Questions

Dead Computer

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Dead Computer

Steffi28
Hey guys

I have a huge problem! Hubby was on his pc yesterday and it froze up, so he restarted it and the monitor started coming up no signal, theres no light on the mouse and on the keyboard checked cables all of them were ok. So he turned pc off we turned it on earlier today we thought the pc wasnt coming on at all but then noticed the pc was turned on but no lights on the front came on as well as monitor, mouse and keyboard I know its on because we can here the fan whirring and the cd drive still opens, any opens. Any ideas? I'm tearing my hair out took 3 days off work to get uni work done and can't do much with no pc

Just in case it matters PC is about 3 years old and runs Windows XP.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks Steffi
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    boxfiddler Moderator

    can you hear the hard drive spin up? Also, if you open the box, is the light on the motherboard lit (should be green I think)? Once you open the box, if the mobo light is on, check all the connections to be sure they are tight. Do you get any screen messages at all? As in do you think that you can get into the BIOS? And last but not least, without insinuating anything, is the monitor powered on or has perhaps that plug been knocked loose?

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    Steffi28

    It's definitely plugged in first thing I checked :)

    Hard drive is really quiet but I think I can hear it startin up just going to check & check the motherboard light and ill get back to you, I was thinking it seems like no power is leaving the pc to power up mouse and keyboard could that be the CPU??

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    Dumphrey

    fans turn and cd rom door opens and closes. Any beeps as it boots up?
    Is the graphics card built in to the motherboard or an add in card?
    Can you take the side of the case off and see if the cpu fan is still turning?
    This could be one of several things... power supply (lost low voltage rail), cpu (just fried), or mother board.

    What I would do:
    Power off, unplug and remove all cards, add ins, usb devices. Try to power up.
    power down and remove ram till you have 1 stick. Rotate through untill you have tried them all.

    What you are looking for is: 1)Will it beep on boot?
    Does it work right minus a componant?
    Are all fans turning (cpu, case, power supply).
    Have any of the capacitors on the mobo ruptured (tops swollen and distended, or weird coloring/liquid. Should look like little flat toped cans.)
    Any weird smells (burnt plastic/hair).
    have you tried different mice/keyboard? Are they USB based or ps2 (round plugs on end). If USB, do you have PS2 available to try (turn off usb in bios).

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    Steffi28

    Its not beeping on boot up just in the middle of taking the top off it now to try it out make sure everything is secure inside, is it easy to know if something has died inside it? I'm a lot more knowledgeable on the outside of a pc than inside

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    Dumphrey

    all the bits, it should beep (error codes) on boot. Especially the ram. If it does not beep minus ram, either the cpu or motherboard are dead =\

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    The Scummy One

    I have run into this before.

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    PlipO

    Have you moved the PC recently?
    The monitor's signal cable might have come lose or the pins on the cable might be bent.
    Has the monitor cable been disconnected recently ?
    If you have two graphics card in your PC; the cable might be plugged into the one which is not set as default.

    This is unlikely but possible, if you do have two graphics cards in your computer; the default settings might have changed in the bios and now the secondary graphics is set as default.
    Has someone or something tugged on the signal cable ?
    Again, cable or graphics card might have come lose.
    Do you hear any strange beeps from the PC ?
    Do you have the opportunity to test the PC with a different monitor, this will identify if it's the computer or monitor at fault.
    Do you have access to a laptop, you can test the monitor on a laptop.

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    Steffi28

    Never thought to try monitor on laptop will at least let me know if theres a problem there, all cables are ok and theres only one graphics card, theres no strange beeps in fact theres no beeps at all! I hope its doesnt turn out to be an expensive problem


    Edited to add just checked monitor on my laptop and thats working fine so its not a monitor problem

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    jdclyde

    sounds like it HAS to be CPU or MB.

    I don't suppose you know anyone with an identical system that you could swap out the CPU with?

