PC won't start?!

By unforgiven1977
Jul 31, 2006
Topic Status:
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  1. I've been at this one for months now. My wife's PC (an old eMachines w2040) started acting up one day all of the sudden. It started telling me it wasn't recognizing drives and such. Then it would just restart on it's own. If I tried to shut it down it would just start back up again.
    I replaced the power supply(480 w) and all ran well for about 6 weeks. Then one night I walk into the room and it's turned off. This is odd since it's normally on all of the time. I try the power button and I get nothing. No light, no fan, zero activity.
    So I figure the mobo went bad. Replaced it with a brand new one (a foxconn micro ATX AMD). Yes I know it IS a foxconn but it is brand new and it did get good ratings on newegg so I thought what the heck. But that didn't take care of it.
    Next I replaced the CPU with a new AMD duron. Still nothing.
    I've double and triple checked everything for compatability and even replaced the RAM for good measure.
    I've always been told that only 3 things can stop a PC from doing anything at all. The CPU, mobo, or power supply. But I've changed out all of them. What's next. Like I said the new PS got things going fine for 6 weeks before the PC died again. Could the new one have gone bad as well?
    I'm at a complete loss hear and would very much appreciate any help as the wife is getting pretty frustrated over it and I don't want that. lol.
  2. agi_shi

    agi_shi Newcomer, in training Posts: 507

    Hmmm...

    Longshot here: graphics card?

    I've heard that if you're building a pc once you have the graphics card in, processor in, and ram in, you're ready to boot up and see if it works... So all I'm guessing is that your graphics card is doing something wrong (since you tested the other things).
  3. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,382

    Hello! Welcome to TechSpot!

    I would also check each componant on another system if it all possible.
    As agi_shi has mentioned, what video card do you have, onboard?
  4. unforgiven1977

    unforgiven1977 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Thanks for the feedback. The only thing that seems feasible for me to do at this point is to test out a different PS in it.
    To answer your question the video card is an AGP slotted nVidia geforce 5500 fx (128 mb). It would tend to overheat on some graphically demanding games such as Doom 3. It's also an older card of course (almost 4 years old). But could this being bad cause the PC to do nothing at all. I mean I push the power button and nothing happens. Nothing displays on the monitor because the processor doesn't do anything. I might as well be pushing a button on a big rock.
    Again, thanks for the help.
  5. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,382

    Reading through your post, I'm thinking maybe the cpu may have taken a hit from old psu. With Amd it seems common for the Psu to take out both MoBo and Cpu.
    Isolating componants with known good parts is effective trouble shooting.
    What ram and how much are you using?
    You can fall back to bare bones setup
    to trouble shoot too.
    cpu
    MoBo
    ram
    video
    psu
    just to get to bios screen.
  6. kirock

    kirock Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,598

    If it's a generic crappy PSU, it very well may have died already. Although 480W should have been more then enough and not stressed the PSU too much, even for a generic, so I can't be sure. If it was the video card you should still get a series of beeps from the bios. (unless the card died so badly it's pulling down the PSU).

    Cheers.
  7. unforgiven1977

    unforgiven1977 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 27

    @SOcRatEs - The new RAM I put in is DDR 333(PC 2700) 2.5v 184 pin. It's a single 512 stick and the brand is PNY.

    @kirock - The newer PSU is an A Power ultra edition. At least looking at it that's the only thing gives any hints as to what brand it is. I don't know if that's a reliable brand or not.

    I should also note that this is my first ever attempt at replacing said components. The most I've ever done before was to add PCI or AGP components, add RAM, and perhaps a disk drive here and there. But I've always been a do-it-yourself kind of guy and really didn't want to shell out too much cash to have someone else do it for me.
    So I may be overlooking something rather simple but I've been over everything quite a few times. I was thinking maybe it was as simple as not hooking the power switch up to the new mobo correctly but I double-checked and everything looks fine there.
    So keep in mind I'm quite the noob at this.
  8. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,382

    No problem at all!! Thats why we're all here.
    When replacing the motherboard did you use thermal paste on the cpu/heatsink? and what kind?
  9. unforgiven1977

    unforgiven1977 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 27

    I actually replaced the old heatsink and fan with a brand new 80mm Masscool WhisperRock 2. The thing came with thermal paste already on it but I've no idea what kind.
  10. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,382

    Thats fine, at least it's there, thats more important.

