Computer won't start

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Mike, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. Mike

    Mike Guest

    My daughter's computer (a Compaq Presario S4020WM) will not start up as
    of this morning. It was working fine last night before she had a freeze
    while on a MySpace board. She opened something and said it started to
    make a weird noise and then just kinda froze her screen, so she reached
    down and powered it off by holding the power button for 5 seconds. When
    she went to turn it back on, nothing.

    I have it all apart right now and everything seems like it should work.
    When I turn it on, the hard drive fires up (you can hear it spin) and
    the fans all kick on (on the processor and the power supply). The
    monitor will not kick on though and there are no beeps or anything
    suggesting a problem. I have tried multiple monitors and video cards
    that I know for a fact work on my other computer, but still can't get
    the thing to even boot or acknowledge the monitor by coming out of
    amber state (it's like it is in sleep mode immediately upon bootup). I
    have tried hitting F1, F10, and DEL to try and enter the BIOS or
    something but to no avail.

    Could it most likely have been a virus that maybe wiped her hard drive
    clean or something. My next step was going to be to take her hard drive
    and put it my computer as a slave to see if her stuff was still intact.

    Any suggestions that I may try first.

    Thank you much,
    Mike
    Mike, Jul 17, 2006
    #1
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  2. Mike

    FML Guest

    Mike wrote:
    > My daughter's computer (a Compaq Presario S4020WM) will not start up as
    > of this morning. It was working fine last night before she had a freeze
    > while on a MySpace board. She opened something and said it started to
    > make a weird noise and then just kinda froze her screen, so she reached
    > down and powered it off by holding the power button for 5 seconds. When
    > she went to turn it back on, nothing.
    >
    > I have it all apart right now and everything seems like it should work.
    > When I turn it on, the hard drive fires up (you can hear it spin) and
    > the fans all kick on (on the processor and the power supply). The
    > monitor will not kick on though and there are no beeps or anything
    > suggesting a problem. I have tried multiple monitors and video cards
    > that I know for a fact work on my other computer, but still can't get
    > the thing to even boot or acknowledge the monitor by coming out of
    > amber state (it's like it is in sleep mode immediately upon bootup). I
    > have tried hitting F1, F10, and DEL to try and enter the BIOS or
    > something but to no avail.
    >
    > Could it most likely have been a virus that maybe wiped her hard drive
    > clean or something. My next step was going to be to take her hard drive
    > and put it my computer as a slave to see if her stuff was still intact.
    >
    > Any suggestions that I may try first.
    >
    > Thank you much,
    > Mike
    >


    If it were a bad hard drive, you would more than likely get some video
    from the POST of the motherboard. Have you tried firing it up with a
    minimum amount of hardware installed (cpu, fan, 1 stick of RAM, video
    card - no drives)?
    FML, Jul 17, 2006
    #2
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  3. Mike

    GHalleck Guest

    Mike wrote:

    > My daughter's computer (a Compaq Presario S4020WM) will not start up as
    > of this morning. It was working fine last night before she had a freeze
    > while on a MySpace board. She opened something and said it started to
    > make a weird noise and then just kinda froze her screen, so she reached
    > down and powered it off by holding the power button for 5 seconds. When
    > she went to turn it back on, nothing.
    >
    > I have it all apart right now and everything seems like it should work.
    > When I turn it on, the hard drive fires up (you can hear it spin) and
    > the fans all kick on (on the processor and the power supply). The
    > monitor will not kick on though and there are no beeps or anything
    > suggesting a problem. I have tried multiple monitors and video cards
    > that I know for a fact work on my other computer, but still can't get
    > the thing to even boot or acknowledge the monitor by coming out of
    > amber state (it's like it is in sleep mode immediately upon bootup). I
    > have tried hitting F1, F10, and DEL to try and enter the BIOS or
    > something but to no avail.
    >
    > Could it most likely have been a virus that maybe wiped her hard drive
    > clean or something. My next step was going to be to take her hard drive
    > and put it my computer as a slave to see if her stuff was still intact.
    >
    > Any suggestions that I may try first.
    >
    > Thank you much,
    > Mike
    >


    By all means test the individual components in a known working
    system but, at the same time, also be wary that any part might
    have become defective. The description is that of a hardware
    catastrophy that can range from a fried CPU or a PSU, etc.
    GHalleck, Jul 17, 2006
    #3
  4. Mike

    Jerry G. Guest

    What you got left is RAM, mother board, and power supply. Try those!

