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PC won't boot

Postby Marbury » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:16 pm

This has happened for a while. I turn the power on and hear the psi start up and the hard drive whirling. I look at the screen and it is not registering a signal. As time has gone on I have had to power on with a few attempts before it goes through the boot up process.

I know when it has found the boot up process because the psu winds down and goes quiet. Now I can't get it to boot at all with many many attempts. Somehow it has stuck and won't boot.

There must be a lose wire or something. Can anyone help me diagnose what is wrong ?
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby whis4ey » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:20 pm

Your hard drive has died?
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby Steve A » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:26 pm

It doesn't sound as if he's getting as far as the BIOS screen now, so I'm not sure if the hard drive is the obvious culprit here. If it was, you could maybe prove that by getting the machine to boot from a CD. If there is no form of obvious error reporting from the motherboard (i.e. error beeps) then that to me would be making me think motherboard failure, or the motherboard not getting enough power either because of a faulty PSU or loose connection.

These are just guesses, but I hope they help.
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby Marbury » Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:22 pm

Tested the other hard drive and the same happens. Nothing. The PSU is pretty new. Sod's law, I took the side panel off, opened up and it booted twice after a few attempts. Put it back together and hey presto, no boot up.

I think it is a lose wire but where do I look ?
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby ef37a » Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:43 pm

What follows is just what I have learned over the last 5 years or so.
Do you have any kind of Windows disc? XP, 98 almost anything will do I think.

Go into the BIOS setup and set to boot first from CD. If it boots into Win setup from the CD drive straight away that rules out the PSU.

If not, remove all hardware, PCI, PCIe boards all usb kit then try. If none of this works it could be a bad connection. Don't know if you know but you cannot get a shock inside a PC (but watch fans and DON'T wear rings!) If you have it running sans cover, have a wriggle bash and pull at everything in a sytematic manner.

No doubt a top PC guru will come up with some test app?

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Re: PC won't boot

Postby Thesoundmatrix » Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:59 pm

If it's not registering a signal, it could be the monitor lead , the monitor or most likely the graphics card.I have had a similar problem with an old ati card. Changed card and all well. Or it could be Bios is screwed or motherboard as other poster has mentioned....If it's possible put graphics card in another slot, or try a different one without connecting the hard drive and see if you have a setup screen...
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby Marbury » Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:15 pm

No, it's not the monitor as this wouldn't stop the boot-up. I know the sound when it connects to the boot as the whirring stops and it goes quiet. The monitor works fine. If no boot up the monitor will not register a signal. Put the windows XP disk in the cd drive and it didn't,t do anything. It's a 2004 Medion which I need to replace soon but I just need to get into it as there is important stuff on the drive. It always started up at least after 2 -5 attempts but now it doesn't want to know. How do I get into the bios if it won't even boot ?
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby KuRu » Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:33 pm

ive had a similar thing before, check where the main atx power lead from the psu is seated correctly on the motherboard also check to see if there is a square 4 hole molex power supply socket near the cpu socket, i have no idea how it happened in mine but part of the main atx lead was half out so it was only booting intermittently, good luck hope this helps some!
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby Scramble » Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:37 pm

>I think it is a lose wire but where do I look ?

We get a lot of 'lose' being spelled as 'loose' around here, but that's the first time I've seen 'loose' spelled as 'lose'!

Are you getting a series of beeps at the start? These usually indicate the sort of error. If you're not even getting those then I'd say it's the motherboard. In fact I'd say it's the motherboard anyway. It sounds like it isn't the hard drive, and not the GPU, and not the PSU, so the motherboard looks to be the culprit. But open it up and check the wiring just in case.

I had a computer from around that era and the motherboard on that started playing up a few years ago, it would take a few attempts to boot before it started working, and that lasted for a long time before it finally went. Pete Kaine reckoned it was something like a dodgy connection on the board, maybe a bad bit of solder, and that after a few attempts at starting up it would heat up and expand to make the connection work (can't remember exactly what he said now, but it was that sort of thing). But finally it went for good.

I found a second-hand replacement motherboard of the same type going cheaply through Google, so that was a cheap and relatively easy fix and that computer is still going today in another room, although it will soon be in the loft as it's getting too ancient now to be of much use for anything.
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby Magic Matt » Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:39 pm

I'd try popping a different graphics card in to eliminate that. Graphics card failure can cause all sorts of odd things to happen, but if the graphics card was ok you should at least be able to see something on the screen by way of an error message.

