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Is my computer repairable?

Posted on 2006-07-16
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
I was using a Belkin KVM switch to switch the use of my keyboard, mouse and monitor bewteen 2 computers. This was working well for some time. However, today, I turned on the second computer and switched using the hotkeys (Scroll Lock, Scroll Lock, Up arrow) and the monitor, keyborad and mouse switched accross. However, the display didn't register a new signal nor did the keyboard.

I subsequently tried connecting the computer to another monitor and keyboard and it does not supply power to the keyboard (apart from the inital lights when one powers up) and no display signal is registered by the monitor.

I think, the switch has caused a surge which has "blown" a/some display and keyboard components on the motherboard. I would appreciate any thoughts or insight. Also, is this something worth trying to get fixed?  
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Question by:asetia
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by:garycase
ID: 17118509
Short answer:  Yes.

Longer answer:  It's possibly, but I'd say very unlikely that the KVM switch "blew" the system.   Something else has gone wrong here.  The first step is to get the KVM switch out of the equation, so you can troubleshoot the computer.   You've done that a bit -- and noted that the system is getting power, since the keyboard is at least initially getting power.   What are the exact symptoms of the system when you attempt to power it up?

As for your question "...is this something worth trying to get fixed? " ==> Only you can make that determination; but if you want my opinion, you need to post the details of the system !!    Is it an ancient 200MHz P-II, or a recent 3.0GHz P-IV, for example :-)
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by:nobus
ID: 17120286
if the original kbd/mouse were PS/2, you can use USB ones, or vice versa
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by:nobus
ID: 17120292
the best way to troubleshoot is booting with the minimum devices :
mobo + CPU + 1 Ram stick, video card. If still no video, try another Ram stick or video card. if still nothing, mobo or CPU is to blame. If you get a display, connect devices back 1 by one till the bad one is found.
Then you can decide if it is still worth repairing
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by:ISoul
ISoul earned 50 total points
ID: 17131150
I don't think it actually has anything to do with the KVM. Problem likely would have happened without a KVM.

Your symptoms sound exactly the same as a computer I repaired last week.

When you turn the system on, the lights briefly light up on the keyboard, and the fans and hard drive turns on as if everything was okay... but the system does nothing else. Nothing shows on the screen, and no error beeps.

Yeah, it is most likely a problem with the motherboard. It definitely was in my case, and replacing the motherboard fixed everything up.
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by:nobus
ID: 17131202
oh yes, and try another power supply too, that is also one of the main suspects
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by:asetia
ID: 17132010
The problem does appear to be MOBO related. It is totally dead, no beeps or anything. The keyboard lights flash for a split second when powered up and then nothing at all. It doesn't start the hard drive or even provide a "beep".  

The system is an Athlon XP processor, I have 160GB Hard drive, 1 GB RAM and DVD writer etc. The computer.

My concern at this point is, if the problem is just the MOBO, then it's worth replacing. The question is if the power supply is faulty, has it also killed the processor etc.
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by:garycase
ID: 17132125
As I said in my first post, with regards to whether it's "...worth trying to get fixed? " ==> Only you can make that determination.

Since you've now posted some of the system details (what speed Athlon XP ??), I would say it MAY be worth replacing the motherboard, since that will let you reuse both your CPU and your memory.   But it does depend on the speed of your Athlon -- and whether you've "ready" for an upgrade.   Anytime you're buying a new motherboard, it's worth considering whether it's simply time for a new motherboard/CPU/memory upgrade.   Finding an older motherboard that will accept your current CPU and memory can also be a challenge.
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by:ISoul
ID: 17132275
The total cost to repair can be as little as $40 for a new Socket A motherboard, which are still readily available. That's assuming the current RAM you have is DDR.

I've repaired a couple AthlonXP machines in the past few weeks with just a new motherboard.

Here is a sample selection:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?Submit=ENE&N=2010200022+1071007503&Subcategory=22&description=&srchInDesc=&minPrice=&maxPrice=
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by:asetia
ID: 17137173
Thanks for the above. I am based in London, England, so I can't buy from US vendors but thanks. The MOBO is made by MSI. I will have to open everything up again at the weekend as I am now travelling. I'll revert then for more help.

Thanks again for now.
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by:ISoul
ID: 17139942
Well, it doesn't really matter who the manufacturer is of the current motherboard in your system. When you purchase a replacement Socket A (462) motherboard, it can be any make and model... doesn't have to be the same as what you have now. However, if somehow you managed to find the exact same make and model, you probably wouldn't have to do a repair installation of WinXP.
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by:asetia
ID: 17279035
I haven't fogotton or finisihed yet. I work between 60-100 hours per week, I don't have much time to embark on the proposed suggestions yet as I am particularly busy at work. It may take sometime (upto a couple of weeks or so) for me to get sufficient time to intsall the hardware and install all the software etc. before being able to revert.
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by:rindi
ID: 17279134
Just post now and then so the Q doesn't get closed because of inactivity.
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by:asetia
ID: 17279757
ok
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by:asetia
ID: 17301296
The processor is an AMD Athlon
MSI motherboard Socket A KT4V 6712

If I use another motherboard, do I need to:
-reinstall XP?
-repair XP?
-reinstall XP and all software?
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by:nobus
ID: 17301320
best to do a fresh install, if you want to use the old install, look here for how :
http://65.24.134.81/KipSolutions/MovingXPNewMotherboard/MovingXP.htm      move XP to other mobo
http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=kb;nl;314070                       "     "     "    "      "  
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by:rindi
ID: 17301324
Depends on the board. If it is the same model you just move everything. If it has the same chipset moving everything might work, but you may get problems with some builtin extra hardware, like sound, grafic, or NIC's. If you get a bluescreen after the change you should do a repair install of XP. If the board is completely different, you'll at least need a repair install of XP. In some cases that might not work and you need to reinstall. With different hardware you will also need to reactivate XP. If you have you XP from an OEM like HP, then you might also have to get a new XP if you change the hardware.
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by:asetia
ID: 17301350
Those are excellent pieces of advise NOBUS and RINDI. Just one last question before I order a MOBO.

