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I have Gateway 5639 desktop with Vista that's probably about five years old. Two days in a row, I have had problems starting it(fans spin for a few seconds and then nothing). Yesterday I just unplugged it for a while and plugged it back in and I was able to start it. Ran fine all day long. When I went to start it this morning, same problem. When I removed the power connection to the primary drive (left power connected to second drive), I was able to boot it to an Acronis boot disc. Replaced primary drive with a spare hard drive I had and restored an Acronis image. Restore went fine and I am now using the machine to type this message. Did I just get lucky and is this an intermittent power supply problem or was the previous primary hard drive requiring too much power to spin up?

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OP, have you checked the fan and processor fins to see if it's blocked with dust?

Fans are clear.

Sounds like your original hard drive is just getting tired.

skibum43 said:   Two days in a row, I have had problems starting it(fans spin for a few seconds and then nothing).That's definitely power related, not a hard disk problem. Try another power supply.

A hard drive will not draw too much power at spin-up because during the first few seconds it needs a maximum of 3-4 amps.

Haven't dealt with power supplies in a while. Can I just get a standard ATX power supply from Newegg or do I need a gateway specific power supply?

Standard ATX is fine. Just pay attention to the number of PATA /SATA and other PIN connectors that you need. Also length of cables, I had a powersupply with two SATA connectors - which was enough, but the two were on a single power wire with not enough length to reach both the hard and optical drive

Ellory,
Thanks. Actually found a match for the exact PC power supply on eBay. but I think I'd rather order something from Newegg. Connections shouldn't be two much of a problem since I only have one optical drive and two SATA HDs.

ellory said:   Standard ATX is fine. Just pay attention to the number of PATA /SATA and other PIN connectors that you need. Also length of cables, I had a powersupply with two SATA connectors - which was enough, but the two were on a single power wire with not enough length to reach both the hard and optical drive

I'm beginning to think it was the HD. Started flawlessly today and windows explorer seems to be a lot more responsive when working with folders and files. Just ordered a power supply and extra power cable extension/splitter anyway just in case since it is one of the few spare parts I don't have around since I moved.

I have seen bad drives do this kind of thing before. Use the machine as is for a few days. Then try connecting that drive again and see what happens.

skibum43 said:   I'm beginning to think it was the HD. Started flawlessly today and windows explorer seems to be a lot more responsive when working with folders and files. Just ordered a power supply and extra power cable extension/splitter anyway just in case since it is one of the few spare parts I don't have around since I moved.What results did you get when you tested the HD with MHDD, HDAT2, or SeaTools?

What results did you get when you measured the power supply voltages with a digital multimeter?

Didn't bother doing any testing. Was easier just to replace the hard drive ( couldn't get the power supply to even spin the old hard drive). Looks like it is also a power supply problem as well. Wouldn't cold start this morning with both HDs attached. Disconnected both hard drives, it tried to boot to network. Reattached both hard drives, alt-control-delete and it started up and has been running fine. My guess is that it isn't putting out enough power to boot from a cold start. New power supply has been ordered and should be delivered in a few days. In the meantime, I'll let it enter sleep mode overnight rather than shutting it down completely.

skibum43 said:   Didn't bother doing any testing. Was easier just to replace the hard drive ( couldn't get the power supply to even spin the old hard drive).
You may be tossing out a perfectly good HD.

I'll test it at some point in the future or use it as a secondary drive, but since it is about five years old and has gotten a lot of use, I really think I might be pressing my luck.

New power supply arrived today, installed it, and everything seems fine.

skibum43 said:   New power supply arrived today, installed it, and everything seems fine.

Is that with the new or original old hard drive installed?

New hard drive. When I get some spare time, I'll put the old one back in and check it out.

Looks like the hard drive was bad as well. Bought a SATA/USB connector and couldn't get the drive powered up to be recognized. Adapter worked fine with another SATA HD.

skibum43 said:   Looks like the hard drive was bad as well. Bought a SATA/USB connector and couldn't get the drive powered up to be recognized. Adapter worked fine with another SATA HD.

Based on what you said in the thread progression, it was prob only the hard drive to begin with.

No, it was also the power supply. Even with the replacement HD, the computer would not start unless I disconnected both HDs. PC would then attempt to boot to network. I could them attach both HDs and restart by pressing cntl-alt-delete after HDs would start to spin.



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