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Computer won't boot, no beeps

SrazekSrazek Registered User
I've come to this area for help before, and it was good, so I shall do it again \o/


So I accidentally left my computer on all night running Mount&Blade. Shouldn't be a problem but every bit of info helps. I turned my computer off, and in doing so XP installed an update. About 5 minutes later I turned it on again.

It will not boot. There is no beep. The video card driver spins at a high speed and stays there. Cpu fan works, PSU fan works, lights, other fans, temp reader are all on. I hear the HD and the DVD drive making acceptable and normal noises. It will not restart using the reset button, the only way to turn it off is the PSU switch or holding the power button.

- but the HD access light doesn't come on. This fact and the fact that windows installed an update right before the problem makes me think it might be a hard drive problem. I have no way to test that, though.

- I'm a little ignorant when it comes to PSU's, but I looked at it anyway. using a voltmeter on the Molex pins gave a reading of 6.3. I don't know which rail that was or if it is significant. The fan in the psu spins and there is no burnt smell. It and the HD are the oldest pieces of hardware in the computer.

- Tried resetting cmos

- Tried a different video card

- Ram is fine

- I don't know if it could be the motherboard or not. The symptoms fit, I guess, but I don't know of a way to test that really. all the fans and lights work, so I'm guessing it isn't? Or maybe hoping.

So, there is my problem. To me, the most likely thing is the harddrive, but all the sites i've been to don't list that as a big cause for a computer not booting. The power supply is listed as a big cause, and again the voltmeter said 6.3. Not sure if that's okay or not. Removing the video card (I understand an 8800gt is pretty power hungry) made no difference.

So, there you have it. I humbly ask for your opinions before rushing off to my local NCIX and vainly throwing money at things.

VVVV Yes, a different video card made no difference.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
Srazek on

Posts

  • frylockedfrylocked Registered User
    edited December 2008
    If your computer will not post (aka the beep going though BIOS), then it is more likely to be a motherboard issue.

    A hard drive failure will give you at least a black dos screen that says unmountable boot volume.

    My first reaction to your post was "video card fried", but I read that you had tried a different one to no effect?

    Other random thoughts: if it was ram / cpu / other issues, your motherboard would at least be giving you various beeps that you would have to lookup to find out what they mean.

    Last random thought: Power supply issue due to your video card wouldnt likely to be an issue until you put your system under strain by running a 3D application. At that point, it would probably just turn off / start on fire.

    frylocked on
  • EgoEgo Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    It's worth disconnecting the HD and taking out all but one of your sticks of RAM, then seeing if you can get the computer to boot trying each stick you have individually to see if it's good.

    On rare occasion lots of little things can stop a system from managing to POST, but as said HD's usually don't do it.

    The easiest way to diagnose, however, is to disconnect everything from the machine but one stick of RAM and a video card (including HD's) and see if you can get it to post. Try different sticks in different slots (out of curiosity, how'd you test your ram, as you said it was good?)

    If you know your GPU is good, and as CPUs rarely break (especially not when the fan still works,) you've narrowed it down fairly well to a PSU or motherboard problem. No chance you have a friend who'd let you try his PSU on your system? PSU's are super easy to disconnect/reconnect and you could probably do it without even taking the PSU out of his or her system. A broken mobo is also unlikely to ruin someone else's PSU. Barring a dangerous short.

    Which reminds me, shorts can cause a system not to POST as well. I remember a floppy drive doing that to me years back --who expects a floppy drive to be the reason a system fails to POST? If a floppy drive can do it, a hard drive can too. Like I said, disconnect everything but the mobo/cpu/stick of ram/gpu, and give it a whirl.

    Ego on
    Erik
  • SrazekSrazek Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Fixed!

    I had tried removing and adding ram before, with no result, so I thought that wasn't it.

    And it wasn't the ram, it was the sockets on the Motherboard. Moving both sticks over made the system finally boot. I'm glad the solution was cheap.

    It just leaves me wondering how it can be absolutely fine one minute and then 5 minutes later, without any sort of jostling, just a normal restart, one or both of the ram sockets are fried. It is a mystery. Perhaps the real problem will present itself somewhere down the road, but for now thanks for your suggestions.

