This is my first post, after thankfully coming across this site. I've been searching the posts for a possible answer to what I've done to my older Gateway. I'll try to provide the correct info, and thanks in advance for any help.
Intel P4, 3.2 GHz with Hyper Threading,
Windows XP home edition,
1.0 GB DDR SDRAM,
ATA 250GB Hard drive,
GMA 900 onboard graphics card w/64mg memory
DVD+/-RW drive (16X)
media card reader
PSU - NPS306BB (weird 306W)
My experience inside the case is somewhere between novice and dangerous when it comes to messing with anything more than memory sticks. (grrrr)
To install a graphics card with more memory, but not overkill for my needs. I choose the NVidia GeForce 8500 GT with 512MB
The ugly truth:
In searching for the specs on the Gateway (because I have no idea where I filed the paperwork and manuals), I mistakenly thought I read it had a 550W power source. (stop laughing, it gets worse)
The new card requires 300W minimum. So I happily installed the long awaited upgrade thinking I had covered all the bases. I sucked out all the dust and fuzz I could see, checked all my connections, hooked up the monitor and last the AC power. Now sitting with the case on its side on my lap still open, I accidently clicked the power button with my arm. Not wanting to start without the cover on, (because I don't know what I'm doing), I panicked and pulled out the AC power cord while the system was booting. Not my best move!
I put the cover on, turned the computer back on and hear the fans come on, the monitor shows the little announcement box that says it's on power saving mode, the fans slow down and there is no boot.
The very first time this happens, there is a beeping alarm (which I had no idea was some obscure morse code like error message!!) The power button doesn't turn off the computer so I pull the AC power cord again! Are you laughing till you cry now? After a few more tries, I call my cousin David, who tells me to leave it alone until he arrives.
After he assesses the situation, he says it's a miracle my computer hasn't crashed and burned long before this because underneath covers I never dared to take off, were little tiny "blankets" of dust and pet hair. Hmmm... the PSU, was getting little to no air and the CPU (under some giant green plastic wind tunnel... wasn't much better. He asks me why I put a graphis card in that requires a minimum of 300W when my PSU is only a 306W. Huh? It's supposed to be a 550W (remember). After he recovered his composure, we cleaned everything out and connected the monitor to the original onboard card. Started it up, no alarms now, but the whole system seemed to go immediately into standby. Sort of sounded like a soft wax candle "looks" when it falls over slowly, Droooooop down to almost nothing.
Might be you just pushed the power supply a little too far he says. (ya think?) or fried the CPU, or motherboard. (sigh)
So after searching around here for similar problems, I decided to try and replace the power supply. I bought a Thermaltake Tr2 RX 450W. Wow, that just slipped into place, and the modular cable management made it easy. I no longer felt like all three stooges.
The bottom line:
Nothing changed. I turned the computer on, nice healthy fan sounds.... that slowly drop down to a standby level of noise and air flow.
I read here to check the CMOS (?) pulled the battery for a bit then replaced it, no change. Another call to my Cousin, who says if it's not the power supply, it could be bad news. (double sigh)
The desperate request for help:
Please save me from myself and let me know what you think/know. Have I made my computer into a nice big paper weight, or it can be saved?
(Thank Gawd I haven't tried to improve my HP laptop networked to the desktop I've abused. At least I can still grasp at staws for a solution out there)
In over my head...again!