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Author Topic: Computer starts, boots, shuts down. WTF??  (Read 910 times)
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lildrgn
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« on: July 16, 2011, 07:25:12 PM »

Hey dudes, trying to turn an old server into a media server for my home. It's "old" in that it's been sitting around, but for all intents & purposes, it is new. Anyway, prior to me noodling around, I would boot it, it would start running W2K, then about 3/4ths of the way across the progress bar, poof, off it went.

It seemed to be ok when I would boot to safe mode. I could use the computer that way, but, obviously it was crippled. It was my old business computer and I decided to shelve it. Until now.

I downloaded a bootable version of XBMC and burned it to CD. When I start the computer now, it boots to that, but again, about 30 seconds in, the computer just turns off. I thought maybe it had something to do with the attached hard drives (4x 80gb SATA Western Digitals), which were attached in a mirrored RAID, I believe. So I unplugged all 4 HDs and tried and got the same result.

I tried pulling the memory and would get the same shut down. Right now I'm running a built in memory tester from the XBMC CD and it appears to be working ok.

It's been a few years since I've done the computer thing. What could be causing this thing to shut down with nothing but memory and a DVD drive plugged in?
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TheAtomicKid
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2011, 10:04:24 PM »

Unplug power, pull all the add-in cards, and use the motherboard jumper/whatever, to fully reset the bios. Re-add the gpu (assuming it isn't an onboard unit and could be removed in the first place), power up to bios, load safe/load optimal, and go from there. (please note that it is important to actually pull all the cards from the machine for this step, and then re-add them afterwards... I recommend the gpu first, and then once you get it working without any problems, start putting any additional cards back in, one at a time)

For your ramtester, I prefer http://www.memtest.org/, and remember to test one stick of ram at a time, so that you can firmly identify any troublesome sticks.

Check the contacts on your ram, and on the motherboard, clean with alcohol, etc. Sometimes you get corrosion, especially if they cheaped out and didn't use gold contacts for both. Also sometimes you get foreign material down in there. Cpu will usually be ok from this ailment due to the nature of the socket.

I'm betting it's the first, and your boots are hitting trouble when they hit the pnp.sys phase of things. I've seen that, specifically, before.

Atomic
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 11:57:47 PM by TheAtomicKid » Logged
lildrgn
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2011, 11:48:28 PM »

Thanks for the reply.

There's no cards in the unit, simply the memory at this point. But resetting the BIOS is a great idea. I'll give that a shot.
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lildrgn
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2011, 12:59:36 AM »

Hmm. PUlling the CMOS battery didn't fix it. Still starts for about 30 secs then powers down.
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lildrgn
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2011, 01:15:15 AM »

Interestingly enough, I have a disc called miniPE which is a bootable desktop with utilities. That booted w/o drives attached. Now I'm trying it with the drives to see what happens.
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lildrgn
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2011, 02:34:33 AM »

The mystery continues.

I am installing WXP right now and it appears to be taking. Yet it wouldn't boot off a boot CD that did work in another computer. All I want is to make this other rig a media server. We'll see what happens.
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lildrgn
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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2011, 02:53:48 AM »

Very strange. WinXP is installed to the machine. I shut down and tried with the XBMC boot CD and it once again shuts down when booting. When I run XBMC in safe mode, it shuts down. When I try installing XBMC Live to the computer, it shuts down.

But it boots to WinXP fine.

Hmm.
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lildrgn
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2011, 03:08:56 AM »

Again, the plot thickens. I downloaded drivers from Intel's page and started to install the network driver and, poof. Off it went.

Interesting. Maybe I'm getting closer?
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lildrgn
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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2011, 03:20:54 AM »

Yup. Pretty sure it's the onboard NIC. Tried again after all the other drivers were installed and KAPOW. Instant shutdown. Time to try the USB wireless adapter next.
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lildrgn
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« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2011, 04:13:22 AM »

Houston, we have lift off! Disabled the on-board NIC, installed the wireless USB adapter and, BOOM, we're in.

Now to get XBMC running like a boss and we're all set.
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