Have I killed my PC?

  The Potter 13:41 01 Dec 2006

I don't think I need to trouble you with the details of how I got here but:

I have a pentium2, Compaq Deskpro EP/SB series (don't kmow any more than that really:( )

I turn it on, it counts up the ram, oks it and then nothing. It won't engage a floppy or take notice of a windows cd. The 'enter setup' option comes up but it won't let me enter it so I can't even get in to the BIOS.

Have I killed it beyond help (it is very old afterall!)?

Any ideas much appreciated.


  Totally-braindead 13:45 01 Dec 2006

Check all the ribbon cables inside in case they have come adrift.
Even if there was nothing connected at all you should still be able to get into BIOS are sure you are hitting the correct key, with my PC its the Delete key but some are different.

  The Potter 13:51 01 Dec 2006

F10 is the key - it says it on the screen and I've used it before!

I've checked the ribbon cable a dozen times but will happily check them again; could one of the ribbons be dead prehaps, should I try another?

  Totally-braindead 13:54 01 Dec 2006

Its possible but even if it was you should still be able to get into BIOS.
Try disconnecting all ribbon cables and try to get into BIOS again. I'm just wondering if the motherboard has failed but regarding this sort of failure I don't know that much as its never happened to me.
I think some of the others may need to help here.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:59 01 Dec 2006

"I turn it on, it counts up the ram then nothing"

I think your power suply may have failed and is not giving out power to the drives.

but first try a cmos reset, remove the CMOS battery for 10 mins and refit. CMOS Battery
click here

then reboot it and see what happens if still same then I suspect PSU

click here
click here

If renewing a PSU check:

1. The physical size of your PSU, some are hard to replace due to being a non standard size.
2. The amount of power need from the PSU don't skimp

1. Physical Dimensions

Besides the specs and form factors, the physical dimensions are also important factors in selecting a compatible power supply. Here is an outline of the physical dimensions of most standard power supplies:

# ATX: 6x3.5x5.5", HxWxD. Most common. Uses 4 mounting screws.
# Mini-ATX: 5x3.5x5", HxWxD. Rare size. Uses 4 mounting screws. Can be used in a regular ATX case, but often not the other way around.
# MicroATX: 5x3x4", HxWxD. Use 3 mounting screws. Not interchangeable with ATX or miniATX.
# Flex ATX: Even smaller than Micro ATX. Various sizes according to case specs; often not interchangeable.

Use the data above to determine if a particular power supply would fit your case.

The quality of a power supply can be estimated by its weight. While this is not a true scientific or thorough measurement of the power supply reliability, it is nevertheless a very simple and easy way for ordinary PC users to estimate and compare the quality of a power supply.

2. Power supply calculator click here

Guide to changing PSU
click here
click here

  Totally-braindead 14:06 01 Dec 2006

Fruit Bat /\0/\ never thought of the PSU, if The Potter disconnected all power connectors EXCEPT for the motherbord one and he still cannot get into BIOS would that mean that the motherboard is at fault ot is it still possible that its the power supply?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:20 01 Dec 2006

Could still be either, but worth trying to see if reduced load cures BIOS boot. If 12v rail gone then will probably still be same.

A thread in last week had same sympton as reached ram conut and stopped, turned out to be power supply

  Totally-braindead 14:37 01 Dec 2006

Thanks for that Fruit Bat /\0/
The Potter you've got a few things to try now post back with the results when you can.

  The Potter 16:24 01 Dec 2006

Thanks chaps; I will be working on it this evening and will get back then.

Many thanks


  The Potter 19:30 01 Dec 2006

I removed the CMOS battery for more than 10 mins - no change

I removed all ribbon cables - no change

The power supply fan is working and I noticed before I removed the ribbon cables that the harddrive was clearly spinning. This makes me think it's not the psu?????

I'll try some different ribbon cables and see what I get!


  The Potter 19:38 01 Dec 2006

Nope, different ribbon cable to the hd made no change.

One thing I didn't note before which may be of use:

The computer has always done this and upon investigation apparently it's quite normal with these machines - and I've always had it even when it worked perfectly ok -

Ram counts up - ok
and then error message "1152-Serial Port B Address Conflict Detected"
then nothing.

As I said, it did this even when working OK, but maybe it s relevant now????!!


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