Old PC needs CPR!
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Thread: Old PC needs CPR!

  1. #1
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    Old PC needs CPR!

    I have an old P4 PC I bought second hand (for 45/$60!) but it appears to be on its last legs. I occasionally have to hard reset it when it freezes (usually playing flash video), and this causes it to "forget" the DVI connection and revert to VGA. As it's connected to a TV that has DVI but not VGA, I then have to connect the monitor from my other PC to the VGA port, clear the BIOS, and reboot. The PC then boots into Windows fine and I can set up the DVI port again.

    However, I had to do a hard reset last week and now the above steps don't work. When I boot up, I don't get any beeps, so the I assume the BIOS is fine (or completely dead!), the CD drive spins up, but I can't hear anything from the hard drive (and the activity LED doesn't flash like I think it used to). The whole time, there's nothing output on the VGA port. (The PC has an AGP graphics card with DVI and VGA ports, as well as an integrated graphics chip - I don't get a signal on either VGA port. I tried rremoving the graphics card and I still didn't get a signal from the integrated chip.)

    The main specs are as follows:

    MSI 865GM3-LS motherboard
    Pentium 4 2.8 GHz
    512MB (originally 256MB, I upgraded a few months ago)
    ATI 7200LE AGP graphics card (low profile)
    Integrated Intel Extreme 2 graphics

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Garrison
    There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

  2. #2
    Stark Raving MOD Midknyte's Avatar
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    Did you check for bad caps?
    http://www.badcaps.net/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midknyte View Post
    Did you check for bad caps?
    http://www.badcaps.net/
    Yeah, I've seen that website before and I can't find any of the symptoms it mentions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Garrison
    There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

  4. #4
    Stark Raving MOD Midknyte's Avatar
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    Did you try swapping PSUs?

    There might just be something wrong with the motherboard if the onboard VGA doesn't work when you remove the AGP card.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midknyte View Post
    Did you try swapping PSUs?
    No, because it has a MicroATX PSU and I haven't got another one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Midknyte View Post
    There might just be something wrong with the motherboard if the onboard VGA doesn't work when you remove the AGP card.
    I'm starting to think that. I think I might keep the hard drive and DVD drive and get a new barebones system, but I'd much rather fix it!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Garrison
    There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

  6. #6
    Stark Raving MOD Midknyte's Avatar
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    a microatx psu has the same leads as a regular ATX psu.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midknyte View Post
    a microatx psu has the same leads as a regular ATX psu.
    OK, so I could sit two PCs side-by-side and connect the leads from the known good PSU to the faulty PC? I might try that, but could a single hard reset cause the PSU to fail? (Or could a failing PSU be the cause of the freeze that led to the hard reset being necessary?)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Garrison
    There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

  8. #8
    Stark Raving MOD Midknyte's Avatar
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    a failing PSU could cause any number of symptoms. I've also seen bad caps inside PSUs.

    I could sit two PCs side-by-side and connect the leads from the known good PSU to the faulty PC
    I guess you could do that. I'm assuming you don't have a spare.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midknyte View Post
    a failing PSU could cause any number of symptoms. I've also seen bad caps inside PSUs.



    I guess you could do that. I'm assuming you don't have a spare.
    Yeah, I've seen a couple of dead PSUs. I just don't want to buy a replacement and then have it not work, because I doubt any supplier will give me a refund in those circumstances.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Garrison
    There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by allanlewis View Post
    Yeah, I've seen a couple of dead PSUs. I just don't want to buy a replacement and then have it not work, because I doubt any supplier will give me a refund in those circumstances.
    Is it possible for the PSU to be dead while the DVD drive is spinning and the PSU & CPU fans are both running?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Garrison
    There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

  11. #11
    Mod w/ an attitude Sterling_Aug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allanlewis View Post
    Is it possible for the PSU to be dead while the DVD drive is spinning and the PSU & CPU fans are both running?
    A partially working PSU, where only some of the output voltages are working, or where the voltages are way off spec. due to damage will appear to be working, but the system will not boot properly. The only way to know for sure is to replace the PSU.

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Sterling_Aug View Post
    A partially working PSU, where only some of the output voltages are working, or where the voltages are way off spec. due to damage will appear to be working, but the system will not boot properly. The only way to know for sure is to replace the PSU.
    OK, thanks. I'm considering building a low-spec mATX system soon anyway, so I might borrow the PSU from that.

    Thanks for all your help!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Garrison
    There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

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