Solved Post xp Install video cards fail-white screen

Acer / Aspire t180
October 20, 2011 at 14:35:57
Specs: Windows XP, 2 gig
So I decided to take my PC back upstairs to reconnect it to the internet router. At this point my system just needed updates from the internet to get up to snuff. So I powered down, unplugged everything, and reattached to surge protector/battery backup before attempting installs.
When I turn on the PC, it seems to boot the system, but suddenly my monitor is a blank white screen even during boot-up.
I tried both the on-board (factory installed) video card connector, as well as my self installed update card: PNY GeForce 9400. The GeForce worked fine until I moved it upstairs again, and the drivers were installed then too.
What I would like: some instructions on how to set up a direct link from my roommate's laptop
to my Acer t180 with a cable. It would make things so much easier, but the MS wizard did not seem to allow it yesterday.
Note: I doubt a virus, as I had not established the connection to internet yet, and was running Norton 360 just prior to initial crash and was clean then. I also pulled the bad RAM as was suggested by Chicano in my earlier request.
My screen is white instantly, no chance to enter setup or anything. Maybe a baseball bat and a new computer??? Oh wait, that requires money.

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✔ Best Answer
October 28, 2011 at 19:06:31
"The battery backup monitor shut me down during a format of the D:\ partition backup drive saying I should switch from battery power to AC or shut down to save data. "

You should have mentioned that previously in this topic.

In your first post you said...

"I also pulled the bad RAM as was suggested by Chicano in my earlier request."

I clicked on your name and looked at your only other topic.....

"pwr fail format of bkup erases all partitions"
http://www.computing.net/answers/wi...

You said in that...

"my battery backup monitor erroneously shut down during a format of the backup storage partition"

What do mean when you say "battery backup monitor" ?

Is that software you loaded in Windows for controlling a UPS (Un-interruptible Power Supply) ?

Is that the actual name of the monitoring software ?

What brand is it ?
APC and Tripp-Lite are good - some other brands not so much.

"...saying I should switch from battery power to AC or shut down to save data"

Either your AC power had failed, or the UPS wasn't working properly (or you forgot to turn the AC power to the UPS on) - it's least likely your software for the UPS wasn't working properly.

The UPS doesn't switch to battery power unless the AC power to it has failed (or you forgot to turn the AC power to the UPS on), or there's something wrong with it. I can't think of any reason the software for it would have the option of you specifying that the UPS run on battery power when there was still AC power to the UPS.

I suspect that either the battery in the UPS is getting too old, or you bought a UPS with not enough capacity for what you need - in any case it sounds like it shut off the AC power provided by the battery and circuits a lot sooner than the monitoring program expected.

In that case, the same thing can happen as when you don't have a UPS - when the AC power fails, you can damage data on the hard drive if the computer was running at the time , and sometimes power spikes or surges are produced that can damage hardware, including the power supply. The effects of the damage don't necessarily show up immediately afterward.
(If you don't have a known good brand of UPS, it's possible that power spikes and surges were produced despite the fact they're not supposed to be.)
(By the way, if you DID have an AC power failure, if it was caused by a lightning strike, that can get past anything.)

If you can borrow a power supply and try that or try your power supply with a working computer, do that first. If your mboard is damaged your may need to buy a new mboard, or you may choose to buy a new system, not just a new PS, which you may not need if you buy a system.

Don't buy an el-cheapo (in quality) PS.
See response 3 in this:
http://www.computing.net/answers/ha...

Note - I no longer recommend Cooler Master, AOpen or Sparkle power supplies.

I prefer Enermax PSs myself, because where I am (in Canada) they're cheaper than the higher lineup of Antec PSs and the quality is just as good. Heavy duty everything inside of them (they're physically heavier). I've used maybe ten of them over 10 years or so on my computers and other people's computers I worked on. The oldest one is mine and where I am and it still works fine. I have two others at present, those work fine, and as far as I know none of the other ones I installed have failed.

