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Computer won't start



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 27th 07, 12:04 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware
twomt
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7
Default Computer won't start

Hello,

I fear I have a hardware problem somewhere, can someone give me some
hints on how to locate the root cause?

The computer is getting power as the fan is blowing normal and the
keyboard lights (caps-lock, num-lock and scroll-lock) blink once when I
press the power button.

Then it all stops, well... the fan continue to blows but nothing else
happens. This is before the bios screens come up when you initially
start your computer.

The monitor turns itself off saying it does not receive a signal, the
keyboard is not responding to anything (normally, num-lock would show
the light on/off) and my optical mouse is not showing the red lights it
normally does.

I've let it run for a while, but the state does not change.... it's
broken :s

Any ideas what might be causing?

Thanks,
twomt
  #2  
Old December 27th 07, 12:57 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware
philo
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,309
Default Computer won't start


"twomt" wrote in message
...
Hello,

I fear I have a hardware problem somewhere, can someone give me some
hints on how to locate the root cause?

The computer is getting power as the fan is blowing normal and the
keyboard lights (caps-lock, num-lock and scroll-lock) blink once when I
press the power button.

Then it all stops, well... the fan continue to blows but nothing else
happens. This is before the bios screens come up when you initially
start your computer.

The monitor turns itself off saying it does not receive a signal, the
keyboard is not responding to anything (normally, num-lock would show
the light on/off) and my optical mouse is not showing the red lights it
normally does.

I've let it run for a while, but the state does not change.... it's
broken :s

Any ideas what might be causing?

Thanks,
twomt



Try resetting the bios.
There is usually a jumper near the cmos battery


  #3  
Old December 27th 07, 03:49 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware
twomt
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7
Default Computer won't start

Joel wrote:
twomt wrote:

Hello,

I fear I have a hardware problem somewhere, can someone give me some
hints on how to locate the root cause?

The computer is getting power as the fan is blowing normal and the
keyboard lights (caps-lock, num-lock and scroll-lock) blink once when I
press the power button.

Then it all stops, well... the fan continue to blows but nothing else
happens. This is before the bios screens come up when you initially
start your computer.

The monitor turns itself off saying it does not receive a signal, the
keyboard is not responding to anything (normally, num-lock would show
the light on/off) and my optical mouse is not showing the red lights it
normally does.

I've let it run for a while, but the state does not change.... it's
broken :s

Any ideas what might be causing?


Me? these are what I usually do.

1. I read and learn thing *before* thing starts happening to my system as
many and I doing at the moment. What I am trying to do is encouraging
others to take a opportunity for future problem.

2. I would try to see *if* it causes by hardware or software.

- Hardware - I would go to CMOS setting screen, and often most problems
solve itself just by entering the CMOS setting. Or usually the CMOS will
detect something changed and recogize and fix itself.

Then check either Power-supply, memory, video, audio cards etc. make sure
them have good connection.

- Software, then sometime just boot to .. I forget what it's called .. ohh
"Safe Made" can sold some software/hardware related issue itself. Or on
safe mode Windows may have to load some specific program, then update the
working Windows to normal boot. Yes, sometime it's so weird but works
sometime

Or booting using util like util called "Winternal" and I don't know
exactly what it does, but my systems with booting issue were solved by
just boot with "Winternal". But I ain't recognize to jump straight to
Winternal without taking a chance to learn what's going on.

Thanks,
twomt


1. I am not getting this statement...

2. CMOS, as I wrote the PC locks up / stops booting before this point. I
haven't been able to get into the CMOS. Because it already happens at
this point, I am suspecting a hardware or bios issue. If it was
software, I would imagine that it would stop only at a later point.

I've already unplugged the cards and stuck them back in, no change.
As most of the stuff is on-board, I can't do a lot with it anyway.

The other option to reset the CMOS is probably the best way to go
forward for now. And perhaps to find a spare-parts PC that I can use to
see if I can locate the root cause.

But thanks for your response anyway.
  #4  
Old December 27th 07, 03:50 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware
twomt
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7
Default Computer won't start

philo wrote:
"twomt" wrote in message
...
Hello,

I fear I have a hardware problem somewhere, can someone give me some
hints on how to locate the root cause?

The computer is getting power as the fan is blowing normal and the
keyboard lights (caps-lock, num-lock and scroll-lock) blink once when I
press the power button.

