Why won't my PC start up on the first attempt?

Question

Every time i need to use my computer, I press the power button and the lights blink once like normal, but nothing displays, and the hard drive light blinks like every 5 seconds. After I turn it on and off 3-4 times, it will boot up normally. I checked to make sure all connections are made securely. And the jumper setting are correct. What else could it be ?

Answer

This question was answered on January 9, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Sounds like a power supply problem First, stop resetting your PC continuously You could be damaging it.

Open the case and see if the processor fan is turning at all For this one time, you have permission to power it up If the fan doesn't kick in, it is probably bad

I see by your profile, this is a newer PC with an AMD processor Those processors will overheat quickly and shut down a PC Continued attempts at rebooting can cause processor failure Any time the processor heat sink is removed for any reason, new heat sink compound or a replacement pad is required.

If your CPU voltage is set right, it's time to suspect a bad power supply Replacement may be the only way to be certain the supply bad or not Before you do, however, be sure the motherboard is installed very well Look for places where metal near the edges of the board or cabinet hardware may be shorting to the board Loose hardware or screws floating around inside the cabinet can also cause catastrophic failure I find the only way to locate loose hardware is to disconnect the CPU case entirely and carefully shake it around, watching and listening for errant screws, nuts, or washers.

Bad power supplies will often begin to work after a few repeated attempts Still, they are always waiting for an opportunity to conk out Same with bad CPU fans Always keep an eye and an ear out for noisy or intermittent power supply fans.

RG

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Author

Posted by Robert of Mesa Community College on January 9, 2003