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20 posts

Inactive user

#25454 21-Aug-2008 19:12
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Lately my system has been having problems starting up when i push the power button. It tends to make a beep and lose all power in the first few seconds. After 2 or 3 attempts it would usually power up ok and stay on until I turn it off so I just ignored it.

A few day ago I took it apart and cleaned everything and put it back together and now I'm having serious problems. I usually run 5 hard drives and a few usb components and it seems to handle it, now it won't power on at all no matter how many times I try. Every once and awhile it will but won't last until the OS boots up or dies shortly afterwards.

I've tried using just the one HDD instead of 5 (the one with my Vista Partition) and it still won't work. I've tried reinstalling the OS on a different hard drive and am still getting the same problems with just a few seconds of power and then the system dying which makes me believe its not a hdd problem but power problem. I've reduced my system to the basics, just mobo, cpu, cpu fan, ram, gfx card (unfortunately my mobo has no onboard graphics) and one hard drive and basically need help locating the problem. I've also disconnected all my case fans, disconnected my cd drive, and removed all my usb components except my logitech usb mouse. I believe it's down to either the psu, mobo, cpu or graphics card but my problem is I don't know how to work out which component is causing the problems.

Any help would be hugely appreciated, Thanks.


PSU: Raidmax 520W ATX12V
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Dual Core Socket 939
Mobo: Winfast NF4K8AC-8EKRS
Gfx Card: ATi X850XT 256mb
Ram: DDR400 PC3200 x 4 512mb sticks
CD: LiteOn DVD Combo Drive IDE
HDDs: 5 hard drives, 3x IDE, 2x SATA
Case: Thermaltake Soprano w/ 3x Case fans

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57 posts

Master Geek

  #159119 23-Aug-2008 09:41

Hi Musicislife,

Do you still get the P.O.S.T (power on self test) beep when you try to power up the pc?

If you removed the Heatsink and fan (on top of cpu), ensure the heatsink is making full contact with cpu
otherwise the thermal saftey will (hopefully) automatically shutdown your computer to prevent damage.
You will also need to apply thermal paste between Heatsink and cpu.

20 posts

Inactive user

  #159168 23-Aug-2008 17:05
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hi mate,

thanks for your advice, i do get the post beep when it boots up properly, it usually beeps a few seconds after powering on before it shows the winfast bios screen but lately the beep has been instant as soon as power goes on and then as soon as it beeps it dies which makes me think its a warning beep as opposed to the post beep thing.

as for the heatsink not connecting properly, how do i check this? and no, i haven't put more thermal paste on which to be frank i didnt even think about, do you have to put thermal paste on everytime you remove the heatsink?



4395 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #159172 23-Aug-2008 17:19
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Yes you would be best to clean off the old paste and put a new application on each time.

Also, when testing, start testing with only the CPU installed, ie no RAM HDD etc etc.
If your board has PS/2 ports still, then test with a PS/2 mouse/keyboard as opposed to USB. I have seen a few PC's that will not boot due to USB devices being connected.

20 posts

Inactive user

  #159199 23-Aug-2008 20:55
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rscole86: Yes you would be best to clean off the old paste and put a new application on each time.

Also, when testing, start testing with only the CPU installed, ie no RAM HDD etc etc.
If your board has PS/2 ports still, then test with a PS/2 mouse/keyboard as opposed to USB. I have seen a few PC's that will not boot due to USB devices being connected.

thanks for your advice, what would you recommend using to clean the old thermal paste off with?

my pc always boots with usb devices connected, i have a logitech usb hub, logitech usb dinovo edge mini keyboard, logitech mx revolution mouse and can have at any time a few other devices connected, mainly externals, flash drives and phones. (the only thing i've found that makes the boot stall is if my 1tb Western Digital MyBook is left on but the boot continues as soon as it's turned off).

unfortunately i don't have any ps2 mice or keyboards readily avaliable to use for testing, but i don't think it can be anything via usb because i've tried taking every usb item out and it still dies at boot.

if i end up replacing the psu with a bigger one can someone recommend a good wattage to get? (i have a 520W now and i have 3 case fans, 1 gfx card, 5 internal 3.5" hard drives, 4 or 5 usb devices and a cd drive).

57 posts

Master Geek

  #159328 24-Aug-2008 14:31

Depending on the type of paste used, and for convenience you can try. Lighter fluid (zippo), iso-propyl alchohol or acetone (nail polish remover).

Apply new paste sparingly to cpu and/or heatsink and ensure good contact is made between the two. (Usually pressing down on the corners of the heatsink and feeling for any unusual downward movement is the only way to test for good contact with the mobo still in the case). A little side to side movement is ok.

Then as you did before, try to start up with only the devices needed to boot into vista.

If you end up getting a new psu. I would get a 600w if you plan to add any more devices to your setup as 520w seems about the minimum you would need for the amount of devices you currently have. Any reputable psu brand will do, dont skimp on money here (within reason) as a less than adequate psu can be bad news for your pc. Google "Psu Calculator" you'll find some useful psu stuff.

P.S Make sure you discharge any static you may have built up by touching a bare metal surface on your pc case before you clean your cpu, as static can kill pc parts. 
And as always make sure your computer is plugged in and you have wet hands (joking)....... Good luck

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