If ater reinstalling XP, would I need to reinstall all the other software or will it keep it and a reinstall/repair of xp work with the other software?
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by:asetia
ID: 17301354
Also, is there any particular MOBO you would recommend? I live in London, England so would need to be from online UK retailer.
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by:asetia
ID: 17301395
I've just seen an auction on eBay for 6 of my type of motherboards but they are not new.

http://cgi.ebay.com/MSI-KT4V-MS-6712-ATHLON-SOCKET-A-Motherboard-LAN_W0QQitemZ220014861710QQihZ012QQcategoryZ31496QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

My initial impression is I should avoid this, get a different MOBO and reinstall. Any thoughts?
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by:rindi
ID: 17301586
Depends on the time you want to invest. The same mobo will take the least time, and MSI isn't a bad brand. A repair install will keep all the settings, including those of your apps, while with a reinstall you'll have to reinstall your software too.
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by:nobus
ID: 17301611
amen
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by:asetia
ID: 17301648
can a repair be done with a different mobo or will it likely need to be a reinstall?
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by:nobus
ID: 17301661
did you look at the links i gave for replacing a mobo? everything is in there
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by:asetia
ID: 17301750
Sorry I was multi tasking.

It looks very "hairy".

I know I would like to get the same mobo, but the only one I can find is in the ebay auction and these are:

"Clearance sale of computer parts from system pulls in bulk stock. These boards have not been testedand have been split it into several untested lots for you eBayers to bid on. They are to be sold as faulty and not working and that there will not be any guarantees that the items will work."

http://cgi.ebay.com/MSI-KT4V-MS-6712-ATHLON-SOCKET-A-Motherboard-LAN_W0QQitemZ220014861710QQihZ012QQcategoryZ31496QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Obviously if it doesn't work, I'll be at square -1.
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by:rindi
ID: 17389838
Any progress?
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by:asetia
ID: 17419410
I ordered the same motherboard from ebay. It was a distributor excess which apparently is tested. I installed it copying the connections identically but when I turn it on I don't get any display. The fans work and the hard disk light is on. but I don't hear any beeps (but I don't think there is a speaker connected).

I can't turn the machine off from the on/off switch and I have to do this manually from behind.

Any suggestions on things I should do next.
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by:nobus
ID: 17419697
Looks like it is bad, or a bad cpu.
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by:asetia
ID: 17419818
With the old MOBO, I didn't get any power. There was just a surge and then it went off immediately. With this MOBO, the power is constant and the fans runs etc.

Does this suggest it is likely to be the MOBO rather than the CPU?

If this is the case, presumably I should buy a different MOBO and start installing from scratch as there are no new MOBOs of this type around.
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by:nobus
ID: 17419984
mobo's die more than cpu's, but they can be bad also. Only one test : put the cpu on another mobo for testing it
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by:rindi
ID: 17484777
Any news?
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by:rindi
ID: 17563197
Hello, asetia, anything new, or have you thought of closing this Q?
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by:asetia
ID: 17587327
I've returned the new MOBO and waiting to get a refund before spending more on a different MOBO. Then I'll try again.
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by:asetia
ID: 17716623
The supplier said they tested the MOBO and it was fine but still gave me a full refund.

I'm now concerned it could be the processor and am hesitant to order a different MOBO. Any thoughts?
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by:rindi
ID: 17716729
You'd have to get some completely different hardware to test it on.
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by:asetia
ID: 17889209
Can anyone suggest a MOBO with built in processor as I can't spend the time to justify this anymore?

I think the RAM is PC2700 DDR333
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by:nobus
ID: 17890243
>>   Can anyone suggest a MOBO with built in processor   <<  does not exist to my knowledge.
as for the mobo, do you want a compatible one with the cpu or a new mobo and cpu?
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by:
rindi earned 150 total points
ID: 17893236
Google for mainboards with the via C3 CPU. These boards usually have the processor embedded, but you will have to make do with the low speed (of course it is still good enough for basic office use if you have enough RAM. Below is an example:

http://linitx.com/product_info.php?cPath=12_41&products_id=633
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by:asetia
ID: 17894084
Seems better to buy a new MOBO, Processor & fan.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 150 total points
ID: 17896070
i use an ASUS P5GV-MX with a P4  - 3.0 Ghz CPU for normal applications.
http://www.asus.com/products4.aspx?modelmenu=1&model=793&l1=3&l2=11&l3=0
unless you need a top notch one, that is my recommendation
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by:garycase
garycase earned 150 total points
ID: 18783834
I presume you've long since resolved this in whatever way you decided to (new system; etc.).    You should close the question ... either by accepting an answer (or answers); or by posting a note in Community Support to delete the question if you didn't feel our answers helped you resolve the issue.
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