Computer died in use and wont boot up

By Perfection · 17 replies
Nov 2, 2013
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  1. Wasnt doing anything too strenous on my computer and all of a sudden my two monitors went into 'standby' mode. My PC was still on and the fans were making noise, but the monitors were sat there as if there was no input. The sound continued for another few seconds after this but eventually went dead too.

    I tried rebooting my computer 2 or 3 times and the monitors would not switch on (so there was no input). I left it for 10 minutes or so and tried it again and it booted up fine. I shut down the computer and went to watch a TV program. Ive tried to boot it up multiple times now and each time the computer switches on (fans whir etc), there is no monitor input and then after about 10 seconds I get (what I think is) a single long beep last about a second (is that long?)

    Google searching led me here and to the beep guide, but I cant find my motherboard in there. Its a gigabyte PA55M UD2. Ive d/l the manual from their website but there is no information in that manual about the beeps.

    There are 4 lights on my motherboard that say 'phase' above them. 3 of the lights are amber and the one numbered 4 is red when I switch the PC on. After the beep, these lights turn off completely. The manual suggests these lights are something to do with the CPU but doesnt mention much about it.

    Any ideas?

    I appreciate any and all help.

    Additionally, when the computer boots up I dont always get a beep. Sometimes it just sits there whiring with the amber/red lights on the motherboard until I power it off.
  2. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,777   +242

    Can you here the hard drive starting up?
  3. Perfection

    Perfection TS Rookie Topic Starter

    My main HDD is a SSD. Ive never been able to hear this. There is however a normal HDD in there too and I can hear this starting up. The 'whirring' I refer to at the start is the same sound and pitch as its always been really.
  4. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,777   +242

    Just taking a guess here. You are not getting no signal to the monitors. It could be a video card problem. Then it could also be your ssd died. Either way its is not going to be a quick fix.
  5. Perfection

    Perfection TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah, I definitely get thats it not going to be a quick fix. I reckon it has to be either the CPU, the graphics card or the SSD. Im entirely happy just buying a new one and replacing it but I dont want to replace one and then find out it was another.

    Any ideas how to determine which it could be?
  6. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,777   +242

    You could start by pulling your video card. That is if your board has on board graphics. If it boots then you will know. I am pulling for it not to be your CPU, I hope Its either your card or SSD.
  7. Perfection

    Perfection TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I know some stuff but Im also a bit of a novice with computers.

    I have 2 DVI slots from the gfx card and no other video slots (like vga), so I think that means my motherboard doesnt have onboard graphics? That is a pain.

    I thought a CPU would cost ~£100 or is it not as simple as just buying a new one and switching the CPU? The SSD drive would be £200+ so Im really hoping its not that tbh.

    Thank you for the help, I appreciate it.
  8. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,777   +242

    Your welcome. No replacing anyone of the parts are not cheap. Beings Just guessing at witch is bad is not good either. Do you have a friend or someone who can look at it. If not a local computer shop.
  9. Perfection

    Perfection TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Update/Additional Request:

    We identified the beep code as relating to 'bad graphics memory.' My friend tried my gfx card in his computer and it did exactly the same (with the same beep) at startup so the gfx card is the problem.

    Bought a replacement card and fitted it. I bought my gfx card years ago and it was connected to my PSU but apparently these days they dont need to be. The computer boots up but there are ~1cm horizontal lines all across the screen. Any ideas what this could be?

    We thought it was a dodgy connection so we took the card out, used airduster and put it back in and it worked fine for a day. I then went to boot it up after plugging some USB headphones in (Im not sure how that would affect it but its the only thing that changed) and it had reverted back to the horizontal lines.

    The new card is a gigabyte GT640. Its cheap and cheerful until I replace my computer at the end of this year, but Ive been assured it has enough grunt to run my 2 DELL U2711s at full res (no gaming).
  10. Perfection

    Perfection TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ive been reading that if the lines appear during bios then its definitely a GPU fault, but my BIOS screens display perfectly. The 'starting windows' screen appears just fine and then the GPU fan goes nuts, there is a noticeable delay (~5 seconds) and the login screen appears with all the lines on. Is that still indicative of possible GPU failure?
  11. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,777   +242

    Check your cable from your monitor.
  12. Perfection

    Perfection TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Definitely not that. The cables are only 3-6 months old plus its the same problem with whichever monitor I use so both cables would have had to fail simultaneously as well as the graphics card
  13. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,777   +242

    Yes GFX cards still do connect to the power supply depending on the model. Sure your PCIE slot is not failing. Do you have on board graphics. If you do can you test them and see if they work.
  14. Perfection

    Perfection TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah, Ive already moved the gfx card into my other open PCIE slot and again, the problem persists. There are no onboard graphics on the MB to test with unfortunately but I am going to test the new card in a friends computer.

    If it doesnt work there then clearly its the new card and I can return it/replace it, but could something in my computer be causing the cards to fault?

    If it does work in his computer, then Im really out of ideas.
  15. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,777   +242

    It may even be the mother board it self. Have you test the psu? hard to say, But from what it is happening . It leans toward the graphics.
  16. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    What about trying another power supply?
    Cobalt006 likes this.
  17. Benmar

    Benmar TS Enthusiast Posts: 32

    Your problem is your monitor is faulty, try another monitor, see what happens.
  18. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Two monitors wouldn't go bad at the same time Benmar... Think before you post:oops:

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