PC Won't boot up

  ptjs1 13:39 31 Jul 2008


I wonder if anyone can give me a little bit of advice.

My parents have an old(ish) systemax PC running XP. Yesterday, when they turned it on, the power and hard disk access lights came on and stayed on but the PC won't boot up and there is no screen output.

I've tried swapping out graphics cards and hard disks but to no avail. Basically it's as if it is freezing on initial startup and never even gets to the BIOS check etc. I can't open the CD-Rom drive to insert a start disk etc but I don't think the hard disk is the problem. It seems to be more fundamental than that. Is there any way that I can test / swap other bits before I give up and take it to a repairer?

Tks for any thoughts.


  woodchip 13:51 31 Jul 2008

Sounds like Power Supply Fault, i.e PSU. Box inside computer top back with all the wires and plugs

  ptjs1 13:58 31 Jul 2008


Tks for your thoughts. If it was the power supply, would I still get the lights on the front of the Pc working, the fans running on the motherboard etc working?

I just assumed that if the power supply was failing then I wouldn't be getting power lights, fans etc.

If it is the power supply, then is it easy to check through checking power outputs from it etc?



  woodchip 14:02 31 Jul 2008

Yes it only take as much power as a battery can supply for those to work. it will not though boot a computer. You could try removing all drive power cables other than main drive. then try booting. if that does not work remove the main drive to see if you can get the boot screen to show when pressing start.

  Pamy 14:03 31 Jul 2008

As woodchip says, it could be the power supply. Can you try another one? I would also try the display screen on another computer if possible. It's a matter of elimination and ensuring different components still work.

  ptjs1 14:45 31 Jul 2008

Tried disconnecting all power feeds except motherboard and hard drive - no difference.

Tried disconnected all power feeds except motherboard, and also disconnected hard drive - no difference.

I have my own PC and the power unit in that looks to be exactly the same. I guess I could swap them and see if it that cures it. Is there anything I should be aware of in swapping out power units?



  Pamy 14:59 31 Jul 2008

No, as long as your power supply is the same or greater than your parents power supply and you have enough connectors then all should be OK.

  ptjs1 15:33 31 Jul 2008

Swapped over the power units - no difference.

Swapped over the hard disk with a spare disk from my PC. Not sure if I had all the jumpers correct, but no difference anyway.

Not sure what to do next. It's as if it doesn't know how to start. I don't think it's accessing the BIOS. With power obviously getting to the motherboard, is it possible that the BIOS or some part of the motherboard / CPU etc has failed? Is this the sort of symptoms I would get?

Tks again


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:10 31 Jul 2008

Have a look at the capacitors on the motherboard , do the look like they are bulging out at the ends?

Its looking like motherboard cpu failure as you have changed the PSU and it won't POST.

yu could try resetting the BIOS by removing battery for a while or using the clear jumper seting .

then have another go at booting.

PS make sure nothing is in any of the drives remove CDs floppies etc. and remove all usb devices and printers before booting.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:11 31 Jul 2008

Another thing to try is remove and refit memory one stick at a time.
a faulty memory stick can cause POST failure.

  ptjs1 16:45 31 Jul 2008

The large capacitors all look very slightly bowed at the ends but don't know if that's how they are supposed to be.

I guess I'll try putting the original psu back in then removing one memory bit at a time and reboots.

Then I'll try removing the battery - do you mean the onboard CR2032 3v cell? Also what does the clear jumper setting mean? Tks

I don't think there's anything in the cd drives but I'm not sure how to open them without the Pc booted up?

Tks for all your suggestions.


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