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Dead Computer


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#1
signman

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:whistling: Hi all,

Computer problem!!!

I have a pentium 4 pc 2.53 GHZ, a few month's ago I changed the motherboard due the CPU fan housing on the motherboard breaking, so the fan was not doing it's job, the computer kept freezing.

Everyhthing worked fine until one day my kids went onto the computer and it just shut down.

When I rebooted all I got was the CPU fan CD/DVD drives working, but hat was it, nothing else no boot up sequence nothing on the screen.

Thinking it may have been a Hard drive problem I have changed it for a new one, alas nothing.

Reading the motherboard manual which is like sifting through rice pudding!! I cleared the CMOS rebooted and yes I started to get the Windows XP booting sequence from the recovery disc, during the process I got the blue screen saying XP was processing but then I got loads of uninteligable text across the screen and that is it.

Despite several attempts to boot the system up nothing!!

I have Antivirus and firewall all upto date using AVG, all the latest windows security updates.

Any ideas? Thanks
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#2
Samm

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Welcome to G2G

Is the system booting at all now? i.e do you get any sort of a display on the screen?

Re. the blue screen & unintelligible text - do you mean the text was corrupted or that it didn't make any sense to you? The sort of blue screen error you are referring to, usually looks something like this :

STOP ERROR 0x000000xx ERROR_NAME (0x0000000, 0x00000000, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)
....followed by loads of other stuff....

Does that look familiar? If so, could you try the XP recovery disc again (if you are able) & let me know exactly what the first line line of the error message is (i.e the 0x0000000 part that immediately after the word STOP)

Could you also let us know what your system specs are please. i.e cpu, motherboard, ram, hard drive etc. If you have a main brand computer, such as a Dell or HP for example, then just let me know the model number instead.
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#3
signman

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Hi samm,

No, I do not get anything at all now no screen display nothing, just the cdrom/dvd drives booting.

The text I was getting was not the standard blue screen of death as you described, it was mainly random letters and $ sign symbols scrolling across the screen, this also happened once before when I booted the computer for the kids to go on, but once windows had loaded it was fine. There was no sign of any text when I attempted to reload windows. I.E. promptig you to the next stage of the reload process.

The computer is a Fujitsu/ siemens Scaleo

Intel 2.53GHZ, 1024mB ram, 64mb Nvidia card Geforce 2 video card, US Robotics wireless WAN card. Liteon DVD/CD rewriter, DVD rom drive.

Motherbord is now a Albatron Intel PX865PEC Pro Socket 478 1000+ MHZ Mainboard
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#4
Samm

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OK. The symptoms you describe suggest an overheating problem, probably cpu but possibly video card. There's also a slim chance of the problem being the ram.

You mentioned that you changed the motherboard a little while ago. Obviously this involves removing the heatsink/fan & cpu, amongst other things.
When you re-assembled the system, did you clean off the old thermal compound or pad from the cpu & heatsink, then apply fresh stuff?
Have you checked that the cpu fan still spins when you power the system on?
Have you checked the cpu & system temps in the past (since the motherboard replacement)? If so, what were they like?

What concerns me is that if this is a temperature issue, the fact that the system won't boot at all now, even after being powered off for some time, indicates you may have fried the cpu. The other possibility is a fried (over-heated) video card.

I suggest the next step is to try this :

1. disconnect everything from the motherboard, starting with the power obviously, followed by the drive cabling, any internal USB fly leads (eg for front USB ports) and all PCI cards etc.
Unplug all external devices except PS/2 keyboard.

2. Remove ALL memory modules as well & the video card (if it is a removable one).

3. Remove the cmos battery (flat silver 3V battery), wait a minute, then re-insert the battery.

4. Make sure you have a system (case) speaker or buzzer connected to the motherboard. Reconnect the power to the board

5. Power the system on. You should hear some beeps. Either way, power the system off again when you hear the beeps or after about 10 seconds, whichever comes first.

Let me know what happens.
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#5
signman

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In answer to your questions.

1) Yes I did remove traces of compound and replace with new.
2) CPU fan still spins
3) I have removed all cards and memory except for what you have said to stay put, rebooted the system and nothing, no beeps nothing!!
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#6
Samm

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It doesn't sound good then in that case.

