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So I dropped my Tower a few months ago lmfao


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#1 Idiot Operator

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 10:08 AM

Yeah, so a few months ago I was dusting the inside of my tower, and when I was done cleaning it, I picked it up, and dropped it on its corner by the disk drive. I plugged it back in only to notice that the monitor had some very light flickering. As the days went on, the flickering got worse and worse until the pc would freeze and restart. I got so tired of it that I left it alone for a few weeks.Then one day, I decided to turn it on, and it wouldnt go past the Start up screen (Where it says, Press ESC, F8, F11, whatever, etc...) I cant press any key without it working, It just stays frozen on that screen, I cant Restore or anything because its frozen when it starts up so of course it has to be something wrong internally.

My question is...What could it be? And is there a way to troubleshoot or get it to start back up again?I'm pretty computer illiterate so I dont know much about the internals, all Ive done is change the Power supply and add more RAM but other than that, Im dumb. I dont have the cash atm to replace a motherboard if thats what it is, but I need to know whats wrong so I can start saving up -___- HIT ME WITH YOUR WORST


PC - HP Pavilion m7480n, Media Center edition



EDIT- I also just got done disconnecting and reconnecting all the wires internally and...nothing. Still frozen at boot up, cant do system restore, safe mode, etc.

Edited by Idiot Operator, 20 October 2011 - 12:15 PM.


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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 05:15 PM

Hello and welcome to Bleeping Computer.

First off, the support pages for your computer: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/product?product=1843653&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&lang=en&cc=us

Troubleshooting users guide in PDF format: http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c00556220.pdf

Your motherboard details: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00590499&tmp_task=prodinfoCategory&cc=us&dlc=en&lang=en&lc=en&product=1843653#N436


It appears that you have no internal on-board video graphics chip, so this means you have a PCI Express x16 graphics slot and you have a video card in that slot.

I suggest as a first course of action that you remove the video card from its slot and re-insert it into the slot again.

Before powering up the computer, I suggest that you recheck that the motherboard has not shifted on its mounting hardware, specially if it consists of metallic screws, there are usually motherboard spacers that elevate the motherboard above the computer case, sudden shock can cause the motherboard to shift and cause a short with a nearby circuit trace and the mounting hardware.

After making sure that everything is correct and secure, try booting up your computer again and lest hope for the best that there was nothing shorted out when you initially started the computer and damage was done to the motherboard or any of the associated components.

Please report back the results and best of luck to you. :thumbup2:

Bruce.
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#3 MrBruce1959

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 06:01 PM

I was thinking after I made my last post to you, please make absolutely sure that your heat sink is still properly mounted on the processor, double check that because running the computer for any length of time with a misaligned heat sink can possible fry your processor chip and melt the slot as well!

Bruce.
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#4 Idiot Operator

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 11:10 AM

Hey Bruce, thanks for taking the time to reply.

I disconnected the video card and waiting about 30 minutes, made sure the motherboard wasn't loose and it definitely was moving so it was still secure in place. Checked the heat sink which was also still in place, and I also disconnected all the wires again while the video card was out and reconnected them. I put the video card back in, booted up, and its still frozen at the boot up screen, the monitor still flickers and won't let me press any keys to go to the Boot Menu or Setup or System Recovery. >_< Hmmm where do we go from here?


EDIT- The monitor doesnt flicker, its like WAVING.

Edited by Idiot Operator, 21 October 2011 - 11:26 AM.


#5 MrBruce1959

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 12:43 PM

What type of keyboard connection do you have? It's either PS2 or USB.

Frozen can also be caused by no input from your keyboard, although most BIOSes often mention keyboard failure on the screen when this is the case.

The hardest part of your diagnosis is determining if you cracked the motherboard during the fall, this would often happen where the mounting screws are located, but it is very hard to spot without magnification.

Do you have a spare video card handy?
If you do, try using another video card, even if it means using a PCI one just to see if your PCI-E X16 is the problem area.

I am going to jump ahead here, just in case you do not reply until after Sunday.

My suggestion is to try this as a final test.

The only pieces of hardware you need to get a successful boot up into your system BIOS is the following:

Motherboard

Connect the 20/24 ATX power cable to the ATX power connector

Connect the 4 Pin 12V CPU power cable to the motherboard.

