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computer wont boot, Cd drive is turning on and off


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#1
Tastyspuds

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Until 30 mins ago all was fine. i turned the computer off and now it will not turn back on.
The computer powers up, and the fans are going when needed.
The system doesn't start up though.
The dvd/cd drive is making a noise like it is starting and stopping clunk, clunk about a second apart and the drive light is also flashing at a similar speed.
the dvd drive is full of dust and debris as i never use it.

Could this be a RAM issue? Or is the DVD drive stopping the start up somehow?
i have removed the Ram but it doesn't change anything, no beeping.

i have also removed the pci card as i heard that might cause this problem. but nothing has changed.

running XP 2.5Mz processor, 1G RAM Alienware Area-51m 7700
i would appreciate any help.

Thanks

Edited by Tastyspuds, 30 October 2011 - 11:32 PM.

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#2
phillpower2

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Hi Tastyspuds and :)

The dvd/cd drive is making a noise like it is starting and stopping clunk, clunk about a second apart

Is it possible that the noise is coming from the HDD as this sounds like the click of death and a failed HDD would prevent the system from booting it would not however prevent you from getting a BIOS screen, do you get a BIOS or Dell splash screen?

EDIT: How to clean out the inside of your case safely below;

If the computer needs cleaning out, first remove the power cord from the wall and open up the case, take anti static precautions before touching anything inside, you can do this by touching a bare metal part of the case, remove the video card, blow out the slot and re-seat the card securely, do the same with the memory sticks, clean all internal fans, if you use canned compressed air do not let any fan spin freely this can damage them, use something like a clean lollipop stick to hold the fan. Make sure all internal connections are secure and that there are no loose components, write down the psu details (make and model) re-assemble the computer, boot up and see how it goes.
Just a cautionary note, if you do use canned compressed air do not upend the can as it is possible for fluid to be emitted.

Edited by phillpower2, 31 October 2011 - 04:13 AM.

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#3
Tastyspuds

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Hi Phillpower2.

I think the sound is definately coming form the dvd/cd drive as the light goes on and off at the same time. It sounds like starting and stopping of the drive

I don't get any screen at all.

The comp has 2 harddrives working together in a raid configuration and in the past (every year) i have burnt the hardives out through over heating, but this seems different.
It was working fine and then one turn off and I can't restart it a few moments later.

I am wondering if my RAM might have been the cause. I was only using 1G RAM as the other 1.5G had gone bad and I hadn't gotten around to replacing it.

thanks for the help.

Tastyspuds
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#4
phillpower2

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Heat over a prolonged period weakens all other components so it is possible that the cause of the heat has now affected one or more of the following MB, CPU, Ram, video card and possibly all of them.
Causes oh heat include dust build up, a poor quality PSU, bad wiring and poor case cooling and extraction.
If you remove all Ram and power up do you get any error beeps?
Best couple of suggestions I can make would be first remove the MB and do a barebones set-up on a piece of cardboard (make sure it is larger than the MB) only connect the PSU, the GFX card, 1 stick of Ram and the keyboard.
You will then need to short out the 2 power on pins on the MB header to get the PSU to activate, you can use a small flat bladed screwdriver or a paper clip bent into a U shape, this is perfectly safe if you do not touch anything else, the idea is to see if we can get a BIOS screen if you do you can then add one component at a time until you find the problem component, you must power down and remove the power cord from the wall before adding a component, second suggestion try a known working PSU, third suggestion try and loan an ordinary PCI graphics card (not pci-e) again to try and get a BIOS screen.
Other things worth checking include, check for stray screws or bared wires in case of a short, make sure the jumper cap that can be used for clearing the CMOS is not missing and finally try a new or replacement CMOS battery.
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#5
Tastyspuds

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Hello again

I was waiting for some new RAM to see if that would fix the problem but it hasn't.

There are no error beeps when I don't have RAM in it. Does that mean MB problem?

also the computer is old and pretty much must need new cmos battery but would that cause this problem?

Still very unclear,and honestly trying to avoid taking it to pieces as i am not too sure i can put it back together.

Thanks for yor help


Tastyspuds

Edited by Tastyspuds, 05 November 2011 - 01:46 AM.

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#6
phillpower2

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Hi Tastyspuds

There are no error beeps when I don't have RAM in it. Does that mean MB problem?

Not necessarily, if the PC is failing the POST (power on self test) it could be the PSU, MB, CPU, Video chip or card, Ram, BIOS chip, keyboard etc and heat in some cases, more info @ http://www.poweronse...t.com/post2.htm

also the computer is old and pretty much must need new cmos battery but would that cause this problem?

I never rule anything out but normally a bad CMOS battery results in a checksum error and the systems default settings may be loaded, CMOS batteries are relatively inexpensive so keeping spares is no great hardship, they can and do normally do last for many years.

.jpeg courtesy of rshaffer61 :)
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#7
Tastyspuds

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ok thanks for all your help. i have actually decided to buy a new computer.

But this gives me a new problem. In this computer i had a raid card in stripe formation so that my 2 hardrives were getting half the info so that it worked faster. now i am not sure how to transfer the info from these drives to the new or my other computer.

Thanks for all the help you offered

Tastyspuds
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#8
phillpower2

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ok thanks for all your help. i have actually decided to buy a new computer.

You are welcome, buy a new computer by all means but try getting the old one sorted and keep it as a back up.

now i am not sure how to transfer the info from these drives to the new or my other computer.

There are a couple of things that will determine how you go about this 1: The type of new computer you buy, a laptop or desktop 2: If you buy a new desktop would you want to open up the computer to fit the additional HDDs and risk voiding any warranty, these are just examples of what needs to be determined and there are other aspects.
You can use either an external USB HDD enclosure or adapter for both a desktop and a laptop, examples of both are available to view @ http://www.amazon.co...sl_43ahetw1v1_e

A cautionary note, many of the above enclosures etc require either 2 USB ports or 1 USB port and an external power outlet meaning care must be taken when choosing the type to use, if you intend purchasing a new laptop many laptops may only have 1 or 2 USB ports which can be problematic if you use any other USB devices.
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