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Old 09-21-2014, 12:31 AM   #1
RandomTroll
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Friend's generic PC has failed: has anyone an idea?


A friend's desktop computer (random clone, motherboard Gigabyte Pentium 4 Titan 533 Series GA-8IGX with an Intel 845G chipset, assembled in 2002), stopped working recently. Only a light on the motherboard (the manual identifies a 'DIMM LED') and the power light on the Ethernet card come on. He replaced the power supply (HEC-300AR-T) in 2009. He replaced it again this time but the new PS made no difference.

I suggested that the motherboard has failed. Has anyone other ideas?

I already recommended that he replace his computer.
 
Old 09-21-2014, 01:40 AM   #2
notKlaatu
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bad RAM? it would be worth swapping it out and seeing if that makes a difference.
 
Old 09-21-2014, 04:04 AM   #3
fatmac
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The first thing I would do is check all connections, one at a time, unplug and reinsert them (i.e. clean the contacts).
(Just because the mobo is from 2002 doesn't mean its useless.)
Check that the ram modules are seated correctly, remove and reinsert, (also the harddrive terminals).
Still not working, look for 'blown' capacitors, (domed heads instead of being flat), this would mean a new mobo.
Edit: Check the bios button battery.

Last edited by fatmac; 09-21-2014 at 04:05 AM.
 
Old 09-21-2014, 11:51 AM   #4
DavidMcCann
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Also, have a look at the sticky post at the beginning of this section which covers do-it-yourself diagnosis. If the PSU fan is running but the computer isn't even attempting to boot, it could be a dead motherboard, CPU, or HD.
 
Old 09-21-2014, 04:03 PM   #5
RandomTroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notKlaatu View Post
bad RAM? it would be worth swapping it out and seeing if that makes a difference.
I recommended this. The symptoms aren't those of bad RAM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatmac View Post
The first thing I would do is check all connections..., one at a time, unplug and reinsert them (i.e. clean the contacts).... Check that the ram modules are seated correctly, remove and reinsert, (also the harddrive terminals).
Still not working, look for 'blown' capacitors, (domed heads instead of being flat), this would mean a new mobo.
Done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatmac View Post
(Just because the mobo is from 2002 doesn't mean its useless.)
Otherwise this exercise would have no point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatmac View Post
Check the bios button battery.
The CMOS battery? Not-booting wouldn't be a symptom.
This motherboard has 2 BIOSes, a back-up in case the primary fails.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
Also, have a look at the sticky post at the beginning of this section which covers do-it-yourself diagnosis. If the PSU fan is running but the computer isn't even attempting to boot, it could be a dead motherboard, CPU, or HD.
Already done. I had hoped that responders would have assumed I had done all the standard stuff. I was hoping there might be something unusual about this motherboard that someone might know.
 
Old 09-21-2014, 05:52 PM   #6
metaschima
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandomTroll View Post
A friend's desktop computer (random clone, motherboard Gigabyte Pentium 4 Titan 533 Series GA-8IGX with an Intel 845G chipset, assembled in 2002), stopped working recently. Only a light on the motherboard (the manual identifies a 'DIMM LED') and the power light on the Ethernet card come on. He replaced the power supply (HEC-300AR-T) in 2009. He replaced it again this time but the new PS made no difference.

I suggested that the motherboard has failed. Has anyone other ideas?

I already recommended that he replace his computer.
Do the fans come on ? Any beeps ? If the fans don't work, then it's probably the mobo.

So the PSU was replaced because it was known bad, or in an attempt to fix some symptom ? If the PSU was replaced and the symptoms persistent then it is not the PSU. That leaves the mobo and CPU, assuming you've already ruled out RAM like said above even tho it is unlikely.

The only option now is to try new parts and see if it solves the problem, e.g. a spare CPU and mobo if you have some to try. It is very difficult to differentiate between the two if the system won't boot. If I had to bet I would bet on the mobo, because the CPU tends to fail more gracefully and the fans would be running.
 
  


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