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I think the hard drive wants a vacation! I hope it's not perm


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#1
Missemily

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Hi there,

Usually, I'm one the other side of the forums cleaning out everyone else's computer of the crazy bugs they let in their systems. My mom, mo other half, the neighbor... but this time...I have the problem.

In the last couple of days my computer has suddenly decided to turn off in the middle of working on it. Then it won't boot and just beeps at me. I have to let it set for about 10 minutes or so and then I restart in safe mode- shut it down correctly and then turn it back on and it works- without any problems that I can detect.

Occasionally, I have noticed that it will seem to freeze for a second or two - but I thought it was due to being an older computer and paying games and such. I'm not sure what info you need but this is what I know:

Acer Aspire E380
Windows Vista Home premium - Service Pack

It's never been upgraded or added to - and if you could tell me how to get the rest of the information you'd need - I'm really good at taking direction!!
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#2
phillpower2

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Hi Missemily

Possible causes of this type of issue may include overheating (including the HDD) and a bad PSU (power supply unit).

When if ever was the last time that the case was cleaned out of heat trapping dust also can you hear the cooling fans working and do they sound as they always have.

How to safely clean out a computer case;

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 (if present) 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 that all internal connections are secure and that there are no loose components, write down the PSU (power supply unit) details (make and model) post them here with the your next reply, 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.
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#3
Missemily

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Well, I had actually done this few days ago, the first time it happened. SInce I don't have any compressed air- I use my vacuum with a hose attachment and a dry qutip if necessary to dislosge hard to reach clumps. I will buy some tomorrow though and do a better job of it.

I'll be the first to admit - I am not very familiar with the parts and pieces that go into my computer. I have the power supply information:

Delta Electronics Inc

Model DPS-250AB-22 B

Manufactured 02-14-2007

I see two cards in there side by side that I am assuming are the memory cards - but I haven't a clue as to what the video card looks like or where to find it. I could take a pic if that would help so you can see what I have.

We had the same problem again today as well, My daughter was playing angry birds space (I know - but she's only 6 ;)) and the computer completely locked up - it didn't shut down but the screend was skewed sidewasys and the computer itself was making a stuttering,chattering sound. I left it shut off for awhile and it started back up fine.
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#4
iammykyl

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This is the best specs I have been able to find > http://support.acer....reE380sp2.shtml. It is not clear exactly what parts are used on your PC.

More information may be needed, go to the following page, Download the free 2012.2.11 setup. Save to the desktop. Do not install, until/if Phillpower2 instructs you. He may wish to see other information first.


> http://www.cpuid.com.../pc-wizard.html
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#5
phillpower2

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Thanks for the additional information :thumbsup:

Yes it would be helpful if you could attach a picture with your next reply as this will help us guide you better with the cleaning and identifying parts.

The recent screen and chattering sound issues may be related to the power supply unit, these can also become clogged with dust + the PSU itself is not one of the better quality brands and has a minimal 250W output.

Once a proper clean has been done you are potentially removing one possible cause of the issue, swapping in a known working PSU with an equal or greater power output than 250W should also be done asap.

Couple of safety tips for you, there are no user serviceable parts in a PSU and so a bad one should be disposed of in a sensible manner and avoid using a vacuum to clean out your computer as it is possible for static from it to trash your hardware.

Under no circumstances should a PSU be opened up by anyone other than a qualified electrician/technician.

Thanks for also adding your input iammykyl :thumbsup:
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#6
Missemily

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Thanks for the help on the specs.

I have the pics and will attempt to post them here. I bought a can of air and blew everything out again espcially the PSU. Which I couldn't really get at before.

Edited by Missemily, 20 August 2012 - 11:21 PM.

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#7
Missemily

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Geez- stupid 1 MB rule won't let me attach more than 1 file - Here's an overall shot of the inside of my computer.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Topdown.jpg

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#8
Missemily

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Now on to the side shots - computera.jpg
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#9
Missemily

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computer c.jpg
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#10
Missemily

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and lastly::  computer b.jpg
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#11
phillpower2

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Thanks for the pictures which show that the inside is relatively clean now.

Did you remove the memory sticks and blow out the slots as was suggested in my reply #2.
If not please do so as dust in the Ram slots also causes problems, a guide to removing/replacing memory sticks http://www.crucial.c...stall/dimm.aspx

Once this has been done leave the side off your case and connect the power cord only, turn on at the wall socket, press the computers power on button and then check that both the CPU and rear exhaust fans are functioning correctly, if you are happy that they are power down the computer, remove the power cord from both the wall socket and the computer, reassemble the computer, power up and see how it goes.

Post back here the results please as there is some hardware testing that I would like you to carry out.

Cautionary Note;
Please take care when applying power to the open case and do not at any time reach inside the case whilst the computer has power going to it.
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#12
Missemily

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uh oh...

I know you're the expert but.... I downloaded the pics and everything last nite and had no problems at all and shut down as usual. I got up this morning and tried to turn it on. It will turn on and run - but it goes to black screen within a couple of minutes. I have to do hard shut down and then wait a minute or two and turn it back on - which gives me safe mode options. The computer itself isn't shutting down - just the screen. The fans are all running as far as I can tell. I'm thinking by process of elimination- video card died?

Right now, I'm using my trusty laptop but would really like the desk top back if I can possibly fix it? Not to mention the 6 yr old wants her Angry Birds back! I have a hard time resisting those sad puppy dog eyes - LOL!!!
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#13
iammykyl

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Sorry you are having more problems.

You said in your first post the computer beeped at you, can you remember what those beeps were?
Do you get any beeps now?
From your pics, you only have integrated graphics, so hopefully this has not died.

the system still has to share video memory with the main system RAM, so if anything wrong there, could cause the black screen.



Take safety measures, than make sure the RAM is properly seated with the clips at each end fully closed, test again.

If still a problem could be the power, can you borrow a known working PSU?

Review, contains more info on your PC, > http://products.hows...ries-review.htm
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#14
phillpower2

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Hi Missemily

Did you follow the guidance that I provided in my reply #11?

Also please note the PSU guidance in my reply #5 which has now also been reinforced by colleague iammykyl.

When a computer starts in safe mode it has the minimal amount of resources running and so will sometimes boot up, normal mode will demand more from both the PSU and the memory and if either has an issue the system falls over.

One other thing that can cause your black screen is bad video drivers so you may need to reinstall the video drivers in safe mode but only after checking out the PSU and memory sticks.
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#15
Missemily

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First - the beeps - it was a steady longer beeping - beeeeep beeeeep beeeeep.

Then The RAM- I'll open it up and go through all the instructions again.

How do I get the drivers to download if I can't see anything? not being sarcastic- just puzzled.

And, it blacks out in both safe and normal mode so I wasn't quite sure what you were saying.

I don't have a PSU to sswap with :(

Integrated video card - that means I can't replace it?
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