersupply or a number of other things
anylight come on the CD or floppy when it first comes on.

so no bleeps at all.

how do you feel about opening up the box ?
 
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There are several ways to remove a stuck CD; you can't always use the old "straightened paperclip" method, because some CD-ROM drives don't include the hole in front, so you can't access the internal eject button that way. SOME CD-ROM drives will ONLY eject with the power ON; others will eject with or without power.

One method to try is to hold down the Open / Close button on the front of the CD-ROM drive for a few seconds while you turn the power on to the system. Sometimes, that will be enough to "convince" the CD-ROM drive to open long enough to grab the CD. You'll just have to experiment to see what works for that particular system.

OR, if you can remove the cover, you can disconnect the power to the CD-ROM drive, then turn the system on, and see if that will allow it to boot.

Wish I could provide MORE advice, but for now, you'll just have to try to eliminate the CD-drive from the equation. Though I've NEVER actually seen this type of problem, odds are good that SOME piece of hardware has committed suicide, and as long as it is connected to the system, it will NOT allow a successful bootup. If you CAREFULLY disconnect the power to most of the hardware devices (CD-ROM, floppy drive, etc.), you can TRY to boot the system. If it no longer coughs up a furball, you'll know one of the disconnected items is the culprit.

Overall, this is going to require a process-of-elimination method; if you disconnect everything EXCEPT the HDD and it STILL won't work, then disconnect the HDD and try again. OBVIOUSLY, the system WON'T boot with the HDD disconnected, but if STOPS the on/off/on/off routine, you'll KNOW that the HDD (or WHATEVER it might be) is the culprit.

Good luck; keep us posted on your progress.

-- slingshotter
 
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If you can get into the BIOS menu, check PC Health and make sure the CPU fan is running. If that has failed, the system may continuously re-detect and shut down, then re-detect and shut down - all to protect the CPU but the longer you keep trying, the hotter it may get.
 

etaf

Wayne
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Xfile47 - thanks for the PM - but you should keep your replies in the post then others can contribute ( i get an email when theres a reply)
my advice would be to read the above post - as if you replied your OK to open I was going to make the same suggestion as slingshotter - but slingshotter puts it better then i -
so follow advice above -
BE careful to only make one change at a time and not try to do too many things all at once.

YOUR PM TO ME - FOR OTHERS TO SEE
I just got back from there , it does not bother me to open it up, I took the power supply from a computer I have that could interchange with hers (I called hp and they said it would) anyway, first I tried to open her cd rom and I got it open but it would not open by itself it came out a little ways so I pulled it out gently and there was a cd in there so I took it out, he cd rom would not go in and out automaticly like it should, my power supply acted like hers but then all of a sudden it stayed going and the cd rom would work by pressing the button, but the monitor and keyboard won't come on. I re hooked her power supply back up and it kind of started and stopped again but then took off like mine and kept it running, however the monitor still says power saving mode or sometning pretty close to that and counts down from 10 and goes to sleep, also if you go to plug the keyboard in the lights will blink once amber colored but the keyboard won't come on, so now we know the power supply works but the monitor evidently isn't getting enough power and the keyboard isn't so you can't get on the computer and do anything but ruled out the power supply, any thoughts on what it could be or what to try next?? I really appreciate the help.
 

xfile47

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I had a computer which the power supply would interchange with hers, so I hooked mine up in her computer, the on and off thing happened 4 or 5 times then it took hold and was running constant. before I put the power supply in I used a paperclip and the cd rom budged out just a little and then a little more so I could get ahold of it and I gently pulled it out, there was a cd in the tray, took it out but the cd rom would not open and close by itself. the monitor still would just come on with a saving power mode and count 10 on down and then go to sleep, the keyboard would lite up amber once like a blink and then go off no lights at all. I hooked her power supply back up and it did the start stop thing a coupe of times then it to like mine started running and staying on, however then the cd rom started working, push the button and it would open and close like it is suppose to, the monitor was the same came on with power saving mode couonted 10 backward and went to sleep and the key board flashed amber once and then no lights, so the power supply works now with hers or mine but the other things are not getting enough power evidently to run them, any idea's? I really appreciate the help, Thanks, I can't get on the computer to do anytning cause it goes right into power saving mode
 

etaf

Wayne
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so remove everythings thats connectd to the PSU on the PC - except the motherboard.
when switch on does the cpu fan OK - watch the fan to see if it starts stopping and starting.
If the CPU fan just runs OK
can you then get into the bios. - then have a look as advised by above poster.

