I'm stumped.. PC will boot in one house but not the other

shoota

[H]ard|Gawd
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My buddy's PC will not boot at his house, it just hangs at the Windows boot screen. So he took it in to CompUSA and they told him it was a bad motherboard. So he bought one, brought it over to my house and we installed it. Cool, everything works. He takes it home and it does the same thing. He brought it back over to my house and it boots just fine. Obviously something is going on over at his house but we can't figure it out what it is. Anyone got any ideas?
 
It's a pos psu but i tried a quality one too. He just took it over to his parent's house to double check and it fired right up, so it looks like something is wacky at his house. What could it be? Low voltage? it's funny that everything else works just fine in the house..
 
Send a electrician over to his house. I have a feeling soon his electric box may just short out. Or the grid sending electric to his house isn't sending a proper amount to him. Something is definitely going on though electricity wise.
 
A simple multimeter check would confirm a low voltage situation. If you find something then call the power company first as the problem is likely the transformer feeding the house.

If you call an electrician you are going to spend some bucks. The above methods are essentially free and likely to be a faster fix regardless.
 
or he could have an issue like i do, where 3 of the outlets in this house are wired backward (hot/neutral reversed) most everything still works but pc's act funny on them, crash, hang, wont warm boot.. ect. not always the same issue, so it was hard to nail down.. but yeah, i suspect its a power issue.
 
This seemed to coincide with a lightning storm we had and he's pretty sure he got hit by lightning. So a few days ago he did have the electrician over for something else. Everything seemed to check out fine..
Either way he's going to have an electrician come over again and see if he can find something.
 
Someone else suggested that the power coming in might be dirty and his crappy psu might not be able to handle it. Sound plausible?
 
Bad wiring. Perhaps a multimeter to test his outlet voltage. Just set it correctly
 
Tell him to unplug any hub or other external devices and boot up and see if completes. Then plug in the hardware.
 
Test the outlets. If you don't have a multimeter home depot sells electrical outlet testers cheap, they test for missing grounds and reversed wiring.

http://www.homedepot.com/Electrical...splay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

Wow that's cheap I will tell him to get one first. But assuming something is wrong he would have to call an electrician anyway right?

Tell him to unplug any hub or other external devices and boot up and see if completes. Then plug in the hardware.

Yeah he tried that it didn't work :(
 
That tester won't tell you voltage though. I'll assume the PC worked at some point? Not likely that the wiring just magically went bad. Very possible the transformer feeding his house got blasted by a lightning strike and is sending the wrong voltage. This is the utilitiy companies responsibility. If he calls an electrician out the guy is going to tell him the same thing and then hand him a bill.

Get a multimeter. Anyone doing any PC diagnosis needs one.

**EDITED**

Came off as a bit more a jackass than I meant to originally.

You still need a multimeter though :)
 
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That tester won't tell you voltage though. I'll assume the PC worked at some point? Not likely that the wiring just magically went bad. Very possible the transformer feeding his house got blasted by a lightning strike and is sending the wrong voltage. This is the utilitiy companies responsibility. If he calls an electrician out the guy is going to tell him the same thing and then hand him a bill.

Get a multimeter. Anyone doing any PC diagnosis needs one otherwise you really have no business even cracking a case open.

Ouch. I guess I need to get a multimeter then.

I did suggest that he have the power company come before the electrician, especially since he just had the electrician out. Which makes me wonder why the house got a clean bill of health.. wouldn't you think the electrician would have tested the voltage?

What's a good multimeter brand i can get locally?
 
That tester won't tell you voltage though. I'll assume the PC worked at some point? Not likely that the wiring just magically went bad. Very possible the transformer feeding his house got blasted by a lightning strike and is sending the wrong voltage. This is the utilitiy companies responsibility. If he calls an electrician out the guy is going to tell him the same thing and then hand him a bill.

Get a multimeter.

I agree. You can even use them to see if a battery is dead! Radioshack, Home Depot, Lowes, eBay, and maybe even Craigslist will all have them. You just need a simple analog one that will accept up to 125V AC (preferably a little higher.) Something like this would work (just be sure to make sure you're on AC and not DC -- AC is on the left of the dial.)

Anyone doing any PC diagnosis needs one otherwise you really have no business even cracking a case open.

