PC won't start when it's cold

  Chris the Ancient 17:54 26 Jan 05

Hardware...Gigabyte K7 Triton 400 motherboard with Promise RAID function (hopefully overridden in the BIOS), HDD, Removable caddy HDD, CD/DVD Player, CD/DVD R/W and floppy.

A couple of colder mornings, the pc was reluctant to start (dead screen with no POST beeps), but switching off, and starting again(two or three times) and it kicked into life.

Until this morning - when it was a little colder.

Several goes at switching right off and starting again did no good. Disconnect every port and usb device. Still no good.

It did this before when it was cold, methinks. So out with the warm air blower and point it vaguely in the direction of the insides to warm it up (I thought these things worked better when they are cold!).

After about 30 minutes of this a little life!!!

It gave a long beep followed by two short beeps and then went off and sulked again.

Did that a few times. "Life, perhaps? Give it a little longer to warm up", I thought. And I did. And, verily, it works.


Why will it only start if it's nice and cosy and warm?

I wondered, vaguely, if the cmos battery is low when it's cold - but I've not lost any time on the clock. And that's my only straw to clutch at.

Given the symptom of not starting when it's cold - only when it's warm (I shall not switch it off for a while now) and an 'intermediate' POST of one long and two short, any ideas anyone?



  johnnyrocker 17:57 26 Jan 05

my guess would be p/supply do you have a known good one you could try?


  Jeffers22 18:00 26 Jan 05

AMI bios

1 long, 2 short Indicates a video error has occurred and the BIOS cannot initialize the video screen to display any additional information

Award Bios

One Long and Two short Beeps Video (Mono/CGA Display Circuitry) issue. Same thing really

Cold: maybe a contraction somewhere within the video card or cable joints. How well seated is the card and the cables?

  Chris the Ancient 19:58 26 Jan 05

Sorry for the delay, I got called out.


Unfortunately I only have that power supply! Shedding as much load as possible didn't really seem to do anything.


Aaahhh... so that's what that POST code means. Among all my probings etc., I did try wiggling lots of things. I shall wait for a warmer day (in case) and have a good go in there and see. Plus a bit of contact cleaning etc.

Will feed back when I get that chance.


  wee eddie 20:08 26 Jan 05

Solution - Hairdryer into case for a couple of minutes. (£4.99 in Argos)

IBM eventually died as there was a small crack in the motherboard, but that was nearly 3 years later.

  ashdav 20:16 26 Jan 05

probably caused by failing electrolytic capacitors in the power supply. when they are cold or have had voltage off them for any length of time the value will fall and the switch mode supply will not oscillate. suggest you replace it ASAP before it goes bang (and it will).

  Chris the Ancient 21:01 26 Jan 05

wee eddie...

Sort of what I did. But the time element was the pain in the posterior there. This morning, I wasn't in a rush out to work. But tomorrow etc... And the pc has to be on in the day as it is the sort of pseudo server for my network.


Hadn't thought about the 'lytics dying a bit, I must confess. But... When I powered up, all fans and drives did start up OK, If the psu was 'dying', could that still happen?

Also more thoughts on that POST beeping. When the pc was very cold at the start, I didn't even get those beeps. Just drives and fans spinning up and appropriate drive access lights flashing etc. - but nowt else!

Does that help or confuse?

Meanwhile, the lump stays on 24/7! And I start investigating psu costs.


  Chris the Ancient 21:03 26 Jan 05

Another thought for Jeffers22 (if you're still out there)...

If the voltage is well down coz of psu troubles, would that still cause the same symptoms of video problems?


  fuzzyone 21:08 26 Jan 05

Chris the Ancient,

2 beeps can also signify a problem with memory, which would also explain the fans starting up etc.

  Graham ® 21:11 26 Jan 05

This sounds like a condensation problem. If so, the only solution would be to move the PC to a warmer location. You may find in the spec the temp/humidity requirements.

  Chris the Ancient 21:17 26 Jan 05

Graham ®...

Another track that I hadn't thought of.

I would like to think that my 'office' was pretty damp free - and I stress the 'would like'. But, who knows?

The cold does seem to be the biggest trigger though.


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