    When the computer starts, if the power supply, mother board, video card,
    monitor, and RAM are working well, you should get the post.

    --

    Jerry G.
    ======


    "Mike" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    My daughter's computer (a Compaq Presario S4020WM) will not start up as
    of this morning. It was working fine last night before she had a freeze
    while on a MySpace board. She opened something and said it started to
    make a weird noise and then just kinda froze her screen, so she reached
    down and powered it off by holding the power button for 5 seconds. When
    she went to turn it back on, nothing.

    I have it all apart right now and everything seems like it should work.
    When I turn it on, the hard drive fires up (you can hear it spin) and
    the fans all kick on (on the processor and the power supply). The
    monitor will not kick on though and there are no beeps or anything
    suggesting a problem. I have tried multiple monitors and video cards
    that I know for a fact work on my other computer, but still can't get
    the thing to even boot or acknowledge the monitor by coming out of
    amber state (it's like it is in sleep mode immediately upon bootup). I
    have tried hitting F1, F10, and DEL to try and enter the BIOS or
    something but to no avail.

    Could it most likely have been a virus that maybe wiped her hard drive
    clean or something. My next step was going to be to take her hard drive
    and put it my computer as a slave to see if her stuff was still intact.

    Any suggestions that I may try first.

    Thank you much,
    Mike
    Jerry G., Jul 17, 2006
    #4
  5. Mike

    Martik Guest

    "Mike" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > My daughter's computer (a Compaq Presario S4020WM) will not start up as
    > of this morning. It was working fine last night before she had a freeze
    > while on a MySpace board. She opened something and said it started to
    > make a weird noise and then just kinda froze her screen, so she reached
    > down and powered it off by holding the power button for 5 seconds. When
    > she went to turn it back on, nothing.
    >
    > I have it all apart right now and everything seems like it should work.
    > When I turn it on, the hard drive fires up (you can hear it spin) and
    > the fans all kick on (on the processor and the power supply). The
    > monitor will not kick on though and there are no beeps or anything
    > suggesting a problem. I have tried multiple monitors and video cards
    > that I know for a fact work on my other computer, but still can't get
    > the thing to even boot or acknowledge the monitor by coming out of
    > amber state (it's like it is in sleep mode immediately upon bootup). I
    > have tried hitting F1, F10, and DEL to try and enter the BIOS or
    > something but to no avail.
    >
    > Could it most likely have been a virus that maybe wiped her hard drive
    > clean or something. My next step was going to be to take her hard drive
    > and put it my computer as a slave to see if her stuff was still intact.
    >
    > Any suggestions that I may try first.
    >
    > Thank you much,
    > Mike
    >


    Remove 1 stick of ram and/or move it to another slot. I had the same problem
    recently and it was a bad memory slot.
    Martik, Jul 17, 2006
    #5
  6. Mike

    Mike Guest

    > If it were a bad hard drive, you would more than likely get some video
    > from the POST of the motherboard. Have you tried firing it up with a
    > minimum amount of hardware installed (cpu, fan, 1 stick of RAM, video
    > card - no drives)?


    Tried that but nothing.

    Mike
    Mike, Jul 17, 2006
    #6
  7. Mike

    Mike Guest

    > By all means test the individual components in a known working
    > system but, at the same time, also be wary that any part might
    > have become defective. The description is that of a hardware
    > catastrophy that can range from a fried CPU or a PSU, etc.


