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PC will Not Boot Up. Not in Any Way.

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by grew7, Aug 5, 2006.

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  1. grew7

    grew7 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
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    What Happened:
    My mother's PC refuses to boot up.

    I installed some programs. FireFox and Zonealarm. I installed them from a portable hard drive of mine, since she did not want her computer to go online without any protection. The computer I copied these from was running perfectly and therefore I believe had no viruses, trojans, etc. because I had copied these a while ago.

    After I finished installing those and doing the required restart, I decided to run msconfig and disable some unneccesary things that were starting up with Windows. Stuff like msmsgs and some printer stuff that didn't need to be running all the time. Then, after rebooting like I was supposed to, I went through the task manager to see what else was running, since the computer had just froze for a second.

    I found that a process called, "svchost.exe," was using up %100 of her CPU all of a sudden. So I ended it. And another one started to use up all of her CPU. So I ended that one. And another one did it. So I ended that one. And another one did it. So I ended that one, too.

    Then the system shutdown message appeared. So I closed everything and instead of letting it count down and automatically shut off, I simply shut down the computer myself by going to Start>Shutdown.

    Then I tried turning on the computer. I see the PSU giving off its cool blue light in the back, and I see a little orange light on the front of the case, but I don't see the power light on. Even though the PC seems to be on, since I can hear it. The monitor is not recieving any signal, either. I also cannot open the CDROM drive to try to repair Windows. I push the button on the drive, but it will not open. The computer won't boot.

    Extra Information:
    -There is a video card installed. I can't imagine how this could possibly have anything to do with the problem, since the card has been installed for months, but I thoguht I should mention it anyway.

    -There is a floppy disk drive, but I don't have any floppies right now.

    -There are plenty of things I need to salvage from the hard drive. Stuff my mom has been writing. She can't afford to lose thi. I was thinking that I could just pull out the hard drive, stick it in my own computer and copy the files she needs. Anyone think thatwould work with how her PC is acting right now?

    -I have just read this: http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1605 and now I think that it may be the motherboard that is having trouble. Is there any way for me to confirm this? It's the motherboard that controls everything, right? If everything isn't working, it's the motherboard, right?

    Summary:
    PC will not boot up. I can hear that the computer sounds like it always does when on and doing nothing, but the light on the power button is not on. The monitor recieves no signal and I cannot even open the CDROM drive.

    Computer Specs:
    XP Home
    AMD Athlon XP 2.0ghz
    1gb ram
    250 GB HD
    256 mb video card Sapphire ATI X800 GTO (AGP)
     
  2. sockey99

    sockey99

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Messages:
    237
    My first choice would be to get her HDD into another computer and save her files.
    Then deal with her computer.

    Does it complete POST and give one beep? (Power On Self Test.)
    Does it sound multiple or combos of short and long beeps? (Hardware problems)
    No beeps at all. (Start with Power Supply then MB)

    If it dosen't POST, it won't boot.
     
  3. grew7

    grew7 Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    75
    Thanks. I will do that tomorrow and then post back. I don't rememberhearing anything, but I wasn't listening for anything, either. My dad is home and he just might freak a bit if he finds out this computer is having trouble and that I caused it. >_>;
     
  4. sockey99

    sockey99

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Jumper her HD to Slave, install in second computer,save files,remove,jumper back to Master, reinstall in her computer.
     
  5. grew7

    grew7 Thread Starter

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    Thanks, but what exactly is the way to jumper it back? Isn't it that thing with the pins and the little plastic bit that covers two of them up? Which is the slave setting?
     
  6. sockey99

    sockey99

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Messages:
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    Yes, it's the little plastic cap that covers two pins at a time. If the settings are not on the drive lable, goto the mfg's web site and search for jumper settings for that model number drive.

    Note; Master drives connect to the end connector of the ribbon cable and slaves connect to the middle connector, or else you get into drives not found.
     
  7. grew7

    grew7 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    Messages:
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    I did not even have to take the hard drive out. I turned on the PC just to hear what it sounded like for you, when to my great surprise, it booted normally. The weird black screen with the words on it, then the login screen. So, I figured I wouldn't have to take it apart, I could just use an external hard drive to back up the wanted files. I turned off the PC, plugged in the external hard drive, and turned everything on. Monitor, PC, external hard drive.

    It gave me the same no-booting problem. I did listen this time and found that no beeps had played. That means no POST. I unplugged the power cord and plugged it back in, then turned on the PC again. This time it booted fine, and I backed up the needed files.

    The PC is still on, working fine. I'll leave it on for now, just in case you might have any advice that requires me to have the computer running. Just in case I am unable to get it going again later if it turns out that having it on would be helpful.

    Do you have any idea what might be wrong for it to only be POST-ing sometimes and do you know how I may fix it? Thank you for your time.
     
  8. Rich-M

    Rich-M

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
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    Sounds like what happened had nothing to do with anything you did and the pc might have a dying power supply. That would cause it to rest and then boot up, heat could also be the problem but until you tell us the hardware including age, this is as far as we can go.
     
  9. sockey99

    sockey99

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    I agree with Rich, intermittent heat build-up problem -power supply, maybe motherboard.
    When's the last time you evicted the Dust Bunny family?
    Hardware not that old but AMD 2 g is one of the hottest running CPU's.
    Clean the CPU fan and heatsink. Clean CPU and heatsink of old thermal grease and reapply a good grease.
     
  10. grew7

    grew7 Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    I don't remember the last time I cleaned it. Blew stuff around with a can of compressed air when I installed the RAM a few months ago. Other than that, nothing. Which parts would you need to know the age of? The PC is couple years old. The power supply unit is new, bought it and put it in about two or three months ago. Same with the video card, the RAM and the hard drive. Every thing else.. About two and a half years, I think. Might be more.

    Also, cleaning the CPU and heatsink of this thermal grease won't be too risky, right? Or should I make sure to have an anti-static wristband while I do it? Where would I buy a good grease?
     
  11. Rich-M

    Rich-M

    Joined:
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    New means nothing if it is not Antec, Sparkle, Enermax, or Thermaltake...major brand and 400watts and up depending on your hardware which you still have not told us.
     
  12. sockey99

    sockey99

    Joined:
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    "Artic Silver" makes several kinds of great grease. AS-3, -4, or -5 will be good.
    Get it at a good computer store or online at Newegg.com
     
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