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Posted on Friday, November 16, 2001 - 4:00 pm:   

was replacing hardware in my pc, will not boot at all now, just cycles the floppy drive. help!
V (Vera)
Posted on Friday, November 16, 2001 - 4:12 pm:   

what hardware did you re-place?
were you trying to correct a problem or upgrading?

go back and make sure all cards and ram are pushed in firmly and all cables and power connections are secure.

no go?

take out and re-insert your video card and ram.
Posted on Friday, November 16, 2001 - 5:20 pm:   

really? in the meantime i noticed in my motherboard reference to clear the cmos memory by shorting two jumpers for a few seconds...yes everything is tight...i replaced my modem and cdrom drive...i have onboard video, but i will try the ram idea.
Posted on Friday, November 16, 2001 - 5:57 pm:   

update: no luck yet
Posted on Friday, November 16, 2001 - 6:55 pm:   

I've got a 4 year old pc that occaisionally shuts itself off. After which the power button either does nothing at all or I hear a short hum for about half a second and then it does nothing. Oddly if I disconnect the power from the back of the pc for a few seconds and then reconnect it I can hit the power button and it will come back on.

Motherboard (gigabyte BXDS), Power Supply (crappy Sparkle) or maybe just the power switch?

V (Vera)
Posted on Saturday, November 17, 2001 - 6:45 am:   

if you disconnected the cable from the harddrive, make sure you didn't get it on backwards.
V (Vera)
Posted on Saturday, November 17, 2001 - 8:40 am:   


did you try replacing the powercord at the back of your pc?
checked for loose connections inside?
very well could be your powersupply going.
Posted on Saturday, November 17, 2001 - 9:41 am:   

i originally tried everything mentioned so far, then reseating the ram, as well as other things. my computer is a pcchips brand, and i feel may be of the less reliable variety. there seems to be no other reason that my power supply may be faulty other than this (that it is just plain cheap). to restate, perhaps more clearly, the symptoms: turn on computer (with any or all devices unhooked) powers up, cpu fan, power led come on... if hd and cdrom hooked up, they power up...if fd hooked up, it cycles continuously, but will not read disk...i get no beeps - computer does not seem to go into POST. thanks for all help...
V (Vera)
Posted on Saturday, November 17, 2001 - 2:57 pm:   

did you remove the floppy cable for some reason when you were working in there?

is the light lit continuously on the floppy drive?
if so the cable is on backwards

if that's not it, try another floppy cable.
try the floppy drive on another pc. if the same thing happens in the other pc it's time for another floppy drive. if it works in another pc then it's either the cable or the floppy controller. fortunately floppy drives are not expensive.

oh the reference to the power supply was meant for a post in this thread for smcafee
Posted on Sunday, November 18, 2001 - 8:46 am:   

Yup! The BIOS is looking for the fd and some older pc's will not POST if it can't find fd -- bad cable, cable installed incorrectly, bad fd controller (doubt that, tho) or bad fd. (New fd less than 20 bucks) ... fd cable will usually fit either way; watch for pin-1 on Mobo. -- AJ
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2001 - 3:37 pm:   

i wish this was the answer...and again, i appreciate the input. to recap: i took off the case cover, unplugged cdrom, plugged in dvd/cdrw combo, unplugged isa modem card, installed onboard modem card, put cover back on, turned on. at this point, both the dvd and hd lights hit for a second or two, and the fd looks for a disk and continues to cycle (light stays on). i tried hooking the floppy cable up backwards to see what would happen...this produced similar, but slightly different results. i have been in my case before and knocked a cable just a tad loose...this time, i have reseated everything and tried turning on with nothing to everything - and various combinations inbetween - hooked up. Bad fd controllers and blahdy, blah - whatever else you can come up with isn't happening here. everything has been operational, and i take the cover off, change two things, and now some device is all of a sudden in the same instance inoperable? just so anyone reading doesn't take this personal - i am frustrated and sharing that fact here. i liked the tip about reseating the ram, b/c that makes some kind of sense. i'm looking for that kind of thinking here. i'm pretty sure i don't have a faulty component that has decided to show symptoms at the exact moment i take the cover off and switch a couple things - we're talking like five minutes here - the kind of thing that happens at a time like this is one knocks a cable loose. one doesn't take a cable off and turn it around or anything, and components don't go bad when daylight shines on them. again, i really appreciate the energy and input all have put towards my computer problem. sorry for the long post.
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2001 - 5:58 pm:   

Ok, time for me to add to the confusion here :o)

First, we need to know whether you have an ATX or AT style motherboard, and what processor and type of RAM you are using. The ATX has a one piece power connector from the power supply to the motherboard, while the AT has a two piece. Pull it from the board and see.

