Question about Gateway 550GR PC Desktop

6 Answers

Gateway 550GR Still Not Booting Up

I replaced the power switch in my desktop hoping that was the problem when my computer started freezing up and I was unable to do a hard shut down. The fan runs, disk drives open but I don't hear or feel the cpu boot up. I'm guessing this is going to be the mother board? Any other checks I can do first or suggestions. Thanks a million in advance

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  • tammiebrunne Jul 04, 2010

    I guess when you first answered me about the switch I should of been more informative. Prior to replacing the switch my unit would work fine, then after about 30 minutes or so the image on my screen would freeze, mouse had no reaction nor did the tower itself. It would not do a hard shut down. Powered off by unplugging. Opened case, cleaned thoroughly, checked connections, checked on/off switch, unplugged and replugged. Booted system back up and was fine again for about 1 hour them same event. I was assuming this was the on/off switch due to not being able to shut down or get a reaction when I held the button for a hard shut down. Now with that said, I have replaced the switch as you know and I have no reaction on my system except fan, and disk drives opening, not even and image or boot screen shows. My biggest concern right now is to have the ability to pull the info from my hard drive so all isn't lost while I try to repair this machine. The other question would be is it actually worth repairing? I have never had issues or problems with it, the only other thing I have done is increase the ram last year which I maxed out. You have been very thorough in helping me out here and it is much appreciated.

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  • Expert
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Actually it sound like the CPU. Freezes come from a variety of computer parts, but if a CPU is overheating it could cause this. Can you give a bit more info so I could better trouble shoot it for you. Does it work after the computer has been off for a while or not at all. Do you get anything on the screen at all, like the bios screen (initial screen that shows memory amount, hard drives and various other info)? Does the CPU heatsink feel very hot to the touch? A normal running CPU should be just warm. From what I'm getting from you so far it could still be either the MB, CPU, memory, or PowerSupply.

Posted on Jul 04, 2010

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Check to make sure that there no dust or dirt in the fans.. this will coz your CPU to not or never boot up.. now i had the same thing when it's does not boot up.. but i found out it was only the dust.. let me know if that help

Posted on Jul 04, 2010

  • Kevin Smith Nov 14, 2010

    Clean and or reseat the memory cards in the computer a bad connection can cause a freeze up.
    You can use a pencil eraser to clean the memory cards.

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  • Master
  • 10,406 Answers

Have you tried a different power-supply?
A power-supply must emit a few different voltages; if it fails to output one of those voltages, the fans still may spin, and the CD-drive-tray may still open, but the motherboard may not be getting the correct voltages.

Disconnect the AC power, and then open the case. Look at the capacitors (those black/silver cylinders with an X in their silver-coloured top).
Any capacitor that is bulging, i.e., does NOT have a perfectly-flat top, is leaking. Any capacitor that seems to have rusty-brown "sand" on top also is leaking. Either way, it's time to replace the motherboard.

Posted on Jul 04, 2010

  • ikkenom Jul 13, 2010

    > Prior to replacing the switch my unit would work fine,

    > then after about 30 minutes or so the image on my screen

    > would freeze, mouse had no reaction nor did the tower itself.



    To repeat, these symptoms match the "leaking capacitors" problem that I originally described, namely that the induced "unstable" voltages cause the motherboard to grind to a halt, and *NOT* recognize the ON/OFF switch at all, and thus to *NOT* respond to a "hard" power-off.



    Take a close look at all the capacitors.

    If that really is the problem, then it's a "50/50" answer to your "is it worthwhile to replace the motherboard" -- your current computer is quite fast (3.0 GHz, with HyperThreading) and you have a valid license to use Windows XP, although getting a replacement motherboard from Gateway could be very difficult & very expensive.



    Also, the manufacturer's "warranty" on your disk-drive is very-likely to have expired -- it's time to "proactively" replace the disk-drive.

    If you're going to do that, it's time to consider a brand-new computer; you can temporarily connect your current disk-drive to the new computer, and then copy all your files onto your new disk-drive.







