Computer won't start up

  Diversion 16:08 07 Jan 2009

Hi chaps
I’ve been asked by a friend to look at his computer, all he knows about it that it’s a Foxconn. He doesn’t even know what processor it has in, a quick look at it and it has the whole lot built into the motherboard.

His problem started with a high pitched squeal emitting from the small internal speaker built in to the mother board, but instead of translating that in to some type of warning that all was not as it should be on the system. He plugged some blue tack over the internal speaker to muffle the noise, and run it like that until it kept shutting down all the time.

When he brought it to me it would start up but could not find the hard drive all the while this muffled squealing was present. I tried to get in to the Bios but before I could look around the power just cut off, and a smell of overheating was present. All the fans are working and he had even put extra fans in the case enclosure to keep everything cool, I tried his hard drive in my computer and it worked fine.

I think it’s the motherboard or the processor that’s burnt out, any views on this will be most welcome and thanks in advance for any input.


  kidda123 16:22 07 Jan 2009

Sudden loss of power may suggest PSU problem, but in all fairness the squealing from the internal speaker would also suggest a major hardware fault.

It may be time to invest in a new motherboard bundle.

How old is the PC?

  Diversion 17:05 07 Jan 2009

Thanks kidda123.

A little over 12 months but the lad knows nothing about computers, I think he paid someone £200 to build him a PC but the guy that built it has moved home and he has not kept the receipts. I thought that it was the motherboard, he's willing to buy a new bundle and I guess I'll have talk him through the process of installing it as my hands are not very steady these days.

Regards Diversion

  howard64 17:24 07 Jan 2009

it could be a memory fault - if it has more than 1 strip of ram take all except 1 out and try again. If squealing stops it may start up ok. If still squealing swap strips and try again. I had one which gave the same symptoms and it was 1 strip of ram. With it removed all was then ok. Also if the fan on the cpu is not running at full speed this will stop the pc running as it protects itself from the heat. The additional case fans will not do anything if it is the cpu fan thats in trouble.

  kidda123 18:20 07 Jan 2009

It's the burning smell that concerns me. I wouldn't mind betting that the fault is causing the PSU to trip out/shutdown.

I would certainly try the RAM swap/switch option, failing that it has to be the motherboard.

You can get some good deals on bundles at the moment which include Board, Ram, CPU and cooler. They are sometimes assembled so all you have to do is install into a decent case, PSU and plug in your CD/DVD drives and HDD.

  Diversion 18:28 07 Jan 2009

Hi howard64

He did have 6GB of RAM consisting of 2 2GB and 2 1GB strips of RAM running Vista Ultimate, I did take all but a 1GB of RAM out of the PC and told him that 4GB was plenty for running Vista but no joy I’m afraid. I think kidda123 has got it right with the motherboard, but with you saying that maybe all that RAM caused the problem in the first place.

Because he did say something about the squealing started just after he had put in the extra RAM, and I don’t know whether he just added more RAM or just added the 2 2GB strips alongside the 2 1GB strips that were already in the PC but they were all DDR2 RAM.

Regards Diversion and thanks howard64

  woodchip 18:53 07 Jan 2009

Try removing Plugs from Hard Drive and see if it will boot to BIOS. If it does note ant noises and let it run for a bit

  Diversion 19:14 07 Jan 2009

Hi woodchip

I did try also but within 45 to 60 seconds of getting in to Bios it just shut down and smell of overheating was still in the air, but thanks anyway.

Regards Diversion

  woodchip 19:18 07 Jan 2009

Check all the Fans are working as it sounds like CPU is powering down to stop Damage

  Diversion 20:06 07 Jan 2009

Hi woodchip

All the fans are working, as it my first thought was is all the fans working especially the one on the CPU. With the computer not being able to find the hard drive initially I took the hard drive out as you suggested your previous post, and restarted without the hard drive in the unit in the event it was the hard drive that had a fault and to try to get in to Bios without the hard drive in place. But I later tried the drive in my own PC and the drive booted up straight away. Thanks again for the input woodchip it’s much appreciated.

Regards Diversion

  woodchip 22:28 07 Jan 2009

If you can smell something try to find out where from. This would most likely be Fan housing at the back that cools the PSU. Also look for burn marks. But do not go inside the PSU unless you know what you are doing as this as high power Capacitors that can give a nasty kick

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Galaxy Note 8 vs iPhone X

Aardman's new YouTube channel to share the work of independent animators

iPhone X vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Les meilleurs navigateurs internet 2017