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She DROPPED it.

Posted on 2004-08-26
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Last Modified: 2007-02-13
I have a friend who recently dropped her computer.  It is now "broken," and here's a description of the symptoms:  It will NOT boot up.  Pressing the power button only turns on the light within the power button and the STR (save to RAM?) LED on the motherboard.  It doesn't turn on any fans or hard drives or anything.  There is, however, a "test button" on the power supply.  Pressing it turns on the various fans, including those connected through the MB.

She has a Gateway E4000.  I have checked and double checked all connections, thinking something was just jarred loose.  Everything is tight as a drum!  Any ideas what is wrong?  Any ideas what I can do about it?

Thanks!
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Question by:tmotero
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8 Comments
 
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Callandor earned 500 total points
ID: 11908224
Since you're starting from a totally unknown situation, you need to start isolating what works.  Off the bat, I can think of the cpu getting knocked out of the socket and the hard disk getting its heads crunched and the RAM knocked loose, but begin with a basic configuration and work your way up (if it works).

Take the motherboard out of the case and put it on an antistatic surface, like wood or a cardboard box.  Install one stick of RAM, the cpu, and the video card, and reset the BIOS after installing the cpu.  Do not include hard disks, other PCI cards, or other peripherals.  See if it starts.

Here are the things that can prevent booting (blank video screen):
- motherboard shorting on case
- bad connections
- bad RAM
- faulty video card
- bad cpu
- bad motherboard

You will need to isolate which thing or things is not working.
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Expert Comment

by:cyrusuncc
ID: 11909626
does the system make any beeps after hitting the power button?

most motherboards will send a beep out if something is not connected correctly.

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Expert Comment

by:woof-dog
ID: 11910213
I would say try a new power supply if you got a spare one.

If the PSU doesn't work then after hitting the test power switch it does to me that would say something went wrong in the PSU.
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Author Comment

by:tmotero
ID: 11915021
To answer your questions:

Callandor - Thanks for the great ideas to try, which I will, but you say refer to "not booting" analogous to "blank video screen."  It's more than a blank video screen, because absolutely NOTHING is starting.  Not even internal fans.  I'm probably just reading too much into what you said.

Cyrusuncc - The system doesn't beep at all.  Pressing the power button turns on the power button light (and the STR LED) and that's basically it.

Woof-Dog - Isn't the point of the test power switch on the PSU to tell if it's working or not?  I guess I'm confused... if something IS wrong with the PSU, why is it the only thing that seems to be working (when I press the test button)?

You guys rock - I'm sure I'll figure it out soon.  I'll be waiting for your replies!
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11916274
Yes, a blank video screen is the equivalent of absolutely nothing starting, as opposed to a BIOS screen.
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Expert Comment

by:Diane258
ID: 11920494
Might i suggest you check to see if the computer is under warrenty?

If it is then i would say "take it back to gateway and have them repair it". Oh and BTW if they ask what happened.. say "I don't know".

Now then, apart from that, I might actually suggest that you take it to PC repair shop and let them tell you whats wrong with it.. it will cost you $$$ to get it checked out(and no guantree if it will work again)
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Expert Comment

by:kmorris1186
ID: 11935213
Assuming this PC was off when she dropped it...
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