Good HD not running

March 23, 2009 at 11:37:03
Specs: Vista, Intel Pentium Dual Core / 3 GB DDR2 memory
I've got a desktop computer from someone ... from what I was told it just quit working during normal operation.

The disc drive and hard drive are powering up. The power supply is good, I just checked it.

When I hook the computer up to a monitor, there's NOTHING, not even a flicker.

If anyone can give me any tips on anything else to try, or any questions that will make my problem clearer, I would appreciate the help.

[ had to edit the orginal message ... the hard drive is now getting power like it should ]

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March 23, 2009 at 11:50:55
The hard drive might not be getting power. Switch the power connector between the HD and optical drive.

Those power connectors do sometimes get spread and don't make an eletrical connection.

(edit) How were you able to edit the original message?
Strip the system down to minimum, with only RAM and monitor connected, and no drives or other cards.

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March 23, 2009 at 12:05:17
I have tried switching the power connectors. That's not a problem.

Right now, the problem is that I'm getting NO DISPLAY

disc drive is getting and keeping power
hard drive is spinning

I did notice when I plug in a keyboard, (the capslock light and other lights) come on for literally 1 second after I plug the keyboard in, and then go off. Does that mean ANYTHING?

( I edited my original message by clicking on an "edit" link at the top of my post )

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March 23, 2009 at 12:05:57
Does it give any beeps when you start it up?

How do you know the power supply is good? Did you test it in another PC? A power supply has to provide several different voltages. So a bad one may still be able to power up the fans and drives as they only need 5 and/or 12 volts.

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Related Solutions

March 23, 2009 at 12:09:32

I have a power supply tester, and found everything to be within normal range

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March 23, 2009 at 12:19:58
Did you check the video card? Removing and reseating it?


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March 23, 2009 at 12:21:47
the motherboard contains the video hookup ( don't know the terminology there ), but i DID put in a separate video card, and still got nothing to display

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March 23, 2009 at 12:55:47
When getting a hand me down PC you need to check to be sure all required components are installed. If you aren't getting any beeps there may be missing hardware.

Are the specs in your original post the specs for the computer in question? OEM PSUs (power supplies) are usually a weak link and therefore I would suspect the PSU.

Hot plugging most hardware can cause failure. If the keyboard is USB then that is OK. Most anything else shouldn't be connected or disconnected while under power.

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March 23, 2009 at 12:59:20

It's normal to have the KB leds flash when you turn on the PC. But you say it happens when you plug in the KB. Plug in the KB first and then turn on the PC.

And you're sure the monitor is good?

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March 23, 2009 at 13:27:37
"I have a power supply tester, and found everything to be within normal range"

PSU testers are fairly useless. All it does is verify voltage, not amperage. And if the PSU is putting out enough amperage, the system will not boot.

You don't need a HDD to get a display. If you're not getting the initial POST beep, the problem is either the CPU or motherboard, possibly the PSU. I would remove/disconnect all non-essential hardware to try to bring up the POST screen. Unplug the HDD, optical drive, floppy drive, remove all cards, remove all RAM but one stick, unplug all external devices except the keyboard & monitor....then try to boot up. If there's still no display, clear CMOS & try again.

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March 23, 2009 at 13:51:21
there are no beeps

everything in the computer is from the factory

the monitor works perfectly

even if the keyboard is plugged in on initial powerup, the key lock LEDs light up for a second, then go out

i'll try stripping it down and see what happens

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March 23, 2009 at 14:14:40
i stripped it down, still no beep codes, or any difference.

Is there a way to "test" to see if the processor or motherboard has issues?

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March 23, 2009 at 14:44:21
Removing all the RAM should give you an audible error code (beeps).

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March 23, 2009 at 15:41:08
i removed ALL the RAM and got no beeps ...

like i mentioned before, I'm not a hardware expert, but I'm not understanding why I'm not getting any beep codes ( I am familiar with those, so I would recognise it if there were any ), but there IS a second of power to the keyboard and lights on the LEDs ( the power light ) stay on ... they're connected directly to the motherboard.

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March 23, 2009 at 19:23:03
The fact the power LED is on means little. It's not an indicator that everything is OK. It only means the PSU is providing 5v.

The intermittent LED flash on the KB is what's supposed to happen. I thought that came from the bios but so do the beeps so maybe that's not the case.

If you're sure the PSU is OK and you've disconnected the drives and removed all the cards then the problem has to be with the motherboard or CPU or both.

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March 23, 2009 at 20:42:39
I would try swapping out the PSU with a known good one of sufficient wattage.

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