    That's what I am afraid of. The PSU still seems okay though (by that I
    mean the green light is on the back and the fan is working and
    everything). I hope it isn't the CPU.

    Mike
    Mike, Jul 17, 2006
    #7
  8. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Jerry G. wrote:
    > What you got left is RAM, mother board, and power supply. Try those!
    >
    > When the computer starts, if the power supply, mother board, video card,
    > monitor, and RAM are working well, you should get the post.
    >
    > --
    >
    > Jerry G.
    > ======


    Don't know if this will help or not, but when I started it up minus
    everything (memory, monitor, keyboard and mouse) it didn't beep or do
    anything different from when I have been starting it with everything
    attached to it. Does that mean anything in particular?

    Mike
    Mike, Jul 17, 2006
    #8
  9. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Tried that to with no luck.

    Mike
    Mike, Jul 17, 2006
    #9
  10. Mike

    Barry OGrady Guest

    On 16 Jul 2006 18:17:31 -0700, "Mike" <> wrote:

    >My daughter's computer (a Compaq Presario S4020WM) will not start up as
    >of this morning. It was working fine last night before she had a freeze
    >while on a MySpace board. She opened something and said it started to
    >make a weird noise and then just kinda froze her screen, so she reached
    >down and powered it off by holding the power button for 5 seconds. When
    >she went to turn it back on, nothing.
    >
    >I have it all apart right now and everything seems like it should work.
    >When I turn it on, the hard drive fires up (you can hear it spin) and
    >the fans all kick on (on the processor and the power supply). The
    >monitor will not kick on though and there are no beeps or anything
    >suggesting a problem. I have tried multiple monitors and video cards
    >that I know for a fact work on my other computer, but still can't get
    >the thing to even boot or acknowledge the monitor by coming out of
    >amber state (it's like it is in sleep mode immediately upon bootup). I
    >have tried hitting F1, F10, and DEL to try and enter the BIOS or
    >something but to no avail.
    >
    >Could it most likely have been a virus that maybe wiped her hard drive
    >clean or something. My next step was going to be to take her hard drive
    >and put it my computer as a slave to see if her stuff was still intact.
    >
    >Any suggestions that I may try first.


    Its not the hard drive if it won't POST.
    I have the same problem with a 2.4 Ghz Celeron desktop.
    It could be the power supply. Mine has two sticks of 256 meg DDR RAM
    and I tried each one at a time to no avail.
    Mine seems to be temperature sensitive in that if I leave it powered on for
    say 20 minutes I may then be able to get it to boot.

    >Thank you much,
    >Mike


    Barry
    =====
    Home page
    http://members.iinet.net.au/~barry.og
    Barry OGrady, Jul 17, 2006
    #10
  11. Mike

    Barry OGrady Guest

    Barry OGrady, Jul 17, 2006
    #11
  12. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Barry OGrady wrote:
    > On 16 Jul 2006 21:49:26 -0700, "Mike" <> wrote:
    >
    > >Tried that to with no luck.

    >
    > Tried what?


    Sorry, meant to say tried removing each RAM stick.

    Mike
    Mike, Jul 17, 2006
    #12
  13. Mike

    Mike Guest

    > Its not the hard drive if it won't POST.
    > I have the same problem with a 2.4 Ghz Celeron desktop.
    > It could be the power supply. Mine has two sticks of 256 meg DDR RAM
    > and I tried each one at a time to no avail.
    > Mine seems to be temperature sensitive in that if I leave it powered on for
    > say 20 minutes I may then be able to get it to boot.
    >
    > Barry
    > =====
    > Home page
    > http://members.iinet.net.au/~barry.og


    Thanks Barry. It definitely not doing the POST when I turn it on. I
    can't even get it to recognize the keyboard or mouse as no light comes
    on the keyboard when turned on.

