Computer will no longer boot up at all.

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Old 05-29-11, 08:42 AM
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Question Computer will no longer boot up at all.

Has a computer lock up on me yesterday and i pulled the power supply cord. Now it wont boot up at all. Could i have damaged the motherboard? the fan turns on and the lights light up in the front. But i dont get anything on the screen at all. I checked the monitor and it is fine. Anyone know what this could be before i take it in? could i have possiblly got some ESD and killed the motherboard?.

Any help would be greatly apprieciated.
 
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Old 05-29-11, 08:59 AM
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by the way its an acer aspire M5640 Quad with Vista 7 for the specs. Again any info would be apprieciated
 
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Old 05-29-11, 09:02 AM
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As long as you didn't remove the covers and lay hands the motherboard while wearing wool socks and shuffling your feet on a nylon carpet, you can rule out ESD.

Can you hear if the hard drive is spinning up? If you can't hear the drive motor, listen for a soft clicking as the heads seek. How about the CD/DVD drive. Does it go through it's power on self test? If neither of these is responding when you turn on the power, you most likely have a power supply failure. The supply puts out both 12VDC and 5VDC. It could be that one side has failed, probably 5V because the fan is turning.

Hope this helps.
 
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Old 05-29-11, 10:20 AM
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Question o.k tried your suggestion

I believe i heard the hard drives "clicking" sounds. and since the dvd player opens and closed with the buttons and the blue power button on the front remains lit i gotta figure thats not it. Could the motherboard be fried?
 
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Old 05-29-11, 02:28 PM
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Disconnect all components except the bare bones. Power supply, CPU and maybe one stick of ram. Does the system POST? (Power On Self Test)CAn you hit F2, F8 OR Del and get in to the BIOS?

I also doubt the Mobo is bad. I would first suspect the PSU, as Doug mentioned, or a failed/bad connected stick of RAM.
 

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 05-29-11 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 05-29-11, 04:30 PM
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Tried and still getting nothing, also moved the ram around, disconnected the hard drive and such. So im assuming the motherboard is fried right? How pricey is this gonna be to replace? and how difficult to reinstall?
 
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Old 05-29-11, 04:40 PM
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Swapping out a mother board is not a big deal and would likely take less than an hour depending how much stuff is connected to it. Can you crack the case open and see if you can find what type of mother board it is? (name, model, etc) Depending how old it is and availability it could be less than $100.

I still suggest testing your PSU: PSU Test - How to Manually Test a Power Supply With a Multimeter - Test PSU
 
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Old 05-31-11, 09:30 AM
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hi vman Ė

I think Tolyn is right! Check that power supply! I put my system together with all individual components and thought my motherboard was bad. Wouldnít do squat. Returned the mobo to Intel who was good enough to replace it. But they did tell me that I should check the power supply.

Same problem with new mobo. Turns out they were right. My brand new Antec power supply was in fact bad. Turns out the power supply outputs a signal on pin 8 (Power Good) that tells the mobo power is OK. Without it the mobo wonít operate at all Ė I guess for self protection. I had nothing on pin 8. Returned the power supply for a new one and problem solved.

Donít remember but I think testing the power supply was pretty easy. Itís all foggy now but Ė maybe I used a paper clip or something like that at the connector? Canít remember.

Good luck!
 
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Old 05-31-11, 01:54 PM
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You could actually damage a power supply by 'jump starting' it like that. It does sound to me like it is not giving the PG signal. You can buy an actual power supply tester from Amazon or Newegg for $15 or less that will give you a definitive answer. It's a good thing to have around since power supplies do tend to bite it without outwardly appearing dead.

Basically the PG signal holds back powering up the motherboard until the output voltages have stabilized. If the supply is failing, the hard drives and such will power up, but since the voltage never becomes stable, it never actually sends the PG signal to the motherboard to turn it on.
 
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Old 05-31-11, 07:03 PM
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hi Matt and vman Ė

Donít remember exactly how I did it but I believe I just looked at the signal levels coming out of the power supply with a meter. No mobo or peripherals connected. I think it was a passive test and safe? But maybe my memory is failing me. Maybe I did that wrap-around, pin 15-pin 16? Guess that could be dangerous Ė if thatís what I did? Sounds like maybe you need that 15/16 wraparound to make the P/S happy? (Not sure what you mean by jump starting, but Iíve been away from the computer field for years). I thought I just used a paper clip for something to get the probe on? Donít remember any kind of wraparound. But maybe I had to? (Itís hell getting old!) But anyway the PG signal definitely was not there. Power supply tester does sound like a really good idea Matt.

