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Need help diagnose internal hardware issues


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19 replies to this topic

#1 Elise

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 06:47 AM

Hi all,

Need some help again with an older PC my cousin brought me (why o why do I accept them??).

He came with it to me saturday, Fujitsu Siemens, 64 + 64 + 128 RAM, 20 GB HDD and about 980 MHz (cannot remember the exact number).
Since he had it from someone else I decided to reformat. I tried if the PC booted normal, it went to the windows is not shut down correctly .... screen, I chose start windows normally, XP booted and everything went fine, checked memory in XP, all fine.
I did a re-install, went fine, updated to sp3, went fine (he does not have internet so I did no automatic update), checked for missing drivers, everything just fine.
Summarizing, the PC worked like a charm, reasonably fast etc.

Sunday he has taken it home and today he was back complaining its in a rebootloop, and yes, booted until XP-splash-screen and after that rebooted.
Thinking of bad drivers I tried safe mode, same thing. I tried booting from XP-cd and recovery console, REC Console froze. I tried a repair install, but in the process got a bsod (sorry didnt note it down, it mentioned ntfs.sys and the thing with pagefile not less or equal to something).
I went to BIOS and there I noticed that the memory was indicated as 640 k basic memory and 63 M extended memory. The 128-module not mentioned.
So I guessed the RAM might be bad and I decided to try to remove modules and see if it helps. I opened the case, took out one module, booted the PC and.... no monitor input. The HDD is starting, MoBo leds are on, but other than that... I tried to put the RAM back in, examined it, no problem apparently.
The monitor has no input whatsoever, not even the Fujitsu Siemens splash screen. The only thing I did in BIOS was resetting the values to default. Can that be the cause of this?

Anyone an idea on what may cause this problems and if there is something to do about it?

Edited by elise025, 20 April 2009 - 06:48 AM.

regards, Elise


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#2 fairjoeblue

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 08:38 AM

Unplug the computer.
When working inside a computer it's not enough to simply have it turned off, it needs to be unpluged also.
As long as it's plugged in it has power going to the motherboard & things like memory sticks can be damaged putting them on or taking them off]

Look around the battery for a jumper to clear the CMOS & use it to clear them.
Make sure you put the jumper back in its original posistion before plugging the unit back in.
If you can't find a jumper remove the battery from the motherboard for a minute.
Becareful not to break the battey holder !

If it still doesn't come on try each memory stick by itself.
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#3 Elise

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 08:54 AM

I did that already. I tried different sticks in different slots, unplugged everything while doing that, was careful with static electricity etc.

There is power, I see MoBo leds, hear HDD, but the screen says no input signal. I am afraid that this is because i resetted the BIOS to default, because thats really the only thing I did.

Since my own PC is running DDR as well, I will try the sticks to see if my PC recognizes them.
I have a RAM-test boot CD, if I booted from it and tested the RAM before switching modules and resetting BIOS I might at least have had a look at things.

The major problem now is getting the monitor to work.

regards, Elise


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#4 Elise

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 09:21 AM

Two other things I observed. When plugging in the powercable, I hear some kind of thud in the power-supply. Maybe this is normal but I didnt notice it before.

The keyboard receives no power as well (lights dont turn on).

regards, Elise


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#5 Karnac

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 10:32 AM

Check the monitor on another pc to eliminate it as a cause
Put the memory into your machine and run Memtest ..... let it run for 2 hours and if you get errors the memory is bad.
Swap in a known good power supply
Any capacitors leaking or bulging will indicate a motherboard problem....I just had this issue on my wifes pc....power to everything but no video.

#6 fairjoeblue

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 10:36 AM

"When plugging in the powercable, I hear some kind of thud in the power-supply."

That definatly isn't normal.

What brand power supply is it ?

what brand is the computer ?
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#7 Elise

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 10:58 AM

The monitor is tested and good, RAM as well, tested it and came out good.

The computer brand is Fujitsu Siemens
The power supply is Newton Power Ltd (This is written on the case, so I guess its the brand-name, I am not into power supplies).

Correction to previous post, the keyboard leds do flash, I didnt observe that correct first.

regards, Elise


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#8 fairjoeblue

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 12:19 PM

I would try a different power supply.
A PSU shouldn't "thud" when it's plugged in.
If you try a different [known good] power supply & the computer doesn't work I'd suspect that the motherboard has went bad.
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#9 Elise

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 12:24 PM

Well, I think I declare it fried from now on. I have no experience by replacing powersupplies and no spare one.

Thanks for your help anyway!

regards, Elise


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#10 Elise

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 07:07 AM

Well, here is an update.

I just wanted to start to dissect the PC's interior (if its garbage at least its garbage from which I can learn something.. LOL).

I decided just to be sure to plug in again the RAM and see if it really was death. And guess what, I had monitor input and booted without problems in XP!
To be sure I plugged in all 3 mem sticks and booted in the memtest CD and currently am running extended tests (it still didnt read amounts exactly for some reason).

I'll post the results, maybe interesting for owners of older 'garbage'.

regards, Elise


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#11 Elise

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 08:44 AM

An addition. I ran memtest for about an hour with all three sticks in, no errors found. Computer boots fine now. But... BIOS says there is 640 k basic mem and 250 extended mem.

System information says 256 MB mem total.

BIOS further states 64/32 MB is used for video. Whether I use 32 or 64, Windows reflects a total of 256 in the general tab from system properties and system information.

The problem is the RAM does not have mentioned on the stick how big it is. Can I check it somewhere or should I just plug in one stick at a time to see how much BIOS reads?

regards, Elise


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#12 Karnac

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 09:24 AM

Download Everest and you'll get all the info you need.

http://www.lavalys.com/


You can also run a scan at crucial.com.

#13 fairjoeblue

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 10:12 AM

" 64 + 64 + 128 RAM"

If the computer shows 256MB of memory it is correct.
It is showing the total that is actually in the unit.
Not all subtract the memory used for video when showing what is installed.
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#14 Elise

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 10:22 AM

Everest doesnt tell me what modules are installed. Thanks though, I am currently testing/verifying all hardware.

Fairjoeblue, the problem is, I was confused with the BIOS reading. I assumed that extended memory was what I plugged in extra. But I think that it is simply the total amount of RAM.

Everest is now mentioning 254 MB installed and not 256. Does that indicate a problem are can this be normal?

regards, Elise


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#15 DaChew

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 04:00 AM

PSU 101

the power supply was tripping from overload, clean the computer

everest does show the sticks of memory

SPD Memory Modules:
DIMM1: Micron Tech. 256 MB PC4000 DDR SDRAM (2.5-4-4-10 @ 250 MHz) (2.0-3-3-8 @ 200 MHz)
DIMM2: Micron Tech. 256 MB PC4000 DDR SDRAM (2.5-4-4-10 @ 250 MHz) (2.0-3-3-8 @ 200 MHz)


It will even generate a report

http://majorgeeks.com/download4181.html

another tool

http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php

for newer computers

Edited by DaChew, 22 April 2009 - 04:07 AM.

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