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Old 23rd January 2005, 10:54 PM   #31
syco_stalker
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A problem i sometimes get is if i don't press the power button properly like just tap it. The sytem lights will flash comp will stay off. Then when i press the power button again i get absolutly nothing & it wont work untill i unplug the computer from the wall for about 10 seconds plug it back in & it works fine.
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Old 7th March 2005, 10:30 PM   #32
deadspawn
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Good tips & fault finding:

Some of the most common fault finding tips are here below.
Always remember that answers will come through experience
in time, and mostly through trial and error. Sometimes
it is good to stop what you're doing and go watch TV, read
or book or just generally take your mind off it for a couple
of hours and return fresh-minded to the job, this alone
has helped me fix *many* problems that have simply plagued me.

This is a work in progress, and I couldn't see why it needed
a new thread on its own, but I will continue to review and update
it as I can.

Note that below is a list of good tools to have on hand, as well
as some hardware/software causes for the most common problems.
e.g freezing, restarting, not even booting at all sorta categories, as
well as driver problems. Never look at every problem as one that
will require something tricky to solve it, but the best way to help this
is to allleviate as many "outside" issues that you can. e.g just have
the basics plugged in, and rule out things one by one until you find
it.



Frequently Used tools

AVG Antivirus
PestPatrol
MS AntiSpyware
Hijackthis
UltimateBootCD (memtest, system benchmark, HDD diags)
Prime95/3DMark
Flathead/Phillipshead (be careful with it if you have a magnetic tipped one)
Decent brush for cleaning
Thermal Paste, and Zippo fluid for removing Thermal Paste
Electrical Contact Cleaner
Tweezers
Antistatic bags/wrist straps/etc


HARDWARE problems

- PSU. Attributing to about 30% of computer problems, always check this,
particularly if you are using a cheap no-name PSU, regardless of how
high-end your machine is.

- RAM. Even if the stick of RAM isn't faulty, it can still fail memtest
if it is simply too dirty. A good spraycan of electrical contact cleaner
from your local hardware store can keep your RAM in tip top shape. Spray
the contacts on your RAM and the DIMM slots on your motherboard and let
it sit to dry before reinserting it. A cheaper solution is getting a clean
rubber and rubbing all the grime off the contacts. Make sure you blow all
the rubber flakes off the contacts before reinserting it.

- HDD. Sometimes audible by clunking, ticking and clicking, HDDs can be a nasty
combination of unstability and lost data. A good set of HDD diags are always
needed. Some drives may not produce errors in the diags until they have warmed
up a bit, so don't always rely on a failure code in the diags. Be sure to
eliminate all possible alternatives before assuming the HDD to be faulty.

- PCI. Modems, Network cards, sound cards. All can cause these problems. Usually
these are the first to be taken out when basic fault finding. Take them out one
at a time, trial and error style. Sometimes simply moving the PCI cards to different
slots can provide a solution to the manner. Make sure all PCI devices are
sitting in their slots properly. A PCI card not sitting in properly can cause a
machine to stop booting, and is likely caused by a cheap flimsy case and a screw
too tightly nailed in, causing the cause to flex and the device to pop out.

- USB. Unplug all USB devices. I've found even a USB mouse can cause a lot of stability
issues. Don't ignore this!

- CMOS Battery. Take it out, let it sit for a minute and pop it back in if you are having
troubles getting to a POST, or are getting 'overclocking failed' errors. Try a new CMOS
battery if no luck.

SOFTWARE problems


- Virus. Don't rely on just one virus scanner.
if you are absolutely sure a worm or the like is eating at your machine. I use
AVG FREE edition (www.grisoft.com) as my primary virus protection, though if you
prefer NAV/PC-CILLIN or others, and they still aren't picking up anything, give AVG
a go. Time and time again, i've had machines doing strange things and Norton
isn't picking up anything. I chuck AVG on there, and sometimes it'll find 5, maybe 6
or even more virii that Norton simply just isn't seeing. For a free program,
AVG certainly does the job. Try booting into safemode to delete the Temp and
Temporary Internet Files, and also to modify the permission attributes on particular
files you are having trouble deleting/quarantining. If you run WinME or later, turn off System Restore.

- Spyware. Microsoft Antispyware is excellent if you are running 2K/XP. It will also
block as well as remove. Never rely on simply one Spyware removal tool. Other good ones
include ad-aware, pestpatrol, and spybot. Be careful with tools like hijackthis if you
are unsure of what you are doing, but hijackthis is pretty much an essential here too.
Ultimately, the best method for spyware protection is using an alternative to Internet Explorer.
Firefox, or opera anyone?

