Motherboard, RAM or HDD failure?

  AragornUK 12:28 11 Nov 2003

A friend of mine has a PC running Win 98 SE (how quaint). Yesterday before going to work he left it defragging. His wife came in during the afternoon the screen had gone black. After moving the mouse etc to try and power monitor back up, she rebooted PC. Unfortunately it was with no joy.

CPU fan spins, CD drive light comes on and HDD busy light comes on, then nothing. No POST beep(s), no output to monitor (have tried second monitor). RAM has been reseated since this happened, still nothing. Other than the defrag, nothing else has been changed. No adding RAM, HDD, CD drive or anything.

Any ideas anyone?

  Rtus 12:34 11 Nov 2003

how quaint ??? W98se is very usable thanks .. Have they tried a cold restart .I-e removing mains power for a while...then boot..hit the delete key enter the bios & check drive settings..

  AragornUK 12:40 11 Nov 2003


It was only a joke :o( I know 98 is still a good OS

Thanks for the response. Yep a cold restart has been tried. Still nothing. No access to BIOS due to the fact that nothing is being outputted to the screen. No POST to press del during. It's driving me mad. You know hard it is to sort out PC probs over the phone...........

  Rtus 13:10 11 Nov 2003

Phone Oh yes been there ..avoid it like the proverbial...I would suggest open up (if They feel at ease to do so)and unplug the drives /reseat the graphics card (if one fitted)see if it will post then .

  AragornUK 13:15 11 Nov 2003

Arrrggghhh...... I almost feel sorry for the Telephone Help Centre people now. My ears are bleeding.

Case has been opened, RAM reseated, Hard drives replugged. Graphics is onboard, so not a lot can be done there. HDD busy light still staying lit, but no POST. Not even the one "success" beep.

<<bangs head against wall>>

  plankton 16:01 11 Nov 2003

They didnt have a power blip did they?

It does sound like HD with the light staying on......if you can find the manufacturer of the disk's site (Seagate/Maxstor/whatever) they usually have some diagnostic s/w that you can down load and put to floppy to boot from that. That should bring something up to run diags on the disk.

Assume you will have to download it for them, and post them a floppy??!! ;o)).

PS it's not your machine, dont hurt your head as well :o))

  Chegs ® 16:50 11 Nov 2003

I would blame mobo/cpu as it was working and died while unattended.Could be a component on mobo has overheated.Its difficult to pin down exactly what without swapping hardware until it goes.The lights/fans running stop any thoughts of dead psu,the hdd light means its trying to go,but isn't able to "shift" the data,brings my thoughts to cpu.What hardware have you got,that could be used to eliminate the "dead" pc's possibilities?Hdd from it into yours(as a slave)?

  Rtus 17:15 11 Nov 2003

I meant leave the drives unplugged Not just replug em ..That'll teach you to answer the phone.....LOL

  AragornUK 03:53 12 Nov 2003

Cheers all. Been at work. Just got in (look at the flipping time :o( )


Thanks for the info. Will try it, but PC won't even boot from a Win98 startup disk, so I don't hold out much hope for the ones you mention, but it's worth a shot.

Chegs (good to see you. hope you're keeping OK),

Sounds like you're going down similar lines to me. I've had a mobo die, and even with a dead board got POST warning beeps. But wouldn't a dead CPU would also give these? It's almost like it's waiting for a response from something before starting to boot.

Which was why my first thought was dead monitor. PC sits there waiting for a signal back from monitor before launching POST. But a different monitor was a no go. Could try the HDD swap out, but there are a few impracticalities with that. And a CPU swap out isn't possible, which leaves us up a creek without a canoe, never mind a paddle.


I will NEVER be rude to Telephone Support again. Well, almost never ;o)

  Xevious 11:07 12 Nov 2003

your PC will not wait for a response from your monitor before posting. i tend to agree with Chegs ®...

does the light on the monitor go green at all? or does it stay orange?

most likely seems to be the processor, see if you can try another...

  Chegs ® 12:10 12 Nov 2003

I don't know how far your abilities go,but is it possible you could remove all additional hardware(hdd,etc)and have just mobo+floppy drive connected(I cannot recall exactly what bits are needed)out the case,fire it up and try to gain admitance to the BIOS.If this doesn't work,then you have narrowed it down to either mobo/cpu.

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