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Old 2006-08-15, 06:10 PM   #16
maestro8
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Edd, it sounds like you need to replace your CPU &/or mobo. You can start by replacing the CPU (make sure to replace it with the same CPU speed / cache size / etc!, otherwise your mobo may not be compatible), then if that doesn't work, do the mobo as well. You can read below for the reasons, but the lack of any beeping means the computer can't even do it's own Power On Self-Test (POST), which is the very first thing a computer does before booting the BIOS.

One thing you should check is the attachment of the CPU fan and heatsink to the CPU. If the attachment isn't solid (does the heatsink wiggle?) the CPU could not be cooled properly, and overheating will degrade the CPU to failure. I just replaced my CPU due to this problem -- the heatsink was broken on one corner and allowed the CPU to overheat until the computer wouldn't turn on anymore.

When you replace your CPU make sure to replace the heatsink and fan as well... this will ensure a long life for your new CPU. Also essential is the proper application of heat sink grease (thermal grease). It's a white paste that comes in a syringe / tube and it needs to be applied liberally between the CPU and the heatsink. Its function is to help transfer heat from the CPU to the heatsink... without it the heatsink won't work very well and you'll toast your CPU much quicker.

***

Damn! Everyone's a frickin' self-endowed computer genius but this thread is full of crap advice! Now to debunk some myths...

Quote:
Originally Posted by burjzyntski
Sounds, by the lack of beeping, that it may be a RAM problem.
Most POSTs will cause the mobo to beep if there is a problem with RAM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddbmxdude
I have had trouble with RAM and no display before, but then it just beeped
...case in point! You are correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark williamson
When checking contacts, I pull out the component, blow away any dust in the slot, (carefully) push the component in and out a few times to wear away any corrosion on the contacts, then seat it back in properly.
There's bits of food and saliva in your mouth. Always. When you blow into the computer you're spraying bits of food and saliva into it. Not a good idea. There's "computer duster" in a can for this purpose... use it!

Quote:
Before touching the inside of your machine, you should touch a metal case of a machine that's connected to the mains ... if you have any static electric charge on you it could damage your computer. If you have an anti-static wristband, that's even better.
Static is bad when working on a computer, but if you touch a grounded case while the computer you're working on is not grounded, you're not helping anything. Your computer can build up static as well... so what you need to do is to bring the computer and yourself to the same potential (level of static electricity built up). Before touching anything in the computer, and every time you reach into the case, touch some metal on the case for several seconds. Also, when removing hardware from the computer, set it on the same table the computer is sitting on... you're less likely to "zap" the hardware this way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by d4v3
Have you tried clearing the CMOS?
The CMOS should not be cleared unless the motherboard has been removed and put into a different computer, or major changes have been made to the computer's hardware. Clearing the CMOS can cause more trouble than anything else... unless you know exactly what each setting needs to be, you may be wiping out essential configuration data.
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Old 2006-08-16, 12:29 AM   #17
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Quote:
There's bits of food and saliva in your mouth. Always. When you blow into the computer you're spraying bits of food and saliva into it. Not a good idea. There's "computer duster" in a can for this purpose... use it!
I generally work on the assumption blowing carefully (so as not to squirt noticeable quantities of food and saliva ;-) ) is safe enough. Any visible pieces of spit and pizza need to be cleaned up before attempting power on.

Sadly, most people don't have compressed air cans lying around - I blame their upbringing! :-)

Really, the "blowing on things" step is probably not terribly necessary if you're going around reseating stuff anyhow. I can only remember one case of blowing on stuff actually helping, and that was dubious (a bizarrely malfunctioning CD-ROM drive, years ago back in the dark ages).

Quote:
Static is bad when working on a computer, but if you touch a grounded case while the computer you're working on is not grounded, you're not helping anything. Your computer can build up static as well... so what you need to do is to bring the computer and yourself to the same potential (level of static electricity built up). Before touching anything in the computer, and every time you reach into the case, touch some metal on the case for several seconds. Also, when removing hardware from the computer, set it on the same table the computer is sitting on... you're less likely to "zap" the hardware this way.
Yes, I agree that's best.

The touching of a plugged in computer is presumably spurious in countries that don't have a ground connection, anyhow...
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Old 2006-08-16, 01:27 AM   #18
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I'm with Darktom- kicking things always seems to make everything better, especially when dealing with computers...
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Old 2006-08-16, 10:43 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Da Doofus
I'm with Darktom- kicking things always seems to make everything better, especially when dealing with computers...
Yeah, whenever my old computer froze up, a swift kicking always seemed to do the trick! One day I got pissed off with it so me and my mate blew it up, that was fun!

I think that I might have fried the CPU then, as it has been overheating for ages! All my recent video rendering problems were because the CPU was overheating and shutting itself off! Bollocks! I won't be able to afford a new CPU for ages!

Thanks for all the advice guys!

Rock on!
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Old 2006-08-16, 12:51 PM   #20
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take it and place it in a lift somewhere
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Old 2006-08-23, 09:42 AM   #21
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IT'S ALIVE!

It was the CPU. I ordered a new one and put it in, now it works! It must have been because it kept overheating. So now I have four fans, two sucking air in and two blowing out! Aswell as a new heatsink and fan for the CPU!

