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Old 01-02-2011, 07:41 AM   #1
rk4adtch
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Default Computer won't start, no POST, no beeps

Hi folks,

I just get back from a 3 week vacation, and my 4-year-old Acer desktop (E360) refuse to start. In fact, just before I left, the same problem occured. At that time, i managed to 'fix' it by accident by moved the power cord plug into a different socket on the power strip. Yesterday, i tried that, and it wouldn't work. So did some reading online, and thought the problem might be the PSU. Bought a new PSU and and PSU tester from Fry's. Before opening new PSU, i tested with the tester, and it seems that the PSU is fine, all the levels are reported as correct. So then i follow these steps:

1. disconnect power to all components (HDD, drives etc) except CPU and mobo
2. remove all RAM modules except one
3. removed CMOS battery for one minute, then re-insert
4. remove video card, and connected to onboard video
5. checked the mobo visually to see if any capacitors are 'blooming' or burnt, and for any other signs of damage(there is none that I can see, though i have not taken the board out of the case)

However, after all this, there is still no beep sounds, so I assume the POST is failing? I'm going to buy a new CR2032 CMOS battery and try that later today. Should i still try the new PSU? or Could it be a mobo problem? Or do i have to try and remove the CPU, even that is something I have never touched before?

Some of you might know that I was planning to build a new PC(first time), but i'm worried now that if i cannot resolve this sort of issue, then perhaps I should not attempt to build.

Any tips will be very helpful.
thanks.
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:59 AM   #2
boomerang
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The garden variety PS tester displays voltages but has no means to put a load on the PS. I've had power supplies test fine with a tester before yet replacing the PS fixed the problem.
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:05 AM   #3
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its always a good idea to buy a cheap PSU that works and keep it only for testing purposes. its far better than a PSU tester.
you should beable to find one for as cheap if not cheaper than a typical lcd psu tester.
i got one for $12. i made sure it worked and kept it in a drawer..comes in handy sometimes.
of course i don't recommend actually using the cheap PSU, they often don't last long under lots of heavy loads. but is good to tell if you need to actually replace your current with a good one.

Last edited by HeXen; 01-02-2011 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:29 AM   #4
rk4adtch
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hi,

thanks for the quick replies. So opened up that new PSU and installed it, but same problem . I only plugged in the ATX and CPU connectors, though, assume that should at least get me a beep, right? Any other ideas? I will go get a new CMOS battery now.

I also used the PSU tester with the new PSU, and the voltages seem to be less stable than the original PSU (Ultra Xfinity 500). the PG value shows as 'HH' (higher than normal, i think)

thanks.

Last edited by rk4adtch; 01-02-2011 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boomerang View Post
The garden variety PS tester displays voltages but has no means to put a load on the PS. I've had power supplies test fine with a tester before yet replacing the PS fixed the problem.
Me too.
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:16 PM   #6
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Have you tried plugging it directly into a wall socket? You mentioned that the first time you had the problem you switched power strip sockets and it worked. Could be your power strip has gone bad.
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:40 PM   #7
rk4adtch
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Thanks, turtle.Man and Lanyap. I have actually already plugged into the wall socket directly earlier this morning, but that did not help. Also, just changed the CMOS battery (it was dead earlier), but still not luck. Do I need to reset BIOS (how do i do that, btw)? I am just trying to get to POST first, followed by some beeps!

Also, just to confirm, i'm just plugging in the speaker into the external round green speaker output terminal at the back of the motherbard, hope that is correct.

Or is it concluded that the mobo is gone?

Last edited by rk4adtch; 01-02-2011 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:38 PM   #8
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replacing the battery would reset the CMOS anyway. just from what you mentioned, i would say its the Mobo. i also found it odd that your original CMOS battery was dead all of a sudden?
anyway, all the Mobo's i had that died did so without warning, i've seen em die after a reboot. unless your new PSU is defective. i'd try to exchange it first, just to be sure.
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:31 PM   #9
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Does anything happen when you try to start (fans, LEDs, etc.? Tried a lamp in the wall socket yet?

If absolutely nothing happens, try removing the 20/24 pin cable from the mb and shorting the green wire to any black wire (piece of wire if you have it, but a paperclip will work) on the connector. The psu should start up if it is good.

Also, when testing a minimum configuration, remember to disconnect all external USB connections to the mb. They are 5v just like the startup circuit.

And don't be discouraged, building with new parts is usually easier than troubleshooting old systems.
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Old 01-02-2011, 11:50 PM   #10
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I agree with Jack, and recommend taking it one step further.
First, check the PSU with the "paperclip test." Make sure it fires up.

Then, if your PSU shows good, start with the CPU and HSF, ONE stick of RAM, and your video card ONLY. See if it boots to the BIOS screen.

If so, add your boot drive and try again. If the BIOS recognizes the boot drive, shut down and add your Optical drive...if that's recognized, shut down and add one more stick of ram in the slot to make dual channel...if recognized, add one more stick...keep going.

Of course, if you CAN'T get into the BIOS screen in the very first step...then you have some hard work ahead of you.

At that point, the processor and/or board would be suspect.
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:15 AM   #11
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hi guys,

ok, i tried the paperclip test on both the PSUs, and in both cases the PSU fan started up, does that mean they are fine? Actually, I'd read about this paperclip test couple of days ago, but i just couldn't figure out what people were talking about...because every wire in the UltraXfinity 500 PSU is covered by a very high quality sheath, except that all of them are colored silver!

anyway, upon connecting the PSU 20/24 and 4-pin CPU connector back to the board, with only onboard video, one stick RAM, i still don't get the bios screen. or hear any beeps. the HSF and the PSU fans are the only things that start up. Just want to confirm...I don't physically remove all the other components from the case, I only disconnect the power connector. Do I also need to disconnect the data cable connectors for the HDD and optical drives?