Have Video card in PCI-E slot, monitor connected to VGA port.

Keyboard

Mouse

That's it!

If I didn't mention it, it should NOT be in the motherboard or attached to it!

Boot the system and hold the DEL also known as DELETE key.

Does it enter the BIOS setup utility?

If doesn't there may be an issue with your keyboard.

If it does enter setup, you can try adding one stick of RAM into SLOT #1 and try to enter the BIOS screen again.

If it fails, there could be a bad RAM stick or bad slot.

Try a different RAM stick or different slot.

If you have success, try adding another RAM stick until eventually all sticks are back into the motherboard.

If you have success, try adding the primary hard drive and try booting to your BIOS setup utility.

I do not want you to attempt a full boot to your operating system until everything is back in the computer and you have success, if you do boot to your operating system before hand, your OS might be flagged as not genuine, this happens with operating systems Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, if the OS thinks it has been installed on another computer. It thinks this because the OS checks your hardware setup, if it detects too many changes, it thinks you installed it on another machine and flags it as a counterfeit copy.

So I do not suggest that you try to boot to your hard drive until all hardware has been re-installed.

Now if a piece of hardware is left out of the mix, and you boot to Windows, this may not happen, but if too many pieces are missing, it most likely will happen.

Please keep us updated on your progress.

Bruce.
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#6 Idiot Operator

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 02:32 PM

I have PS2 one, but I'll see if I find one to borrow this weekend, and it looks like I'll just start taking stuff out and checking to see what works and doesnt. I might have to look around a little more for a spare video card but Im pretty sure I can ask a few friends. So pretty pretty much, anytime I get into the BIOS mode, I restart and keep adding a new piece right? And I know I saw a magnifying glass laying around somewhere so I'll check the motherboard too lol.

And what did you mean by, It should NOT be in the motherboard or attached to it?

Either way, I'll see if I can get the two pieces I need by tomorrow and I'll start, so hopefully I'll have an answer by tomorrow evening/night. If anything, I'll keep you updated either way. I really appreciate this, Thanks alot.

#7 MrBruce1959

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 03:01 PM

And what did you mean by, It should NOT be in the motherboard or attached to it?

I was trying to keep the post short, what I meant by that line is I wanted you to disconnect everything and start off with only the things I mentioned in the list I gave you.

Then add one piece of hardware at a time and conduct another boot test.

It is important that you continue the tests until all hardware has been added in the system before you try a full boot to your operating system.

I mentioned above the reason for this, but I'll say it again, operating systems from Windows XP on up to Windows 7 uses your hardware configuration as a means of anti-piracy measures, when you first activate the OS, if too many subtractions or changes of hardware are made, the WPA flags it as non genuine pirated software. Here's the wiki on WPA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Product_Activation

the utility checks and records information on eight different categories of hardware:

Display adapter
SCSI adapter
IDE adapter
Network adapter (including the MAC Address)
RAM amount range (e.g. 0–512 MB)
Processor type and Serial Number
Hard drive device and volume serial number
Optical drive type (e.g. CD-ROM)

When activation takes place, the Windows operating system saves a record of the hardware in the user's machine. If the system is booted up with significant hardware changes (such as replacing the motherboard or the hard disk or memory at the same time), Windows XP will require immediate reactivation to prevent the possibility of the same copy of the operating system being installed on two different systems. From Windows XP with Service Pack 1 onwards, the user is given a three day grace period to reactivate in this particular case. Windows XP allows six pieces of the hardware or the Network Card plus three other pieces of hardware to be modified before requiring a reactivation.
This can be the same for Windows Vista and Windows 7.


So as you can see if too many changes are made to the system, included the subtraction of such during system checks, the WPA will notice those changes and flag your OS as counterfeit software and can also disable it as well.

Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 21 October 2011 - 03:09 PM.

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#8 MrBruce1959

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 03:43 PM

I am jumping in to add if you end up putting everything back in, hook everything up and have success right up to where you hook up the primary hard drive and you encounter a failure, it is very possible your hard drive was damaged.

This can happen and is possible because when a computer tower is dropped, the vibration caused by the impact of the fall can cause the hard drive read/write heads to crash destructively into the disk platters.

