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DICKEYBIRD
11-23-2010, 08:07 AM
My ol' shop PC is doing something wierd. It's a PIII 800 Dell with W2000 Pro. All I did was remove the processor fan, oil the bearing and put it back together. The fan now runs great by the way.

When I boot it up, everything is normal until I click on any desktop icon. Then it just sits there with the hourglass thingie showing and there's no further progress. It won't respond to control>alt>del but it shuts down quickly with a single press of the power button. I went back in and checked all connections, re-seated the processor & ram but no difference. I unplugged all peripherals and tried again...no joy. Any ideas?

Evan
11-23-2010, 08:17 AM
Did you put the fan back on the right direction? It should blow into the heat sink.

Also try reseating the ram and anything else that you can.

DICKEYBIRD
11-23-2010, 08:24 AM
Yup, the fan can only fit one way and I reseated the ram.

I forgot to try Safe Mode but will do so when I get back home tonight. Anything I should look for if it works OK in Safe Mode?

MFolks
11-23-2010, 01:11 PM
You may have removed/damaged the operating system. I was using a vacuum cleaner hose, removing the dust and dog hair from my old system some years ago and when I turned the computer back on it dispalyed similar icons on the screen.

I had to do a complete re-installation to get back to where I was before the cleaning.Evidently a static charge from the vacuum hose wiped all the data away. You might luck out and do a "System Restore" back to where you were.

ckelloug
11-23-2010, 01:13 PM
Removing the fan did not involve removing the heat sink did it? If it did, improper reinstallation could be a problem.

Have you tried holding down F8 on bootup and trying to get into safe mode? If you can get into safe mode, try running scandisk.

DICKEYBIRD
11-23-2010, 01:55 PM
I'm going to try safe mode when I get home tonight. I didn't remove the heatsink to oil the motor bearing but thinking it may have shifted, I went back in and took it off, reseated the processor and the heatsink without positive results.

Evan
11-23-2010, 04:22 PM
Don't mess with software settings. You didn't change anything so don't expect changing things to help. You have a hardware issue unless you have neglected to mention something.

DICKEYBIRD
11-23-2010, 05:03 PM
Don't mess with software settings. You didn't change anything so don't expect changing things to help. You have a hardware issue unless you have neglected to mention something.The only other thing I didn't mention was the fact that the same syndrome happened about a week ago when I had it apart to measure the fan. I had plugged the external amp/speaker cable into the wrong jack on the soundcard on reassembly and when I corrected that error, everything went back to normal. I assumed that was the culprit.

It performed perfectly all weekend with heavy CAD use, picture editing & internet surfing. I didn't restart it again until after messing with the fan again last night. It may have been a coincidence last week and the problem is not related to the fan issue at all, just the restart. It's a stable system and doesn't get restarted very often. I'm going to R&R all removable cards and if that doesn't fix it, try to get into safe mode and run a couple virus programs to see if it's infected.

aboard_epsilon
11-23-2010, 05:27 PM
Maybe youve plugged it into the wrong fan socket ..

all the best.markj

Forestgnome
11-23-2010, 05:36 PM
Did you pull the heat sink? You could be putting the processor into thermal shutdown. It can happen real fast on a P3. That sucker can get finger-burnin hot in 2 seconds. You need to clean the heat sink surfaces real good and use high quality heat sink compound.

goose
11-23-2010, 06:17 PM
If you're getting all the way to Windows loading and icons populating the desktop, it doesn't sound like a hardware issue, or strictly such, as it's conceivable something was corrupted when you re-did the fan. I'd agree with MFolks in reinstalling the operating system as a fix.

Did you install any software or updates recently? You may have done so and not remember as even a small software update can cause problems sometimes. BTW, updating Windows/service packs/or security fixes from the Microsoft website is like playing Russian roulette with your computer, better to use the manufacturers' updates tailored for one's specific computer model.

Good luck,

Gary

darryl
11-23-2010, 09:21 PM
Not a computer guru here- but the clue is in the one thing you did that was different- you shut it down and re-started it. Probably something was set to complete its own install on re-boot, and that's what was happening. If that thing is malicious in any way, it's probably fighting for life in your computer. It could be a simple thing like a search habit tracking program, or any of many fairly benign programs that you didn't want, and didn't ask for, and didn't know was installing itself. Seems like it is a resource hog anyway. Or it could be a virus or norton stealing from you.