Then it all stops, well... the fan continue to blows but nothing else
happens. This is before the bios screens come up when you initially
start your computer.

The monitor turns itself off saying it does not receive a signal, the
keyboard is not responding to anything (normally, num-lock would show
the light on/off) and my optical mouse is not showing the red lights it
normally does.

I've let it run for a while, but the state does not change.... it's
broken :s

Any ideas what might be causing?

Thanks,
twomt



Try resetting the bios.
There is usually a jumper near the cmos battery



Thanks, I might give that a go... trying to locate jumper :P
  #5  
Old December 27th 07, 04:51 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware
Paul
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13,364
Default Computer won't start

twomt wrote:
Joel wrote:
twomt wrote:

Hello,

I fear I have a hardware problem somewhere, can someone give me some
hints on how to locate the root cause?

The computer is getting power as the fan is blowing normal and the
keyboard lights (caps-lock, num-lock and scroll-lock) blink once when
I press the power button.

Then it all stops, well... the fan continue to blows but nothing else
happens. This is before the bios screens come up when you initially
start your computer.

The monitor turns itself off saying it does not receive a signal, the
keyboard is not responding to anything (normally, num-lock would show
the light on/off) and my optical mouse is not showing the red lights
it normally does.

I've let it run for a while, but the state does not change.... it's
broken :s

Any ideas what might be causing?


Me? these are what I usually do.

1. I read and learn thing *before* thing starts happening to my system as
many and I doing at the moment. What I am trying to do is encouraging
others to take a opportunity for future problem.

2. I would try to see *if* it causes by hardware or software.

- Hardware - I would go to CMOS setting screen, and often most
problems
solve itself just by entering the CMOS setting. Or usually the
CMOS will
detect something changed and recogize and fix itself.

Then check either Power-supply, memory, video, audio cards etc.
make sure
them have good connection.

- Software, then sometime just boot to .. I forget what it's
called .. ohh
"Safe Made" can sold some software/hardware related issue
itself. Or on
safe mode Windows may have to load some specific program, then
update the
working Windows to normal boot. Yes, sometime it's so weird but
works
sometime

Or booting using util like util called "Winternal" and I don't know
exactly what it does, but my systems with booting issue were
solved by
just boot with "Winternal". But I ain't recognize to jump
straight to
Winternal without taking a chance to learn what's going on.

Thanks,
twomt


1. I am not getting this statement...

2. CMOS, as I wrote the PC locks up / stops booting before this point. I
haven't been able to get into the CMOS. Because it already happens at
this point, I am suspecting a hardware or bios issue. If it was
software, I would imagine that it would stop only at a later point.

I've already unplugged the cards and stuck them back in, no change.
As most of the stuff is on-board, I can't do a lot with it anyway.

The other option to reset the CMOS is probably the best way to go
forward for now. And perhaps to find a spare-parts PC that I can use to
see if I can locate the root cause.

But thanks for your response anyway.


Some simple things you can try, are disconnecting I/O devices from the
machine. For example, disconnect the USB devices outside the case
first. If some I/O device has died or is malfunctioning, they may
be confusing the BIOS.

Open the machine, disconnect the data cables from the hard drive and
CDROM drive. Using a piece of paper, make notes of where the cables
go, so you can put them back exactly as you found them.

Other checklist items:

1) In this case, we know your BIOS is executing. The flashing of the
keyboard lights is a positive sign. It means the processor is
executing (so the processor does not need to be reseated), the
BIOS code was executed (so the BIOS isn't completely fried -
the main block of BIOS code has probably passed the checksum
test). I'm not sure about RAM. Maybe the RAM test would still be
an item yet to be completed by the BIOS.

2) Turn off the computer and unplug it. To work inside, you want
all power removed (not for risk of shock or anything - it is
to protect your hardware). The reason for unplugging, is to
make sure +5VSB is disabled, and that there is no power present
in the RAM slots. At least one poster with a broken computer here,
had a power supply with a broken switch, and the power supply was
on, even though the power switch was set to off. Unplugging ensures
there aren't any incidents like that.

Remove and reseat the RAM.

3) If you have multiple sticks of RAM, try the machine with only
one of the sticks plugged in. That may not be enough memory,
for an OS to boot properly, so may not represent a usable
system configuration. But the purpose of inserting only one
stick of RAM, is to see if you can get the BIOS screen to appear.
If a stick of memory goes bad, it may prevent POST. In some
cases, the computer beeps if the memory is bad. But it
is also possible the BIOS just hangs.

