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Desktop computer not turning over, no beep codes, power light on


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#1
maximem

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Hi there

 

Appreciate anyone that can help troubleshoot this issue. This is my parent's computer and it has stopped turning on. I'm not sure if it is salvageable but I'd love to try before we write it off!

 

I am tech-savvy but not a computer expert by any means, especially hardware issues. I like to think that I'm good at following instructions and troubleshooting so any and all help is appreciated.

 

Desktop computer, Windows 7, at least 5 years old I think.

In the weeks leading up, the computer would have trouble turning over from sleep/hibernate. Often needed to power it off manually, turn off their power bar, then able to boot it up. Then one day it stopped turning over entirely.

 

Computer has been dead for a few months, haven't gotten to looking at it seriously. A few months ago, I did some troubleshooting. Tried to unset the battery on board (forgot what it is called, is it the Bios battery)? Was really hard to remove and I hope I didn't damage anything along the way. Popped it back in and nothing changed.

 

We took the harddrive out and plugged it into our own desktop, and we were able to get it working and access all of the data. So I think it isn't that.

 

When I press the power button:

Power light turns on

Fan starts

The computer just won't turn over, so nothing shows up on the screen

There are no beep codes to help me identify the problem

I can't force it to shut down after this by holding the power button - nothing happens. There is no on/off switch so I have to literally unplug for it to turn off.

 

 

This sounds like a power supply issue, from my googling. But honestly I don't really know what the power supply is! I thought it was the power plug by my husband seems to make fun of me when I said that ;)

 

Appreciate any and all advice! Thanks in advance :)


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#2
Fusionbomb

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Yes, sounds like a power supply issue to me, too.

The power supply is the "box" inside the PC where the power cord plugs into the back.  Just google "power supply" and check the images.

If that is in fact the problem, the good news is that it should be easy/cheap to fix.  If your computer is ~5 years old, and has no special hardware (for gaming, etc), then just about any wattage should work.

If you decide to test this, here are my recommendations:

1) Before removing the PSU (Power Supply Unit), make sure to note which wires are attached to which components on the motherboard.  Sometimes, there are extra wires and it may be confusing if you didn't pay attention before removing it.

2) There should be a sticker somewhere on the PSU that details its wattage/etc (You may be able to read this without remove the PSU).  Just make sure the new PSU you obtain has at LEAST that much wattage.  I would imagine anywhere from 350W-500W would be more than enough for your older rig.

3) Another problem you may encounter is the size/fitting of a PSU replacement.  Not all power supplies are the same size, but if you find another one with the same (or similar) watts, there's a good chance it might fit.

PS - The power supply may cost ~$50, depending on where you get it from.  I've bought used ones off eBay for roughly $25-30. 

I hope this helps.  :prop:


Edited by Fusionbomb, 03 February 2015 - 10:02 AM.

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#3
maximem

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Thank you so much for the speedy reply, glad we were on the right track. Thanks for the tip about being clear on which cables are plugged in where - I will take pictures to be sure!!

Awesome that this might be an easy/cheap fix. I will look into it and see if I can find a used one on ebay too. I will report back once I've tried it out!

 

Thanks again :)


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#4
123Runner

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I am in concurrance about the power supply.

What is the brand of computer? Dell, HP, etc, or home built?

Some manufacturers like Dell have proprietary components meaning that 1 size does not fit all. as indicated in the previous post.

 

And, yes, take pictures.


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#5
phillpower2

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maximem,

 

Please do not replace anything atm as there are things that need to be checked out first, see my canned text below;

 

When I press the power button:
Power light turns on
Fan starts
The computer just won't turn over, so nothing shows up on the screen
There are no beep codes to help me identify the problem
I can't force it to shut down after this by holding the power button - nothing happens. There is no on/off switch so I have to literally unplug for it to turn off.

 

 

This suggests that power is present but I am not sure what you mean by "The computer just won't turn over" are you saying that the computer remains powered up but does not boot into Windows.
 
Please provide information about the computer,this includes is it a custom build or brand name such as Dell or HP, if it is a brand name provide the model name or series number (not serial) if a custom build post the brand and model name or number for the MB, Ram (including the amount) add on video card if one is used and the PSU (power supply unit) providing these details will enable us to better assist you.

 


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#6
maximem

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Hi everyone,

Thanks for chiming in and helping out. I have taken a picture of the front & inside of the computer, as well as a video of when I turn it on. I don't even have a screen plugged into it right now because it won't turn over, won't boot up windows/nothing appears on the screen. You can hear when it turns on that it doesn't complete the turn on process, if that makes any sense.

 

I will upload the video in the next post duue to file limit sizes.

