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Computer Starts to Power Up, Then Does Nothing...

by RBlack110 / August 20, 2009 1:34 AM PDT

I have an HP Pavilion a720n desktop. It is about 4-5 years old and has been great to me so far. However, lately it has been having a problem powering up. When I press the power button to turn it on, the orange CPU light kicks on, the lights on my cd-rom and dvd burner flash, and my monitor comes on (all as normal). However, after about 5 seconds the monitor acts as if it has been disconnected and my pc just hums continuously and loudly and the cpu light stays on (I left it on for like 10 minutes like this to see if it would ever just bootup normally and it never did). At first I thought it was my harddrive but I moved the hdd to another computer and it works fine. So now I'm thinking graphics card or power supply maybe? If it's just a graphics card or power supply, I don't mind replacing that, but if it's something major, I might as well upgrade to a new pc, right? Any help would be appreciated!

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If I were to gamble.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 20, 2009 1:38 AM PDT
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HP a720n
by tommcf / September 11, 2009 3:18 AM PDT

I actually have the same computer for about the same amount of time. Earlier this year, I experienced exactly the same problem. I eventually determined after a considerable amount of testing that it was the motherboard/cpu. Although I know that is not common, it is definately my diagnosis. I disabled the onboard graphics, pulled out all the cards, replaced the power supply, memory, checked the hard drive, ect, ect. Even ran it raw with no drives and no memory and or 1 memory stick. Couldn't even get bios. Nothing worked. As you described, you turn it on, all the lights post, drive light stays on and the cpu fan runs at maximum. That's the noise you hear (It always was kind of loud in this computer). The fan thing, by the way, is the on of the main indicators of cpu/motherboard failure.

The only thing I can think of is some errant and poorly placed piece of dirt, dust ect got into the wrong place. It's always been my observation with this computer that due to the fan/case arrangement, it made an excellent vaccum cleaner. Given the age of your (our) computer(s) and that you hard drive is recoverble, it's probably time to give it up.

By the way, did the passive aluminum heat sink on the graphics chip fall off? Mine did a few years back and it never did stay on right ever since. That could lead to an eventual failure as well. Either way, cpu or motherboard chipset, it's most likely dead.

Of course if you get it working, let me know!

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by tommcf / September 11, 2009 3:26 AM PDT

By the way, I would try the through cleaning as reccomended by hte other poster. I did not do a complete cleaning as I thought that if it had gone as far as it had, it would do no good. But it's worth a can of air to try. It was, after all, a good computer for it's time. Especially with added memory and a graphics card:-)
And they laughed 5 years ago when I bought a computer with a 64 bit chip!!

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Power Supply Did Not Help, Plus Another Question...
by RBlack110 / September 12, 2009 3:07 AM PDT
In reply to: a720n

Yep, swapped out the power supply and continued having the same problem. Then I took out my video card and tried it again, still didn't help. I just bought a netbook right before this happened and it sure wasn't intended to be a desktop replacement! Could I buy a new motherboard/cpu combo (like an AMD dual core) and then just install it (and some new RAM) and be fine? I've heard that if you take a hard drive from an old computer and try to use it in a new computer, Windows won't work right and I'd be forced to buying another copy of Windows. Is this correct or would everything work fine?

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Wait a second.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 12, 2009 3:22 AM PDT

You never bought the first copy of windows. Many think they did but the OEM deal is this. That Windows license is tied to that machine. You get this at a steep discount since the rights such as use on another machine are stripped away. Hope that gets you past that fast.

Ok, this is where you have choices. Research how to fix PCs such as THE DEAD PC on or think over what part next.

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no pic.
by i_sean / September 12, 2009 10:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Wait a second.

1st, can u get bois screen up normally by pressing the delete keyy on first boot up if so at least the pc isint broken just a program problem or :if u got a graphics card in ,not 1 thats on board,unplug it and plug it back in ,2,is the pc making any beep beep sounds from inside pc ,about 6 of them?,if so take ram stick out clean and put back ,

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no pic (sorry new to this forum i wanted to edit my last pos
by i_sean / September 12, 2009 10:53 AM PDT
In reply to: no pic.
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Just to be clear.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 12, 2009 11:11 AM PDT
In reply to: no pic.

Your replies may be for the original poster. Try finding the reply button to them so we can see who you are addressing your replies to.

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No Screen Appears...
by RBlack110 / September 12, 2009 2:36 PM PDT
In reply to: no pic.

