[dba-Tech] Another Puzzle - computer doesn't boot all the way

Tina Norris Fields tinanfields at torchlake.com
Sat May 14 15:27:39 CDT 2011

Hi Jim,

Some good thoughts there, even though the computer doesn't get shut 
down, it just doesn't boot all the way.  Still, these suggestions will 
prove quite helpful, I am sure.

Jim Lawrence wrote:
> Hi Tina:
> Check the BIOS to see what setting you have on the "over-heating" issue. 
> Some BIOS will automatically shut down your computer when it over-heats.
> That over heating can be caused with a fan, either CPU fan or one for an
> onboard built-in video chip fans. Even if the fans are working sometimes so
> much dust gets into grooves of the heat-sink, or between the cooling
> assembly and the chip that heat just can not disperse properly.
> Note: 
> 1. If you do remove the fan assemble, to clean it you should replace the
> heat-sink compound. (If you do not know; that is the paste that is placed on
> top of the chips so the chip and fan assemble can transfer heat property
> between them.)
> 2. Make sure the fans are running steadily and quickly. Sometimes dust and
> grit can cause them to not work properly. Carefully removing the lable (and
> replacing it...should be a perfect seal), on top of the fan, can gain you
> access to the fan bearing and a very small drop of three-in-one oil can do
> wonders.
> 3. You can also use a Can-of-air to blow away dust and dirt in small places
> around the fan assembles; just remember to have the computer turned off and
> cool before using the Air as the cold blast can damage a hot chip.
> Jim
> -----Original Message-----
> From: dba-tech-bounces at databaseadvisors.com
> [mailto:dba-tech-bounces at databaseadvisors.com] On Behalf Of Tina Norris
> Fields
> Sent: Saturday, May 14, 2011 7:49 AM
> To: Discussion of Hardware and Software issues
> Subject: [dba-Tech] Another Puzzle - computer doesn't boot all the way
> Hello Friends,
> Well, since we've solved the puzzle for the Fields-Family computer, I 
> can get back to one I was working on earlier.
> The patient is an IBM NetVista computer.  I have a family member with 
> access to a sort of electronics junkyard, where discarded items go, many 
> of which are still quite usable, but may need a little updating, and 
> most of which have been discarded simply to make room for newer 
> equipment.  The NetVista computer came from that source.  The operating 
> system is WinXP SP3 - I did the installation of the operating system - I 
> set up the user accounts - I installed OpenOffice software - I installed 
> Vipre -I was working on the updates for all the software and the OS, and 
> all seemed to be fine until I got to one of the final updates and had to 
> reboot the system, and it wouldn't reboot.
> I don't have the same detailed notes on this that I make when I know I'm 
> dealing with a puzzle - I thought this was working perfectly - so, the 
> sequence of events is no longer clear.  However, the POST was wrong - 
> rather than the single beep, there was a series of beeps (4 or 5 in a 
> row).  Looking up what that might mean, I found what I thought was the 
> most likely culprit - a failing power supply.  If it doesn't send a good 
> power signal, the system won't boot.  So, I bought a nice new power 
> supply - the precise model called for by the NetVista specs - and 
> installed it.  Booted right up.  Yay!  I continued working on the full 
> setup of this machine, and had it running for probably an hour when I 
> got to another reboot - and it wouldn't.  Same exact symptom.  The power 
> comes on, the initial screen is displayed, and nothing more happens at 
> all.  I put the computer aside for a while, because I had other things 
> to tend to.
> A month later I came back to the sleuthing.  Could be the CR2032 
> battery, after all, the machine is ancient.  So, I replaced that.  
> Booted right up.  Yay!  Continue setting things up just the way I will 
> want them for a student computer in my little classroom.  The system 
> seems to be running just fine, until I reach another needed restart.  
> Won't boot.  Same exact symptom.  Power on, initial screen is displayed, 
> and nothing more happens at all, no matter how long I wait - waited five 
> hours just to be sure.
> So, I think there is a thermal issue here.  When the computer warms up, 
> the reboot does not work.  If I let the sucker sit for a week, it'll 
> probably boot for me again just fine. 
> Now, one of the NetVistas I already had running reliably, has developed 
> the same apparent symptom.  Reboot starts, but hangs at the display of 
> the opening screen.
> Have you seen this symptom?  Is it likely a thermal issue?  Does it 
> sound like a failing solder joint?  Does it sound like a failing 
> switch?  Any ideas?
> Thanks,
> T
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