Win XP PC Won't Boot

  Inside Edge 10:11 06 Apr 2012

Hi, .....can anyone offer advice with this one ....

My Mesh PC running Win XP SP2 wont boot up at all. It powers on, the fans all run and the DDD is spinning but there is nothing on the screen at all. There are no beep at all either. The power light on the case is on, and the orange HDD light is on and steady. The light on one of the DVD drives is on and staedy but I can't open either drawer, so I can't put a recovery disk in. The screen gives a message that it can't see a signal, so that seems to be ok.

The only clue I have is this: When I installed SP2 several years ago, it was a nightmare but with help from this forum and Mesh, I got it running. I never went near SP3. Since then, the PC has always been a bit picky about what Win updates it'll install and which it won't. For a couple of yeras, I've always shut it down by choosing "shutdown without installing updates". Last night, my daughter shut it down in the more normal way and it began installing 26 updates ! Not wishing to crash it, I let it do it's thing and went to bed while it worked away. It shut down but today it won't boot up. This could be a red herring of course, but .....

There is no info reaching the screen at all, so no opportunity to diagnose of hit F8 or whatever. Nor to put a recovery disk in. SInce there's not even any evidence of a bios check, arguably it isn't even reaching the point of trying to start XP so it could be nothing to do with the attempted updates.

Any ideas will be gratefully received.

Thanks, ...Bernie

  Taff™ 10:43 06 Apr 2012

"The screen gives a message that it can't see a signal, so that seems to be ok" Er? Is that right?

If so you have a problem with the connections to the screen, the graphics card or drivers. The latter might have been caused by the updates but without a screen you can't even get into the BIOS. I assume you don't see the BIOS when booting either? Is it onboard graphics or a seperate graphics card?

That said the fact that the CD drawers don't open as normal might indicate a different problem.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:55 06 Apr 2012

Ok if you have installed 26 updates it may take awhile for them all to "settle"

boot it up and leave it for 30 mins and then see what happens.

  Inside Edge 13:01 06 Apr 2012

Thanks very much for your replies....

Taff: ....I see nothing at all on the screen when trying to boot - not even a flashing cursor. The screen itself is fine - I checked it on my laptop. I have a dedicated graphics card and it's fan is running, so it at least has power.

Fruit Bat: ....I tried leaving it on for an hour or more but there's no change in status. I can't be sure all the updates successfully loaded as I went to bed leaving it to shutdown. It was off in the morning, but could have given up and crashed .....

  Taff™ 13:36 06 Apr 2012

It sounds to me like the graphics card has packed up. Try removing it and reseating it in the slot. Failing that borrow try another graphics card.

Unless the motherboard has gone but all the components appear to be working, (Fans and lights on), the POST screen should show to enable you to enter the BIOS or boot into safe mode.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:38 06 Apr 2012

Open the case and disconnect the HDD and DVD drives by removing power and data cables.

Attempt to restart see if you can get to BIOS.

  sharpamat 13:53 06 Apr 2012

There may be a disc in the drive preventing it booting.I have had this myself Most drives have a small hole which when you incert a long pin you can open the drive manually and check.

  Taff™ 13:54 06 Apr 2012

Fruit Bat /\0/`s suggestion is probably the better starting point but reseat the graphics card at the same time. We'll decide onchecking a replacement card later.

  Inside Edge 09:43 07 Apr 2012

thanks to all for the further input....

Tried disconnecting the drives and booting. ....same result - nothing to be seen on the screen and no beeps etc. but all the card and MoBo appear powered up. Graphics card seems to be seated ok. Checked the DVD drive (with pin) and it's empty. This is a real strange one, ....not too many clues !

Any more ideas, ...or next logical diagnostic steps?

Thank you

  Taff™ 10:11 07 Apr 2012

Some final checks. Are there any external drives plugged into the USB ports? Or any Cards in any multi-readers? If so remove them.

Remove the power supply lead from the PC. Press and hold the power button for 45 seconds. Reconnect and try the boot.

If there's still nothing I would suggest we are down to either the graphics card or the motherboard has failed. (Could possibly be the power supply as well even though everything appears to be powered up)

Start with the graphics card. Can you either try your card in another machine or borrow another working card for yours. If there is a local ndependant computer shop nearby I would take the card to them and ask them (for a small fee of course!) to check it for you or loan you a second hand one. (I bought one for £10 recently to cure a similar problem)

Might want to wait for Fruit Bat /\0/\ in case he's got any thoughts as well.

  birdface 10:12 07 Apr 2012

Maybe try reseating your memory.The only time I had a black screen that solved it.

If you also have on board grahics as well remove your graphics your graphics card and see if it runs without it.

If an old computer would the CMOS battery dieing give the same effect.

Maybe it changed the boot order if you can get into the Bios to check.

I take it you tried to start in safe mode with the same result.

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