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Lull after the storm

Posted on 2006-07-17
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
Have just taken in a customer's PC (Compaq Presario AMD Athlon 2800+) that will not boot. He said there was a storm but the PC was protected by a Surge Protector(!).
When I try to boot, the PSU & fans start, some of the lights come on the front panel, the HD only has orange light, both the DVD drives green light and the floppy drive no light. There is a slight movement (HD?) then nothing.There is no video signal.
I tried the video card in another PC - all OK. I disconnected the floppy drive, then the HD, still same symptom. I tried the RAM in the free slot and also removed the battery on the mobo - still same. I cannot try different RAM because I don't have any DDR spare. What could be the problem?
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Question by:RichardCoeurdeLion
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by:Mark
Mark earned 100 total points
ID: 17124124
Try removing the ram altogether to see if you get a beep code indicating a ram problem. If it does beep appropriately with the ram missing then replace the ram, if you don't get a beep code then the first thing to replace here would be the PSU, It may have taken a hit regardless of the surge protector.
The only true protection is a UPS that has the capability to condition the power before it get to the PSU.
If the change in PSU doesn't fix it then its most likely a motherboard issue since you have removed all other hardware and tried to start.
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Expert Comment

by:nothing8171
ID: 17124155
If light is never appearing in the floppy and dvd drives, it sounds like the devices are not receiving full power.  I would replace the power supply.  We had the same problem at our home.  An imbalance of electricity coming into the house and my brothers computer was on the high end.  We replaced the power supply and that fixed it.  I'm also convinced this will work since you tried the video card in a different computer and it worked.  If you have time, test the HD in a different computer, as well.
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Author Comment

by:RichardCoeurdeLion
ID: 17124644
Thanks for the suggestions - I'll try them out and get back to you.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 17128397
well, if you boot with the minimum mobo + cpu + 1ram stick, and video card, you should get a display. if you don't, it is one of the above, or the power supply. Did you try another one?
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Author Comment

by:RichardCoeurdeLion
ID: 17136906
I've tried removing the RAM stick and booting - no beeps. Then installed a working PSU - still same result as previous- all lights come on green initially (except HD orange & floppy drive does not light up), then no display no nothing.
What do I do now? Is it the mobo that needs replacing, if so how difficult is that to do and whar parts need to be ordered?
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nobus earned 150 total points
ID: 17137272
it is likely the mobo or cpu, and since cpu's don't crash as often as mobo's, evrybody will tell you to try another mobo first. If you have a compatible mobo available, you can test the  cpu on it.
when the system is on, holding the power switch for 6 sec turns it off? that is a sign of some cpu activity.
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Author Comment

by:RichardCoeurdeLion
ID: 17137554
Don't have any spare mobos - compatible or otherwise. Not sure I'd recognise a compatible mobo if I fell over it. How would I know one (compatible) and how would I obtain & fit one?
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Author Comment

by:RichardCoeurdeLion
ID: 17278451
Apologies for not finishing this question. A new mobo was required and because it was a new form factor, a new CPU and because the form factor would not fit in the Micro Compaq case, then a new case as well. Costly business for the customer. Thanks to all for their contributions
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by:Mark
ID: 17279319
I thought I mentioned the Motherboard in my first post  with direction on how to proceed to that conclusion.
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Author Comment

by:RichardCoeurdeLion
ID: 17285777
Sorry, I thought your solution was to check/change the PSU which I did.
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Author Comment

by:RichardCoeurdeLion
ID: 17289238
Thanks Rindi, if it's not too much trouble, please split the points between sparkmaker and nobus and then close the question. Regards
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