The website will be getting an email from me today though, because when it arrived some of the pins were bent on the cpu! I had to straighten them before it would plug in!

Its all back up and running now though. Im not letting it get that hot again, thats what the problem was a while back when I had problems rendering video!

Rock on!
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Old 2006-08-23, 01:34 PM   #22
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can you get watercooled pc's

i mean that would be cool
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Old 2006-08-24, 12:05 AM   #23
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PC problems

I keep a PC at my ski house in Vermont and was distressed to find it had died when I was working on the place last weekend. On bootup it got stuck on the logo screen and wouldn't even let me get into Safe Mode. After about fifty fruitless attempts I unplugged the keyboard and started it up again. I got two error messages - the expected "keyboard error" amd a second one that said "CMOS Checksum Error".

I replaced the motherboard battery ($4) and the system works fine now. My knowledge of PC repair is pretty limited but an inexpensive battery replacement might be a good first step before doing major surgery.
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Old 2006-08-24, 05:37 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iridemymuni
can you get watercooled pc's

i mean that would be cool
Haha... be a bit of a bugger if something went wrong in there though...

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Old 2006-08-24, 06:57 AM   #25
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I would say the first thing to try replacing is the PSU: The fans may be working but they just use 12 volts DC. THe PSU is generating several other DC voltages, and also has, on modern systems, a bit of circuitry that allows it to be powered up/down from motherboard signals. ( You can frig the PSU to start up without the M/B signal , but I think that is best left to experts so I shall not tell you how to do it ). The PSU is the cheapest option , and for most clones you could easily swap this PSU into another PC to check it. ( or vice versa). Safer to swap in a new PSU though. Don't forget the on/off switch and its cabling, they can cause occasional rare problems. But if PSU fans start up when you press the ON you can exclude on/off switch. Contacts in general tend not to give trouble. If they have worked once they usually continue to do so, unless you reseat them in a dusty environment.

After that, the first messages on screen are generated from the BIOS, which requires a working motherboard, CPU, memory and graphics card. Memory problems usually give a decodable beep code . If the graphics is down, you may still see disc activity:
Any lights come on on CD/DVD etc? They usually flash as soon as you start up the PSU, no lights & there is another dead PSU pointer.

PSU still my first guess, they are less reliable than motherboards. Static problems are much overrated, yes you can kill a chip with static, but once in circuit your chances of killing it that way are much reduced. More PCs are killed by nearby lightning strike than by static. Ignore temperature and cooling: they are not a problem for the first few moments after switch on, and not until the CPU has had time to overheat. You have enough time to see text on screen for sure. Ignore cmos battery, you would still see text on screen. And of course remember no text on screen could easily be a monitor problem. In this case you would still hear hard disc activity. Ignore hard disc, CD, floppy etc. you would still see text.

If you exclude long term overheating, and actual physical damage, memory, CPU and motherboard are quite astonishingly reliable. I have had involvement with a site having 1200 PCs, and records show that over a six years spell, only one had its CPU die, ( because someone overclocked it...er me, I think) and only two had memory fails. Motherboards do sometimes die, but in general usually last well past the time until you scrap the machine and upgrade it.

And last but not least: did you take off the lid and do anything just before seeing the problem? One of the biggest lies in computing is "Did you do anything to it?" "Definitely not".


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Old 2006-08-24, 07:01 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson_johnson
Haha... be a bit of a bugger if something went wrong in there though...

Attachment 14654

Liquid cooled: yes: I remember at least one Toshiba laptop model having liquid cooling. probably many more. And not a few mainframe computers have been water cooled.


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The dress in which I unicycled was not THAT short, but in retrospect, I think that maybe the blue one would have been more appropriate to the terrain.
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Old 2006-08-24, 07:08 AM   #27
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Wow... in that case I relenquish my somewhat sarcastic drawing...

How are these liquid cooling systems set up to aviod electrocution?
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Old 2006-08-24, 08:32 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson_johnson
How are these liquid cooling systems set up to aviod electrocution?
Thermaltake and Zalman both make liquid cooling systems for PCs. Follow the links for info on liquid cooling from the manufacturers.

You do need to be careful about leaks. A leak can short out components in the computer. That's a risk of water cooling systems. They're more reliable now than they used to be. They used to be home built jobs. Now they're commercial and more reliable.

Water cooling is overkill for normal people. You're not going to be finding water cooling being used on mainstream consumer PCs. It's too esoteric. It's mostly needed for people who overclock and need extra cooling performance.

Heatpipes are the next (current) wave of improved cooling. Zalman, Thermaltake, and many other companies make CPU coolers, HD coolers, GPU coolers, and other coolers that use heatpipes. It's common, almost mainstream now. Heatpipes are able to move heat away from the chip (where the heat is very concentrated) and move the heat to a place where it is convenient to run through a radiator. It allows for bigger and more efficient heat sinks. You'll be seeing heat pipes on more consumer PCs as cooling needs increase.

My CPU and graphics card are cooled by coolers that use heat pipes. The graphics card is passively cooled (no fan) so it makes no noise.
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