OT: Computer help

tenaka

Diabloii.Net Member
OT: Computer help

A friend of mine is having a major problem with his computer and asked me to help out because his computer knowledge goes about as far as finding the power button more often than not. Unfortunatly I'm stupmed and I know there are some here that know a lot more than I di so hopefully someone has some ideas.

Problem? It won't boot. I don't mean it freezes or restarts during booting, I mean there is almost no reaction at all. When I hit the power button the fan and the power light turn on and thats it. No beep. No hard drive reaction. Nothing.

Since the fan and light come on its not the power supply. I've unseated and reseated all the components and still the same result. Anyone have an idea of what the problem could be and what I should check?
 

BuFa

Diabloii.Net Member
Do you have a spare vid card ? You could try changing it, usually when your vid dies, the computer won't boot up at all. However it should beep and complain some.
Also, try to get into the bios settings. If you're able to do that, try changing the primary boot device to cd or floppy, and shove in a boot disk or cd.
Sorry but that's all I can think of right now x.x I'm more of a software person :teeth:
 

nepeta

Diabloii.Net Member
Sounds a bit like motherboard malfunction, I had similar experiences once... But you'd better wait for someone more experienced with computers, for I'm no expert either :x
 

Gnoggen

Diabloii.Net Member
...

BuFa said:
Do you have a spare vid card ? You could try changing it, usually when your vid dies, the computer won't boot up at all. However it should beep and complain some.
Also, try to get into the bios settings. If you're able to do that, try changing the primary boot device to cd or floppy, and shove in a boot disk or cd.
Sorry but that's all I can think of right now x.x I'm more of a software person :teeth:
I agree with Bufa about the video card. My old computer has a case that doesn't use screws to secure the video card, it has some little plastic bar that is supposed to snap down. Well, it doesn't snap down all the way and if I'm not careful plugging in the monitor, the video card becomes unseated and the computer behaves exactly how you describe. Be absolutely certain the video card is seated correctly/completely (which it sounds like you have done) and then maybe try a different video card. If that doesn't work, your friend may have to take it in and have an actual tech look at it. I was trying to build my own computer (which I did) But I couldn't get all the leads from the case connected to the motherboard correctly and I had to have the comp taken in. It turns out that I also didn't have the heat sink seated on the processor correctly and I probably would have burned out the most expensive part of my new computer pretty quickly. Sometimes getting help from professionals is just something you have to bite the bullet and do.
 

Flamearrows

Diabloii.Net Member
The motherboard should have a row of little lights across it - mine has 4. unearth your motherboard manual and see which combination the lights get to before everything stops working - this should tell you the component which is fried. It beats trial and error, and can save you a lot of money.

flamearrows
 

Gnoggen

Diabloii.Net Member
cool

Flamearrows said:
The motherboard should have a row of little lights across it - mine has 4. unearth your motherboard manual and see which combination the lights get to before everything stops working - this should tell you the component which is fried. It beats trial and error, and can save you a lot of money.

flamearrows

I never knew that!
 

killian27

Diabloii.Net Member
pull out all cards except video card, disconnect all drives... basically remove everything from the motherboard except the powersupply, ram, and the vid card (make sure your cpu is seated properly if you know how). unplug the system, hold the power button in for a while, the lights will prolly light up for a millisecond, then drain away. Plug it back in, make sure the monitor is connected. Try to boot up, if still no luck, then its the vid card, the motherboard, or the ram. The ram and motherboard "typically" have an audible alarm that there is a malfunction, the vid card typically does not. If it does boot up, then one of the devices you disconnected was faulty, and you can troubleshoot from there.

*when booting, if the monitor acts the same as it would if it was just disconnected from the vid card altogether, then its probably the vid card... but not definately.


doesnt sound like its making it to power on self test
 

killmesh

Diabloii.Net Member
i had a problem similar to that one where i was told to unplug it and wait 30 secs then try to start it
however if it doesnt work i would suggest takin a look at the bias hit delete when you hit the power buton and make sure somethin isnt set to boot off of a slave or someother drive that isnt there
 

Serdash

Diabloii.Net Member
Yeah I think what flamearrows is talking about is called a POST or something.

Also, do the light and fan come on and STAY on? If they eventually go off, it very well could be your power supply.

Was any new hardware added to the machine recently?
 

tenaka

Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks everyone, let me try to repond to all the suggestions:

Bufa: No spare vid card :(

Nepeta: That was my first thought.

Gnoggen: It is definitly seated properly.

