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Help needed with computer problem

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Not a sef-built computer, but mine would act up after a power failure at times.
It sounded like it was working hard starting up, fans spinning hard.
I found that if I unplug the power at the computer and pulled the battery, then try to start it to make sure there was no power at all. Then put the battery in and plug it in, it would boot up. Of course I had to go to bios, first thing, to reset the clock.
Then it was fine after that.

I the motherboard light comes on and it hangs it sounds like the graphics card is failing, if it was a ram issue that would tell you straight up when trying to boot, remove graphics card and try placing urs in there and turn it on.

I'll +1 with previous posts.

Once you have definitely ruled out a flaky power supply, video card, and the onboard battery,..

Do a hard reset to clear the POST/BIOS settings.

If that doesn't fix it, the first suspect is RAM. Download a copy of Memtest86+ and burn it to a disk. Boot off that and let it run (at least) overnight. If there's any bad RAM in there, Memtest86++ will spot it.

If your PC locks up while running Memtest86+ it's extremely likely that it's not the RAM that's your problem. (Which is bad news since RAM is easy to replace and not too expensive.)

 The second major suspect is likely a crack in the mobo - or a bad capacitor.

Unfortunately, there's no really easy way to diagnose either. You could try gently flexing the mobo while it's running to check for hidden cracks or a bad solder join somewhere on the board. But that's a very dangerous "test" to perform - and is usually only used as a last ditch verification after you plan on replacing the board anyway. I don't recommend it.

Testing a capacitor in circuit isn't doable without some equipment that would cost more than the average PC. And with surface mount and multilayer circuit boards, you probably couldn't replace a component even if you did identify a bad one.

If turns out it's a bad mobo, maybe it's time for a new board? :(

this happened once to my previous computer.  it ended being the power supply that went bad.  and once it went bad, the graphics card also went bad and the ram.
I find this kind of issue the most frustrating to figure out and deal with.

Elaborating on what 40hz said: After you eliminate the other possibilities by swapping the graphics card, ram, reseating all cables, and resetting the bios, the next logical step is probably to just *assume* that the motherboard is the culprit, and replace it.


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