PC won't boot - help needed to identify the culprit.


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Jul 29, 2004
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My PC is (very) long in the the tooth at 12 years old, but worked well enough for what I needed out of it - mainly internet browsing, iTunes, and some light CAD work.

It's recently "died" and I need some advice on where the issue lies - I'm pretty sure it's a hardware fault, and I'm just looking to swap out the guilty party for a cheap 2nd hand replacement off ebay to get it up and running again while I decide on a longer term solution.

For info - Intel Q6600 CPU, Gigabyte Mobo, 8gb DDR2 RAM (4x2gb) & ATI Radeon GPU. Windows 10 installed to a Samsung SSD.

When I start the PC up, all I'm getting at the moment are the fans in the case and the CPU heatsink spinning up, the LED's next to RAM sockets light up, but there's nothing happening on the monitor - it remains in standby which to me, means there's no signal being sent to it.

Normally, the fans spin up quite loudly then calm down after a few seconds but now they remain at full throttle.

I appreciate this isnt a lot to go off - but anything that will help me narrow down the fault (or rule an innocent party out) would be most appreciated.
Can we assume you have done the obvious like reseat the monitor cables? If you have I would also reseat the GPU and the RAM. See if that helps. Do you have on board graphics? if you do, I would remove the Graphics card and try the onboard connector if the prior actions fail.
I have reseated the RAM, CPU & GPU.

I've not tried onboard graphics - although I'm not entirely sure my mobo has any, but I'll certainly have a look tonight.
Ok. One think I forgot to ask is do you have any odd (multiple) beeps at startup? Normally you will get a single beep as the computer BIOS loads and everything checks out ok, but multiple beeps (and different patterns indicate different problems, is a sign that evil is afoot.

If you hear no beeps at all, (even before when the PC was working) then the sounder isn't present on the PC. (normally this happens with enthusiast built systems) so of course if there is a problem you won't hear get the aural notification.
TBH, if your desktop is that old I would not be surprised that it's had it, although I have a Dell that's 20 years old and still going, but barely fit for purpose now, unless used offline.

This sounds like either a dead PSU or blown motherboard. The PSU would be the first component I'd check. This can be done using a multimeter to check output voltages from the 24 pin ATX connector, and if they all show correctly you can rule it out. Alternatively if you have a spare PSU swap it over for the suspect one, connect it up and and see if your PC works OK.

If it's the mobo that's faulty you may as well get a new (or newer, reconditioned) PC. Visually check the capacitors on the mobo. If any are leaking or look like they're bulging you know it's the mobo.
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