I've done some google searches, but nothing seems to fix my problem.

I just got a computer from a friend, saying that it wasn't turning on anymore. I took it home, powered it up, and viola! beep codes, monitor display, everything! a couple cryptic error messages in white, and a message telling me to press F2 to continue, but other than that, fine, i booted into xp and it worked. I "restarted" it a couple times, (restart, not power down) and everything seemed to work. When I finally shut it down there were two options "shutdown" and "shutdown and power off". I chose shutdown, and it shut down and all the fans went quiet.

Now whenever I plug it in, it will automatically turn on and the fans will run all at 100% but nothing displays on the monitor. I can shut it down and turn it back on using the power button, but that yeilds the same results.

What can I do to make it work again like it did the first time?


  • I've never seen options of "shutdown" vs. "shutdown and power off". I'm wondering if just shutdown is hibernation (which has plenty of known problems, particularly with Win 7). What is the computer model and what is its operating system?
    – fixer1234
    Mar 8 '15 at 6:28
  • this is on windows xp, but they had a custom login screen (I believe it was used in a hotel)
    – Blaine
    Mar 8 '15 at 7:39
  • does it have nvidia integrated chipset video? Mar 8 '15 at 8:00
  • integrated: yes. Nvidia: don't think so, but not positive. Are you worried it's the 8600 series?
    – Blaine
    Mar 8 '15 at 8:01
  • 1
    I would rule out a problem with hibernation. See this thread: nz.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080506223401AAHlP3f.
    – fixer1234
    Mar 8 '15 at 8:10

This sounds like a BIOS problem. Most likely the CMOS becomes randomly corrupted or has incorrect/incompatible memory settings that cause the system to be unable to boot.

Figure out how to reset the CMOS for this motherboard (usually a jumper) and go on from there. Once you get it working, you may need to update the bios or change some settings that are causing this intermittent problem to occur. Wouldn't be a bad idea to change the CMOS battery as well - this sounds like a 10-year old computer.

  • I did take out the cmos battery and put it back in. that didn't work so i tried it with a cmos battery i knew worked. that didn't work either. The one thing that finally got it to turn on again was reseating the ram oddly enough. I haven't turned it off again yet since i'm backing up files first.
    – Blaine
    Mar 8 '15 at 6:03

Check your capacitors. I've had problems like this with motherboards that have bad(bulging) capacitors. pic

  • physically, all the capacitors look fine
    – Blaine
    Mar 8 '15 at 6:07

Ok, The problem has been strangely resolved.

I kept getting intermittent boots, but most of the time it would just do nothing. Finally what fixed it was reseating the ram. So if anyone has a similar problem, i guess the moral is: reseat everything.

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