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Old 28th August 2009, 09:26 AM   #1
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Default HELP! PC works here but not there ... electrical problem?

A friend has a dilemma. PC sometimes won't boot up. It just beeps and beeps. I think the problem is with the electrical cables in the unit which is fairly old (they still have fuses not breakers). The PC was working fine, but suddenly it wouldn't boot up and this problem is intermittent.
  • The PC works fine both of 2 other houses where it was tested
  • Another PC in another room in the house works fine
  • When PC isn't working, TV and other electrical items seem to work fine
  • PC has been realiable and without any issues previously
  • Electrician didn't find any problems BUT he came when the PC was working normally! He thinks the line is probably dirty
  • A different PC in a different room works without problems, but on the first instance that PC in question wouldn't boot, this second PC also wouldn't boot.

Does anyone have any suggestions or insight?

Is it possible that there could be an intermittent issue like incorrect voltage that might affect a PC but not other appliances?
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Old 28th August 2009, 03:42 PM   #2
star882 is offline star882  United States
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Check for bad capacitors. They might be marginal to the point where it doesn't work at low line voltage.
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Old 28th August 2009, 03:56 PM   #3
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I suspect a bad PSU too. Check those PSU's caps IMMEDIATELY! I had intermittend problems with a PC until I replaced the PSU. It's caps were all bloated. Luckily I caught it in time as it was starting to put out much higher voltages...
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Old 28th August 2009, 03:58 PM   #4
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Well, I've built an amplifier power supply before, but how do I test the PC power supply?
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Old 28th August 2009, 04:02 PM   #5
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Just watch all the voltages under load. Most BIOSes allow to view the values under "Hardware Config" or something like that. Also, pop up that PSU and take a look at the caps. Please be careful, the line caps can hold up to 400V for a rather ling time!
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Old 31st August 2009, 01:29 AM   #6
PB2 is offline PB2  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulspencer View Post
Well, I've built an amplifier power supply before, but how do I test the PC power supply?
I agree with Star.

Check the caps around the processor on the motherboard for leaking out the tops. See bad caps here:
http://www.badcaps.net/

I'd just replace the power supply if it is more than 5 or 10 years old, if you've checked everything else.

Hard drive could be marginal also, download low level diagnostics and run a surface test, or try Spinrite.

Pete B.
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