I don't know if I agree about that... anymore that's like saying someone without a scapel shouldn't be able to apply band aids. In fact, I can't remember the last time I used a multimeter inside a computer. Maybe when I was refurbing old ones in high school for charity. Hell the most recent "hardware failure" I saw was just a dead motherboard battery.
 
What's a good multimeter brand i can get locally?

For the purposes of this, you just need something cheap that will tell you the difference between 120 volts, 110 volts, and 100 volts. Generally you should see about 120 volts plus or minus 10% IIRC.
 
For the purposes of this, you just need something cheap that will tell you the difference between 120 volts, 110 volts, and 100 volts. Generally you should see about 120 volts plus or minus 10% IIRC.

Alright cool thanks I'm going to go get one.
 
make sure the multimeter is capable of AC testing. Should be signified by a "V~" or something that looks somewhat like that.
 
Well I just bought a cheap one like suggested earlier in the thread but I'm pretty sure it doesn't check voltage. I'm gonna have to take it back. Thanks for the tip on the AC
 
Well I just bought a cheap one like suggested earlier in the thread but I'm pretty sure it doesn't check voltage. I'm gonna have to take it back. Thanks for the tip on the AC

A multimeter by definition checks for voltage... But yeah, Radio Shack or a hard ware store should have one for you.
 
That tester won't tell you voltage though. I'll assume the PC worked at some point? Not likely that the wiring just magically went bad. Very possible the transformer feeding his house got blasted by a lightning strike and is sending the wrong voltage. This is the utilitiy companies responsibility. If he calls an electrician out the guy is going to tell him the same thing and then hand him a bill.

Agree. I suspect the culprit is a combination of shitty PSU and dirty electricity, when they meet neither can carry the weight of the other.

Get a multimeter. Anyone doing any PC diagnosis needs one otherwise you really have no business even cracking a case open.

Do not agree at all (being very polite here).

"No business"? I am capable of building circuits and have multiple multimeters, an oscilloscope, and a few other "Engineering major" trinkets lying around at home, but presumptively and exclusively excluding those who may not know how to read a multimeter does not mean they cannot troubleshoot or build their own rig.

Hell, "anyone doing any PC diagnosis" needs to stay the hell away from them until they have some education and training in using them. All a multimeter allows you to do (for the layman) is troubleshoot without needing "spare parts" to swap in and out.

Giving someone a multimeter and telling them to go and poke around their case is a sure fire way to fry components. Your elitist attitude isn't only grating, but dangerously vague, irresponsibly shortsighted, and only directs those in need of some assistance the wrong way.

To the OP. YEah, call the utilities company and mention that electrical devices behave differently at "that" location. They will probably prioritize checking it out as it's far cheaper to fix something on the way out than dealing with it after the fact.

If you can spare your PSU from your rig for a few hours, you can confirm that it is his PSU.
 
Wow that's cheap I will tell him to get one first. But assuming something is wrong he would have to call an electrician anyway right?



Yeah he tried that it didn't work :(

those things suck i have one that cant find the flaw in my ground on my circuits but my ups i have plugged into them finds it. If i leave that little thing plugged in my grounds work... I am going to run a pair new ground wires to the box. in hopes that fixes it...

In short dont count on those cheap things to help get a multi meter and check the polarity on the outlet and verify the ground after that replace the outlet
 
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Agree. I suspect the culprit is a combination of shitty PSU and dirty electricity, when they meet neither can carry the weight of the other.



Do not agree at all (being very polite here).

"No business"? I am capable of building circuits and have multiple multimeters, an oscilloscope, and a few other "Engineering major" trinkets lying around at home, but presumptively and exclusively excluding those who may not know how to read a multimeter does not mean they cannot troubleshoot or build their own rig.

Hell, "anyone doing any PC diagnosis" needs to stay the hell away from them until they have some education and training in using them. All a multimeter allows you to do (for the layman) is troubleshoot without needing "spare parts" to swap in and out.

Giving someone a multimeter and telling them to go and poke around their case is a sure fire way to fry components. Your elitist attitude isn't only grating, but dangerously vague, irresponsibly shortsighted, and only directs those in need of some assistance the wrong way.

To the OP. YEah, call the utilities company and mention that electrical devices behave differently at "that" location. They will probably prioritize checking it out as it's far cheaper to fix something on the way out than dealing with it after the fact.