If the CPU fans goes on/off - then it could be temp/etc - or something plugged into motherboard - so remove everything thats in the PCI slots.
see if that helps.

as you can see its a process of eliminations as slingshotter suggested.

if the motherboard/cpu fan is OK and you can get into bios - then we have a good starting point.

Now switch off

reconnect the HDD to the powersupply

will it boot ????

and so in and so on
 
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The fact that it DOES work to some degree tells us that the CPU, RAM, and motherboard are functioning at some level, so we'll look elsewhere for now. If one of the add-in cards (PCI / ISA /AGP cards) is defective, such as the modem developed a short-circuit, you might see problems like this, but I have reason to suspect the videocard is one of the culprits.

FWIW, when a system begins to boot (go through POST), the videocard is the FIRST item to be activated; otherwise, you wouldn't know the system was POSTing. The fact that the monitor goes to sleep indicates that the vidcard is NOT sending a signal to the monitor. Check the videocard to be SURE that it is seated in the slot; you might have to remove and re-install it to be sure, but if you DO try to remove it, watch out for the RETAINING clip at the end of the AGP slot! Use a flashlight to get a GOOD look at the ENTIRE card, so you'll know if there is a retaining clip to wrestle with.

If you have a replacement videocard to test the system with, you can install that in place of the original card. You'll need an AGP card to replace an AGP card, or a PCI card to replace a PCI card, because the odds are that the CMOS is set to activate ONLY a videocard in the slot the original card now sits in. IOW, if you install a PCI vidcard to replace an AGP vidcard, the system probably won't even boot, because the CMOS expects to activate the AGP slot to operate the video.

Anyway, check the videocard FIRST; once you've got a signal to the monitor, we can better advise you on how to proceed, though the video signal might be the ONLY problem. Replacing the videocard will PROBABLY allow the system to POST; if it does, see if it will go all the way to the Desktop. Don't worry about the resolution; changing the card will force Windows to use the plain-vanilla VGA driver, so things will look weird. Your first concern is getting the thing to boot; you can worry about installing another driver once you know the system is working.

Keep us posted; so far, so good.

-- slingshotter
 

xfile47

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I will be going there again tomorrow morning and will try those things, I will keep you posted.
 

etaf

Wayne
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OK - good luck - post back - while you are there - or PM me - I'll try and have access all day today - BTW my timescale is UK - so its now 9:45 in the morning
 
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Thinking aloud here - would it help this poster if his BIOS setup was one that allowed him to see the POST step by step? SOme BIOS have an option to hit a key to let that happen.
 
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Good question, Saga Lout; but right now he can't see ANYTHING, so he CAN'T change the CMOS settings, AND the system doesn't belong to him. Though he MIGHT learn something by watching a "diagnostic" POST, he'll be making a change that many people find annoying. I have ALL of my systems set to display the bootup process, but most people don't want to see anything other than the Windows splash screen during bootup.

For the time being, we have no reason to suspect anything EXCEPT a videocard or monitor problem, so it is best to keep things as simple as possible. If changing the vidcard or checking for damaged pins in the video cable connector does NOT fix this, then he MIGHT want to watch the POST process, because it CAN be an effective diagnostic tool, BUT... for now, I'd prefer that he keep things as simple as possible.

If the system boots all the way to the Desktop once the vidcard is changed, that will pretty much eliminate the hardware from the equation, unless Device Manager or Windows itself indicates there are still some furballs left to deal with; time will tell.

-- slingshotter
 
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So taking Slingshotter's logic to the next stage, it must be the monitor. Surely the BIOS must boot up in /Basevideo because the graphics card can't cut in until XP fires up the drivers. Therefore, if there's no basic VGA to show up the BIOS (or the POST which screws up my suggestion) the only remaining factor has to be monitor.
 
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