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Help needed with computer problem

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My wife's computer died, and it's really stumping me what might be wrong.

It's self-built:
Intel Pentium Dual-Core E6500 Wolfdale 2.93GHz

It has a 600W Corsair CX-600 Power Supply (I know that's not it... it was a 500W Apevia but first thing I replaced), and a Radeon 6770 (I know that's not it... replaced what she previously had with that as my second step).  I've checked all of the connections, and no dice.

So what is it doing?

It will boot to windows (XP SP3), and then hang.  Then after that, no matter if I turn it off, or just reset, it won't come on- the light is green on the motherboard, but it doesn't even POST.  Then if I let it sit for a couple of hours, it will boot again... then hang when it gets to windows (not always at the same place... but it always hangs).  I've removed all of the peripherals and the network while I'm working on it, so it just has a bare logitech keyboard and microsoft mouse.

My next step is the RAM, but this is getting expensive, so I figured I'd see if anyone had any ideas what this could be.  If it POSTed all the time or never POSTed, then I'd not feel so lost.  But this sometimes it does and sometimes it doesnt... and the sitting for hours and it coming back on; it makes it seem like it's overheating or something, but it would have to be really hot to overheat that fast, and its not.  It has really good airflow, and 5 fans in it, so I'm really stumped.


I'm always suspicious of RAM with these kinds of symptoms.
Sometimes it's just a matter of removing the ram and re-seating just one stick at a time.


  Like mouser said, re-seat the RAM "AND" all other re-seatable hardware and cables.   Also look at the circuit board with a magnifying glass to see if any of the printed circuits have cracks.  That's more common than people realize, when computers heat and cool the circuit paths can crack over the years (especially with el-cheapo MB's).  If your real good with a soldering iron, you can bridge the crack.

  Another note on hardware, if the contacts are dirty or corroded it won't matter how many times you seat them, they won't make proper contact.  If they look dirty, us a pencil erasor to clean the contacts and then re-seat them.

My personal computer (self-built, also Asus) has a similar problem when it is turned on and a power failure occurs. No POST, no error beep(s), nothing works except the LED on the mainboard and the CPU fan spins up.

Before I became smart and read the manual of the mainboard I had to disconnect the power supply cable from the mainboard and leave it lying around for two or three weeks (no joke!).

However, when reading the manual after the third or fourth time this happened (you would think I had enough time to do so the first time this happened  :-[ ) I saw that my mainboard still came with a jumper to clear each and every setting in POST/BIOS. I honestly thought they didn't do that anymore.

Anyway, when I placed that jumper in the "clearance" position (I removed the battery on the main board as well) and left it like that for 10 minutes. Then I put the jumper back in its original position and placed the battery back. The system came back if nothing had happened to it.

The solutions from the previous posters I would try first as they will likely solve your problem. But sometimes a really hard reset can work wonders too.

Well, more information.  I let it sit for a few hours, then started again.  When I did, I went into the BIOS instead of letting it boot to Windows.  Temp looked fine (25C MB/25C Proc) and fan speed looked fine.  after a few minutes, it failed.  So I'm leaning towards RAM, and crossing my fingers.  Thanks for the suggestions, and I'll let you know!


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