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My computer turns on but wont boot up.


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#1 Hugh1985

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 08:38 PM

Hi everyone. My name is Hugh and I am new guy here. Saw alot of info that is pretty damn helpful! I am the type pc repair guy who just learned some basics on my own from home and has been wanting to learn much more.

I wanted to ask if anyone could help me solve a problem. I have a Windows XP pc and today it everything stopped booting up all of a sudden. All day I have been trying to figure it out and havent found good information on this case.

I have seen that it could be just the hard drive not booting up or the power unit has been corrupted.

What its doing is turning on, but all I here is the fans and nothing booting. I noticed the orange light that blinks on the pc with a cylinder symbol (Hard Disk Drive/Optical Disk Drive indicator) wont turn on at all either.

I also noticed that where the plug in for the power adapter (power unit) was cracked a a bit and a little but pushed in. The power still turns on the pc though. Just nothing boots or displays on the screen.

If anyone has any advice or can help solve this I would really appreciate it. It would help me learn even more for school! Thanks so much everyone.


Hugh

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#2 OldPhil

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 10:19 PM

Have you opened the case to check for any loose connections! If not unplug it take the side panel off ground your self to rid yourself of any static electricity and take a look inside. Take good look around I have found cards and cable loose, that has always been a mystery to me how they can come loose.

Phil

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#3 Hugh1985

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 10:37 PM

I checked all cords and everything seemed to be connected.

#4 possumbarnes

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 10:42 PM

Definitely make sure you ground yourself to discharge the static electricity, but don't just look around in there. Reseat every cable you see, reseat every expansion card that is installed, and also reseat the memory. If reseating everything doesn't help, then take every expansion card that's installed out (except for your video card if the video isn't on the motherboard) and try booting it up like that.

Boot it up without the hard drive or CD/DVD drive connected. It won't boot like that but you'll still get boot errors showing on your monitor if one of those are causing the issue.

Basically, there are lots of steps to troubleshooting this specific problem because literally anything inside (or sometimes outside, like a shorted out printer) can cause a computer to not boot and show no video.

I'm sorry to say that most of the time the cause of this problem (I own a small computer repair business and I've seen this a lot) is a faulty motherboard. Anything is possible though. I've seen this caused by bad memory, a bad pci modem, and just about everything else that's in a computer. But, most of the time it's the mobo.
What's more irrational--a guy who believes in a God he cannot see or a guy who is offended by a God he doesn't believe in?

#5 possumbarnes

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 10:44 PM

Oh yeah, and disconnect EVERYTHING from the computer except the monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Just to rule out external causes.
What's more irrational--a guy who believes in a God he cannot see or a guy who is offended by a God he doesn't believe in?

#6 Hugh1985

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 12:14 AM

Oh yeah, and disconnect EVERYTHING from the computer except the monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Just to rule out external causes.


Still the same. Im kinda thinking a connection in the power box is burnt. I switched some inputs and the cd drive started working but still no boot. May Unless its the hard drive. Possible?

#7 possumbarnes

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 09:51 AM

Boot it up without the hard drive or CD/DVD drive connected. It won't boot like that but you'll still get boot errors showing on your monitor if one of those are causing the issue.


Did you try this? If its the hard drive or CD drive, then when you turn it on you should see your normal boot process come up on your screen. It will look normal until it gets to detecting the hard drive, then it'll stop at "no operating system found" or something similar. If there is still no video at all with the hard drive and CD disconnected, then they are not the cause of the problem.

It could be a faulty power supply. If you can get your hands on another one to test that theory, that's a reasonably easy and cheap fix. Not likely the cause though.

When you disconnect the video cable from your computer, do you get the "no signal" box on the screen? Just to verify the monitor is working.
What's more irrational--a guy who believes in a God he cannot see or a guy who is offended by a God he doesn't believe in?

#8 possumbarnes

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 09:53 AM

Also, did you boot it up with just the bare minimum needed: no cards installed, no drives connected, only 1 (if you have more than 1) memory dimm installed, and with only the kybd, mouse, and monitor connected?

Edited by possumbarnes, 30 May 2009 - 09:57 AM.

What's more irrational--a guy who believes in a God he cannot see or a guy who is offended by a God he doesn't believe in?

#9 Hugh1985

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 11:18 AM

Also, did you boot it up with just the bare minimum needed: no cards installed, no drives connected, only 1 (if you have more than 1) memory dimm installed, and with only the kybd, mouse, and monitor connected?