The computer will not boot at all, no loading screen, no bios screen, not a blue screen, just nothing, no screen at all... If I turn the monitor on, it actually goes back off because nothing is being sent to it. The monitor screen remains pitch black. There is no beeping of any kind, I already took the graphics card out and it didn't help any either. As soon as I power it on, the CPU light on the front of the pc and all you hear is the winding of the cpu fan and the computer does nothing, just sits there with the fan running and the cpu light constantly on. So my question still remains, if I install a new motherboard and CPU, will Windows load off of the hdd that is currently in the computer (the hdd is fine, I have checked it by installing in another pc) or will I be forced to buy another copy of Windows? Thanks for your help!

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You didn't buy your first copy of Windows.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 12, 2009 10:14 PM PDT
In reply to: No Screen Appears...
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Maybe You Didn't Understand My Question...
by RBlack110 / September 12, 2009 2:47 PM PDT
In reply to: Wait a second.

Im not trying to copy this Windows license to another computer, I'm only wondering if I replace the CPU and motherboard in this computer, will Windows still load properly, or is there something that prevents Windows from loading if it thinks I've changed the pc too much?Actually, I did pay for this first copy, maybe not full price, but if you buy a computer with no OS installed, it is cheaper than buying one with Windows installed. I paid for the computer and Windows came with it. But anyways, I have researched this problem, and most people solved similar problems on other models by replacing the graphics card or the power supply (both of which I tried on my own and then took to a local computer repair store to ensure I didn't just look something over) and neither one helped.

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I understand it all too well.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 12, 2009 10:16 PM PDT

Your definition of this computer is not the same as the copyright holders. I can only try to help you move along to known solutions. Sometimes people think they bought Windows. The issues are easy to discuss but sometimes people don't want to hear it.

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by tommcf / September 13, 2009 1:25 PM PDT

To answer your question regarding the hard drive more directly, no, It will not work. Hard drives are, unfortunately, not plug and play. When you change the motherboard, ect, or put it in another computer, there are driver related issues that prevent it from booting. Again, I had your same problem with the same computer. Again, I tried all of the things you tried and a few more. Including all of the suggestions that have been made here so far. To prove the point, I even tried to put the hdd in an dell 2400 P4 i had laying around and could not get it to boot until I cloned the original Dell hard drive. The problem is on the motherboard. There's not much you can do about it...
Except prehaps buy a new motherboard. Now I looked into this too and there are a few problems with that idea and this computer. 1) It's hard to find a micro-atx board woth the trouble. The selection in comparison to atx or other formats is very limited. 2) As I mentioned before, this case is not well ventialted. Installing enough fans (the originals are 80mm) will be almost impossible, short of breaking out a hacksaw. 3) you would need a much more powerful power supply and I had a heck of a time fitting just a 350w in that case.
Basiclly the case is not a kit case and is not worth messing around with. If I were you and you wanted to go the DIY route, I would buy a new atx case and recycle as many parts as possible from the a720n. Although, you will not really find a place for the AGP video card or the ddr memory is any new computer, as tech standards have changed considerably in 5 years. I have nothing from my old computer in my new one except the dvd drive. Then , you'll want Windows 7 or Vista, which you don't have at the moment and doesn't come with any kit. Consequently, in the end, you'll wind up paying as much for the DIY than a good mid level quad core ($600 ish). I picked up a HP Pavillion p6720y with an AMD Phenom? X4 9550 quad-core processor and 6GB DDR2 SDRAM for about $600. For a few bucks more, you can get the HP p6130y with a better cpu and more memory. And if you buy any computer now, you get the free Windows 7 upgrade in a few months. Either way, if the a720n is your current computer, you'll not be dissappointed. And you may even save yourself a few bucks buying out of the box.
Let me know what you decide.

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To owais Siddiqui: no ads here please
by Kees Bakker / September 12, 2009 11:42 PM PDT

Those aren't allowed, so they are deleted.

Anyhelp is welcome, but surely not in the form of a link to your own commercial repair shop.


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Actually I thought it funny.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 12, 2009 11:44 PM PDT

That it required a working machine on your end to troubleshoot. This discussion seems to be a dead PC!

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take out the cmos battery and wait 10 mins
by brbrstev62430 / August 3, 2011 4:38 AM PDT

by doing this this will reset everything i had the same thing happen to me.and i took out the cmos battery and it reset to wear it was new again.

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