Computer won't start, no action at all.

By Slayer_ ·
The simple version of my problem. My computer won't start. No POST, nothing. I even removed the RAM and it doesn't even beep maddly, it just sits there.

Powering it up it does get power to the NIC and the CD drive. Even the HDD spins up. But it won't go anywhere.

So, when and how this happened:
Basically, we blew a fuse in the house. It shut down the computer.
I immediatly turned the power switch on the computer to off and turned off the power bar.
When I got the power back up, I turned the computer back on.
And it booted up, went to scan disk, found the usual problems with apache logs and disk size incorrect, but when I got to the disk size incorrect, it displayed the message asking if I wanted to fix it. But when I tried to press enter, it wouldn't accept it. I tried Control + ALt + delete, nothing.
So I hit the reset button. It never booted back up, it just sits there with the fans going. Occasionally there is some static coming out of the speakers.

I had this once on a newer machine and the solution was to reset the CMOS, I tried that with this machine, first simply removing the battery, nothing. Then tried jumper 2 to the reset setting (as said in manual), nothing.

How can I fix this, my replacement server is a Windows 98, that failed my bet, I bet that it would last 3 days, it only lasted half a day before it auto restarted itself and got hung while shutting down. So I really want my old server back up and running.

The machine is currently sitting stripped down, no HDD's, an old stick of 64mb RAM, CD drives removed. Still no action out of it. (Everything moved to the 98 machine, HDD works fine in there)


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All Answers

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Thing to check

by OH Smeg In reply to Computer won't start, no ...

Unplug the Mains Lead leave it a few seconds then reconnect and try to start. If it starts now replace the Power Supply. The Capacitors have started to go off and it's better to fit a new one before the rest of the computer gets trashed.

If it still doesn't work with a New PS there isn't much more you can do as it is either a M'Board or CPU Problem where something has been degraded and is now so far out of Specification that it is no longer working.

Incidentally just because Fans spin doesn't mean that the PS is working it just means that the PS is producing the 12 V DC it doesn't say anything about the 5 V DC or the 1.3 V DC let alone the current that is being produced by the PS.


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What will unplugging them do?

by Slayer_ In reply to Thing to check

What will unplugging them do that being unplugged from the wall won't do?

Can a modern PSU from a system that had a software controled power, be used in the older boards that didn't have that style of power switch? I was under the impression the plugs to the board are different.

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Nothing but you didn't say that you had unplugged it

by OH Smeg In reply to What will unplugging them ...

So I started with the basics.

Here you need to replace the Power Supply then.

In relation to the bit about a Modem Power Supply are you asking can you use a Power Supply from something for a M'Board that has a XT power Supply not a ATX Power Supply?

Well if it is a XT Power Supply and has a high enough rating yes you can use it but if it isn't a XT Power Supply then no you can not use it.

Also ATX Power Supplies come in 2 types one has a 20 Pin Connector and the other has a 24 Pin Connector. Some of the better makers provide PS with a Combo Plug that can either use the entire 24 Pins or remove the 4 Pin Plug from the 24 Pin Connector and use it as a 20 Pin PS. Antec PS come like this for Desktop Power Supplies.


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I don't really know

by Slayer_ In reply to Nothing but you didn't sa ...

It is sort of nameless, doesn't even give a power rating. The PSU is about uh, 13 years old.

Is there a way I can test if it is the PSU?

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RE: Is there a way I can test if it is the PSU?

by OH Smeg In reply to I don't really know

Not really unless you have another M'Board, CPU & RAM to test with. Even then if the PS is bad it may take out the test M'Board.

A XT power Supply has a Mains Voltage Power Switch on it. This is a Double Pole Single Throw Switch that has 4 wires going to it. ATX Power Supplies do not have a Mains Powered Switch.

If you need to source a XT power Supply somewhere try the Hardware Recyclers as the first option as they will guarantee everything that they sell but you may be out of luck as XT PS's are now considered as Obsolete and may no longer be available. You can try EBay but there is no guarantee that what you buy there is any better than what you currently have. Any Electronics Repairer should be able to repair a XT Power Supply and that may be your best option here but it will take time to do the repair. :)


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by Slayer_ In reply to RE: [i]Is there a way I c ...

Does this fit in line with it suddenly hanging on me in the scan disk?
Or does that sound more like a mobo or CPU problem?

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Could be either actually

by OH Smeg In reply to Alright...

Though i would be looking at the M'Board, CPU first but as I have PS's here I would have just swapped before doing anything else. Particularly if I had of been told that there was a power Issue of any type.

You can test a XT Power Supply for Voltage if you can use a Multi Meter and do it safely. If you allow the Probes to touch on the metal bits that will destroy a PS immediately but provided you are careful you can do a complete Test. Though you will need to remove the PS from the case and this involves pulling the front cover as well as the main cover and unplugging all the leads coming out of the PS.

Place it on a Bench/Table make sure that the Switch Contacts are covered and plug it in press the Power Switch to turn it on and then test the Yellow & Back Wires on a Power Plug for a HDD/CD. Do the same with the Red & Black Wires one should be 12 V DC this should be the yellow but maybe not depending on who made the PS the Wiring Color Codes may not be correct. The red and Black wires should have 5 V DC.

The M'Board Power Plugs is a 2 Plug 10 Pin arraignment and you can test for power here as well you should have 12 V 5 V and 1.5- 2.0 V DC present but you have to keep in mind this is only a static Voltage Check and in no way measures the available current so even if it passes this test and you don't kill the PS it may not actually work.


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Alright well a friend of mine has a PSU

by Slayer_ In reply to Alright...

He will probably lend me his, he is a hardware guy so I am sure he can install this too. I saw how it was done on a newer system (easy stuff) but I haven never seen it on an older system. Heck even getting it out of the case, I have no idea, I think I saw it riveted on. It has no power output rating on it either, which is rather concerning.

One thing of note, the system performace has been degredated for a good 2 years now. Mostly noticable in games. Where it used to get 30 - 40 FPS, it would now get 2 - 5 FPS, even with different video cards. I always figured the CPU was wearing out, but was told that a CPU wearing out was impossible, it would simply stop working. Is this true, does it shift the possiblities?

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Well if the CPU was allowed to overheat

by OH Smeg In reply to Computer won't start, no ...

It is possible that it would degrade but it would be a one off and not a slow death.

I would be looking at the PS if that was the case slowly failing. As it gets a lower Current output the system slows down . If it lasted for 2 years I would be very happy with it lasting that long but then again I would have investigated it before it got so bad and replaced what needed replacing.


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by Slayer_ In reply to Well if the CPU was allow ...

It has been running at 50C constant for a long time, I never really thought about it, I know it was hot but I never had the ability to check the temperature before this performance degredation. I don't think it has a heatsink, just a fan hovering overtop of the CPU.

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