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Now the PC Won't Boot!


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I'm not really sure exactly what is going on, but I've somehow managed to short 5 perfectly good (albiet old by a few years) Hard Drives trying to rebuild my old PC. I was hoping some of you may be able to shed some light on this for me.


The drives have all been different. All are EIDE or whatever acronym it goes by now.

Seagate 160 GB

Seagate 80 GB

Western Digital 160 GB

Maxtor 250 GB

Maxtor 80 GB


All have died the EXACT same way. While the drive is doing something, there will be this obnoxiously high pitched zzzzZZZZIP! like sound. The computer freezes. Then, BSOD telling me there is an UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME or some BS, and the drive will never work again.


No other sounds were heard before the Zip sound. No grinding, no clicking, no nothing.


I've tried reinstalling Windows XP Pro, but eventually along the way, the program just tells me the drive is unusable. I've tried formatting. Nothing I can think of works.


I don't know too much about these things, other than plugging stuff in and praying it doesn't blow up when I turn it on. However, I do suspect the power supply to be on the fritz. Reason being, this all started after a lightning storm knocked out power to the house.


For all you techies out there, the rest of my Compy Specs below


Mobo: ASRock 775V88

Proc: Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHz

PSU: 500W of unknown or generic make. Did not come with case.


1. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

2. Is there any possible way of resurrecting the zapped drives that doesn't involve 1000 USD / MB?



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Thank you all for the fast replies and solidifying my beliefs on the PSU. I checked out Newegg and I now have a new PSU and hard drive on the way for under $100. Best Buy etc would have cost me $200+


As for the "bad" drives.. could I just make them secondary to see if they work?


The new drive coming in will be SATA, as I just realized this morning my motherboard supports it (I really ought to RTFM more often). Will there by any problems having a SATA drive as primary and IDE drives secondary, or did I just open up a conflict of digital proportions?

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Also with SATA, if you have never installed a drive before you may want to check the version of SATA your MOBO uses. If your mobo supports the old version and you have a new version of SATA on your HD then they won't work. Although most drives have a jumper setting that reverts back to the old version.

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There are 1.5GB/s and 3GB/s. You need to make sure both are set the same otherwise your computer won't recognize it, or it will be like my computer and halt during boot and then make the drive unwritable. So unwritable that even Geek-Squad can't fix it. But Geek-Squad are like a bunch of clowns in a circus. A bunch of disorientated, unorganized clowns.


Edit: Thats actually the drive my computer made unwritable. LOL

Stupid people at ASUS can't make decent mobo's.

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I'm starting to think my MacBook Pro is Ninja-killing my PC. I've got a new problem for you.


The Story:

I got the new parts in from Newegg.com. I installed them, reinstalled Windows XP, and everything runs fine without a hitch. I get everything back to what I wanted - games installed, anti virus, firewall, the works. The PC is running great for about a day and a half.


Earlier this afternoon, I went to fire it up to play some games on it. Everything starts up fine. I notice I have no sound, despite the speakers working a moment ago on a different connection to my Mac. I go to the back of the PC to try to discover the problem (thinking the cable came loose), only to have the entire PC shut off instantly.


I hit the power button again, the computer turns on for a few moments, then turns right back off before it can even POST. I unplug the AC cable from the PSU and plug it back in snug. The computer turns on, but everything is staggering as it tries to work. After a few minutes the PC shuts itself off again.


Now, every time I hit the power button, the PC fires up, then immediately turns off again.


What did I zap this time? Please help, as this is getting really frustrating.


Again, these are the specs to my PC.


Mobo: ASRock 775V88+

Proc: Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHz

Fan: Masscool something or other.

PSU: Apevia 500W New Part (from earlier conversation here)

RAM: Ultra 1 GB (1 stick) of compatible type w/ Mobo

HDD: Seagate IDE 160 GB New Part

Video: ATI Radeon 9550 AGP 8x 256 MB

Sound: Blaster Live! SB0100 5.1 Channel

Firewire: Generic 3 Port PCI

Cables: OKGear Round x2 New Parts (and 1 for Floppy Drive).

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Unfortunately, you should probably spend the $50 and take you box to Bestbuy's service dept who have the equipment to test all possibilities. PSU problems often mimic overheated CPU problems, which often mimic faulty memory problems which often mimic a motherboard with a tiny crack in it somewhere. You can spend the price of a new computer trying to figure this out on your own.


You did the right thing in trying the PSU, but after one expense, it's best to go pro. Bestbuy is pretty good about not overcharging for diagnostics and often they will apply the diagnostic fee to the cost of repairs if you let them do the work. Good luck.

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Here's a head scratcher for ya..


My new power supply has 2 strands of power plugs. I swapped strands completely for all devices, and now the computer works! >.> At least it's still on as of writing this.


Should I send the PSU back as defective or just see if this one lives for my purposes?


EDIT: Nevermind... it died again.


Step 1: Check all Connections. Make sure there isn't a rouge connector hitting the motherboard

Result: No Improvement


Step 2: Remove PCI Sound Card and PCI Firewire Port Card

Result: No Improvement


Step 3: Switch 'Strand 1' to 'Strand 2' of Power Supply internal plug connectors

Result: IT WORKED!


Step 4: Reinstall PCI Sound Card.

Result: Dead again..


I highly doubt the Sound Card is causing all these problems, but that's what I've done tonight. I thought of changing the IDE cables from the new round ones to the old ribbon ones, but I can't fathom it'd do much either.


As much as you guys suggest to take it to a shop to have it looked at, I don't trust Geek Squad and the only mom&pop left open is less than honest, so I'm pretty much on my own (with your advice) on debugging this.

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Here's one for the books


The cooling fan came loose. There are 4 plastic locks that mount the Fan over the processor. The locks fit into the motherboard (LGA 775 socket, in case this is the way they're all built). over time or somehow, 3 of 4 locks unlocked themselves, and the weight of the fan kept pulling it away from the processor, making it turn off in self defense.


Every time I would turn the computer on it's side, the fan would drop back into position long enough to start the PC once I uprighted it, but then it would fall off. Subsequent attempts at rebooting wouldn't work because the fan couldn't find the cooler!


As far as the power surge that crippled the other PSU, I'm not sure what else it affected, but at least now I'm not up the creek!


Thanks to everyone who helped my troubleshooting efforts.


PS, Sorry for the double post!

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