General discussion

I have no clue what died on my computer

Gateway DX 4870-UR368
Intel i7
16 GB Ram
Windows 10....then 8


My nightmare started Friday as I was installing a (legit) audio production application from the discs that came in the package. Upon inserting the first disc, the disc appeared to be blank, but it actually wasn't. Upon ejecting the disc, I checked the label on the DVD drive and it said it was still reading the disc....eventhough I had ejected it.

So I tried to shut down, and my PC wouldn't even do so. So I had to turn it off via power button. Upon turning the PC back on, I got file system errors and had to restore the PC back to factory settings, which was Windows 8. Everything appeared to be fine (besides to having a fresh new bare bones downgrade from Windows 10 to Windows Cool until the next morning. I pressed the power button to turn on my computer, but it took five minutes before it actually powered up. Meaning: When I pressed the power button, everything actually powered up five minutes later.

Despite this happening (I power cycled a few times to test it), I chalked this up to the underpowered power supply acting up. (This PC only shipped with a 300w power supply, and I planned to replace it this month with a 500 or 700w before this happened).

I stupidly decided to try to upgrade to Windows 8.1, but that failed for some reason. So, regular Windows 8 was restored and I tried to log in but I couldn't. I entered my password but the circle dots thingy just kept spinning for 30 minutes until I turned it off via power button.

When I tried to turn it back on, it wouldn't boot up at all. I waited 15 minutes or so. But it wouldn't turn off by pressing the power button so I had to unplug it. I pressed the power button once more to turn it back on. However, this time the Power LED wouldn't even come on. I can hear the fans going and everything. Hard drives (plural) spinning up and everything. But nothing happens.

I tried a different power supply from a working computer (which is what I'm posting from) and got the same result. I checked the motherboard for a light, however this mobo has no light bulb on it. There's not even a space for it.

The ONLY issue I've had with the computer was a very rare one. Once every 8-10 months, it would turn off at a random time. I've had this computer since November 2012 so it's only happened a handful of times. This was most definitely the power supply being underpowered.

This has totally taken me by surprise as the Gateway computer has shown no signs of any issues before this, besides the power supply being underpowered and turned off on extremely rare occasions.

Do you think the mobo has died somehow?

I'm up for trying to save this computer because it did it's job very well. I loved it and it could load a lot intensive audio production programs and plugins and it'd only take up about 30% of the CPU usage meter.

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Comments
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Or it overheated and shut down.

That doesn't explain why it's trouble now but try the factory restore one last time. Be sure you've made the recovery media too.

Be sure that all is stock and nothing extra like usb printers or cards that were not stock plugged in.

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I can't even do that.

I can't even get to the point where I can restore. I press the power button and nothing happens, not even the splash screen. I can hear all of the fans running and the hard drives spinning.

If I have to, I'm definitely going to replace the mobo (I already see which one I can use with the i7) and the power supply as well.

Would a dead CPU cause this?

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However

I do have a Windows 7 installation disc.

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Sorry but you didn't make a backup or restore media?

You had since November 2012 to do that. To wipe it out now means you accept that you may have to buy restore media or use another license of 7. I can't guess your choice here.

If you want to test install a 7 and not activate, I'd try that on a blank HDD.

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No

I hadn't gotten around to creating restore media for Windows 10. I never even thought about it on 8. I'm using the Windows 7 now on my spare computer (it's a low end one). I've installed W7 on a couple of my past machines and had no problems activating it. In fact, as I said, I'm using it now. Fully activated.

I did keep all of my files and such on separate drives so reinstalling isn't really a huge deal to me, besides having to reinstall all of my programs. I never really thought to do a restore media for W8 because the Gateway had a feature that would let me restore back to factory default, which is what I did on Friday.

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That onboard factory is nice but ....

A virus or failed HDD or a glitch like we read here and we need the restore media. Again, it's nice but not a sure thing.

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Okay.....but....

My main question is about my problem. Not really about restore media. I realize I should've made restore media. But like I said, I have no problem going back to Windows 7 as I've activated on a few of my past machines and just did it again about 3 hours ago. Couldn't I realistically just install Windows 7 and upgrade to Windows 10? (which I know for a *fact* that I can do?) Wouldn't that make this whole discussion over restore media a non-issue?

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Do you know if this PC is compat. w/7? Have drivers?

When you've gotten your system back like you want it, I urge you to get yourself an external hard drive and a good 3rd party backup program. You can set it up to do everything automagically at the time and frequency of your choice. 1TB external hard drives are about $50 these days and a really good FREE backup program is the Easeus todo backup free which you can download from
http://www.todo-backup.com/products/home/free-backup-software.htm . That can save you a lot of time and frustration the next time something like this happens. Sooner or later it happens to all computers for one reason or another.

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The thing is very complex.

So let's say you use this 7 as the basis for 10. That means that after the 30 days on 10 your 7's license is invalidated. This really upsets folk. Your machine's OEM license is still valid so why burn up your Windows 7 license like this?

It doesn't make sense to me.

So if that's what you want, sure. But sounds like a good way to burn up your 7's license when you don't have to.

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I didn't know

Okay, I didn't know that your license to a previous windows 7 would invalidated.

I'm going to try resetting the CMOS and BIOS (reseating the battery after about 20 minutes). Hopefully, and I pray, that this gets me somewhere; some sign of progress.

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Almost there!

In a very encouraging sign, I followed a suggestion from another forums to reset the CMOS and BIOS battery. The PC booted up!

I'm halfway there, though.

Ever since I did the factory reset to Windows 8 on Friday, when I press the power button to turn on the computer, the lights and everything turn on (Fans and hard drives spinning) but it actually powers on about 7 minutes later. (and goes to the Gateway splash screen)

I will definitely create a backup media sometime within the next 24 hours.

This is still a very encouraging sign.

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Back to square one :(

Well, what I thought was a good sign was apparently a red herring, I guess. I tried to get into the BIOS (via advanced startup in windows) and it never rebooted. Now it won't boot at all. So I'm starting to believe that this is a mobo issue.

I'm up for replacing it soon, but hopefully that is actually the problem. I'm wondering if I should do that or just save up for a newer (equal in performance) machine.

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Motherboard possibly

So after speaking with a PC repair person, he also deduced the problem down to being the motherboard, same thing me and Ramhound were discussing. A few things I wanted to ask:

1. The repair person told me that if it was the CPU, it'd boot up but I would be getting BSODs. Is this normally true?

2. I need confirmation on this: I read (more like skimmed) some text that said that if I were to replace the motherboard with one totally different from the one the OEM Windows 8 was installed on that my OEM license would become invalid. Or something like that. What's the story on this?

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So yes, OEM licenses die with the machine.

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