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Old computer won't boot up


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11 replies to this topic

#1 PGHinBKK

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 08:39 PM

Hi, all, and a Happy Holidays to ya!!

 

  Last night my wife was playing some games on our (very old) downstairs computer, and all was well. Then the games froze, and the whole thing became unresponsive. I could not even get Task Manager to come up. I turned off the power (at the outlet) and then tried to reboot, but nothing. At the top of the monitor, I got a small indicator that said 'Digital' and then it changed to 'Analog' back and forth a few times but the monitor would not light up. This morning, it's the same. I cannot get it to boot up, and can't get the F1 set-up options.  Although the HD is old, (an old 80gb) it was working fine last night. Could it be the small battery on the main board?

 

Thanks!


Edited by PGHinBKK, 29 December 2016 - 08:40 PM.

Life is strange......and then there's Thailand....

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#2 ranchhand_

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 09:45 PM

Sorry to hear of your problems.

Quick couple of questions:

> When you power on, do you get the typical system beep?

> IF you have a laser mouse, does it light or stay dark?

> Do you get the POST screen when you boot (the usual black screen with white lettering) or is the monitor dark and unresponsive?

 

To answer your question, the CMOS battery only holds the BIOS settings when you tweak the motherboard. If the battery fails the BIOS will default back to factory setting but will not prevent booting. You can remove the battery for 5 minutes they snap it back in if you wish, just to test.


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#3 PGHinBKK

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 01:03 AM

Ranchhand, thanks for the reply!  No, now we do not get the beep, and the LED in the mouse does not light up. I just tried it again, and the LED behind the power button lights up and the fan turns on, I cannot hear if the HDD is spinning. We get no screen at all, although the small blue light in the button at the lower right of the screen does light, and I mentioned the little analog/digital box we get at the top left corner, so it appears the monitor is getting power.


Edited by PGHinBKK, 30 December 2016 - 01:09 AM.

Life is strange......and then there's Thailand....

#4 shadow_647

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 05:29 AM

Sounds like its time to take it a part and clean everything.



#5 ranchhand_

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 10:19 AM

Ok; in order to find the problem we must run some tests that may take a little time.

 

> Remove the memory modules (aka "stick"), gently wipe the contacts with a clean paper towel and replace. If you don't know how to do this post back. Try to boot; if it still will not boot up, do the next step.

 

> We are going to run a memory tester on the computer's memory modules; this will tell us more than if the memory is the cause or not.

>  Download the (free) zip file (2nd from the top) ISO of Memtest86+ and burn to a CD. You will have to do this on another computer.

>  Make sure problem computer's BIOS is set to CD = 1st Boot Device, HDD = 2nd Boot Device.
     NOTE: if you cannot access the BIOS screen by tapping one of the F-keys, or possibly the DELETE key on boot, just go ahead and try to run the disk anyway but let me know in your reply.
>
  If you have multiple sticks, test only one (1) stick at a time

Reboot with the CD in your drive. Allow it to run until you get a message at the bottom of the screen that testing is complete (about 20 minutes). Any red posts at the bottom of the screen means that memory stick is bad.

If Memtest will not run or you get error messages, let me know.

 

If you have any questions on how to do the above, post back.


Edited by ranchhand_, 30 December 2016 - 10:19 AM.

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#6 shadow_647

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 10:23 AM

Remove the memory modules (aka "stick"), gently wipe the contacts with a clean paper towel and replace. If you don't know how to do this post back. Try to boot; if it still will not boot up, do the next step.

 

Think you mean remove everything and clean it with electronic contact cleaner , or in a pinch rubbing alcohol or zippo fuel and i mean everything, after that try and power up the computer with min hardware only, just try and get it to post.



#7 PGHinBKK

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 12:25 PM

Ranchhand, thanks for the tips. The computer in question is not on the 'net, but I will follow your steps tomorrow (actually later today, it's just after midnight here). I mentioned in an earlier post that there is no screen upon power-up, so I'm unsure of the BIOS settings, but I'll try it anyway. I'll have to download the program onto my daughter's laptop (which has a CD drive) and go from there.


Edited by PGHinBKK, 30 December 2016 - 12:28 PM.

Life is strange......and then there's Thailand....

#8 ranchhand_

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 01:23 PM

 

no screen upon power-up

Yes, I realize that, but there is a reason I want you to run that program from the CD and by-pass the hard drive. If it fails and you still get no response, that tells us something. In addition, if you cannot access the BIOS that also tells us something. I hope you can, but my opinion is that you will not be able to access either the BIOS screen or run the CD program. As I said, I don't want to jump to a judgement until I feel confident it is accurate. When a computer comes in for repair and I face the same thing as you are experiencing, these are the same steps I would take for a diagnosis.


Edited by ranchhand_, 30 December 2016 - 01:27 PM.

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#9 PGHinBKK

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 09:04 PM

Ranchhand, I totally understand. I'll try and get it done today, it's my last day home on holiday and I'm not sure if I can but I'll let you know. The !@#$ thing waited until so late in my vacation to pull this stunt, it's annoying.....


Life is strange......and then there's Thailand....

#10 ranchhand_

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 10:49 PM

Don't be concerned; just post in when you can. We have back-to-back holidays running here, too.


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#11 PGHinBKK

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 05:01 AM

Ranchhand,  I just cleaned the memory stick in the unit and found that it has no CD drive....its basically just a board, fan and HD. When I powered it up it's the same as before, the analog/digital indicator in the upper right of the monitor, the fan runs but no screen. 

I have to leave here in a few hours, got a 6.5 hour drive back to Bangkok ahead of me, and won't be back until sometime in January. I'll log back onto this site then and see what's happening. Thanks for your help and time.  Happy holidays!!


Life is strange......and then there's Thailand....

#12 ranchhand_

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 03:22 PM

If you can get your hands on a DVD drive, they are super-easy to install, just plug them in and the system will automatically see them. You don't even have to install one in the case, just leave it sitting outside if you wish. If not, we can continue. Let me know when you return.


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