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08-23-2011 02:35 AM - edited 11-17-2011 01:57 AM
Recent software rebuild with additional internal HDD (March 2011) as dual-boot WinXP/Linux setup worked fine. CD/DVD RW drive started to give cyclic redundancy check errors so replaced drive a week ago. All still OK. Change of electricity provided and increased energy usage conciousness switched off machine at the wall overnight after normal shutdown. Machine would not restart in the morning. Did not load BIOS; all lights came on briefly and then went dead after 3-4 seconds with power light still on. One can get a similar effect by plugging the keyboard into the PS2 Mouse Socket as I did once!
After 20 minutes or so trying all sorts of things managed to boot from Linux CD. Shut down/restarted and all's fine provided I don't switch off at the wall. Also seems to be OK after brief 5-10 second power off but problem persists with any long disconnection. It seems that after 10-15 minutes power-on and 2-3 attempts at restarting, the BIOS comes up and all's well, although it has stopped in the middle of a Windows or Linux start-up on one or two occasions.
Am I right in thinking the problem might be the result of a dead CMOS battery? The reason I ask is that the clock seems to keep time OK and there are no apparent issues with BIOS once it loads.
Any help/guidance would be much appreciated. Further config info below.
Compaq Presario S4500UK Bios v3.03 dual boot WinXP Pro SP3 / Linux Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid (2.6.32-33)
HDD 120GB (original Seagate Barracuda 7200) Master Boot Record, Partition Table, WinXP, Linux, Swapfile etc
500GB Western Digital Caviar Blue (encrypted)
CD/DVD ROM (original JLMS XJ-HD166S)
Recently installed HL-DT-ST DVD-RAM GH22NP21 replacing NEC ND-1100A
I didn't get any replies so I went ahead with replacing the CMOS battery but that hasn't helped. The problem is also evident if I power down and leave it for about an hour or more before trying to restart even if I don't disconnect the wall socket. It seems to take about 15-20 goes at restarting before it fires up. I would be really grateful for any clues as to what's wrong.
Solved! Go to Solution.
11-21-2011 04:09 AM
Still no replies to my increasingly ticklish problem so I'll give you the benefit of further investigations in case it prompts some words of wisdom...
So it's not the CMOS battery. Other symptoms emerge...
1. "Crashes" are absolute, immediate and without warning - just like someone turned the lights out.
2. "Crashes" also happen occasionally when firing up Truecrypt using the "Auto-Mount Devices" option but thus far have not occured when selecting the required device first.
3. The problem appears to be getting worse in that it takes longer to persuade the machine to start from cold.
4. If I remove one of the HDDs the machine boots up fine - or it has so far (about 10 times after power disconnect for 1hr or more).
This makes me start to suspect the PSU. I've done the diagnostic checks on the HP website
and it appears that the Power Supply is working just fine but if I remove a device not required at boot-up the thing will fire up first time. My analysis seems to suggest that the existing PSU (Lite-On PS-5251-08HP) rated at 250W is working at near capacity but it cannot service the peak loads when the HDDs spin up during boot-up.
Can anyone confirm this, pls?
If this is the case, can anyone suggest a suitable upgrade? There's loads of product out there with prices ranging from £15 to £150 but as I'm a bit of a numpty and I don't seem to be able to narrow the choice down sensibly. I've tried going through the info on the HP website and various tech forums/fora without getting very far. It would be brill if there's someone out there that knows the product and could share their knowledge.
Tks in anticipation!
11-25-2011 09:42 AM - edited 11-25-2011 09:44 AM
OK, guys. I finally fixed the problem.
After calculating the power requirements for the curent config I discovered that, using various ways of estimating, it came out between 321W - 383W. That was quite weird as the only thing I'd added was a HDD and a stick of memory and the wisdom of other guys on this forum was that there was plenty of capacity within the factory installed 250W PSU. Aye, and here's the rub: modern replacement devices usually have uprated capabilities and draw more power. So when I replaced the CD/DVD RW drive it added a few watts, as did the swap of the Floppy diskette drive. It also appears that the USB optical mouse needs more juice than the good old PS2 device.
I just installed a new 450W Powercool PSU and Bingo! The processor goes quicker, too.
Hope my pain and trauma saves someone else having to endure the same.