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compaq wont start up..

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Have a 2008 compaq.6months ago i tried to turn on and it wouldnt boot up.fans going side lights flashing but blank screen.obviously im no computer expert.just a single mum who knows very little,has computer illiterate friends and cant afford a repair job.if anyone has any simple tricks my little boy and id be most appreciative..especially when we have to use my housemates old old old desktop apple mac.thank you!
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    Grumpy Ol' MSgt (Ret.)

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Computers that have been sitting around for awhile can get knocked and banged around. I would open the side panel and make sure all the wires are connected and that a family of critters or creepy-crawly things have not moved in. Also, computers that have been sitting around for awhile some times have parts "borrowed" from them - like RAM (your memory sticks).

A power supply has to produce +12V, +5V and +3.3V. Fans and lights run off the 12V. But at this point, we don't know if the other voltages are being produced. I always want to start from the beginning by ensuring I have good power. So I start by swapping in a spare, known good PSU (power supply unit). If do not have one, or cannot borrow one, most repair shops will test PSUs for a nominal fee.

But, before spending money, I would swap monitors to make sure it is not your monitor that is failing to come on.

Other than that, I am afraid it could be a number of things, which makes troubleshooting harder. This could be caused by bad RAM, bad CPU or even a bad motherboard.

Do you know why the computer was set aside for so long?
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