During these past two weeks I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon: attached peripherals causing systems not to boot. My first call was a computer out on the shop floor with a keyboard not working. It was a Compaq 733 Deskpro. The screen was totally black and the user wasn’t around. I proceeded to unplug the computer and plug it back in from the power. Still no video and no hard drive activity, although the fans would speed up. Every cable was nice and snug. I proceeded to reset the CMOS using the jumper on the motherboard. No go. I then proceeded disconnect all peripherals from the computer (network cable, monitor cable, etc). System booted right up! I added the peripherals back one at a time until I added the keyboard cable back in and then the system won’t boot. Replacing the keyboard fixed the problem. This morning, I was working on a D600 Dell Latitude laptop. Upon rebooting, the system would freeze on the BIOS screen. Powering the laptop off and on and disconnecting the battery made no difference. I proceeded to disconnect the network cable and the attached IPOD device and the laptop booted right up! It seems having the IPOD plugged into the USB port was causing the system not to boot. If you have a system that isn’t booting up, start by simplifying the problem by detaching all peripherals.
– Soli Deo Gloria