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Thread: PC troubles

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Canada
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    345

    PC troubles

    Not sure where to start, my pc has suddenly started "acting up".

    I left it on this afternoon to defrag the drive. When I got in, I fired up the monitor and the screen was black. I shook the mouse thinking it was in power save mode, but nothing.

    I noticed the red drive light was on but could hear nothing from the primary drive. I figured perhaps the drive was shot, but it doesn`t appear so.

    I tried rebooting and now I`m seeing all sorts of odd things. The wierdest part is at times it will begin to load XP SP2 but then freeze up during the boot. However the majority of the time, it won`t even get that far.

    The even wierder part. When I hit delete to enter the mobo/cmos setup page, some of the text is flashing. On the odd occasion when windows does try and boot, some of the boot up graphics are a bit "patchy" but then of course the boot up freezes anyway!

    I`ve tried another hard drive, but even so the cmos setup page still shows some of the text flashing which is obviously not drive related. I tried a different graphic card (pci card) and that does the same.

    Could this be a bad ram stick? Reason I ask, I took the stick out and there is a patch of discolouring along the top edge between two of the chips. Does it sound ram related all these problems? I`ve attached an image showing the odd marking (the orange thing was a sticker!)

    On the initial load up, cmos shows it has found 1gb of ram and there is no beeping at all.

    The Mobo is a ECS755-A2, an AMD 2600 sempron. The ram is a PC400 1gb stick. The graphic card is an GF2 MX400 agp.

    I guess I could go out an buy another ram stick, however I`m trying to avoid wasting money buying different parts hoping to find the problem. I could end up spending enough to get another machine!!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails chip.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    161
    try cleaning out all the dust...

    (if you know how) remove the fan, clean it...

    remove the processor and (if it has) a heatsink.. clean any dust jammed anywhere...

    try booting it back up and see what happens. If the issue occurs again, you may have a bad piece of hardware (idk if its the RAM)
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    The left side of that sticker looks singed/burned in that image. Is that right? Also, why did the RAM have a sticker in the first place (used RAM, maybe?)? Seems to me that would prevent heat from escaping and fry the poor thing...
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Canada
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    Ok, stripped down the cpu/fan assy. Cleaned out the dust, reseated the cpu and put the fan assy back in. Fired up the machine, now I can`t even get the POST boot screen up. Nothing seems to happen. I can hear the hard drive load for a second or two, but the screen is blank. Normally when my machine starts up, the green light on the monitor gets brighter, but in this instance - nothing.

    I tried the AGP card which I normally use, switched to an older PCI video card. still the same. I get no beeps or anything.

    Just once since cleaning out the CPU it did start booting up and I did see the screen, however it froze up after a second or two.

    If it`s not ram, I`m wondering whether the BIOS has somehow got corrupted?

    The ram stick in the photo, no the sticker was not burned. That was my finger breaking the sticker. Not sure why there was a sticker across the chips, I bought the MOBO from ebay which came with the ram stick.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    161
    what model/year computer is it?

    here's something else I would try. Since it seems to be a BIOS problem, try flushing the BIOS( WARNING: This will reset all time and setting in the BIOS)

    To do this, find the coin battery you have in the computer and pop it out for about 30-60 seconds. Then, replace it and try booting up
    if ($life == "fair") {exit;}else ($life = "1") {$reality_sets_in = 1;
    $server_cost = relative";
    $shared_host = $bye - $bye;}

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Canada
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    I have the board laid flat next to the case. I`ve stripped everything from it. I once again removed the cpu/fan assy, but just re-seated the cpu, then re-seated the ram stick and agp video card. I fired the board up and the screen did flicker to life but but after a second or two, the screen light was flashing orange! back to blank screen.

    Going to try resetting the bios. Just one thought, could a dead battery cause these problems? I ask this because some times I have shut down the pc from the power source, then when I`ve powered it up again the clock and everything had reset. This was before today`s problems of course.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    161
    again, anything is really possible... but i doubt that the cause of the failure is due to the battery.

    if you suspect the battery dead, get one from a different computer and pop it in.. i doubt anything would change but if it does - hey you solved your problem...
    if ($life == "fair") {exit;}else ($life = "1") {$reality_sets_in = 1;
    $server_cost = relative";
    $shared_host = $bye - $bye;}

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    161
    kent, this is what i am leaning towards:

    Does system Power up? >Yes
    Is there a live screen? >No
    Monitor On? > Yes
    Hearing Beeps? >Yes
    Adapter completely seated? >Yes
    RAM completely seated? >Yes
    Any damaged cables or pins? >No
    Any additional adapters installed? >No

    Possible motherboard failure...
    if ($life == "fair") {exit;}else ($life = "1") {$reality_sets_in = 1;
    $server_cost = relative";
    $shared_host = $bye - $bye;}

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Canada
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    Yeah, I`m leaning toward a dead mobo too. They`re cheap enough these days, I could pick up another one.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    161
    yea i guess you might as well...

    if the HD is working on a different computer, and so is the ram - mobo is garbage

    good luck in getting that fixed.
    if ($life == "fair") {exit;}else ($life = "1") {$reality_sets_in = 1;
    $server_cost = relative";
    $shared_host = $bye - $bye;}

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    1,369
    Your computer probably overheated during the defragmentation because cpu is running at higher rates during that time and with a Sempron I'm not surprised that it overheated or fried. Sorry but I think your better off with a new computer.
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