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    Steffi28

    To MIL now to check out the pc hubby gave to his sister, see what that one is like. Thanks JD :)

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    Steffi28

    Just tried everything said

    mouse, keyboard and monitor all working fine on other machines, inside no trace of anything on the mb like weird colouring or liquid or anything, all fans are working fine, tried taking out ram no beebs, tried taking out cpu no beebs. Hubbys sister has a similar computer we can try to take CPU out of to try that, thanks for all the help guys :)

    Oh and lights aren't working on the front because the switch that attaches the led to the motherboard is snapped and wont connect are they easy to replace?

    Thanks :)

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    0 Votes
    Dumphrey

    how that happened? It may relate to the other damage...
    Im not sure if its worth sorting between cpu/MB as the culprit. And if the MOBO is shorted, it could fry any cpu you put in it, meaning it could ne CPU AND Mb. So even if you put the cpu in another machine, and it does not work, it does not mean the mobo is good.
    But, if you put the cpu in another machine and it works, then you know the mobo is bad...
    Never mind, if you have a computer with same socket available, try the cpu in that.

    Note: Acetone (fingernail polish remove, unscented, industrial type) cleans the gunk off cpu's like no bodies buisness. Just avoid getting it on anything plastic...
    And most computer stores carry a silver based thermal compound. It takes less then they usually use from oem. A razor blade is perfect for using like a trowel to spread thermal paste on a cpu.

    As for the switch its self, I would imagine if the plastic is broken, you may just be able to epoxy it in place, (super glue is not so super, but epoxy is forever :) ). Or you may be able to take one out of an old computer. Really, all they do is show power on and HD activity, nice to have, but not essiential.

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    OH Smeg

    But as a starting point as you are swapping thing out you should never try a Known Good CPU on a Suspect M'Board as you run the risk of destroying the CPU. Fit your CPU to the Other M'Board and see if it works. A dead CPU isn't likely to damage a M'Board but a dead M'Board can destroy a CPU.

    Really sounds like either a M'Board or Power Supply Issue though. I'm assuming that you've lifted things and reseated them so if there is no Beeps when you pull the RAM I would be looking at the M'Board as the culprit as it should be beeping but then again if the Speaker isn't connected it can't beep can it.

    With the Front Panel Connector gone I would be thinking that you have a Suspect Video Card. I've only ever seen the No Signal when a Monitor is Disconnected from a Video Card so have you checked the Actual Plug from the Monitor to the Computer? Look for Bent Broken Pins in the Male plug, do you need me to explain the difference between a Male & Female Plug? :0

    Try the Video Card in the other computer and see if it works.

    PM me I'll leave the Mail Client open but remember that I'm + 10 hours on you

    OH did any of the above suggest cleaning out the Dust and other junk? Just don't use a Vacuum Cleaner or one of those Static Dusters as they kill electronics. Canned Air is the best to clean out a Computer but a small low pressure Compressor is also useful.

    Col

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    internetspider

    Ur computer has no display, try to do following:

    1.Unplug everything like power, vga everything.
    2.open the case remove battery and short it for 5 to 10 seconds. (dont short battery short the place where battery sits).

    reconnect and start the system.

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    0 Votes
    Jacky Howe

    is on the right track. It would be the first on my list to test. :)

    Go to this site and read the instructions. Save the ISO version of the file.

    Instructions

    http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp#top

    Download

    http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp

    Create your CD and test your Memory.

    http://www.petri.co.il/how_to_write_iso_files_to_cd.htm

    http://www.wizardskeep.org/mainhall/tutor/neroiso.html

    Edit: It would be easier to test the RAM in the other PC.

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    0 Votes
    The Scummy One

    just a little bit ago, it would not stay 'on' for more than a
    few seconds. When it powered up, the power on lights
    never lit, the fan spun, no video at all. After a few
    seconds it just turned off. I pulled the entire thing apart
    and it worked fine. connected everything it worked fine,
    put the case together, it stopped working...
    It ended up being that when the case was together, the
    video card (screwed in) would move slightly and then fail
    to boot. No errors, nothing. If I removed the keyboard, I
    could push the video card back down and it would boot
    fine, for about a minute until the system hung.

    Makes one wonder... If a card was a little loose in this
    system, just enough, it may trigger a similar effect

    +
    0 Votes
    Jacky Howe

    a video card in a PC once. I had to carry it to the other end of the School. Set it up turnd it on and no display. The card had crept from me carrying it. Reseated the card and away it went. I have a PC in the Shed that at least once a month I have to reseat the RAM.

