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Help Please - computer won't start

By Ineedhelp ยท 22 replies
May 7, 2003
  1. Help Please

    Ok this is my first post
    Hi Dont mind if I make any stupid remarks im a kid.
    Well my computer has a problem and it just wont start, both leds are on but it doesnt do anything, the fan doesnt do anything, all the computer gets the power to the cd drive the computer and the hd dont do anything unless i remove the cable that goes to the motherboard (give me the proper terms) and once i remove it all i hear is the platters spin within the hard drive. What can i do any thoughts? Please Help Me
  2. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,345   +13

    I can't help you with your problem is, but you might get more response, if you edited your thread title to "startup problem" or somthing like that. Don't worry about "stupid remarks". We all had to start sometime.
  3. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    No, you did very well with your comments, terminology , and troubleshooting. These are the possibilities I can think of. Your power supply is dieing and can't supply the load, your motherboard is dead and shorting the power supply or you have a motherboard (AMD?) that requires sensing the CPU fan to power up and the fan is either dead or the RPM sense wire isn't signaling with the pulses that the fan is spinning or the sensor isn't seeing them. Of course all these things require spares to troubleshoot beyond this point.
  4. Ineedhelp

    Ineedhelp TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hmmm i dont believe its that my motherboard is dead because does start randomly but thats after i play around with it but lately it hasnt started up at all. What are signs of my power supply dying?
  5. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    Ineedhelp: If you disconnect the IDE cable to your hard drive, then turn on the machine, will it boot up and display an error message? Try this several times and be sure you get the same error message consistently. If you get a different error message or response between boots, you can stop because the hard drive is likely ruled out of the problem. If it's the same message, let us know what it is, and we'll explore from there- that would likely indicate that the HD is failing.

    Are there times when you press the power button and nothing happens? Or something way out of the ordinary happens (an extra beep, slow time for fans to power up, a cd drive flashing oddly, etc.)? This may point indicators towards the power supply.

    Some modern bios's are coming with options to "scan the health" of your machine. It's not a great science yet, but it typically if it says there's a problem, it's accurate that one exists. (Whether or not it names the problem correctly is a different situation...) When your machine boots up, you'll typically see something on the screen saying "Press (del, esc, f1, tab) to enter setup." Do that. Then look around the menus there for something about scanning health. I don't know how familiar you are with the BIOS, the menu set this will get you to, but don't change any settings in there, yet, unless you know what you're doing. Just run the scan if you can find it, and let us know what happens. If you can't find it, DON'T CHANGE ANYTHING IN THERE! You could make things worse if you do.

    As a final option, it's possible you might have some bad RAM. If you have more than one stick of RAM in your machine you might try removing one, booting up see if it works fine. If it does, reboot a few times be sure it continues to work. If not, replace stick #1, take out #2 and repeat the process as above.

    If you're not comfortable doing something we suggested, don't do it until you ask for some help. It's typically not that hard, but on occasion you can make a mess of things if you do it wrong. We'll help you get through it- just ask.

    Let us know exactly what you've tried, and what the results are, and we'll try to help you through this. Good luck!
  6. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    By the way: I would NOT leave your machine on for too long at a time until we find out what's happening to the fans. If your CPU fan or power supply fan is broken, overheating in their respective units could cause real damage. Boot up and power down as soon as you've observed everything you can.
  7. Ineedhelp

    Ineedhelp TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I tried some of the things you said but then i remembered my moniter doesn't get a picture either. So i cant see a error msg. So i checked the moniter it works fine.So i believe something has to be wrong (heh no help needed noticing a problem).
  8. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    Taking what goalie suggested a little further, you could try booting "barebones", meaning remove all drives and devices from the mobo except Floppy, Video Card, Keyboard and mouse. Try booting from a floppy, if successful, try adding the HDD, add one device at a time until the problem re-surfaces. If the problem is still there with a barebones boot, it may be the RAM as goalie mentioned, the board, or the PSU. Another possibility is the power switch or the leads between the PSU, the switch and the mobo.
  9. Ineedhelp

    Ineedhelp TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Can you explain the power switch theory or what a psu is?
  10. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    The PSU is the Power Supply, sorry, I forget that not everyone is familiar with these terms. The theory of the power switch is that the switch itself or one of the wires could be faulty or have a bad connection, or that the connector from the PSU to the motherboard may be faulty. Usually when this happens, it acts like a momentary switch, in other words, the power won't stay on when you release the button. Since the LEDs are on, I don't really think this would be the problem, though it could still be something similar in the same area.