If Antec PSs are cheaper where you are, they have two lineups. The better lineup has longer warranties and have a long time reputation of being extremely reliable. I don't know if it still applies, but years ago I read reviews of the better lineup models, which is all they made then, where they loaded the PSs to 100% of their rated capacity in tests and they didn't fail. No computer power supply is more than 85% efficient, they're not meant to be continuously loaded to 100%, so the reviewers suspected they were deliberately under-rated to assure reliability. Other power supply brand's models failed under the same conditions.
Also, most power supply's capacity rating is for intermittent use, not continuous use. The better PSs state max ...watts continuous on their label, or in their specs - and that applied to the Antec models back then (and I believe that also applies to Enermax PSs). If you ever have a problem their warranty replacement support is excellent.

(The one drawback of Enermax PSs is there is nowhere in Canada [or the US ?] you can send them to for warranty replacement, the last time I checked {~ 3 years ago} - you have to ship them farther than that.)
..........

" What I would like: some instructions on how to set up a direct link from my roommate's laptop to my Acer t180 with a cable. It would make things so much easier, but the MS wizard did not seem to allow it yesterday."

A USB data transfer adapter cable (adapter = it has additional circuitry between the ends), or a cross wired network cable, requires both computers and the operating system on them to be working properly. A USB data transfer adapter cable making the dong-ding sound when it's plugged in on both ends (on the laptop in this case), or the led lighting up near a network port on both ends when you plug a network cable in, doesn't necessarily indicate both computers are working properly. If your computer were working properly but Windows was not, you could boot the computer with something such as a Linux CD - that would work with the cables.



#1
October 20, 2011 at 20:25:09
Your problems happened AFTER you moved the computer.

You may have un-intentionally dislodged something.

If it's a desktop computer, REMOVE the AC power to it, open up the case, and make sure all wiring connections are properly seated, all cards installed in slots are all the way down in their slots, and that the ram is all the way down in it's slots - the latches at both ends of all ram modules should be against the ends of the modules. All cards installed in slots must be fastened to the case at, at least, the metal end bracket, BEFORE you attempt to boot the computer. PCI-E X16 and AGP video card slots often also have a plastic latch that locks down the inner end of the card to it's slot.
If the cards in slots are not fastened down, they can easily move when you plug in something into them and dislodge the card enough that it's damaged, or the circuits for the slot it was in is damaged, whether the computer is running at the time or not - ATX family mboards are always powered in some places when the power supply has live AC power to it. AGP slots / AGP video cards are particularly vulnerable because both have two vertically staggered levels of contacts. .

"So I powered down, unplugged everything, and reattached to surge protector/battery backup before attempting installs."

Installs of what ? If you installed any hardware inside the case, the AC power to the case should always be REMOVED before you do that, otherwise you can easily damage the mboard or the hardware.

"When I turn on the PC, it seems to boot the system, but suddenly my monitor is a blank white screen even during boot-up."

Are you hearing the normal one mboard beep that indicates the POST has completed successfully ?
Are all leds lit up normally, are all fans and hard drives spinning ?
Is the hard disk activity led blinking like it normally does while booting ?

There's probably nothing wrong with the monitor, but have you tried the monitor with another computer, or a different monitor with your computer ?

" The GeForce worked fine until I moved it upstairs again, and the drivers were installed then too."

Video cards and onboard video adapters DO NOT require drivers to be loaded from the hard drive BEFORE the operating system loads in order to produce video.

" I tried both the on-board (factory installed) video card connector, as well as my self installed update card: PNY GeForce 9400"

In most cases, the video port for the onboard video does NOT produce video when a PCI-E X16 or AGP card is installed in a mboard slot. Did you unplug the GeForce 9400 card when you tried the onboard video port ?

" I also pulled the bad RAM as was suggested by Chicano in my earlier request."

It's extremely rare for ram that worked fine in the same mboard previously to go bad. It's almost impossible for more than one ram module to go bad at the same time.

It's possible for a new ram module to be bad in a small percentage of cases, but in that case it's bad as soon as you install it, and only ONE module is bad.

