Desktops forum

Question

Help. My computer wont turn on.

by tdradde / September 1, 2011 6:03 AM PDT

I went to turn my desktop on the other day. I hit the gateway button on the front but nothing happened. No lights, not fan, no noise. I unplugged everything for the CPU and unplugged the power cord from the surge protector. I plugged it in directly to the wall. same result no lights, no fan, no power. The monitor and other things plugged into the surge protector work fine. I dont know what is wrong or how to fix it? Does anyone have any suggestions? The desktop is about 6 years old.

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All Answers

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Answer
Re: won't turn on
by Kees_B Forum moderator / September 1, 2011 6:08 AM PDT

With a six year old PC I would invest in no more than a new PSU. If nothing at all happens, that's a likely culprit.

Kees

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Follow up
by tdradde / September 1, 2011 6:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: won't turn on

I forgot one thing. There is a green light that flash on the back of my desktop near where the power chord plugs in at and when the chord is actually plugged into the wall. When I unplug it, the green light flashes slower and slower until it stops completely.

What is PSU? where would I find one,and the average cost of them?

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Re: PSU
by Kees_B Forum moderator / September 1, 2011 6:27 AM PDT
In reply to: Follow up

The only thing I know that is a green flickering light on a PC belongs to the Ethernet cable and shows it has power and is connected to the modem or router. But your green light might be quite something else. The user manual should tell. But sure it's not nothing.

So it might be something else than the Power Supply Unit (that's PSU). Then it could be the motherboard. So get your voltmeter and check the outputs of the PSU. Normally, they are 12 or 5 V DC, I think.
But if you don't know what a PSU is, it's somewhat unlikely you have a voltmeter. In that case, a visit to the repair shop might be better. Their diagnosis should be free, if it's followed by either a repair or buying another PC.

Kees

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Answer
No make or model so tell us about
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 1, 2011 6:25 AM PDT

Some desktops refuse to boot when the CMOS BATTERY (see google) is too low. Did you check the voltage of that battery?
Bob

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Follow up
by tdradde / September 1, 2011 6:43 AM PDT

I did not the battery existence before youre email. where will the battery be located?

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Varies with make and model.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 1, 2011 7:40 AM PDT
In reply to: Follow up

That's why I noted there was no make and model. In case you could supply such.

Since there is no make or model, google DESKTOP CMOS BATTERY for ideas.
Bob

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Answer
Update Friday
by tdradde / September 2, 2011 2:14 AM PDT

I just took my desktop to Best buy and the geek squad. The tech hooked up a new PSU to my desktop. The desktop would turn on for only a sec. The tech said that since the computer would not stay on he thought my power supply unit and my motherboard were both fried. I did not have the computer checked in because a new motherboard and PSU would be more than a new computer. My desktop was plugged into a surge protector and not sure how it was fried nothing else was hit. ThereDoes the tech accessment seem correct ? If so, is it cheaper to get a new computer? Thank you.

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What make and model?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 2, 2011 2:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Update Friday

This will be the third time I've asked. Why I ask is in case it's a model I know about or I may check for issues about that model. I have no reason to write about BAD caps or fried CPUs without the details.
Bob

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Answer
by tdradde / September 2, 2011 2:46 AM PDT
In reply to: What make and model?

Sorry, it is a Gateway Model 838 GM. I think.

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Link, comment.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 2, 2011 3:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Answer
http://support.gateway.com/s/PC/R/5389/5389nv.shtml

While your better tech may check battery (or just replace it) I think this is one that refuses to start if the CMOS battery is too low.

My advice is to do the inspection for BAD CAPS since it's the right year for that issue and measure the battery. It looks like the common CR2032 so you want 3.1 or more Volts.

Sad to hear that it went to that shop. The times I find them returning a fail to repair machine with more stuff unplugged than it came in with, is legend.
Bob
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Follow up
by tdradde / September 2, 2011 3:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Link, comment.

I replaced the CMOS battery last night. It was a CR2032 size battery and I replaced it with the same type of battery. It is did not help. I dont know what a BAD CAPS is?

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That's where you do research.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 2, 2011 4:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Follow up

Unless tech support these are discussion forums with a penchant for helping folk learn more.

Google BAD CAPS and the first hit is a site with details and how to identify them.

The more I've seen the tighter my inspections have become. Today I only accept perfection in these parts. You learn why after a while.
Bob

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Make sure I follow.
by tdradde / September 2, 2011 5:04 AM PDT

So i understand, I googled bad caps and saw the pics on how to identify them. Are you saying that bad caps could be my problem, since the computer would not stay on when a new power source unit was connected to it. not that my motherboard is shot too?