But one other thing I would definitely do is to check every connection and the seating of all components. Long long ago, before PCís, when micro-processors were first around, I was developing software on a PC size micro-processor development system that I literally pulled out of the trash at our company. Turns out the govt. started the project back up Ė so the trashed system (an Intel Development System) was now needed.

Well I seated all of the boards, connectors, found all the manuals, loaded the software, and lo and behold I had the Intel Development System up and running. I was using cross-assemblers and cross-compilers to build software for a target system that was all prom based. Long story short, it would take hours to build the entire software system, burns the proms, seat the proms on the target board, move the prom board to the target machine, and finally be ready to test. So unfortunately you really had to make a lot of software changes at one time to get economies of scale. (Processors were very very slow then).

Well many times that development system would just freeze up, right in the middle of the build process and I had to start all over again. Hours wasted! I just couldnít figure out what was wrong?

Well one day I opened up the development system for the umpteenth time, to one more time check the seating of the boards, components, etc. and thus one more time I gave the main board a good push. And what do you know - that time I could tell by the sound the board just seated properly for the first time. The development system never hung up again! So the connection must have been marginal for a long time, from day one actually. Could have kicked myself really hard! What a dummy!

Taught me a lesson anyway! But I digress! (LOL)
 
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Old 05-31-11, 09:58 PM
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When you jump pin 14-15 to manually turn the supply on without being connected to a motherboard we call that jumpstarting.. The damage can occur because it is expecting a load on each of the voltage rails, which helps to stabilize the outputs. Most later model supplies will turn themselves off if no load is present as a protection, but some won't. Also, without a load on the supply, you can get some pretty strange readings when you meter it out. The testers have power resistors inside to put the supply under a small load, in order to more accurately test it.
 
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Old 06-01-11, 06:40 PM
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Good explanation Matt. Sounds like maybe you could do an excellent job writing tech manuals. Was wondering if vman could have accidentally removed a jumper or something from the motherboard. But that doesn't seem very likely. Just noticed that my motherboard doesn't have any dip switches and has only one jumper for the bios. Guess i'm really behind the times.

Hope you get it up and running vman. I retired early because I think I was losing it! (LOL) Burnt out! But i still like debugging and troubleshooting. Like an addict.

Hang in there vman!
 
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Old 06-02-11, 11:52 AM
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hey vman Ė

Donít know if your problem is fixed yet, and maybe the guys here will say this is completely irrelevant, but is there any possibility your processor fan is not working properly? I know when I put my system together I didnít lock the processor fan down properly and that created a problem. I think the processor thermal protection feature kicked in and I couldnít do squat! I think (not sure) it kicked in very fast after power on, but I could be mistaken, maybe it takes a lot longer and you would still be able to boot up, etc. (Itís only a vague memory now.)
 
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Old 06-02-11, 01:52 PM
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I know this sounds like out of left field, but check the cmos battery. I've only had one die one time, but I think that will do what you describe as your problem. Couldn't remember how it afects the computer so I just pulled the battery out of my old test machine in the garage. With the battery out the ps spins up, but there is nothing on the monitor (status light stays yellow). If the battery is dying, I don't know at what voltage it would start to cause problems.
 
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Old 06-04-11, 01:14 PM
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The processor thermal protection only kicks in when the processor is hot, then it resets. Even with the heatsink completely removed, from a cold boot it still takes a couple minutes to get up to cutoff temperature.

Good call on on the CMOS battery. USUALLY the BIOS self-test will report a low battery before it dies completely, and in a majority of motherboards a dead battery won't prevent bootup, but strange things can happen in between 'low' and 'dead'.
 
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Old 06-05-11, 12:50 PM
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Long shot, I'm sure. On the one I had die (or go low voltage) I chased my tail for several days and don't even remember what pointed me at the battery. This was probably 5 or 6 years ago.
 
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Old 06-06-11, 03:51 AM
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it's the video card. the subject said nothing was on the screen remember? the only thing that will stop a POST from appearing on the monitor without a beep code when the rest of the machine seems normal is a video card, btw, you can buy those without buying a new mother board lol.

i'll bet your video card is external, right? how about you check your monitor again, the connection to your computer, and check how it's seated, and re-seat it.
what did you do when you checked your monitor?? did you plug it into a different computer?
 
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Old 06-06-11, 05:23 AM
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No actually you WILL get a beep code from a bad video card - that's WHY they have beep codes, in case of video card failure (or some other failure that stops the system before video initializes). Award BIOS gives one long then either 2 or 3 short beeps on a video error, AMI is one long then 8 short.

