Beeping at start up

Emachine / W5243
January 3, 2009 at 11:24:13
Specs: vista home premium, 250gb 1gb ddr2 dual channel memory
My daughter's computer started beeping and will not boot up. It has been working fine, it's almost a year old. Last night the power went out and the computer was on at the time, when she went to turn it on, it started beeping and will not come on. The monitor comes on, says no signal, and goes back off. The beeps are 5 then constant beeping. I have disconnected everything and tried to reboot, but nothing. I am NOT very computer savvy but I'm a quick study and take direction well:) I am so totally out of my element and my daughter needs the computer for her classes. Please HELP!!!!
Diana (Shyzee)

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January 3, 2009 at 11:49:39
A common thing that can happen with ram, even ram that worked fine previously, is the ram has, or has developed, a poor connection in it's slot(s).
This usually happens a long time after the ram was installed, but it can happen with new ram, or after moving the computer case from one place to another, and I've had even new modules that needed to have their contacts cleaned.

See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:

For a laptop, you must remove both its main battery and AC adapter before you do that.

If this is a desktop (tower) computer

- the side of the case you remove is the one on the left when you're looking at the case front.
- also make sure the video card is all the way down in it's slot, if the system has a video card in a mboard slot, and make sure any other cards are all the way down in their slots if you have other cards in slots.

If you have both onboard video (a VGA port in the same I/O area where most of the ports are at the back of the case) and a video card in a slot (a VGA port on a plate in a slot space), the monitor must be plugged into the VGA port on a plate in the slot space - some bioses with generate beeps if you plug a monitor into the onboard VGA port in that case.

If doing the above does not help....

"Last night the power went out and the computer was on at the time, when she went to turn it on, it started beeping and will not come on."

Sometimes a power failure generates a power spike or surge that damages the power supply, or if there was a lightning strike near you or on the power grid near you that caused the power failure, that can damage the power supply or ANYTHING connected to the mboard.

- if the power supply is a BESTEC model, which emachines systems frequently have, BESTEC power supplies are a lot more likely to malfunction than average, and when a BESTEC power supplies fails completely, it is a lot more likely to damage something else while failing, often the motherboard.

Failing power supplies are common and can cause your symptoms.
Check your PS.
They often partially work, fans and hard drives spin, leds come on, yet you get no video and the mboard will not boot all the way.
See response 4 in this:

In most cases, the power supply for a desktop (tower) emachines computer can be replaced with any decent standard sized ATX power supply that has the same wattage capacity or higher. DO NOT replace it with a BESTEC model!

Standard PS/2 size - 86mm high, 150mm wide, 140mm deep, or 3 3/8" / 3.4" h x 5 7/8" / 5.9" w x 5 1/2" / 5.5" d , or very close to that, though the depth can be more or less for some PSs.

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January 3, 2009 at 12:05:36
If you can borrow a used power supply to try, do that first. If that doesn't help the mboard is probably damaged.
Usually the ram, and the drives, are still okay.
You can often find used mboards for emachines computers on the web cheaply - I can look up which mboard you need to get if you want to try that.

"it's almost a year old."

If it's not a year old yet, it probably has a manufacturer's one year warranty, but damaged caused by a power failure event is NOT covered.
If the computer, and everything that plugs into AC power that connects to the computer, and the cable that connects you to the internet, is plugged into something that protects against power spikes and surges, if the device has attached equipment warranty coverage, you can make a claim against the warranty and have everything that was damaged replaced. However, that often requires you send the damaged pieces to them, or have them evaulated by a local authourized computer repair technician.

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January 3, 2009 at 12:05:47
Thank you so very much for the quick response! I will try those things and let you know if it resolves the problem. Power source first or ram connections? You said if it's the PS that it may cause more damage but how will I know if it works when I clean the connections if I don't reboot? Sorry for the silly questions :(

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Related Solutions

January 3, 2009 at 12:10:07
One tip: If you get beeps that means 90% of the PC is working. It takes a working motherboard and CPU to make the beeps.
When you get beeps on power up, that 'almost' always means a RAM or graphics card problem. Reseating can sometimes cure the problem.

NTVDM = NT, Win2K and WinXP Virtual DOS Manager

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January 3, 2009 at 12:19:21
Thank you so much! I don't have a way to borrow a power supply so I'm off to get one, and I'll take your specs with me for reference. Then I'll try the reseating thing. I'll let you know :) Thanks again!!

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January 3, 2009 at 12:26:07
If you're getting beeps the power supply has not failed completely yet, but it may be damaged.

"If you can borrow a used power supply to try, do that first."

The reason I said that is so you don't go buy a new power supply and then possibly find it doesn't help.

It probably would do no harm to try cleaning the contacts on the ram / re-seating it first, etc.

If there is more than one desktop computer where you are, or if you can borrow the power supply from a computer of someone you know, you could try the power supply from the other one temporarily. You don't need to remove your power supply from your case for testing purposes - just prop up the other power supply beside the case and plug in it's connectors to the same places the original PS plugs into.

Most power supplies are attached by 4 screws you can see near the power supply fan outlet on the outside and back of the case - some also have a screw or two inside the case that fasten the onter end of the power supply to the case.

If you don't want to tackle that yourself, you could take it to a place that repairs computers and have them analyze your system.

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January 3, 2009 at 16:49:52
Hi again,
You guys are geniuses! I went and got a PS and brought it home thinking nothing but good thoughts. I opened the tower, and saw all of the wires and wanted to die! I watched every tutorial I could find on how to install one of these things. The first time it didn't power up so I knew I had messed up. Not to be deterred, I started over and, much to my amazement, it worked. Best of all... no beeps!!!! You are amazing! I thank you and most of all, my daughter thanks you!!!!
You deserve a week off with pay!

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January 4, 2009 at 21:47:00
We're glad to hear you solved the problem!
You're like the Little Engine That Could (I Think I Can , I Think I Can) - you kept going enough though it didn't seem to work at first.

It's a good idea to make sure the wiring from the main connector from the power supply is not bent at an angle near where it plugs into the main socket on the mboard - I have one power supply that is picky about that.
It's also a good idea to make sure all connections are all the way on their pins, and all cards in slots and the ram are all the way down in their slots, inside the case and on the mboard, before you plug in the AC to the power supply and try booting the computer - it's quite common to un-intentionally loosen something while you're fiddling inside the case, and somtimes a power failure can make some iffy connections fail to connect.

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