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Help figuring out why my computer won't start

By LTD1 ยท 26 replies
Apr 10, 2008
  1. It's an emachines T2824 I bought in 2004. I've read the sticky on emachines computers and that the PSU should be replaced.

    Anyway, I'm not really sure my problem is the PSU.

    I used the computer last night, everything was working fine. I've never noticed any indication of something failing.
    I tried to turn it on this morning, but it just won't turn on. It doesn't make a single sound when I press the power button.

    I opened up the case and tried shorting the pins for the power switch to see if the power switch had failed. Nothing happened.

    I then removed the 20pin PSU connector to the mobo and jumpered the pins as described on this other post techspot.com/vb/post312587-11.html then plugged the power cord and the PSU's fan started as normal, also the 2 DVD drives I have powered up, I'm not sure if the 2 harddrives I have powered up, I don't think I heard any noise from them, but then again they're super quiet, so who knows.

    I guess this means the PSU is working right? So what should I check next?
    BTW, there's a green LED on the motherboard so I'm not sure if that indicates the mobo is also working correctly.

    Anyone has any suggestions?

  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,311   +100

    Personally, I would try borrowing or buying a known working PSU first off. If that doesn't get you rolling, replace the motherboard.

    That green LED on the motherboard is virtually useless.
  3. LTD1

    LTD1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the suggestion, I will try that.

    What does the green LED on the mobo indicate anyway?

    I have a brand new PSU lying around, although it is only a 230w PSU.
    Can I use this to test?
    The PSU in the T2824 is 250w, but I figure I can probably use the 230w PSU just for testing and only connect it to the mobo, CPU and one HD.

    Please advise if this is OK to do.

  4. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,311   +100

    Essentially, the green LED is just to show that the motherboard is receiving power of sorts. However, a defective PSU can still cause it to light up.

    As long as the 230w's interfaces line up (meaning you can actually physically connect it to your motherboard), yeah, go for it.
  5. LTD1

    LTD1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi, I just tried connecting the 230w PSU only to the motherboard and a hard drive.
    It didn't turn on.

    I then tried powering each of the components individually, by jumpering pins 13 and 14 on PSU mobo connector and then connecting power to each of the two DVD drives and two HD's one at the time and then all together. They all powered up fine, both with the current PSU and the new 230w I used for testing.
    So I guess I can assume the current PSU is working fine, right?

    So what should I look for next? Can I now assume something is wrong with the mobo and needs to be replaced?

    BTW, when I tried powering up the two HD's, they would not turn on when the IDE cable from the mobo was connected. When they were only connected to the PSU, IDE cable disconnected, they powered up just fine.
    I'm not sure if this is how things are supposed to work, meaning if an HD is connected to the mobo, it will only turn on if instructed by the mobo.
  6. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,311   +100

    I would think that it's a safe bet to replace the motherboard now, yes.
  7. LTD1

    LTD1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks, while look for a new mobo and power supply, I need to access some data I have in the two hd's on this desktop.

    I've taken out the hd's and used an IDE to USB hd enclosure to extract the data to my laptop.

    I've ran into the "access denied" error for some folders.

    I don't know whether to ask this here or start a new thread on the another forum section.

    I'll post here, but please let me know if should start a new thread instead.

    I've read many posts regarding the "access denied" error, including the sticky.
    So I understand one has to "take ownership" of the folder.

    I plan to put back the hd's back in the desktop and keep using it as normal once I get the mobo replaced. My question is, by taking ownership of these folders, will I mess something up and not be able to use them back in the desktop normally as I did before?

    Also, I changed some setting and I'm not really sure what I did or if this might mess things up and need to know how to change it back.
    I went into a folder's properties, then clicked the security tab, then clicked the advanced tab.
    On the advanced tab, I checked the box that said "Inherit from parent the permission entries that apply to child objects. Include this with entries explicitly defined here."

    How do I change that back?
    If I uncheck that box, I get the following prompt:
    "Selecting this option means that the parent permission entries that apply that apply to child objects will no longer be applied to this object.
    - To copy the permission entries that were previously applied from the from the parent to this object, click Copy.
    - To remove the permission entries that were previously applied from the parent and keep only those permissions explicitly defined here, click Remove"

    Do I click Remove to put things back the way they were?

  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Keep that setting
    Under the Security tab (one Window back from above)
    Confirm Administartor has all ticks in all boxes (just for Administrators)
    Also confirm that the user that you are on, is an Administrator account.