Flamearrows: Its something he bought at Best Buy and he has no motherboard manual. No lights on it are lighting up though if that points to anything.

Killian27: Done and it doesn't boot. No alarms, but that doesn't surprise me since there doesn't seem to be any reaction to any devices other than the fan and power light. I do not know how to make sure the cpu is seated properly.

Killmesh: It doesn't get far enough in booting for that.

Serdash: Fan stays on. No new hardware was added.
 

Flamearrows

Diabloii.Net Member
tenaka said:
Flamearrows: Its something he bought at Best Buy and he has no motherboard manual. No lights on it are lighting up though if that points to anything.
The LEDs are really tiny... but there will be four of them, I suspect. Google for the motherboard and see if you can find some documentation on the status lights. If nothing at all lights up, but you get fans, then I'd say your motherboard is seriously broken. Even if the RAM or vid is out, then the motherboard should at least initialise, hit the CMOS etc.

flamearrows
 

tenaka

Diabloii.Net Member
Flamearrows said:
The LEDs are really tiny... but there will be four of them, I suspect. Google for the motherboard and see if you can find some documentation on the status lights. If nothing at all lights up, but you get fans, then I'd say your motherboard is seriously broken. Even if the RAM or vid is out, then the motherboard should at least initialise, hit the CMOS etc.

flamearrows
Yea, thats why I think its the motherboard. I'm going to tell him to bring it in somewhere tomorrow because he needs it running by Tuesday and I'll be busy with family the next two days. Thanks.
 

killian27

Diabloii.Net Member
It does sound like the motherboard, still could be the processor or even the vid card. The dark side clouds everything.... sorry, couldnt help it.

At this point, the easiest way to troubleshoot is to swap parts, so yeah i guess ya better take it somewhere.
 

danc133

Diabloii.Net Member
well if the ram takes a dump it can't boot windows could try another ram chip. As for the leds only a few mother boards have them. Pull the sound card and reboot. BTW even if the vid card fails it should boot in safe mode. Safe mode doesn't load the vid card drivers. I'd try safe mode first, then swap a ram chip. As for the mention of POST that's power on self test buillt into the bios and is usually beeps not lites. There is significance to the beeps like 3 short for example. Sometimes the beeps are hard to hear with the case closed. Make sure the speakers are turned down the beeps should come from the internal speaker. If he just needs to access a file good chance he can if it will boot in safe mode or with a windows startup disc. If he doesn't have one make one on your PC and boot to safe mode that way. That's about all I can offer that might help.
Good Luck
 

Flamearrows

Diabloii.Net Member
danc133 said:
well if the ram takes a dump it can't boot windows could try another ram chip. As for the leds only a few mother boards have them. Pull the sound card and reboot. BTW even if the vid card fails it should boot in safe mode. Safe mode doesn't load the vid card drivers. I'd try safe mode first, then swap a ram chip. As for the mention of POST that's power on self test buillt into the bios and is usually beeps not lites. There is significance to the beeps like 3 short for example. Sometimes the beeps are hard to hear with the case closed. Make sure the speakers are turned down the beeps should come from the internal speaker. If he just needs to access a file good chance he can if it will boot in safe mode or with a windows startup disc. If he doesn't have one make one on your PC and boot to safe mode that way. That's about all I can offer that might help.
Good Luck
Really? New to me, every motherboard I've ever worked with has had some sort of status light. From the sound of it, the motherboard doesn't even get initialised in the startup, which either means it's totally broken or - possibly - the connection from it to the PSU is fried. Tenaka, if it beeps then there's still hope of a simple faulty component rather than the whole board being trashed. Mind you, I'd rather my mobo fried than my graphics card these days :lol: You can also try Knoppix if you get it to the point where there's a need of file recovery

flamearrows
 

DeathMaster

Diabloii.Net Member
Flamearrows said:
Really? New to me, every motherboard I've ever worked with has had some sort of status light.
I can bet you real world money that not all of them. I had been doing that for living for few years, and I can recall handfull of them with no LED what so ever.

I agree this sounds like a totally dead mobo.
 

Rugruth

Diabloii.Net Member
DeathMaster said:
I can bet you real world money that not all of them. I had been doing that for living for few years, and I can recall handfull of them with no LED what so ever.

I agree this sounds like a totally dead mobo.

I'm with you, no response, no 'beep's from motherboard (the beep codes are another way the motherboard has to tell you whats wrong) then usually the motherboard is fried or the ram.

If you havent some spare computer parts to test is hard to tell. In fact the shop will do that, swap some compnents and see whats wrong.

My 2c
 
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