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Can't Get my computer to even boot up - help please

by krubby / March 31, 2010 12:13 AM PDT

I have a HP Desktop (more specs below) and I am now having a major issue.

Basically two nights ago the PC was working fine, and then I started having issues accessing internet. As far as I could tell other programs were working, but I did not spend tons of time trying a lot of different ones. What really struck me however was the fan really kicked in and was going full speed for awhile.

Anyway, again could not get the internet to work so I decided to shut down pc, unplug cable modem, plug it back in etc. which I have to do every once in awhile to reset it.

System closed on its own. When I went to turn the pc back on, it 'starts' in regards to the fact that it turns on and the fan kicks right back on (usually doesn't) but then it doesn't do ANYTHING from there. Nothing comes up on the monitor, does not start to and hangs at windows, nothing starts up (except again a super loud fan)

Then if I do go to turn it back off by holding the button down for 3-4 seconds, it shuts off but then starts right back up on its own (possessed pc?)

Anyway, how do I bypass this at all? If I can? are these keys I should press when I turn on pc that will start it in some other mode.

BTW luckily I have a external backup drive that I dump all my main files/photos and stuff to each evening, so if it is a blown harddrive I have not lost all my major files.

here are the stats:
HP Media Center PC m7248n
Windows XP Operating System (service pack 2 I think)
Dual core processor, 1 gb ram

I can't get much more than that since PC is not on, but I think that is the major componants

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That fan may be a clue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 31, 2010 12:21 AM PDT
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thanks, not sure how to boot up once I clean it though
by krubby / March 31, 2010 12:48 AM PDT

thanks for the links. the 1st one is my pc.

anyway, if I do go in and clean up the insides etc (which I will do) of dust then that still does not tell me how to reboot the pc I think.

also, for years usually the fan never really kicks in unless I run some certain programs, usually (as strange as this sounds) older kids games, the kind that are not always all that fancy. they really seem to drain the pc and fire up the fan. there are certain games that do it everytime.

anyway, even if I clean out the pc and keep it 'shiny' how do I restart it? or do tou thing gently pushing some of the various cards and boards in will maybe do that? did something possibly overheat and warp?

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Think about it.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 31, 2010 12:59 AM PDT

These machines are not maintenance free and can need repairs. My thought here is "what can they do on their own?"

Hence the idea to open it up (video supplied) to do your usual yearly cleaning and give the cards and connections a gently push home as they can walk out over time and cause a machine to not start.

After you finish what you can do yourself you are now into PC REPAIR. That is you have to ask if you want to start into all that is involved in PC REPAIR. Will you be replacing motherboards and such?

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I have no idea
by krubby / March 31, 2010 1:36 AM PDT
In reply to: Think about it.

I have no idea what i will be doing. I am a pretty fair novice at this. that is why I was asking for advice and if anyone had any hints on what may be wrong. I don't know what the issue is, and was looking to see if anyone knew how to boot up the pc if that is even an option.

I was looking for some insight and help on what it MIGHT be. INkow it is impossible for anyone to say for sure, but perhaps more expert individuals then me mau have a clue based on my description of the problem.

I have no idea if I need a new motherboard, if I just need to reboot in some type of safe mode, if so how, if it is just the hard drive etc etc.

While I know nobody else does either without seeing the PC I was thinking maybe some folks could at least suggest some possiblilities

if is simply a new hard drive, I can handle that. if it is replacing the entire motherboard that is a whole other issue (I think)

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I should of clarified
by krubby / March 31, 2010 1:38 AM PDT
In reply to: I have no idea

No matter what I am trying your suggestion first to see if the problem is as 'simple' as pushing a device back into place.

that I am trying first.

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That's a fine start.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 31, 2010 1:43 AM PDT
In reply to: I have no idea

Start with what you can do. Be gentle and use guides like that video to see what you will see.

Remember that such failures run from simple need to push things back in, dead CMOS BATTERIES (see google) to outright power supply and other board failures. Your machine's symptoms do not point to anything specific but we can try the free stuff first since it could fix it.

Those that want "that's it" and want some assurance that this is it have to be sent to the repair shop counter.

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ok, check off step #1
by krubby / March 31, 2010 8:41 AM PDT
In reply to: That's a fine start.

Took your great advice, and gave the PC a good cleaning. Took the cover off, and as you would guess plenty of dust. Using compressed air I sprayed and sprayed and I think did a fairly good job in cleaning all that dust out. I really took a lot of time and tried to get all the areas I could.

I then gave everything a gentle but firm "push" just so see if any cards or cables had worked their way out. I will say I did not notice anything loose.

Anyway, hooked all the cables back to it, fired it up and same problem. So while it needed cleaning no matter what that or anything loose I could find was not the issue.

I don't think it is a dead cmos battery after reading multiple articles on it. I am afraid it is the power supply or I really think the motherboard may have gone. But again I am pretty novice at this so take my guesses with a grain of salt

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Now try another reset.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 31, 2010 10:08 AM PDT
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no dice
by krubby / March 31, 2010 10:35 AM PDT
In reply to: Now try another reset.

I tried it, held my breath and crossed my fingers but didn't seem to work

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the fans
by krubby / March 31, 2010 10:36 AM PDT
In reply to: no dice

I still wonder about the fans. both of them are going full power, which they usually don't both do. PC can't be hot since it has been turned off for quite awhile. It is like the system is thinking it is over heated

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Fan explainer.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 31, 2010 11:07 AM PDT
In reply to: the fans

In a recent "reference design" the default startup circuit for the fans is to "run at top speed" until the machine boots and the BIOS takes over. The machine is not coming out of reset.

We are now into "PC REPAIR" terror-tory. Sorry it's that that scary.

Given the machine appears to not come out of reset my next steps are.

1. Measure the CMOS battery value. Some machines do what you describe when this item is too low.

2. Unplug all USB things. re-test.
3. Unplug all IDE drives. re-test.
4. Unplug all PC-cards. re-test.

After that we are looking at motherboards and such.

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agree 100%
by krubby / March 31, 2010 11:25 AM PDT
In reply to: Fan explainer.

thanks for all your help. I think you are 100% right about the fan speed thing. whenever I boot it up (well, used to boot it up ha ha) the fan would kick in for about 1-2 seconds, and I bet then the BIOS kicked in etc.

I will look for my CMOS battery. maybe it is a cheap one I can just replace. then I will start unplugging, plugging back in etc

and I know eventually this may lead me to PC repair land. My decision then will become that this is a 4 year old pc - do I spend a few hundred to fix it or use that for a new one.

I can replace hard drives, various cards. If I start getting into replacing mother boards unless it is easier than I know it starts to creep into beyond my skill level I fear

hey - one last thing - thanks for your patience and help today!! much appreciated

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