4) Clearing the CMOS is a good test. But you'll also have to restore
any custom settings in the BIOS. And I have to admit, on my oldest
machine, when the CMOS battery died, I was at a loss to remember
what some of the settings did. It did take me an hour or so of
experimenting, until I got the hang of it, and the machine was
able to boot with a new CMOS battery.

While power supply failures on computers are a frequent source of
problems (and not completely eliminated in your case), the fact
that the keyboard lights blinked gives me hope that the power
is good enough to allow the POST process to get further than it
currently is. For example, a computer that restarts, just as the
Windows desktop appears, could be having a power problem. But in
your case, the power consumption should be reasonably stable during
some of the BIOS tests, and the BIOS doesn't appear to be getting
past things like NVRAM or RAM test, or enumerating hard drives
and optical drives.

Paul
  #6  
Old December 27th 07, 06:55 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware
VanguardLH
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 62
Default Computer won't start

"twomt" wrote in message
...
Hello,

I fear I have a hardware problem somewhere, can someone give me some
hints on how to locate the root cause?

The computer is getting power as the fan is blowing normal and the
keyboard lights (caps-lock, num-lock and scroll-lock) blink once
when I press the power button.

Then it all stops, well... the fan continue to blows but nothing
else happens. This is before the bios screens come up when you
initially start your computer.

The monitor turns itself off saying it does not receive a signal,
the keyboard is not responding to anything (normally, num-lock would
show the light on/off) and my optical mouse is not showing the red
lights it normally does.


You say "the" fan is spinning. There is only ONE fan inside your
computer? Which one is spinning? CPU, power supply, case fan, what?
There should be 2 fans at a minimum: one for the CPU and another
inside the power supply (it must have 1 fan at a minimum but sometimes
it has 2 fans). Even if the PSU fan is thermally controlled, it
should always spin. Same for the CPU fan. If either of those are
stopped, you have a problem. The PSU fan is used as the minimal air
flow generator for your box. Besides cooling off the PSU, it draws
air through the case to cool the rest of the components. The CPU fan
must obviously be spinning to cool off this hot component.

When you power on the computer, do you hear it beep? After you see
the LEDs flash, several seconds later should be a beep which is the
BIOS telling you that the POST has successfully completed. An
internal speaker must be connected to the motherboard to hear this
beep. If you have an internal speaker hooked up and you don't hear
the beep then you might have to go to the last step where you revert
to a minimal hardware configuration to test your system.

Make sure the monitor is powered on before powering on the computer.
Some monitors deliberatly remain blank when they are first powered up.
If you use a power strip to power up all devices simultaneously then
the monitor may simply not be presenting you with a display to show
the problem before it gets cleared from the screen.

Does your startup of operting system generate any sounds, like an OS
startup sound event or beeps? I don't mean beeps from the POST
complete event in the hardware. I mean noises produced through your
speakers by sound events that you defined in your OS that you could
hear when the OS loads. If you hear those sounds then your monitor is
bad and why it always looks black although the OS really did load.
Before the system BIOS loads, the video BIOS loads first because,
well, you need to see the POST results. That's why the first thing
seen is the BIOS post from the video card at the top of the screen.
However, even before that the CPU pulses the reset line to ensure all
devices are returned to their base state which is why you saw the LEDs
flash on the keyboard. If the video card is bad then you won't see
anything regardless of successful POST and OS load. You say that the
monitor always remains black which makes it suspect because you
should, at least, see its post output at the top of the screen. Of
course, a bad monitor would also prevent seeing anything that was
being output by the video card. Check the cables between the video
card and monitor.

If you get to the POST screen (doesn't sound like it, though), check
the hard drive is working. When powering up, listen to the hard drive
(remove the side panel to hear the hard drive) which should exhibit a
whine noise as it starts to spin up.

Although you may not get to the POST screen, you can still clear your
CMOS by jumpering across the 2-pin header with a jumper. Leave the
jumper on for a minute and then remove (or leave attached by using
just one pin). If the CMOS gets corrupted then it may not allow the
firmware in the BIOS code to load because the parameters are too
screwed up. If that fixes your problem, you should replace the
battery.

