motherboard or harddrive failure

  boybrown 14:55 17 Feb 2004


Combined help needed again please.

My friend asked whether I would try to save his PC. It kept on freezing and crashing, usual stuff.

I have re-formatted his disk, stuck XP on and everything was going lovely apart from the Hard drive was noisy (clicking loudly).

Anyway took it back to its home and turned it on and it failed to boot from the hard-drive. Put XP disc in and it failed to recognise the hard drive again.

Have just got a S/Hand H/D, stuck it in but the comp won't now turn on! The power light flicks on then off immediately. POwer is getting through the cable.

Any ideas folks about where I can start to check for problems. System failing to boot I can try to sort but now not turning on at all!



  anon1 15:09 17 Feb 2004

What is usual about this statement? "My friend asked whether I would try to save his PC. It kept on freezing and crashing, usual stuff."
Surely it is not usual for the system to keep freezing etc. The problem could be many, hard drive may have in fact died but have you checked out the power supply? Bad ram can make a pc freeze and if there is a hardware problem then trying to change the software (OS) will not help. Was there any warnings at all such as beeps on boot up (or just before (post)). Check the mainboard is not earthing and causing it to short out. It would also be helpful to know what the system is and how old etc. More spec = more chance

  boybrown 15:33 17 Feb 2004


Sorry for the lack of information. The system is about five years old and is running an AMDK7-600 and having looken in the case I cannot see the m/board make. The power supply appears to be getting through ok as the power supply is set up to power the monitor through the case and the monitor power is coming on fine.

I can not tell you whether the memory is ok or not. When my friend passed the comuter on he just said that he thought that he had "cluttered it up with c**p" and didnt give me more details. He told me that there wasnt anything to keep on the H/drive so I just reformatted and put on a fresh install. The system then appeared to be fine. ran updates on all the software, connected it through my Cable internet and no problems. However there was always a load clicking from the case when running any processes.

I had one occasion when windows reported that a serious system error had occurred and shut down. I managed to reboot with no issues, however when I then took in back to his house and tried to boot it waqs when I would not recognise the H/Drive. I had now put in a new H/drive and it will not turn on. As I siad the power light flickers but then dies. How can I check whether it is shorting out?

I appreciate that it is difficult to help with few details, but my friend is now away travelling and I was trying to do the right thing by trying to sort it whilst he is travelling

  Diemmess 17:34 17 Feb 2004

You have told a lot about the past, but not clear about the present.

I assume that -----

"I had now put in a new H/drive and it will not turn on. As I siad the power light flickers but then dies. How can I check whether it is shorting out?"

means that when you switch on, nothing happens, no beeps, no whirrings, nothing on the screen?

Motherboards can give trouble but your power supply may have failed. I know you say the monitor power light comes on, but this is supplied with switched mains voltage, while the resy of the computer receives very accurately controlled samll DC voltages, which simply crash out if damaged or overloaded.

Try disconnecting the power supply from the HD and the CDROM/R/RW, Drive A as well if there is one.

Then if you switch on and the motherboard/CPU is healthy you should get a (post) beep and a screenful of usual boot info, stopping when it tells you there is boot disk failure or no boot disk.

If it doesn't get that far then it has to be a PSU failure or Motherboard failure. You can check the PSU by substituting another for the test.

  boybrown 20:05 17 Feb 2004

Hi Diememess,

Thanks very much for the suggestions. I have tried exactly what you said and the comp. has now booted exactly how you said. This sounds stupid but does this mean that the power supply has failed? I assume that this may be why it failed to locate the old hard drive?



  boybrown 20:18 17 Feb 2004

Hi again,

Just a quick thankyou for your help. I have even tried all the different power connectors to see if it was an individual cable that was causing the problems but as soon as I hook up any of the drives then it fails to start, but as soon as I disconnect then it's ok. I'll be off to price a power unit now.

Thanks very much for your help

me :-)

  Diemmess 13:27 18 Feb 2004

Glad you have found the answer. It is probably the most simple and easy repair of all the awful possibilities that might have been.

Probably too late to make a difference but do buy a PSU with a higher output than the old one.

Guessing that your old one was 200/250watts the replacement should be 350watts or more. By a sensible increase in rated power you won't spoil anything but the new unit will have an easier life, never having to force itself to keep up with demand.

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

Elsewhere on IDG sites

The Evil Within 2 review-in-progress

InVision Studio takes on Adobe XD and Sketch

Camera tips to take better iPhone photos

Comment transformer un iPhone en borne Wi-Fi ?