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My computer has been running Windows and Linux perfectly fine with my 9800GT for the past year or so, but today it refused to boot.

When I press the power button, this is what happens:

  1. Power button flashes once.
  2. Fans whir.
  3. Graphics card makes clicking noise.
  4. Computer reboots.
  5. Go back to 1.

The cycle just keeps going, and I have to yank the cord to make the computer stop. After about 30 attempts at booting it, the computer powers on and everything works.

I'm pretty sure that the graphics card isn't malfunctioning, as I've been GPU computing on it for a while now without any hiccups. But the strange thing is, the computer boots perfectly fine in only 5 boots if I remove the card.

The computer is a HP Pavilion a6028x Desktop PC:

  • Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 (W) 4600+ 2.4 GHz (AM2 socket)
  • Motherboard: ECS MCP61PM-HM (Nettle 1)
  • RAM: 3GB DDR2 (two different brands)
  • More specs here

Does anybody know what could be the problem? Any help or information would be greatly appreciated!

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

To me this just screams power supply or motherboard. Simply since you have problems booting without the card, but they're rarer, then I'd say that the card uses more power and that one of the components along the way isn't doing it's job correctly.

First check if the video card has a small speaker on it. I've seen cards which may give clicking or beeping noise when they don't have enough power to work or if the extra power cable isn't connected correctly.

Next if you can, try running the computer on another power supply and see if the problem is still there. If it's gone, it's the PSU, otherwise I'd say it's motherboard.

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I was suspecting one of those. I have the low-power version of the 9800GT, so it doesn't take an external power connector. I looked at the card and on the end of it I can see some rusty chip legs. That might not be good, but it was working fine earlier today. I've had the computer for almost 5 years now, so I think it's time to replace both... –  Blender Sep 17 '11 at 22:48
    
@Blender If that's indeed rust and not say electrolyte from a capacitor or flux remains, then it's definitely time to replace the whole computer! –  AndrejaKo Sep 17 '11 at 23:40
    
Aww... I just got this card last year. It could be the orangish residue that comes out of soldered connections, though, so I'll hope that it isn't rust. That half of the card never got adequate cooling (thank you, BFG Tech), so maybe it leaked out due to the excess heat. Anyways, thanks for the reply. –  Blender Sep 18 '11 at 0:33
    
Just an update: two PSUs and one motherboard later (I swapped for different reasons) this same problem persists. I'm quite sure it's the GPU now ;) –  Blender Feb 28 '12 at 2:36
    
@Blender Interesting. –  AndrejaKo Feb 28 '12 at 20:03
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I had the same problem on my pc, my solution was to remowe a mionix mouse i got a month earlier and the software for the mouse. It did cause my main powersupply to burn or melt. Took the mouse and swang it around my head a coupla times and just let i fly. 100$ mouse and 90$powersupply.

kindly R.Karlsson

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What indicated that the mouse was the culprit? –  Isaac Rabinovitch Nov 24 '12 at 22:22
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