Although head related errors do not always cause system boot up lockups, they can cause premature hard drive failure.

Just keep us updated on the outcome of each test.

Bruce.
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#9 Idiot Operator

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 06:43 PM

Dang, I didnt even know your computer could do that, I'll be sure to take it step by step then and let you know whats going. I wasnt able to borrow a keyboard or video card this weekend, but during this week I should be able to test things out since I'll be taking the tower to my friends house. I kinda hope its not a hard drive failure though cause then I'd have to get all my music again -___- I'll be sure to keep you updated as soon as possible. Tuesday/Wednesday by the latest if all goes well. Hope you had a good weekend though, Thanks again as always!

#10 Idiot Operator

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 11:04 AM

Updatee!

I never found a spare video card or keyboard, but I dont think that was the case anyway. I decided to strip everything out and start with the RAM cards as you said, I added the first and successfully got into the BIOS mode. Then I kept more and more things until I got to the harddrive and I could still boot into the BIOS mode just fine now. I guess I just had to detach the RAM cards and put them back in, Although it did freeze once when I took one of them out and put it back into the same slot, so I moved it from the 2nd slot to the 4th slot and it worked just fine. (I filled up all the slots though and its working fine)

Now, the monitor is still wavy though but I can get into the BIOS mode now (Which I have no idea how to mess with), and its just sitting there now where it tells me information about;

Phoenix - AwardBIOS CMOS Setup Utility
Menu - Advanced - Power - Boot - Exit


System Time
System Date

Language
Floppy Diskette

First Channel Device 0 - None
" " 1 - None
Second Channel Device 0 - None
" " 1 - WDC WD3200JS-6
Third Channel Device 0 - HL-DT-STDVDRRW
" " 1 - IDE-DVD DROM62

Installed Memory - 4096 MB/PC2-4200
Memory Bank 1 - 1024MB/DDR2 SDRAM
" " 2 " "
" " 3 " "
" " 4 " "

#11 rotor123

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 01:02 PM

One other thought.

Look at the video card and see if anything looks like it is bulging or leaking. This page has some example of what I'm talking about, http://www.badcaps.net/pages.php?vid=5

I had to change a couple of bad capacitors on one of my video cards for a monitor that had display problems. I pinned it down to the computer and not the monitor by using another computer to test.

If you can borrow a monitor or computer to test to be sure it is the computer.

I use a IBM monitor that has a gorgeous display in Windows however when on the Bios screen it is is very wavy. Bottom line it can be either item.

Good Luck

Edited by rotor123, 26 October 2011 - 01:04 PM.

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#12 Idiot Operator

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 02:09 PM

Sorry for the long response, I'll deff be sure to check that out when I get home in a couple of hours, never noticed that could happen, I thought those things were just magnets or something o_O Thanks for the heads up. If its like that, should I just get a new video card then?

#13 Idiot Operator

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 03:29 PM

I kinda have a new problem now? The computer boots up fine (Still Wavy screen though) but when it gets to the login screen (actually before it), The monitor goes to "Sleep" and I cant turn it back on. Could it really be the monitor? The monitors never been moved or dropped or anything, and I've only had it for 2 years.

#14 rotor123

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 04:02 PM

You still need to hook up another computer to test and see which is at fault. Most laptops have a video port that can be toggled with the fn key and the appropriate function key your laptop manual could tell you which ones to use. Or if you have another monitor you can swap in for testing purposes that would tell you which one is at fault.

If you mean the monitor goes blank it sounds like it could be the video card. Take a look at it and see if anything looks bulged, if it has a fan make sure the fan is running and dust free. A seized fan can fry the GPU on the video card.

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#15 Idiot Operator

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 10:38 AM

Yeah its not the monitor which I just checked, (with a different monitor, and used the laptop on my original monitor) so it must be the video card hopefully. I checked the video for those bulges and leaks you mentioned but I didnt see any of that on there. So hopefully I can find a new video card to swap in and see whats going on.

I have a question for you though. How do I find out which video/graphics cards will fit into my motherboard??

I found one of these on craigslist and he's selling for a low price and it has some decent reviews too so It'll hold me up till I can find something better :

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-150-210&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&PurchaseMark=&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&IsFeedbackTab=true&Page=2#scrollFullInfo




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