If you can spare your PSU from your rig for a few hours, you can confirm that it is his PSU.

Reading comprehension not your strong point? This might be a good place to start http://www.seussville.com/

Nobody said a multimeter makes you an expert. I said anyone doing PC diagnosis needs one. I do suddenly feel very elitist though. Thanks.
 
Well, he (and many people doing PC diagnosis would likely be on his side) disagreed.

Sure, a multimeter is a powerful tool in the rights hands, but there's lots of people I would rather instruct to switch components around then pull out a multimeter and fry something. Getting a computer working again doesn't require rocket science (which, unfortunately, multimeters are for most people).
 
Well, he (and many people doing PC diagnosis would likely be on his side) disagreed.

Sure, a multimeter is a powerful tool in the rights hands, but there's lots of people I would rather instruct to switch components around then pull out a multimeter and fry something. Getting a computer working again doesn't require rocket science (which, unfortunately, multimeters are for most people).

How exactly is he going to fry something checking the voltage on a wall outlet?
 
Perhaps I came off as a bit too much of an ass. Sorry to the OP.

You still need to get a multimeter and learn it's basic functions as others have stated.
 
No offense but given some of the OPs comments, especially one about not being able to find a voltage range on his multimeter (I've never seen a multimeter that didn't have a voltage range) I seriously doubt he is competant to safely trobleshoot a mains supply problem. He really needs to get someone involved who knows what they are doing either to do the troubleshooting or to teach him to do it.
 
No offense but given some of the OPs comments, especially one about not being able to find a voltage range on his multimeter (I've never seen a multimeter that didn't have a voltage range) I seriously doubt he is competant to safely trobleshoot a mains supply problem. He really needs to get someone involved who knows what they are doing either to do the troubleshooting or to teach him to do it.

Pretty much all modern decent meters are autoranging and thus have no ranges listed.
 
Sorry I probably used the term "range" a bit loosely, it may be autoranging but it will still have a dial to select DC voltage, AC voltage etc.
 
Agree. I suspect the culprit is a combination of shitty PSU and dirty electricity, when they meet neither can carry the weight of the other.



Do not agree at all (being very polite here).

"No business"? I am capable of building circuits and have multiple multimeters, an oscilloscope, and a few other "Engineering major" trinkets lying around at home, but presumptively and exclusively excluding those who may not know how to read a multimeter does not mean they cannot troubleshoot or build their own rig.

Hell, "anyone doing any PC diagnosis" needs to stay the hell away from them until they have some education and training in using them. All a multimeter allows you to do (for the layman) is troubleshoot without needing "spare parts" to swap in and out.

Giving someone a multimeter and telling them to go and poke around their case is a sure fire way to fry components. Your elitist attitude isn't only grating, but dangerously vague, irresponsibly shortsighted, and only directs those in need of some assistance the wrong way.

To the OP. YEah, call the utilities company and mention that electrical devices behave differently at "that" location. They will probably prioritize checking it out as it's far cheaper to fix something on the way out than dealing with it after the fact.

If you can spare your PSU from your rig for a few hours, you can confirm that it is his PSU.

You are correct it was his psu. And most likely it's a combo of dirty power and crappy power supply.

Reading comprehension not your strong point? This might be a good place to start http://www.seussville.com/

Nobody said a multimeter makes you an expert. I said anyone doing PC diagnosis needs one. I do suddenly feel very elitist though. Thanks.

I don't like your tone, it's not helpful.

Perhaps I came off as a bit too much of an ass. Sorry to the OP.

You still need to get a multimeter and learn it's basic functions as others have stated.

You're forgiven. What I bought wasn't exactly a multimeter. I was in a hurry and the lady just threw a cheap something at me. Turns out it just checks for bad wiring and crap.
Either way a multimeter is in no way necessary to do pc diagnoses. I'm in school for Computer Engineering so I know plenty about pc hardware. Note that I didn't say I know anything about electricity, that's a totally different beast, which is why I'm not studying Electrical Engineering :)

No offense but given some of the OPs comments, especially one about not being able to find a voltage range on his multimeter (I've never seen a multimeter that didn't have a voltage range) I seriously doubt he is competant to safely trobleshoot a mains supply problem. He really needs to get someone involved who knows what they are doing either to do the troubleshooting or to teach him to do it.

It wasn't a multimeter and I am plenty competent.
 
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