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Computer won't start


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#1
Astaroth131

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I have a windows ME computer that recently decided not to start on me. It's been having a lot of problems lately (weeks...maybe months) with random freezing and the monitor is also occasionally not displaying right (hey this thing is ancient!). Finally today I tried to start it after it froze and it did not come up.

When I start the computer it sounds like a lot of the parts are starting up like maybe the processor or fans, but the monitor never turns on (as in the power is on but it's a yellow light and not a green one and there is nothing onscreen) and neither does the keyboard (or any other device I assume but I can't tell without LEDs). I also do not hear a beep from the bios. Nothing ever comes on screen. What's wrong with my computer and what can I do to fix it?

I don't think I have a windows ME disk (bought an HP computer at the store) because I don't think it came with one. There is an HP recovery CD but I have to find it and even then I don't know if it will / how to boot into it for recovery stuff. I also very much need a lot of the data on the HD still. If I can just get it to boot up and share some important files / move them to my other computer via network file sharing I can do a reformat if I have to, but the trouble is getting that far in the first place.

It seems sometimes if I turn it on and off a couple times it will start like normal w/a bios beep and I can boot into safe mode if I'm lucky, but this hasn't happened in like the last 6 or 7 tries so I'm not sure if I that's possible anymore to do. Even when I did the computer failed to run a scan disk (kept starting over and over then a few hours in froze completely). Attempts to boot into normal mode resulted in the computer either freezing on the windows ME screen or just going to a black screen and not doing anything. Again, I don't even know if I can get it to come up at all anymore.

That computer is not my only one but very necessary for the files and the fact that all 4 of my family members need computers all the time. :tazz: Any help would be greatly appreciated. Hopefully I can come through this with my computer operational and my files intact.
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#2
dsenette

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can you try another monitor?
another video card?
another power supply?

in the offending machine...only temporary of course. and try each one at a time..not all three at once
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#3
Astaroth131

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Unfortunately I do not have extra video cards or power supplies lying around and even if I did I don't know how to install them or anything. I might be able to try the monitor I'm working on now on that PC without too much trouble as far as setup goes, though I have a feeling it won't turn that one on either. Will try the monitor thing if I need to, but I'm waiting and seeing if anyone else chimes in with other ideas.

Edit: It seems if I keep it off for a while I can turn it on and it will at least get me to the Windows ME screen upon which it will freeze. If I pick safe mode before it does that it freezes on safe mode too. Meh =\

Edited by Astaroth131, 17 October 2005 - 03:31 PM.

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#4
wannabe1

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Hi Astaroth131...

This almost sounds like an overheating problem. Have you ever cleaned the CPU cooler and Power Supply?

wannabe1
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#5
Astaroth131

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I'm not even sure what a CPU cooler is, but no it hasn't been cleaned. This computer is something like 6 years old and I don't think the case has been opened once since we bought it (taking better care of my newer one though!).

I've never done anything more complicated than install memory in a computer so I don't know anything about cleaning the computer either. Are there any tutorials available for cleaning the parts you mentioned?


Note: The computer does 1 of 2 things when I turn it on (seemingly random, 1 more than 2).
1) Monitor doesn't turn on, BIOS doesn't beep, keyboard doesn't turn on, nothing to work with.

2) Monitor/Keyboard come on, BIOS beeps, computer freezes either on the Windows ME loading screen or log-on screen (if it even gets that far).

Any thoughts on why the computer does two different things? It seems it is not one distinct problem, or perhaps that the problem is inconstant for some reason.

Also, before the computer stopped starting up, I attempted to run a defrag one day and it said I couldn't because the drive contained some errors and it asked me to run scandisk. I tried to do this but it keep starting over for hours and eventually just froze. Never could finish scandisk. Just an extra little tidbit.
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#6
wannabe1

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Astaroth131...

This really sounds like a heat problem.

You'll need a can or two of compressed air...you can usually get this at any store that sells computers. (I get mine at Staples)

Remove the power cable from the back of your machine and open the case (the left side as you face the front should come off)...looking inside, you should see the CPU cooling fan mounted to a CPU Cooler (finned thingie). The cooler is probably packed with dust and other nasty stuff. Use the compressed air to blow the crud out of the fins and off the fan. Save some of the air to blow out the Power Supply and a little to blow out the case when you are finished. Just get it as clean as you can.

Once you get it cleaned out and back together, try booting into Safe Mode (tap the F8 key during the boot sequence and choose Safe Mode from the listed options) Hopefully the Processor won't be "cooked".

Let us know how it goes...

wannabe1
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