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Old 08-20-09, 07:53 AM   #1
LastPlace
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Computer Dead???????

Last night........after a long stressful day.....I went home and tried to fire up the home computer and got squat. Nada, zip, zilch. Nothing.

Actually I did get my ASUS motherboard screen but that was it.

I opened up the box and reseated all the connections, checked that all the fans were running and that my mobo light was indeed on. I did not feel my HDD for any vibrations, and I don't recall whether or not I usually hear the HDD anyway.

Do I have a toasted HDD, and if so, is there a way to recover anything on the drive?

Good thing I just bought a laptop that I can't afford.

BTW, any fix suggestions must come with a way to pay for them, and I'm waaay too old to sell my body.

I really do appreciate any thoughts any FOOSTERs might have...........
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Old 08-20-09, 07:58 AM   #2
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Do repeated attempts to turn it on also result in the mobo screen?

Could be a busted power supply, which are usually relatively cheap and can be found just about anywere.

If it's just a mechanical malfunction with the HDD, it's pretty easy to get the data off, although it can get expensive.
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Old 08-20-09, 08:19 AM   #3
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Skones,

I have tried repeatedly to restart the box but get nowhere.......

As for the PS, the fan is running and I am getting power to the mobo.....but I guess I could use a VOM and check the output of the PS to see if I am getting power to some leads but not to others. Since I don't have a pin-out I'm not sure what that would tell me.....unless I found a lead with no output.

Thanks for the advice and don't hesitate to suggest anything else.
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Old 08-20-09, 08:29 AM   #4
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Another thing to check is the voltage selector switch on the back of the PSU. My nephew once changed the 120v setting to 240v on my old tower. Took me HOURS, a lot of swearing, and almost a sledgehammer, to figure that one out.
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Old 08-20-09, 08:36 AM   #5
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You should have indicator LEDs for the hard disk and floppy/DVD drives. Check to see that those are lit and power is getting to the drives.
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Old 08-20-09, 08:36 AM   #6
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Does the motherboard beep at you? When it does the Power On Self Test (POST) successfully it should beep once. Additional beeps indicate a basic hardware problem (memory, CPU, video). Can you get into the BIOS menu? Do you have a bootable CD or floppy disk that you could try? That would help isolate the hard drive as the problem.
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Old 08-20-09, 08:44 AM   #7
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How old is this machine?
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Old 08-20-09, 09:00 AM   #8
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Generally, you would start unplugging stuff. When the computer gets beyond what you're seeing, you've found the problem.

For example, if you unplug the hard drive cables and power on the machine - does the computer seem to get further into the power-on process? If so, it's a drive problem. Alternatively, you could unplug/remove as much as possible and add it back until you find the problem. In this case, remove all unneeded cards, remove all memory and unplug drives. Start adding memory back in a piece at the time, and so on.
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Old 08-20-09, 10:15 AM   #9
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Guys,

You folks have no idea how much I appreciate all the suggestions. I was frustrated last night and didn't do a lot of troubleshooting.

To begin at the beginning, I built the box in either 2004 or 2005 and used what were good components at the time, but everything is a bit dated by now. Additionally, I have always run some sort of DC....Distributed Computing.....program like SETI, or Folding@Home, so the box ran 24/7 for a number of years.

It is a 478 Northwood chip on an ASUS P4P800 mobo with a 37GB HDD and 3GB of ram.

More recently I have added 2 GB of RAM to my existing 1GB of ram but can't think of any issues that came up.......immediately. I add the qualifier because a few weeks after that the box would restart over and over and when I finally got it to stay on I couldn't get it to shut off.

After that I added a utility to monitor temps that showed my graphics card temp in addition to my cpu temp as MBM(MotherBoard Monitor) does. That is when I noticed my graphics card was very hot and stopped running the box 24/7.

As for POSTing.......I don't even get what we called the 'happy beep' when I power up.

One of our folks suggested restarting and hitting the 'TAB' button, saying that might show an error message, which I will try first. This is something new to me so I will probably try it first.

Next I will try removing the new memory and/or replacing the old memory with the new memory and then move onto unplugging other things to see if I can isolate the problem, even though I bought the suggested memory modules.

Thanks again for all the advice, and don't hesitate to offer more.
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Old 08-20-09, 10:18 AM   #10
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I'd check the RAM. Mixed RAM has always given me issues.

But then again, I hate computers. All 6-8 of them strewn about my house.
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Old 08-20-09, 10:41 AM   #11
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Thanks again for all the advice, and don't hesitate to offer more.
When in doubt, grab a bigger hammer.
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Old 08-20-09, 05:10 PM   #12
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Thank you ....Thank you.....Thank you.....

I really appreciate al the suggestions from everyone.

Tonight I started playing with the memory and pulled out the original 512 MB sticks and the computer booted up nicely with the newer 1GB sticks.

I have gone from dreading building a new box to simply losing 1GB of ram.

Thanks again for all the help.
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