Need Help with PC for daughter "won't boot"

By kw6364 ยท 13 replies
Dec 25, 2009
  1. I recently bought a new HP so I gave my daughter my old pavillion. I gave her a new Monitor for x-mas and was going to hook it up for her but this is what happened:
    The PC was working fine (i have added no new components). It was sitting for a few weeks because we had to relocate it in her new room. Yesterday we moved it and set everything up, connected all of the cables, etc... When we went to power it would not even turn on. I checked the whole power strip, cord, outlet scenarios with no avail. To our surprise the next day the PC had power but no screen. I did a hard shut down and rebooted. Now it goes to blue HP screen then immedaitely black with a blinking cursor. After a few moments it says "operating system not found". I tried all of the f2,f8, f10 keys and cannot get into bios. I then tried to run the recovery software and after a few moments it says "hard disk not found". I have been on line reading and reading and this is what I can summize but since I am not an expert....really am not sure.
    I believe due to the power issue that the power supply is bad. But how can it now seem to have power and still not work? Secondly....maybe due to the power somehow toasted the hard drive? It is an old PC but worked flawlessly (better than the $1100 dollar pc I just purchased). If I can fix it for her by replacing the power supply and/or the hard drive for reasonable dollars then thats just what I want to do. Otherwise if it is too costly....then a new PC would be in order. I found the power supply for 40-50 bucks but have not checked on a hard drive yet. Any help to identify the exact problem and help me out to get this baby working...would be greatly appreciated. :wave:
  2. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    Sounds like a PSU Problem!

    You are probaly correct, this does sound like a power supply problem.

    Sometimes power supply (or hardware in general) does not fail outright. Usually that is the case but sometimes they are "flacky", sometimes it works, sometimes it doens't. And when it does work, it may not work correctly. For instance, the power supply voltage rails for the optical drives and motherboard work but not for the hard drive.

    There are only two ways to test the PSU. Either you get a special PSU multimeter or swap a new PSU in and see if it works.

    -- Andy
  3. kw6364

    kw6364 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the response

    Do you think that I should replace the PSU first and see if all of the other problems dissapear? Is it possible that the Hard drive is ok and the PSU is just not letting it do it's thing...even though it "appears" to be powering up now? I just found the same Hrd drive on ebay for 25 bucks with shipping....maybe I should get it and it always could be a second HD (slave)?

    Thanks KW
  4. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    At this point, the PSU is the most likely the problem but I can't say without testing it. Therefore, if you want to try swapping the harddrive, yes it is could be that too. It's less likely at this point but still you can try swapping a new HD and see if the problem disappears.

    -- Andy
  5. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    try a new psu, then try reseating your hard drive and ram. They could have been jostled. I would try a different psu first. (with the same specs.)
  6. kw6364

    kw6364 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the help....I am getting the PSU off ebay....should have it in a week. Will update then. Appreicate the responses!
  7. kw6364

    kw6364 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok here is where I am at

    I took apart an old gateway and removed of which was a hard drive with windows 98 on it. I figured what the heck since I am having issues with finding an exact match for the PSU and it seems to be powering I threw the hard drive in and waaaaLaaaa it came up and started windows 98. Of course it was in a much newer and unfamiliar home so it wanted to start installing drivers and such so I shut her down. I then re-installed the original hard drive once more and same issues as before (no operating system) and then withn recovery disc inserted (no hard disk found). So here is my guess...the hard drive is toast. The problem now is I have to decide whether or not to get a new PSU and hard drive or just the hard drive? Can anyone tell me with some certaintiy (I sure as heck don't know) ...Is it probably just a failed hard drive? or is the PSU on it's way out and had a temporary issue knocking out the hard drive? I don't want to replace the hard drive just to have it toasted again. The PSU seems to be fine but I dont know if they starty to go and get worse before they die....or do they just crap out and thats it? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated as I have both items on target on ebay and the auctions end soon.
    Thanks KW
  8. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    As Tedster said some connections could have loosened when the PC was moved around. From your description it sounds like the hard drive has failed. I would replace it, install the operating system and then see how it performs.

