Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Computer doesn't boot at all


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Bakuryuuha

Bakuryuuha

  • Members
  • 34 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:58 AM

Posted 23 April 2005 - 03:43 PM

Alright...I've been all over the place looking for a solution to this...it would -seem- I'm having motherboard trouble, but I'd just like to get another opinion before I go out and buy new hardware.

I run on a 320mb RAM, 450mhz intel celeron, win98 system. My video card is an NVidia GeForce2...the brand and model of my motherboard I'm not sure about, I believe it's an IBM PN 03K9833, if that means anything. It's a rather old computer (The 'tower' is the type that rests horizontally), but it's been pretty reliable until just recently with this problem.

What happened was, it froze up while it was working normally, and I did a manual-restart. When I turned it back on, the power light came on, and the 'activity' light stayed on for about 10 seconds. The hard drives tried to start, I heard them spinning, and the fan comes on as well. Nothing else happens. I left it on for a good 10 or 15 minutes with no other activity. The monitor stays blank and the light is amber.

I've tried a lot of possibile solutions:

I've unplugged the power supply from everything except the motherboard, nothing happens.
I've switched around the CMOS Clear Jumper to see if I needed to reset something, nothing happens.
I switched the ROM Recovery rocker switch, with this, it tries to access the A: drive, but then beeps, one quick beep every couple seconds. Nothing else happens.
I've removed the BIOS battery to let it reset, nothing.
I've checked the seating of the video card, RAM cards, and processor, and the connections between both the primary and slave HDs, the disk drive and CD drive, nothing.

Sometimes when I try to boot it up, it makes a series of beeps, 2 sets of 3 that rise in tone (beepbeepBEEP beepbeepBEEP), sometimes it does it once, sometimes it continues to do it. I haven't pinpointed the cause of that, although it seems to be related to my slave HD, but I don't know for sure.

If there's any information I might've missed that could be necessary, let me know. I'd appreciate ANY thoughts you might have, anything would help.

Thank you ^.^

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 phawgg

phawgg

    Learning Daily


  • Members
  • 4,543 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Location:Washington State, USA
  • Local time:05:58 AM

Posted 23 April 2005 - 05:30 PM

and those beeps sound to me like POST messages ... PowerOnSelfTest being what comes before the BIOS loads, and basically is what it seems to be, a test of all circuits and components for integrity. If you follow the above advice, you'll likely find one of the cards has finally given up the ghost in some way.

replace it.
patiently patrolling, plenty of persisant pests n' problems ...

#3 Leurgy

Leurgy

    Voted most likely


  • Members
  • 3,831 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Collingwood, Ontario, Canada
  • Local time:08:58 AM

Posted 23 April 2005 - 05:38 PM

You have more than one stick of ram in there. Try them one at a time. I don't suppose you remember the type of bios you have? If you can recall, those beeps will tell you exactly whats going on. Try to boot with a boot disk, and see if the first screen comes up with the bios name.

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail. Abraham Maslo

**** We use our powers for good, not evil ****

 Trying to remove your data from the web is like trying to remove pee from a swimming pool


#4 groovicus

groovicus

  • Security Colleague
  • 9,963 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Centerville, SD
  • Local time:07:58 AM

Posted 23 April 2005 - 09:11 PM

What kind of motherboard do you have? Some motherboards have "codes" for errors, and the beeps are the key to figuring out what the problem is... it's a bit like using your car's internal computer to diagnose problems (turn the key on and off 10 times, and watch how many times the service engine light blinks, that sort of thing). Finding the diagnostic codes can be a little tough sometimes though.

#5 Leurgy

Leurgy

    Voted most likely


  • Members
  • 3,831 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Collingwood, Ontario, Canada
  • Local time:08:58 AM

Posted 23 April 2005 - 09:17 PM

Finding the diagnostic codes can be a little tough sometimes though.


Bios Central Beep Codes

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail. Abraham Maslo

**** We use our powers for good, not evil ****

 Trying to remove your data from the web is like trying to remove pee from a swimming pool


#6 junkdk

junkdk

  • Members
  • 345 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Location:Jacksonville, Florida
  • Local time:08:58 AM

Posted 23 April 2005 - 10:51 PM

Dear Bak,

Do you smoke?

When you went inside your computer did you see any dust?

With old computers components do fail but mostly they corrode. I strict cleaning may be in order. Re-seating may not be all you need.

Take a look at the connectors, wires, cards, fans; what you are looking for is any discolor of the copper.

If you see discolor on the connectors, don't panic, clean them with some isopropanel alcohol or a pencil eraser. If you see a bubble up on you connectors, write back and I will help you with that.

Get rid of the dust, corrosion, and grime! Corrosion is the leading cause of failure in many systems.

Earlier I asked you if you smoked. Smoking near your computer is bad in so many levels.

Most old computers can be revived, but most owners look for an excuse to upgrade. I am one of them. :thumbsup:

Hope that helps,

Junkdk :flowers:
Your Hardware Guide.

#7 groovicus

groovicus

  • Security Colleague
  • 9,963 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Centerville, SD
  • Local time:07:58 AM

Posted 23 April 2005 - 11:03 PM

Cheers for that Leurgy... another link to add to my reference file. :thumbsup:

#8 Bakuryuuha

Bakuryuuha
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 34 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:58 AM

Posted 24 April 2005 - 01:22 AM

It's an IBM BIOS, I'm almost certain of that. Whenever I poweron the computer, a nice big blue IBM logo pops up and then goes away. I don't know if I understand this all correctly...but the beeping...'rhythm' doesn't seem to match any of these descriptions. If it's any help, the slave HD that seems to be associated with the beeping is a Maxtor...do HDs have beep codes? I don't always get the beeps, I haven't gotten them with the slave unplugged, and the computer only tries to access my A: drive when I switch the rocker switch for ROM recovery to on.

