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Gateway computer failure and fix:
Old 09-07-2008, 10:48 AM   #1
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Gateway computer failure and fix:

Desktop is set to hibernate - got up this morning and the monitor reported no signal. Turned power switch at CPU on and off, pulled CPU cover and checked connections, removed hard drive and gave it the smack of life - no joy. No fried capacitors seen, lit led on motherboard, fans running, vibration and warmth at hard drive. Don't have another computer with the same data connection to try the HD in. Was all set to take it to the geek store but the gal called Gateway service first. She had us unplug the power to the CPU and hold the power button on the CPU in for 30 seconds to drain the capacitors - i was like "yeah, yeah, safety first, let's get on with it". Well big dummy me - plugged power cord back in and restarted computer normally! Service person said we must have had a surge or power drop here during hibernation and one or more of the cards wasn't allowing the machine to cycle through it's normal reboot. Draining the caps allowed it to cycle normally. Anyway - first time i've run into that problem or fix, thought i'd pass it along, being as it's free and fast and can be done at home and all....
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Old 09-07-2008, 12:04 PM   #2
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By any chance would there be an UPS between your machine and its alleged "120V" outlet?
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Old 09-07-2008, 01:01 PM   #3
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A similar thing happened to my HP laptop a few months ago. I tried to restart the machine, the lights came on, the fan came on, but the screen remained dark and the system seemed to stop in the middle of the reboot. I called HP and the tech guy asked me to remove the battery from the laptop and unplug it. Then he asked me to press the power button for 30 seconds to drain the capacitors. The computer restarted normally after this procedure. According to the tech, the problem was due to static electricity inside the computer case.
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Old 09-07-2008, 01:32 PM   #4
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I had a Compaq. Tried to turn it on. Everything seemed to come on but there was just one small dash in the top left hand side of the monitor. I tried everything I could think of.

End solution. Unplugged all the USB items. Computer booted normally. I have found some USB memory devices freeze the boot process. You get no errors, it just stops. Only cost me a new computer to figure this out. I plugged everything back into the new computer and it did the same thing! I then knew it was not the old computer.
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Old 09-07-2008, 05:55 PM   #5
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A lot of machines (especially laptops) built in the last 8-9 years have power supplied to the motherboard all the time they're plugged in, primarily to facilitate things like wake-on-lan or other features where the chipset/cpu may have to do something while the power is "off".

The weird part is that they can get into funny states where they do weird things until they have a true power off and cold boot.

Rustics problem was probably that many motherboards can boot from a USB device. There may have been enough of a boot sector on the usb memory device to convince the system to try to boot from it, but it couldnt continue from there.

But for systems that do boot well on a usb stick, its sorta fun to put a linux or other alternative operating system on it, maybe a few apps and your data and be able to plug it in and go...
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Old 09-07-2008, 07:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
By any chance would there be an UPS between your machine and its alleged "120V" outlet?
Yup - battery backup, though it's some years (5? 6? 8?) old now - odd thing is that my machine, older, no UPS, and XP had no issues, her machine with UPS, 20 months old, and Vista had the problem. Real pleased with a quick resolution though. Note to self: power off reset requires full discharge of capacitors. Sometimes.
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Old 09-08-2008, 08:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calmloki View Post
though it's some years (5? 6? 8?) old now
I think in terms of UPS battery life that's the equivalent of saying "No."

I was wondering if a part of the power supply or a chipset got fried by a brownout or a spike.
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