    PSUs die in different ways so you can't look for just one set of criteria. To clarify, didn't you already get a new PSU through Ebay?
  9. kw6364

    kw6364 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thks I did not get it yet. I found that I have a liteon model which is not readily available anymore. ATX oddly enough has 2 replacement models on their cross reference when I put in the Liteon model number. However when I put in the HP part number it actually suggests 2 completely different models. I contacted customer support and they suggetsed going with the ones referenced when I entered the Liteon part number which is what I too thought would be best. However once I looked at the dimensions and the connector types and actually seemed that ones referenced by the HP part number seemed to be better suited. By that time the auction had ended. I contacted the seller and he said he will relist item but now I don't know if it is really needed....or will it fit properly. I m trying to avoid the PSU if possible since it does seem to be a simple part to replace and at this time seems to be working. Man do you learn so much stuff doing all this research....sometimes great....sometimes fustrating !!!
  10. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    ATX compatible power supplies should all fit. You don't necessarily need an exact fit. The only variable you have to be concerned with is how deep/long the PSU is. That is, is there enough room to accommodate the length. For example, the case of an older Dell I have has a bracket that will interfere with any power supply that is longer than stock. However, many other PCs, especially home or custom built PCs, can accommodate variable lengths. If you ever need to change your power supply, either now because of this problem or for any reason in the future, you may be able do so with any good quality ATX standard power supply. Just check your case to see. Your old PC could be so old it doesn't conform to the ATX standard though. The advantage is you will be able to buy a better, possibly less expensive PSU than you can get through HP.

    From your first post it does sound like a power supply issue and I wouldn't rule it out and from your other post it sounds like a hard drive problem. It could be both. After all it is an old machine that has been sitting around for awhile.

    Sometimes it's hard to say with certainty which part is bad. Often we just swap known good parts and see or we test the suspected parts in a known good machine, like you've already done. I realize that's not always practical for some people.
  11. kw6364

    kw6364 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    New I tried to get an old hard drive up I ran into it wanting to install several drivers and figure out it's new home. I tried to avoid this by inserting the recovery CD ....thinking I might be able to get it to write to the old hard drive. I am not sure if was really even big enough for XP and also it just kept wanting to boot to windows 98 which was on the old hard drive so I gave up. I tried again in a few days and BANG I encountered the same issue that started this whole mess (the PC would not even power up). So back to square 1....I researched and found a PSU on ebay and should have it in a couple of days. I will then install it with the original hard drive and see if I can get real lucky. I figure probably I alreadyn have secured an identical hard drive off of ebay that was "taken out of a working machine". If I try to use can I get the recovery CD to write to the new (used) hard drive? Can I just power it up and it will read the CD? Or do I have to alter cables and jumpers inside to make different components masters/slaves so it will read the CD first? Do I need some sort of Boot disc and how do you get/use that? I am just ramping up for the next round!
    Thanks KW
  12. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    Change the first boot device to the CD drive in the BIOS. While in the BIOS open the CD tray and insert the recovery CD. Save and exit the BIOS and it should boot from the recovery CD. Go from there.
  13. rf6647

    rf6647 TS Maniac Posts: 829

    For sure, all this flakiness points to the power supply. With reservations, I'll throw this in, since the first post described one condition with the PC running with no video. I've seen graphics cards blow power supplies. A very noticeable "crack" or "snap" sound would be a give away - if you were close by. This has been an involved saga where the PSU came back. This raises the possibility that over-current for the graphics drags down the 12v for the HDD. There is no sure-fire way to test this theory short of blowing a second power supply or spending money on a low end graphics card.
  14. kw6364

    kw6364 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks all for the replies....will update after PSU is received.
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