dead pc. no lights. no fans.

  ricvic 16:35 21 Mar 2007

This morning my desktop (xp home. 1.7ghz. 1.5mb ram) booted up, memory check ok, started to load windows then everything stopped and it went dead just before the desktop loaded. Thinking it was 'just one of those things' I tried again with the same result. From this I assume that the graphics card, memory and motherboard are ok.
After that it died completely. No response to the button, no fans, hd activity. Nothing.
I took out the hd and rescued my data by connecting it as a slave so the hd is ok. I suspect the power supply. When I opened the case I discovered that one of the two connectors for the levers attaching the fan & heatsink to the processor had snapped.
The desktop is not new and major replacements - especially motherboard - might not be cost effective. Any suggestions?

  [email protected] 16:56 21 Mar 2007

Assume you connected the HDD as slave in another PC!
All the symptoms of a failing/failed PSU so check that out first. I have had 2 go the same way in a matter of months (not the same PC). Indications were - it doesn't switch on when it should and this becomes more troublesome until it doesn't switch on at all. Your CPU "situation" can be checked out later - try to avoid doing more than one thing at a time. If you are in to a bit of DIY, and it looks like your are, disconnect the PSU from all the hardware connections inside the tower and run a multi-meter around the connections. BE CAREFUL.
Your CPU hardware. Do you mean one of the little plastic bits on the CPU housing has broken off - the bit the "pressure" clip attaches too? If so, nothing to be done here as it's mobo integral so the mobo may be trashed by I don't think it's your problem. Your PC may have been running like this for ages so don't disturb it until you are certain the PSU is OK and begin fault finding elsewhere ;-)

  [email protected] 16:58 21 Mar 2007

PS If the CPU had died because of overheating, you would still get power applied if the CPU was OK.

  [email protected] 17:00 21 Mar 2007

Sorry. Please read "if the PSU was OK".

  [email protected] 17:00 21 Mar 2007

if the hsf wasnt connected it's going to be a heat issue, mine broke yesterday and it turned shortley after bios

  [email protected] 17:02 21 Mar 2007

but agree with [email protected] if you are getting nothing suspect psu

  [email protected] 17:05 21 Mar 2007

adman2. I think the HSF was connected but the Fan/Sink Unit was not attached to the CPU by a clip on one side. You know, you hook one side on then force the other side down and over a retaining "protrusion", making a flat contact with the CPU.

  [email protected] 17:27 21 Mar 2007

Some more thoughts:
Is there an LED on the mobo which is there specifically to indicate power is present?
The switch on the front: not really a switch at all unless your PC is very old. It is usually a very fragile spring loaded "push-button" affair which just shorts 2 pins on the mobo to begin the start-up process. You could try disconnecting the wires from the mobo and do a continuity check with a multi-meter with the "switch" pressed in. Repeat, they are fragile affairs and usually held onto the case with a dob of hot glue or the like! If that's come adrift the contact may not be being made.

  ricvic 17:35 21 Mar 2007

Thanks for all these suggestions. I'm not a great DIY fan! The stranget thing is that last night it was running perfectly.
Yes: I do mean the little plastic bits on the mobo.
I'll get the psu checked.

  ricvic 15:05 24 Mar 2007

Update, and a request for more help.

If I leave the PC to go cold it starts, for a short while, then cuts out and is dead for several minutes. I went into the BIOS monitoring and watched the CPU temp go to 95c within 60 seconds of starting the PC. Remember, this was not under any processor load since I was not loading windows, just looking at the bios. If I put a load on the processor by letting windows start it cuts out. I am beginning to think that the problem is not with the power supply but with the broken lug on the processor/fan/heatsink mount. If the fan/sink is loose on one side it is not cooling the processor properly.
However, this is a relatively uneducated guess and I would be grateful for the diagnoses of people who know more about this than I.
Also, if this is the problem, is the motherboard (ECS from Feb 2003) scrap?


  Totally-braindead 15:13 24 Mar 2007

In order to protect the processor from blowing the motherboard will immediatly shut down the PC to prevent damage and from what you describe that is what you are seeing.
However, the processor could already be destroyed as without a heatsink it would blow in a fraction of a second, far to quick for the motherboard to shut it down.
All you can do is try to get a replacement bracket - if you can and refit the processor properly renewing the thermal compound to avoid hot spots. Only then would you be able to tell if the processor itself is damaged.
As to getting a replacement clip my only suggestion is to pop into your local computer shop and see if the owner has an old board lying about he could salvage the bit off. I am presumming here that it can be removed. If not you might need a new board.
Sorry I can't be more help.

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