How can I tell if my CPU is dead?

Emachines Emachines t3085 / athlon xp 30...
October 21, 2010 at 21:16:53
Specs: Windows XP, 3.33 mhz/2 gb
Our main computer, which we've had for 6.5 years, recently conked out. It passed out rather quickly. The first symptom is that it would re-start automatically. I was able to get around this by going into safe mode. However, then the computer would just freeze up. I was in the process of moving stuff from the hard drive over to an external to try using the system recovery disc to rebuild the hard drive. The system continued to freeze, and then just wouldn't put out any signal. At that point, the computer was beeping continually at me (regular beeps), but I didn't put it together that that was a code. Now, all the computer will do when turned on is run the fans. The hard drive won't run, it won't boot, and the computer doesn't put out a signal to the monitor. I replaced the motherboard but that didn't solve the issue. Now, I'm wondering if maybe the CPU is shot.

The computer is an eMachines T3085, running Windows XP, AMD Athlon XP processer (3.33 mhz FSB), 2 gb RAM.

Thanks for any thoughts you can offer!

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October 21, 2010 at 21:53:08
after replacing motherboard do u still hear beeps? If yes describe them. Did u try to swap memory & psu? It's very hard for a cpu to die.

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October 22, 2010 at 05:43:27
No, there are no beeps. It does what it did just before I replaced it--the fans start running when I push the power button but that's it; no beeps, the hard drive doesn't run, no video output. The MB lights and LEDs all work, though. I haven't tried swapping out the memory cards but that's next. Since the fans are running and lights are lighting, I wouldn't think there's anything wrong with the power supply, but I could be wrong. The computer is 7 years old, though.

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October 22, 2010 at 06:50:03
"I wouldn't think there's anything wrong with the power supply, but I could be wrong"

Power supplies convert AC voltage into several different DC voltage rails. The main three rails are +3.3v, +5v & +12v. It's possible that one (or two) of these rails has failed, but there's still enough power to light a few LEDs or spin a few fans.

eMachines is notorious for using low quality Bestec power supplies. Your problem *may* be caused by a bad CPU, but I'd be more suspicious of the power supply. Unfortunately, they're difficult to test. A multimeter or "power supply tester" can check for proper voltages, but there's no easy way to check for amperage. For example, the multimeter can confirm whether the +12v rail is within tolerance, but there's no way of knowing whether it can deliver the 12v at 18A or has become so old/weak that it can only deliver 12v at 2A.

Test the power supply or try another one.

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October 22, 2010 at 08:43:05
I do have access to another power supply that should work in mine, so I'll try that. Thanks for the suggestions!

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October 25, 2010 at 08:19:41
Well, after a lot of work this weekend, I figured out that it was my hard drive that was the problem. The power supply, MB, and CPU are all fine. But I was able to replace the HD and re-install the OS and all is working again. Thanks for the suggestions!

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