    Also in relation to the original fault, you might want to try Bench Testing it (Hardware experience and manual required)
  9. you use a 286

    you use a 286 TS Rookie Posts: 63

    see if your power button is connected to the right spot, if it is, you may need a new power unit
  10. LTD1

    LTD1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the replies guys.

    I'm still a bit confused with the taking ownership of a folder thing.
    So if I take ownership of these folders on my laptop, once I put back the desktop, will it function properly as it did before, or would I need to take ownership again or do some other thing?

    Also, regarding what's causing the PC not to start, I don't know much about this things, so I wanted to know, will a failed processor keep it from powering up at all?
    Because if it does, I'm now thinking it may just be that. Yesterday, I kind it forced it to power up. I only connected the PSU mobo connector, the CPU connector, and CPU fan to the mobo. Then I jumpered the pins 13 and 14 on PSU mobo connector from the top as shown on this picture:

    The CPU fan started spinning as usual. I connected the monitor, but nothing outputs.
    So now, is it safe to assume that it might actually be the CPU causing this and not the mobo and/or power supply?
  11. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Think of it this way.
    You are editing settings on the computer viewing the old HardDrive
    You are not editing settings (ownership) on the old HardDrive itself

    Therefore when you put it back, it will be the same.

    Unless you see a physical fault with the CPU, then your first choice would be PowerSupply
    The PowerSupply runs the CPU (has its own power plug that YOU connect to the M/board)
    Mind you, if the CPU is not mounted properly with thermal paste and all; it is possible that it won't start.

    Here is the sequence:

    Although it can be all the front wires (including on switch); the USB connectors, and even the case fan
    All of which should be checked through Bench Testing
  12. LTD1

    LTD1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the clarification regarding taking ownership of a folder. It makes perfect sense now. I thought I was doing changes on the hard drive itself so that was my doubt.

    The reason why I think it might not be the power supply is because I can jumper pins 13 and 14 on the PSU mobo connector and it powers up the other devices just fine (two hard drives, two dvd-rw drives, cpu fan). I've also tried with a new power supply and it also won't start.

    A green LED lights up on the mobo when 20pin power connector is connected, and the fact that the mobo can get power to the cpu fan to spin sort of makes me think the mobo maybe be OK.

    I did try the bench testing thing. I disconnected every single device and cables and took the mobo out of the case.

    Will a computer not power up at all in the following cases?
    No cpu or failed cpu?
    No ram of failed ram?

    Thanks again for all your help.
  13. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    That's right, it won't
    Also if the CPU motherboard power connector was out, it won't boot either
  14. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 443

    The green light only indicates that the +5vSB (standby) power is working. You have 3 main positive voltages and some misc minus voltages. The +5 and +12v both operate your hard drives. One drives the motor the other powers the circuitry. So the hard drive can still "spin up" but not work. You need to get a tester and check all your voltages. They sell psu testers for ten or fifteen dollars, but that's all they do. If you know how to use volt ohm meter get that instead. You can find them for the same price as a psu tester but they have other uses and functions as well.

    black Ground
    red +5v
    yellow +12v
    orange +3.3v
    purple +5v SB
    white -5v
    blue -12v
    brown +3.3v sensor
    green psu power on
    gray power indicator sensor

    You can't test the last 3 so don't worry. And yes each time you put that drive in a new system you have to re-establish ownership even if you are using the same user name. e-machines don't use proprietary hardware so a same brand mini ATX mobo with the same chipset should work just fine. Make sure they have a good return policy. Same with the power supply but brand doesn't matter. Spend a bit and get a good name brand one.
  15. LTD1

    LTD1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your help guys, I'll look at options for purchasing a new power supply, new motherboard and new cpu.

    In the meantime, can you tell me if it's possible to simply connect the hard drive from my desktop to my laptop and boot from it?

    I had a lot of programs in it that I need to use, it seems like it's going to be a real pain to install all that in my laptop. It would be real nice if I can just boot from that hd and use the programs already there, but I don't know if that's even possible. Is it?
  16. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 443

    You would probably need a USB or Firewire enclosure to hook up to your laptop. The operating system is installed to boot from the drivers on the desktop mobo. There's a 99% chance it won't boot up the laptop. The only thing to do is set up the hard drive as a slave take possession of the docs and settings folder and it's children and copy the contents. You sound real tentative about doing the permissions thing. It's real easy and not a big deal. Just post back if you run into specific problems.