- Repair the OS. With Win2K and XP you can run a repair on the software, which will
replace the most common files (.dll, etc) that Windows uses, but leaves all your programs, and
files in place. This can fix some buggy little issues, and is a good thing to do if you
do a motherboard swap. This can, more often than not, fix computers that are hardware-wise
OK, but won't boot into windows. To run a repair with XP you need your XP boot CD, and your
CD key. For XP: Boot off the CD, on the first screen hit enter. On the second screen hit F8
to agree to the licence agreement. On the third screen, highlight to select the operating system
and hit R for repair. Follow the prompts

- Driver issues. Try updating/downgrading the driver. If applicable, roll back or move forward
a service pack. There have been too many driver issues with XPSP2 to count, particularly with
video cards. If it's a PCI device, try moving it to a different slot, regardless of age of
motherboard. www.driverguide.com is a great source for drivers if you know what you are looking
for, but not all of the drivers are proven to work, check the other user comments on the driver
before using it.
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Old 11th March 2005, 3:40 PM   #33
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Problem: One day i booted up my computer and it wont recognise my cd burner or my dvd rom, tried reinserting cables and still won't work. a week or two ago i put in a couple more chassis fans. Power supply?

my HDD still detects, my FDD still detects, but my cd and dvd drives won't detect.

Pretty sure its not heat, the fans do the job well.

Any suggestions?
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Old 18th April 2005, 1:54 PM   #34
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Definately put the stuff about firewalls in the LAN problems part, this problem is soooo common where I work, we always get ppl in with internet and LAN connectivity problems due to default overkill firewall settings.

Also, 'ping 127.0.0.1' will make the PC ping it's own NIC, if this works then you can be pretty confident that the NIC is not the problem. Check out your firewall settings
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Old 5th September 2005, 9:23 PM   #35
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I have noticed that the information about the AMI BIOS flashing is different to my experience.

Firstly, the boot block continually checks the floppy, then cd, then floppy etc. until it finds something, such as an MSDOS startup disc from the floppy or the special ASUS cd with the bios rom on it, and whichever it finds first, it uses. Also, I displayed perfectly through my AGP graphics card. To use the floppy to recover the BIOS, you have to include the flashing program and rom on the floppy, and then at the prompt (standard A:/>) you run the program, flash the BIOS according to the filename you entered, and WAIT FOR THE PROGRAM TO RESET THE COMPUTER, DO NOT MANUALLY DO IT!! Benzor lost his board (same as mine) doing this, I don't know if he got it back. Then remove the floppy disk and you will be back on track.
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Old 7th September 2005, 7:09 PM   #36
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Please update Hot CPU with following information:

If BIOS indicates heat, feel back of PC (where PSU fan is), and inside around the CPU Heatsink. If this is hot to touch, more than likely the BIOS temps are telling you the correct temperature.

If the temps seem well off or HSF is cold, power off PC and leave for 10mins, remove CPU FAN plug and power on. Monitor temperature, and plug in fan around 60-70 degrees, and it should in theory drop in temp to around 40-50 degrees. If it jumps around, or doesnt, it may indicate a faulty CPU or motherboard sensor.

INTEL HSF NOTES
If the system is an older Socket 478, DUST can be a killer. The early Socket 478 HSF's clogged easily with DUST (pretty much ends up not cooling the CPU at all), and will actually burn the HSF paste off the heatsink, and lead to temperature climbing. If this is the case (HSF is very dusty) exercise caution when removing, as the CPU may well come straight out of the socket without lifting the clip (if heat is high the socket expands and CPU pulls straight out, attached to bottom of HSF) .. this can lead to bent pins.

If its a new 775 system (round HSF and fan) a few notes. Make sure all wires are well away from the HSF. The fan will (if close to the wires) cut straight through them.

Also on the 775's make sure when attaching the HSF that on the underside of the motherboard, that all 4 black pins can be seen easily, and that the plastic clear lugs have splayed out correctly). Failure to check this may result in the CPU HSF falling off.
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Old 28th September 2005, 11:14 AM   #37
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as for:

Burns failing
Problem: burning errors

add:

If InCd installed uninstall.

damn that program is evil.
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Old 12th October 2005, 2:56 PM   #38
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add this to hdd not detected:
"double-check you've connected the sata cable to a sata connector, NOT sata_2, they both fit and silkscreen labels aren't entirely clear."