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I had the problem of my Gateway 550GR desktop computer starting up and shutting down within two seconds or so. I changed the PSU however that did not fix the problem. When I took off the front cover I did notice that the square plastic push button seemed to have a problem. That problem was a short in the wiring. I would separate the black and white wires and the computer would start up and then shutdown if the wires moved at all. As I could not find any push buttons switches in the area I went to RS a d purchased a mini switch (1/2 amp Normally Open). I pulled off the blue gateway switch and soldered the wires on to the new switch. Plugged and reconnected and the desktop started up with no problem. I ran a virus check in safe mode to insure that the computer did not have a virus. Ran malwarebytes and so far it is working like a champ. Next up is a registry cleanup and then a disk defrag and hopefully all will remain perfect. If it does not I'll repost on here what other funky problem occurs. Hope this helps:)

Posted on Jul 26, 2011

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Are u getting any error message while system is booting?

Posted on Jul 18, 2010

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  • Gateway Master
  • 5,660 Answers

Hi tammiebrunne!

So this is what you wanted the Power On switch for.

To do a hard shutdown via the Power On switch, press, and hold the Power On button in for a full count of 10 seconds.

Let's diagnose together.

First if I may, let me digress, before we go forward.

CPU
Central Processing Unit.
Also known as a Microprocessor, or simply Processor for short.

Referring to the entire computer as a CPU, may cause confusion.
The CPU is the 'Brain'
(Motherboard is the 'Building Block', and the Power Supply is the 'Heart')

A) When the Power Supply is plugged into power, there is a 5 Volt Standby power present in the Power Supply.

When you press the plastic Power On button, it in turn presses against the Power On switch, located inside the Power On button.

(Bear with me, as I know you are aware. You replaced your Power On switch)

The action of pressing the Power On switch, closes a circuit that directs the 5 Volt Standby power to the Power Supply, exciting it, and causing the Power Supply to turn on.

Power is sent to the motherboard.
The first chip to receive power is the BIOS chip.

(BIOS. Basic Input/Output System.
Chip and Chipset are slang terms that refer to I.C.
Integrated Circuit,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_circuit )

The BIOS program is burned into the BIOS chip.
From now on the BIOS program shall be referred to as BIOS.

BIOS looks to see what devices are installed, does a Ram Memory count, TURNS the Processor on, (CPU), and hands the computer over to the Operating System.
(Windows XP is one example of an O/S)

Going forward:
B) The Gateway GR550 desktop computer uses a 300 Watt power supply.

http://support.gateway.com/s/PC/R/3725/3725nv.shtml

(Components > Power Supplies > 102015 - 300-Watt Power Supply )

1) ALL of the LED lights together use less than 1 Watt of power

2) EACH fan uses 2 to 3 Watts of power

3) A typical Processor uses 51 to 125 Watts of power. Depends on what Processor it is.

Going deeper with technical specifications, of the Processor you have currently installed, to state what Wattage it can use.

The below information is not designed to confuse, but to inform.
It is my wish to give you as much information as I can, so you can make an informed decision.


The Gateway GR550 comes with an Intel Pentium 4 processor, that when operating at maximum operating capability, operates at a frequency rate of 3.2GigaHertz. (3.2GHz)

['Speed' is slang for Frequency Rate
Giga = approximately 1 Billion.
Hertz stands for Cycles per Second.

The above Processor can operate at a maximum frequency rate ('Speed') of 3.2 Billion Cycles per Second.
Can also be stated as 3200 MegaHertz. {3200MHz]

The Intel Pentium 4, 3.2GHz processor you have, fits in an LGA 775 processor socket.
This Processor has an 800MHz FSB.
(Front Side Bus)

[On the main menu Left-click on Specifications.
Drop down to the headings, Processor Brand, Processor Class, Processor Speed, and Bus Speed, then read across from each heading.

Combined info = Intel Pentium 4, 3.2GHz with an 800MHz FSB.

Go back to the main menu.
Left-click on Components.
Drop down to the heading - Motherboards

Left-click on the component name, 102007 - Intel (Ausberg) No CPU Motherboard R0.
Now Left-click on Specifications.

Processor - Support for an Intel Pentium 4 processor in an LGA775 socket with an 800 or 533MHz system bus.

This is how you know what Processor socket, is on your motherboard, and helps to know what Intel Pentium 4 processor you have.

