Computer was knocked over and won't boot

By missliss44
Jul 6, 2013
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  1. So recently I wanted to hook my computer up to my TV and took my PC into my living room where I set it in a very precarious spot... Stupidly :( Long story short, my puppy got tangled in the cords and knocked it onto the carpeted floor from about 2-3 feet up. I know this is a long shot because I can't give much info other than the computer will turn on like everything is fine for about 15 seconds, nothing comes on on the monitor and then it shuts off. It makes most of its normal boot up sounds except an audible beep it usually makes that I assume is the hard drive kicking in? I'm not sure about that though, although it seems like before it was broken I usually heard that beep about 15 seconds after turning on the PC which is where it now seems to give up and shut down. One of the times I've attempted to turn it on after wiggling some parts around it actually stayed on.. But it never made that beep and nothing came on the monitor. Nothing inside looks physically broken or damaged, though I know that doesn't mean much when it comes to computers. If anyone has any ideas what is broken please help! Thanks!
  2. mike1959

    mike1959 TechSpot Addict Posts: 1,033   +15

    Hi, One thing that might have moved is one of the RAM board(s).
    The RAM (memory ) boards plug in to edge connectors on the main board, so it's possible that one may have moved in the fall.
    Don't know if you have a laptop or desktop tower type but for the laptop you could have a look at something on youtube such as;

    The computer must be not powered up when doing this.
    There are also many plugs and sockets that might have moved slightly, and if it's not that, it may well be the hard drive seek arm has been damaged, but I would try the easy 'fixes' first.
  3. missliss44

    missliss44 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Oh yes, it's a desktop I forgot to mention that! I will check the RAM slots though. If it is the hard drive seek arm is that something that's fixable or is it toast?
  4. missliss44

    missliss44 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Ok so I was doing some reading and read that I should check the CPU.. Took everything apart, removed the CPU fan and sure enough a ton of the pins are bent. None broke off though. Does that have to be replaced or can the pins be straightened to work again?
  5. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,140   +739

    I think you can re-straighten them. Not sure though. I was thinking it may be a HDD issue. The magnetic pans may have moved.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,096   +1,187

    If you are careful, the pins can be straightened. They don't have to be perfect, just straight enough to fit the socket. If the pins break off, the CPU will be permanently damaged.

    Do you have thermal compound for mounting the heatsink once you are finished? I personally use Arctic Silver 5.
  7. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,859   +402

    Exactly what he said, SLOW and Steady on that, be very gentle and you can do it.
  8. missliss44

    missliss44 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    So.. I spent a few hours straightening the pins, got the PCU to fit back in the socket, put the PC back together, turned it on for the moment of truth... And it BEEPED! Good as new! (**Happy Dance**) So glad I took it apart.. Thanks to mike1959.. I wasn't going to but decided to anyways from your suggestion to look at the RAM slots :) Thanks everyone for the help! Muuuuuch appreciated!
    P.S. I had put a little more thermal compound than I think it needed when I built it years ago.. So I spread around what was extra, think that should be sufficient. Pretty sure it was arctic silver that came with the processor : )
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,096   +1,187

    There is nothing more rewarding in helping others than hearing a happy turn out. :)

    Congrats!! (y)
  10. missliss44

    missliss44 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks so much cliffordcooley, this is the second time these forums have saved my PC's life : ) I'm sure it won't be the last! Until next time! ✌
  11. mike1959

    mike1959 TechSpot Addict Posts: 1,033   +15

    Hi, Good that you found the issue, with a problem like that it could be one of so many things that moved, that it would be easier to take everything apart right down to the board and re-build.
    The 'seek arm' in the hard drive is one of the only moving parts in a PC and is SO sensitive to being shaken. If it was that, then a new hard drive would be the only answer.
    The newer solid state drives have no moving parts.
    I saw a trick to straighten CPU pins many years ago, to use a credit card, and line it up along each row and it will be clear which ones are bent, then gently press them back to vertical, using the card.
  12. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,140   +739

    Good to hear you got it fixed.


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