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PC won't boot RED L.E.D shows,no beeps,no signal on monitor

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December 14, 2006 6:10:23 PM

Hi, need a bit of help desperatly,my brother was on his Packard Bell (sorry i know it's not home built couldn't find anywhere else decent to post this topic!) pc earlier 2day and he reckons it just totally went off and now it won't turn back on again, their is power going to the tower unit with the red L.E.D symbol but nothing shows on the monitor or anything The fan and power supply seem to be the only components working!,doesn't the red L.E.D suggest it's a hardware fault such as gfx card? i suppose it could be a virus also as i recently changed his anti virus software,any suggestions would be appreciated, i've turned the power on and off etc,the model is a istart model i think bit unsure of spec as it isn't my pc! The DVD Drive won't even open etc either. Please help!
December 14, 2006 8:14:03 PM

Sounds like a Power Supply fault. Have you/he had the case open, and checked all connections from PSU to mobo and drives?

Also check ribbon cable connections at all points :) 
December 14, 2006 9:00:39 PM

Indeed i must agree that it sounds like a PSU problem or a short in the case somewhere. Don't get fooled by the LED that the PSU is fine. It might indeed provide 5V for the LED but what about the 12V lines (the ones that all the heavy components use)? Use a trusty multimeter and read. If you get jack or less than 11.2V, then you know its your PSU.

Good luck
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December 17, 2006 10:32:51 AM

Yeh checked all connections and ive swapped the power supply over with another one i had,still doing exactly the same,fan comes on but thats it dvd drive doesn't open etc, L.E.D is red and nothing at all comes on the monitor apart from it says a message on the screen saying no signal. could it be the AGP gfx card???
December 17, 2006 10:51:22 AM

No Signal message on the monitor means Graphic Card error. Undo and reseat your G Card to get a display.

That doesn't mean your other problems are solved, but at least you can troubleshoot via screen messages :) 

By the way, do you get any beeps on boot up e.g. 1 long and 2 short beeps?
December 17, 2006 11:08:23 AM

Na don't get no beeps which is strange ain't it,i'll take it out and re seat it now,cheers,any other suggestions?
December 17, 2006 11:26:38 AM

Perhaps your other PSU wasn't up to the job either! :( 

A motherboard short is indeed a possibility. :cry: 
December 17, 2006 2:22:02 PM

I was thinking of getting a cheap agp gfx card to test it,other power supply shud be alrite has i had it in my old pc for a quite a while and it was fine,last time i had a fault with a power supply the pc wouldn't turn on at all but this time the fans mobo light comes on etc and the l.e.d on front of the machine is red,what would cause the mobo to just short out though? the machine hasnt been moved or knocked etc. is their anything else i could try?
December 17, 2006 5:04:38 PM

Try slackening all the mobo screws, so that the mobo is not gripped so tightly, and see what happens.

Otherwise your mobo may need to be completely removed and refixed :cry: 
December 18, 2006 12:40:58 AM

Try resitting the memory sticks. I had exactly the same problem 2 days ago. No boot and everything was in place. Even the RAM sticks "seemed" to be firm in place. And they were because i pushed them in properly. But apparently for some reason one of the sticks wasn't sitting in properly. As soon as i removed it the system booted up, all fine. So i put the stick back tried again and presto its all working fine now.
December 18, 2006 7:42:51 AM

is it possible it could a be a virus or even a hard drive failure? if it was hard drive it would still post to bios tho wouldn't it?
December 18, 2006 10:30:58 PM

Quote:
is it possible it could a be a virus or even a hard drive failure? if it was hard drive it would still post to bios tho wouldn't it?


