PC not booting correctly

December 11, 2011 at 11:27:36
Specs: Windows Vista, AMD Athlon II x4
This is a long distance problem with a friend's PC but I'll give as much info as I have.

It's an HP (no model number) that's running a 295w power supply, Athlon II x4, and 1 SATA Hard Drive. 2 x2GB of DDR3 Ram. No expansion cards and video is indiscreet.

The problem started all of a sudden. When he powers on the PC the monitor receives no signal at all and the PC doesn't post. What happens internally is, when powered on, the case fan and cpu fan spin up for 4 seconds and then stop spinning but the power stays on until it is turned off manually. The power supply has a green LED on the back showing it's good. The motherboard does not have any LEDs.

I had him try a known working monitor and power supply for the heck of it but the problem persists. No changes have been made to the system before or after the problem started. The main ATX connector is fully seated as well as the additional ATX/EPS 12v cable for the CPU.

At this point I would assume it's the CPU, although I find it unlikely that it just died. But with PC components anything can happen.

I would like some feedback to determine if my diagnosis is correct. Thanks.

Windows XP Pro SP2
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ 2.0GHZ Venice Core
Gigabyte GA-K8N-SLI Motherboard
1GB Geil DDR400 Dual Channel
ATI Radeon X800 GTO Fireblade Edition 256MB DDR PCIE

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December 11, 2011 at 17:46:28
Test with the known good powersupply. Disconnect the power & data cables to all hard drives & optic drives. Remove all the ram. Leave only CPU with heatsink & fan Main & aux power connectors, keyboard & monitor. Connect to power & try to start.
The system will not boot but should at least give a Beep error code for the missing ram as long as the CPU & Motherboard are OK. No beeps means either or both of CPU & Motherboard are faulty.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)

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December 14, 2011 at 20:31:57
Had my friend follow your advice and got nothing from the system.

I do have a few questions for clarification.

1. Do ALL computers use a speaker for BIOS beep codes? I'm pretty sure I've heard of some that don't have a speaker or form of audio to produce the beeps.

2. Might tie in with #1 above, I know some motherboards use onboard status LEDs. Do these systems use the LEDs in lieu of producing audio for posting?

3. Wouldn't the PC I'm troubleshooting produce an audible beep if the RAM and CPU were removed? I don't see why the CPU would have to be installed and might help to narrow down the problem. Just wanted to verify.

Thanks for the reply.

Really wish I had a POST card right about now.

Windows XP Pro SP2
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ 2.0GHZ Venice Core
Gigabyte GA-K8N-SLI Motherboard
1GB Geil DDR400 Dual Channel
ATI Radeon X800 GTO Fireblade Edition 256MB DDR PCIE

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December 14, 2011 at 21:19:55
You probably would not get anything without CPU.
Yes, some MB's do not come with a speaker for the beeps and some use LED's, check the online manual for that model. (there may be a pair of terminals by the front connector block marked "Speaker+" and "Speaker-" where you can plug in a mini motherboard speaker.)

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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Related Solutions

December 16, 2011 at 12:58:52
After following up on your reply it appears the PC in question does not have an internal speaker. I ordered a mini-pc speaker and hopefully we'll get something.

I did a lot of research into the matter of the BIOS codes with/without the CPU in and it apparently varies according to the MOBO type. Some will report a missing CPU while others won't do anything unless a CPU is present. So this really doesn't help me much as it's a gray area.

Thanks for the help.

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January 5, 2012 at 15:45:16
Got my PC tools finally. The power supply completely check out, as I figured. The motherboard already has an onboard speaker though. Ultimately, it comes down to the CPU or motherboard being bad but have no way of knowing at the time. Really wish I had a POST card or capability to swap out parts. Guess i'll just chalk this one up as being answered and move on. Thanks for the help.

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