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Old 03-21-2006, 03:32 AM   #1
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Default PC won't boot - where's it gone wrong?

Hi,

Last night while I was simply reading forums, my PC locked up completely (no mouse movement, wouldn't respond to any commands at all). So I hit the reset button. After that it refused to boot. Nothing happens at all - the power comes on, the hard drive LED lights up and stays lit continuously, but the monitor never leaves standby mode and the PC evidently never begins the boot process.

It's driving me insane because only a week ago did the power supply completely fail (PC wouldn't even turn on), so that had to be replaced, and this time I have some fairly important work on there that I need access to and I don't even know whats gone wrong. But from the signs I can't help feeling its going to be something expensive.

Normally to get at the work I have on there I'd just put the hard drive in a different machine. Sadly, its an SATA hard drive and as the other machines in my house are fairly dated, none of them have motherboards that support these drives.

Incidentally I've had the PC apart to check fans are operating correctly and everything seems to be working. Also had the CMOS battery out to check it wasn't a BIOS issue.

So, firstly can anyone think of a way I might be able to access the work, and secondly, whats likely to be wrong with the machine?

Any help is much appreciated - thanks.

Tom
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Old 03-21-2006, 04:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: PC won't boot - where's it gone wrong?

Hey Airwalker

A similar thing just happened to me and I was posting here trying to find a cure as well, Actually my post is right abover yours as I speak. My computer started resetting as well and then the monitor refused to turn on. I still don't know what the problem was. But it started working after I turned the PC off at the mains for a period (overnight or a couple of hours) whether this reset something I don't know but it worked first time after that. Its kinda a low tech solution but it worked for me.

You can also try resetting the cmos on your motherboard, see your mb instruction(or google it) if you are not sure how.

Your most likely solution though is your power supply. Recheck it and possibly return it if its new. I guess I don't need to say try comp on another monitor and vice versa just to work out where your problem lays.

Sorry thats about all I can offer.

Keep us posted.
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Old 03-21-2006, 04:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: PC won't boot - where's it gone wrong?

Sorry just noticed you said the bios/cmos thing. Can't help much with SATA either, I am planning to get it but not yet.
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Old 03-21-2006, 08:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: PC won't boot - where's it gone wrong?

do you have another video card you could try? Does your harddrive spin up?
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:11 AM   #5
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Default Re: PC won't boot - where's it gone wrong?

I've tried a different graphics card but no joy. I'm fairly sure my hard drive spins up (its difficult to tell - its a quiet drive which makes it hard to hear over the noise of the other fans). I'm not sure if there's another way to test. Presumably, though, if the hard drive was at fault I would still see the POST screen at least.

I actually suspect the PSU too. It is a cheap but not necessarily cheerful "Magna 500W" unit bought from eBuyer last week, based on strength of review:

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/produ...duct_uid=61308

...perhaps a little naive of me.

Seems that leaving the computer off for any amount of time is also ineffective - the hard drive activity LED just remains lit constantly while the system whirrs away apparently doing nothing. Strange that this should have happened whilst the system was almost idle.

Sigh. Computers.
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Old 03-21-2006, 03:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: PC won't boot - where's it gone wrong?

Any thoughts guys?

I've tried:

- Replacing the PSU
- Replacing the graphics card
- Disconnecting/reconnecting all hard drives
- Replacing CPU fan/heatsink
- Powering system with only RAM & Graphics Card connected
- Removing/replacing CMOS battery

...all of which have proved ineffective (the HDD activity LED remains lit constantly, nothing appears on the monitor). So, narrowed down to either the CPU, Motherboard or RAM. I noticed that when the system powers on and the optical drive(s) are attached, their activity LED's flash, so I assume this means the BIOS is at least initiating the POST. Any ideas?

Any suggestions very gratefully received - thanks!
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Old 03-21-2006, 03:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: PC won't boot - where's it gone wrong?

...i was just about to say failing ram
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Old 03-21-2006, 04:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: PC won't boot - where's it gone wrong?

Got 2 x 512MB DDR400 installed, dual channel.

Removed both sticks & reseated.
Then tried each stick individually in slot 1.

Still no luck...
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Old 03-21-2006, 04:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: PC won't boot - where's it gone wrong?

tried different hdds?
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Old 03-21-2006, 04:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: PC won't boot - where's it gone wrong?

kinda confused on this, so it won't turn on at all am I right
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