Lastly, revert to a minimal hardware configuration. Remove power
plugs from all optical drives, all hard drives except the one where
the OS is installed, floppy drives, sound cards, data/fax modem card,
and everything from all the slots except the video card. The idea is
that you might have a failing PSU that can no longer supply the
current needed by the load from all the devices or one of them has
failed is causing the host to not boot. You should then only have the
PSU connected to the motherboard, maybe the video card, and a hard
drive. If it still refuses to boot to the POST screen, remove all
memory sticks but one and try again, and cycle through each stick at a
time if the host still fails to boot. I've had power supplies that
were high quality that still went defective after around 3 to 4 years
because of loss of voltage regulation (too much ripple) or could no
longer supply the amperage needed by the existing equipment which
hasn't changed. The PSU is the life's blood of the computer and way
too many builders go too cheap and rely on the specs which many PSU
makers stretch way too far for the capacity of their product. If you
get a cheap quality PSU then figure your max sustainable load will be
two-thirds of their rated wattage.

  #7  
Old December 27th 07, 06:56 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware
Johan Nyberg
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7
Default Computer won't start

On 27 Dec, 16:51, Paul wrote:
twomt wrote:
Joel wrote:
twomt wrote:


Hello,


I fear I have a hardware problem somewhere, can someone give me some
hints on how to locate the root cause?


The computer is getting power as the fan is blowing normal and the
keyboard lights (caps-lock, num-lock and scroll-lock) blink once when
I press the power button.


Then it all stops, well... the fan continue to blows but nothing else
happens. This is before the bios screens come up when you initially
start your computer.


The monitor turns itself off saying it does not receive a signal, the
keyboard is not responding to anything (normally, num-lock would show
the light on/off) and my optical mouse is not showing the red lights
it normally does.


I've let it run for a while, but the state does not change.... it's
broken :s


Any ideas what might be causing?


Me? these are what I usually do.


1. I read and learn thing *before* thing starts happening to my system as
many and I doing at the moment. What I am trying to do is encouraging
others to take a opportunity for future problem.


2. I would try to see *if* it causes by hardware or software.


- Hardware - I would go to CMOS setting screen, and often most
problems
solve itself just by entering the CMOS setting. Or usually the
CMOS will
detect something changed and recogize and fix itself.


Then check either Power-supply, memory, video, audio cards etc.
make sure
them have good connection.


- Software, then sometime just boot to .. I forget what it's
called .. ohh
"Safe Made" can sold some software/hardware related issue
itself. Or on
safe mode Windows may have to load some specific program, then
update the
working Windows to normal boot. Yes, sometime it's so weird but
works
sometime


Or booting using util like util called "Winternal" and I don't know
exactly what it does, but my systems with booting issue were
solved by
just boot with "Winternal". But I ain't recognize to jump
straight to
Winternal without taking a chance to learn what's going on.


Thanks,
twomt


1. I am not getting this statement...


2. CMOS, as I wrote the PC locks up / stops booting before this point. I
haven't been able to get into the CMOS. Because it already happens at
this point, I am suspecting a hardware or bios issue. If it was
software, I would imagine that it would stop only at a later point.


I've already unplugged the cards and stuck them back in, no change.
As most of the stuff is on-board, I can't do a lot with it anyway.


The other option to reset the CMOS is probably the best way to go
forward for now. And perhaps to find a spare-parts PC that I can use to
see if I can locate the root cause.


But thanks for your response anyway.


Some simple things you can try, are disconnecting I/O devices from the
machine. For example, disconnect the USB devices outside the case
first. If some I/O device has died or is malfunctioning, they may
be confusing the BIOS.

Open the machine, disconnect the data cables from the hard drive and
CDROM drive. Using a piece of paper, make notes of where the cables
go, so you can put them back exactly as you found them.

Other checklist items:

1) In this case, we know your BIOS is executing. The flashing of the
keyboard lights is a positive sign. It means the processor is
executing (so the processor does not need to be reseated), the
BIOS code was executed (so the BIOS isn't completely fried -
the main block of BIOS code has probably passed the checksum
test). I'm not sure about RAM. Maybe the RAM test would still be
an item yet to be completed by the BIOS.

2) Turn off the computer and unplug it. To work inside, you want
all power removed (not for risk of shock or anything - it is
to protect your hardware). The reason for unplugging, is to
make sure +5VSB is disabled, and that there is no power present
in the RAM slots. At least one poster with a broken computer here,
had a power supply with a broken switch, and the power supply was
on, even though the power switch was set to off. Unplugging ensures
there aren't any incidents like that.

