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Computer crashes at boot

MHYoshimitzuMHYoshimitzu Registered User regular
Hello,

To show you where I am at this stage of the game, I'm posting this on the Wii Opera browser. Not really an apt substitute for a computer, but anyway.

Last week my computer's motherboard fan started making a grinding noise. I opened the tower up and sprayed the whole thing out with compressed air (which hadn't been done for about a year). I turned it on and everything seemed fine (at first).

Then, the computer began crashing. Now, this hasn't been a problem for this computer at all for the six years I've owned it. But the crashing has now gotten bad enough where I can't even reach the Windows boot up screen before the computer just hangs there. Checked all my connections and everything's fine.

Specs: Windows XP Pro. The motherboard is some ASUS from about three years back, socket 939 (Yes, it's been that long).
1 GB RAM, the CPU is an Athlon 3500+ and the GPU is a Radeon X800.

Now, I do have a laptop on the way that'll be my primary computer, but if there is any way to salvage this computer without spending too much money so I could turn it into some sort of media center, I'd love to try. Just narrowing down what may be the problem would be really helpful. Thanks in advance to anyone who can suggest some fixes.

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MHYoshimitzu on

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    TelMarineTelMarine Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    How old the hard drive? I had a long lasting problem with a slowly dying drive where load times became ridiculous and then constant hanging/barely if ever getting into windows. I believe S.M.A.R.T tools (http://sourceforge.net/projects/smartmontools/) can run during the boot process.

    Also could be the motherboard. I had a problem with random crashes I thought were heat/power supply related, but after replacing the motherboard all was well. I also had a problem with an old motherboard where the voltage to parts of it was much lower then the required amount which led to random computer crashes if even being able to get past the POST.

    TelMarine on
    3ds: 4983-4935-4575
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    Jubal77Jubal77 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    If it was dusty you might also need to reseat the ram after blowing the case out with compressed air. Wouldnt be a bad idea to reseat the other connections as well.

    Jubal77 on
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    Wicked Uncle ErnieWicked Uncle Ernie Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Do you get any POST codes? Does it crash during Windows loading? Can you get into safemode? If you can't get into the Windows boot screen hardware is a likely problem. Reseating or changing ramsticks is a good start, but it sound like you are in one of the harder situations to diagnose. Someone said hard drive, which is possible, but you can get utilities that you can boot into to check the condition of the hard drive. The motherboard is also a possibility...it'll be hard to get a new 939 board though. Are all the fans spinning up?

    Also possible is a trashed power supply, really hard to test without proper equipment, but Best Buy has a nice return policy for items like that. I actually just bought one from them to check my power supply, turned out i was right, ordered a PC Power and Cooling off Newegg and returned the Best Buy one a week later. (Since most people don't have spare power supplies laying around.

    Wicked Uncle Ernie on
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    MHYoshimitzuMHYoshimitzu Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    My first time after going through the case with compressed air, it booted into Windows fine. After a few minutes, though, the whole thing froze up.

    The computer itself SOUNDS fine, but now it's gotten to the point where I can't get it to load Windows, and trying to launch it into a safe mode just crashes it like anything else.

    My bet's on the motherboard, but like someone said, getting another 939 may be trouble.

    I saw a device sold at Best Buy that turns your internal HDD into an external for the purpose of recovering data off of an old drive. That's my plan right now, and it solves two problems: first, to see if the drive is the real problem, and second, getting some of my more important data off of the drive. Luckily, I have almost everything backed up on an external, but there were some documents I didn't save before cleaning the case out. Nothing too bad, though.

    MHYoshimitzu on
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