However,
- it's common for it to develop a poor connection in it's slots or for it to not be seated properly - that's easily fixed by re-seating it.
- the ram must be compatible with usiing it with your mboard, and with the other modules that are installed if that applies
- the ram can be damaged by external events or by the user doing something they shouldn't have done.
.........

"Geforce 9400"

Minimum System Requirements: 300 watt or greater power supply with a minimum of 18 amps on the +12 v. rail(s) (some power supplies have more than one +12v output section / amperage rating - add them in that case).

Aspire T180 Specifications
http://support.acer.com/acerpanam/d...

Excerpt:
Power Supply Industry Standard 250 Watt

What is the (max output) wattage capacity of the power supply ?
You may be able to get away with a 250 watt PS if it has enough amperage at +12v but any less of either minimum spec will probably result in the power supply being constantly overloaded when the 9400 card is installed, and failing, sooner or later.

Failing power supplies often partially work.
The only sure way of ruling out the power supply is to try a working PS with your computer, or try your PS with a working computer.


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#2
October 24, 2011 at 16:23:50
Thank you for the response, but let's try this again. I was in a real state when I sent the first question. Maybe this will explain my problem more clearly. Here I go:
After a recent crash, and successful reinstall of windows xp (pre sp3), I now get a blank white screen at startup on my desktop. I hear the proper beeps, and it seems to load the OS, but I cannot see anything. One weird thing during XP install: it couldn't detect the dotnet files on the cd either.
I have tried everything, and I had not yet gone online with PC for updates, but it worked fine until I shut down, unplugged, and moved upstairs. I have checked to make sure all memory and other items are seated properly, and they seem to be. I can't even over-ride it with a bootable cd. I tried both the onboard video card, and the GeForce 9400 GT --unninstalling the GT to test original: same result. I have tried f8 at startup, and jjust about everything short of kicking the machine itself.
Any thoughts other than "go buy a new one" would be appreciated. (Lack of funding rules that out. As it does for "take it to Geek Squad, the insanely high priced fixit guys).

Also, I have tried direct linking to the laptop (not mine) that I am sending this question with, but it does not detect the desktop PC. I begin to wonder if my HDD
is not completely char-broiled. And my LG monitor works just fine with a different computer.
*help me, i'm crashing too* ;)


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#3
October 24, 2011 at 19:47:02
"One weird thing during XP install: it couldn't detect the dotnet files on the cd either."

On the Microsoft OEM XP Home CD I looked at there is a \DOTNETFX folder with a large DOTNETFX.EXE installation file (it installs one of the Microsoft .Net Framework versions - 1.0 I think), and 3 files in the \i386 folder that have DOT in them.

You should get NO ERRORS AT ALL when reading files from the CD during Setup. If clicking on Retry or similar does not help...
If you DO / DID get errors, something was not right !
See Response 7 in in this,
http://www.computing.net/answers/ha...
starting at

BELOW

"Errors reading from the CD can be caused by....."
..........


"When I turn on the PC, it seems to boot the system, but suddenly my monitor is a blank white screen even during boot-up".

"I can't even over-ride it with a bootable cd."

"I tried both the onboard video card, and the GeForce 9400 GT --unninstalling the GT to test original: same result."

That CANNOT be caused by any software on the hard drive - it has to be caused by a hardware problem, or a problem with your monitor
Have you tried a different monitor ?.
Even if you have a problem with the operating system, you should ALWAYS get video while booting BEFORE the operating system loads.

"I hear the proper beeps,"

Most computer mboards produce one beep while booting when the POST has completed successfully.
In rare cases, it may produce two beeps, a second or two or so apart, the same tone and duration.
Whatever situation, it would be identical to what it was when the computer worked fine.
Is that what you're hearing ?

"it seems to load the OS, but I cannot see anything."

Do you normally have to logon to your user while booting ?
If no, is the hard drive activity led blinking like it normally does while booting, and while supposedly loading Windows, or is it doing something else such as staying on and not going off ?