    I think we need to go back to your OP, since you replaced the original cpu after the psu and mobo you may well have a bad MoBo.
    Hopefully it's still under warranty.

    Both cpu's still fail to boot?
  11. kirock

    kirock Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,598

    Ok, maybe we should get real simple, just to cover all the bases.
    It could be a broken case switch and therefore the PSU never gets the signal to turn on.
    Here's what you do:
    1) Unplug the leads to the case switch and jumper them with a small piece of wire. Now turn on the main power switch at the back of the PSU. If nothing happens, we're a long way to proving the PSU is dead.
    2) If above procedure caused nothing to happen, now we get a little more into it. Remove the 20pin PSU connector and the 4pin CPU connector to the mobo, all other psu connections can stay put. Using a small wire jumper pins 14(the only green wire) and any BLACK wire (let's say pin 13 or 15) on the 20 pin PSU connector. Now turn on the main PSU switch. Your PSU should come to life (HDD spins up, and fans spin).
    Below is a pic of the 20 pin connector (i love this pic it's come in so handy)
    [​IMG]
    From the pic you can see the pins 13 and 15 are ground pins, that's why you can use either one. You want to grnd pin 14. This is all the case switch does via mobo traces out to the case switch lead.
    3) If nothing still hqppens then start remove 4 pin molexs one at a time, starting with the video card (if it has one). This will eliminate any peripherals "holding or pulling") down the PSU. After all connections are remove and still nothing, then your PSU is dead for sure.
    Cheers.
  12. unforgiven1977

    unforgiven1977 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Ok. Thanks for that kirock. I did exactly as you said and nothing worked. I even went so far as to test out the power cord and of course the outlet just to be doubly sure.
    So it must be the psu right?
  13. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,382

     
  14. kirock

    kirock Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,598

    unforgiven1977: I'm sorry but I think it's dead. Actually that might be a good thing, it's one of the more cheaper components.
    SOcRatEs: Thank you muchly sir. Do you need moderator permission to post in the forum you linked?
  15. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,382

    Kirock, I believe you submit it and it gets reviewed by Mods.
    Pretty cool!
  16. unforgiven1977

    unforgiven1977 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 27

    I just went and got a new psu. Luckily it was the one component I didn't buy online so I just got a replacement from the guy who sold it to me for free. Can't beat that.
    So I just put it in and low and behold and the PC started up. Well sort of. The new psu's wires are set up so it has three strands coming out. One for the ATX 20 pin mobo, and two others that are identical. They each have 2 four pin connectors which is fine because I only need a total of 4. But one is used for the cd and dvd drives. The other can go into the hard drive but then the last connector won't reach the vid card.
    I do have a junk psu laying around so I could cut some wires out of it and do some splicing but I was really hoping I wouldn't have to. Any suggestions?
    Also I'm not entirely sure everything is working correctly anyway. The thing powers on and the cpu fan starts running but it doesn't check the disk drives or anything else.
    At least I feel like I'm getting somewhere but hopefully you guys can help me through the rest of this.
    Thanks again.
  17. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,382

    A molex "Y" splitter works well for this..
    [​IMG]
    You could quite easily do some splicing of your own, just don't twist and tape it.
    Use good connectors.
    If you have enough molex's then just lengthening the wires is just as easy..