Remove and reseat the RAM.

3) If you have multiple sticks of RAM, try the machine with only
one of the sticks plugged in. That may not be enough memory,
for an OS to boot properly, so may not represent a usable
system configuration. But the purpose of inserting only one
stick of RAM, is to see if you can get the BIOS screen to appear.
If a stick of memory goes bad, it may prevent POST. In some
cases, the computer beeps if the memory is bad. But it
is also possible the BIOS just hangs.

4) Clearing the CMOS is a good test. But you'll also have to restore
any custom settings in the BIOS. And I have to admit, on my oldest
machine, when the CMOS battery died, I was at a loss to remember
what some of the settings did. It did take me an hour or so of
experimenting, until I got the hang of it, and the machine was
able to boot with a new CMOS battery.

While power supply failures on computers are a frequent source of
problems (and not completely eliminated in your case), the fact
that the keyboard lights blinked gives me hope that the power
is good enough to allow the POST process to get further than it
currently is. For example, a computer that restarts, just as the
Windows desktop appears, could be having a power problem. But in
your case, the power consumption should be reasonably stable during
some of the BIOS tests, and the BIOS doesn't appear to be getting
past things like NVRAM or RAM test, or enumerating hard drives
and optical drives.

Paul


I once found myself in this situation. Finally, I discovered that I
had mixed up the PS/2 connectors for the keyboard and the mouse Or
maybe my college found out, blush, blush!
  #8  
Old December 27th 07, 07:08 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware
Paul
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13,364
Default Computer won't start

Johan Nyberg wrote:


I once found myself in this situation. Finally, I discovered that I
had mixed up the PS/2 connectors for the keyboard and the mouse Or
maybe my college found out, blush, blush!


I did that once, and it wiped out my BIOS settings :-)

The BIOS claimed I was "overclocking my CPU", when it was
just the mouse and keyboard connectors in the wrong holes.

Paul

  #9  
Old December 27th 07, 07:42 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware
twomt
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7
Default Computer won't start

Paul wrote:
twomt wrote:
Joel wrote:
twomt wrote:

Hello,

I fear I have a hardware problem somewhere, can someone give me some
hints on how to locate the root cause?

The computer is getting power as the fan is blowing normal and the
keyboard lights (caps-lock, num-lock and scroll-lock) blink once
when I press the power button.

Then it all stops, well... the fan continue to blows but nothing
else happens. This is before the bios screens come up when you
initially start your computer.

The monitor turns itself off saying it does not receive a signal,
the keyboard is not responding to anything (normally, num-lock would
show the light on/off) and my optical mouse is not showing the red
lights it normally does.

I've let it run for a while, but the state does not change.... it's
broken :s

Any ideas what might be causing?

Me? these are what I usually do.

1. I read and learn thing *before* thing starts happening to my
system as
many and I doing at the moment. What I am trying to do is encouraging
others to take a opportunity for future problem.

2. I would try to see *if* it causes by hardware or software.

- Hardware - I would go to CMOS setting screen, and often most
problems
solve itself just by entering the CMOS setting. Or usually the
CMOS will
detect something changed and recogize and fix itself.

Then check either Power-supply, memory, video, audio cards etc.
make sure
them have good connection.

- Software, then sometime just boot to .. I forget what it's
called .. ohh
"Safe Made" can sold some software/hardware related issue
itself. Or on
safe mode Windows may have to load some specific program, then
update the
working Windows to normal boot. Yes, sometime it's so weird but
works
sometime

Or booting using util like util called "Winternal" and I don't know
exactly what it does, but my systems with booting issue were
solved by
just boot with "Winternal". But I ain't recognize to jump
straight to
Winternal without taking a chance to learn what's going on.

Thanks,
twomt


1. I am not getting this statement...

2. CMOS, as I wrote the PC locks up / stops booting before this point.
I haven't been able to get into the CMOS. Because it already happens
at this point, I am suspecting a hardware or bios issue. If it was
software, I would imagine that it would stop only at a later point.

I've already unplugged the cards and stuck them back in, no change.
As most of the stuff is on-board, I can't do a lot with it anyway.

