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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

A friend's Win machine needs help


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bobtomay

 
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Tells me he thought it was overheating for the last week and so he was using the power button to shut it down. Then he says the northbridge fan wasn't spinning so he took it out and WD40'd it, stuck it back in.

I get it, the machine was in a loop - booting up, then about half way through the Loading Windows XP would just reboot. Neither Last Known nor Safe Mode would boot.

OK, I stuck in the CD and ran a chkdsk on it. Got it repaired and booting back into windows. Played with it last night, seemed to be good, rebooted several times, no problem.

This morning, it would not wake from sleep mode. Had to hit the power button and reboot. Wouldn't boot. Turns on for about 5 seconds, doesn't even get to the bios screen and shuts down.

Unplugged it from main power for 30 seconds, plugged it in and booted up but with a processor error on the loading screen - went in and verified the bios info - and booted on into windows.

Re-boot one more time and it's back to turning on, never makes the loading screen and just shuts down.

It's a P4 in an Abit IC7 Max3, ATI X800XL and 512x2 and a Thermaltake PS.

Any ideas where to begin besides resetting CMOS and the RAM?

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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chscag

 
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I've had that same thing happen but with an Intel motherboard and chipset vintage 2001 - 2003. Turned out to be a bad motherboard.

Best suggestion I can think of for now is to remove everything from the machine except the video card and memory.

(Pull all PCI cards and unhook the ide connector to any hard drives. Not the CD drive though or floppy if exists.)

Boot it with either a CD or DOS floppy (if the machine has floppy drive) and let it cook for awhile. Then try the boot and reboot cycle to see if you can get to a DOS prompt. If the same problem persists and the memory modules in the machine are OK, it could very well be a bad motherboard.

It might also be the CPU itself, but that's unlikely. The older Pentium series of CPUs by Intel can take a lot of overheating before they get flaky. But it's still a possibility.

Hey, tell the guy to buy a Mac. Be a salesman.

Regards.
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cwa107

 
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He lubricated a sealed bearing fan with WD40? That would be the red herring for me. Is that fan spinning at all? If it runs hot enough to warrant a fan and the fan had seized, that would be my area of focus first.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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bobtomay

 
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The fan is just barely rotating. I'll probably pull it, but not sure if this mobo actually needs that heatsinc for the northbridge or not. Already ordered a replacement for it last night.

This is one of my old machines built in beginning of '03. I did run that CPU at 3.9 Ghz for about 3 years. Had a pretty good zalman that kept it in the 35-40c range under load. If it is the mobo or CPU, I can tell you that thing was a workhorse for a long time.

He'd get a Mac if he could. Sold him this one along with printer, scanner and 5.1 surround set up for $250 about a year ago and I think that was stretching it for him.

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In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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I was going to say I agree with Chris's assessment. WD40 might work but will not last.

Keep us posted!
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bobtomay

 
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??? Reset cmos, pulled the sound card, unplugged the drives, left the northbridge heatsinc, but pulled the power cable for it's fan.

Re-configured the bios, plugged in the system drive and back into windows.
Plugged everything else back in except that fan. Have been up, played with a few apps, played with sleep mode, re-booted several times and can't get it to display any issues.

He did tell me that when he noticed it heating up, the whole side panel 6" away from that heatsinc was hot. Could it really be just powering a dead fan causing it?

Guess i'll leave it up and running all weekend to check it out.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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chscag

 
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Quote:
He did tell me that when he noticed it heating up, the whole side panel 6" away from that heatsinc was hot. Could it really be just powering a dead fan causing it?
Yeah, could be. An uncooled P4 will generate a lot of heat but fortunately the CPU itself is pretty solid and if I remember correctly with a fairly good sized heat sink. Sounds like the MB is OK which is good. I wound up junking mine because of the MB.

Regards.
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ImTheOne

 
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Yeah, it usually wont get as far as through the Windows boot screen if the heat sink fan is bad. Your computer will usually read the temperature and just be like HOLY **** and turn off, and then will turn into a boot loop. Just replace that and it will most likely do the trick. Just to be on the safe side, I would replace that and then pull your ram and pci,pci-e,agp etc. cards out, and reseat them all, just to be sure you have a proper secure connection, because that RAM likes to wiggle out of place some how, going on 4 years of being a windows tech and I still dont know how it does it lol.
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