Join 3,379 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


PC won't turn on and it's not the power supply - what else can I try?
November 26, 2007 11:56 PM   Subscribe

My mother's computer won't turn on. I replaced the power supply, which now allows the light on the tower to turn on, but the system still doesn't boot.

My mother's computer recently died. One day the light around the power button began flashing very fast; she tried to turn the computer off by holding the button down but it did nothing. Several hours later the light had gone off and the computer wouldn't turn on at all.

I've asked around and most people thought the power supply had gone bad. I bought a new one at Fry's. It's an Antec TruePower Trio, 430W -- the old one was a 250W Bestec #ATX-250-12E.

I plugged the new power supply into the motherboard (both plugs), the hard drive, and the floppy. When I turn the power supply on, the light around the power button on the front of the computer turns on, but nothing shows up on the monitor. No drives spin, the CPU fan doesn't come on, nothing.

So my question is: what else could be wrong? Is there anything else to check besides replacing the motherboard?

The computer is an eMachines T2042, bought in 2002, running Windows XP (or at least it used to).

Thanks...
posted by gecko12 to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
How far does it get? Do you ever hear the single beep?

Regardless, try using to the Ultimate Boot Disc. When you boot to this disc, you can run scans on the hard drive, the memory, and the CPU to narrow things down.
posted by Soup at 12:10 AM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Make sure the ram is seated properly. Open it up and check if they are all pushed in.
posted by ALongDecember at 12:27 AM on November 27, 2007


First hit on google for emachines t2042 power supply isn't very upbeat about your prognosis.

When the PS died, it probably took the mobo with it.
posted by jbroome at 12:28 AM on November 27, 2007


A lot of eMachines T2042's seem to have broken power switches. Check that next, since, if your power switch is bad, replacing the MB won't fix it. Power switch = $5. Per the thread I linked, also note that motherboard swaps of non-eMachines motherboard may require that you also buy non-OEM Windows = $$$. In that circumstance, it might be better to just replace the machine.
posted by paulsc at 12:32 AM on November 27, 2007


I've encountered something like this with my computers twice. If you're not even getting to the BIOS Post (the point when you hear the single beep), you could have a short somewhere. There may be some metal touching one of the solder points on the mother board which will cause the system to not even boot.
posted by herda05 at 1:47 AM on November 27, 2007


Re-seat all the boards and connectors.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:29 AM on November 27, 2007


Could it be bad capacitors? In the IT world I have seen my fair share of these over the years. Not sure however, it would involve a five year old machine. Check out this site Badcaps.net
posted by jaythebull at 5:43 AM on November 27, 2007


I had the same problem with my parents emachine. Same model. I spent a month chasing problems and finally just built them a new PC. Stop wasting your time and buy another cheap Emachine. They're meant to be disposable. The HD is fine, the mobo got fried when the power supply went. Pull the hard drive and ram, recycle the rest, and transfer anything she wants to keep off the old drive onto the new one.
posted by cosmicbandito at 6:29 AM on November 27, 2007


In agreement with the posters above -- I think that the motherboard may have been fried when the power supply went. The easiest (maybe also the cheapest) option is to pull the hard drive and put it in a different machine.
posted by NucleophilicAttack at 6:41 AM on November 27, 2007


jaythebull: 2002 is at the back end of the peak in capacitor plague effected products, so that is suspect number one for sure.

This is suspect number one. 2002 is pretty close to the peak plague year, I think.. The Wikipedia link on Capacitor Plague is a must read.

Plague effected or not, standard PC troubleshooting steps apply. Disconnect everything except the key components (key components: power, motherboard, cpu, one stick of ram, video). Try swapping key components (try an old PCI video card, swap to the other stick of ram, you have two different power supplies now, and etc.).

paulsc: Per the thread I linked, also note that motherboard swaps of non-eMachines motherboard may require that you also buy non-OEM Windows = $$$.

You will have to phone Microsoft to activate Windows, but if you tell them it is a repair, because the motherboard failed, they should activate it for you. Here is an exhaustive thread on the topic. Note that exact wording is key, because upgrading a motherboard requires a new XP license, but repairing a PC by replacing its motherboard does not.
(never done this myself, and you can see that it isn't a straight forward process, so..)
posted by Chuckles at 9:03 AM on November 27, 2007


Sorry jaythebull, I messed up the quote. It should have been:
jaythebull: Could it be bad capacitors?

This is suspect number one. 2002 is pretty close to the peak plague year, I think.. [...]

posted by Chuckles at 9:07 AM on November 27, 2007


thanks everyone. We decided to pull the hard drive and not mess with it anymore. The reason I was trying to fix it was that I have considerably more time than money these days, but I'm not up to the task of replacing the motherboard.
posted by gecko12 at 2:02 PM on November 28, 2007


« Older I have accidentally come into ...   |  Monaco: can anyone currently l... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.