"I have checked to make sure all memory and other items are seated properly, and they seem to be"

You MUST remove the AC power to the case whenever you fiddle with any card or module or wiring connection inside the case - did you do that at ALL times ?

Good, but sometimes you need to remove the card or the ram module and re-seat it.

Were / are there any cards that were not fastened to the case at their bracket ?
Were / are all the latches at the ends of the ram slots against the end of the modules ?

If the 9400 GT has a 6 "pin" power socket, there must be a connector in it from the power supply that fills the socket .

The mboard probably has two power sockets - the main 20 or 24 "pin" one, and a 4 or 8 "pin" one - there must be connectors from the power supply in both sockets that fill the sockets and the wiring connectors must be properly seated.

NOTE that I have had at least one power supply that has a 24 pin connector (actually it's a 20 pin and a 4 pin connector from the same wiring bundle) that I had trouble with connecting to the 24 pin socket properly until I positioned the wiring so the wires were more or less straight going into the connectors near the socket.
.........

If you have not tried a different monitor, try that.

With the AC power to the case REMOVED...
Check things inside the case again.

If that doesn't help.....
With the AC power to the case REMOVED...
Remove and re-seat cards, ram modules, at least the two (or three - the large one may be two pieces) power connectors to the mboard.

If that doesn't help your power supply capacity (250 watts) is less than the minimum recommended (300 watts) for when the 9400 GT card is installed. It may have been damaged from it being overloaded. Damaged power supplies often partially work.

If you can borrow a power supply from another working computer temporarily, that has at least 300 watts (max output) capacity when the 9400 GT is in a slot, or at least 250 watts when the 9400 GT is NOT installed, try connecting that.

By the way, what brand is the power supply ? Some brands are well known to be a lot more likely than average to malfunction or fail completely , e.g. BESTEC .
The Acer Group of compaines is Acer, Emachines, and Gateway computers, and possibly AOpen (= AcerOpen) mboards and other computer components. .
Most if not all Emachines desktop computers have BESTEC power supplies and those are well known to frequently cause Emachines computers to fail to boot normally. They're also more likely than average to damage something else while failing - often the mboard !



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Related Solutions

#4
October 25, 2011 at 06:42:20
The only thing I haven't tried is a different power supply. I will see how that goes.
Thanks for the response. And the power supply says "liteon" and a model number that is too small to see. I'll get a magnifyer and check that out too.

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#5
October 25, 2011 at 07:38:20
Other than supplying the brand of the PS, you have not answered any of my questions in my last response !
Please answer ALL questions !

We don't need the model number, although searching the web with the brand and the model number may find reports that the model had mafunctioned or failed - any model of any brand can do that - it's a matter of whether you find a lot of them have or not. .
Lite-on are so-so cheap power supplies - . not particularly likely to malfunction or fail, but that's more likely than for better brands.


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#6
October 26, 2011 at 20:23:58
1) I checked for dislodged items, and 1 512 ram card was loose. I fixed that. All others are fastened/ screwed
in properly. I have since removed the 9400GT vid card to hopefully simplify any solutions.
2) Before activationg XP and installing updates to current SP. I had not even connected to the internet to do
update XP, and still haven't.
3) 2 beeps, 2 seconds apart. The BIOS bootup virus search/seek was turned on in last BIOS check. That is when
it beeps twice.
4) Tried the monitor with a laptop that had the correct socket fitting for cable. It worked fine there.
5) I had copies of the most updated drivers on disk for my sound and graphics. Perhaps I should have waited
to install them. They were installed after XP was up and running (downstairs).
6) Well, I tried removing the 2 512 ram cards in case one had burned out. This system requires pairing for the
memory to work anyway. I left the properly attached (2x) 1 gig memory cards in. I have since re-installed
all 4 ram chips.
7) Thinking back, the install not only failed to detect the dotNet files on the XP install CD, but also stopped
and claimed it could not read the cab files either. I thought I had solved that by copying them to another
CD and inserting that, as the install detected them and continued.
8) Sorry for the slow response, and if I've seemed unappreciative. It's been a long long month, and I have
work related files (backed up) that I cannot access easily without my own computer. I have also been using
my roommate's laptop, so I have not had access at all times.
9) Also yes to lights, fans, and drives blinking/ spinning.
10) It's very hard to read the text on the powersupply, but it appears to read 240v 12 amp max output.
11) I replaced the motherboard battery (the cr2032 "watch" battery) as well, as the original had not previously
been changed.

