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I will worship you if you can figure this one out....

I am having some very puzzling problems with my DELL Dimension 4700 series computer. Here's the story:

I just installed a brand new ATi Radeon x700 PRO 256MB PCI express card in my computer and since then, if the computer has been of for more than 12 hours and I turn it on, all of the fans kick in full speed and don't stop(the fan on the x700 is quite loud in full speed), there is no picture (not even for a second), and the computer does not boot. I then hold the power button for 7 seconds, do a hard shutdown, and turn the computer on again. I go through this process sometimes 7 or 8 times before the computer boots properly (usually works the second or third), but when it does boot, the computer and the video card both work absolutely flawlessly. And if the computer has only been of for 6 hours or less, it boots up on the first try...

So theres my story. Both ATi and DELL tech support were no help at all, and when I emailed ATi to tell them they didn't help, they never responded. I checked the power consumption of my computer and it is well within the limits of my power supply, although it is only a 305W power supply. My buddies at gamingforums.com have been throwing this around for a week, and noone can come up with a working explanaiton. PLEASE HELP

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305 Watts is not 305 Watts. It's causes too many ...

In reply to: I will worship you if you can figure this one out....

Sorry, that's a gross misconception about power supplies. That number is only good for a few months then is some many percent less a year later. I offered a recent explanation why recently, but lets jump to this article -> http://www.tomshardware.com/howto/20021021/index.html In this expose', 6 or more out of 21 supplies failed to meet their printed specs.

Users worldwide fall for the trap that "this power supply is big enough".


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the power supply is brand new

In reply to: 305 Watts is not 305 Watts. It's causes too many ...

The computer just shipped on the 15th of December... I don't see how the power supply could already have degraded. Are their any other explainations for my problem?

Also, the power consumption was only 167 watts, and that's the highest it went.

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Doesn't matter.

In reply to: the power supply is brand new

The issue is quite widespread and kills owners all over.

It's either that or the motherboard has a defect. Nothing here will fix your choice of sticking with power supply, motherboard or video card.

Since these things don't work, why not ask for refunds all around?

And just checking. Is the BIOS up todate.

In closing, many go into a deep denial "it can't be the power" until they been through power issues a few times. The issue is NOT the Watts but also the startup surge capacity and ramp up of the voltages. Such are things we have to check with an oscilliscope and more. I find it much cheaper to fit the whopper 600 Watt test power supply and see if the issue vanishes. You may want unplug CD/DVD drives, added RAM and anything else you can to see if that helps.


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For academic interest, where or how

In reply to: the power supply is brand new

did you get the 167 watt number?? Does the power supply have Power Factor Correction??? Are you reading volt-amps or watts??? Or are you saying it is the output power. Did you compare the wattage for each of the voltages. Read the specs in detail and you will see that the maximum load on the 12, 5, and 3.3 volts is NOT equal to the sum of their individual ratings.

What CPU does the system have?

Really a waste of time because you should return the system to its original configuration and get your money back.

BTW Robert is, in all probability, correct.

You got trapped by giving Dell and ATI the chance to each blame the other.

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Same problem here...

In reply to: I will worship you if you can figure this one out....

I ran into pretty much the same issue trying to install an ATI X700 Pro card on a brand new Dell Dimension 4700. Fans turn on full speed at startup, and the computer would not boot. Powering down a couple of times, I managed to get the computer to boot. The X700 worked fine, except that the next time I powered up the computer the same problem came up. Because time was running out for returning the X700 to the local computer store, I decided to trade it in for a new box. I have yet to install it. If I succeed, I will post on this thread again.

The guy at the computer store guessed that the "real" problem was either the mother board or the BIOS, and claimed that "Dell is notorius for not updating BIOS". While researching graphics cards for other Dell computers I have, I did run into similar issues for ATI 9600XT cards on Dell (mid- to low-end) Dimension computers. I learned in one thread that it was not a power issue (for that individual anyway); apparently ATI took the 9600XT, made some modification, and that fixed the problem.