    A weird thing just happened. I hooked up a new, never before used
    wireless optical keyboard and mouse and the lights came on the infrared
    sensor part until I turned the computer on. Then they went out and I
    had nothing again. The green light on the back of the PSU is staying on
    all the time too, whether turned on or off.

    Thanks again,
    Mike
    Mike, Jul 17, 2006
    #13
  14. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Forgot to mention that I tried the leaving it on for 20 minute thing
    but no luck.
    Mike, Jul 17, 2006
    #14
  15. Mike

    Toolman Tim Guest

    Mike wrote:
    >> Its not the hard drive if it won't POST.
    >> I have the same problem with a 2.4 Ghz Celeron desktop.
    >> It could be the power supply. Mine has two sticks of 256 meg DDR RAM
    >> and I tried each one at a time to no avail.
    >> Mine seems to be temperature sensitive in that if I leave it powered
    >> on for say 20 minutes I may then be able to get it to boot.
    >>
    >> Barry
    >> =====
    >> Home page
    >> http://members.iinet.net.au/~barry.og

    >
    > Thanks Barry. It definitely not doing the POST when I turn it on. I
    > can't even get it to recognize the keyboard or mouse as no light comes
    > on the keyboard when turned on.
    >
    > A weird thing just happened. I hooked up a new, never before used
    > wireless optical keyboard and mouse and the lights came on the
    > infrared sensor part until I turned the computer on. Then they went
    > out and I had nothing again. The green light on the back of the PSU
    > is staying on all the time too, whether turned on or off.
    >
    > Thanks again,
    > Mike


    The lights on the mouse are normal, even with a "dead" PC, as long ast the
    PSU is working. Think nothing of it.

    As for the rest, it sure sounds like a bad mobo or CPU or PS. Yes, you can
    have a partially dead PS that gives power in one voltage but not another. So
    the lights might work, and the 5v to the USB might work, but there's no 12v
    to the CPU, etc. Since your first post indicated the drives are spinning up,
    I don't think that's the case. But if you have one you can swap in
    temporarily, I'd still try that.

    Did you ever try resetting the CMOS? Not likely to be the problem either,
    but bad data in the CMOS memory could possibly hang the system before a
    POST.

    --
    When I was a child, I remember my Mom telling me, "Son, when you grow
    up, you can marry any girl you please." When I became a young man, I
    learned the sad fact was that I could not please any of them.
    Toolman Tim, Jul 17, 2006
    #15
  16. Mike

    Mike Guest

    > The lights on the mouse are normal, even with a "dead" PC, as long ast the
    > PSU is working. Think nothing of it.
    >
    > As for the rest, it sure sounds like a bad mobo or CPU or PS. Yes, you can
    > have a partially dead PS that gives power in one voltage but not another. So
    > the lights might work, and the 5v to the USB might work, but there's no 12v
    > to the CPU, etc. Since your first post indicated the drives are spinning up,
    > I don't think that's the case. But if you have one you can swap in
    > temporarily, I'd still try that.
    >
    > Did you ever try resetting the CMOS? Not likely to be the problem either,
    > but bad data in the CMOS memory could possibly hang the system before a
    > POST.
    >

    Thanks Toolman. After doing some more research online here I am
    starting to think that it may be either the mobo or CPU too. Was
    thinking of trying a different PSU but don't have any laying around
    right now (will have to dig one up somewhere).

    I did pop the CMOS battery out and left it for a half hour before
    popping it back in as I remember that fixing several similiar problems
    with other computers I had.

    Basically, if I take everything out of the computer (including memory,
    video and NIC card, and unplug the CD-Rom and floppy drives); heck even
    the hard drive, I still get the same effect. No POST or beeps or
    anything.

    Thanks again,
    Mike
    Mike, Jul 17, 2006
    #16
  17. Mike

    Martik Guest

    "Mike" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > Barry OGrady wrote:
    >> On 16 Jul 2006 21:49:26 -0700, "Mike" <> wrote:
    >>
    >> >Tried that to with no luck.