Thanks again. Please let me know if any of this helps, or if I've missed some information you need.

Vic


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#7
October 26, 2011 at 23:25:37
"I checked for dislodged items, and 1 512 ram card was loose. I fixed that. All others are fastened/ screwed"

It's good that you found that. Problems with the connection of the ram to it's slot(s) can cause no video (blackness), and may or may not cause an error beep or an error beep pattern, but not an all White screen, in my experiences.
I'm assuming you have NOT fiddled with the ram otherwise after it last worked properly downstairs.
if you HAVE fiddled with it, make sure that the notch in the bottom of the ram modules lines up with the bump in the bottom of the slots. You can't easily get the latches at both ends of the ram slots against the modules if that's wrong, it won't go all the way down in the slot, and both the backwards ram module and the slot it is in are instantly damaged when you attempt to boot the computer - your mboard probably will not boot normally after that even if you remove the damaged ram module.The ram module will have at least one damaged or missing contact, and the ram slot will have hard to see black carbon deposits and the plastic and possibly at least one contact will be damaged. If you clean up the black carbon deposits and make sure no plastic or loose contact (it fell off of the ram module because of extreme heatiing) bridges contacts in the damaged slots by removing that, the mboard MAY work fine with undamaged ram in undamaged ram slots.
(How do I know ? I installed a ram module backwards once and only once, and I got someone else's computer to work again when they had done that - in the second case there was a loose contact in the ram slot as well.)
....

"Before activationg XP and installing updates to current SP. I had not even connected to the internet to do update XP, and still haven't."

"I had copies of the most updated drivers on disk for my sound and graphics. Perhaps I should have waited to install them. They were installed after XP was up and running (downstairs)."

"Thinking back, the install not only failed to detect the dotNet files on the XP install CD, but also stopped and claimed it could not read the cab files either. I thought I had solved that by copying them to another CD and inserting that, as the install detected them and continued."

The software on the hard drive cannot cause no video or abnormal video before the operating system loads.

Regarding your problems installing XP, see the beginning of response 3.
....

"2 beeps, 2 seconds apart. The BIOS bootup virus search/seek was turned on in last BIOS check. That is when it beeps twice."

So you're saying they're exactly the same as when the computer worked fine ?

"Tried the monitor with a laptop that had the correct socket fitting for cable. It worked fine there."

Good. Usually there's nothing wrong with the monitor, but it's a good idea to connect it to something else to make sure.

"Also yes to lights, fans, and drives blinking/ spinning."

Good. The power supply is at least partially working properly. However, other things can still be wrong.


"Well, I tried removing the 2 512 ram cards in case one had burned out."

Ram doesn't "burn out" or "go bad" unless something external to the ram damaged it, or you installed it backwards in the ram slot. or you pluggeed it in or unplugged it when the power supply had live AC power to it. 99% of the time when people think they may have a ram problem with ram that worked fine previously there's absolutely nothing wrong with it.

"This system requires pairing for the memory to work anyway."

No it doesn't, on modern mboards (made since about the mid 1990s). It may require identical ram modules to be installed in certain ram slots in order for them to run in dual channel mode, and all ram slots must have such ram modules in the right slots for all the ram to run in dual channel mode, but the ram will work in any ram slot even if that is wrong, but if it is wrong they all run in single channel mode. In the real world, there is very little actual performance increase from them all running in dual channel mode.

"I have since re-installed all 4 ram chips."

They're not chips, they're modules, or you could call them cards. All ram modules have at least two individual memory chips on them - most have 4, or 8, or 16 - 8 on each side. Some have 5, 9, or 18 (parity or error checking modules, which cost more) .