The only way I got the new hdd to detect (even with this) was a reinstall, possibly because I won't use anything higher than win2k-sp5 (and fedora core 4).

this post should go in the wiki.
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Old 12th October 2005, 3:33 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcady81
lol does this actually work?
Sorry if this has been answered before but yeah, I used it for a security surveillance server a few years ago. The hard drive was failing, it would be detected by the computer on restart by would die shortly after trying to read from it. Apparently it had footage of a burg so they needed the data as quick as possible. So I shoved it in the freezer for a while till it was nice and cold. Then shoved it in a computer, copied all the files to another harddrive. Mind you the harddrive failed to even be recognised when it warmed up again.
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Old 12th October 2005, 3:42 PM   #40
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||| NEW CPU NOT WORKING

also, add, HSF UPSIDE DOWN. (as with the socket A processors, iv installed them too many times upside down, and they kill themselves within 5 sec. Put them the right way up, and its all good)
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Old 14th August 2008, 3:56 PM   #41
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Talking ..

thanks mate
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Old 20th January 2009, 2:11 PM   #42
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6. Check All capacitors around the mosFETs supplying power to the cpu, especially if you have an abit/epox board.

if it's a socket A mobo, i'd check the caps regardless of brand. every socket A board i've dealt with has had this issue. and in some cases (like my old epox KT400 mobo) exhibit no issues whatsoever despite every 400uf cap being faulty

i also had a soltek board that wouldnt POST at all that had 2 bad caps
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Old 30th June 2009, 10:40 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch01 View Post
Please update Hot CPU with following information:

If BIOS indicates heat, feel back of PC (where PSU fan is), and inside around the CPU Heatsink. If this is hot to touch, more than likely the BIOS temps are telling you the correct temperature.

If the temps seem well off or HSF is cold, power off PC and leave for 10mins, remove CPU FAN plug and power on. Monitor temperature, and plug in fan around 60-70 degrees, and it should in theory drop in temp to around 40-50 degrees. If it jumps around, or doesnt, it may indicate a faulty CPU or motherboard sensor.

INTEL HSF NOTES
If the system is an older Socket 478, DUST can be a killer. The early Socket 478 HSF's clogged easily with DUST (pretty much ends up not cooling the CPU at all), and will actually burn the HSF paste off the heatsink, and lead to temperature climbing. If this is the case (HSF is very dusty) exercise caution when removing, as the CPU may well come straight out of the socket without lifting the clip (if heat is high the socket expands and CPU pulls straight out, attached to bottom of HSF) .. this can lead to bent pins.

If its a new 775 system (round HSF and fan) a few notes. Make sure all wires are well away from the HSF. The fan will (if close to the wires) cut straight through them.

Also on the 775's make sure when attaching the HSF that on the underside of the motherboard, that all 4 black pins can be seen easily, and that the plastic clear lugs have splayed out correctly). Failure to check this may result in the CPU HSF falling off.
This was posted 4 years ago, and still it has saved my daughters PC. A bit of dust removal and no more cooking cpu. Was reaching 78c in bios only. Now sits at 48. Obviously have cooked the cpu, but it will still do her for msn'ing...lol
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Old 3rd February 2010, 5:59 AM   #44
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Here is a new one I encountered the other day, system would shutdown completely in certain games, but would also shutdown at random. Thing is once shutdown it wouldn't stay on long once turned on again.

Obvious temperature related somehow, system behaved the same with no video card and different ram fitted. Replaced overly thick and dried out thermal paste on CPU and it worked better. Reinstalled graphics card, then noticed there was no case fans at all, hmm must be that. a 120mm fan was donated and stuck on a convenient platform (the graphics card ).

It now worked perfectly, for a couple of hours until certain games were loaded. What the.... take closer look at North Bridge's odd heatsink. Argh, its too late at night to pull the entire machine apart. In the morning (overnight lans ftw) the motherboard was pulled and a very stubborn heatsink wrench off the northbridge core. Thermal paste was no only way too thick (2mm or so) but was rather hard to remove. I had to chisel it off with various things.


So short version, if you machine works perfectly with a fan over the northbridge. Check the thermal paste on the northbridge cooler (and CPU).

This was a reasonably new board with no signs of having anything replaced, and yet both CPU and Northbridge had concrete used as thermal paste. It should only be a thin layer when removed, with even coverage just enough to fill the few gaps, more like paint than plaster.
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Old 28th May 2011, 7:36 PM   #45
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||| NEW MOTHERBOARD WONT POWER UP
Problem: mobo wont post.

1. Check if grounded properly and there's no shorts


what do you mean by grounded? does this mean the motherboard has to be attached to a metal backplate?
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