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PC Problems - help required... again

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Rigs' started by Shady, Jul 29, 2003.

  1. Shady

    Shady
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    Hi chaps

    Having a problem with my home PC - just wondered if any kind souls out there could offer any advice...

    When turning on the PC the fan is heard to start and the light on the CD / DVD drives flashes once or twice. There is no response to the keyboard (no numlock light when pressed) and hitting delete to access the bios does not work.

    Have tried a boot up disk and a Windows 2000 CD and neither are being read - the screen LED flashes as if no signal is being received and no hard drive noise is heard.

    When starting up and pressing the CD / DVD drawer open button the drawer ejects about 1 inch before stopping...

    ...and thats all, no further beeps or lights seen or heard - dead in the water.

    The Motherboard (MSI) and processor (AMD 1600+) were bought new from Watford Electronics about a year ago. Any ideas what could be wrong ? Could it be the motherboard or processor that has gone pop ? Is there another way to access the BIOS to revert any settings back to default or am I looking at a new mobo and processor combination ?


    More money...

    Any help or advice would be appreciated - just when I was starting to get the hang of RTCW Enemy Territory

    Cheers
     
  2. Bondy007

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    Have u tried using an old graphics card seeing that the monitor does not seem to be getting a signal, but I doubt its that alone as there is no HD noises but it may let you see what the problem is

    Also are you sure that the internal PC speaker is connected properly as I often leave them unconnected (accidently) and only realise when something like this happens and I need the diagnostic "beeps"
     
  3. Shady

    Shady
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    Hi Bondy

    The fact that there is no keyboard response nor does the hard drive spin up, boot from diskette or CD action leads me to believe that even if I change the graphics card I am not going to get any response.

    I thought I might get a flicker of something but it appears to die before any beeps which are normally heard - I am sure the speaker is still connected.

    Anyone else any suggestions ?

    Thanks for you help Bondy.
     
  4. Bondy007

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    Have u tried a different PSU
     
  5. Garrett

    Garrett
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    The computer should start with no graphic card. You should at least be getting to the start up screen that states off saying what MB you have the next thing it recognises is the CPU or memory, then what ever you have designated your fist drive.
    Are you getting any info at all on the screen at start-up?
     
  6. Shady

    Shady
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    Garrett

    Sorry, no screen response at all - but also no beeps and no keyboard response.

    Bondy

    Could it be a PSU problem as I can hear the fan whirring round.


    Just checked the site I purchased the mobo and processor from (Savastore). This was purchased in August last year. I note that the processors have individual manufacturers warranties (upto 3 years in some cases). Is this applicable or is there any small print to say I can't have a replacement as it is deemed as wear and tear ?
     
  7. Bondy007

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    Yes the PSU could be knackered and still be able to power the fans - might just not have enough power getting through to the motherboard proper - although I do doubt it

    Seems like its a trial and error problem if you've got any old working parts try swaping them out until it works (and check all connections) - failing that it sounds like the motherboard may be at fault, but unless something drastic has happened the CPU and motherboard wouldn't go at the same time
     
  8. Garrett

    Garrett
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    I was wrong about that graphiis card you will not get anything if it has gone.:suicide:

    Also try resetting stuff back on the MD with the recent heat wave thinks can move. Also if you have two sticks of memory trying one at once in slot one.
     
  9. Garrett

    Garrett
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    You could also try just having the HD hooked up the MB that is totally diconecting the CD drive and see if the HD spins up.
     
  10. njiri

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    I know this might sound odd, if you think your HD is stuck and won't spin, is to try gently tapping the HD when you switch on your PC.... worked on mine, when the HD was stuck. Another trick (which I was going to try next) is to seal the HD in a bag, and put it in the freezer (yes, freezer) for a couple of hours, then let it thaw, and reconnect etc. The reason for putting it in a bag is to avoid condensation when you take it out of the freezer. Can't vouch for the freezer method, but apparently it works.
    Lastly... take your pc to your local PC shop, NOT PC world.
     
  11. Ethics Gradient

    Ethics Gradient
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    Tapping a hard drive while off if its refusing to spin up may help free up a clogged or stiff spindle ....... but I would suggest not attempting this whilst the drive is powerd up. When off the HD heads will be auto parked and safe from head crash on the disk platters.
    Once power is on and its starting to spin up, any jolts or taps stand a good chance of causing the heads to hit the platters - they are floating microns above the plater of even heavy vibrations can from a speaker can cause potential damage.

    I've seen a few posts / comments on the subject of putting a HD drive in the freezer .... I can't decide whether its an urban legend or not.
    What I can say, is even if u put the HD in a plastic bag, unless the bag is vacuum packed, there is a risk of condensation and ice / expansion / contraction damage on mechanical parts and electronic components. When you take it out of the freezer and plug it into a PC, you are putting into a unit that will be operating above room temperature .... and your HD will be below room temperature for quite some time; leading to a big risk of condensation forming.

    ps Hello Garrett - can you guess who this is ;)
     
  12. Bondy007

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    I can personally voucher for the HD in the freezer technique as I had a HD die on me a couple of months ago (it wouldn't be reconised in the BIOS) but after sticking it in the freezer for an hour I connected it up and managed to copy most of the stuff off it before it gave up the ghost. A couple of the files were corrupt but it was better than nothing.

    But anyway, shall we try and get back to the original problems. . . .
     
  13. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Do you want a straight answer or one that comes over like a puzzle?;) :hiya:
     
  14. Ethics Gradient

    Ethics Gradient
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    usually with a faulty HD etc you will get a Display on your monitor for at least an intial amount of time. But to rule out HD's etc:-

    -remove the power connections from the back of your hard drive, cdrom and any other media device.
    -Disconnect the ide cable at the mother board side for these devices.

    also remove any pci / isa etc cards besides the graphics card.
    remove keyboard and mouse and any usb equipement.

