Need Help Diagnosing A Hardware Fault On My PC

By ryanwhite123
Oct 11, 2007
  1. Hi everyone, this is my first post on techspot so be nice :)

    My problem is that i started my pc up earlier today and i was prompted with a bios screen asking if i wanted to boot windows normally, safe mode, or from last known good configuration. I chose last known good configuration. My pc then restarted and nothing displayed on the monitor, so i turned it off and back on, and nothing displayed again. Anyways im at the point where no matter how many times i try the display will not show. The pc sounds as though it starts up but wont load the bios screen.

    I have tried 2 motherboards, switching over all the components, thinking it was a faulty motherboard eventhough it had worked the previous day. I get the exact same problem with this motherboard too! I have disconnected all the drives and i still get the same problem.

    My PSU is an antec 500w which is only several weeks old so i wouldnt say it was a problem with it not supplying enough power to the motherboard.

    The motherboard does not beep at all either! So i have no way of finding out whats wrong with it. I have left it unpowered and removed the bios battery several times but no change.

    Also, my dvd rom will not open whilst connected to either motherboard, it will only open when i remove the IDE cable and run it only with power. The computer doesnt even show anything with the dvd drive disconnected either.

    I have also tried reinstalling the ram but if it was the ram then the motherboard would beep? right?

    My only guess is that it could be the cpu, but the fan powers up and there is no bleeps from the motherboard indicating this.

    I would really appreciate any help that you can give! And before you ask, all the cables have been connected properly.

    Specs are:

    amd dual core 4200+ skt 939
    ASUS a8v-nm and the SE motherboard was the original one.
    1gb 400mhz kingston ram
    80gb SATA seagate HDD
    Empire DVD Writer
    Geforce 6600gt
    Antec 500w PSU

    Thanks for reading this by the way, and thanks in advance to all the replies. Its really frustrating. lol.

  2. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    It looks to me that you have done a very thorough job of fault diagnosis and i agree with your conclusion that the fault could well be with the CPU.
  3. ryanwhite123

    ryanwhite123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Rik, thanks!

    I have a fair share of knowledge when it comes to pc hardware as i usually build and upgrade pc's on a monthly basis. Im just not convinced its the processor though. Shouldnt the bios boot up without a processor in the slot or would it not ?
  4. Fragrant Coit

    Fragrant Coit TS Guru Posts: 363

    Have you tried another PSU?

    I know it's not old, but stranger things have happened.

    Seeing as theres no "BEEP", and it's not the Board or RAM...
  5. ryanwhite123

    ryanwhite123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi fragrant coit,

    its crossed my mind but then i thought that the motherboard barely needs any power to boot up, and it seemed to power the hard disk fine when it was plugged in so should atleast power the motherboard without a hard disk.

    I will still try it though and post the results! Thanks for the advice.
  6. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    I wont argue with your knowledge mate.:) If only more people would take the time to make a quality post that explains what they have already tried as you have done.

    I too have built, upgraded, refurbished, and repaired many a pc.

    To your last question, if the CPU is a non runner then the bios usually doenst work either. Altho, I am a little concerned about what you said about the dvd drive tho. Just in case, do you happen to have a different known working psu to test with?
  7. ryanwhite123

    ryanwhite123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Rik, sounds like were both men of the world :D

    Im also very confused about the dvd drive issue. Its as though it is linked some how but the bios would power up even without the dvd drive plugged into the motherboard.

    Im currently taking my hiper 580w psu out of my gaming pc to try it. Hopefully this should narrow it down. I will post the results as soon as its done.

    Thanks for the tip.
  8. Fragrant Coit

    Fragrant Coit TS Guru Posts: 363

    Remember the PSU outputs a few voltages, your fans may spin like there's nothing wrong, but the CPU or RAM could be getting no juice.
  9. ryanwhite123

    ryanwhite123 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    I have tested it with another power supply only connecting the motherboard up and using onboard graphics and it has worked straight away!

    I forgot about the different rail voltages though, but i cant see how the motherboard connectors wouldnt power the motherboard up fully when they have done for almost a month now :S Perhaps its down to a faulty power supply.

    Thanks for your help by the way fragrant coit and rik. Your both superb! :)
  10. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    If that psu is still under warranty then get it replaced. I would check out that dvd drive next if i were you.

    Do you know how to test the suspect psu? If not, i can help.
  11. Fragrant Coit

    Fragrant Coit TS Guru Posts: 363

    Superb! I'm used to shorter names {like 4 letters!}

    Glad it's sorted.

    You could always return the PSU, but some don't have much of a warranty due to Voltage spikes, blackouts etc.

    Rik beat me to it - I'm an awful typist!
  12. ryanwhite123

    ryanwhite123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Rik,

    yeah its under warranty so it should be easy to get it replaced.

    I dont know how to test the power supply though so would appreciate it if you could give me some tips on it. I dont have access to any sort of amp meters or anything though, or are they not needed?


    I think rik is non looking at keyboard typer ;) The company i purchased it off have amazing customer service so i wont have any problems getting it replaced.

  13. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    I wish, I'm just very proficient with using spellchecker very quickly lol.:D

    In order to do some basic tests on the psu you will need a digital volt meter and a bit of wire.
  14. ryanwhite123

    ryanwhite123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I thought i might have needed some sort of volt meter, amp meter or any another sort of meter.

    I think im just going to send it back to and request a replacement.

    Thanks for all your help though guys, i really appreciate it. I Think im gonna head off and play on my other pc for a bit, shoot some kids on battlefield 2142 to unwind after a long night of computer stress :)

  15. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    Hope it all goes well.:)

    Come back and let us know what happened.
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