    Yes I certainly agree with you on this.

    Makes one wonder... If a card was a little loose in this system, just enough, it may trigger a similar effect

  • +
    0 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    can you hear the hard drive spin up? Also, if you open the box, is the light on the motherboard lit (should be green I think)? Once you open the box, if the mobo light is on, check all the connections to be sure they are tight. Do you get any screen messages at all? As in do you think that you can get into the BIOS? And last but not least, without insinuating anything, is the monitor powered on or has perhaps that plug been knocked loose?

    +
    0 Votes
    Steffi28

    It's definitely plugged in first thing I checked :)

    Hard drive is really quiet but I think I can hear it startin up just going to check & check the motherboard light and ill get back to you, I was thinking it seems like no power is leaving the pc to power up mouse and keyboard could that be the CPU??

    +
    0 Votes
    Dumphrey

    fans turn and cd rom door opens and closes. Any beeps as it boots up?
    Is the graphics card built in to the motherboard or an add in card?
    Can you take the side of the case off and see if the cpu fan is still turning?
    This could be one of several things... power supply (lost low voltage rail), cpu (just fried), or mother board.

    What I would do:
    Power off, unplug and remove all cards, add ins, usb devices. Try to power up.
    power down and remove ram till you have 1 stick. Rotate through untill you have tried them all.

    What you are looking for is: 1)Will it beep on boot?
    Does it work right minus a componant?
    Are all fans turning (cpu, case, power supply).
    Have any of the capacitors on the mobo ruptured (tops swollen and distended, or weird coloring/liquid. Should look like little flat toped cans.)
    Any weird smells (burnt plastic/hair).
    have you tried different mice/keyboard? Are they USB based or ps2 (round plugs on end). If USB, do you have PS2 available to try (turn off usb in bios).

    +
    0 Votes
    Steffi28

    Its not beeping on boot up just in the middle of taking the top off it now to try it out make sure everything is secure inside, is it easy to know if something has died inside it? I'm a lot more knowledgeable on the outside of a pc than inside

    +
    0 Votes
    Dumphrey

    all the bits, it should beep (error codes) on boot. Especially the ram. If it does not beep minus ram, either the cpu or motherboard are dead =\

    +
    0 Votes
    The Scummy One

    I have run into this before.

    +
    0 Votes
    PlipO

    Have you moved the PC recently?
    The monitor's signal cable might have come lose or the pins on the cable might be bent.
    Has the monitor cable been disconnected recently ?
    If you have two graphics card in your PC; the cable might be plugged into the one which is not set as default.

    This is unlikely but possible, if you do have two graphics cards in your computer; the default settings might have changed in the bios and now the secondary graphics is set as default.
    Has someone or something tugged on the signal cable ?
    Again, cable or graphics card might have come lose.
    Do you hear any strange beeps from the PC ?
    Do you have the opportunity to test the PC with a different monitor, this will identify if it's the computer or monitor at fault.
    Do you have access to a laptop, you can test the monitor on a laptop.

    +
    0 Votes
    Steffi28

    Never thought to try monitor on laptop will at least let me know if theres a problem there, all cables are ok and theres only one graphics card, theres no strange beeps in fact theres no beeps at all! I hope its doesnt turn out to be an expensive problem


    Edited to add just checked monitor on my laptop and thats working fine so its not a monitor problem

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    sounds like it HAS to be CPU or MB.

    I don't suppose you know anyone with an identical system that you could swap out the CPU with?

    +
    0 Votes
    Steffi28

    To MIL now to check out the pc hubby gave to his sister, see what that one is like. Thanks JD :)

    +
    0 Votes
    Steffi28

    Just tried everything said

    mouse, keyboard and monitor all working fine on other machines, inside no trace of anything on the mb like weird colouring or liquid or anything, all fans are working fine, tried taking out ram no beebs, tried taking out cpu no beebs. Hubbys sister has a similar computer we can try to take CPU out of to try that, thanks for all the help guys :)

    Oh and lights aren't working on the front because the switch that attaches the led to the motherboard is snapped and wont connect are they easy to replace?

