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I have 2 computers with very similar problems.

My first computer is an HP Slimline s3127c dual core AMD processor with a small form factor case. One day it just stopped turning on. When I press the power the power on LED lights up for a second but doesn't POST. Fans run though.

Did the usual, re-seat memory, de-dust it using compressed air, re-seat cpu, remove BIOS batter but it still won't POST. After unplugging it and leaving it in a corner for a few days, I plug it back in and try booting up and it works this time. It consistently boots for the next few weeks then does the same thing again.

Figuring it was time to get a new computer anyways I bought a Acer Aspire X3400. All is good for 3 months then low and behold I have exactly the same problem as the HP. I plug in the HP again, and again it boots.

I'm starting to think it's a PSU problem but am not sure. What do you guys think?

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migrated from Mar 29 '11 at 2:23

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

This is why new computers come with a warranty. Stop guessing and take it back to where you bought it. – John Gardeniers Mar 29 '11 at 1:48
@John That won't fix the first computer – TheLQ Mar 29 '11 at 2:00
I plug in the HP again, and again it boots. -- is that a typo? Did you mean Acer? – Mehrdad Mar 29 '11 at 2:41
I'm going to guess and say it's a heat issue. Small form factor devices sometimes have problems with that, depending on use. Do you leave them on and plugged in for a long time (like days)? – malcolmpdx Mar 29 '11 at 3:06
@Mehrdat - Actually I did exactly the same thing with the Acer as I did with the HP, leave it alone for a few days. It DID boot up once I plugged it back it and lasted until yesterday. When it didn't boot up, I decided to plug my HP back in ( which I thought was dead) and it worked. – Coffee Nut Mar 29 '11 at 3:49

With my experience I would assume - failure of the power management components on the mainboard (elcos eca.) - broken connectors on the mainboard (sockets eca.)

did you try to disconnect the device from power and press the power button for several seconds? this should empty all power buffer components (at least with atx it does)

since you wrote the device works again after it rested in the corner somewhere, it could also be some connector which extracts by heat. if it would only be important for the power-on part the symptoms could be explained.

but it is only wild guessing. broken it hardware is a biatch! sometimes...



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I had a similar issue with an old Pentium 4 machine. Same exact symptoms as you're seeing. Eventually, though, even the "waiting a few days" stopped working and it always immediately shut off no matter what. I came to the conclusion that the problem was the mother board.

At first I thought it was the power supply, because if I removed power to the hard drives it power on and stayed on. I tried another working power supply from another machine, still did the same thing when the hard drive was put back in place. I tried another harddrive from a working machine. I tried another processor from a working machine. I tried other memory from a working machine. Nothing worked. I tried the memory, processor, and harddrive from the non-working machine in another working machine, and they all checked out. By process of ellimination it must be my motherboard.

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