    It still doesn't beep, though. I wonder now if it has ever beeped

    Srazek on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • EgoEgo Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Strange for a slot to go bad but it does happen (less often than the memory itself goes bad, though. Physical jarring can do it.) Worth using a can of air to spray out the socket just in case some dust got itself wedged in there somehow. If you've got a can of air handy, that is. If you haven't got one it's probably not worth spending money to potentially fix a socket that you aren't trying to use currently anyway ;).

    Ego on
    Erik
  • HranjHranj Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Not sure if it has been mentioned yet, but disconnect the power, remove all the cables and take out the cmos battery and let it sit for 6 hours or so. Maybe not that long, but give it a while. Plug it all back in and try again. Sounds funny, but it always seems to work.

    Hranj on
    Zune: Pirate Monkey
  • appleyeappleye Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Hranj wrote: »
    Not sure if it has been mentioned yet, but disconnect the power, remove all the cables and take out the cmos battery and let it sit for 6 hours or so. Maybe not that long, but give it a while. Plug it all back in and try again. Sounds funny, but it always seems to work.

    appleye on
  • appleyeappleye Registered User
    edited May 2009
    REMOVE THE CMOS BATTERY - brilliant! after fighting a non resposive computer - replaced failed memory and ended up with no beeps - all other fixes did not work - pulled the battery for 1 min. and all's well.
    Thanks for the insight. This computer is a custom build into the dash of my vehice - did not look forward to replacing.

    appleye on
  • HranjHranj Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Glad I could help :-) Computers can be quite weird sometimes. Whenever something isn't working right that's usually the last thing I think of myself but it almost always works.

    Hranj on
    Zune: Pirate Monkey
  • MeekrobMeekrob Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Hranj wrote: »
    Not sure if it has been mentioned yet, but disconnect the power, remove all the cables and take out the cmos battery and let it sit for 6 hours or so. Maybe not that long, but give it a while. Plug it all back in and try again. Sounds funny, but it always seems to work.

    I hate to /necro a year-old thread, but I had to post and say THANK YOU! My computer recently failed to post. I replaced the power supply to no avail, and figured the mobo was dead. In desperation I did a google search to see if there was anything else I could try, and I came across this thread. Sure enough, popping the battery in and out did the trick. I though for sure I'd have to rebuild the entire system. Thank you for saving me countless hours of frustration (not to mention the cost of a replacement board)!

    Meekrob on
  • tommyt1881tommyt1881 Registered User new member
    I just fixed a computer that had the same exact symptoms. It had all started when a friend wanted me to transfer the guts of on pc to another. Everything worked fine before I started but when I was done I was in the same boat. First thing I noticed was that the Power button would start it but would not turn it off after pressing it seconds at a time. I didn't think much of it as that is a minute problem compared to the problem at hand so I forgot about it. Down and out because nothing on the internet worked. I narrowed it down to about 3 components that could be the cause. The Motherboard, CPU, or Power supply unit. There are others but i was able to eliminate them. Now back to the power button and why the pc would'n't turn off holding it down. It took me some pondering but I came to a conclusion that this was most likely a power supply problem but that isnt always the likely cause. I got out the voltmeter and started checking the power supply unit. I got to the 8 pin ATX Power connector on the Motherboard and had no power from it. Now I have looked up the symptoms of not connecting that power connector to the MB. This may include, No beep on startup, no video, fans and lights come on but nothing else doesn't. The wire actually had a loose connection at the Power supply. The fix was actually easy. I took that cable off and checked continuity of each wire and I didn't find anything wrong with it. There are a couple fixes, 1 buy a new cable or power supply depending if you can remove it or altering the wire to fit in the plug. ONLY do this if you know what you are doing and experienced. I am not responsible for what you do to your computer. I altered the wire because my friend wanted it up and running ASAP without having to order a part. To do this I cut the end of the plastic connector( the side that is most loose. Both sides may need it.) I took off about the with of a dremel cut disk. this allowed me to get a better connection with the pins. I plugged it back in and noticed it had snugged up quite a bit. Turned it on and it all seemed to work along with the power button now when pressed Turns it off. Sometimes it is finding those minute problems can be all the difference between fixing it or junking it. Check all your connections for looseness, have patience and eliminate items you know for sure have nothing to do with it. Don't give up or get discouraged. There are solutions for this issue

  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    If popping the battery out and back in fixes it, your battery is dying. Go to Target/Walmart and buy a new one.

This discussion has been closed.