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Computer won't turn-on

By mafome · 18 replies
Feb 26, 2006
  1. I have had my IBM Aptiva since 2000 with Win98SE. Never ever let me down, although the OS has, more often than not. I never used the hybernation feature until recently. It didn't work that well, but still I used it for half a dozen times. Everytime It came out of hybernation it would power-up with the hybernation window on the desktop and then go back into hybernation. On second power-up it stayed up and worked as usual. BUT, two mornings ago it failed to turn-on. The two LEDs just flicker.

    No HDD noise, no CPU fan, no PSU fan; nothing but the short flicker.

    I diassembled the PSU, cleaned it and looked for fried items or burnt smell; nothing. Was unable to test voltages as I do not have dummy load. Internal fuse had integrity and managed to read +5V on two internal leads. As all failed, I reassembled the unit and had another go. The PSU fan worked and thinking all is well, reintalled it. BUT, same problem again. Computer won't turn-on.

    Any help is very much appreciated. Thanks!
  2. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,679

    I'm not familiar with the IBM Aptiva, is it an atx psu?
    If so, short the green wire to any black, that should power it up.

    Hope that helps, Rik.
  3. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,212

    First of all you didn't disassemble the PSU, you removed it from the PC right?
    Ok, if you want to test the PSU (assuming an ATX form) you can remove it again and short the green wire to any black wire (this will simulate you pushing in the front panel power button). Now plug the PSU into wall socket and turn on the turn the power switch of the PSU. All the yellow wires are 12V, the Red are 5V , all black is ground. Measure between black and any other colour wire. There is a 3.3V ( i think orange).

    Note: The green wire is found on the 20 pin connector.

    Other options is replace the PSU, low cost prob, 30-50 US.

    Edit: Darn you rik! :) Apparently I type slow.
  4. mafome

    mafome TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for your response. The answer to your question is YES, it is an ATX PSU.

    I disconnected all devices, shorted the green and the black and all I got was a half a second of PSU fan action, then it died. it is still dead.
  5. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,212

    Time for a new PSU I'm afraid.
  6. mafome

    mafome TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I thought so. Thank you anyway. You just confirmed what I thought.

    On another note, do you think that it had something to do with the hybernation action or just plain old age?
  7. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +252

    It's given you value for money. Perhaps it's time to buy a new computer.
  8. mafome

    mafome TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for the last suggestion!

    For those with more of an engineering attitude, let me share my findings.

    I replaced the PSU, which worked fine without anything attached to it; PSU and CPU fan worked. But when devices were connected it failed to power-up, but did not died. I unplugged and then plugged each one in turn. The PSU failed only when the HDD was connected.

    Removed the HDD only to find that one IC in the integrated controller card was fried (burnt/melted hole through it). I have ordered a second hand replacement to use the card and hopefully recover all of my data ...Pants! Please, no comments of where is my backup :mad: .

    Any comments or suggestions in how to go about in this endevour will be very much appreciated.

    Thank you lads.
  9. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,679

    Noooooooo, don't swap the integrated hard drive controller card. I made that mistake once, never again. I ruined a perfectly good hard drive to try to recover data from the other.
    The blown ic is probably a symptom rather than the cause, you may well end up blowing the new card and possibly the second psu as well.
    Its a gigantic risk.

  10. mafome

    mafome TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have just spoken to a data recovery company here in the UK and have read the info in their website. The gentleman I spoke to sort of agreed with me in giving it a try swapping cards. Now you got me thinking.

    Take a look at the info in their website http://www.hddtech.co.uk/QuantumFailureSymptoms.htm

    I'm going to hold for a while. I got to recover the data but cannot pay the asking price. It would be cheaper to buy an old scrap and try it there... I think!!

    Thanks for reading my postings.
  11. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,679

    Had a look at the link, the fact they say that the data is recoverable may mean there is no other damage to the rest of the drive.

    I still recon replacing the board is a huge risk. But its your choice.

    Doesn't say on the link if the problem is with the 12v or 5v, i would hazard a guess and say its the 12v seeing as they mention motor controller.

    Could be possible to protect the drive a bit better with a capacitor or 2?!?!
    I don't recommend you try it unless you really know what you are doing.

  12. mafome

    mafome TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Rik, you sound like a cautious man. I guess you may be my age but with a little more wisdom. I still have to recover the data though.

