PC died and won't restart

  Jem 18:06 02 May 2007

I have an Evesham Athlon PC around 5 years old which has operated fine until today.

It was working normally when it suddenly died - almost as if the power had been turned off, no video, lights went out.

When I attempt to restart the power supply fan starts, the processor fan starts but there is no sign of any activity other than that. No beeps, no lights, no hard disk noises, no video signal.

Can anyone advise what is the problem and what should I do to fix it? If it's not something simple am tempted to call Evesham although it's no longer under guarantee.


  brundle 18:21 02 May 2007

An Athlon of that vintage is likely to be one of the Thunderbird/Palomino/Barton type, they run pretty hot and I wouldn't be surprised if the CPU had overheated . With luck that isn't the case - you could take the side off the machine (unplugged of course) and check for a build up of dust and fluff inside the machine and around the fans. Earth yourself on a metal radiator or something before you touch anything. If it's something less serious, you can try unplugging all drives and extra hardware and try starting the machine. If you can get or borrow a known working power supply you could try that too.

  Jack Hackett 18:25 02 May 2007

5 years old? time to replace the CMOS battery me thinks, cheap fix too.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:39 02 May 2007

No beeps, no lights, no hard disk noises, no video signal.

Most likely is PSU died, one 5v line still ok and enough to run fans.

TRy unplugging both HDDs and CD/ DVDs and see if it will boot to an error message.

Dead CMOS battery would give CMOS error mesage so unlikely to be that as CD HDDs would initialy lght aswell.

  Jem 18:47 02 May 2007

Thanks for the speedy response - some more info.

Have looked inside. There is a component on the MB with flashing red light, processor fan spinning and yes there is a bit of fluff around things. Think I have replaced battery but will check if it really could cause sudden failure of PC in middle of operation. Had thought its role was only to keep clock going when PC was "off".

Can you advise whether a failed power unit is consistent with spinning fans, flashing MB component?

Many thanks again

  Jem 19:00 02 May 2007

Have now unplugged power to hard drives, floppy drive and CD/DVD drives. Unfortunately made no difference. Will try renewing battery.

If this fails, is it worth buying a new PSU to test that theory before calling in help?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:04 02 May 2007

There is a component on the MB with flashing red light

what motherboard?

click here
click here

If renewing a PSU check:

1. The physical size of your PSU, some are hard to replace due to being a non standard size.
2. The amount of power need from the PSU don't skimp

1. Physical Dimensions

Besides the specs and form factors, the physical dimensions are also important factors in selecting a compatible power supply. Here is an outline of the physical dimensions of most standard power supplies:

# ATX: 6x3.5x5.5", HxWxD. Most common. Uses 4 mounting screws.
# Mini-ATX: 5x3.5x5", HxWxD. Rare size. Uses 4 mounting screws. Can be used in a regular ATX case, but often not the other way around.
# MicroATX: 5x3x4", HxWxD. Use 3 mounting screws. Not interchangeable with ATX or miniATX.
# Flex ATX: Even smaller than Micro ATX. Various sizes according to case specs; often not interchangeable.

Use the data above to determine if a particular power supply would fit your case.

The quality of a power supply can be estimated by its weight. While this is not a true scientific or thorough measurement of the power supply reliability, it is nevertheless a very simple and easy way for ordinary PC users to estimate and compare the quality of a power supply.

2. Power supply calculator click here

Guide to changing PSU
click here
click here

  Jem 21:49 02 May 2007

Well....I tested the PSU with a digital multimeter and the volts on wires connecting to MB were low against the correct settings. So I dashed out and bought a new PSU at Maplins full of hope. However, having installed it the PC still wouldn't boot - the fans ran and the little red component stayed steady (previously it had flickered) but no front lights, no disk activity, no video.

What's more re-measuring the new PSU volts (when connected to MB etc. and they seemed low against the correct settings.

Not sure if I've damaged the PSU by connecting it to a failed MB? I'm thinking I'll now have to call in some expert assistance.

  woodchip 22:08 02 May 2007

You cannot test a PSU correctly unless it is connected to the Motherboard. Then with the Power Switched on put red probe in back of ATX plug to test volts. called Back Probing

Check volts with this for PSU pinout for a twenty pin atx

click here

  Kate B 22:09 02 May 2007

No beeps sounds more like a sick motherboard to me.

  woodchip 22:10 02 May 2007

PS try removing the Hard drive cables and see if you can get a Dos screen to BIOS setup

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