The idea here is going to be to eliminate as many suspects as possible. This means that you will want to disconnect everything that is non-essential from the power supply AND the motherboard. In your case, this will mean that the only things left connected to the mobo will be RAM, the PC speaker, CPU/fan, monitor, and the power supply connector (and the power switch, if you have an ATX style motherboard). Make sure you are using a known-good stick of SDRAM (or two sticks, if it has 72 pin DRAM) and a working monitor.

Disconnect the floppy, IDE, and USB cables. Disconnect the PS/2, serial, and parallel cables (if you have an AT style mobo). In fact, I recommend taking EVERYTHING off, and then just adding back the few things you must have to boot. Remember that your power supply is suspect here too, so only connect it to the mobo, nothing else.

Needless to say, you are going to want to make a diagram of how to replace everything if the mobo turns out to be fine; or plan on becoming VERY familiar with the owners manual of your board. Since you have a PCChips mobo, I would suggest that you not plan on using the manual...

Now: Power it on and see if you get POST, and/or a single beep from the PC speaker.

If it still doesn't work, you will want to try a couple of more things. First, I would check to see that your power supply is functioning properly. It is suprising how often they fail, and they often fail only partially, i.e., the 12 volt section still works (which is what powers your fans and spins your hard drives up, but the 5 volt, or 3.3 volt section will fail (or the other way around). The symptoms that you describe point towards this as a strong possibility. PC manufacturters (and system integrators) will often put in the lowest capacity power supply possible in an effort to save a few bucks. Down the line, when you have added that GeForce card, and a CD-R, and a Sound Blaster Live, and a RAID card with 4 80 GB 7200 RPM drives, the old 135 watt job may just not be able to keep up.

The easiest thing is to swap out a PS from a machine that is working, hopefully a 250 watt or better. Next best is to take your power supply and put it in a system that is currently working. Remember, all you need to hook up to the "working computer" is the motherboard connector. Testing a power supply requires a voltmeter and a familiarity with basic electrical principles. If you don't know what you are doing, you may get false negative results, or even damage a good power supply.

A couple of other strange things that have happened to me in recent years that convinced me that I had a bad mobo:

1. While I was putting in a sound card, a screw dropped into the space between the mobo and the back of the case (I thought it had just dropped on the carpet and got lost). This shorted out a critical component, rendering the computer useless. Of course, when I yanked the board to replace it, the screw dropped into my lap. I put the board back in and it worked fine.

2. A reset switch got stuck in the "on" position. I was trying to diagnose another problem, when the reset switch broke without any warning or giving the outward appearance that anything was wrong. Only when I disconnected EVERYTHING non-essential (including the reset switch) from the board did it start booting again. Coincidences DO happen.

3. A video card would cause this one baord to not boot, if I put it in the middle PCI slot (of three). Other PCI cards would work fine in any slot, but this card would not work in that particular slot. Until I pulled out ALL of the other cards and started trying this card in other slots, it would not boot. The video card worked fine in any slot in another board. The board was a GA-5AA (Giga-byte). Needless to say, I moved it to another slot and got on with my life.

4. Dead bios. I had to recover it using the boot block. The boot block is a mechanism whereby you can still access the floppy drive to reflash the bios if a flash goes wrong. When a bios goes bad like this, the board won't POST, but you can still access the floppy. You didn't just flash your bios, did you?

If all else fails, you can always just throw money at the problem. For about $250 you can get a P4 1.4 GHz, a new motherboard, and 256 MB of PC133 SDRAM delivered to your home, in less than a weeek. Time is money, right? Just send the "broken" stuff to me, OK?

Good luck
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2001 - 9:23 am:   

thankyou dave for your input...
-1st i always...check for dropped screws, loose wires, etc.
-i also, as mentioned, removed EVERYTHING
-the power supply possibility does make sense
-i still haven't ruled out the floppy cable
-there are no coincidences

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