No Boot and No Beeps

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yzerwing

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Jan 10, 2011
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Hello all,

I have a Gateway GM5260 with Windows XP Media Center on it. Recently I started getting a "NTLDR missing" message at start up.

I tried running the repair tool on the OS disc but it couldn't load the necessary files to function. I tried a few other discs I have as well and none of them worked either.

Now the computer has become totally unresponsive. I get nothing but a black screen. Not even a blinking cursor. I can hear the fans spinning but nothing else happens. There are no beep codes what-so-ever.

I am not sure if it is the Motherboard or the PSU maybe?

Thank You in advance to anyone who may be able to help.
 
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Sep 15, 2004
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Hello and welcome to TSG.

If you have more than one RAM stick in there, it's worth removing one to see if that helps. If it doesn't, swap them around to try the other stick on its own.
 

yzerwing

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I tried switching out the RAM sticks and had no luck. I still just get a blank screen, in fact the light on the monitor remains amber in color indicating that there is no signal present. This didn't happen at first because I was originally getting the missing NTLDR file message.

I still think it may be the PSU because or the way the situation is deteriorating. The fans still spin and the green LED on the motherboard indicates it is getting power but isn't it possible that the PSU isn't delivering enough juice to power the system up even though the MoBo LED lights?
 
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I still think it may be the PSU because or the way the situation is deteriorating. The fans still spin and the green LED on the motherboard indicates it is getting power but isn't it possible that the PSU isn't delivering enough juice to power the system up even though the MoBo LED lights?
The power supply has different sections that put out different voltages, it is possible for some sections to work and others not. If your fans are spinning up, then part of the 12 volt section is working, but the 5v and 3v may not be. Try another power supply if you have, or can borrow one.
It would be unlikely that both sticks of ram are bad, but you might try them one at a time.
You might also try resetting the bios, but i`m betting on the psu.
 

yzerwing

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The power supply has different sections that put out different voltages, it is possible for some sections to work and others not. If your fans are spinning up, then part of the 12 volt section is working, but the 5v and 3v may not be. Try another power supply if you have, or can borrow one.
It would be unlikely that both sticks of ram are bad, but you might try them one at a time.
You might also try resetting the bios, but i`m betting on the psu.
PSU is my hope. It would be inexpensive and easy to fix. As far as BIOS is concerned I can't access it. As for RAM I tried them one at a time and got nothing. Its as if I never turned it on but the fans are spinning and the power lights on the front panel light.
 
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Just stumbled on this thread and can't help but wonder if the computer IS booting, but your video (onboard or video card) has gone south. The fact that the light on the monitor stays in sleep mode suggests it's getting no or a very weak signal. Ordinarily when that happens, you get a message on the monitor like "Video cable disconnected?", but not always. If you have a video card, have you tried removing and reinserting it? Just a thought.
 

yzerwing

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Jan 10, 2011
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I thought about that too but don't have a spare to test it with. Originally I did get screen messages that said NTLDR was missing than I stopped getting even that. The fan on the video card spins just like the others. As far as a message on the monitor; it's an old monitor that does not display messages of any sort. Just a green or amber light on the front.
 
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Try booting with the Windows CD. If that works, then the whole PC is functioning.( well, maybe you have some bad sectors on the HD ) Then you just need to do a repair install.
 

Byteman

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Definitely try the things posted. My comments are just for general troubleshooting- Usually when I run into this on a system, the motherboard has been damaged. Sometimes, from a bad power surge, bad shutdowns, who knows...... and one other thing is
leaking or bulging capacitors on the board.

Here is some reference in pics for the bulging caps>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague#Symptoms
 
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Heres another possibility if you`re not getting a POST screen and the monitor isn`t getting a signal. I`ve seen several machines(one just a few weeks ago) that had shorted hard drives that did the same thing. One of the chips on the hard drive PCB would get so hot you couldn`t touch it immediately after hitting the power button, the machine would not post even though the fans ran. Slaving the HD in another machine to recover data gave the same results( thats when i discovered the overheated chip). After removing the HD , the problem machine would then POST and run from live cd fine.
You might try unhooking the hard drive (both the power cable and the interface cable) and see if it will then post. If still no go, strip it back to basics, unhook all peripherals/devices. If you then get a POST, hook things back up one at a time to find the culprit.

Also wouldnt be a bad idea to try unplugging and replugging the monitor, or try another monitor if you have one, or try that monitor on another machine to be sure it works.
 

yzerwing

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Well, I got a PSU tester and plugged it into the PSU in question and it tested out fine so I guess it isn't the power supply.

In addition I also noticed something new. I forgot to turn off the monitor once when I disconnected the VGA plug from the computer and I got a screen that said "NO SIGNAL". But when the VGA plug is plugged in I get a blank screen when I turn on the computer. This leads me to believe that the monitor is getting a signal but there is no graphic support hence the blank screen.

So I have to wonder if it is the Graphics card now? How can I test for this? I don't have an extra GPU to use.
 

Byteman

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Substituting a different video card is what you have to do to rule out the old card being bad.

You could test the present video card in another computer, just to see if it can POST to display any text...that means it is OK. If the video is onboard, well, you would have to add in a different card if you have a slot to hold an add in video card.

The problem sounds like the BIOS itself or the main board.

To reset the BIOS, on newer motherboards, you will have a jumper you have to move over to reset the CMOS settings....you have to follow the directions for your motherboard as some have a jumper to clear the CMOS, but the process may require a few different steps to complete....

If the BIOS is corrupted then sometimes, not every time for sure, you can reflash your BIOS chip with a floppy disk but not all of the newer computers have a floppy drive. If you see absolutely no video or text at all, this may mean the end of your mainboard. Reflashing might be possible if you see anything on screen.
 
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Could be worth trying the Advanced Boot menu (Safe Mode and all that) and selecting the 800x600 resolution mode and if it works in that but not with full graphics, it will show that the card is on its last legs.
 
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So I have to wonder if it is the Graphics card now? How can I test for this? I don't have an extra GPU to use.
R

Also wouldnt be a bad idea to try unplugging and replugging the monitor, or try another monitor if you have one, or try that monitor on another machine to be sure it works.
 
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