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Old 11-26-2014, 04:14 AM   #1
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Default Monitor keeps going to sleep

Hi, a guy I work with brought a computer for 15 as spares and asked me to have a look for him, It's an IBM think centre mt-m 8171.

When I got it, it turned on and said "media cable not connected, check media cable, operating system not found".

Upon looking inside, I noticed there was no Sata cable from the hard drive, I connected this, and this time, it started loading XP, just after the XP screen, the monitor went to sleep.

looking inside again baffled, I decided to start removing components, starting with the F.D.D as I read somewhere that they can be troublesome, it worked, so I tried it again with the F.D.D drive reconnected, it still worked.

I carried on using it for quite a while with no problems, other than Windows running terribly with errors all the time, which prompted me to reformat, spent some time looking for drivers, I got complacent finding drivers quite easily for computers most of the time, I have found the Ethernet and Chipset driver so far.

Today I turned it on and was confronted by the same problem, I left it a while and opened it and tried it with the lid open wondering if it could be overheating, it worked again (is that just coincidence?).
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Old 11-26-2014, 09:00 AM   #2
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Default Re: Monitor keeps going to sleep

At first I was thinking that it could be a moniter driver issue, but I am still not sure about that. Are all the connections on your cable matching up? I have seen those cables become loose over time, and that seems to cause troubles exactly as your describing. A loose connection sucks. If that is not it, then I am lost.
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Old 11-26-2014, 09:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: Monitor keeps going to sleep

Having previously worked in a computer shop, I can unfortunately tell you that the problem could be absolutely anything, including the monitor or mouse! You've already reinstalled the OS so that has ruled out a software issue, all you can really do is test known working components...

For example:
Replace the RAM with a known working stick (or remove excess sticks of RAM, try running it with each individual stick, keep adding them back in until you get the errors again, then you know it's the RAM.
Replace the CPU with a known working CPU (clean the CPU heatsink, ensure the fan is working, replace the thermal paste)
Replace the power supply with a known working power supply
Replace the HDD with a known working HDD
Try using an external graphics cards in place of the onboard (or use onboard if you're currently using an external one) and see if the crashes continue.

To test whether it's the HDD, you could try and run a Live CD of Ubuntu or something similar, and if the screen doesn't die at all, you can probably deduce that the HDD is the problem.

Does the motherboard have any swollen/leaking capacitors? If this is the case, whether or not the capacitors are actually causing the issue, they'll be a problem in the near future.

*Normally* the CPU doesn't really go wrong, but that's about the only hint I can give you really. PCs really are hit and miss as you probably already know...
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: Monitor keeps going to sleep

Thanks for the replies, I think I might have found my problem, do you think it could be saved with a different PSU?

Because it's such a small case, none of the psu's I have would fit, but if I could connect one anyway, I suppose I could connect one just to see if it still works.

If it does, I could try and transfer everything to another case, I don't even know if it would all fit properly in a tower.
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Old 11-26-2014, 01:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: Monitor keeps going to sleep

Certainly worth testing it with another power supply!

Ah, for a personal machine I honestly wouldn't worry a great deal about the size of PSUs etc, if you can physically fit it into the box then just attached it to the case anywhere, it'll look like Frankenstein, but it will still work!
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Old 11-27-2014, 05:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: Monitor keeps going to sleep

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Originally Posted by joedaman633 View Post
Certainly worth testing it with another power supply!

Ah, for a personal machine I honestly wouldn't worry a great deal about the size of PSUs etc, if you can physically fit it into the box then just attached it to the case anywhere, it'll look like Frankenstein, but it will still work!
My worry, is that it literally won't fit inside the case, here's the psu it has https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=ib...ff%3B900%3B900 it's even misshaped to fit in the tiny case, I willtry though, and if it won't fit, I could rest it on the top and run the wires through just to see if the motherboard is okay
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Old 11-27-2014, 09:40 AM   #7
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Default Re: Monitor keeps going to sleep

If that turns out to be the problem, couldnt you just buy a larger case after confirming that it works?
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Old 11-27-2014, 10:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: Monitor keeps going to sleep

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Originally Posted by Draygoes View Post
If that turns out to be the problem, couldnt you just buy a larger case after confirming that it works?
I do have a couple of horrible old cases upstairs, although it's not actually my computer.

My next step if the PSU didn't fit was to try one of the old cases I have, I'm
just hoping the front panel connector is the same, with it being such a small case, would they have tried to save room by having an all in one front panel connector?

I currently have a poorly child, I was hoping to finish the job while she is at school, if she's back tomorrow I might have a look at it then.

With the extremely low specs on the machine and looking at the price of replacement parts, I'd probably advise him against any replacements other than parts he could use for something better, obviously the case you suggested though would be future proof, but I'm counting on being able to do it with the parts I have.

For some reason, every free computer I come across has something wrong with the motherboard and everything else is fine, I have about three dodgy mobo's upstairs now.
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Old 11-30-2014, 04:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: Monitor keeps going to sleep

I tried connecting another psu, for some reason, the 4 pin connector didn't fit, I've never had that happen before, can the four pin connector somehow be slightly different? so even putting it into another case wouldn't work, I think this might be a no go, I don't think there's anything that's financially viable that I could try on such an old computer, so I think I might have to accept defeat on this, thanks for the help everyone
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