 

The computer is storebought Acer, not a build. Specs in the photo.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2015-02-03 20.12.37.jpg
  • 2015-02-03 20.12.02.jpg

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#7
maximem

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Apologies looks like I can't upload a video here, so here is a link to an unlisted youtube video:


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#8
Fusionbomb

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After watching the video, and from the limited info that I know about the machine, I am still leaning toward the issue being a bad PSU, for several reasons.  Please keep in mind that I am just a random IT person on this forum, and not staff.  You may want to disregard my posts/advice and heed that of phillpower2.


It is difficult to tell in the video, but one thing I was wondering about, is if any of the fans were spinning.  If not, I would say I am 83% sure its the PSU.

If the fan on the PSU itself was actually spinning (the one on top, when looking at the back) it could still be a bad PSU, but I would be more hesistant to advise that you immediately go buy a replacement PSU to test fix.


My summary:  If you can afford to "throw-away" however much the new power supply costs, then I would say try replacing it.  If you're patient and want to listen to phillpower2, he may be better able to assist you and could possibly save you $.  :yeah:


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#9
maximem

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Hey yes the fan is absolutely running strongly! Sorry I didn't mention it :)
I'm in no rush so happy for all advice and ideas before I head out to buy things, though I understand that it would help to narrow down the problems!
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#10
terry1966

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well you have power going to it so that would make the psu less likely to be the problem, but doesn't rule it out.

 

it doesn't switch itself off so that would make the cpu less likely to be the problem in my opinion.

 

looks like you have both a dedicated gpu fitted and onboard graphics so think the first thing i'd try is to use each one at a time and see if you get anything displayed on the monitor on power on.

 

:popcorn:


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#11
phillpower2

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Hello folks,

 

terry pipped me to the post there with removing the add on video card  ;)

 

Additionally, disconnect the power cord etc, ground yourself, remove each stick of ram, blow out the slots but only re insert one stick of Ram into the slot nearest to the CPU.

 

Remove the CMOS battery, press the power on button for 20/30 seconds then replace the battery (see attachment below) reconnect the power to the computer and test, post back with an update.

 

 

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  • MB batteries..jpg

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#12
maximem

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Thanks everyone for the valuable input! Now let's see how it went.

For the CMOS battery, that's the one step I had tried before. It was quite a pain to remove since the spring thing didn't work, I really had to force the plastic to get it out last time. So I haven't re-done that step.

 

For the graphics card, thanks I hadn't realised they had one! Well takng that thing out, there was a ton ton of dust in that fan. I cleaned it up and then assumed that maybe that's all it would take, so I put it back in before turning the computer back on. Something different happened, not better unfortunately. The computer started to turn on (the fans turned) but then quickly stopped. The fans don't get to full speed, everything just kind of dies, as if they don't have enough strength. Tried to power on again after, and nothing happens. Nothing happens until I unplugged the power and do it all over again.

So, at this point I removed the graphics card so that we can try with the onboard. Same situation happened: tries to start booting up and quickly stops. Actually you don't even here the sound of everything turning on, the fans just do a turn or two but you don't hear them actually accelerate.

So then i removed the graphics card again. Got to the ram. Took everything out, and then put just one in. Same situation as above. Put the other 3 back in and everything is the same again.

 

Did I break something? haha. In the meantime I also took out (using pliers) some chunks of dust from behind the inside fan (the one above the mother board I think? or processor).

 

Ok, ready for your ideas :)


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#13
phillpower2

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To avoid any possible mishaps can you stick with only following the suggested steps please,  :thumbsup:

 

Does the PSU fan continue to run when the other fans have stopped.

 

When/how long ago did you previously remove the CMOS battery and was the computer behaviour the same before and after it was removed.

 

NB: Please do not insert anything metallic inside the computer, if there is/was any residual charge in the MB and you touch the wrong thing it will short out the MB.


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#14
maximem

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Thanks Phil. All of the fans react the same, a small shot of energy and then they stop, never getting to full speed.
I removed the battery a few months ago (which was the last time I worked on this computer) and nothing changed with the computer. I'm not 100% sure that I had held the power button for as long as you are saying though, so I could try that again.
Should I remove the ram and the graphics card before doing that?
Also do you have any tips on how to remove the battery? I feel like I nearly broke the plastic last time. It's like the second picture in your example. What can I stick in it to help push it out that won't fling off and damage other things (and that isn't metal?). Any advice appreciated, I can even film me trying to remove it if it helps :P
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#15
phillpower2

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This change in behaviour is more like a bad PSU than it was previously so I would suggest that you check that first and leave the CMOS battery for now.

 

Excuse the title of the tutorial here which details how to remove a PSU

Once the PSU is removed you can do the most basic of tests to see if the PSU will activate and stay running, Corsair guide here (no need to connect an additional fan).

Pin-out diagrams here

 

You are welcome btw  :)


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