Dead PC? Need help!

  Gazz2005 13:31 30 Oct 2005

Hi, Im really desperate now as I dont even know where to start to be honest. Last night I was writing an email when my whole machine froze, thinking it was just bad luck I hit reset, there was no going to the Ctrl Alt Delete menu, the PC was frozen solid. But after hitting reset the PC wouldnt start up, that is to say nothing appeared on the screen, it started to make the right noises as it started but then would just stop, with the "working" light going constantly and as I say nothing on the monitor. I tried my Haddrive as on my brothers machine, as a second one and got the data i wanted to save from it but this doesnt solve the problem with getting it to work and I'm totally stumped, nothing to go on and I dont know how you fix that! Any ideas would be helpful. System specs are as follows;
P4 3.2ghz
Mattor HD if i remember right 160gb
1gb RAM
Radeon AGP card 256mb
Thats what I can remember at the moment, please ask if more information is needed but thats what I can remember about it at the moment.
Any ideas at all are welcome as I'm totally lost on this one!

  ACOLYTE 13:34 30 Oct 2005

Have you tried letting it run the startup squence it may be its doing a scan of the HDD to sort out errors,if the hard drive is still bieng accessed maybe its trying to mend itself.

  CLONNEN 13:42 30 Oct 2005

If you can access the hard drive on your brothers computer then the hard drive is not the problem here. Either your monitor has failed (test it on another computer to find out) OR your computer has somehow reset it's BIOS settings and will therefore not recognise hard drives over the original default size which is I believe 120GB - you say the hard drive you are using is 160GB. Try booting with a smaller hard drive and reinstall the Fix for systems to recognize drives over 120GB.

  CLONNEN 13:50 30 Oct 2005

Another possibility is that the boot sector has become corrupted on your hard drive but I would expect some sort of error message to appear on the screen if this was the case - you say you aren't getting anything on the monitor at all.

Have you got an emergency startup floppy disk stashed somewhere? Have you tried booting from that? If that doesn't bring something up on the screen your monitor has probably failed.

  CLONNEN 13:53 30 Oct 2005

What kind of monitor is it - TFT or CRT?

My sister had a TFT monitor drop dead on her - while she was surfing the internet a pop-up box asked her something, she clicked CANCEL to get rid of it and LIGHTS OUT - the monitor never worked again!

  kp 14:18 30 Oct 2005

I currently have exactly the same problem and I suspect a MoBo failure. The only thing is that mine is intermittent and I can use the PC for days without difficulty. On other days it will freeze 6 or 7 times without explanation. Holding the power on/off button is the only way out and then the PC has to be left switched off for at least half an hour before it will boot. Mine is an older system than yours I suspect given your specs (mine is nearly 5 years old). I am waiting for complete death rather than partial death before I replace it though. I still have to try a complete format and software reinstall as well before I give up hope. I would be interested to see what happens in your case as I feel my problem is likely to be similar.

  wrfc_rabbit 22:24 30 Oct 2005

maybe the mobo shorted? if it did it may have killed your cpu and ram! look for a grey dusty looking substance around your RAM

hope im a help!


  alan227 23:22 30 Oct 2005

Is your PSU giving up?.

  WhiteTruckMan 09:47 31 Oct 2005

If so then let someone else fix it, not you.

Otherwise, it sounds like it is falling over at the post. If you can open cd drawers then possible the 5v line from the psu has blown.

failing that, probably motherboard, but before you do this, if you have nothing on the screen maybe the graphics card has gone? try borrowing one, doesnt matter what, and if you get anything at all on the screen then thats the prob.


  Gazz2005 11:08 31 Oct 2005

*UPDATE* The harddrive is definatly not the problem, I know this for certain now as not only can i run it as a second drive on my brothers machine but it will boot up his PC on its own (i unplugged my bros HD) so thats out as a cause.
The whole system is a shade under a year old with the HD being slightly newer after a earlier problem it needed to be replaced.
To reply to some of you guys (appreciate all the suggestions!)
CLONNEN - I dont think its the BIOS as the computer isnt making the normal sounds as it starts, there is only one beep where as before there were many more (2/3). As discussed boot sector seems fine, its a CRT monitor and is alwaso only about a year old!
KP - good luck
WRFC_RABBIT - I cannot see any grey dusty substance around the RAM, there is normal dust in there but not really around the RAM only near it.
ALAN227 - Id hope not, anyway to check this?
WHITETRUCKMAN - I dont believe I had a year warranty but I will check, i will try changing the gfx card now then, another update to come.
Anymore ideas?

  Gazz2005 11:42 31 Oct 2005

*UPDATE 2* - It would appear that my now good friend WHITETRUCKMAN was correct, I have replaced the gfx card (with an inferior one annoyingly) and that appears to have solved the problem so ill tick the box but Id hope the symptoms were the right kind to point to this card failure, so i know it definatly wasnt anything else. Lets just hope Father Christmas is generous this year shall we!
Thanks all again, swift and helpful replies and KP looks like you might have a different problem, Im thinking its going to be the age!
Cheers again.

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

Elsewhere on IDG sites

iMac Pro review

Illustrator Charles Williams on how to create magazines and book covers

iMac Pro review

Les meilleures prises CPL (2018)