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PC does nothing

Posted on 1998-08-01
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
When I turn my PC on, nothing happens, except that the light to say it's on and the fan of the processor and the fan of the power supply come on.  I've tried replacing the power supply and monitor with working examples with no luck.  Any ideas where to start?
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Question by:tomnich
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24 Comments
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:SeanGiles
ID: 1121976
Any beep codes?
Did you try replacing the video card?
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:tomnich
ID: 1121977
No beeps.  I didn't try replacing the video card - The hard disk didn't even get into action so I thought it wouldn't help
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Expert Comment

by:dsrikump
ID: 1121978
Is this a very old computer? Over 5 years old? Assuming that you know that the video card works and have tested it in another machine. If so, you might consider changing the
battery on the motherboard. Motherboard batteries can fail after time and could be the culprit for lack of action.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1121979
If the present proposed answer does not solve your problem, please select "reopen the question to other experts" from your list of options.
You do not have to accept any answer proposed to you until your problem has been solved to your satisfaction.

To save time in solving your problem, it will be helpful to know more about your computer.
Please list the components of your system that might apply.
(Motherboard, CPU, RAM, Hard Drive(s), CD-ROM, Soundcard, etc.)

Regards,
Ralph

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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:tomnich
ID: 1121980
I haven't yet tried tried replacing the motherboard batteries - but I will - I re-opened the question because the PC is only 14 months old so this should be unlikely.

I'll get more precise details later, but its an IBM 150 MHz + chip (I think - about the same speed as Intell P133) 16 MB RAM, 2 Gb hard drive, 12 speed CD ROM - I expect you want more specific details - what sort of details do you want Ralph?
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1121981
1) Consult your manual and install only the minimum memory necessary, in required socket(s).
2) Disconnect EVERYTHING from power supply except motherboard.
3) Remove all add-on cards from the motherboard except video.
4) Disconnect any hard, floppy, or CDROM drive data cables attached to motherboard.
5) Start computer with monitor, speaker, and keyboard attached.

Is there anything now displayed on-screen?  Any beep codes?

If still nothing, substitute memory for known good, in proper socket(s).

Still nothing?
Try removing video card to test for beep code.

Let me know what you find.
Ralph

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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:satwa
ID: 1121982
1. Make sure that your cpu is installed correctly, seated firmly,
   and that pin no. 1, is in the pin no. 1 slot.

2. Make certain that all memory is firmly seated in its" simm,
   or dimm slot. Also change out the memory to other memory of
   the same type from another working computer.

3. if the above doesn"t solve your problem test all components
   on another motherboard. If this works you have a faulty motherboard.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1121983
satwa,
Please reserve proposing an answer for when your information is "THE" solution to a problem.
I see that you are new here, so please don't be offended.
It is usually less confusing to submit suggestions as a comment to a questioner.
Regards,
Ralph


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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:tomnich
ID: 1121984
Tried disconnecting everything but minimum, checked seating of CPU, Memory - I don't have  any of the correct type of memory to replace them with - but I don't even get any beeps or memory checking.  I don't have another CPU to test this
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1121985
Try to feel the CPU when computer has been on for several minutes.
Is it warm to the touch?
No?
Remove the CPU and turn on power.
Any sound from speaker?
Do drives power up?
If still nothing, the last thing that I can think of to try is remove motherboard from the case. (possible foreign object causing a short)
Regards,
Ralph

0
 

Expert Comment

by:dsrikump
ID: 1121986
tomnich,
 Have there been any lightning storms around you in the recent past? Do you have a modem, and is it connected to the wall via a ungrounded telephone wire? You may be victim of a fried machine.

Here's what I'm thinking...

1. you have no beep codes.
      a.) that means your memory is "probably" alright
      b.) cpu is properly installed
      c.) the damn thing is fried to the point it doesn't know to respond.

2.) you've already told us your power supply fan and processor fan are working, not to mention power lights com on.
      a.) power supply is fine
      b.) power is still getting to the motherboard.

3.) drives don't make any noise:
      a.) either your IDE controller went bad, which if it's on the motherboard, then the motherboard is considered "bad"
      b.) or motherboard doesn't even try and boot them cause it is fried!

