Odd Power Problem

Emachines / T2875
June 17, 2010 at 15:14:08
Specs: Windows XP Home SP3, 896 MB RAM
Sort of an odd one....

When the PC booted it was going to the safe mode selection screen. Any option at all would start to engage and then the screen would go black, but the power light would still be on, and the fans running. I swapped power cords and monitors without any change. After the screen would go dark the CD ROM drive drawer would not open, almost like it wasn't getting any power, but as I said, the fans and power lights were still functioning.

After holding down the power button until it turned off and then restarting, I could easily open the CD drawer, and I put my XP CD in, and restarted again. I went to the bios screen and checked the boot sequence, and then just let it there. It never went dark. An hour later I continued, pressed any key to boot from CD and then hit 'R' fro repair. When it got to the screen where it said it was loading windows, it again went dark.

Doing it a second time, it went past the loading windows screen, I entered a '1' for the installation I wanted to repair, entered the administration password (actually, I just pressed enter) , and got to the DOS screen. I ran chkdsk /r. I t indicated that it had repaired some sectors. I exited, DID NOT press a key to boot from CD, and the machine booted normally to the desktop. I ran Malwarebytes, corrected 28 errors, and then allowed MWB to reboot the PC.

Once again I did not hit a key to boot from CD, but shortly after the splash screen, right before the welcome, the screen went dark. And stayed dark. Just as it did before.

I now started it again with the CD, and again got to the DOS screen with its limited command functions. I let it sit there for 8 hours. No dark screen.

I again, typed in exit, and allowed the PC to boot normally, and it got to the desktop. But after about 3 minutes it went dark. When it goes dark it doesn't just gradually fade to black. It goes to black like a switch was just turned off, and makes an almost inaudible 'pop'.

I have started it with last good configuration, VGA mode, and even directory services restore. They all seem to go just so far, and then there's the almost inaudible pop, and the screen goes dark.

Since there was a problem with the date/time, I installed a new CMOS battery, and entered the correct setting in the setup.

During the time when I've been able to access the PC (before going dark), I checked out the system event viewer. Nothing....


See More: Odd Power Problem

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#1
June 17, 2010 at 15:21:02
check the bios video settings
check the bios power saving settings
try a different monitor
replace the video card

does not appear to OS related but hardware related


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#2
June 17, 2010 at 15:38:21
"check the bios video settings"

Very little to check on this PC's bios, Onboard Video Memory is 64MB, Primary Video Adapter is PCI Slot

"check the bios power saving settings"

Don't see it. There is a heading labeled 'Power', but the only thing under it is 'After AC Power Failure [Stay Off]"

"try a different monitor"

Done that. No difference.

"replace the video card"

No video card. Video integrated into motherboard.


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#3
June 17, 2010 at 15:58:06
If you're asking about an eMachines, they are built with Bestec power supplies that have a high failure rate. Me thinks yours is on its way out.

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Related Solutions

#4
June 17, 2010 at 16:01:12
"Onboard Video Memory is 64MB, Primary Video Adapter is PCI Slot"

It is either one or the other but not both. Can you set the pci video to disabled or none?

With the case open is the "pop" you describe from the monitor or the onboard video?

if the monitor isn't the issue then is has to be the onboard. Can you stay in the bios or does it go black also?

Sounds like you need to buy/install a video card and disable the onboard.


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#5
June 17, 2010 at 17:51:49
"Onboard Video Memory is 64MB, Primary Video Adapter is PCI Slot"

It is either one or the other but not both. Can you set the pci video to disabled or none?

I was reading directly from the BIOS display with those answers. Could that be the problem?
And right now the thing isn't showing anything on the monitor when I boot. The power light is on, and the fans are running, but no display. So I can't even check right now to see if I can set the PCI video to disabled

With the case open is the "pop" you describe from the monitor or the onboard video?

It's definitely coming from inside the case

if the monitor isn't the issue then is has to be the onboard. Can you stay in the bios or does it go black also?

I can apparently stay in the BIOS for days without a blackout

Sounds like you need to buy/install a video card and disable the onboard.


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#6
June 17, 2010 at 18:02:53
I could get the display again...

In the BIOS where it says Primary Video Adapter it WAS set to PCI Slot, and Onboard Video Memory WAS set to 64M. The only other option for PVA is AGP/Onboard. The is no option to disable.

And I could not tell where inside the chassis that faint pop is coming from.

And it seems odd to me that every single time I've run chkdsk /r it managed to find things to repair. How is that?


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#7
June 17, 2010 at 20:52:38
Look into your case, if your VGA (monitor) plug goes into a connector directly on the back of the motherboard, and not on an expansion card, then set it to 'Onboard' or 'AGP/Onboard', that might help. or borrow/buy a compatible video card (PCI, AGP, PCIe, etc) and select the appropriate settings.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.
If all else fails, read instructions.


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#8
June 18, 2010 at 09:01:10
Yeah, I did set it to AGP/Onboard and it made no difference. I'm off to get an video card (the only one I had hanging around didn't fit).

I'll let you know.

Thanks


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#9
June 19, 2010 at 09:30:57
Didn't bother with the video card. A close examination of the motherboard revealed numerous bulging and some actually leaking capacitors. And since it's a fairly old PC with a Bestec power supply (I've had one or 2 bad experiences with them), I'm just going to yank out the HD and get another tower.

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#10
June 19, 2010 at 11:33:05
Good move. Put the leftover parts up on a site like craigslist and you may be able to get some of your money back.

Skip


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