(It's actually an Intel (Ausberg) 915G motherboard, made especially for Gateway by Intel,

http://support.gateway.com/s/MOTHERBD/Intel2/WMEOEMD915GAGLG1/WMEOEMD915GAGLG1nv.shtml )

The Intel Pentium 4 processor in your computer also has HT.
Hyperthreading Technology.
Brought down to here, so to possibly avoid confusion with all of the Processor information above]

From my source it is indicated the Gateway GR550 came out in 2004.
If this information holds true;
The Intel Pentium 4 processors that operate at 3.2GHz, with an 800MHz FSB, has HT, and made around 2004, can use up to 103 Watts,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Pentium_4_microprocessors#Prescott_.2890.C2.A0nm.29_2

Simple solution?
Your Power Supply only has enough power to light LED lights, and perhaps spin fans, but not enough to turn the Processor on.

No Processor operating, there is nothing to search for the Boot sector on the Harddrive.

Your Power Supply has a weak Voltage power rail.

You can replace it with a KNOWN to be good, Compatible power supply for a test unit.

[ Compatible:

Should be an ATX style of Power Supply.
The size, and shape of the Power Supply, is approximately 6 inches Wide, 6 inches Long, and 3-1/2 inches Tall.

This is so the Power Supply will fit in your computer case.

For one it is a safety factor.
For two, you can't mount the Power Supply outside of the case, because the power cables won't reach, where they are supposed to go.
(Motherboard, Harddrive, Optical drives, fans, etc)

Has to have the correct type of power cables, and the correct amount.
Extra power cables can be tied up out of the way.

[A) 24-pin ATX main power cable
(Main power cable to motherboard)

B) 4-pin ATX +12 Volt power cable
(Power cable to motherboard that supplies power to the Processor)

C) At least one SATA power cable.
(Power cable for the SATA harddrive)

D) At least two 4-pin Peripheral power cables.

(Power cables for the two optical drives. {CD/DVD drives}
More may be needed, if any of the computer case fans plug into the motherboard. There are three fan connectors on the motherboard, however)

(The Processor fan plugs into the motherboard)

You can also test the Voltage power rails with a multimeter, or a power supply tester, to know if the Power Supply is good.
Can explain the procedure if you wish.

Test the 12 Volt power rail.
11 to 13 Volts the Power Supply is okay.
Less than 11 Volts it's time to replace the Power Supply.

For any questions, or clarification of what I have stated, please post in a Comment.

Posted on Jul 04, 2010

  • 1 more comment 
  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Jul 04, 2010

    Identification of the power cables I have listed above;

    A) 24-pin ATX main power cable:

    http://www.playtool.com/pages/psuconnect...

    B) 4-pin ATX +12 Volt power cable:

    http://www.playtool.com/pages/psuconnect...

    C) SATA power cable:

    http://www.playtool.com/pages/psuconnect...

    D) 4-pin Peripheral power cable:

    http://www.playtool.com/pages/psuconnect...

    (The connector on the end was first made by a company named Molex.
    The name stuck, and has been improperly applied, to the standard 4-pin Peripheral power cable.

    Just like calling an adjustable open-end wrench, a Crescent wrench)


  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Jul 04, 2010

    The Gateway GR550 desktop computer uses a SATA (Serial ATA) harddrive.

    http://support.gateway.com/s/PC/R/3725/3...

    Desktop harddrives are 3.5 inches across in width. (3 and 1/2 inches. Laptop harddrives are 2.5)

    Suggestion is to obtain a SATA 3.5 external enclosure.
    The external enclosure has a USB cable.
    You can plug the USB cable, into any available USB port on another computer.

    Example of SATA 3.5 external enclosure,

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/...

    Viewing the video shows how to install the SATA harddrive, into the enclosure.

    [Note*
    A USB port on a computer provides Up To 5 Volts.
    This may not be enough power for some peripherals.
    If the peripheral, (Such as this external enclosure for example), comes with an AC adapter, ('Power Brick'), it is suggested to use it ]

    Do I think a computer with,

    A) Intel Pentium 4 - 3.2GHz processor, (With an 800MHz FSB)
    B) Intel 915G Express motherboard chipset
    C) 2GB of DDR Sdram at 400MHz, (PC3200)
    D) ATI Radeon X300 SE graphics card, (With 128MegaBytes of graphics ram memory)
    E) Generic 300 Watt power supply,

    is worth repairing?

    Perhaps.
    A) But only if You do the repair, and of course it depends on what extent the repair will cost.
    No need to pay a computer tech to do, what you can do with possible guidance here, IMHO.