As for the RAM sticks, I've tried using only one in all of the slots (there's 3 RAM slots on my motherboard), with each different stick, and none of it does anything.

I don't have a specific boot disk for the system, I bought the computer used in some show about a year and a half ago.

I don't smoke, nobody else in the house does either. We do have cats...maybe I should get in there and clean, come to think of it I do recall a distinct burning smell...that smell of burning dust you get when you first start using your heat after summer's over. As for the alcohol, do I use a q-tip type deal and just wipe around the motherboard and such? Is there anywhere I need to be cautious of getting wet with it? Obviously will need to unplug it, so electricity isn't my main concern.

The copper I do see seems to be just fine...no bubbles, no discoloration...most of the metal seems to be grey, though.

If someone could describe to me how I should go about cleaning the inside, I'll give it a try. I can't exactly go out tomorrow and buy a whole new computer; I'd like to be able to salvage this one as best as I can without ruining anything.

Thanks for all the help thus far, but no progress it seems.

#9 Leurgy

Leurgy

    Voted most likely


  • Members
  • 3,831 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Collingwood, Ontario, Canada
  • Local time:08:58 AM

Posted 24 April 2005 - 07:03 AM

You have eliminated the ram as the problem. Hard drives don't have beep codes, only the bios. It beeps when the power on self test (post) encounters a failure to tell you what that failure is.

You can get a 98 boot disk from www.bootdisk.com. The download is an executable file. Put a blank formatted floppy in the drive and run the download, although any boot disk will do to get to the first screen. Using a boot disk will ignore the HDD's and will let you identify the bios and also if you have a CD in the drive and can see the contents, you know its a HDD problem. By the way, these boot disks make your CD drive R:. When you get to A:\> type in C: and press enter then type in dir. Type in D: and then dir. Can you see the contents of the HDD's? Type in R: and dir. Can you see the CD drive?

You say the slave drive seems to have something to do with it. What makes you think that? Have you tried disconnecting it? Are the drives recognized in the bios? Download Powermax and try booting with that. Its a Maxtor diagnostic utility. Once again an .exe that creates a bootable floppy.

If you can, swap out the video card for another one.

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail. Abraham Maslo

**** We use our powers for good, not evil ****

 Trying to remove your data from the web is like trying to remove pee from a swimming pool


#10 junkdk

junkdk

  • Members
  • 345 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Location:Jacksonville, Florida
  • Local time:08:58 AM

Posted 24 April 2005 - 08:43 PM

Dear Bak,

Cleaning is easy but precaution to ESD needs to taken. Ground yourself or have an ESD strap attached to you before you touch your computer.

Grounding yourself is easy, touch a known electronic item that is plugged into a three prong outlet. In this case, touch the case if it still attached to power.

Remove each card and clean with Isopropanal alcohol. The alcohol will dry almost immediately. If there is dust then it needs to be cleaned.

I work Avionics for the US Navy and half of our problems is corrosion. A clean computer is a good computer.

After that let us know,

Junkdk :thumbsup:
Your Hardware Guide.

#11 Bakuryuuha

Bakuryuuha
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 34 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:58 AM

Posted 25 April 2005 - 01:52 AM

I mentioned the slave HD associated with the beeping because when I remove it, the beeps don't occur. Only when it's plugged in does it beep....but then again, it doesn't beep all the time when it is in, so I'm not 100% sure.

I'll look into the boot disks and such, and will try cleaning the computer and cards and such. Anything happens, I'll let you know.

Thanks for the help thus far =D

#12 Bakuryuuha

Bakuryuuha
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 34 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:58 AM

Posted 27 April 2005 - 03:07 PM

Cleaned the computer, no changes.

I'm trying to find a working floppy disk in my house, they're all corrupt or something, I can't even format them. It's aggrivating.

But still, my computer is inoperable. I'm about ready to go buy new hardware and just give up.

Sorry it took so long for me to update, been really busy the past few days.

If anyone has any more suggestions, let me know please.

#13 junkdk

junkdk

  • Members
  • 345 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Location:Jacksonville, Florida
  • Local time:08:58 AM

Posted 27 April 2005 - 03:24 PM

Dear Bak,

Well...getting a new computer is fun anyway but don't throw the old one away. You may still need the pieces for troubleshooting in the future.

Also, you may still find the problem.

Sorry I could not help,

Junkdk :thumbsup:
Your Hardware Guide.

#14 Bakuryuuha

Bakuryuuha
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 34 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:58 AM

Posted 28 April 2005 - 09:43 PM

Well...boot disks don't work. I'm going to assume it's a motherboard problem. Because nothing works that has been suggested, and it tries to access everything else, and it makes plenty of noise, so I don't think the power supply fried...

Maybe I'll keep it as a paperweight or something. Of course, I can always use the extra RAM sticks and HD in a new computer...

I don't think it's that anyone didn't know what it was that was wrong....computer's just old and the motherboard finally died.

Dunno if I can find a new motherboard for this thing...it's an old weird computer. I'll check around.

Thanks for all the help guys, and I suppose the computer needed a good cleaning anyway =D




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users