Question Old computer won't boot consistently

Jul 20, 2022
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I have an old Gateway ATXSTF MNT Professional S that's been running into some problems. It probably hasn't been used in at least a decade so problems weren't unexpected. At first it was able to enter the BIOS and then boot to Windows consistently, but it would often (not always) have issues with locking up and being forced to shut down to get running again. Sounds typical for a lot of old hardware. I was able to get into Windows maybe a handful of times until the current problem where often times it won't even boot or startup at all. The power button on the front of the tower is solid orange instead of green, the motherboard shows a solid green light, what I assume is a standby light, and nothing functions except for the power supply, HDD, and CD/DVD and floppy drives. No CPU fan, no beeping from the motherboard. The thing is, this isn't consistent. Sometimes when I power it up the light will be green as it should be, everything works, and it will fully boot into Windows and function just fine (or lock up eventually, kind of 50/50). There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why it will work sometimes.

What's the likely cause for this problem? Faulty power supply? Bad motherboard? Bad RAM? It's all old, very likely all stock, so it could be a mix of things too. I'd start with the power supply, since I think it could be that it isn't sending enough power to the motherboard, but any advice would be appreciated. Why it can boot up sometimes is very confusing to me. I can give more details and try to find out the specs of all the hardware if needed. I know the computer is old, I don't know if it's proper to post a question about it here, if it isn't please point me to where I should. I appreciate any help. Thank you.
 
Jul 20, 2022
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It could definitely use a thorough cleaning, going through with compressed air didn't accomplish too much, there's definitely some dust caked on a lot of it. I'll get working on that, maybe that'll help, thanks.
 
This kind of old equipment is likely to fail due to old age.

I had an old P4 (not remembering the mobo brand/model) that lasted about 9 years before the mobo died, much the same ways as in your case. It was simply not repairable.

In other cases, it could be the capacitors on the mobo being dried out, and if you know how to solder, then it is repairable.
 
Jul 20, 2022
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The inconsistent nature of the problems definitely leads me to believe it's old age, yes. Unfortunately I can't get it to boot at all today, so maybe that's it for this guy. Considering it was able to run just fine, I suppose it is the motherboard that's the lead culprit, not the power supply.

The capacitors seem fine though. I can't see any bulging or lifted capacitors, no dried residue or anything like that. Thanks for the reply.
 

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