    1. Log on with an account that has administrative privileges. In XP Home, you need to start in safe mode. In XP Pro, simple file sharing (in folder options) needs to be disabled.
    2. In Windows Explorer, go to the My Documents folder and right click it. Select Properties.
    3. In the Properties dialog box, click the Security tab (it won't appear in Home if you're not in safe mode or in Pro if simple file sharing is enabled).
    4. Click the Advanced button.
    5. Click the Owner tab.
    6. Under "Change ownership to" select the user account you want to use to access the folder. Check the box that says "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects."
    7. Click OK twice to exit the dialog boxes.

    When you enter the user account name there's a check name button or something similar. Just hit that after entering your user name and it will put the name in the correct format. Suggestion. when you move the files use the copy to and not the move to. That way if something happens during the transfer all your data will still be intact on the old hard drive.
  17. LTD1

    LTD1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks, I have already taken ownership of all the folders I needed and transfered the files to my laptop a couple of days ago.
    I never thought it was that easy, so the password you use in windows is pretty much useless, right?

    Anyways, I'll try and see if I can boot the hd using the IDE to USB enclosure. I tried this previously, but got a kernel mismatch error. I think this might have happened because the night previous to the computer failing, I had put it into hibernation. When I tried to boot from it in the laptop, it tried to resume from the hibernation.
    I'll try again and see what happens now.
  18. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    As an excellent example
    Make a really good password on your UserAccount (very long if you like)

    Then restart your computer (continuously press F8 on your keyboard)
    Go to Safe Mode --> Administrator account
    Then go to Control Panel-->Users
    Click on the account name, that has the password on
    Click on remove password !

    You can now log into your account, without knowing the old password (which has been removed!)
  19. LTD1

    LTD1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry to bring this up again, I still need help.

    I haven't really had much time to look more into fixing this PC.

    I want to test the CPU on another computer, and I was wondering if I need thermal paste just to do the test or I can go ahead and try without using thermal paste.
  20. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 443

    Applying then removing thermal paste is a $4 5 minute procedure at most. Even if there is a very slight chance that firing it up and then turning it off instantly will harm it. If the boot slows for whatever reason you could have a very nice lightweight paper weight on your hands. When you see CPU temps of 40-50C remember that is not the core temp. Pentium 4's cores can go as high as 135C. Spend the money and spend the few moments it takes to do it right. If you are planning on booting up then using the system for a bit to see how it works, then your inquiry is risking the label of a foolish question.
  21. LTD1

    LTD1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the info on the thermal paste. I've never dealt with replacing CPU's before so I wasn't sure about that.

    Anyways, I have tested all components (CPU, memory, power supply, hard disks, fans, PCI card) on another computer and everything works, so there's definitely something wrong with the mobo.

    I'm getting a new power supply and mobo and I have a couple of questions:

    Regarding the power supply, do you have any suggestions in particular? Do they all work just about the same, just avoid Bestec?

    About the mobo, I can get the exact same model for about $60. However, I was thinking some say this mobo is not very good so I might get a better one. I've seen better models actually cheaper.
    What I would like to know is would I have to get another copy of Windows XP if I replace with a different mobo?
  22. Ruthe

    Ruthe TS Booster Posts: 70

    Kimsland, I tried following your Bench Test link and I got an invalid page error on the Tech Support Team site. What'd I do wrong?

    LTD1, if it's an eMachine and you got XP off your restore disk, yes, you will. Right now I've seen XP sell for anywhere from $100 to $250. It's not supported/sold after June 30, although you may be able to find it. My guess is that the price will go up after that! considering Vista. :-(

    I got some good advice from Zenosincks about mobo, OS and CPU. (I also had a dire problem with wanting my apps, data, pix, utils from a PowerSpec gone bad. You can look for his post (or mine) in this forum - don't remember the title.) Be sure to match the CPU socket to the mobo!
  23. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Lil Buggers moved the thread on me.

    Here it is again: BenchTesting
  24. LTD1

    LTD1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I actually tried bench testing as explained on the link. Took everything out of the case and tested with one component at a time outside the case.
    It's seems it's only the motherboard that doesn't work for some reason.

    There's a copy of Windows XP in an i386 folder in the hard drive. Will this make a difference me not having to get a new copy?
    I also have the Windows XP retail disc from another computer.

    I'd like to get better mobo, but if I would have to purchase Win XP again, I guess it's better to just get the exact same mobo to be able to keep this old computer going.
  25. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 443

    I've been able to use the eMachine XP to install on a different mobo as long as the chipset manufacturer (usually via) and mobo maker (usually ECS) was the same. This was true part of the time, not all of the time. If you wanted to try that, make sure you find out about the retailers return policies.
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