PC won't boot - please help!

  Ellie3009 12:19 03 Apr 03
Locked

I am posting on behalf of another user who currently cannot because his PC won’t boot !
All was well with the computer until he decided to change the heatsink on his CPU. He took out the graphics card to allow more space then the CPU, changed the heatsink, and replaced the CPU and graphics card.
However, the computer has not successfully booted once since the change.
It starts to boot, flashes up the normal screen with the graphics card information.
Sometimes the boot process stops here, sometimes it goes one step further to the bios menu, and sometimes one step further again to the memory test.
However, it always stops before starting XP.
The XP boot floppy has been tried, and the computer still freezes before starting XP.
The computer bleeps only once while booting, and this is apparently normal.
Can anyone suggest what the problem here could be?
Is it possible that the processor or motherboard has been damaged?
And is there any way of figuring out where the problem lies?
Thanks!

  A15 12:27 03 Apr 03

Have had a similiar problem once, when building a PC. The problem was caused by the processor not being fully/properly seated on the connection point. However I was using an AMD Athlon slot a (cartridge processor) at the time. You have not said what kind of processor your friend has. The other thing being - & I dont know, I could be way off the mark here - but have you tried booting to something else, such as a bootable DOS floppy, just to rule out some weird glitch in the OS, by this I mean don't try to start XP, try to start something else, anything else.

  Ellie3009 12:53 03 Apr 03

I already suggested booting into dos, my friend says that win XP doesnt have dos... and he doesnt have any disks like that anyway.

He has a new athlon XP processor, so I think that makes it a socket A type.

  A15 13:14 03 Apr 03

I don't know if the socket a type are the same as the old slot a type, as my new processor is an Intel. However I would suggest that checking the processor is properly seated is a good starting place. As I say, I have had this problem once & it drove me nuts. In the end after taking everthing else apart I tried re-seating the processor & it worked. wish your friend good luck!

  Big Elf 13:23 03 Apr 03

It could also be the CPU fan sensor which is not connected properly. Some motherboards have 2 CPU fan connection sockets next to each other but only 1 has the sensor.

  Kudu 13:33 03 Apr 03

Did he tell you if the tool he was using to remove/install the heatsink ever slipped and hit the motherboard.Has he reseated the graphics card and checked all of the wiring as it's easy to dislodge things when doing this.

  SteevScotland 14:21 03 Apr 03

Is it possable that the heatsink is the wrong kind and the processor is overheating?
Some motherboards shutdown if this happens so the don't kill the processor .

Just a thought.

Cheers S

  PA28 14:28 03 Apr 03

Start from the beginning and check everything attached to the motherboard. It is very possible that in the process of pulling out the CPU and the Graphics Card, that a memory module has been wobbled or loosened, never mind the plethora of ribbon cables that can easily be caught. You might try going back to first principles and putting the old heat sink back on - is there even the remotest of possibilities that the new one is shorting something adjacent? Why change the sink if all was well before? - the old adage of if it ain't broke then don't fix it comes to mind!

  roversfan 14:43 03 Apr 03

turned out it was cpu overheating.

As already suggested - are cpu and heatsink seated correctly.

Is thermal paste intact between cpu and heatsink and touching both items.

Just a suggestion.

Good Luck!

  Ellie3009 15:36 03 Apr 03

He has managed to get it running XP (just) by using the XP CD to boot from. Whether it will boot again without the CD remains to be seen!

  Ellie3009 15:39 03 Apr 03

The reason for changing the heatsink was to reduce the serious noise that the fan on the old one was producing.

And I will suggest to him the the heatsink is perhaps not compatible, but I assume he has checked this already!

And yes, thermal paste present and correct!

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