    Thanks :)

    +
    0 Votes
    Dumphrey

    how that happened? It may relate to the other damage...
    Im not sure if its worth sorting between cpu/MB as the culprit. And if the MOBO is shorted, it could fry any cpu you put in it, meaning it could ne CPU AND Mb. So even if you put the cpu in another machine, and it does not work, it does not mean the mobo is good.
    But, if you put the cpu in another machine and it works, then you know the mobo is bad...
    Never mind, if you have a computer with same socket available, try the cpu in that.

    Note: Acetone (fingernail polish remove, unscented, industrial type) cleans the gunk off cpu's like no bodies buisness. Just avoid getting it on anything plastic...
    And most computer stores carry a silver based thermal compound. It takes less then they usually use from oem. A razor blade is perfect for using like a trowel to spread thermal paste on a cpu.

    As for the switch its self, I would imagine if the plastic is broken, you may just be able to epoxy it in place, (super glue is not so super, but epoxy is forever :) ). Or you may be able to take one out of an old computer. Really, all they do is show power on and HD activity, nice to have, but not essiential.

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    But as a starting point as you are swapping thing out you should never try a Known Good CPU on a Suspect M'Board as you run the risk of destroying the CPU. Fit your CPU to the Other M'Board and see if it works. A dead CPU isn't likely to damage a M'Board but a dead M'Board can destroy a CPU.

    Really sounds like either a M'Board or Power Supply Issue though. I'm assuming that you've lifted things and reseated them so if there is no Beeps when you pull the RAM I would be looking at the M'Board as the culprit as it should be beeping but then again if the Speaker isn't connected it can't beep can it.

    With the Front Panel Connector gone I would be thinking that you have a Suspect Video Card. I've only ever seen the No Signal when a Monitor is Disconnected from a Video Card so have you checked the Actual Plug from the Monitor to the Computer? Look for Bent Broken Pins in the Male plug, do you need me to explain the difference between a Male & Female Plug? :0

    Try the Video Card in the other computer and see if it works.

    PM me I'll leave the Mail Client open but remember that I'm + 10 hours on you

    OH did any of the above suggest cleaning out the Dust and other junk? Just don't use a Vacuum Cleaner or one of those Static Dusters as they kill electronics. Canned Air is the best to clean out a Computer but a small low pressure Compressor is also useful.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    internetspider

    Ur computer has no display, try to do following:

    1.Unplug everything like power, vga everything.
    2.open the case remove battery and short it for 5 to 10 seconds. (dont short battery short the place where battery sits).

    reconnect and start the system.

    +
    0 Votes
    Jacky Howe

    is on the right track. It would be the first on my list to test. :)

    Go to this site and read the instructions. Save the ISO version of the file.

    Instructions

    http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp#top

    Download

    http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp

    Create your CD and test your Memory.

    http://www.petri.co.il/how_to_write_iso_files_to_cd.htm

    http://www.wizardskeep.org/mainhall/tutor/neroiso.html

    Edit: It would be easier to test the RAM in the other PC.

    +
    0 Votes
    The Scummy One

    just a little bit ago, it would not stay 'on' for more than a
    few seconds. When it powered up, the power on lights
    never lit, the fan spun, no video at all. After a few
    seconds it just turned off. I pulled the entire thing apart
    and it worked fine. connected everything it worked fine,
    put the case together, it stopped working...
    It ended up being that when the case was together, the
    video card (screwed in) would move slightly and then fail
    to boot. No errors, nothing. If I removed the keyboard, I
    could push the video card back down and it would boot
    fine, for about a minute until the system hung.

    Makes one wonder... If a card was a little loose in this
    system, just enough, it may trigger a similar effect

    +
    0 Votes
    Jacky Howe

    a video card in a PC once. I had to carry it to the other end of the School. Set it up turnd it on and no display. The card had crept from me carrying it. Reseated the card and away it went. I have a PC in the Shed that at least once a month I have to reseat the RAM.

    Yes I certainly agree with you on this.

    Makes one wonder... If a card was a little loose in this system, just enough, it may trigger a similar effect