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Thread: What's Wrong?

  1. #1
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    What's Wrong?

    Hello,

    A friend has given me their faulty PC, it's an XPC Shuttle.

    When i got round to take a look it didn't boot up, the fans were real noisy and there was no picture at all.. The monitor just displayed "No Signal".

    I got home and assumed it may be the GFX so i whacked in a different GFX and viola it booted up but after around 5minutes of usage it froze, couldn't do anything..

    I booted it back up again and the monitor displayed "No Signal"..

    After a few attempts it booted up again but after entering Windows it froze again.

    Does anyone know what may cause this?

    Thanks,
    Iain.

  2. #2
    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Re: What's Wrong?

    Power Supply? Shuttle power supplies sadly dont last forever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

  3. #3
    o|-< acrobat's Avatar
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    Re: What's Wrong?

    It could be lots of things really. Its possible the motherboard is faulty. Its possible the RAM is faulty. And its also possible the power supply is faulty. Incase its the power supply, I would be wary of trying other video cards, incase the power supply is frying them one by one.

    My guess would be the motherboard though. But its impossible to tell really without knowing more.

    I'd put my money on a faulty motherboard. Because if it was the hard disk, a corrupt version of windows, or faulty ram, then it would atleast boot up to the point where it does the memory test and asks if you want to enter the bios etc. But if its not even reaching that point, then it suggests the motherboard to me. The graphics card would have been a likely suspect, if it wasn't for the fact that you tried a second card and that produces the same error (albeit after one semi-successful attempt). So that makes me think the video card is ok and its the motherboard that is the problem.

    The same might be true of a faulty power supply though. But I don't know enough about faulty PSU's to tell. In other words, if a PSU is faulty, does it boot up but the system fail alot, or does it just not boot at all? Either way, that doesn't seem to be 100&#37; true with this PC, because its booted up ok once, and the rest of the time it doesn't boot at all. But whatever, I'm sure someone else will have had experience with faulty PSU's, and will hopefully tell you if this seems like it could be a PSU problem.

    So i'd bet that its PSU or Motherboard, and in the meantime, my bet is that its a faulty motherboard. If thats the case, your options are limited
    Last edited by acrobat; 12-08-2007 at 12:18 PM.

  4. #4
    No-one's Fanboi Thorsson's Avatar
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    Re: What's Wrong?

    What was the first indication that something was wrong? Did it suddenly not boot, was there a crash, or were there earlier problems? Has there been a recent hardware change?

    It doesn't seem likely that it's an OS issue. Have you taken a peep in the BIOS (armed with the Manual)? Seems unlikely, but I've seen settings changed by crashes or power problems.

    Seems likely that it's hardware. If the changed GFX has a lower power requirement I'd suspect the PSU. Otherwise it might be a CPU problem (can you check the temp in the BIOS as it might be overheating?), a mobo or memory problem.

    Best way to work out what's wrong is to go down to minimal config and then swap out stuff. Minimal would be down to GFX, and one memory stick (obviously leaving in CPU).

    1. Run memtest for 10 mins (should be long enough) in this state, swapping memory if it freezes. If only one freezes, problem solved. Both freeze then it's PSU, mobo or CPU. Both don't freeze go to step 3.

    2. If it freezes try a different (and decent if possible) PSU. If it still freezes then it's either mobo or CPU. Best way to check which is to try the CPU in another PC (in case the mobo is frying the CPU). If another PC isn't handy then it's probably as cheap to buy both as it is to get someone in to work out which one it is and replace that.

    3. Add back components starting with HDD. If you got through step 1 then I can't see the HDD causing the problem.

  5. #5
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    Re: What's Wrong?

    Thanks for the qucik replies..

    I personally thought it was the motherboard..

    I cleared the BIOS at first just by taking out the battery and tha'ts what allowed me to boot up straight away.

    Only thing i'm thinking is whether it's worth just replacing the motherboard and keeping the same case or getting a new case and whacking in an ATX mobo.. I'm going to try the PSU in a second, unfortunatley i haven't got a tester so looks allthough i've got a lot of fiddling to do..

    The cases are a bloody nightmare!

  6. #6
    o|-< acrobat's Avatar
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    Re: What's Wrong?

    If you can test the PSU now, then you will be almost 100&#37; sure what the problem is. In other words, if you try a new PSU now, and the problem goes away, then bingo And if it doesn't help, then its most likely going to be the motherboard. (Its possible it could be something else, like the CPU, but I don't think that is likely based on the evidence. A CPU that overheats for example, would not overheat immediately after hitting the power button. It would also not give a "no signal" message, etc..)

    So if you can try a different PSU now, and that doesn't work, then I would feel confident about suggesting getting a new motherboard. And if you where to do that... you would have to rebuild the entire system anyway... So if you where going to do that, I personally would just buy a new case to rebuilt it into. Not worth sticking with a freaky shuttle case if you are essentially making a new PC out of the components.
    Last edited by acrobat; 12-08-2007 at 12:47 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: What's Wrong?

    Right,

    Just tried another PSU..

    Still you can hear it booting up and the fans going all crazy but still no signal..

    Think it's worth trying the RAM?

    The GFX works fine in the other PC so the only thing i cna assume is the motherboard..

  8. #8
    o|-< acrobat's Avatar
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    Re: What's Wrong?

    Yup. It would be worth testing the RAM because the next stage is buying a new motherboard

    You can get something like MemTest off google:
    http://www.memtest86.com/

    You can get a windows based one, but you are best getting the one that you burn onto a CD. Then put it in the dodgy PC and boot it up and run the memtest. The only problem with it, is that it usually has to run for a very long time until you are sure that there are errors or not.

    But yeah that is the best next step. And if that is fine, then you should feel happy about buying a new motherboard and rebuilding it.

    p.s. Or you can try other ram if you have spare ram too?

  9. #9
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    Re: What's Wrong?

    Ok thanks,

    I do have some other RAM..

    Any ideas on where to get a cheap PSU and Case from?

    Doesn't have to be flash or nout, just a standard case with an ok PSU, was looking for bundle deals on the net..

  10. #10
    o|-< acrobat's Avatar
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    Re: What's Wrong?

    I dont really know any bargain basement type places. I buy all my stuff from scan.co.uk, and although they arent a bargain basement kind of place, they have really great prices and a lot of choice. So you should be able to find a just a cheapo PSU and motherboard from them and get it delivered.

    They have so much choice so you should be able to match up the right CPU socket and whatnot, and then find a cheap one no problem. Same goes for case / psu / whatever you want.

  11. #11
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    Re: What's Wrong?

    Yeah i was just looking there..

    I've managed to get the damn thing to boot again but it will only show a signal input if i enter the BIOS..

    So when i push the power button and i repeatedly tap the delete button it will boot and if not i just get a blank screen...

    Mind you,

    After leaving the BIOS and going into windows it just freezes at different times..

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