Worst Case Scenario

I realize I probably have the most serious problem one can have. I am trying to get pointed in the right direction so as to salvage what I can.
After a power interruption I tried to get my computer to come back on but failed. When I “push” the start button I can hear the hard drive trying to spin up and different lights do come on, e.g. hard drive, keyboard, and cd. I can also hear the controller arms start to get into their ready position. However this arm movement only last a few seconds where normally it would last until I entered my password and my desktop was on screen.  
Then all lights but the “on” light goes off, no controller arm movement, and the monitor is blank (monitor never powered up to begin with). The cd drive still operates (goes in and out when button is pushed), but there is no hard drive activity.
I am thinking it is probably the hard drive, but I guess I wanted a second opinion in case there is something I am not thinking of. Any other ideas, anybody?    
Who is Participating?
rayt333Connect With a Mentor Commented:
No activity on the monitor screen?
If this is the case then this has nothing to do with the HD, you will need to check a few other devices first.
Check your monitor to be sure it works, either take it to a know working system or bring a know good monitor to your system.
If the monitor checks out OK then next check your video card, do the same as above.
If it checks out OK then you will next need to check the memory and the CPU, the best way to test these without hightech equipment is to swap with know working parts (best to put thim in another working system.
Everything check out OK so far? then you should mest the power supply to be sure it is putting out correct voltage to all leads.
if everything so far has tested OK then you are down to the motherboard.

mest??? test test test
What is the most valuable item here: your data or the hardware?

If it is the data, take out the HD and hook it up to another, working system and try to salvage what you can. Your MB, PSU etc may be fubar and the HD may take exception to extensive testing if you have a power problem.

If it is the hw, strip the MB and see if it can give beeps complaining about "No video". Add hardware from there.

Free Tool: Path Explorer

An intuitive utility to help find the CSS path to UI elements on a webpage. These paths are used frequently in a variety of front-end development and QA automation tasks.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

It might help to know what kind of power interruption you actually had.  Is it a simple "My power got cut off" or did lightning take the tree down in the front yard.  This would help in answering anything further without the "test, test, test"!
Member Name  mikesg  
Date Account Created  06/26/02
Welcome, please read the guidelines for an answer as opposed to posting as the answer.
If you think the suggestion you are providing will solve the problem completely, then post it as an answer. BUT Be careful that the suggestion that you are providing is not one already posted as a comment by someone else.  If you want to agree with something someone else has suggested, make sure to
post it as a comment.  If you are asking for additional information or clarification of the question, it should be posted as a comment. If you are simply making a guess then post as a comment.
The "ANSWER" should only be used when you are 2000% sure it is the only correct and complete answer, other wise post as a comment.
The "asker" can accept any comment as the answer after the problem has been solved.
Oops ..last post meant as a comment, as well as this.

Hello mikesg, I have removed the error, and the comment still remains.

Thank you,
CS Admin @ EE
you say the registry settings are correct?..

DWORD value is set to 1 for enable?

and you are sure the CDROM is working properly.

Hmm..the below is copied from findings at www.annoyances.org  : "

You can disable the CD-ROM autorun by changing this setting, this will stop applications from auto launching when you insert a CD-ROM disc into your drive. Open: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\CDRom Change to value of 'Autorun', or create a new DWORD value if it doesn't exist: (0=disable, 1=enable) Restart Your Computer "
For mikesg

Are you answering the right question?  MorisKj can't even boot the thing and you're asking him to hack the registry!

For MorisKj
My sympathies are with you, are you getting any beeps from the computer as it tries to boot? Any lights on the monitor?

My apologies. Wrong question.
MorisKjAuthor Commented:
Sorry in taking so long in getting back to everybody   First I am sure it is not the monitor (plugged it into the laptop, works great). I am reasonably sure it is the HD. There are no beeps of any kind :(

I will watch the message thread and respond to anybody first chance I get, Thanks everybody

You can remove the HD and it will still boot up to a bootdisk in the floppy, so I am wondering why you believe it is the HD?
Do you get anything at all on screen? if not then please follow the suggestions I posted earlier and let us know the outcome.
what are the results of the POST test?  are there any beep codes given?  does it beep more than once?  this is important and I've noticed people have already asked.

a bad hard drive would be visible on screen.  you would be telling us that you had a disk error on your screen.  as a matter of fact I'm working on a system right now were there is no display and the hard drives wont spin if the IDE cables are plugged in to the motherboard.  I have a question under Hard drives if anyone's interested but the point it it's not the drive's fault.  if only the drive were the problem, it would tell you so during boot on screen.  tell us more about your hardware, video card, processor, mobo?

on a humorous note, the last time I was involved in troubleshooting no video, a cat chewed the monitor cable.

My money is on the motherboard.  If the HDD was shot the machine would still boot and the disk may not show in BIOS or something like 'Invalid system disk' on screen.

The PSU is still pushing power to other devices ie HDD tahts why it is starting to spin, but cos the mobo is shot nothin' else is working.

The fact you can't get an image on a good monitor points to something other that the HDD.  Have you tried booting with the HDD disconnected formpower and data cable.  Also you could try disconnecting everything from the motherboard and trying to boot to see if there are any beeps.

Don't give up hope!

MorisKjAuthor Commented:

It turned out to be the motherboard all along.  Sorry I took so long in answering but I had to go out of town and then try and catch back on business after returning. I do appreciate all the help and being patient with me.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.