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Old 07-15-2008, 04:34 PM   #1
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my friend came to me for help and i dont know what to tell him.

his message to me (Well, my suspicions lie in the motherboard. But, I'll run down some details:

Last week, I was using the computer and tried to put it in standby (mind you, I'm running Ubuntu Linux 8.04 Hardy Heron, not no fancy-pants Windows), and the thing decided instead to restart itself and forget all my data. The next day the same thing happened with my Hibernate function.

About a week later, I was using it when I started having a lot of problems with general performance, and my sound card was supposedly "unrecognized" even though I could still play some sounds and hear myself in the microphone. (I was trying to use Skype).

The next day I was trying to reinstall my OS and things started to get buggy, so I restored what had already been there with a backup and tried to upgrade my existing (emergency) partition of Linux 7.10 to 8.04. The process took until 1 in the morning, when I just left it on and running.

I woke up, and as I was lying in bed I heard it turn itself off. I freaked out, jumped out of bed, and frantically pushed the power button to no avail. I unplugged it and waited a minute, and when I tried the button it turned on, got to the login screen, gave me about 5 seconds to log in, then shut itself down again. Subsequent times the most I got out of it was a flicker of the hard drive activity light. When my mom and I were looking at it's guts, we started plugging, unplugging, and pressing the power button. If you unplug and plug the power cord, then press the power button, the fan for the CPU will turn one rotation, then stop. The hard drive makes no noise. If you press the power button again, nothing happens. If the computer is plugged in, the motherboard's green "standby" light stays lit.

So, really, I have no idea what's wrong with it, but it seems to be my motherboard. I can't think of any other culprit, really. I suppose it could be my CPU or RAM, but it doesn't seem likely.

If you can think of anything, it might be better than buying a whole new computer.)

what do you guys think?
Old 07-15-2008, 04:58 PM   #2
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Sounds to me like a bad PSU, power supply unit. I'd start there.
Old 07-15-2008, 05:09 PM   #3
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I am near certain that tickykid is correct. I had exactly the same issue with exactly the same symptoms. It may have started as a bad power supply, but in the end it did destry my motherboard, even though, just as you describe, the green power light stayed on when plugged in. Only a new motherboard fixed for me. The shutdown problem was because the power to the cpu fan failed and the cpu overheated and shut down as it is supposed to.

You can try a new power supply, but you may be looking at a new motherboard. In my case, the cpu, drives and other peripherals were all ok.

Old 07-15-2008, 05:10 PM   #4
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it sounds like your fan is broken or stuck
i had once an old computer with a broken cpu fan. 30 seconds after booting it shut down automatically. the cpu was over-heating.
see if your fan is getting power, check that your fan is clean of dust(dont try to clean it yourself) , check the bios to enable the fan.

linux power management doesn't work like in windows. it still quite primitive and not all distros support a lot of functionality in that area.
Old 07-15-2008, 05:11 PM   #5
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Well, it sounds like a hardware problem ( without a shadow of a doubt that it's a hardware problem ). The best thing that you have to do is take your PC to a specialized support company ( check if the PC is under warranty and take it to them ).
Old 07-15-2008, 05:28 PM   #6
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It sounds to me like a motherboard or power supply problem -- but instead of spending money on potentially expensive replacement parts right away, take it to a hardware specialist to be sure.
Old 07-15-2008, 05:34 PM   #7
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I'd do this. Since the other posters thing ps is the problem...

1. get working ps and switch it in.

2. if it won't post, disconnect absolutely everything from the computer (hard drives, extra cards). Basically just ps, mobo, cpu, ram, vid card (or onboard video if you have it).

3. then you pretty much have to switch out components 1 by 1. I usually have a couple extra vid cards around, so I try that first. ram can sometimes be the problem too.
if it's the mobo, then you'll figure it out pretty quickly.

Old 07-15-2008, 05:38 PM   #8
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I had the same problem. Turned out to be a bad PSU.
Old 07-15-2008, 06:35 PM   #9
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thanks guys, you have been a lot of help
Old 07-15-2008, 08:32 PM   #10
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Yea I have a system that did the same thing, and it ended up being a PSU. If you have access to a air compressor or canned air make sure you clean the cpu heat sync.
Old 07-16-2008, 02:06 PM   #11
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Hey guys, I'm actually the friend that had his computer die.

Yeah, it probably was the PSU. The weird thing is, this happened to the exact same computer before, and I replaced both the PSU and motherboard approximately 7 months ago. On top of that, all I had installed at the time was Windows, and somehow it corrupted all of my data on my hard drive. Don't ask me how that happened.

I've decided that if it's the PSU that's bad, I'll just get a new computer. If anyone can direct me to an IDE to USB adapter so that I can get some vital data off of my hard drive (if I get a laptop, that is), that'd be great.

I just want to know, however: could my PSU have died because I was drawing more power than I should have (I got a new graphics card two months ago)?
Old 07-16-2008, 02:28 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by eleifsp View Post
I just want to know, however: could my PSU have died because I was drawing more power than I should have (I got a new graphics card two months ago)?
Yup. When things just act funky like described, it's usually power issues.

Data corruption before could have been something unrelated though.

I wouldn't replace the whole computer just because of the PSU though. You can get those for a fraction of the cost of a new computer. Say if you have a 300W PSU now, get a 400W or more. If the symptoms still occur, it's probably other hardware related issues, perhaps the new video card could be the problem. Remove it, see if they reoccur. With hardware comes into play for these types of issues, it's a yank it out and test game to see which component is acting up.
Old 07-16-2008, 03:56 PM   #13
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I wouldn't replace the whole computer just because of the PSU though. You can get those for a fraction of the cost of a new computer.
Yeah, but here's the thing...

I figure that to get the computer checked out by a professional (because I'm getting it checked out to not buy useless parts), it'll cost between $100 and $200. If it's the PSU, that's another $50, and it'll probably have taken the motherboard with it (again), which is ANOTHER $50. Plus, I've still got a 5, nearly 6 year old computer with 512 mb of ram and a 100 gig hard drive that can only sit in my room overheating, all for around $300. However, if I just get a new computer, I can have a new, dual-core 64 bit computer with 3-4 gigs ram and 200 gb hard drive, plus a graphics card, plus a flat panel monitor (oh yeah, I've got a CRT), plus new speakers (mine are nearly shot anyway), and a keyboard for around $500. And then, if I kick in another two or three hundred, I can make that portable and be set for college next year.

No, it's time to let my computer rest in piece. And, when I get enough money to build my own desktop, pieces.

And thus, my query remains: Anyone know of an IDE to USB converter?

RIP, Elrem 2003-2008
Yeah, I named it. So what?
Old 07-16-2008, 07:03 PM   #14
Registered: Jul 2008
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Hey dude you messed up with your PC very badly.Before taking any decision if you do not know take advise.
By the way its hardware problem .Check it out.


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