The other option to reset the CMOS is probably the best way to go
forward for now. And perhaps to find a spare-parts PC that I can use
to see if I can locate the root cause.

But thanks for your response anyway.


Some simple things you can try, are disconnecting I/O devices from the
machine. For example, disconnect the USB devices outside the case
first. If some I/O device has died or is malfunctioning, they may
be confusing the BIOS.

Open the machine, disconnect the data cables from the hard drive and
CDROM drive. Using a piece of paper, make notes of where the cables
go, so you can put them back exactly as you found them.

Other checklist items:

1) In this case, we know your BIOS is executing. The flashing of the
keyboard lights is a positive sign. It means the processor is
executing (so the processor does not need to be reseated), the
BIOS code was executed (so the BIOS isn't completely fried -
the main block of BIOS code has probably passed the checksum
test). I'm not sure about RAM. Maybe the RAM test would still be
an item yet to be completed by the BIOS.

2) Turn off the computer and unplug it. To work inside, you want
all power removed (not for risk of shock or anything - it is
to protect your hardware). The reason for unplugging, is to
make sure +5VSB is disabled, and that there is no power present
in the RAM slots. At least one poster with a broken computer here,
had a power supply with a broken switch, and the power supply was
on, even though the power switch was set to off. Unplugging ensures
there aren't any incidents like that.

Remove and reseat the RAM.

3) If you have multiple sticks of RAM, try the machine with only
one of the sticks plugged in. That may not be enough memory,
for an OS to boot properly, so may not represent a usable
system configuration. But the purpose of inserting only one
stick of RAM, is to see if you can get the BIOS screen to appear.
If a stick of memory goes bad, it may prevent POST. In some
cases, the computer beeps if the memory is bad. But it
is also possible the BIOS just hangs.

4) Clearing the CMOS is a good test. But you'll also have to restore
any custom settings in the BIOS. And I have to admit, on my oldest
machine, when the CMOS battery died, I was at a loss to remember
what some of the settings did. It did take me an hour or so of
experimenting, until I got the hang of it, and the machine was
able to boot with a new CMOS battery.

While power supply failures on computers are a frequent source of
problems (and not completely eliminated in your case), the fact
that the keyboard lights blinked gives me hope that the power
is good enough to allow the POST process to get further than it
currently is. For example, a computer that restarts, just as the
Windows desktop appears, could be having a power problem. But in
your case, the power consumption should be reasonably stable during
some of the BIOS tests, and the BIOS doesn't appear to be getting
past things like NVRAM or RAM test, or enumerating hard drives
and optical drives.

Paul


Thanks for all the advice, this goes for those posting after this
message as well.

Here's what I have done so far:

I took my TV-card out - No change
All external devices are unplugged (only monitor, keyboard and power are
connected) - No change
Took the CMOS battery out, left it for 10 minutes (power cable
unplugged), then restarted - No change

Then I took my video card out, although I can't see anything the
computer suddenly started bleeping (when starting it) and at least my
keyboard seems to be responding (num-lock light goes on/off when I press
num-lock).

Does that mean my video card is busted? I don't have a spare on, so I
can't really test it. The only spare one I have doesn't fit in the slots
on my mainboard.

Thanks,
twomt.
  #10  
Old December 27th 07, 07:50 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware
twomt
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Posts: 7
Default Computer won't start

twomt wrote:
Paul wrote:
twomt wrote:
Joel wrote:
twomt wrote:

Hello,

I fear I have a hardware problem somewhere, can someone give me
some hints on how to locate the root cause?

The computer is getting power as the fan is blowing normal and the
keyboard lights (caps-lock, num-lock and scroll-lock) blink once
when I press the power button.

Then it all stops, well... the fan continue to blows but nothing
else happens. This is before the bios screens come up when you
initially start your computer.

The monitor turns itself off saying it does not receive a signal,
the keyboard is not responding to anything (normally, num-lock
would show the light on/off) and my optical mouse is not showing
the red lights it normally does.

I've let it run for a while, but the state does not change.... it's
broken :s

Any ideas what might be causing?

Me? these are what I usually do.

1. I read and learn thing *before* thing starts happening to my
system as
many and I doing at the moment. What I am trying to do is encouraging
others to take a opportunity for future problem.

2. I would try to see *if* it causes by hardware or software.

- Hardware - I would go to CMOS setting screen, and often most
problems
solve itself just by entering the CMOS setting. Or usually the
CMOS will
detect something changed and recogize and fix itself.