But in 20 years of working on computers I've seen maybe one video card "go bad". They don't just come 'unseated' either unless it gets bumped around. You're going the wrong way on this.
 
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Old 06-06-11, 06:01 AM
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i've seen about 20 actually ship unseated. you'll get a beep code for a bad video card but you won't get a beep code if you have an on-board card and an agp card and one of them goes bad or you don't switch it over in the bios it should auto detect but sometimes it doesn't.

award bios is exactly that one of the best bios his machine does not have award, it has some generic bios (AMI PnP BIOS compatible with SMBIOS 2.4????), that's why i am saying it does not always give a beep code on the video card not all bios are created equal.
 
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Old 06-06-11, 06:11 AM
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Coming unseated in shipping is one thing. But this one was just sitting there, unless he kicked the side of it and didn't tell us. And it is not some 'generic BIOS', it is an AMI. SMBIOS is the BIOS structure template that it has to comply with for standardization purposes.
 
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Old 06-06-11, 06:21 AM
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you mean like yanking out the power chord but accidentally grabbing the monitor cable and yanking it also?? seen it too many times.
American Megatrends Inc.??? that's about as generic as you get in the highly standardized world of computers.
 
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Old 06-06-11, 06:39 AM
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Umm you do realize they make chips for every major manufacturer, right? They are used in retail and OEM all over the place. And whether it's a stripped down OEM version (which is ordered that way by the OEM, in case you were wondering), or a full featured retail version, an AMI is an AMI, just like an Award is an Award, therefore the POST and beep codes are all the same.
 
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Old 06-06-11, 07:40 AM
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what i'm trying to communicate is that that chip does not have the same fault detection as the major brands that you may be familiar with, because it is oem and fairly generic as you say, oem is generic, it's one thing intended for many, it changes as least as possible. the major brands tailor their chips more specifically for each device therefore, bus paths are taken more into consideration and failure and fault detection are higher.

regardless, the proof would be in the subject's reply, not in our logic, this is a standard step in troubleshooting that no one mentioned, so i did.
 
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Old 06-06-11, 08:23 AM
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God you're thick. What you are trying to communicate is wrong. ALL boards with AMI BIOS chips have the same POST codes, regardless whether they are retail or OEM (this 'generic' word you keep using). If it is made by AMI, it has ALL of the AMI POST and beep codes. The user front end is the only thing that is customized to the OEM's specs. OEM BIOS are made by taking a fully functional BIOS and disabling features, not the other way around.

If you don't believe me, you're welcome to see my POST diagnostic board. The code book doesn't have separate lists of codes for each OEM's versions, it has a list for Award, a list for AMI, a list for Phoenix, etc.
 

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Old 06-06-11, 06:30 PM
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i'm talking about the actual quality of detection of a fault (or when something goes wrong) i don't need you to tell me i already know off the top of my head that it's mediocre. everyone in their right mind would understand simple logic. i'm not talking about the "beep codes" i'm talking about and have always been talking about the quality of the system that they use in their products(chips), with acer.
 

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Old 06-06-11, 07:13 PM
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I'm going to agree with Jersey here...I have all OEM eMachines. Each one will detect if there is a video card error or not. My custom built P4 that's running my media server let me know one day that my onboard card was shot. Put an AGP card in it, and it booted fine and dandy.
 
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Old 06-08-11, 10:51 AM
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hi guys Ė

Guess I have too much time on my hands. Looked at the Acer siteís FAQ page for the Aspire M5640 under title ďNo Power or Will not BootĒ. Donít know if this would be of any help to vman or if itís off on a tangent. Holding a power button down for 30 secs (or 10-15 secs recommended by others?) brought back memories and seems familiar? I think itís about dissipating a possible stored charge in critical circuits if the computer was shut down improperly?- and vman said he pulled the power cord.

A real long shot! Anyway this is from the Acer site for the M5640:


Q: No Power or Will not boot

A:
If the unit will not turn on and has no power:

1. Verify that the power cord is plugged both into the unit and an electrical socket.

2. If it is plugged into a power strip or surge protector verify that the power strip or surge protector is turned on.

3. Try another power outlet.

4. Unplug the power cable from the unit, hold the power button on the unit down for 30 seconds. Release the power button and plug the power cord back into the unit. Try to turn it back on.

If the unit has power but does not boot into Windows:

1. Turn the unit off and unplug the power cord from the unit.

2. Hold the power button on the unit down for 30 seconds.

3. Release the power button and plug the power cord back into the unit.

4. Turn the unit on.
 
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