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PC Fails to Start (Ticking Sound)

By houston123
Jun 11, 2009
  1. A couple of days ago, I woke up to find that my computer wouldn't turn on. The front light flickered and there was an odd ticking noise coming from inside.

    I decided to the RAM and video card,

    The ticking persisted and I have no idea what's wrong with it. A few days before this happened, when I pressed the power button, everything started up but there was no attempt to POST. It just turned off again. I had to turn it on several times before it would POST, then it would turn on perfectly fine.

    Jumpstarting succeeded so I'm not sure if it the PSU, the Motherboard or maybe another part. None of the fans turn. During my first attempts to diagnose, the fans would start "twitching". It would turn just slightly (2 seconds or less) or very slowly. Now, none of them turn.

    On the motherboard, there's a green light that turns on and a right light that blinks (much smaller) right beside it. I've also tried removing and reinstalling the battery.

    Any help would be great. I'm not too tech savy so I might need a little expaining.Thanks.
     
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    That hard drive has reached the end of its useful product life as the bearings failed or the magnetic material began to peal off the plates and ticked against the side of the hard drive case... must be a...
    What is the brand and model. Are you up to opening the case to see the brand and model of the hard drive?
    All hard drives have bearings to keep them turning smooth and cool... But if there is a bad bearing, it can result in a ticking sound as the drive spins... Also can be the little arm that moves back and forth seeking with the reading device on the end...... as the control arm fails.
    Sometimes the magnetic media on the outer edges of one or more plates can bubble up from age, metal defects, and centrifical force and bump against other plates or spin off in strings of metalic compoung that strike the edge of the hard drive case...

    Actually, any noise from the hard drive nowadays is an indication of failure... they are designed to run quietly no mater what.
     
  3. houston123

    houston123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It's not the hard drive. I removed the power to each of them and the ticking is still going on.
     
  4. spehling

    spehling TS Rookie Posts: 54

    have you ruled out the PSU? I have seen capasitor that tick when they bulge or leak. just a thought. if your fans wont turn on, I would look at the PSU and double check shortage/ exposed wires.
     
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Can you describe the ticking a bit more... regular, like a clock with the same output all the time... or irregular with highs and lows... or whatever.
    Anything turning while the ticking is present, such as an optical drive... or could it be a cpu fan.. ?
    Old enough for something to be wearing out... or new enough that the tick is really a rattle of a cable or wire hitting the side of its case?
    Does it come out of a speaker, power supply, or front of the case?
    Any mounds of dust or dirt? Any chance a simple cable or wire is out of position rattling against another component?
     
  6. houston123

    houston123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It's basically a consistent clock like tick with the same output all the time. I can't be 100% sure of where the ticking is coming from. The best I can do is it is either coming from the motherboard. Most likely the CPU fan or the heat sink but again, I'm not 100% sure.
     
  7. spehling

    spehling TS Rookie Posts: 54

     
  8. spehling

    spehling TS Rookie Posts: 54

    i thought you said, none of the fans turn?
     
  9. houston123

    houston123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well NOW none of them turn, I was just indicating that before they had but don't anymore. I don't know if it's relevant or not so I just included it just in case.
     
  10. spehling

    spehling TS Rookie Posts: 54

    were you able to rule out the psu yet? is there any beeping from the speaker? do you have a speaker? I dont think the attempt to reset CMOS is your problem, you may want to buy a new battery considering that is the cheapest part first. This sounds to me like a psu problem. do you have one that you can temporarily swap with?
     
  11. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Most likely the ticking is the power supply which is only working on one of the three power points...
    unplug the computer then watch from the back where you can shine a good light on the power supply fan. When you plug the computer back in, the fan should turn continually... if it only turns 1/4 to 3 turns, the power supply is toast...
    Tell us more about anything else in the computer that appears to be working... fans, lights, etc.

    Power supplies are relatively easy to replace... and can run from $20 to $100... Do you live near a city were there are computer parts stores.. Depending on the computer, you can likely find a decent power supply for about $45 in your city or online... for an online source, www.directron.com has a large number of power supplies of different powers and cables, etc.
    Tell us what computer you have, age,etc.
     
  12. houston123

    houston123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    There's no beeping sounds from the speakers. How would I go about ruling out the PSU? I currently don't have a spare PSU to diagnose.
     
  13. houston123

    houston123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I just tried unplugging then plugging the computer back in and the power supply's fan did not turn whatsoever. The only way to stop the ticking is to turn off the PSU via the switch. Of course, this also means that I'm not technically "turning on" the computer with the power button and pressing it/ holding it produces no response.

    The motherboard light is on along with a blinking red light beside it as stated in the OP. The light at the front of the computer (sorry I don't know what it's called) flickers continuously. Those are the only parts that appear to be working. No fans turn at all.

    The computer is a preassembled machine I bought around 2 years ago from a small local buisness.
     
  14. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Remove the power supply... four screws and carefully unplug all the cables... and carry it to the store... Get one that has all the cables and plugs that one has... by showing them the old one... or buy one at Directron, New Egg, or ZipZoomFly type stores online...
    Put it in yourself. carefully reposition the cables so they don't stop any fan blades...
    Presto, you are back in business.

    If you need to know what brand and model... I am sure you will get at least 300 opinions on this site... just get one your store guarantees to be good and reliable with a long warranty.
     
  15. houston123

    houston123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, I'll do that when I get the chance and post back the results although it may be a while. By the way, is there any way I can rule out that it is the Motherboard that's the problem?
     
  16. spehling

    spehling TS Rookie Posts: 54

    making sure you have the proper pin config. example: 4-pin or 6-pin. raybay is right, you should take the psu in so you avoid purchasing the wrong one. some places will not take returns on PSU's once opened. Good Luck
     
  17. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Borrow a power supply from another computer to test if you like... or take that one to a shop or a store and have them test it there.
     
  18. houston123

    houston123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, thanks for all the help!
     
  19. OLBY

    OLBY TS Enthusiast Posts: 81

    update the bios, it may help, i had that before with my old pc,i took it to a bios update shop,and it worked well
    just try
     
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