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The computer will not power on?

Posted on 2006-06-08
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-25
I have an emachine running xp pro.  It is on a network and had been working fine.  Today I press the power button and nothing happens.  Yes it is pluged into a working outlet.  I switched out the power supply from a working machine with no luck.  Then I tried removing the RAM, still nothing.  Hardware is really not my area.  Any ideas Experts?  Thanks Dale.
Question by:DaleFrazier
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 16865978
Nothing happens?
No LED on the m/board?
Check the power switch: with a known good PSU attached, try shorting the power terminals on the m/board with a small screwdriver. If the cpu fan spins up, the switch is your problem.
If it's still the case that nothing happens, you're probably looking at adead m/board and/or processor.
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Danny Child
ID: 16866443
try reseating the processor.  You probably won't need to remove it, just lay the case on its side (mobo nearest the floor) and push the processor firmly down into the board.  Then turn on the PC

When you say nothing, is it proper flat-out, card-carrying nothing?  No sounds from the base unit, no display on the screen at all (no change of colour on the power light on the screen - Orange --> Green?)

A bare bones setup of
mobo, cpu, psu all connected
all disks disconnected, ram removed, all PCI/AGP cards removed
should give error beeps on starting up (indicating the missing ram).  If so, add the ram one stick at a time, to see if one's bad.  

if the barebones above fails, I'd suspect the motherboard.  Check the capacitors on the motherboard
look for upright cylinders similar to the lower right hand one on the image above.
Are the flat end surfaces of these domed up at all?
We're going through about 2% a WEEK of our Dell Optiplexs with this fault, suffering blown capacitors.  Random faults - failure to boot, random crashes in use.  
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 16868160
All of the above is good advice.
Something else to check for is debris under the m/board, which can cause it to short out to the case. Look for broken standoffs, loose connectors, disengaged screws; etc. And clear any dust buildup.
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Author Comment

ID: 16873088
No beeps, no lights, no nothing... can you say dead?  Could a bad hard drive cause this?  Thanks Dale.
LVL 23

Assisted Solution

phototropic earned 800 total points
ID: 16873686
No, a bad hard drive would not stop the pc from turning on.
If you have ruled out the PSU and case switch, the most likely candidate is the motherboard.
What make is your m/board and processor?

Author Comment

ID: 16885171
Ok I have a hd light on the front of the case that was blinking but it has stopped.  Have not been able to make it do this again.  The capacitors look ok.  Removed cards and RAM.  Reseated processor, nothing...no beeps or lights.  Tried shorting the power terminals on the mb, nothing.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 16885274
Check the solder points on the motherboard for the component interfaces that stick out of the back.  I've now now worked on 2 emachines in the last few weeks where the solder points had snapped there.  Both times it was the video interface.
LVL 23

Accepted Solution

Danny Child earned 1200 total points
ID: 16907877
sounds like the mobo to me too...  you've already ruled out the psu by swapping them (presumably the one from here powers other PCs ok?)

btw - a link on testing PSUs without having a mobo handy...

using this, you could test the cd, hdd that they at least power up, but if you've done the Bare Bones already, what's this going to show?  Replace that mofo mobo already!

LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Danny Child
ID: 16926187
why thank you kindly.

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