    Looks like you're on the right track now!!!
  18. kirock

    kirock Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,598

    Hmm, are you sure that 5500FX has a 4pin molex on it? If so then it definately needs to be plugged in. There are female to male jumper extensions you can buy so you don't have to cut and splice. (Edit : As so nicely shown by Socrates above)

    Did you make sure you connected the 4pin ATX molex to the mobo (usually near the cpu)?
  19. unforgiven1977

    unforgiven1977 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 27

    The vid card does have a 4 pin molex but I could almost swear it was never hooked up originally. I wouldn't think it need one but I don't know much so...
    I looked all over on the mobo and there doesn't appear to be a 4 pin ATX plug in.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.asp?Image=13%2D186%2D029%2D01%2Ejpg%2C13%2D186%2D029%2D02%2Ejpg%2C13%2D186%2D029%2D03%2Ejpg%2C13%2D186%2D029%2D04%2Ejpg&CurImage=13%2D186%2D029%2D02%2Ejpg&Description=Foxconn+K7S741GXMG%2D6L+Socket+A+%28Socket+462%29+SiS+741GX+Micro+ATX+AMD+Motherboard+%2D+Retail Here's a pic of it. Let me know if you see something I don't.
    Edit: Sorry for the link. Can't seem to figure out the hyperlink.
  20. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,382

    This is a better pic and I don't see one either.
    So you should be good to go.



    Code:
    re: they changed the way we post hyperlinks...when you input one look for the brackets [url=http://www.blah.com]http***[/url]
    input your text in place of the http***..... 
    
    it's after this [url=http://www.blah.com]
    
  21. unforgiven1977

    unforgiven1977 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Alright I managed to connect the 4 pin to the vid card after all. I must credit my wife for pointing out that if I just moved the hard drive over to the extra slot it might give me the extra inch I needed and it did.
    Something still isn't right though. Here's what happens when I turn on the power. The cpu fan spins, the hard drive fan spins, the light blinks on for the dvd drive (checking the drive?!) and that's it.
    Nothing displays on the monitor. The vid card fan doesn't spin either even though it is hooked up to the psu. The power led doesn't light up even though I'm positive I hooked it up right.
    Now there are several things I did not do when I put the new mobo in, mainly because I still couldn't get it to start afterward. The instructions talk about clearing the CMOS. Is this something I need to do?
    I've also taken some pics of the thing and was hoping some of you might be willing to take a look and see if you notice anything not hooked up correctly. I know there's a couple of minor things like the front audio outputs but I mean major stuff that might be preventing the PC from starting.
    Here is a link to the pics.
    I really appreciate all the help you guys are giving me here. I feel like I might actually get this worked out. I was beginning to lose hope.
  22. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,382

    Good pics...Remove the 2 other cards, leave the video card.
    Unplug data cables and power from all drives. Disconnect all
    usb/firewire audio from motherboard leave the front panel wires connected..
    Lets just get to the bios screen..
    remove ram and try to boot, let see if we get error beeps,
    then put ram back in and take out the video card.

    Is that ddr ram or sdram?
    try different ram, then video card
    OMG it's SIS chipset.....JK!
    Resetting cmos is a good practice when trouble shooting.
    Could even be a bad battery on the motherboard. Drug stores should have them.

    edit: You may want to setup bare bones ouside of the case, are you certain you have the standoffs installed right?
    Make certain no part of MoBo is getting shorted to the case
  23. unforgiven1977

    unforgiven1977 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 27

    I just removed the data cables and power cables from all the drives. Removed the two cards. Disconnected the usb and audio. Powered it on and heard zilch. No beeping. What does this mean. I mean I know it's probably not good but I hope it doesn't mean buying anything else for this thing.
    The RAM by the way is ddr.

    There was no need to state the "JK" because I have no idea what it meant. lol. I'm a noob at this remember.

    I'd really like to make use of this new mobo and CPU seeing as how I speant unnecessary cash on them. But since we did finally nail it down to a bad psu couldn't I just put the old mobo and CPU back in as a last resort?

    EDIT: Oh I forgot I took the RAM out too.
  24. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,382

    SiS is the chipset of your motherboard not the greatest but works...

    Yes I would try the original setup...odd tho no error beeps.
    You stated the video card work well in the other system?
  25. unforgiven1977

    unforgiven1977 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Alright I'll go ahead and swap everything back out. Assuming everything still works fine (meaning the older CPU and mobo) it should just fire right up as it used to right?
    And yes the video card worked fine before. It would lock up on occasion when running demanding games but it's not used for gaming anymore so I'm not worried about that.
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