Computer doesn’t do anything but allow the cpu fan and power supply fan to turn on.

Posted on 2004-10-22
Last Modified: 2013-11-10
I am working on a computer for someone who said that they droped thier computer.  (I'm not sure how much of a drop)  When the power button is pushed, the processor fan and the power supply fan kicks on, and the hard drive tries to spin up, but nothing else happens.  (not even a beep) Thinking they might be loose,  I took the memory and the video card out and replaced them, but that wasn't the problem.  I figured it might be the motherboard (or posibly the power supply is to weak to power anything else up?)  If it is a motherboard, can I just replace it, and if so how do I tell what kind of motherboard it has.  It seems to be a fairly late model.  The case has -Jan 02- stamped on the inside of it and it has a sticker that says -intel inside-  and -pentium 4-



Question by:sethag
    LVL 14

    Accepted Solution

    Damage is hard to asses but no POST usually is one of three, the cpu, the mainboard, or the power supply. Process of elimination from this point by replacing suspect. Mainboards usually have Model, etc. printed on/near one corner of the board. Suggest that you reseat the cpu/HSF if you suspect enough force in the "drop".
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    Kinda hard to tell. You can buy a new pentium motherboard rather eaisly, the problem comes from the fact that i think you have a comercial produced computer( like a Dell or Sony or Emachines) and i hate to say it but they make their own "special" hardware, so if it breaks.. you have to go to them and have them fix it.

    If it is NOT a comercial computer.. you might be in luck. if that is the case find a local electronics dealer and ask for a cheap pentium 4 motherboard(i think it's called socket 370, but don't quote me) take it home and plug everythign into it.. if it works then you know it was the motherboard.. if not then you might have to take a closer look at the CPU and/or powersupply.

    one more thing, look over the motherboard and check if any of the capasitors( they look like little cylinders that spring up from the board) have blown( meaning the top of bottems are not "flat" but bulged..and possibly leaking some sort of fluid) if you see that.. then you KNOW it's the motherboard.
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    Take out the CPU and cooler, and check them (they could come loose with the shock), then clean them and put thermal paste on it, like arctic silver.
    I would recommend taking out EVERYTHING, and reassembling after proper inspection, as the fall could cause a short circuit.
    If all fail, try another power supply
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    The Motherboard Should be a Intel 845 Chipset.
    This is Definitely not the Power supply as the Fan is running and you can confirm it by just Ejecting the CDROm Drive. Neither is there a Short as the System powers on. You can suspect the Motherboard.

    Check if the motherboard looks like this ( to confirm the type of Motherboard )
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    you're right
    it's other motherboard or powersupply

    first u must make sure that it's not the power supply before going to the other expensive option

    to check the powersupply, get ur self a voltmeter from anywhere
    and pick any free power connector inside the case

    the red wire (positive) with the black wire (negative) should measure +5v
    the yellow wire (positive) with the black wire (negative) should measure +12v

    there's around  5% plus or minus tolerance

    if this is not the case then go for a new powersupply
    if everything looks OK then find another motherboard


    Author Comment

    I found a Gateway motherboard at for this machine. Couldn't open the zif lever with the heatsink attached to the processor. (the processor must have been glued to the heatsink (or the processor got hot enough to weld (if you will) the heatsink to the processor to the heatsink.)  Finally got the processor off of the heatsink and put everything back together and everything worked.  After all of that, I don't think that it was the motherboard at all.  I feel kind of stupid

    Author Comment

    Thanks!!!  everyone for your comments.  I'm new at this or I would have split the points up a little.  All of you gave me answers that pointed me in the right direction.  Thanks again!

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