Does my computer have a simple illness?
August 10, 2010 6:36 AM   Subscribe

PC has gone down. Does this sound like a common problem?

Our PC died yesterday. When I switch it on, the PSU fan runs, and the CPU fan runs at highest I have ever heard, the CD tray blinks and that is it. Nothing else happens.

Do these sysmtoms point to a common component malfunction? I'm thinking maybe the PSU has lost its marbles, or am I too optimistic that it will be a simple fix?
posted by Frasermoo to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Sounds like a motherboard problem. Do you hear any beeps when you turn it on?
posted by kenchie at 6:41 AM on August 10, 2010

When a PSU dies, it usually just stops; in the rare case that the PSU fan still runs, the CPU fan usually doesn't. Having said that, it's conceivable that the PSU is no longer delivering power on one of its rails or that there's some other fault.

My guess though would be the mainboard. The fact that the CPU fan is running fast makes it sound like whatever fan speed controller is on the mainboard isn't doing its job.

Trying a replacement PSU won't do any harm. And a new mainboard usually doesn't cost much, if that's what it turns out to be. The real danger is that the fault has also damaged the processor, RAM or other components.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 6:43 AM on August 10, 2010

Response by poster: No beeps when I turn it on.
posted by Frasermoo at 6:45 AM on August 10, 2010

On a hunch, try re-seating your RAM, and if that doesn't work, try re-seating the CPU.

I doubt it's the power supply. Sounds a lot like a bad motherboard. Like 'le morte' said, it *could* be a PSU failure, but it really doesn't seem all that likely.
posted by schmod at 6:49 AM on August 10, 2010

You can also try resetting the CMOS with the jumper on the motherboard.
posted by wongcorgi at 7:14 AM on August 10, 2010

Could just be a video issue. Boot it up again, let it sit for a few minutes, are you able to press the caps lock and see the caps lock light up? If so that means that it went past BIOS and has loaded Windows and windows has loaded the keyboard driver. In that case you're looking at a video card or monitor issue. If the caps lock light does not work then it failed to boot and you're looking at a more serious issue (ram, hard drive, mb, ps, etc). A boot disc (Windows disc, Linux live disc, etc) would also be handy if you have one or can download one from a different computer.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:15 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Also, try pulling all components except for CPU RAM and Video card. Could be a bad connector or HDD/optical drive.
posted by wongcorgi at 9:21 AM on August 10, 2010

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