    Here are my thoughts: The short is so big that my guess is it was produced by the 12V. The melted parts are by the legs of the IC, the same IC as in the picture you saw.

    The PSU failed completetly, which suggests two things to me: a)The PSU failed and fed the IC with more juice that could be handled. b)The IC failed (as suggested by the experts) consequently causing the PSU to fail. c)Both units got a massive spike with the current results.

    In any case, all what seem to have been damaged are the PSU, which has been replaced, the HDD, which has also been replaced by a bigger and brand new one. All is working well!

    Now, the old disc with MY data and burt IC. If the SC was caused by the internal motor and/or actuattor arm, I should read OC or SC in my multimeter, which I don't. I get a reading on all possible combinations from the pins. This, if I understand it right, all motor windings and/or circuitry are present. Hence (with a caution!) there seem to be no internal fault.

    It is a real shame I'm unable to get the schematics from the manufacturer and those that have it are not willing to share them but offer high prices for their services. Wow! The power of information....

    Anyone else with some positive input. And YES, I got myself a brand new laptop with GHz's and GB's and G£'s and GXP. But still, I need to get by data back, too precious. Boy, don't I sound like my father!
  13. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,679

    I'm not a particularly cautious man but i have worked as an electronics test and inspection engineer for over 15 years and have fixed well over a hundred PCs as a hobby.

    Just wanted to warn you so you didn't have to learn from mistakes like i had to.

    I will see what i can do about getting a circuit diagram for you, i still have some contacts.

    You seem to know what you are talking about so i apologize for the warnings. Instead, id like to offer my help if you require it.

  14. mafome

    mafome TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you. The circuit diagram with component values will be of great help. That way I'll be able to see which pins belong to the motor windings and which to the actuator arm coil. I'm sure the other pins are data flow.

    I hope all this chatter is of help to someone else!
  15. mafome

    mafome TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Rik. The official version from Maxtor, the company that bought Quantum. They are aware that this HDD is quite suceptible to voltage spikes and the typical failure signs as previously described. This HDD is no longer manufactured but they confirmed that the controller card can be replaced... CAUTION... provided that the part numbers are identical. In my case, 15.0AT P/N LB15A011 Rev 01-A.

    The engineer explained that the controller card cannot damage the PSU. In fact it is the other way round. What I do not understand then, why is my PSU not working? Regardless, I have a new PSU and a replacement controller card. I'll let you know the results.

    Check the following thread in another forum. http://forums1.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/bizsupport/questionanswer.do?threadId=180900
  16. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,212

    Doesn't sound like that guy's much of an Electrical Engineer. As mafome said,
    If an IC fails that bad, no wonder it took out the PSU. And yes I DO beleive the SC across this vapourized IC caused the PSU to die.

    My concern would be what caused the IC to die? When you find that schematic check what that IC does. Is it the main motor drive IC? Did something up stream of it fail 1st thereby drawing max current through this IC (i.e. the motor coil shorted)? Can you read the part number off it?

    I did this once: Removed the HDD disk (storage medium) itself and installed into another exact HDD. It worked long enough to get the files off I needed. It has a work HDD and the files were gone (effectively), so just tried in disperation and it worked. Sometimes you just can't call CDW. :)

    Good luck.
  17. mafome

    mafome TS Rookie Topic Starter

  18. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,212

    Hmmm, do these actually exist?
    I believe that should read: Fireball. Although Fureball sounds funnier.

    Forget the crap about lancing the pcb trace and soldering until solder bulges from the other side. (suppose to help heat conduction). Just apply some white thermal grease (not Artic silver, that's electrically conductive) to the bottom of the chip. Press it as firm down into the PCB as possible (to seat it as close as possible to the point of touching). Solder as normal. Do you recognize your chip part # on that list? Such as:panasonic AN8428NGAR or Philips TDA5247HT?
  19. mafome

    mafome TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Here again. Don't get me wrong, I have no intention of repairing the PCB. The short burnt the TDA5247HT IC and some of the printed circuit. Besides, for 10 quid I got another identical working HDD. Also, I have not got the adecuate equipment to do a full test before powering up.

    Right now all I'm waiting for is the connection schematics of the above chip to do a cold check of the internals that connect to the PCB.

    Fureball is the Russian spelling of "a ball of fire" :p
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