    >>
    >> Tried what?

    >
    > Sorry, meant to say tried removing each RAM stick.
    >
    > Mike
    >


    At this point I would say it's the CPU, PS or MB however your original posts
    mentions a 'weird noise' which puzzles me since none of those components
    normally fails in that manner. Check the PS first then the other 2. Do you
    have a voltmeter? If it's the MB, toss the Compaq case and transplant
    everything over to a new case and MB. It will be too expensive to replace
    the Compaq MB.
    Martik, Jul 17, 2006
    #17
  18. Mike

    ProfGene Guest

    Mike wrote:
    > My daughter's computer (a Compaq Presario S4020WM) will not start up as
    > of this morning. It was working fine last night before she had a freeze
    > while on a MySpace board. She opened something and said it started to
    > make a weird noise and then just kinda froze her screen, so she reached
    > down and powered it off by holding the power button for 5 seconds. When
    > she went to turn it back on, nothing.
    >
    > I have it all apart right now and everything seems like it should work.
    > When I turn it on, the hard drive fires up (you can hear it spin) and
    > the fans all kick on (on the processor and the power supply). The
    > monitor will not kick on though and there are no beeps or anything
    > suggesting a problem. I have tried multiple monitors and video cards
    > that I know for a fact work on my other computer, but still can't get
    > the thing to even boot or acknowledge the monitor by coming out of
    > amber state (it's like it is in sleep mode immediately upon bootup). I
    > have tried hitting F1, F10, and DEL to try and enter the BIOS or
    > something but to no avail.
    >
    > Could it most likely have been a virus that maybe wiped her hard drive
    > clean or something. My next step was going to be to take her hard drive
    > and put it my computer as a slave to see if her stuff was still intact.
    >
    > Any suggestions that I may try first.
    >
    > Thank you much,
    > Mike
    >

    The motherboard could be fried. You cannot necessarily see this. It
    could have overheated or shorted out and it might look normal but it
    could be dead. But there is very little to go on and it could be
    something else.
    ProfGene, Jul 18, 2006
    #18
  19. Mike

    Toolman Tim Guest

    Mike wrote:
    >> The lights on the mouse are normal, even with a "dead" PC, as long
    >> ast the PSU is working. Think nothing of it.
    >>
    >> As for the rest, it sure sounds like a bad mobo or CPU or PS. Yes,
    >> you can have a partially dead PS that gives power in one voltage but
    >> not another. So the lights might work, and the 5v to the USB might
    >> work, but there's no 12v to the CPU, etc. Since your first post
    >> indicated the drives are spinning up, I don't think that's the case.
    >> But if you have one you can swap in temporarily, I'd still try that.
    >>
    >> Did you ever try resetting the CMOS? Not likely to be the problem
    >> either, but bad data in the CMOS memory could possibly hang the
    >> system before a POST.
    >>

    > Thanks Toolman. After doing some more research online here I am
    > starting to think that it may be either the mobo or CPU too. Was
    > thinking of trying a different PSU but don't have any laying around
    > right now (will have to dig one up somewhere).
    >
    > I did pop the CMOS battery out and left it for a half hour before
    > popping it back in as I remember that fixing several similiar problems
    > with other computers I had.
    >
    > Basically, if I take everything out of the computer (including memory,
    > video and NIC card, and unplug the CD-Rom and floppy drives); heck
    > even the hard drive, I still get the same effect. No POST or beeps or
    > anything.
    >
    > Thanks again,
    > Mike


    Yeah - if the CPU/motherboard were working at all, you'd get beep codes with
    no video or RAM installed. It really doesn't sound good.