Then check either Power-supply, memory, video, audio cards etc.
make sure
them have good connection.

- Software, then sometime just boot to .. I forget what it's
called .. ohh
"Safe Made" can sold some software/hardware related issue
itself. Or on
safe mode Windows may have to load some specific program, then
update the
working Windows to normal boot. Yes, sometime it's so weird
but works
sometime

Or booting using util like util called "Winternal" and I don't know
exactly what it does, but my systems with booting issue were
solved by
just boot with "Winternal". But I ain't recognize to jump
straight to
Winternal without taking a chance to learn what's going on.

Thanks,
twomt

1. I am not getting this statement...

2. CMOS, as I wrote the PC locks up / stops booting before this
point. I haven't been able to get into the CMOS. Because it already
happens at this point, I am suspecting a hardware or bios issue. If
it was software, I would imagine that it would stop only at a later
point.

I've already unplugged the cards and stuck them back in, no change.
As most of the stuff is on-board, I can't do a lot with it anyway.

The other option to reset the CMOS is probably the best way to go
forward for now. And perhaps to find a spare-parts PC that I can use
to see if I can locate the root cause.

But thanks for your response anyway.


Some simple things you can try, are disconnecting I/O devices from the
machine. For example, disconnect the USB devices outside the case
first. If some I/O device has died or is malfunctioning, they may
be confusing the BIOS.

Open the machine, disconnect the data cables from the hard drive and
CDROM drive. Using a piece of paper, make notes of where the cables
go, so you can put them back exactly as you found them.

Other checklist items:

1) In this case, we know your BIOS is executing. The flashing of the
keyboard lights is a positive sign. It means the processor is
executing (so the processor does not need to be reseated), the
BIOS code was executed (so the BIOS isn't completely fried -
the main block of BIOS code has probably passed the checksum
test). I'm not sure about RAM. Maybe the RAM test would still be
an item yet to be completed by the BIOS.

2) Turn off the computer and unplug it. To work inside, you want
all power removed (not for risk of shock or anything - it is
to protect your hardware). The reason for unplugging, is to
make sure +5VSB is disabled, and that there is no power present
in the RAM slots. At least one poster with a broken computer here,
had a power supply with a broken switch, and the power supply was
on, even though the power switch was set to off. Unplugging ensures
there aren't any incidents like that.

Remove and reseat the RAM.

3) If you have multiple sticks of RAM, try the machine with only
one of the sticks plugged in. That may not be enough memory,
for an OS to boot properly, so may not represent a usable
system configuration. But the purpose of inserting only one
stick of RAM, is to see if you can get the BIOS screen to appear.
If a stick of memory goes bad, it may prevent POST. In some
cases, the computer beeps if the memory is bad. But it
is also possible the BIOS just hangs.

4) Clearing the CMOS is a good test. But you'll also have to restore
any custom settings in the BIOS. And I have to admit, on my oldest
machine, when the CMOS battery died, I was at a loss to remember
what some of the settings did. It did take me an hour or so of
experimenting, until I got the hang of it, and the machine was
able to boot with a new CMOS battery.

While power supply failures on computers are a frequent source of
problems (and not completely eliminated in your case), the fact
that the keyboard lights blinked gives me hope that the power
is good enough to allow the POST process to get further than it
currently is. For example, a computer that restarts, just as the
Windows desktop appears, could be having a power problem. But in
your case, the power consumption should be reasonably stable during
some of the BIOS tests, and the BIOS doesn't appear to be getting
past things like NVRAM or RAM test, or enumerating hard drives
and optical drives.

Paul


Thanks for all the advice, this goes for those posting after this
message as well.

Here's what I have done so far:

I took my TV-card out - No change
All external devices are unplugged (only monitor, keyboard and power are
connected) - No change
Took the CMOS battery out, left it for 10 minutes (power cable
unplugged), then restarted - No change

Then I took my video card out, although I can't see anything the
computer suddenly started bleeping (when starting it) and at least my
keyboard seems to be responding (num-lock light goes on/off when I press
num-lock).

Does that mean my video card is busted? I don't have a spare on, so I
can't really test it. The only spare one I have doesn't fit in the slots
on my mainboard.

Thanks,
twomt.


Oh, one last detail... there's a fan on the video card as well and that
one is not working.

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