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Desktop doesn't power off or boot!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Euridice, Oct 16, 2007.

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  1. Euridice

    Euridice Thread Starter

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    Would appreciate suggestions as to what may have failed and why?
    First the background: My infrequently used, 7 year old Dell Dimension XPS T500 desktop computer and Trinitron monitor have been plugged into an APC surge protector for a while now. When I'd go to use my PC, I'd simply power on the surge protector and then press the power buttons on the CPU and monitor to turn them on and boot up the computer.
    Now the problem: Earlier this week, I turned on the surge protector and the computer powered on automatically (didn't need to press the power button) then proceeded to run through it's usual sequence - checked the DVD drive then the CD drive but stopped there. The light on the floppy drive didn't come on and the computer didn't boot yet the harddrive light came on and stayed on for about 30 seconds then turned off. The CPU fan ran OK. Though I had no problem powering the monitor on or off, I am unable to power off the CPU or get it to boot - it isn't responding. The only way I could power off the computer was to unplug it. Initially I thought the surge protector was the problem but plugging the CPU and monitor directly into a wall outlet has produced the same results. I also attempted to boot the PC using my MS Windows 98 boot disk and Dell Dimension support CD but the floppy drive isn't responding/reading the disk.
    I've read some of the other threads in this forum and am thinking I may have multiple problems - floppy disk, power supply, etc. but don't know what my next step should be to investigate the problem. I know the computer is almost 8 years old but I like Windows 98 and I paid $4,000 for the computer and would like to fix the problem if it's cost justifiable.
    I was told by a tech at Staples Business Depot that I should just chuck the PC and buy one of their cheap desktops for $300+ but what kind of PC would I be getting for that price?
    Could use some expert and sensible advice here. Anyone? Thanks - Euridice:confused:
     
  2. norton850

    norton850

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    You wouldn't get much for $300+, but on the other hand compared to a 7 year old system some might consider it an improvement. What do you use a computer for?

    As far as your problem would suggest disconnecting everything except the RAM, CPU/HS/Fan and video card and see what happens. Could be the PS. However, unless you have a lot of spare parts to play with repair may not be reasonable.
     
  3. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    That sounds like a bad power supply to me.
     
  4. Euridice

    Euridice Thread Starter

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    Thanks Norton850/Rich-M for your quick responses!
    I use the computer to pay bills, check e-mails, surf the web and (of course), save recipes, etc. Though I'm not into gaming, I do have a passion for the Tomb Raider series and the Dell with it's 128MB of RAM has served me very well all this time. I've never opened a computer's chassis to look around and don't have any spare parts on hand but think it would be rather exciting to learn a thing or 2 about hardware, etc. and give it a go if it's feasible. It's not like I've got a thousand or more right now to spend on a new computer plus the additional cost to have someone transfer my data, so I need to determine the best solution to this problem. Do I spend the money on parts and risk failure or, can I actually buy a cheap but reliable computer to replace this one? It's a tough call; care to comment?
     
  5. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    I would say that owes you nothing and for $5-700 for your use you could easily replace that and have a lot more for your money today.
     
  6. Euridice

    Euridice Thread Starter

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    Thanks Rich-M. Think I'll take your advise. Maybe I can take the Dell apart and learn how to build a (different) computer. Appreciate all your help. Take care.
     
  7. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    I agree, it sounds like either a shorted pw button, failing pw supply, or possibly a failing motherboard. With the price of shop labor around $65-75 per hour, it is not cost effective to repair something as old as that.

    If you want to do a little simple troubleshooting, open the case and pull off the pw switch leads [from the pw button to the board] off of the board. Now pw on the system, see if it comes on by itself. If it does, the switch is not shorted and you have a bad pw supply or board. If it does not come on by itself, you have a shorted switch in the case.
     
  8. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    I think that makes sense and you can still troubleshoot it because if power switch or power supply, and I would bet on power supply, you could repair it for spare pc or even give it to some worthy church or social group and still have the learning experience.
     
  9. Euridice

    Euridice Thread Starter

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    Thanks CRJDriver/Rich-M for all the good advice. I like the idea of donating the computer and I'll gain some good experience by rebuilding it. P.S. Love this forum. There's a lot of intelligence/good information here. Thanks to everyone who responded and helped on this one. Have a great day!;)
     
  10. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    You too Euridice, good luck!
     
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