    BTW, What is the current status of the problem? what have you tried since your last reply? Have the symptoms changed any?
  11. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    Ineedhelp: You mentioned that your machine shows NOTHING on the monitor when you turn it on. Two things to look at: 1. Do you have an integrated video card on your computer? When you look at the back, are there two video ports? I've confused myself before on which video card was which, so if this exists you might try moving your monitor to the other video port.

    2. When you turn on the computer, does your speaker beep in any way? A long beep, a short beep, a combination of beeps? How many and in what order? That might give an indication of the problem, as well.

    Finally, you said above at some point that at least one fan does not spin when you turn on the machine. Could you be more specific about which fan does not spin? Is it a fan located on the CPU, on a video card, or in the case? Possibly in the power supply? Which fan this is might be an indication of your problems, or may be a seperate problem altogether.

    Take a look at StormBringer's posts and mine, and provide as MUCH detail as you can, and we'll try to help you. Don't worry about too much detail, anything can be a potential help.
  12. Ineedhelp

    Ineedhelp TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok my computer has a intergrated video card (just 2 be sure that means its apart of my mobo right?) there is only one port for the moniter i have to check the beep sequence.The power supply's fan works but the mobo's fan doesnt work, my chip doesnt use a fan and my comp doesnt have a agp slot for a video card with a fan.
  13. Ineedhelp

    Ineedhelp TS Rookie Topic Starter

    In conclusion I forgot to metion the statement that my computer would have random shutdowns and sometimes would boot or not. If the mouse isn't moved around within 3-5 minutes it would shut off or reboot.I had noticed this while I was another topic. The Shutdowns would only happen if the computer was actually working.

    So no one really knows what is wrong, well neither do I. Thank You for All your suggestions. So i will just keep on trying what I do.
  14. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    Ineedhelp: This doesn't sound promising to me. It almost sounds like your CPU is dying/overheating/already dead. You had said earlier that you don't get any signal at all from the monitor. This last post makes it look like the machine intermittently works. Either way, I stand by my conclusion until someone points out something I might have missed. I'd wait until someone else responds with similar advice concurring with that, though, before acting on it.

    If anything, replacing the CPU fan can't be a bad idea- CPU's almost always need a way to get rid of the heat. If the CPU still works, this could help things, can't hurt. If the CPU's dead, well, I guess you end up with another CPU fan to keep for the future. At last check, cheapos run $10-20 USD.

    Anyone else have anything to add?
  15. Ineedhelp

    Ineedhelp TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Where can i get a good barebone computer (give internet sites)?
  16. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    See link up at the top of the screen, one right of "Forums."
    Also see http://www.pricewatch.com

    You'll find plenty at the second spot, and get some decent comparison shopping in too. But use the TS if possible, so they get a little help from us on occasion. :)
  17. Ineedhelp

    Ineedhelp TS Rookie Topic Starter

    my computer wasnt turning on until i removed and then put back the c-mos battery could the c-mos battery be the problem? or something related to that
  18. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    Intergrated video card is on your motherboard. The exact oposite of:

    "Ok my computer has a intergrated video card (just 2 be sure that means its apart of my mobo right?) "

    So no, your computer does not have an intergrated videocard if its a seperate circuit board from the other board ;)
  19. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    Agissi I think it was a typo, meaning "a part of" the mobo, in which case.. ah, anyway.

    Ineedhelp: The Cmos battery certainly might be a cause. I'm not sure how expensive those are, but I could see them being pretty cheap. If they're not too expensive, I'd replace it and see if it helps any. Given the symptoms, it's definately a possibility.
  20. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    I doubt the CMOS battery(Lithium/manganese-dioxide) will cost a lot, perhaps slightly more expensive than a watch battery...they are slightly larger and look like a watch battery. A replacement should last for 5 years.
  21. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    Check the battery holder as well, the clip may not be making good contact, or it may have a faulty solder point. I've seen many CMOS battery holders that had a bad clip, or bad soldering.
  22. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Ineedhelp: If you removed the cmos battery, then you've reset the cmos, so you'll likely need to go back into the cmos to set it up correctly again. Also, you say that it was working before you did this, is that correct?

    Can you please find out what the motherboard make/model is, so that we can look it up?

    If you're not sure how to do this, perhaps someone else you know can help out.

    PS: You might consider changing your username. Everytime I have to write it down, I start feeling inadequate. :D
  23. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    I took this to mean that the machine was dead until you messed with the battery. If the problems all started when you messed with the battery then you need to do as Nic said and check CMOS settings. You should do this anyway as you have reset CMOS by removing the battery.
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