"I left the properly attached (2x) 1 gig memory cards in. I have since re-installed
all 4 ram chips."

You had two ram modules installed when the computer was working fine downstairs and you installed two more after it wasn't working properly upstairs ? That's NOT a good idea. You may have introduced further complications. If you know for sure which modules are the ones you had in it when the computer worked properly, install ONLY those modules.

All the ram installed must be 100% comptible with using it in the mboard model AND all of it must have the same ram voltage specified for it - some ram modules use non-standard voltages.

"Sorry for the slow response.."

That's okay - at least you posted again - it's much better you do that than you never post again like many people who start a topic here do.

"I have work related files (backed up) that I cannot access easily without my own computer"

If you mean on a hard drive on this problem computer, the hard drive can be removed and connected to another working computer.

"It's very hard to read the text on the power supply, but it appears to read 240v 12 amp max output "

Why is it hard to read ? Do you have vision problems, or are you just older like I am (I'm 60) and your eyes have problems focusing on small print. I use something such as a magnifying glass when I have problems with that, and better lighting helps a lot too.

Most power supplies can be used with either 120v or 240v AC. I don't think you've said where you're located. Some who post here are in the UK or Europe or Australia or New Zealand, etc. . In North America the standard household voltage is 120v, although 240v is standardly available for clothes dryers, electric stoves, electric water heaters, electrc welders in garages, etc. When the power supply or computer is bought, if the power supply can be set to either AC voltage, there is a recessed slide switch on the back of it that has already been set for the AC voltage of the country the power supply or computer was sold in or was intended for. Since it's recessed, it has to be deliberately slid all the way to the other side by someone to be set to the other voltage, so it doesn't get set wrong accidently. . If you take the computer to some other location, you may need to change the setting of that slide switch yourself to suit the AC voltage of where the computer is now located. If the setting of that switch is wrong, either the computer won't work or you'll fry everything in the computer.

It's really not all that important what it says on it, for the time being, unless it's max total (output) capacity is even less than 250 watts.
But, if you can, you SHOULD try connecting your PS to a working computer, or connecting a PS from a working computer to your mboard. The former will show you right away if your PS is defective; if the latter doesn't work, there's something else wrong with your computer.
Both take only a few minutes to try.

"I replaced the motherboard battery (the cr2032 "watch" battery) as well, as the original had not previously been changed."

A weak or dead mboard battery cannot cause the problems you're having. It can cause your operating system to not load if the bios Setup settings are, or your hard drive's connection is, non-standard when the bios loses it's custom settings, but it can't cause the mboard to not boot normally before the operating system is supposed to load.

The CR2032 battery has enough voltage for 5 years or longer after it was installed in most cases. It takes very little current to retain the bios settings.

If you had normal video, if the battery is too weak or dead, or installed backwards, or isn't getting a proper connection in it's socket, you would get a "Cmos Checksum Error" or similar message while booting, and when you went into the bios the time and date would be set to bios defaults.



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#8
October 27, 2011 at 04:28:48
Thanks. For the record, I am 42 and in the US.
The label is hard to read due to small print and an overhanging lip on the side of the case.
All 4 ram modules were in place when XP was working. I believe the one unseated when I moved the pc. All are in place now.
I need to get ahold of another power supply, and I will get back to you.
Also it really is less about the work files, and more about "I didn't need another problem this month." Which really means that although I don't always use the right terms, I know more than a little about fixing these things, but just feel stupid because nothing works this time."

So thanks again. It may be a few days before I can get a power supply.


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#9
October 27, 2011 at 08:46:21
"The label is hard to read due to small print and an overhanging lip on the side of the case."

It's usually easy to detach the PS from the case by removing 4 screws that hold it in place on the outside of the case surrounding where it exhausts air at the back, there may also be one or two on a bracket inside the case on the inner end, and slide the PS so you can read the label properly, unless it's a really small tower case front to back. I've seen a few PSs that had the label on the top of it where it can't be seen when the PS is installed.
....

