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Author Topic: Computers dying on me left and right!  (Read 815 times)

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Offline DaelenTopic starter

Computers dying on me left and right!
« on: November 28, 2010, 12:15:37 PM »
I don't know if I can even ask this here, but here goes. I have a desktop and a laptop computer that have both died, both seeming to do the same thing. When you turn the power on, the power light blinks but nothing boots up, nothing happens at all.

I'm afraid they're both done for, but I'm hoping this is not the case at the very least with the laptop. With that one, before it did this it would turn off on its own if I moved it at times. I have no idea what is going on and unfortunately I am on a tight enough budget that I can't replace either of them. If you need any more information just ask, I am not sure what sort of help I can hope for.

Offline Hunter

Re: Computers dying on me left and right!
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2010, 10:14:16 PM »
Is the light the same color as always and what sounds does it make?

Offline DaelenTopic starter

Re: Computers dying on me left and right!
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2010, 10:51:02 PM »
Instead of the power light coming on green, it blinks orange and I can hear what I assume to be the fan and/or hard drive spinning as it turns on. Nothing else happens though. I think, if I remember correctly, the desktop beeps when it comes on too.

Offline Hunter

Re: Computers dying on me left and right!
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2010, 09:21:26 AM »
For the laptop, try removing the battery and seeing if it works normally.

For the desktop, I'd guess that the RAM needs to be reseated.  That's what that normally means.

Offline fireflights

Re: Computers dying on me left and right!
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2010, 09:44:43 AM »
actually the number of beeps tells you whats wrong, try counting the beeps ....if I remember right five beeps mean ram but less beeps indicates something else that I can't remember.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Computers dying on me left and right!
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2010, 10:07:24 AM »
Beep codes are BIOS and motherboard dependent, we'd need to know what the make and model of his motherboard is.

For the laptop, if it works when you 'move it' that sounds suspiciously like an issue with your power jack.

Offline ShamshielDF

Re: Computers dying on me left and right!
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2010, 01:15:14 AM »
*dittos what Veks said*

In regards to the tower, there are number of things that could be wrong depending on other details:
-Does the display show anything at all?  If so, what does it say?
-If the desktop beeps, is it a single short beep? Long beep?  Series of short beeps?  Alternating short/long?
-Is the desktop a 'store' brand (ie. Gateway, Dell, HP, etc) or a custom/local build?  If the former, make model info pls?  If the latter, you should be able to find the information either on the invoice that came with the computer, the manual that came with it, or if you're comfortable with such, directly on the board itself.
-What does it do after beeping?  (ie. turn off automatically, whirr to itself, etc)  Does the hard drive light come on or flash?

All that being said, the usual culprits are:
-Loose/dirty video card (pull out, clean contacts, reinsert)
-Loose/dirty mobo component (remove RAM, clean contacts, reinsert; if comfortable with such same with processor, if not, take it to a professional shop to do)
-Dead/failing component (disconnect all drives/peripherals from system bus and power and try a test boot with just the video connected, reconnect one device at a time and test boot after each)
-Insufficient/failing power supply (disconnect drives and test boot or find a similar/more powerful PSU and test)

If you're uncomfortable with playing with the inner workings of a computer, I would strongly encourage finding a local computer shop and paying the fee for a bench test.  Usually a competent technician can diagnose and/or repair the issue inside of an hour or two.  Depending on where you live and what shop you take it to, a bench test could range from free to $150 or so.  Call in advance and see if they can at least give an estimate of how long it would take to find out what the problem is and how much the diagnosis would cost.  I would talk to any technical friends you might have and see if they might be willing to look into it or have a shop they could recommend to take it to.

Regarding the laptop...the problem is probably in one of a handful of locations.  My concern at the moment is that it sounds like your internal battery is dead completely and it's not getting enough power from the adapter to power up.  It could be that you have the wrong power adapter for the laptop or that the power adapter might be dying/dead.  I would recommend using a multimeter/voltmeter to test the power adapter.  If you don't have one and you don't know anyone that does, you can usually pick up cheapy pocket multimeters at Radio Shack/Home Depot/Lowe's for ~$15 or so.  If you're uncomfortable with such, I would recommend taking it into a shop or, possibly, a battery specialist in your area.

Disclaimer: I've worked in IT for over 10 years professionally, varying from local shops to multinational corporations and myriad places in between.  The above is based on extremely limited information from the first few posts and may not be close to the problems being experience but founded on years of dealing with PC troubleshooting.  While such tips solve perhaps 90% of similar issues, your situation may be radically different from my understanding of the situation.  Please consider above information in the way it is intended, an 'educated guess' regarding a computer that is sight unseen but hopefully helpful advice, not as an actual professional diagnosis.