Also, does your PC have little LEDs on the main board? Some do, that can be used to diagnose a POST fault. Other boards use combinations of long and short beeps, and you can look up that code.

I've repaired PCs that have "nothing" happening on power up, and I can tell you 100% that even though you would think the main-board is the problem, I've seen hard drives, CD drives, processors, graphics cards, and PSU's, all cause the computer to seem dead, so just because there's nothing happening on screen is no reason to necessarily suspect the motherboard.

I'd do this in order personally...

Disconnect all the drives, remove all but one stick of RAM - see if it boots up reliably. Try a different stick of RAM if not.
Try a different graphics card.
Try a different power supply.
Try a different processor.

Unfortunately that does depend on getting access to spares - it would possibly be cheaper to get a shop to look at it than buying spares unless you know what's at fault or can get hold of them to test.
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby Marbury » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:00 pm

Thanks, I will try that but of course leave the hard drive connected otherwise it won't. Boot up. I think it has something to do with heating up and starting to warm up when a few attempts have been made. What I can't understand is a few posts ago I had it working after a long time trying. Then as soon as I got it back in its place and tried again it failed. Something is a miss.

Now as its for editing sound and photographs, this PC is very slow and out of date so it won't be any hardship to upgrade BUT I am using XP and Outlook express which I want to keep because I like them. I have put off getting a new PC because of this. I have no idea how I will port all my emails over but I do need something faster for sure. I run my Cubase SX3 on my other music PC which is also getting a bit shaky. I am wondering if I should get something that can handle both video/photo and sound editing so I can use SX3 on it when my music one gets too slow.

Sorry if its off topic but its all relevant really. Any ideas that won't cost me Megga bucks would be appreciated. Dino PC seem a good company to get a good deal.
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby The Elf » Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:20 pm

Marbury wrote:Now as its for editing sound and photographs, this PC is very slow and out of date so it won't be any hardship to upgrade BUT I am using XP and Outlook express which I want to keep because I like them. I have put off getting a new PC because of this. I have no idea how I will port all my emails over
A good reason for abandoning email clients for a web-mail service IMO.

There are lots of tutorials out there for saving/transferring email between PCs and utilities to do it for you. It's actually a relatively simple thing to do, but not if you're not confident about what you're doing. With Outlook it was (almost) as simple as copying the Outlook.pst file across, but IIRC it's not quite so simple with Outlook Express - which is long dead and worth abandoning anyway.

Maybe try HERE for starters.
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:44 pm

The Elf wrote:A good reason for abandoning email clients for a web-mail service IMO.

Maybe. But be careful. The "free" ones are quite capable of changing the rules - either withdrawing the service completely or making it paid. Google are starting to charge business users. Their definition of "business" may change. And any mail provider may have a meltdown. They'll be very sorry. A paid one might even compensate you. But your data will be gone.

If your address book and/or any stored messages are important to you, I strongly recommend having a copy on YOUR computer and backups.
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby chris... » Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:33 pm

The Elf wrote:A good reason for abandoning email clients for a web-mail service IMO.

You're thinking of email clients using POP, which was showing it's age by the 1990s.

Since 2000 or so, IMAP has come of age. It enables clients to access email live on a server, without having to shovel it all onto to the workstation. Get a new computer, simply enter your IMAP settings and there's your mail right there (with all folders sent-items). Want to use multiple computers, and/or mobile devices ? No problem with IMAP. All can be open at once, and happily go bing when new mail arrives.

( none of the above worked properly with POP )

But I concede, the latest web-based email services are actually very good, and almost as good as a native IMAP client
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby DragonLogos » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:12 am

Sounds like a RAM fault, try re-seating and or cleaning / replacing - When building a system it is a good idea to Ark ie use two of each component were possible - If you have done this, try removing one RAM module and see if the system boots - Sometimes ppl tend to confuse booting and Posting - Listing system details helps... ie Acer P4 775 2GB RAM 1TB Seagate HD - Display card, so on and so on

on a separate note Seagate drives are a better bet as they have a micro code chip that can be replaced on their system boards
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby ef37a » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:51 am

http://cpc.farnell.com/asus/m5a78l-m-usb3/motherboard-am3-m5a78l-m-usb3-asus/dp/CS24765

The above is just an example, don't know what your present processor is but this should get you a working computer for a relatively small outlay whilst you ponder the "biggy"?