DICKEYBIRD
11-23-2010, 10:58 PM
I reseated everything, pulled the heatsink, cleaned and installed heatsink compound, restarted and got the same results. I then restarted in the safe mode and was able to run Spybot successfully. It found the usual stuff and I removed them. I restarted into regular windows and it's back to the same syndrome again.

If programs will run in safe mode it sounds like the hardware's OK?? I've got safe mode loading as I type this and will try another spyware app. I think I have Super AntiSpyware loaded on it...I hope; it's fixed some other problems I've had. SHEESH!!

ckelloug
11-23-2010, 11:06 PM
Did you try running scandisk yet? You know that archaic microsoft utility for disk checking hidden back in the accessories menu: the replacement for the old chkdsk.

lazlo
11-23-2010, 11:08 PM
Did you pull the heat sink? You could be putting the processor into thermal shutdown.

Sounds like a strong possibility -- if the desktop locks-up after the same amount of time...
Milton: turn the machine off, and let it cool down for about an hour. When you reboot it, see if it takes slightly longer to lock-up.

On a processor that old, the heatsink compound is probably dried and rotted. Can't hurt to clean it off and replace with some fresh heat sink compound while you're in there.

Edit: sorry, we cross-posted.


If programs will run in safe mode it sounds like the hardware's OK??

Safe mode loads the minimal drivers necessary to boot, but if you can boot in safe mode, it sounds like a software problem.

If you look at the hardware tree, are there any yellow exclamations?

Evan
11-23-2010, 11:27 PM
The problem is the power supply. The capacitors are failing. When it is turned off for a while they lose capacity. When it is first turned on again they aren't able to do the job but as it is left on for a while the capacitors reform slightly and it starts working again. As long as it is left on it will work but if you turn it off for very long then it will have problems when it tries to boot again. It shows up at first only when Windows begins running because that is when the system starts drawing more power. It will also boot into safe mode in most cases because in safe mode the basic drivers used cause the system devices to draw less power.

Eventually the system won't start at all if it is turned off for a long period. This is a classic power supply failure mode.

DICKEYBIRD
11-24-2010, 12:43 AM
Wow, lots of things to look at! Alas, tomorrow night's job. I'm nodding as I type this. My 5:30 alarm's only a few hours off.:(

I think I will turn it back on and leave it on all night before rebooting in the morning.

topct
11-24-2010, 07:59 AM
What do you see when you do what Lazlo says? Start in safe mode and look in the device manager. I have seen this happen when a sound card or phone modem went bad. If not, then yes, try another power supply.

DICKEYBIRD
11-24-2010, 08:00 AM
The problem is the power supply.Give the man a cigar!:D Thanks Evan, you are the man, again.

I just let it run overnight without launching a program from the desktop and bingo, it works normally this morning. Time for new power supply!

Barrington
11-24-2010, 09:12 AM
It might be worth one final test before you spend hard cash:-

Just reboot without powering down - if it locks up at the same point it may be just a service starting up slowly.

Cheers

.

DICKEYBIRD
11-24-2010, 09:27 AM
It might be worth one final test before you spend hard cash:-

Just reboot without powering down - if it locks up at the same point it may be just a service starting up slowly.

Cheers

.Yup, I was thinking that too but it did fine after a warm reboot this morning.

I'll bet it would run for quite a while as-is as long as I don't shut it down but I'm going up into the attic tonight and look through the pile of power supplies I've accumulated through the years and see if one of them will fit. The Scottish part of my blood won't let me spend any hard cash on this old machine if I don't have too.:)

ptjw7uk
11-24-2010, 10:10 AM
Temperature also has an effect on PC components when they are getting on a bit, especially hard drives which may not spin up fast enough.
The cure is normally the same leave it on for a while to warm up and strart again.

Peter

Evan
11-24-2010, 11:16 AM
There is one other thing to have a look at considering the vintage of the machine. Make sure the capacitors on the motherboard are not failing. The motherboard capacitors and the power supply capacitors share the same failure mode. The reason I didn't mention the motherboard is because none of the defective motherboards is likely to have lasted this long. Check it anyway to be on the safe side.

This is what to look for. If there are ANY bulging capacitors on the board, especially the larger ones near the CPU regulators, then it is time to look for a new MB. It is possible to replace them but it is a very tricky soldering job because of the multilayer construction.

http://metalshopborealis.ca/pics3/capsbad.jpg