PC Won't Start!

  Gaz W 20:59 16 Jun 2004

I left my computer running earlier today and now it won't work. When I came back to it there was just a black screen (monitor was getting no signal). Obviously I thought it was just the usual power saving, but it didn't come on again.

I switched off and back on again, and I still couldn't see a display. Also, no beep (which usually is sent through the onboard sound).

Also, no power is going to the CD and DVD drives (I can't open them and no LEDs seem to come on), but I do hear the hard disk spin up.

I've checked all the connections, tried a different graphics card, made sure the memory is in properly and that all the fans spin. I've even reset the CMOS, but that did nothing.

I've tried unplugging my CD & DVD drives and powering on, but that doesn't help either.

Basically, the computer just sits there doing nothing. I wish I'd been there when it happened so I might have more of an idea what was wrong with it!

I don't think it could have been overheating, because surely I'd see the effects if it was damaged to the extent that it wouldn't work. Also if it was I give up - I've got enough fans!

The only thing I've been unable to do is check the CPU, as I can't get the heatsink off.

My specs are:

Abit AT7 Max2 mobo
Athlon XP 2600+ (333MHz FSB)
512MB DDR 333
ATi Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB (newly installed)
Western Digital Caviar 250GB S-ATA HDD
DVD-ROM drive and CD Writer
Antec TruePower 430W Power Supply

Any ideas?

  johnsims 21:11 16 Jun 2004

If you can hear a HDD spin up there is at least some output from the PSU. It maybe that it is knackered to the extent it is not outputting enough power to get the whole show on the road. Try plugging another PSU in its place to see. If you are like me you probably have three or 4 lying around.

  Gaz W 21:20 16 Jun 2004


I did suspect the power supply, but what made me think it couldn't possibly be is the fact that it's almost brand new - I paid £66 for it a few weeks ago!

I do have other ones so I'll give it a quick test anyway and see what happens.

  wee eddie 21:37 16 Jun 2004

When you switch on

  wee eddie 21:40 16 Jun 2004

How long since you last had this one apart to make alterations?

  johnsims 21:45 16 Jun 2004

At least you should be able to get your £66 back if the sub works! Good luck. I sorta hope it is the PSU cause that would mean an easy solution. :)

  Dorsai 21:54 16 Jun 2004

Just coz it' new don't mean it works...

Saw prog on Tv Yonks ago.. All stuff (whatever it is) subject to what called the 'Bath tub curve'

Basicall look at a bath tub from the side (cut in half...

Really steep slope down, flat bottom, steep side up. THis is the fialure rate over time. Lots fail to start with (under warranty/during factory testing), few for a long while, (as we use it), lots when it's old, (no one complain, as it's old).

All stuff fails like this. From new lots of failures (that's what the warranty is for/hopefully during QC). then things flatten out... few fail for long time, then end of life for stuff reached, and lots start to pack up from old age.

Blah blah i know, but just coz it's new don't assume it works...

  Gaz W 13:26 17 Jun 2004

I haven't got round to trying another PSU yet, but will be doing later today. Hopefully that will be the cause of the problem.

The power supply has been working for a few weeks now, although like you say it could fail at any time.

In answer to wee eddie's question, I last had it apart to replace my graphics card about a week ago, but it's been fine since then. It was only yesterday evening that it happened, but I don't know precisely when. I'd left it on Ebay to keep an eye on an item I was bidding on!

  wee eddie 15:12 17 Jun 2004

So there may be a signal of some kind but possibly no power to the card.

The DVD & CD Drives probably share a power supply.

Yet the HDD powers up.

Time to draw a circuit diagram and trace the power lines.

See where the graphics card and drives take their power from. Then follow it back.

  woodchip 15:48 17 Jun 2004

I did the same thing some time back I found it was the PSU that failed. It did not do any other damage. I fitted a old one temp, and it started strait up.

  wee eddie 17:25 17 Jun 2004

Also the VDU would display a "No Signal" notice unless it took it's power from the PSU.

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