Computer startup problems

January 17, 2010 at 06:26:37
Specs: Windows XP
My friend's PC is having some major problems after a power surge on Wednesday. The PC refused to start at all after the surge. We firstly checked the power socket to make sure it wasn't just that, everything else we connected was working fine. The fuse in the power cable was fine also, and we tried a couple other power cables to be sure.

I took it home with me and tried swapping the power supply with two spare ones I had, they're all providing 400W of power to the PC.

When I swapped the original power supply out, the computer started up for about two seconds before abruptly powering off again, so we've at least determined his power supply was broke. After the abrupt shutdown, the computer wouldn't start again until the power cord was unplugged from the PSU for about ten seconds.

Next we tried removing the power cable from his DVD drive, and this allowed the computer to very slowly load Windows XP. However, the user profile has apparently been corrupted, and in System Properties the memory is only showing 192MB which isn't right either.

I'm assuming that his motherboard's been damaged by the power surge but I was hoping to get some other opinions in case I'm wrong or anyone has any advice.


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January 17, 2010 at 13:14:19
I would agree the motherboard has probably been damaged, in particular the small, cylindrical components on it - they swell when subjected to a power surge.

All computers and peripherals should be plugged in to a surge protected multi-socket strip.

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January 17, 2010 at 13:44:53
Disconnect all drives and remove all add in cards except the video, if required. If onboard video is available then use it. Remove all RAM except one stick. Disconnect any external hardware except the keyboard. Remove any memory cards or flash drives.

Now try to boot. If still no go then you are down to the Power supply, motherboard, CPU, RAM.

Are you hearing any beeps at start up?

Removing all RAM should produce an audible error as will removing the graphics card if there is no onboard graphics.

If the CPU fan moved for a bit then the power supply you swapped in may be too weak.

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January 17, 2010 at 14:24:56
I'll check that and post back, thanks for the help.

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