Just over a year ago I bought an Asus MOBO, CPU +2G ram package for £100 and that runs XP pro pretty well.

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Re: PC won't boot

Postby Madman_Greg » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:52 am

I always advise to start with a Linux Live CD/DVD

And boot from that first, eliminates a few things if it works OK
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby Marbury » Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:07 am

Just changed the ram and CMOS battery, disconnected everything (all cards) and still no boot. I'm stumped.
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby Marbury » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:18 am

Just Did something I hope wasn't terrible. Placed my hard drive on top of my ipad but didn't realise that the iPads cover is magnetic. When I picked the drive up it was sticking to the cover. Will this have wiped it ?
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby ef37a » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:38 am

Marbury wrote:Just Did something I hope wasn't terrible. Placed my hard drive on top of my ipad but didn't realise that the iPads cover is magnetic. When I picked the drive up it was sticking to the cover. Will this have wiped it ?

Don't think it could have wiped it completely. You would have to take the platters through their Curie point or magnetic saturation to do that I think. But you might have seriously corrupted some data and the only recourse might be a full format?

Dave.(I well remember buggering a credit card with a Pozi magnetic bit adaptor years ago!)
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby Marbury » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:42 am

Just read some article online that tested a drive with magnets stuck all over it. It didn't do any harm. They said its a well known myth that magnets corrupt or wipe data on hard drives.

http://cobolhacker.com/2006/10/28/is-it ... h-magnets/
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby BJG145 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:43 am

Marbury wrote:Just changed the ram and CMOS battery, disconnected everything (all cards) and still no boot. I'm stumped.
Like Magic Matt says, looks like it's time to try a different graphics card / PSU.
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby ef37a » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:55 am

Marbury wrote:Just read some article online that tested a drive with magnets stuck all over it. It didn't do any harm. They said its a well known myth that magnets corrupt or wipe data on hard drives.

http://cobolhacker.com/2006/10/28/is-it-possible-to-erase-a-hard-drive-with-magnets/

Right!
STILL reckon a spin thru a 2" bulk eraser would fork one!

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Re: PC won't boot

Postby Marbury » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:57 am

The psu has only recently been replaced. As for the card, that was new 3 years ago. Can't be the card anyhow because I have taken it out and it still won't boot.

As for the hard drive, I have connected it to my music PC to rescue all my data. I remember I did this some time ago with the same result. When I try to open my documents it says "not accessable-access denied"
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby Marbury » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:59 am

How does the iPad function with a magnetic screen cover as it also has a hard drive?
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby Scramble » Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:06 am

It doesn't sound like the PSU or GPU or RAM to me from what you say, although it's true that damaged GPUs can cause strange problems so you don't suspect them. Can you try the GPU from your music PC to at least rule this out for sure? But it still sounds like the motherboard to me.

>As for the hard drive, I have connected it to my music PC to rescue all my data. I remeber I did this some time ago with the same result. When I try to open my documents it says "not accessable-access denied"

Don't know why it did that. You should be able to read the drive when it is hooked up to another machine. Did you try looking at the file permissions? Or perhaps the cable was acting up? (Is it PATA or SATA?)

But anyway, you have backups of everything on an external drive, right?
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby Scramble » Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:11 am

Marbury wrote:How does the iPad function with a magnetic screen cover as it also has a hard drive?

iPads use solid state drives, not hard drives.
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby Marbury » Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:15 am

Yes, all my important data but I haven't backed up in the last couple of days or so so I need to get into this drive. All my emails which are business related with receipts etc. I have tried copying earlier backed up outlook files into the music pc's outlook but they don't show in outlook when I open it.

Again, when I try to look at properties in my documents it says 0 bytes. I think it is something to do with Medion imprinting the drive I remember someone saying a while back. I'm goosed if I can't access the drive !
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby Scramble » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:00 am

What's 'imprinting the drive' mean? It's not some security encrypting thing, is it?
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Re: PC won't boot

Postby The Elf » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:03 am

Marbury wrote:Yes, all my important data but I haven't backed up in the last couple of days or so so I need to get into this drive. All my emails which are business related with receipts etc.
For the sake of two days I'm sure you can contact a few people and ask them to re-send - as long as your 'couple of days or so' isn't actually 6 months!
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