I must say, I kinda doubt the drives aren't working cause the damn thing doesn't even show you a bios screen...or at least that's what I gather.


With no beeps whatsoever... not even a single beep, and assuming all connections are still good, and the speaker didn't somehow blowout, I doubt that it is a video problem. You would still hear a single beep at start-up (unless you disabled that setting in the BIOS--but I doubt you did that), and then you'd hear the drives spin up.

Which makes me wonder...have their been any lightning storms in the recent past surrounding your mysterious failure...hmmm...

or

power surges...did you live in an area where there are a lot of brownouts?

Of course it could be the motherboard battery, they're cheap and you can typically get them at Radio Shack.
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Expert Comment

by:dsrikump
ID: 1121987
Oh, I sorta doubt the MB short, if this computer is hooked to a power surge protector worth it's salt, I'd think the darn thing would trip, but I'm no EE so take that with a grain of salt.

rmarotta-
 I was checking your stats, your hardcore! Have you been here since the inception of this website?
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1121988
Hardcore? or do you mean "hard-headed"?
I've been accused of that before......  ;-)
Been here less than a year.
Ralph
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Expert Comment

by:dsrikump
ID: 1121989
Bravo!
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:tomnich
ID: 1121990
It's actually my Girlfriend's Aunt's PC, I'll ask her about lightening strikes.

I've tried a new motherboard battery, so that's not it.

It looks like I'll need to take it to a PC repair shop if I can't borrow loads of spare bits to test it with
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1121991
When I spoke of a foreign object, it could be something like a screw or paper clip falling inside.
This short can prevent the power supply oscillator from starting up.  Thereby not blowing a fuse or surge suppresor reset.
My comments didn't address substitution (except memory), just try pulling the CPU......
Ralph

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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:gaestar
ID: 1121992
Do you hear your hard disk working ?  If yes, it's probably your screen or your raiser card or your video card which is defect.  If your hard disk doesn't work, try to disconnect your hard disk and try to boot with a bootable disk.  If it's work, it's the hard disk which is defect.  If nothing works, sorry but it's your processor, your mother board or your ram wich is defect.
Good luck
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:tomnich
ID: 1121993
gaestar - Nothing happens but the power light coming on and the CPU fan -- no disk activity
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1121994
Did you unplug the CPU to see if there is drive activity?
0
 

Expert Comment

by:etep
ID: 1121995
You must boot your Pc with the minimal configuration:
  - disconnect CD-ROM cable
  - disconnect hard disks cable
  - disconnect floppy disk
  - disconnect keyboard.
If After booting, the screen is always black, try to find a friend to exchange and test your machine:
 In a second PC, install only a piece of your PC:
   -install your video card and boot the second machine
or
   -install your memory and boot the second machine


If your video card and your memory card work on this second PC,
do the next steps:
   - connect the internal power supply cable(s) of the second machine on your PC mother board (with the minimal configuration, replace memory and video card) and verify if your PC boot.

If your PC don't succeed to booting,  the probleme is found:
  your mother board or your processor has a problem.
 
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Expert Comment

by:dsrikump
ID: 1121996
Lemme make sure of something:
 You don't see the bios at all or do you?

 Here's another possiblity, I recently read that there is a virus that targets flashable boot-roms and overwrites everything on the rom. This coincides with the timing of your girlfriend's aunt's computer ailments. Just another possiblity. Good luck.

Following Taken from www.macintouch.com ( 7/25/98 )

If the flash-BIOS is write-enabled, and most modern computers have a writable flash-BIOS, the overwriting renders the machine UNUSABLE because it will no longer boot. Any hardware damage caused by the virus is not covered under manufacturers' warranties. At the same time, the disk partition information is destroyed.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1121997
tomnich,
As I understand, you get no drive or speaker activity at all.

Did you try the configuration I suggested on August 02 1998 - 02:04PM ?

If so, did any LED flash on the keyboard at power-on?
Ralph
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:tomnich
ID: 1121998
It was the motherboard - the PC was a TINY - I know, there cheap and nasty.  Thanks rmarotta for your detailed help - I think you deserve the points
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LVL 9

Accepted Solution

by:
rmarotta earned 90 total points
ID: 1121999
Thanks, I'm glad to help.
Regards,
Ralph
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