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Since installing Ubuntu 10.10 from Karmic I've started getting problems with starting up the PC. I've done a complete wipe (Boot and Nuke) of the hard drive and reinstalled Ubuntu 10.10 but the problem still occurs. There is no dual boot on the PC, just Ubuntu.

Here is the problem:

Each morning, when I turn the PC on from being off overnight, the PC starts up and loads the BIOS. I get the following message

Verifying DMI Pool Data... K8 NPT Data Change...Update New Data to DMI!.......

Then poof the computer shuts off.

However, after switching the computer back on around 6 or 7 times after it's turned itself off, it will eventually boot up without any problem. Also, once up and running for a while, I can shutdown and restart the PC first time, without any issues.

I have also noticed a problem with the USB mouse being recognised and once I finally get the computer booted up, I need to unplug and then plug the mouse back in to get it working.

I've opened the PC up and checked the connections (cables, cards and memory) and it all seems fine. The main issue with troubleshooting this problem is I cannot test any suggestions or fixes until the next morning because once the computer is up and running it will remain so! I do not leave the computer on overnight to save energy.

So.. Is this a hardware / boot software issue? This is a very odd problem and I have googled to no avail. Any suggestions?

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1  
How old is the motherboard? The 6 or 7 reboots seems to me like a problem with capacitors on the motherboard. As they get old, thy need more time to charge. –  AndrejaKo Jan 5 '11 at 11:01
    
It's from 2006 / 2007. But what you've said sort of ties in with my last post about leaving the PC on at the boot selection screen :) –  clem Jan 18 '11 at 19:07

3 Answers 3

Sounds like failing capacitors to me. Open the chassis and look at the motherboard - do you see capacitors like this:

enter image description here

Power circuitry failing is one of the usual ways for motherboard to "expire". Symptoms include "cold" boot failing more often than "warm" boot. Be careful, bad capacitors can also burn your CPU over time, because capacitors are used to "level off" spikes, and capacitors failing suspects CPU to less equalized power.

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DMI strings are usually hard burned into the BIOS. From an OS guy's perspective - not my problem. Have you tried flashing the BIOS to clean?

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I'm unsure how to do this. I have, however, tried resetting the BIOS settings to the 'default' and then 'optimum' but this didn't help. It's almost like the computer is 'cold' and needs to warm up before the boot sequence works, which is why I checked the connections. –  clem Dec 1 '10 at 20:40
    
thinking you need to flash the bios from the DMI complaint....motherboard name/type? –  hbdgaf Dec 1 '10 at 20:42
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something makes me want to say the battery on your motherboard might not be good (my memory is fuzzy). you might try replacing that to see if it helps. –  Xantec Dec 1 '10 at 20:48
    
AKING1012 - -core description: Motherboard product: www.abit.com.tw vendor: NF-M2SV physical id: 0 *-firmware description: BIOS vendor: Phoenix Technologies, LTD physical id: 0 version: 2006/12/19 (04/04/2007) size: 128KiB capacity: 448KiB capabilities: isa pci pnp apm upgrade shadowing cdboot bootselect socketedrom edd int13floppy360 int13floppy1200 int13floppy720 int13floppy2880 int5printscreen int9keyboard int14serial int17printer int10video acpi usb ls120boot zipboot –  clem Dec 1 '10 at 20:59
    
was it a clean board or installed by an OEM(dell etc) –  hbdgaf Dec 1 '10 at 21:00

It could be a bad power supply - they go bad eventually. If you have spare computer try swapping the power supplies to see if that fixes the problem.

The hard-drive spinning up during boot could push it over the edge and cause enough of a voltage drop to turn off the system.

I replaced everything in a computer once trying to fix random lock-ups (reusing the case and power supply of course...) - then it died entirely on the new motherboard and I realized it was the power supply all along.

Also make sure the outlet you are plugging it into is properly grounded - if the motherboard isn't grounded properly there can be a voltage built up that trips the internal circuit breaker in the motherboard. (Running a computer without a power supply screwed into the case can cause some computers to turn off after a few seconds)

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