    B) Plus it depends on what you wish to do with the computer.

    Most computers out there are dirty inside.
    The owners neglect to clean the inside of the computer out, due to two reasons I find.

    1) Had no knowledge that the inside of the computer, AND the inside of the Power Supply, need to be cleaned out, on a regular basis as needed.

    2) Are afraid to attempt the process, as the thought is, that the unit IS plugged into AC electricity, AND if they make a mistake they may have an expensive doorstop.

    They are not aware that the unit needs to be disconnected from power, (Providing safety for them, as well as the computer)
    They are also not aware of Anti-Static Precautions.

    All that is needed is a can, or two of compressed air for computers, and if the gunk inside is heavily built-up, one can use Q-tips to dislodge it, then follow with the air.

    [ Inside of computer. Q-tips used for the Power Supply, will be used externally on the fan blades, fan center hub, and the surrounding cage of the fan .
    The plastic straw that is provided with the can of compressed air, is used through the ventilation holes in the Power Supply case.

    Hold the plastic straw with two fingers of one hand, while the other hand is used to press the trigger of the can of air. The plastic straw can come off of the nozzle, and shoot inside the Power Supply case.

    The Q-tips are just used to break the 'crust' of the heavy build-up. Then the air will be able to remove it]

    You can also install the SATA harddrive out of your computer, into another computer that uses SATA harddrives.

    It will be installed WITH, the other SATA harddrive present in the other computer.
    If one can afford it, my recommendation would be to use an external enclosure.

    The external enclosure is also portable, therefore you can take it with you, and plug into any available computer.
    (The other computer should be of the technological age, where it also has a SATA harddrive, and uses the USB 2.0 technology)

    [Anti-Static Precautions:
    Your body carries Static electricity.
    Static WILL fry out (Short circuit), the delicate hardware components inside a computer.

    You may not even see it, or feel it.

    Computer on a table, unplugged from power, computer case open, TOUCH the metal frame of the open computer case, to relieve your body of Static.

    Should you get up, and walk away in the middle of working on your computer, upon your return be Sure to TOUCH the metal frame again.

    Or one can use an ESD wrist strap, and clip the alligator clip to the metal frame.
    One example of an ESD wrist strap,

    http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.... ]

    No matter how fastidious person is at cleaning their home, the computer will still become dirty inside. (To include the Power Supply)
    Air is drawn in through the front, (Or side on some models), of the computer, and pushed out of the back.
    Dust, dirt, hair, (People and animal), carpet deodorizer, lint, and even dead bugs, can be 'inhaled'.

    If the Processor fan, and Heatsink located underneath the fan, are clogged, the Processor will overheat.
    [Basic example of a Processor Fan/Heatsink combo,

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/...

    The finned aluminum looking object under the fan, is the Heatsink.

    Basic construction of a Heatsink is a plate of metal, with tall, thin fins protruding from it.
    The plate of metal absorbs heat from whatever object it is placed against.
    (In this case a Processor)

    The tall, thin fins absorb the heat from the plate, and radiate it away.
    If a fan is used in conjunction with a Heatsink, the air flow helps to dissipate the heat from the fins. Air moves in-between the fins, and around the fins, and carries the heat away]

    The Processor will turn off if it becomes too hot. (BIOS turns it off)

    This is a Fail Safe feature that is built-in. Keeps the Processor from burning up. (Literally in some cases! As in on Fire!)

    From the diagnoses you have given, there wasn't time for the Intel processor to overheat.
    Your computer gets to the point of the Processor turning on, but there isn't sufficient enough power.
    Bad Power Supply.

    (Plus, I was fortunate enough to provide a solution to you, for the Power On switch replacement. The other solution providers here, were not that fortunate to have this knowledge.

    IMHO, if one is going to replace a Power On switch, that person will know the inside of the computer needs to be clean.
    They should also know the computer needs to be unplugged from power, and will have followed Anti-Static precautions)

    Perhaps remove the important files you need, then come back, and we'll test the Power Supply Voltages with a multimeter, if you wish.
    This way you will be assured that the problem is the Power Supply, before you spend your hard earned money for a new one.

    You can buy an economical analog multimeter for around $10 to $17.
    Here is one example from a quick search on the 'net just now,

    http://www.amazon.com/Mastech-YG188-Pock...