I don't give up easily though so I want you to try/double check these things. I apologise if I'm repeating myself & I'm not trying to suggest you haven't already followed my instructions exactly, but I just want to be sure.
Also, I have since obtained a copy of the manual & specs for your board so I can give you clearer instructions.

Disconnect power from the board (ie ATX 20 pin power connector & ATX-12V 4 pin power connector).

Leave battery in place but move the jumper cap on the header JP1 (near the battery) so it covers pins 2-3. Wait 30 secs then replace the cap to original position over pins 1-2

I noticed in the manual there is no integrated video card, only AGP, so please remove the AGP card if you haven't already done so. I'm assuming there are currently no PCI cards, but if there are, please remove them again.

Disconnect the internal front USB leads from the motherboard.

Make sure all drive ribbon cabling & sata cables are disconnected from the board. Leave the power connected to the optical & floppy drives.

Make sure there is a case speaker attached & it is correctly fitted to the speaker header on the board i.e
pin 1 (PC BEEP) = black wire
pin 4 (5V) = red wire

Make sure all memory modules are removed

Have only a PS/2 keyboard attached (or no keyboard at all if USB)

Reconnect the 20pin ATX power & ATX-12V power, & power the system on again. Let me know if you hear any beeps this time.

To be honest, it doesn't look good. If the above steps don't help, then I suspect either the cpu is fried or the motherboard is fried.

The motherboard seems unlikely but not impossible. Check the board for any signs of damage/discolouration/burning smell, especially the southbridge chipset (the one between the pci slots & the battery). The Intel ICH5 chipset is known to be a bit flakey sometimes about front USB ports. i.e has a tendency to get blown up by badly earthed USB connections.

Also check the capacitors for signs of leakage.

If board looks ok, then its probably the cpu. The only other possible culprit is the power supply. The fact the board still receives power (for the fans etc) means it is unlikely to be the PSU but not impossible.
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#7
WinCrazy

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Since you were able to at least start the XP recovery process it is unlikely that the processor is fried. If it was, you would get no power-on tests at all, much less be able to start the recovery disc process. That narrows the problem down to the motherboard, the RAM, the video card and the power supply.

It may be in your best interest to take the system to a local repair shop whwre they have spares of all the components. You could end up buying most of the components for a brand new system in the process of testing your current one.

The best way to test the system is to replace the major components one at a time to see which one is bad.

If you want to keep testing the system yourself, your first priority is to make sure that the power supply unit (PSU) is OK. A malfunctioning PSU could really damage your system. Is there any way you can borrow a PSU for testing purposes ? You only need a 350 watt unit (or bigger). You might have to resort to buying one for testing purposes and then return it if this does not fix the problems (or keep it as a backup).

Start testing your system with only the CPU+heatsink/fan, RAM and the video card installed. That is, disconnect your hard drives, floppy drives and any cards that are plugged in save for a video card.

Do you have 2 or more sticks of RAM ? If not, you will have to get a hold of another stick of RAM. If so, try keeping only one installed at a time and try the recovery disk procedure. Test all the sticks of RAM individually. You do not have to complete the reinstall process - you're just trying to locate any out-and-out bad RAM modules. If your system gets at least to the point of starting the system recovery process, reattach the optical drive and test the RAM sticks individually with Memtest86. It is downloadable in an ISO disc image file that must be burned to a CD using Roxio, Nero, Adaptec, Sonic or the free program CDBurnerXP Pro.

The same goes for testing the video card. If the previous tests were successful, replace the video card at least temporarily to see if this cures the problem.

If testing or replacing the RAM and replacing the PSU and video card does not fix your system, then the problem must be with the motherboard. Fortunately, AFAIK all motherboards come with at least a one year warranty. You might want to try exchanging it at the place you bought it from, though it has been more than 30 days since you bought it. In any case, have the recept for the sale handy.

I hope this helps to diagnose your system.
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#8
Samm

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Since you were able to at least start the XP recovery process it is unlikely that the processor is fried. If it was, you would get no power-on tests at all, much less be able to start the recovery disc process.


Er, he isn't getting any power on tests - fans power up etc but everything else is dead.
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#9
signman

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Hi Samm & Wincrazy,

Sorry for the delay in replying work commitments.

Yes it appears it was the CPU fried, just bought new CPU fitted it everything appears to be working o.k.

Still haven't managed to remove random text & symbols from scrolling left to right accross screen when booting.

Only time will tell!

Thanks once again.
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