Another test.

It is easy to test for incompatible ram or a ram module problem otherwise that has caused your mboard to fail to boot properly.

Make sure you have a speaker or speakers or the equivalent connected to the mboard so you can hear mboard beeps (see your mboard manual if you need to).
Remove the AC power to the case/power supply.
Remove all the ram.
Restore AC power.
Try to boot.
If nothing else is wrong, you will get no video but you will hear a pattern of beeps that indicate no ram is installed, or a ram problem.
E.g. for an Award bios or a bios based on one, that's often a beep of about a half second, silence for a half second, a beep of about a half second, silence for a half second, continuously.
.....


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#10
October 28, 2011 at 13:49:36
It all makes sense now. The battery backup monitor shut me down during a format of the D:\ partition backup drive saying I should switch from battery power to AC or shut down to save data. That is what forced the new XP setup in the first place. I have just never had a power supply fail before. Must be lucky, I guess. It seems I have 2 options (in my price range right now): Thermaltake 430 or Dynex 400. Both are about $65 plus tax US. Any recommendations?
I have had good luck with some other Dynex products, but I know their reputaion is kind of "bargain basement." I know nothing about Thermaltake, but will do some research too. Thank you for all your help. I mostly needed to slow down, and step outside my normal set of problems and solutions. Your questions helped me do that.
As an added precaution, my brother-in-law (a Honeywell electrical engineer) is brining over some testing equipment and a spare "loaner"
ps to be positive that nothing else is wrong before I invest in the new ps.
Have a great weekend!

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#11
October 28, 2011 at 14:23:25
So both of those power supplies have pretty s#!tty reviews from professional testers, but pretty decent from consumers. Any thoughts for a decent PS for around $70? maybe 80ish even. I like the Corsair 450, good reviews, but maybe more than I need. Well, I must return the laptop to it's owner now, but I'll let you know how it all works out.

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#12
October 28, 2011 at 19:06:31
✔ Best Answer
"The battery backup monitor shut me down during a format of the D:\ partition backup drive saying I should switch from battery power to AC or shut down to save data. "

You should have mentioned that previously in this topic.

In your first post you said...

"I also pulled the bad RAM as was suggested by Chicano in my earlier request."

I clicked on your name and looked at your only other topic.....

"pwr fail format of bkup erases all partitions"
http://www.computing.net/answers/wi...

You said in that...

"my battery backup monitor erroneously shut down during a format of the backup storage partition"

What do mean when you say "battery backup monitor" ?

Is that software you loaded in Windows for controlling a UPS (Un-interruptible Power Supply) ?

Is that the actual name of the monitoring software ?

What brand is it ?
APC and Tripp-Lite are good - some other brands not so much.

"...saying I should switch from battery power to AC or shut down to save data"

Either your AC power had failed, or the UPS wasn't working properly (or you forgot to turn the AC power to the UPS on) - it's least likely your software for the UPS wasn't working properly.

The UPS doesn't switch to battery power unless the AC power to it has failed (or you forgot to turn the AC power to the UPS on), or there's something wrong with it. I can't think of any reason the software for it would have the option of you specifying that the UPS run on battery power when there was still AC power to the UPS.

I suspect that either the battery in the UPS is getting too old, or you bought a UPS with not enough capacity for what you need - in any case it sounds like it shut off the AC power provided by the battery and circuits a lot sooner than the monitoring program expected.

In that case, the same thing can happen as when you don't have a UPS - when the AC power fails, you can damage data on the hard drive if the computer was running at the time , and sometimes power spikes or surges are produced that can damage hardware, including the power supply. The effects of the damage don't necessarily show up immediately afterward.
(If you don't have a known good brand of UPS, it's possible that power spikes and surges were produced despite the fact they're not supposed to be.)
(By the way, if you DID have an AC power failure, if it was caused by a lightning strike, that can get past anything.)

