Trying to fix a PC that won't start

By E-man ยท 13 replies
Aug 29, 2008
  1. I just got this computer that wouldn't start to fix. Well first thoughts went straight to power supply. I changed it and put one in that i know works (520Watts). But when i hit the on button, nothing. I have unplugged everything except the hard drive. This is what i am trying to start with, psu, motherboard, cpu, memory, and hard drive. Well i have used one memory stick at a time and doesn't help. And tried everything i could think of,. I don't know if it is the motherboard or cpu or hard drive...

    The computer is a hp pavilion a1203w
    with a asus k8s-la motherboard
    cpu is sempron 3000+ 1.8ghz.
    40gb hard drive

    Someone please help me, i will keep checking back to respond to questions. Thanks
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    So you have BenchTested it?

    If so, then it must be CPU or M/b
    Note I have had faulty Addon Video cards do this too
    Plus it's a good idea to remove all residual voltage by holding in the ON button for 30 secs, whilst power cord is out.
    I did have a Case and CPU Fan cause issues too (so unplug them briefly)

    That's about all

    Here's the No Post tutorial:
  3. E-man

    E-man TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Is there a way of testing one or the other without having another pc like it? This is the only pc like this i have. Thanks
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Have you plugged both power cables into the main board?
    1 x 20 (or 24) Pin Large Power Connector
    1 x 4 Pin Block Power Connector (near the CPU area)

    Also, exactly what are you getting, when you try turning it on?
    Any Lights, Fan movement, anything at all?
  5. seanc

    seanc TS Rookie Posts: 88

    Bench testing would rule out my next suggestion, but I'll throw it in anyway.

    Unplug front panel USB & Firewire connectors because I've seen mangled USB connectors ground to the case and stop a PC from powering up.
  6. E-man

    E-man TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have both power cables plugged in and when i hit the button on the front nothing happens, at all. Just the click of the button.

    I have unplugged everything except the hard drive. and its all the same.

    I just unplugged everything including the hard drive and still nada.
  7. E-man

    E-man TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have looked for burn marks on the mobo or swollen capacitors, but i don't find anything. The only thing that gives me little concern is that hp didn't put the heatsink on the cpu very well. I took it off to check the processor and the thermal paste was on less then half the processor. the heatsink was angled a little sideways or not flush against the cpu. But the lady i got the pc from has used it for about a year and this is the first problem she has had with it.
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

  9. E-man

    E-man TS Rookie Topic Starter

    i have some artic silver.... and i fixed how it was seated on the cpu. But this isn't causing the computer to not still does nothing at all.
  10. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Hmm CPU or M/B is looking good (or Bad !)
  11. E-man

    E-man TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, thanks, i guess my best bet is to get a mobo first and see if that is it, before the cpu? Which would you replace first?
  12. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    I have two (different CPU) dead computers here I'm working on
    I'm in the same boat!

    But I think I have some CPUs to throw in them and test (not sure if they're bad either!)

    Anyway your call
    How about a whole new computer?
  13. tpbarran

    tpbarran TS Rookie

    I agree that it's probably the cpu or mb. First, if you have a used cpu that fits the socket, put on some Arctic Silver and see if it boots up. It if does, unless it's a very low GHz, shut it off immed. because it could burn out if you are just using a heatsink w/o a fan. I recommend the Freezer series by Arctic Cooling, or Zalmans if they fit in your case.

    It it's the MB, you'll have to spring for a new one, but something could be wrong without any visible signs.


  14. Speedwagon

    Speedwagon TS Rookie

    I had the same problem on my kids computer. I started replacing old parts with new parts and still would not boot. I finally started returning parts for Motherboard and CPU and collecting parts to build a new system this weekend. I bench test the new system and everything booted up and windows loaded. But when I put it in the existing case nothing would work. What I did was take another front panel controls switches and plugged them into the motherboard and then it worked.
    What this told me was that my case was bad, even though I had a brand new power supply.
    I am still not giving up on the old system.
    Good Luck!
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