System_mechanic: i usually always keep the desktop in standby mode, and only reboot when necessary (new app install, or if it hangs, which is not too frequently). Is CMOS battery used when in standby mode also? As I mentioned, I did see a bootup problem once before going to vacation, maybe that was when it died?

Actually, its not that urgent to repair the machine itself, since I will either buy or build a new one asap now. My main need is that there is some documents in one of the partitions on that boot HDD that I need to access( i had not done a backup for about a week before going on vacation). Do you think I can put that drive into a external HDD case and simply plug into another machine? Or will that fact that the first partition is a boot partition cause any problems or damage to the HDD?

thanks.
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Old 01-03-2011, 08:48 AM   #12
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The shorting/startup psu test is not an absolute test that the psu is good, but a good sign.

Do you have a speaker hooked up to the mb? Need that to hear any beeps.

No need to remove the components from the case. Data cables are unlikely to be the problem, but I usually unplug them from the mb anyway when doing a minimum configuration test.

If you have an external dock, enclosure, or adapter, you can use it with the new rig, but there is no reason to buy one if you don't. After installing the OS on the new rig, you can shut it down and connect the old drive (which will work fine just laying on the desk) and copy any data from it.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:56 AM   #13
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hi jack,

I had my speaker attached to the standard 'green' speaker output on front faceplate, is that right place? or is there some way to hook it directly into the mobo??
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rk4adtch View Post
hi jack,

I had my speaker attached to the standard 'green' speaker output on front faceplate, is that right place? or is there some way to hook it directly into the mobo??
Your "audio system" speakers are not what he's referring to. There may be a tiny speaker that attaches to the motherboard for POST beeps. It's an optional thing, not all boards have them.

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Old 01-03-2011, 11:36 AM   #15
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oh, no, i don't have anything like that. But i've heard the 'single' beep before, whenever the system used to start up. was that coming through the 'audio system' speaker?
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:07 PM   #16
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What motherboard do you have?
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Old 01-03-2011, 02:03 PM   #17
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This is funny. This is exactly what is happening with mine. Just stopped posting apparently per my friend. This is an ACER to by the way. My thread is http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2131884 Keep an eye on it and let me know if you solve it, lol and I'll do the same.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:23 AM   #18
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If this ebay pic is accurate there is a piezo speaker like BoomerD's pic mounted at the bottom of the motherbaord under the last PCI connector. At this point I think the mobo died.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ACER-ASPIRE-E360...item230c7ddd66
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:28 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rk4adtch View Post
hi guys,

Actually, its not that urgent to repair the machine itself, since I will either buy or build a new one asap now. My main need is that there is some documents in one of the partitions on that boot HDD that I need to access( i had not done a backup for about a week before going on vacation). Do you think I can put that drive into a external HDD case and simply plug into another machine? Or will that fact that the first partition is a boot partition cause any problems or damage to the HDD?

thanks.
You can either put it in an external enclosure, buy a SATA/PATA adapter or mount it as an extra drive in another desktop to access your files. You might have to change ownership of the files to get access to them depending on the version of Windows you are using.
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:17 AM   #20
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PLEASE READ

Hi everyone. Have a similar problem so might as well use this thread.

Up until 3 days ago the PC was working. Yesterday, move it around. When i plugged again it does nothing.

Unplugged and checked the PSU power connection to the motherboard. When i started the PC it booted but told me there was an incorrect Overclocking. I entered the BIOS but it froze.

Then i tried using the BIOS reset feature, with the PC unplugged of course. After that never booted again.

Im certain that it most be the motherboard, since in that short boot it dispalyed video and the memory check was fine. The PSU gives energy to all the 5 fans and the DVD rom so it seems to work properly.

I did overclock the CPU but it wasn´t with overvoltage, so i dont think is fried or anything.

Any suggestions?
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:59 AM   #21
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I´ll put this for other people that might have a similar problem.

Ok, here´s what happened:

Unplugged every device save for the MotherBoard, GPU and 1 stick of 2 GB RAM. Then took out the CMOS battery and drained any possible residual charge. The PC booted up, but for some reason it was loading the BIOS very slowly.

Proceeded to plug every component as always, plus the 2nd RAM stick. Resulting in the PC not booting up. Removed the extra stick of ram, tried again. The PC boots, puts the incorrect overclocking message and a bad checksum message. Accesed the BIOS, again it took some time to load. Put everything into factory settings. Loaded windows. Restarted the PC, but it takes more than usual to get to the OS select screen, yet it works.

So im left with 2GB or RAM instead of 4GB. Had two sticks of 1GB ram of the same brand and clock speed. Set them on the board and the pc loads BIOS and OS screen quickly (the way it was previous to the problem.)

Did some light browsing, nothing heavy like gaming yet and it seems to work. But im left withouth my no overvoltage overclock and with a slower RAM since i guess its not operating in dual channel mode. And DDR2 RAM is way to expensive.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:02 AM   #22
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4 Gigs of G.Skill for $58.99. Don't know your financial situation, but doesn't seem to expensive to me. 13 days without Starbucks and you are there!
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