    An economical multimeter can be found in a multitude of stores. Auto parts stores are just but one example.

    The multimeter has two probe leads. One is Positive, (Red), one is Negative (Black)
    I suggest buying a couple of alligator clips, that will fit on the ends of the probe leads. The nose of the alligator clip needs to be very narrow.

    Needs to be able to clip in the female metal terminal, of a 4-pin Peripheral power cable connector.

    http://www.playtool.com/pages/psuconnect...

    [Note the example shown, has a 4-pin Peripheral power cable, plugged into an IDE harddrive.
    IDE is also known as PATA.

    Your harddrive is a SATA unit. Does not use a 4-pin Peripheral power cable.
    Uses a SATA power cable.
    Your two optical drives, (CD/DVD drives) use a 4-pin Peripheral power cable]

    The lower jaw of the alligator clip inserts into the round female metal terminal.
    The upper jaw will bite down on the outside plastic connector.

    This way, Power Supply unplugged, you can clip onto the metal terminal of a Yellow wire, and the metal terminal of a Black wire.
    To be continued in an additional Comment.


  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Jul 04, 2010

    By clipping onto the two metal terminals, you can plug the Power Supply into power, turn the computer on, and observe the power output.
    Also will provide safety for you. Unplug the Power Supply from power before you disconnect.

    The Power Supply in your computer converts AC electricity, into DC electricity.
    (USA uses 120 Volts AC. Other countries use 220/240 Volts, or 100 Volts)

    There are three main Voltages, produced by the Power Supply in your computer.
    A) 3.3 Volts (3 point 3)
    B) 5 Volts
    C) 12 Volts

    [ Two D cell, (or AAA, or AA, or C), batteries produce 3 Volts DC.
    Just wanted you to know the Low amount of DC voltage, you will be testing]

    There is a 3.3 Volt power rail, a 5 Volt power rail, and a 12 Volt power rail.

    Each power rail ends in the circuitry inside the Power Supply.
    Therefore you can test any Voltage power wire, and be testing it's power rail.

    Orange insulated wires are 3.3 Volts
    Red wires are 5 Volts
    Yellow wires are 12 Volts.
    (ALL Black wires are Ground wires)

    You need to test the 12 Volt power rail.
    The Positive probe lead (Red) connects to the metal terminal, going to a Yellow wire.

    The Negative probe lead (Black) connects to the metal terminal, going to a Black wire.

    The multimeter switch is turned to DC Volts.
    Power Supply is plugged into power.
    Turn the computer on.

    11 to 13 Volts indicates a good Power Supply.
    Less than 11 Volts means it's time to replace the Power Supply.

    Most problems with personal computers out there, can be directly attributed to a bad Power Supply.

    There is one more problem child that seems to be creeping up, with a notable factor.
    Bad Electrolytic Capacitors on the motherboard.
    (Radial Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors)

    Specifically the one's used in the motherboard Voltage Regulator Circuit.
    This information is not designed for you to replace bad capacitors, but for knowledge of what may be wrong with your computer.

    1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KN6_-8fYH...
    (Starts at 0:04)

    2) Visual signs of capacitor failure,

    http://www.capacitorlab.com/visible-fail...

    If you find this is the case tammiebrunne, you could replace the motherboard.

    Cost of motherboard?
    Depends.
    It's a Micro-ATX motherboard (9.6 inches by 9.6 inches.
    9.6 inches is approximately 9 and 5/8ths inches)

    Has an LGA 775 processor socket.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGA_775

    [Unlike the older Intel Pentium 4 processors that use a Socket 478, the LGA 775 processor socket has the pins, (775 of them), while the Processor has the socket holes. (775 of them]

    The replacement motherboard, should also have,
    A) At least an Intel 915G motherboard chipset

    B) Use DDR Sdram ram memory at 400MHz. (PC3200)

    C) One PCI Express x16 expansion slot

    D) Be able to support Pentium 4 processors that use an LGA 775 processor socket

    One example,

    http://3btech.net/as77mowonvip.html


    Micro-ATX
    LGA 775 processor socket
    Intel 915GL motherboard chipset
    Supports DDR Sdram at 400MHz, (PC3200), and will support up to 2GB's.
    Has one PCI Express x16 expansion slot




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