Dead PC

  tngmrg 10:47 11 Mar 2004

I have a packard Bell IMedia 6185 running Windows ME which has died. I took it to PC World and they say it could be the Motherboard or the Processer that is faulty. They would fix it at a cost of £200 - £300. They would have to send to Packard Bell for a new Motherboard as no other model can be used in a Packard Bell machine.
Is this correct or am I being conned?
Please any advice would be most welcome.

  leo49 11:11 11 Mar 2004

You don't indicate the age or spec of your corpse which is obviously relevant but I wouldn't contemplate paying that sort of money which,in worse case scenario, would easily buy you a new complete base unit.If you're running ME then it's probably at least over 2 years old with a much lower spec than today's low-budget boxes.

A DIY repair[even taking into account component costs] would be cheaper still.

  georgemac 13:24 11 Mar 2004

the packard bell site shows your pc has a micro atx format motherboard and case with an MSI6340 motherboard, so no, it would not have to go back to packard bell for repair.

In fact if the motherboard is faulty, the best option would probably be to get a new atx motherboard and case. Your exisiting motherboard has onboard graphics.

But first we have to find the problem. What happened when your pc died? can you give more details?

When you turn it on is there any sign of life at all? The power supply may have failed. If there is any sign of life does it make any beeps?

It is very unusual for a cpu to fail, I guess it is an athlon in the pc, it did not say on the pb website.

You could take the side off the case and look around the cpu to see if there is any sign of heat damage in case of cooling fan failure.

Can you do any sort of testing yourself, or do you have any mates who build/repair computers?

If not you will have to get someone to fix it for you, do not go to PC world, see if any of your friends has used anyone locally.

  tngmrg 15:06 11 Mar 2004

hi, well when the pc died it kept switching itself on and off all the time. So i assumed it had a virus...thats why i took it into pc world so they could remove the virus. i did not expect them to say the mobo was damaged.
You are not going to beleive this!
I opened up the case to see if the cpu had any sign of damage as you suggested and found that PC World have disconnected every cable inside the pc. There is nothing left connected to the mobo at all.
I am just amazed!!!!

  Diemmess 15:24 11 Mar 2004

If there really are no leads left in place you will soon be able to make some of the most fundamental checks.

If you are not sure then ask a friend who is, to do this for you. There is little chance of actually doing damage, but almost no chance of getting things right by guessing.

You will need to connect the PSU to the motherboard and all the wires from the case to the mobo. (this should check the PSU and switch is working).

Timely to check RAM and any inserted cards are seated.

Then if lights are on and fans are turning you can try to see if it will boot in A: drive and so on.

  georgemac 15:55 11 Mar 2004

switching itself off and on all the time - do you mean rebooting without the power going off? If so I would say you are right with a virus, PC world, unbeleivable?

did you have any anti virus software or a firewall running on the pc?

I am going to (hopefully) post a link below where you can download your motherboard manual. This will at least tell you how and where to reconnect the cables on the motherboard.

when you are touching things inside the case, always take anti static precautions. I leave the mains lead in but switched off at the socket, and touvh the metal part of the case before touching anything else.

click here I am guessing this is the correct manual from the msi site but there are several versions of the motherboard

click here assume this is your pc? no manual available for download from packard bell.

  georgemac 15:57 11 Mar 2004

and packard bell call the motherboard halley? but it looks like an msi 6340 to me, used by time a lot as well as the other big manuafacturers

  bananaslik 16:07 11 Mar 2004

I can't believe they did that to your pc,it's inexcusable,dishonest & as far as i can see it could be translated into touting for work.Did they tell you they had disconnected everything ?
If not i would get on the phone to the manager,no on second thoughts go to the shop,wait till there are plenty of people in & give them a very hard time.Not only did they tell you that they had to get the mobo from packard bell but they also tried to fleece £200 - £300 out of you & to top it all off they disconnected everything.If worst comes to worst go to your local pc shop most of them are reasonable price & give value for money.Forget PC WORLD theyr'e only interested in monthly pound totals..

  tngmrg 16:49 11 Mar 2004

Re-connected all the wires and switched on. No beeps, but the fan is working ok...connected the monitor but nothing happens as it will not even start. Tried two monitors but no joy. Will not boot A drive. So I think i am sitting with a dead duck. I am thinking of buying a new case and utilise the innards of this old one.
Thanks for all your advice.

  georgemac 16:54 11 Mar 2004

OK so it could be a graphics problem but I would have expected a beep. Try removing the memory and see if it beeps at you - assuming you have an internal speaker connected to the motherboard - if there are no beeps I would be concerned that the motherboard is dead.

does it seem as if it is going through the boot process with nothing on the display - can you see the hard drive access led flickering at all?

if you need new parts click here you will see some bad reviews of them in here but I've always found them OK.

If you have to buy a new motherboard take care to ensure it is compatible with your exisitng cpu and especially the memory.

  tngmrg 17:55 11 Mar 2004

Thanks Georgemac,
I did everything you suggested but nothing. The pc switches on ok and the power light is on but no sign of it doing anything. No boot noises, no beeps, nothing. I give up, I have been at this all day and I cannot get any further forward.
Phoned pc world (well the numpties at service centre)to complain about all the dis-connected wires as you expect I am still waiting for a response. Think I will leave it to my husband to complain (he is good at these things)as I beleive because I am a woman they think I know diddley squat about computers. Bit annoying really. Oh well thanks for all the help.

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