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Computer Tech Help....anyone?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by MainePellethead, Sep 8, 2008.

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  1. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    Hi all!

    I have a puter tech question for anyone that knows a bit about some problems I'm having on my other computer.

    I leave my computer on 24/7 for the most part and yesterday I had used the computer several times. About mid day I went back to use it...tower was on...but monitor would not work. On light is on and normal....but no picture. So I have shut it down...unplugged, disconnected...etc. Tried another monitor that I know works. When I fire it back up with both monitors it says "no signal input". Also when I turn on computer....I do not get the customary "beep" you would normally hear. The cords are fine as well. *sigh*

    Could it possibly be the Video Card? someone had suggested it but dont want to replace if not needed. :) Any help would be appreciated :)

    Thanks! :)

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  2. Tarmsolo60

    Tarmsolo60 Feeling the Heat

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    maybe reseating the ram and video card a few times might help?

    google "no beep when booting no video"

    sometimes motherboard manufacturers will have beeping codes for errors upon boot up, maybe no beep is also an error code. check out some info on your motherboard maybe that will help.

    oh by the way, I hope the Red Sox lose the rest of the year.
  3. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    thanks! I'll try that and also removing the vid card and make sure nothing is unseated....thanks again. I'll let ya know what i found out.


    LOL!! @ the Red Sox....go sox! I am more concerned on the Pats this year than sox...hearing Brady may be out the rest of season possibly :(

    Thanks again.
  4. JPapiPE

    JPapiPE New Member

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    Sometimes I get the same message....which does piss me off seeing I have a giant computer less than a year old... It also has all the bells and whistles... I attribute it to the security software I have added... It never was slow until i added spyware protection, firewall and anti-virus programs....As you know computers are fickle and one conflict can disable you or at least slow you down considerably. Perhaps you are a candidate for restore to a period when your machine did run real fast...good Luck
  5. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    I would restore....but.....if I cant see the screen I cant do the restore lol.

    Gonna try a diff vid card and see if that helps...

    thanks...
  6. JPapiPE

    JPapiPE New Member

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    I wish i could help you my friend, but I have never run into the problem that you speak of... It sounds like a case of hardware failure if both moniters will not respond.... Did you buy an extended warranty on the hardware of your system? I did buy 4 years of in home support for $400..... Don't mean to rub it in.... Before you give up why don't you try unplugging everthing and starting from scratch...I know this will bring about some rancor on your part ...but as a friend , just trying to help and save you money...let's try everything in the book first before we call the firedogs or Geek squad, they unjustly charge $100+/hour and they are no more than errand boys for grocery clerks..... Sorry to be so indignant ...but so many unskilled workers collect Masters pay these days that I must object....
  7. tkirk22

    tkirk22 New Member

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    It sounds to me like your computer is failing the Power On Self Test (POST) and not initializing the video card. As mentioned, reseat the ram and video card. If possible, move the video card to a different slot. If you have two ram sticks, try booting with one or the other.

    Does the fan in the power supply and the one on the CPU heatsink spin up? (Smell anything burnt?)

    Try disconnecting every USB device attached and see if the video initializes. (keyboard and mouse too)

    Also listen for the hard drive spinning up and if it makes any strange sounds. It could be other things like bad power supply, motherboard, CPU, etc.

    Is this a manufacturer's computer like a Dell or a custom built box?

    If you get it back up, look at the motherboard makers website for a BIOS upgrade. Spend a few minutes and read the readme files to see what each new revision fixed.

    I'd vote for blown power supply but try the free things first.

    PS. Don't let places like Geek Squad fix it if you want any of your data back.
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Pellethead, You are on the right track with the video card. Hopefully that does the trick.....but.....if that does not fix the prob, and you still do NOT have any beeps at start up, ya got bigger problems. I have seen cmos blow up and cause this, as well as a few popped caps on the motherboard.

    Take a good hard look at the motherboard, capacitors (at least the one we care about right now) will look like a small cylinder poking up from the board, most being the size of a pencil to a sharpie marker and ~1/2" tall. Look at the shiny tops, they should actually have a scored '+' on top and flat. If they appear rounded on top, or look to have "junk" coming from them, there is your problem (lets hope that it is not)

    Let us know if the video card does it.
  9. tkirk22

    tkirk22 New Member

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    Good point. Other than one dell 2.4GHZ, I haven't seen bad caps since the 300mhz-500mhz days when the Chinese were making the counterfeits. Or are they still out there? Nevermind, I see that they are: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

