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Machine specs:

Intel Pentium 4 Processor 506, LGA775, 2.66 GHz, 1MB Cache, 533 MHz FSB
Intel 865GBF Mobo
1 GB RAM (256MB x 2, 512MB x 1)
NVidia GFX 5200 256MB graphics card
WinXP SP2

My monitor just came back after repairs (Some ICs replaced on its board). Now the monitor works just fine (when I connect it to a laptop for instance)

However when I hooked it up to my machine, I'm seeing some pretty weird symptoms. It used to work without any problems before the monitor was sent for repairs.

  1. Bootup is unpredictable
  2. The monitor doesn't turn on every time.. sometimes hitting the reset button causes the display to come back on. But intermittent... most of the time (the monitor just sits blank with a blinking cursor at the top-left)
  3. When the display does come on, half the time it just sits there with a blinking cursor at the top left
  4. Sometimes I'm able to reach the boot screen and select WinXP. However the machine just restarts mid-way (I seem to see a BSOD but before i can read it, it restarts). Tried getting in via safe-mode, however it pauses for a while after loading agp440.drv and then reboots again.

Any suggestions or a usual suspects checklist I could cross of... Things tried till now:

  • Removed all the dust inside.
  • Tried the RAM chips one by one.
  • Checked for loose connections between cards and Mobo, connecting cables.

Update:

  • As per the suggestion below, I removed the NVidia card.. no sign of any components blowing up. Conn the display to the onboard Intel accelerator. Same deal. 1 in 3 or 4 bootups have visual output on the display (else the monitor led just keeps blinking). And the few times it did come on, it froze within 10 secs (twice after the boot selection and once in the bios configuration that I was trying to tweak)
  • The RAM chips look okay. I have another tiny AMD machine.. I swapped the RAM chips into the AMD and it works ; making this post from this machine. The repaired monitor is also working nicely with this machine

That leaves the processor and the mobo. Suggestions?

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migrated from serverfault.com Dec 15 '09 at 18:01

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

1  
Have you tried booting it up without the monitor connected? This is just to eliminate the fixed monitor as the cause for the problem. –  sybreon Dec 15 '09 at 10:43

5 Answers 5

I'm having the same issue. This article helped: http://forums.computeractive.co.uk/archive/index.php/t-140291.html

as did: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324764

Alls well that ends well and it seems fine now, hope it helps you too.

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Once you get the hardware sorted, I agree with the comments about the video card, you might want to consider putting XP SP3 on your machine.

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If it's not the graphic card it could be the power supply (mechanical parts fails more easily and have shorter life...)

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any idea how I could check the power supply ? Don't have a multimeter. All 3 fans in the cabinet are spinning. And does it explain the intermittent bootups –  Gishu Dec 17 '09 at 15:25
    
To be honest I've had similar problems and I'd have a look at the PSU. What rating is the PSU? –  Mokubai Dec 17 '09 at 15:38
    
I believe its 300W –  Gishu Dec 17 '09 at 15:51
    
300W with a P4? That may be a little light for that card. I may be completely wrong here. –  Broam Dec 17 '09 at 15:59
    
When I was in the same doubt, I have tested it with the power supply of another computer. (If the cable is long enough, you could even test it without removing the power supply of the case of the functioning computer... But it also could be worst than removing it properly...) –  fluxtendu Dec 17 '09 at 17:02

If you press F8 during bootup you should be able to disable the auto-restarting when it blue screens, so you can read the message. It should help. Sorry I just joined so can't leave this as a comment.

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Seems to me you are dealing with a defective graphics card. Do you have another lying around? I would suggest you remove your current graphics card and insert another one.

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1  
I have the onboard Intel one.. I'll try removing the NVidia card and running off the Intel board. –  Gishu Dec 15 '09 at 10:08
    
Inspect the graphics card for burst capacitors. We've been having an epidemic over here of older Nvidia graphics cards bursting the capacitors and causing all kinds of bootup and/or display issues. –  Brian Knoblauch Dec 15 '09 at 12:40
    
I've had the same experience with the old nvidia cards at our firm. –  Bob Dec 15 '09 at 13:14
    
No burst capacitors on the video card. See update: –  Gishu Dec 17 '09 at 15:13

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