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...follow up (partially resolved)

In reply to: Same problem here...

OK, so I returned the ATI X700 Pro card, and got a new sealed box of the same kind. Again, the same problem at boot-up. I did observe several things that are strange. When I accidentally (and gently) jiggled the monitor card, the noise stopped and the computer booted fine. In fact, once booted the computer (and the graphics) works just fine--the problem is always re-boot. A possibility is that there is poor contact somewhere between the mother board and the (blue) monitor port on the card (I know that the monitor card and the monitor are fine). It could be the PCIe slot on the Dell Dimension 4700 motherboard, the ATI card at the point where it contacts the PCIe slot, or the circuitry leading to the blue monitor port. If anyone out there has had a similar experience, please report!

So the situation is still not completely resolved...

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check the monitor cable

In reply to: ...follow up (partially resolved)

connector end to make sure there are no bent pins that might be making a hit or miss connection....otherwise, try a different monitor if you have one just to test this and make sure it's not the monitor itself going blitz on you.


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Power supply issues

In reply to: ...follow up (partially resolved)

Believe me when I say, its a matter of fact to replace the p/s unit as a leading cuase of non-boots. Its so common as to be a "suing issue, IMHO", it really is. Once you deviate from the system sold and start adding anything else on offered OEM solution, you step into power issues. A solution was sold that requires X-watts of power, it worked when you got it but not after doing some upgrade. All too common that OEM p/s unit needs a replacement and here and elsewhere(forums) replace with a higher wattage unit. Its not that the OEM is cheaply made it can only put out stable x-watts during boot-up which can overwhelm any power leg of the p/s box, so seriously consider upgrading the p/s unit as well. The Nvida maker on thier own video shipped boxes, suggests that a typical user have at least a 350W unit already present for best results. On top of that, it better be a stable one too, as cheap is cheap when replacement p/s units now offered, but 400W is a real good start even if cheap. Top end video cards want power, plain and simple. Repeated attempts to boot-up with OEM p/s obviously can't be a good thing in the long haul, that alone can cause lingering or secondary problems.

good luck -----Willy Happy

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Seems like a power supply problem

In reply to: I will worship you if you can figure this one out....

By your discription the problem comes up when the computer cools off. The many tries at restarting the PC must warm something up in the computer until the point that it will start.

Had a similiar problem with an old Gateway computer. It was still under waranty at the time and I talked to a few reps, most thought it was the hard drive and sent a replacement, didn't work, tried the cables, nope, memory, wrong again. Finally talked to a rep that said right off the bat that it was the power supply, replaced it and had many years of great service.

Just because the power supply is new doesn't make it a good one. Parts fail in infancy thus the 24 hour burn ins. If you can get your hands on a replacement unit to try, I would do it.

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Same Thing Here !!

In reply to: I will worship you if you can figure this one out....

My new Dell 4700 was upgraded (by me) with an ATI X700 Pro 256 MB card and all seemed fine until the next day on first boot up. Same symptoms of the monitor going black and having to power down/up 3-4 times to get it to boot. After it boots fine, I can power down from the menu, and restart fine as long as I dont leave it more than a few hours. Seems that once the computer chips are warmed up there's no issue. I cant speak on the 12 hour continuous 'on state' as I havent left it on that long.

I tried something I saw on another post (cant recall where) for a cold (first) boot.

Turn the power strip off (where the pc is plugged in).
count to 3. Turn the power strip on. Push the power button on. Boots fine every time !! (in my case).

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revision to previous post. really works this time.

In reply to: Same Thing Here !!

Turns out that the previous fix didnt do it. But I found another one for the ATI Radeon X700 Pro.

1 - Set windows XP to reboot automatically on error under system properties, advanced, startup and recovery
2 - disable VPU recovery under the ATI control panel.

On the first boot, the black screen symptom occurs, then the machine reboots, asks for safe mode or normal, choose normal, then it successfully reboots on the second attempt. No manual powering down required.


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