I did as you said and still no results. It kinda seems more than one problem. Last night I was just curious and wanted to check to see If the hard drive would show. So what I did is I got a windowsm 98 hard drive and connected it. Then I turned the power on and the hard drive symbol light lit up with no blinking, just paused but still no display on the screen as well.

Can you upload a pic to show me exactly were the video card is?

Any other suggestins would help. Thanks everyone.

#10 Hugh1985

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 11:22 AM

Also, did you boot it up with just the bare minimum needed: no cards installed, no drives connected, only 1 (if you have more than 1) memory dimm installed, and with only the kybd, mouse, and monitor connected?



Oh yea. By any chance If your computer ever freezed would you hold the power button on the tower to shut it down? Well on this one it wont shut off at all when I hold it down. It just keeps running.

#11 possumbarnes

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 01:24 PM

You video card is where the monitor plugs into the computer. Where ever the monitor is plugged in, that's where your video is located. Most custom built computers will have a separate video card installed that can be removed. Most of your cookie-cutter computers (dell, hp, gateway, emachines, etc) have the video built into the motherboard. If your video is a part of the motherboard, its possible that the video went out and you could install a cheap video card into one of the expansion slots and get video back. Don't count on it though.

From what you've done here in this post, your motherboard is most likely gone.
What's more irrational--a guy who believes in a God he cannot see or a guy who is offended by a God he doesn't believe in?

#12 joseibarra

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 01:51 PM

One thing to notice is when you power the unit on, does it beep?

No beeps at all is a bad sign.

One short beep is generally a good sign.

One short and followed by some other sequence is probably a hardware problem.

For example, one short and one long meant a video problem on one computer I fixed. It was working until it sat for a couple months and then would not load the OS. We learned how to interpret the beep codes by noticing the BIOS manufacturer on the screen and then reading the online manual. One short, one long = video.

I just removed and reinserted the video card and it started working and has been since.

All that BIOS hardware testing gets done before the OS even tries to load.

If you have more than one short beep, that means something and the BIOS/motherboard manual will tell you more information.

The beeps are trying to tell you something and it could be something very simple.

Edited by joseibarra, 30 May 2009 - 02:12 PM.

Jose

#13 Hugh1985

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 02:22 PM

One thing to notice is when you power the unit on, does it beep?

No beeps at all is a bad sign.

One short beep is generally a good sign.

One short and followed by some other sequence is probably a hardware problem.

For example, one short and one long meant a video problem on one computer I fixed. It was working until it sat for a couple months and then would not load the OS. We learned how to interpret the beep codes by noticing the BIOS manufacturer on the screen and then reading the online manual. One short, one long = video.

I just removed and reinserted the video card and it started working and has been since.

All that BIOS hardware testing gets done before the OS even tries to load.

If you have more than one short beep, that means something and the BIOS/motherboard manual will tell you more information.

The beeps are trying to tell you something and it could be something very simple.



Where is the video card at? I will try that out. There are no beeps at all though.

#14 possumbarnes

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 02:30 PM

No beeps is bad news. No POST beeps means that the system isn't even booting up to the point where it is checking the BIOS. The computer isn't even getting to the point where it is looking for your memory, drives, or anything else installed. Motherboard or CPU are about the only things that will cause that (since you've tried everything else).

Again, your video card (if you have one) is where your monitor connects to your computer. If your monitor connects to your computer near your keyboard and mouse, then you don't have a video card. The video is built into the motherboard.
What's more irrational--a guy who believes in a God he cannot see or a guy who is offended by a God he doesn't believe in?

#15 joseibarra

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 02:48 PM

Yes - no beeps is sad news (see - that narrowed it down quite a bit).

Has anything unusual happened since the last time it worked?

You will not have a separate video card if you are using the built in video off the motherboard. Folks with higher end video desires may purchase a separate card.

Anywho, no beeps is not good. You have power obviously, so if it was me, I would unplug it from the wall, unplug all the hard disks, DVDs, CDs, printers, keyboard, mouse. You will have pay attention so you can hook it back up later or maybe take a digital pic of things, but there shouldn't be that much.

If you have a separate video card, reseat it (take it out and put it back). Reseat the RAM.

Just leave the monitor plugged into the video port. Everything else unplugged (RAM is in).

Now, when you power up if you don't hear some beep(s) or see any video (are you seeing any video at all now?) then I would think a power supply, motherboard or CPU.

You need to see something on the screen even with everything unplugged to know if your BIOS (which is just a program) is even starting at all. It will complain, but you should see something. Then start hooking things back up one at a time until it fails (power off of course). When it fails on the next power up, the last thing you hooked up is your problem.

Power supplies are inexpensive. It is more trouble for me to go get one than it is to replace one.
Jose




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