Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it.
November 15, 2011 11:57 AM Subscribe
My homebuilt, always-on HTPC has ground to a halt. It won't boot past the BIOS, which slowly - slowly - fills the screen like it's being downloaded by a very old dial-up modem. What's my "checklist" for zeroing in on the problem?
posted by BobbyVan to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
First, a quick overview of my specs:
-Case/Power Supply: Micro-ATX Case w/ 300W power supply
-Processor: Intel Core i3-2100t (35W Sandy Bridge w/ Intel Graphics)
-Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3-M LGA 1155 Intel Z68 Motherboard
4GB Memory (G.SKILL, 2 x 2GB)
-HD: OCZ Agility 2 90GB SATA II SSD
-Optical: LITE-ON Black 12X Blu-ray Burner
-Tuner: 2 K-World UB-435q USB tuner devices
-OS: Windows 7 64-bit, Home Premium
I've programmed the computer to reboot every morning around 5am. Yesterday morning I turned on the TV and saw that live television (via Windows Media Center) would hang after about a second of viewing. I navigated to the desktop and noticed that the Aero animations (opening & closing of Windows) were incredibly sluggish. I went to reboot the system and noticed that it would sit on the BIOS screen for a few minutes, then attempt to begin Windows, but nothing would happen. Perhaps if I wait long enough Windows will open again but I haven't had the patience to try that yet...
Possible causes: I thought through a few things I did right before this all happened, and can think of a couple.
1) I plugged a Fisher Price Cradle Swing into the same (quite loaded) outlet that is used to power the 50" plasma, computer, receiver and speakers. Perhaps the PSU isn't getting enough power to all the components? [As an aside, I've needed to unplug and re-plug the USB TV tuners quite a bit lately to keep the TV signal going.] If the power supply is faulty, do I need to buy some electrical gear to test it, or is there another way?
2) I use Boxee, and opened the Boxee Media Manager through the firewall so it would stream our iPad. I opened it for both Home/Private and Public, in case that matters (could a nasty virus have invited itself in?).
So to my question: how do I diagnose the problem? I made Live CD's for both Memtest and Inquisitor (both using Linux) but couldn't get past the BIOS (I waited for about 30 minutes for each).
So I suppose I should take apart the computer piece by piece and see if I can narrow it all down.... How do I do that without driving myself crazy? Is there a checklist or something? I'm somewhat of a newb at this (first homebuilt PC).