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Old September 16th, 2007, 06:46 PM
apopp apopp is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1
Computer Doesn't Turn on, Fans and Some Lights Turn on Automatically

I have a bit of a strange issue with my computer. Forgive me if I'm a little too descriptive, but I'm not sure which details are relevant and which are not for such a problem. First, the specs:

Model: eMachines T2984
Operating System: Windows XP Service Pack 2
Processor: Intel Celeron D Processor 340, 2.93 GHZ, 256K L2 Cache, 533 MHZ FSB
Power Supply Unit: Bestec Model: ATX-250-12E REV: P7
Motherboard: I can't tell, but it appears to be an Intel motherboard by the number of Intel labels on it
RAM: 512 MB DDR SD originally, added 1 GB a couple of months ago
Keyboard and mouse came with the computer
Integrated video card (Intel, I believe)
Let me know if you need anything else...

Yesterday, I got home from shopping around 1PM, and I tried to start the computer. I pushed the power button, and nothing happened. I checked all of the cords, and they were all plugged in. Not knowing what else to do, I opened up the case to see if there was something obviously wrong. The only thing that I noticed (other than a bunch of dust) was that the power supply unit was still hot. I shut the computer down about 5 hours earlier after about 20 minutes of use, so it seemed strange that the power supply was still hot. I unplugged the computer just in case there was some sort of fire hazard.

At this point, I called a friend who suggested that the problem might be with the motherboard or the power supply unit.

A few hours later, I plugged it back in to try to get it to work. As soon as I plugged it in, the entire unit suddenly started "running" by itself . I had not pushed the power button yet. All of the fans turned on, and the light on the front that turns on if the computer is processing something turned on, but it was not as if the computer was processing something. If the computer is processing something, it flickers and clicks a little. This was just a solid light with no "clicking." I pushed the power button, but it didn't turn blue as it usually does if it turns on. In fact, nothing changed. After about a minute and a half, the entire unit shut down again, and I was not able to get it to do the same thing again. When I tried unplugging it and plugging it in again, I could hear the unit try to start up again for a second, but it would fail again.

Last night, I opened it up to clean out the dust (I figured that could be an issue with overheating despite the fans). I basically took it apart and put it back together again to no avail. I did find one loose wire in the power supply unit. When I plugged it in, it would turn on (lights and fans, but not the computer itself) as it did earlier in the day, but nothing new happened. I noticed that a red light would go on when the computer was "running," but it would go off as soon as everything else turned off. A similar green light would stay on when the computer was plugged in no matter what I did. The power supply unit was no longer hot. The entire unit except for the green light would shut down after about a minute.

This morning, I tried to get it to work again, and it was doing the same thing as it was last night.

I bought it about 3 years ago when it was being phased out, and I was planning on getting a new computer soon anyway, so it's not a big deal if it's too serious. I'd probably try to fix it if I could do so for under $100. Otherwise, I'll probably get a new one. I didn't really have anything important that I hadn't backed up on there, but I'd like to save the hard drive if I could. I'm a novice when it comes to hardware, so I'd be a little nervous about replacing major components (I've installed RAM and that's about it until last night).

So, the three big questions:

1. What's wrong?
2. How can I fix it?
3. Is it worth fixing?
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  #2  
Old September 17th, 2007, 02:07 AM
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Strider Strider is offline
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O/S: Windows 7 64-bit
Location: Northern Idaho USA
Posts: 1,650
Hi Apopp,
1. Probably the power supply failed.
2. Replace the power supply.
3. Maybe You can buy a power supply for ~$25 (US) up. The pundits around here will tell you to buy a good quality one for more money. If you do a bit of searching you can find a good PSU (Antec, for example) for $30 - $50.
The PSU is mounted in the upper back of the case. The power cord plugs directly into it. Look at the label on it to determine its power output (in watts) and buy one at least as powerful. The hard part of replacing one is unplugging all the connectors to the motherboard, hard drives, CD drives, video card maybe, etc. The PSU itself is held in by 4 screws.
If you opt for a new computer and want to save the hard drive, it's pretty easy to get out. However at 3 years old its data cable may be parallel ATA (wide flat ribbon) and the new computer would almost certainly be serial ATA. Probably you wouldn't have the right connection in your new computer to use the old drive.
HTH,
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Old September 18th, 2007, 08:44 AM
mervin mervin is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
O/S: Windows XP Home
Location: Maple Grove, MN
Posts: 172
250w power supply??? You shouldn't even be running a computer with less than 300w of power. I guess it's been functioning for you thus far, but you should know that most p4 systems have at least a 300w psu. Many computer manufacturers do things like this though and take shortcuts on essential parts. The problem is definitely your power supply. DON'T keep tinkering with your system until you replace it!! When the psu goes it can take every one of your components with it!! Some of your hardware may already be damaged.

Something in the neighborhood of a 400w psu should be fine.

I'd say you should get a quality brand. FSP is a high quality brand and they're not expensive. Here are some links. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817104935
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817104953

An antec power supply would be ok for your needs too, but I've never trusted antec for systems which require lots of power and are under constant load. Not that your system falls into this category. Still, I've seen too many problems with antec power supplies. Antec is living off their reputation from 5-6 years ago. A lot of their brands are just plain unreliable and they don't seem to last.

Is it worth fixing? Well that is a bit subjective. IF you plan on buying a new computer anyway I'd spend the extra money now on a decent power supply. So from that standpoint it is worth fixing. Depending on what you plan on using your computer for you won't necessarily need a fancy, super expensive power supply that packs a lot of juice. But don't let a high powered, 600+ watt power supply (for example) scare you! They're actually cheaper on your electricity bill than most 350-450watt power supplies because they are more efficient and they don't have to work as hard to power your system. Just because a power supply can offer you a lot of juice does not mean it's putting out that much power all the time. They're not. Sometimes it's better to by more than to buy something that meets the minimum requirements.

Almost every motherboard today still comes with PATA ports for IDE drives. The PATA port is what you plug your CD ROM and your hard drive into on the motherboard. Most modern motherboards only come with one PATA port today, and not 2 like they used to. Yes, you can still use your old hard drive on any new system, but it's probably best to get a SATA drive if you get a new computer. If you decide to you use the hard drive from your Monster computer as a slave you can still do so, but then you MUST make sure you get a SATA compatible CD/DVD ROM. The 5.25 bays are usually too far apart from the internal 3.5 bays to connect both drives to the same cable, so if you get a SATA disc drive you won't need to worry about this problem. Of course you could also buy an external enclosure and put your old Monster hard drive on the external enclosure and just plug it into the USB port to access it! There are lots of options as you can see.

Last edited by mervin; September 18th, 2007 at 09:08 AM.
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