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#1 cvgurau

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 06:11 PM

The family computer has gone haywire. (I'm at the library, now, typing in full view of three dozen people. This makes me very uncomfortable.)

I have no idea what happened or when, but now, when you turn it on, the only sign that it's operating is that the fans are whining. The screen stays blank, the laser mouse doesn't light up, and the keyboard stays inert (the only evidence of this is that the LEDs don't light up when you click the CAPS, NUM or SCROLL locks).

I ask this here in the (perhaps vain) hope that someone can help, but I realize how unlikely this is. My brother suspects the motherboard is fried (though I don't know how he came to this conclusion). This is likely not something that can be fixed by forum, so odds are it'll have to be taken in.

Any advice would be welcomed.

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#2 Herk

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 10:12 PM

Several possibilities here, but if you aren't comfortable working inside your computer, perhaps it would be better for you to take it to somebody.

Chances are that your power supply has died. Fans running indicate that there is power - other things not running indicate that there isn't power to everything.

Before you panic, though, it would behoove you to check the power supply cable to the motherboard. Make sure it hasn't come loose. It's a bundle of wires connected to a 20 or 24-pin white block. While you're in there, use a flashlight and check your capacitors - they're round, barrell-shaped things that are larger than other electronic components. Look for capacitors that have tops that look like they aren't flat anymore or sides that have bulged. Also look for burning, and pay attention to burned electrical smell.

With luck, perhaps your power supply has failed without destroying anything else. With even more luck, something has just vibrated loose. (There's a clip on the side of the main power plug that's supposed to hold it in.)

Other possibilities are a drive that has failed, and disconnecting it could allow the computer to continue booting. Even a video card can do this, but the only way that it can be checked is by trial and error. If it were a CD-Rom, for instance, and you unplug the IDE cable, the machine might just start up. If it were the hard drive, you'd be more likely to see an error message on screen that says, "drive failure, not reading drive C:"

But I have seen hard drives fail and stop the machine from booting, too. If you pull it out and it boots, you'll see the normal boot-up on screen, then "Failure reading Drive C:" or something like that.

Remember to ground yourself by touching the metal of the case before reaching inside the computer since static electricity from your body can destroy any electronic component.

#3 cvgurau

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 04:18 PM

Before you panic, though, it would behoove you to check the power supply cable to the motherboard. Make sure it hasn't come loose. It's a bundle of wires connected to a 20 or 24-pin white block. While you're in there, use a flashlight and check your capacitors - they're round, barrell-shaped things that are larger than other electronic components. Look for capacitors that have tops that look like they aren't flat anymore or sides that have bulged. Also look for burning, and pay attention to burned electrical smell.


See, this is how I like to be spoken to when I'm unsure of something, like I'm a kindergartner, or like I've suffered multiple blows to the head. :thumbsup:

Thanks for the advice, and know that I will surely follow it, but the urgency has passed. Instead of paying to fix the computer (which I will try to do myself anyway), we opted to instead by a new one. A better one. A MUCH better one.

So really, our computer's crapping out was the best thing that could have happened. :flowers:

Again, thanks for your help. :trumpet:

Edited by cvgurau, 28 June 2006 - 04:26 PM.





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