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Computer won't boot, is it the mobo?


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#1 arien

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 02:37 PM

I'm a little bit illiterate when it comes to computers so I will try my best to make everything clear. I got the computer from a friend who said it was broken but I could have it if I wanted to try to fix it, and told me the problem was the motherboard. He told me that he had it up and working for a few days and then the hard drive was suddenly wiped clean after the computer was turned off for a couple of days. That sounds weird to me, and I do not have a spare hard drive to test it out right now, but before I buy a new hard drive and risk breaking it I wanted to see if there's any chance I need to replace the motherboard first.

 

So I will describe the problems I am having first hand, but please keep in mind I have never seen this computer in working order.

 

The problem seems to be that it is unable to boot up, it brings up the lovely blue screen with Intel logo and says to press F9-F12 for different options, but when I press any of those keys it does nothing.

 

I know the keyboard is connected and working because if I leave the computer alone for a few minutes it will bring up a setup screen and ask me to select Yes or No and hit Enter. I've checked the screens, they say all the usual things, startup from hdd as default, if hdd unavailable start up from cd drive, all that stuff. Nothinig seems wrong there. But once I hit Enter it goes to a screen where it says it is unable to find an operating system, and I have an old Windows Vista disc I tried to get it to boot from to no avail. The disc I have may not be working because it came with my laptop for a clean install and it specifically says only for the toshiba laptop model I have. I have tried burning the iso file for a Windows 7 installation disc, but the computer says no disc is found when I try to get it to start from the cd.

 

Beyond that I have not tried anything. All I know about the specs are:

 

Specs

 

-40 gb SATA hard drive

-Intel core2 duo

supposedly it had Windows XP installed

 

If anyone has any suggestions (other than burning the computer) I'm all ears.

 



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#2 AusJohn

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 08:48 AM

Hi arien, if you are getting a screen of some sort and it's giving you options it's not the MB. The "lovely blue screen with Intel logo" is the splash screen of the MB. So the MB seems fine. Depending on the MB you can press esc on startup and it will remove the splash screen and allow you to see if the BIOS sees the DVD player and HDD, but the listing is a bit daunting if you're not familar.

 

With it saying it's "unable to find an operating system", it's telling you it can't find the HDD (hard disk drive} or the OS (operating system) on the HDD.

Probably easiest for you would be to open the case if you can and see if there is actually a HDD in there and that it is connected with the data strap and the power connecter, the data cable goes to the MB and the power cable goes to the power supply. If there is a HDD in there, disconnect and reconnect the cables at both ends then try resatrting.

I'm unsure about the Vista cd. Being a core2 CPU I would imagine the computer has at least a DVD reader, and would assume it would at least boot to the CD for a start if the DVD reader is working and the CD is good. Try to get your hands on a proper Windows CD to see if it will boot from that.

 

There are other options but try that first and see how you go. The first thing is to establish if the HDD is there and that the BIOS sees it, the HDD may be there but it may be dead.

Cheers



#3 arien

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 01:47 AM

Thanks for the response, I have actually removed the hard drive and cleaned the contacts and checked for power to the motherboard after reading a little more info on both yesterday. Yes, the hard drive is physically there and no, when I hit any buttons on the splash screen it does not react one bit D; I have tried the typical buttons, F9-F12 individually, and I have tried Ctrl/Alt/Del, escape, ctrl/shift/esc, without result.

 

I'm going to try putting the hard drive in another computer tomorrow and see if it has the same problem, if so it must be the hard drive right? And if not I'll at least be able to check if there's any damage to the hard drive and then focus my attention on the motherboard. Thanks again, I'll try to keep the thread updated on what I'm messing around with *pulls out hammer and bangs the side of the computer like a monkey* WORK, YOU!!!



#4 AusJohn

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 06:03 AM

" if so it must be the hard drive right?"  Not necessarily, depending how you "put it in another computer", if the boot sector of the HDD is corrupt or missing and you put it in as a master it will do the same thing, the computer still wont find it, whereas if you put it in another computer as a slave, the computer doesn't need the boot sector on it to work and and you can access whatever is on the HDD.

So if you put it in another computer as a slave and it is seen as the secondary drive and you can access what's on it, I would suggest the boot sector is damaged.

If you're getting a screen of some sort I would suggest the MB is fine.






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