So I came home from work today to find my computer on but not working. All the stuff inside was going (the fans, the lights, etc..). The fans were all pretty much on high speed whine mode (my video card adjusts fan speed as it struggles, and it was going fast). My monitor said it wasn't getting a signal, and would automatically shut off
I reset the computer, unplugged, and turned it off and on. Alas, it wouldn't boot. No beeps, no startup BIOS, no hard drive whining, nothing. The little power light and hard drive working light on my case won't turn on.
I swapped out the video card with working ones, to no avail. I'm thinking it's a motherboard thing (no startup at all). Any thoughts? Things I should look for? It's out of warranty.
Originally posted by Roy. All the stuff inside was going (the fans, the lights, etc..).
I'm thinking its either RAM or your CPU. Try taking your RAM out and powering up. You should definitiely get error beeps then. You could also try resetting the BIOS, usually you can move a jumper on your motherboard. If you can access a manual, it will tell you exactly how.
Do what AWA said - pull absolutely everything that can be pulled so your initial troubleshooting is Motherboard and Powersupply only, pretty much. You need to disconnect your hard drive power, CD Rom power, etc.
It should boot up (you won't be able to see anything because you don't have video) and you will get beep codes from the computer (you will need to keep the speaker connected - don't pull that off - the problem is never the internal speaker)
If you don't get it to power on with just the mobo and powersupply in the case, you have a few things to consider.
1) It could be a bad mobo 2) It could be bad switches 3) It could be a bad PS
The most likely of these is 3. It's also the easiest to test and fix - PS replacement is very straightforward. If you aren't a pro, mark the connectors on your mobo for the power leads - it may not be obvious which went where when you reconnect it.
Make sure you get a PS that has enough juice for your system. Most places will let you return them if this isn't the fix, although some have a 15% restocking fee. Check your return policy.
It's almost never a problem with the switch, and mobo issues are rare. They do happen, but what you are describing sounds like what I've seen when there have been repeated low voltage incidents around here when the power was going on and off a lot.
Do you have a UPS? You might want to think about it for the future if this was a PS issue - a UPS might lessen the shock of any bad power issues you have.
Thanks folks - it was the power supply. Nothing else seems to be wrong with it (thankfully). I popped in a new 650W PS.
It appears as if the builders of my computer put the wrong supply in. I think I ordered a 550W power supply, and the one I just took out (the one malfunctioning) was a 420W. I'm looking through old receipts to make sure.