    Martik mentioned earlier that your original post said something about a
    'weird noise' - any chance you could provide a better description? I've
    heard funny noises from motherboards when capacitors went out (screeching or
    fizzling) or when semiconductors like voltage regulators blow (popping or
    squealing). But generally with the case on, those sounds are not loud enough
    to distinguish. Although any blown components of those types typically have
    a definate odor as well. Have you done an inch-by-inch exam of the
    components on the motherboard? The last 5 or 6 systems I've had brought in
    recently with blown motherboards all had good CPU and RAM, so I was able to
    replace just the board. And all but one motherboard had visible damage on
    the integrated circuits.

    --
    When I was a child, I remember my Mom telling me, "Son, when you grow
    up, you can marry any girl you please." When I became a young man, I
    learned the sad fact was that I could not please any of them.
    Toolman Tim, Jul 18, 2006
    #19
  20. Dear Mike,

    I am not exactly an expert, only an informed amateur,having learnt from
    bitter experience. It sounds like your power supply may be up the creek, or
    perhaps your daughter was very unlucky and came across a really nasty virus
    which messes up the bios. Did she have an effective antivirus program?
    Whether the hard drive spins up or not this should not affect the startup.

    Normally the first thing you see on powerup is the display cards
    announcement. If you have another workingcomputer and can access the
    internet you should search for a device which can check the power supply.
    After all someone must make such a thing. One other thing: was the video
    card you took out an AGP card or a PCI card. Most bios's are selectively
    configurable for either one of these, and if your system has the wrong
    selection you will not see anything at bootup. If you have an old PCI video
    card try putting that in as well, and ataching the monitor cable to it. If
    you don't have one, ask if your local computer shop has one in their
    workshop, or look in one of those dubious backstreet shops(careful about
    what they charge you!)or go to a local computer fair and look for a vendor
    selling old cards. Carefully look through the manual for the motherboard,
    and see if there is any magic keypress which restores default settings.
    usually to reset the CMOS you have to temporarily put a jumper on a
    selected pair of pins, which resets the cmos( Look in the manual, and if you
    have lost the manual, download another copy from the motherboards website.

    ne other word of warning. If this was caused by a virus, do not put the
    hard drive in another computer unles it has effective anti-virus
    installed.If it has effective antivirus, then you can scan the drive for
    viruses, and if you find one you can look it up, and see if it is a nasty
    one. .

    Hope this helps.

    regards,

    Bill


    "ProfGene" <> wrote in message
    news:e9h1go$1br$...
    > Mike wrote:
    > > My daughter's computer (a Compaq Presario S4020WM) will not start up as
    > > of this morning. It was working fine last night before she had a freeze
    > > while on a MySpace board. She opened something and said it started to
    > > make a weird noise and then just kinda froze her screen, so she reached
    > > down and powered it off by holding the power button for 5 seconds. When
    > > she went to turn it back on, nothing.
    > >
    > > I have it all apart right now and everything seems like it should work.
    > > When I turn it on, the hard drive fires up (you can hear it spin) and
    > > the fans all kick on (on the processor and the power supply). The
    > > monitor will not kick on though and there are no beeps or anything
    > > suggesting a problem. I have tried multiple monitors and video cards
    > > that I know for a fact work on my other computer, but still can't get
    > > the thing to even boot or acknowledge the monitor by coming out of
    > > amber state (it's like it is in sleep mode immediately upon bootup). I
    > > have tried hitting F1, F10, and DEL to try and enter the BIOS or
    > > something but to no avail.
    > >
    > > Could it most likely have been a virus that maybe wiped her hard drive
    > > clean or something. My next step was going to be to take her hard drive
    > > and put it my computer as a slave to see if her stuff was still intact.
    > >
    > > Any suggestions that I may try first.
    > >
    > > Thank you much,
    > > Mike
    > >

    > The motherboard could be fried. You cannot necessarily see this. It
    > could have overheated or shorted out and it might look normal but it
    > could be dead. But there is very little to go on and it could be
    > something else.
    William Foster, Jul 18, 2006
    #20
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