    Basically, the best method for tracking faults ( if you have no other clear indicators ) is to remove all but the absolutely required parts to get to a bios screen.

    If you get a screen response after removing the extra components you know its restricted to one of them.

    If not, its either the graphics card , motherboard , cpu , ram or psu.
    With the weather we have been having in the last month, check all the case fans , cpu fan etc and make sure they are spinning and are free from clogged up dirt.
     
  15. Shady

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    Thanks for the replies chaps

    To reiterate I get no response from the monitor at all - would the bios screen show if the HD was faulty ? Surely this is a board related display and appears before the HD is accessed (only my thought - I am probably way wide of the mark here).

    I'm going to try another PSU tonight but failing that I am at a loss - I have no real means to swap parts around to check components so it may be a trip to the local PC shop - although as I have built about 4 machines myself I feel agrieved that this is beating me.

    We're a sensitive lot at heart...

    I'll let you all know how I get on, but any other suggestions will be appreciated.

    Cheers
     
  16. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Shady read Ethics Gradient post again there is some good advice their.
    Without doubt it is not the fault of you HD as says, I have just switched off my computer and disconnected the power lead to it and I still get info coming up on the screen when powering on.
     
  17. Shady

    Shady
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    Unfortunately I did not get the chance to pull the machine apart last night. Will have a go tonight.

    Garrett and Ethics - thanks for the advice... I'll let you know how I get on.


    Cheers
     
  18. Shady

    Shady
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    Morning chaps

    Latest update - replaced the PSU with one 'ahem' borrowed from work - and still the same result.

    Flicking through the motherboard manual this morning and came across the 'clear CMOS' jumper - is this worth a try or am I clutching at straws ?

    If I am resigned to chaning the motherboard has anyone any suggestions as to (a) a proper stable board with good features (must accomodate AMD Athlon 1700+ and 3 sticks of PC2100 memory - 512 MB), and (b) a good place to order from.

    I have ordered a few bits from Watford Electronics - Savastore and have had no problems - apart from now 1 year later.


    Many thanks for eveyones help.


    Cheers
     
  19. HMHB

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    Clearing the CMOS is always worth a try as it takes very little time to do and it's easy. When you buy certain new motherboards you have to do this before it will work at all - so you never know
     
  20. Garrett

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    I have ordered from a few places no problem try here http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_AMD_Motherboards_68.html last time I used them they where very fast but I did use first class post.
    I was going to say The overclocking store LTD but it looks as though they have ceased trading.
    I use to deal with Dabs but I got fed up of them and there constant bombardment with there e-mails.

    What price are you looking at?

    If Ethics comes on he will be able to tell you better.
     
  21. Garrett

    Garrett
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  22. Bondy007

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    I get most of my PC hardware from www.ebuyer.com - they dont have as much selection as dabs.com but they are often £5 or more cheaper and I've always had great service
     
  23. Ethics Gradient

    Ethics Gradient
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    Is there no way you can test your memory and or cpu in another box before jumping into buying a new mobo - or go down to pc world / local computer store with the cpu and ram and ask them to check them for you if no other options are available.

    as to a new mobo - do you simply want a replacement that works - or one thats ready to upgrade cpus to with the least stress ( though your ram may be an issue with future upgrading )

    Its a funny time to buy equipment atm with a new graphics card / bus format due to hit the markets in 4 or 5 months - and the 64 bit cpus about to be released.
    Also something to be aware of - ram prices are set to rise and have gone up slightly already; so getting higher spec ram now for an upgrade may be worth while.
     
  24. Garrett

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    I have just noticed you have 3 sticks of ram did you take them all out and try them in slot one and switch your computer on? This would tell you if it was the memory it is extremely unlikely all 3 stick would have gone at once.
    Buts Ethics says memory is going to go up, I got some that exceeds the present spec of my board a few weeks ago as on of my two was acting up. The last time they went up they almost doubled in price. It has given me a slight increase in speed but is being bottle-necked else where and will come in to its own with a new CPU mine is only a 1600. It will also do for those nice new MB Ethics was on about when they come out.
     
  25. Sinzer

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    This is usually a mobo/CPU fault, if you are not getting beeps then the BIOS is not loading properly (this requires the CPU).

    As the BIOS is loaded before ANYTHING else, you can discount the other components.

    Your best bet is to completely strip the board, get a can of air spray and clean it. Then try putting most of it back together (CPU, mem, gphx card and HD).

    Also, check the mobo to see if it has any POST display, this is usually 4 LEDs or 2 letters of the Alphabet. This will tell you how far the mobo has got in booting up. Consult the manual to determine the fault.

    In my experience this type of problem usually ends up being a fried mobo or CPU.

    Not a good fault to have :(
     
  26. Shady

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    You are all stars - I'll give you an update next week as to where I have got.

    Once again, many thanks for all your help - it's good to know that the community spirit within this forum is alive and well and that there are a lot of helpful people out there willing to spend time in helping others.

    Long may it continue...


    Cheers


    No need to wait until next week chaps - I am sitting here typing this message from my newly resurected PC.

    A quick squirt from an air duster and resetting the CMOS and low and behold one PC as good as new


    Once again, many many thanks to all those that took the trouble to reply to my plea - I only hope I can offer any help or assistance on your times of need.


    Many thanks



    Shady
     
  27. Bondy007

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    Blimey after all that it was something simple like that, ah well at least you know what plan of attack is required if some hardware of yours does actually die in the future.

    Enjoy
     

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