No POST beep

  Ollyolly 22:45 11 Jul 2006

My son put the PC on. It smelt of smoke so he put it off.
Later I put it on, no smell but no display. CPU fan spins, RAM LED on motherboard comes on, CD drive lights flashes, hard disk light on front of case comes on. But no display and no POST beep.
1. Replaced the graphics card with one from a working PC, same result, no dispaly, no POST beep. Put graphics card back and other PC still works.
2. Replaced the PSU with one from an identical working PC, same result, no display, no POST beep. Put PSU back and other PC still works.
3. Checked the with another untested monitor, same result.
4. Ran test on original monitor result 'test good' signal rec'd.
5. Decided that something on the motherboard or CPU had gone awol so this evening replaced both with brand new items.
6. Put PC back together with the known working PSU (just in case the original had been the initial problem) from the other PC, and guess what, no display, no POST beep.

With no POST beep and no dispaly I don't know where to go next.

Anyone any ideas?

  MAJ 22:57 11 Jul 2006

Try stripping it down to a skeleton system out of the case (on the bench) with just motherboard, CPU, heatsink, fan, one RAM module, graphics card, hard drive and PSU. See if you can get a display, Ollyolly.

  26trouble 23:07 11 Jul 2006

I am so sorry to hear about this - please keep posting if you fix it!
I have not rebuilt mine yet, the bits arrived today but I was working late and got sidtracked trying to make my new modem work.

Hope mine goes better!

Thinking of you - but no suggestions sorry

  WhiteTruckMan 23:14 11 Jul 2006

try some different ram. also have a look at existing (suspect) ram very closely and see if you can see any signs of discolouration.

Got to say that the smell may be a red herring! It may just be singed dust in the PSU.


  Gongoozler 05:43 12 Jul 2006

As recommended by MAJ, but also leave out the RAM, graphics card and hard drive. I normally leave the motherboard in the case but with a sheet of card between it and the metalwork. I also disconnect the case front panel connectors except the power-on button connector and case speaker. You should then get an error POST beep because of the absence of memory and graphics card. If you don't, then the problem has to be in the processor, PSU or motherboard. You can only determine which by substitution.

  Ollyolly 12:23 12 Jul 2006

Thanks for the above advice.
I'm in work at present but will have another go this evening.

  Ollyolly 20:57 12 Jul 2006

MAJ & Gongoozler
Progress of sorts.

As you suggested I stripped out everything and tried the motherboard on the bench. Hey presto, beeps, no memory. Memory in more beeps, no graphics card. Graphics card in POST beep.
Placed A4 card over standoffs and pressed them through the card, lowered the motherboard onto the standoffs. Fastened the screws through the motherboard into the standoffs, checking for POST beep after each screw. Success so far after all six screws.

Connected a monitor, the original hard drive (Win XP) still set as master. Problems.
POST beeps, monitor shows correct amount of memory (512Mb), correct amount of graphics card RAM (64Mb), auto detects hard drive. Won't boot into Windows.

Offers me safe mode, safe mode with command prompt etc. I've tried all of them but the PC just restarts.

I realise that the existing hard drive may need to get to know the new motherboard and CPU but I can't load any of the drivers that came with the motherboard without getting into Windows.

I set the PC to boot from CD. Inserted the drivers CD and switched the PC on. 'X-Press Recovery' launched. It seems to be a utility for backing up and restoring hard drives and is present on the drivers CD. The drive is partitioned with Windows on its own partition but I still don't fancy using that at this stage for fear of wiping the drive.

The two previous occassions I've built a PC I had a clean hard drive. I expected this to boot (all be it into safe mode) for me to add the new drivers.

Do you have any thoughts?


  MAJ 23:29 12 Jul 2006

I would now try installing XP on a new or clean hard drive, Ollyolly. Because XP is on the present drive doesn't mean that it will accept or recognise the new motherboard.

  Ollyolly 07:40 13 Jul 2006

Can I assume:
1. I can reinstall Windows into the partition that is currently being used by Windows and it will overwrite the existing files?
2. The remaining partitions will be unaffected and accessible after the Windows reinstallation?


  MAJ 08:33 13 Jul 2006

Yes you can format and reinstall Windows on a Partition and other partitions will remain intact, but make sure you choose the correct partition to format, Ollyolly. If it's at all possible though, it would be a good idea to install the hard drive as a 'slave' in another computer and back up your important files.

  Gongoozler 08:56 13 Jul 2006

Hi Ollyolly. You've stripped down the computer and rebuilt it and now your POST beeps are back to normal. This suggests that a poor connection somewhere was the cause. hopefully it was only something like dirty RAM contacts.

Your question no. 1 was, in essence "Can I install Windows over the original installation". The answer, I think, is maybe. The safest and cleanest way is, as suggested by MAJ, to reformat the partition and reinstall Windows and all the programs. I recently repaired a computer for a friend where Windows had been corrupted by faulty memory, and the method I used was as recommended by MAJ in the second sentence. The friend had some very important documents and emails on the drive with corrupted Windows, so rather than risk further corruption of the data on the drive, I fitted a new hard drive as master and was then able to retrieve all the emails and documents from the old drive.

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