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Re: bad caps
by Kees_B Forum moderator / September 2, 2011 5:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Make sure I follow.

Bad caps on the motherboard are a common cause of it failing. It's not the only cause, of course, so even if it turns out that your motherboard is the cause of your problems, it's not said that replacing those bad caps (only do it yourself if you trust yourself with electronics) will be the thing to do to repair it.

Kees

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ok
by tdradde / September 2, 2011 5:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: bad caps

I do not trust my abilities to replace the bad caps. So if the computer could not stay on after the tech tried a new power source, the problem was the motherboard? The caps are a common cause of the motherboard issues but not the only one. I guess what you suggest given my situation and abilities? If you suggest getting a new tower, can you offer some good products that are worth the money.

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As wtom says below ...
by Kees_B Forum moderator / September 2, 2011 6:53 AM PDT
In reply to: ok

it's too early yet to think about anything. First a better diagnosis is needed, and it seems you can't do that yourself (to be frank, I couldn't either). I'd find another tech for a second opinion.

Kees

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It's not the only thing.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 2, 2011 5:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Make sure I follow.

But it is one we can inspect for.
Bob

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First get facts
by w_tom / September 2, 2011 6:36 AM PDT
In reply to: Update Friday

The informed tech would have measured six wires with a multimeter. Then said what is defective. Everything only fails when a tech has not a clue.

Only one part of a power supply 'system' has probably failed. He only swapped one 'system' part. It did not work. So he declared everything defective. And also could not tell you why. He had no idea (because he did not have numbers). So he invented the usual myth. Geek Squad's primary purpose is to sell more hardware. I cannot say how many bought new computers only because one small part of the power 'system' was defective.

The last Geek Squad victim got that computer fixed when I replaced the intermittent power cord to the power 'brick'. Less than $10 in parts.

Your replies here are only as useful as facts you provide. K-mart sells a digital multimeter to people with 13 years old abilities. The tool is so simple as to be sold in most stores that also sell hammers. That meter and one minute means numbers so that others can actually say what one part is defective. No numbers means every reply will only be wild speculation.

Your choice. First learn what is defective. Then later buy the simple part that solves a problem. Or just keep replacing good parts (ie CR2032) Until something works. The meter also could have reported that battery.

Meter provides a three digit number. Battery state reported in the next reply after you post that numbers. But again, your replies will only be as useful as facts your first provide.

Bad caps are only one of over 100 failures that could explain your symptoms. Others may also blame heat, mythical surges, etc. Speculation occurs when your information is devoid of numbers.

Never try to fix things until long after first identifying the defect. That means knowing a battery is bad before replacing it. That means asking for what you must do to actually solve the problem - without speculation. Currently, you are asking for nothing but speculation.

Everythihng is not fried. That just does not happen. Especially when he cannot say why.

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Ok,
by tdradde / September 2, 2011 6:56 AM PDT
In reply to: First get facts

Ok, and when I get a digital multimeter, exactly what am I testing? and how?

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Using the meter
by w_tom / September 2, 2011 9:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Ok,

First is the purple wire from power supply where it connects to the motherboard. This measured without the computer powered on. Set the meter to a 20 VDC scale. Attach the black probe to the chassis. Touch the red probe where the purples wire is exposed inside a nylon connector. This should read about 5 volts. Provide each number to three digits.

Next repeat same measurements for the green and gray wires before and when the power button is pressed. Report those numbers and what happens when a pressed power button attempts to power on the computer.

And finally, measure any red, orange, and yellow wire as the power button is pressed. Report behavior and what value that number settles on,

What you have and what those numbers are measuring will follow.

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Answer
Recap or "What can we do on our own?"
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 2, 2011 7:14 AM PDT

WTOM is taking a good angle on this. But it's one that requires the shops to get with the program to actually DIAGNOSE systems properly. As it stands today no one will diagnose a failing DVDRW for instance. They might clean the lens but with the drive being 20 bucks it doesn't make sense to do that since your tech would clean the lens and it would work only to fail later and the customer will insist the next repair be free.

OK, what can WE DO HERE? In the forums we have to use what "everyman" can grasp. I noted a battery because of the age and it's cheap. Under a buck in bulk so we toss a new one in first. Next we do the visual inspection. These are quick cheap and things folk can do.

After that it gets much harder.
Bob

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