Dead computer...what can I safely salvage?

By wsheit ·
Hi all,

I just came home from a 2 week vacation, fired up my computer and found that it wasn't booting up. (I shut it down and unplugged it before leaving; incidentally, I usually put it on standby rather than shutting it down) Anywa, it powers on, but the monitor picks up no signal and the lights on my keyboard and mouse aren't lighting up. Additionally, trying to power the computer down by holding down the power button no longer works.

I've been searching google for the last 2 hours to see if others had similar problems...and it seems they did, but few of them found solutions.
Some had success resetting the CMOS...I tried this (unplugging the comp and taking out the battery for half an hour), but to no avail. I also tried switching in different RAM and a different video card. Much like what some other threads seemed to conclude, the problem- so far as I and my low level tech knowhow can conclude- is related to the mobo, cpu, or the power supply. I'm thinking of upgrading to these:**03680

I guess my questions are these:

1. Is there any danger in reusing my video card, ram, and hard drive? These are what I have:

2. Any recommendations for a compatible power supply?

3. Any more general comments on my crappy predicament?

Thanks All!

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All Answers

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How dead is "dead" ??...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Dead computer...what can ...

All you actually stated is "fired up my computer and found that it wasn't booting up" - so what WAS it doing?

Was there ANY signs of life?

Does the motherboard LED glow in any way?

Is there any signs of electrical activity no matter how small?

If not, then swapping component boards is unlikely to have much effect. I'd be starting with all the PSU lead connectors (unplugging then reseating them all).

If you have made a habit of running in Standby Mode then it is quite likely that it has been some considerable time since you have ever performed a cold boot. I'd start with a PSU swap.

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Shoulda been more specific...

by wsheit In reply to How dead is "dead" ??...

There are definitely signs of life- all of the fans turn on, and I'm pretty sure the HD's are spinning as well. The LED's for the front of the case even turn on (which is why I find it curious that holding down the power button doesn't turn the machine off).

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Change the PS if that is the case

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Shoulda been more specifi ...

What is the most likely thing happening here is that one of the Voltage Rails has gone off and is not providing any or sufficient voltage to run the unit.

So if the Fans Work that means that the 12 V rail is working but not the 1.3 or 5 V Rails. If the unit will not turn off by the front Panel Switch I would be looking at a Low Current/No Voltage on the 5 V Rails.


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Well for starters I would swap out the Power Supply

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Dead computer...what can ...

With a Known Good one or if you don't have one available try a new one and ideally from one of the better makers like Antec.

I have used Gigabyte, Corsair and Antec Name Brand PS as well as several dozen No Name Brands and the Antec are by far the best available. They are designed to protect the inside of the case so if something drastic happens the PS will die but not pass on the Hit to the M'Board and so on.

I have seen first hand evidence of this during a thunder storm where a tree fell onto the Overhead power lines and brought 33 KV into the Mains which was fairly spectacular but I have no personal experience of a Lighting Strike bur with this I just wouldn't expect anything to survive.

As for what you can use again the M'Board maybe and the same goes for the CPU but from my experience if the M'Board is shot the CPU will be to. Seems to always happen with the AMD's and not the Intel CPU's but maybe that's just something local here and not repeated elsewhere.

The HDD should be OK but you really may want a bigger one as these days 320 GIG isn't overly big. You can fit this to a USB Caddy and see if it works and save any required Data off the drive but you may need to take ownership of the files depending on what if any security you had in place previously.

As the unit was unplugged the same should go for the RAM as well unless you had a Lighting Strike in the vicinity as that can destroy things not plugged in if it was close enough.

However the most likely thing to have happened is that the heat built up while you where away and this killed some Capacitors on the M'Board or in the PS and that is what is the problem now. As I said previously start with the PS and work from there.


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my perspective

by ismail.magued In reply to Dead computer...what can ...

first of all the most likely culprit is
is the
power supply unit, uninstall it and have it checked out by a specialist.
try swapping with another power supply.
and please please give more info about this issue more specific information.
anyways as i said have your power supply unit checked out.
and please look at your pc specs all the specs
in detail and send them
just to have more info step by step.
i will check the status of this post again tommorow
as well i will keep up with your status.

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