If you can borrow a power supply and try that or try your power supply with a working computer, do that first. If your mboard is damaged your may need to buy a new mboard, or you may choose to buy a new system, not just a new PS, which you may not need if you buy a system.

Don't buy an el-cheapo (in quality) PS.
See response 3 in this:
http://www.computing.net/answers/ha...

Note - I no longer recommend Cooler Master, AOpen or Sparkle power supplies.

I prefer Enermax PSs myself, because where I am (in Canada) they're cheaper than the higher lineup of Antec PSs and the quality is just as good. Heavy duty everything inside of them (they're physically heavier). I've used maybe ten of them over 10 years or so on my computers and other people's computers I worked on. The oldest one is mine and where I am and it still works fine. I have two others at present, those work fine, and as far as I know none of the other ones I installed have failed.

If Antec PSs are cheaper where you are, they have two lineups. The better lineup has longer warranties and have a long time reputation of being extremely reliable. I don't know if it still applies, but years ago I read reviews of the better lineup models, which is all they made then, where they loaded the PSs to 100% of their rated capacity in tests and they didn't fail. No computer power supply is more than 85% efficient, they're not meant to be continuously loaded to 100%, so the reviewers suspected they were deliberately under-rated to assure reliability. Other power supply brand's models failed under the same conditions.
Also, most power supply's capacity rating is for intermittent use, not continuous use. The better PSs state max ...watts continuous on their label, or in their specs - and that applied to the Antec models back then (and I believe that also applies to Enermax PSs). If you ever have a problem their warranty replacement support is excellent.

(The one drawback of Enermax PSs is there is nowhere in Canada [or the US ?] you can send them to for warranty replacement, the last time I checked {~ 3 years ago} - you have to ship them farther than that.)
..........

" What I would like: some instructions on how to set up a direct link from my roommate's laptop to my Acer t180 with a cable. It would make things so much easier, but the MS wizard did not seem to allow it yesterday."

A USB data transfer adapter cable (adapter = it has additional circuitry between the ends), or a cross wired network cable, requires both computers and the operating system on them to be working properly. A USB data transfer adapter cable making the dong-ding sound when it's plugged in on both ends (on the laptop in this case), or the led lighting up near a network port on both ends when you plug a network cable in, doesn't necessarily indicate both computers are working properly. If your computer were working properly but Windows was not, you could boot the computer with something such as a Linux CD - that would work with the cables.


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#13
October 30, 2011 at 18:18:19
Thanks a lot. I actually have an apc UPS. I think that since the lights and such didn't go out at the time of the "AC fail" that my power supply likely is damaged. I appreciate all your advice, and assistance. I will be testing the power supply before I buy anything, and your detailed analysis will help me greatly. I will be getting help with the testing from someone who knows a great deal more about electrical systems than I obviously do; so I think that combined with your advice, all will work out in the end.

Let's close this down now.


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#14
October 30, 2011 at 19:08:54
"I actually have an apc UPS"

That's a good make.

Is it possible you un-intentionally had the AC power to the UPS switched off, or you forgot to switch the AC power switch on the UPS on, before / while you were formatting the D partition ?
Is it possible the cable between the UPS and the computer was loose in it's port ?

That's the only ways I can think of why it would or could have been running on the battery, if you weren't experiencing an AC power failure at the time which would have been obvious because other things around you would have stopped working, unless it's defective, and that's not likely for that make.

As I recall, they call their Windows monitoring program PowerChute .

The monitoring program probably can't sense whether the AC power is there or not there on / for the computer - it probably can only sense whether it's present or not present on the UPS.
If the cable between the UPS and the computer was loose in it's port, or was not plugged in on one end, that may cause unforseen problems.

The computer power supply cannot work if it isn't receiving AC power one way or another.

If the UPS's battery is getting old (you're supposed to replace it at regular intervals), or if the UPS does not have enough capacity for what you have connected to it, that would be a likely cause why the computer PS stopped receiving AC power shortly after you got that message, probably before the monitoring program expected it to. I'm assuming it was a short time - how long after you got that message did that happen ?


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