    Incidentally, the Dell I mentioned had the same problem as the original poster and the owner considered it trash. It was a blown cap in the power supply. You could smell it months later.
  10. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah Kirk, it still happens. I have pitched 2 motherboards in the last 2 weeks because of it.
  11. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    I appreciate the help...I had the puter built brand new maybe 4 years ago....very reputable shop in town. They charge 40 bucks for a diagnostic test and then whatever the part is. May do that.....its not my only puter but i love it! lol. Thanks for the time :)
  12. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    The thing is kirk......"just" had the power supply fixed on it. And have had it back forabout 2 weeks. I did not and still dont smell anything that smells burnt. The intro screen dont even come up. but the on light is on on the monitor. No abnormal sounds starting up.....but no beep on start up which i am 99% sure I had a beep code on start up. Its custom built but brand new 4 years or so ago. I'm going to try all the stuff you mentioned.....I'll let ya know....thanks!
  13. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    yeah! :) They really are reputable and reasonable too....has all the good guts that any manufactured puters that are built for the same or better price :) And like ya said.....supporting local! :)
  14. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    Thanks jags! I appreciate all the help....this place is so much more than just eating a hand ful of pellets in the pellet room...lol lol....I'll let ya know my findings....thanks again!
  15. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    k....replaced the video card. Had a tech at the store tell me he didnt think it was the card because i wasnt getting a beep at start up. But being the bull head I am I bought anyway....but he did say the next he would go after would be the memory. Beyond that the mommy board...ugh. Hope its memory.....
  16. Tarmsolo60

    Tarmsolo60 Feeling the Heat

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    do you know the brand and model of the motherboard... we could look for a no beep error code. also did you reseat memory and also try one memory stick at a time if reseating memory didn't work?
  17. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    ok...Msi Kt 400 model ms6712

    I did reseat the memory and tried a different port too. I only have one stick of memory. Still didnt help.

    I think "possible" I have narrowed it down to a power supply that i recently had put in new. My nephew works on alot of computers, so i called him and we kind of narrowed things down. When I boot up the computer my red light flickers for about 10-15 seconds and recognizes the hard drive. Well, my nephew had me turn off the computer and turn back on......and my keyboard lights dont come on....even after puttin cap and number lock on....an indication that the power supply isnt reaching far enough etc. So....seeing as I just had it replaced new.....gonna take it back to the computer store for them to replace. Everything is pointing to a faulty power supply. Even on one of the sights I checked the beep codes....I saw one where if there was no beep.....it pointed to the power supply as one of the solutions. So....to the puter store its going....for free! lol.....thanks for the help all and I'll let you know if that was it for sure....
  18. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Old, and hope you've gotten it fixed, but in the meantime - diagnostics...

    The basic rule is "divide and conquer" - keep trying to split the problem and see what changes. The basic assumption is that only one thing is broken (if several things are broken you can end up chasing your tail for a while...) The guiding principle is start with simple stuff and move to more invasive tests as the simple stuff passes...

    Symptom - some lights on, but no video, no beeps on startup, no other signs of life. This suggests deep hardware issues as it doesn't sound like you are getting to even the "POST" (Power On Self Test) stage. That machine was on and died suggests a hardware failure, possibly power supply.

    General process for PC troubleshooting - think in terms of the boot sequence...
    Hit switch, Power supply turns on, starts spinning fans, spinning up hard drive, and other "no-brain" bits that just depend on having power. "5v good" line asserts, applies power to motherboard / CPU. CPU does internal self test, looks for BIOS, reads BIOS and follows instructions to test rest of mobo, probably show flash screen or test progress once video section reached. If problems found, beep code, or beep for pass. Look for external devices. Look for boot device (in order defined by BIOS) and follow instructions to read boot sector, follow instructions on boot sector to load O/S and boot it up. Sounds like you aren't getting to the POST point.

    1. Rule out monitor - w/o monitor plugged into PC, you should still be able to get it to show power on light, and display the onscreen setup menus if it doesn't . Also try it on a different PC if it works, definitely not a problem (doesn't sound like it in this case)

    2. Strip the box on the outside - unplug everything but the monitor, turn it on - you should get some sort of video display, and probably some beep codes, even if the machine is unhappy about not having a keyboard and mouse. If nothing, repeat with no monitor... Also listen for hard drive spinup, fans, power on lights, etc... If you don't hear those it looks more like power supply, but... If you get signs of life, start putting stuff back in, starting with keyboard, problem is with the thing that makes it stop working, or you have a software issue...

    3. Open up box, remove everything but video card and RAM - repeat. If you get a post display, start adding other bits back in, again testing each time. If not, remove video and RAM, if still nothing problem is Power supply or mobo. (CAUTION - PSU or mobo failures can damage other parts that will pass damage back to replacements, use extreme caution when replacing...) If you get beeps (the system WILL be unhappy not to find any RAM)
    then again start adding parts one at a time.

    NOTE - on newer (i.e. 386+) systems, don't try to run w/o heatsink in place on the CPU, or w/o heatsink fan plugged in for more than a few seconds. Also note that some systems look to see if the fans are working and will fail if they aren't - however this should give you a POST error.

    Hope this helps,

    Gooserider
  19. Redox

    Redox Minister of Fire

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    I had the same problem on the FIL's Emachine. The problem was the power supply killed the caps on the motherboard. I replaced the PS, but still nothing. The caps were swollen and I googled them on Ebay and found a guy in China selling them for about $10 plus $5 for shipping. I replaced the caps and damn if it didn't work. I got lucky though...

    New mobo's can be had for cheap. If you Google the model on Ebay, you might find the exact replacement which means you don't have to reinstall your operating system. It's worth a try.

    Good luck!

    Chris
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