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unresponsive computer! need help PLEASE!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by juztin, Sep 6, 2004.

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  1. juztin

    juztin Thread Starter

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    okay, my boss at work just got a computer shipped to him from devry that they were supposably giving away for free because they were upgrading all their computers. he said that he couldn't get it to work at all, and i told him i'd take a look at it.

    i'm pretty good with most computer problems, but it's hardware problems that aren't really my forte, and i'm pretty sure this might be a hardware problem.

    first, here's the problem : when you turn on the computer, not much happens. nothing shows on the monitor, not even a flicker or anything. the two lights on the outside come on, and the internal fan runs. the little light on the hard drive (internal) comes on for a couple seconds and then turns off, but i'm assuming that's normal. after that, nothing.

    the first thing i did was disconnect all the wires, duster everything out, and reconnect it. no results, same problem occuring. i thought it might be a video card problem...but still, it seems like the box should be making a lot more whirs and clicks when starting up than just the fan running and the hard drive spinning a little.

    he told me it was a gateway computer, but i'm thinking it's probably some kind of refurb or something, as the sticker on the outside says it's a pentium3, but when i ran a check on the serial number located on the motherboard, i came up with this : 4000597 Gateway PII BX ATX Motherboard. 4000597 is the serial number.

    here's what i've been able to scrounge up about the computer

    the case says it's a Gateway E-4200 Intel Pentium III (but, like i said, it's not)

    Motherboard : 4000597 Gateway PII BX ATX Motherboard
    Power Source : Astec Model ATX202-3542
    Video : ATI Rage 128 MB AGP
    Sound : Creative Sound Blaster Live 1024 OEM (CT4830) PCI
    Network Card : 3ComĀ® EtherLinkĀ® 10/100 PCI NIC

    i'm not sure what kind of hard drive it has, as i've not been able to figure out how to get it out yet...it's really in there, about 3 brackets in my way...but i can get it out if necessary. i got the serial number off it, which is 612014929266, but running the serial on google got me nothing (gasp!).

    if anyone can help me out with this, i'd really be appreciative! and if you need any additional info, i'd be happy to dig into the box and get it. thanks in advance!!!
     
  2. Bryan

    Bryan

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    Bryan
    Just to be sure, first check that you have the video cable in the correct video card port. I ran across a PC that someone was having problems with and they had two video cards in the PC. The onboard video had been disabled and an AGP video card was installed. They were plugging the monitor into the old onboard video connector and had a blank screen, an easy mistake to make if you don't notice the other video port for the added card.

    Short of that I'd start with trying a new video card.
     
  3. Bryan

    Bryan

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    Actually I just checked the Gateway site, that model didn't come with onboard video so it can't be the issue I described above.

    Basically what I would start with is adding another video card that you know works and go from there.

    Maybe someone else will have other suggestions.
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I'd remove ALL the cards, except the video card. I'd also remove ALL the disks, floppies, hard drives, and CD's. All you have left is a keyboard and a video card, connected to a monitor. Turn it on and see if you get the BIOS screen. If not, measure the voltages on the P/S to see if they're all correct. If the P/S is OK, and you get no beeps, it's probably the MB. The easiest way to troubleshoot these is by swapping parts, that's how I go about the task.
     
  5. juztin

    juztin Thread Starter

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    ok, i took your guys advice...

    bryan, you're right, there is no on-board, so i went and borrowed my brother's video card (Compaq/nVidia Vanta 16MB VGA Video Card)....no change. i also grabbed a spare hard drive (Quantum 365 Mb Lightning Prodrive LT36A012), connected it....still nothing. absolutely nothing pops up on the screen. :(

    johnwill, i took your advice next and disconnected every card in the box, except the video card. started the computer up, and still nothing. not even a flicker. no bios, no ram check..... :confused:

    i appreciate your help in narrowing down this problem...so am i lookin at a fried motherboard here?

    thanks for everything!

    --juztin--
     
  6. pinntech

    pinntech

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Messages:
    893
    Hello...

    The number you provided is not a Gateway S/N. They are always 10 digit numbers, usually starting with 00... It is located on the back of the unit, around the power supply. Well, some of the newer ones start with 10, but that is an older system.

    Post the actual serial number and will tell you what was originally in the system. Also, some of the BX systems that Gateway made had a some capacitor problems. Look at the motherboard, check the capacitors to see if they are raised. They should be flat or slightly indented.

    I have also seen that system have problems with the power supply. Try a different power supply. Yes, I have seen them actually power a lot of the sub-components, but not have enough power to get the system to display video or POST.

    Troubleshoot it this way...

    Check the board, then try a different power supply. That would be cheapest way to troubleshoot the problem.

    Be sure to follow JOHNWILL's guidance on pulling everything except the video.

    If that fails, pull the memory out of the computer also. Try to see (actually hear) if you get any POST beeps.

    If that fails, Install the memory back into the system, put the VIDEO back into the system. Reset the CMOS per jumper. See if you get anything again.

    It is not uncommon for those systems to have NO POST/NO VIDEO. Which means, the motherboard is usually bad if none of the above works.

    Sorry, but I was a Gateway Technician for about 3 years and seen a lot different things with their systems.

    Have a great one!!!

    Shane
     
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