Another computer problem...


You've gotta try this!
Sep 2, 2001
Wow, when it rains it pours. OK, I just built this computer and all has been running great for the past several weeks.

Was playing Flight Sim 2002 and pressed pause to go walk the dog. When I come back, it looks like it's asleep.. screen off, but something strange. HDD light is steady lit!

I shook the mouse.. nobody home. Pushed the button on the front of the computer. Nothing. Finally held the button for ten seconds and the computer turned off. So, when I tried to turn it back on.. same story... no memory check screen (screen didn't even come back on), I could hear the hard drives going and CD drive light came on, ethernet card lights were on, but after about 20 seconds... NOTHING. After this 20 seconds, it must have shut the power off to everything because I couldn't open the CD drive, the ethernet light was off and HDD drives were not running. But the HDD light on the front was still steadily lit.

I've done some investigating, but I'm starting to think maybe my motherboard died. :( Can anyone help me diagnose this??


Thanks in advance.
I had the same thing happen to a customers PC last year. Turned out is was bad memory.

I would start part swapping with another box, check power supply and motherbpard first.

Have you let it totally cool down before powering it up? Might be a heat problem. I find many people building their own PCs do not put enough fans in the case. Also try removing and reseating all items.

Start basic troubleshooting after that....
Thanks for the reply...

I have 512 mb SD and I just switched out the memory with other memory that I had. Still no luck. :(

Thanks for the suggestion.

How can I check if the motherboard is bad? Or CPU?
Motherboards are cheap. The best way is to get another and swap. Processor can be swapped into another box to test.

Unless you have lots of time on your hands to get a schematic and go through the board.

Be sure to check/reseat the BIOS chip if its in a socket, as well as maybe remove the battery for a while and put it back in.

Also remove EVERYTHING off the motherboard to test. Only have a video card - no HDD, no floppy, no USB, etc.

Try other video cards.
did you unplug your monitor to see if did the self test?? It may just be a bad monitor
Monitor did the self test. I think this is something far more serious.

I did the everything off test. Once again same result. I agree, motherboards are cheap and I think that's route I'll take. ARGH!!:mad:

I just hate the idea that if it's just a simple CPU failure, to have to get a new board for it. Wish I new it was 'bad' or the whole thing. But I think I'll just get the

Oh well, thanks for the help.

hey gn85, it could be your video card is fried also. ill show this thread to a buddy of mine cause hes a big compooter geek and maybe he can figger it out. and if you need parts just let me know which ones and i could pick them up at the exchange and shipem to you.:D
I would clear cmos on it in case the CPU settings got screwed. Pull the battery and short the clear cmos jumper for a couple mins.. then unshort and put battery back in... it should set it back to defaults.

I'm glad to hear these suggestions. They make me beleive I'm on the right track. I tried clearing the CMOS because I remember reading about that. No luck. Likewise, I thought it might be the video card. But everything is really coming back to the motherboard or CPU. Even tried taking the video card out.

Don't know if this will help, but when I start it up, I do hear something that sounds strange around the area of the CPU. It's hard to tell if that's it because of the fan noise and stuff, but it stops after about 20 secs... when all the power goes away to the HDD, FDD, etc.

First off, let me thank everyone for the help again. This thing has had me pulling my hair out. But I went ahead and bit the bullet. Went to the computer store with the CPU. They looked at it and determined that it was indeed overheated and to make matters worse, I was having a hard time getting the fan off and that didn't help matters much. (read: NOVICE)

So I went ahead and bought a new motherboard/CPU/Fan. As TJThorson said.. they aren't that much and I just couldn't stand using my laptop for internet. So... I'm up and running. :)

TRDirks-- No beep codes. This motherboard has 4 diagnostic lights with green or red codes. Not even all four lights lit up. That kinda told me it's bad.

Blackbird-- Thanks for the offer. It's an older motherboard. If it's still good, then it'll make for a project. If you can get your hand on older CPUs.. (AMD 800) I would be interested in getting one.

Again, thanks to everyone. It's funny to come on a Buick board to get help about computers, but this group has always shown it's true helpful spirit no matter what the problem.

A very grateful member,
heres my geek buddies reply

open your casing and turn computer on and look for led lights on motherboard. if u see the red light or green light then check your power supply .. possible that power supply is bad.... if you get no power at all then replace motherboard....

sorry bro, i didnt read the last post before i let my buddy speak his peice. glad you got your stuff workin.