The virus would have to corrupt the BIOS to do that. And a HD failure would point to the drive's electronics. But yes it could happen. Always unplug everything, even the cables from the motherboard when troubleshooting. Keeping things simple will help you identify the problem.
December 21, 2006 9:41:30 AM

Because the system shutdown on him when he was just simply using the internet does that not rule out the fact it was a virus? and can viruses actually corrupt the bios? Im gonna swap the hard drive over on the weekend,unfortunatly i have most spare pc parts but not a agp gfx card so thats only thing i can really test,the rest i'll swap over until i find the problem. Could it have been a power surge perhaps that has caused a short in the motherboard? cause i did notice his pc ain't plugged into a surge protector like mine.
December 21, 2006 11:31:51 PM

Quote:
Because the system shutdown on him when he was just simply using the internet does that not rule out the fact it was a virus? and can viruses actually corrupt the bios? Im gonna swap the hard drive over on the weekend,unfortunatly i have most spare pc parts but not a agp gfx card so thats only thing i can really test,the rest i'll swap over until i find the problem. Could it have been a power surge perhaps that has caused a short in the motherboard? cause i did notice his pc ain't plugged into a surge protector like mine.


A virus can strike any second, wether surfing the internet or just sitting idle doing nothing on your PC. (The only moment it can't strike is when the PC is off, LOL). Yes, viruses can actually corrupt the BIOS and render a PC completely unbootable, hence Gigabytes Dual BIOSes and the option to disable FLash BIOS in the BIOS setup. In fact the first virus to be able to do that was if i recall well the Chernobyl many many years ago!
It could be a power surge, but the important thing is to identify the faulty component and replace it, then try to find out why it happened. It could be just pure luck. Nothing lasts forever, and maybe it was its time to die. When you do the swapping and the tests, do make sure to take the mobo out of the case and do all the tests on a flat, non-conductive surface.
Remove the CPU from its socket and check it, check the pins, the core, etc, for breaks, burns etc.
December 22, 2006 12:11:43 AM

Quote:
Yeh checked all connections and ive swapped the power supply over with another one i had,still doing exactly the same,fan comes on but thats it dvd drive doesn't open etc, L.E.D is red and nothing at all comes on the monitor apart from it says a message on the screen saying no signal. could it be the AGP gfx card???

Strange.
I'd try unplug the memory and boot and make sure there are BIOS error beep codes.
I still suspect the PSU or something in the power channels as it sounds very close to an experience I went through which turned out to be a PSU that couldn't put out enough juice to turn on the computer, but enough to spin the fans.
I'd also double check the entire chassis for burn marks, etc, in case of a power spike, surge, etc.
December 22, 2006 8:30:11 AM

As well as swapping everything over would it be idea to reset the cmos? would that remove the virus corruption in the bios if their was any? im a bit unsure on how id do it if i had to do this so any help would be grateful.
December 22, 2006 5:47:46 PM

Before you start swapping anything, just pull out the RAM and make sure the computer beeps at you. If you have a suspect power system, the last thing you want to do is burn out your good parts.

Try to give us more info on the packard bell (model #, anything?).
Aren't packard bell's ancient? I have one from like... 1997...
Not sure how to reset those or even flash those BIOS's.
January 11, 2007 7:17:17 AM

Hi Chaps,
I have eventually got round to swapping the graphics card, power supply and Ram over with replacements and im still getting the same problem. I also got a 2nd opinion from an engineer who looked at it and said it must be the motherboard or processor which would have shortened out. Because the Packard Bell model is an iextreme Gold 1807 model I think! Im having major problems getting hold of the same motherboard. If I was to buy a motherboard with the same features and put all the components onto this motherboard what are the risks? The other issue is the hard drive, we want to try and retrieve the data off it and the windows media centre edition operating system, the way I was looking at doing it was to plug the hard drive into another pc as the slave and check all the data can be retrieved off it. But could this not cause damage if the hard disk has also shortened by the damage to the motherboard? It just seems like a lot of risks to be honest and I need some advice as what the best method to take is! Thanks for you help. When I get home tonight I will post the link to the Packard bell site where my models specification is held.
January 11, 2007 8:29:25 AM

Hi CB,

I have had this issue many times before. Two really easy things to check...

Firstly, does the machine have a PCI modem? - If so remove it becaquse if there has been a spike on the phone line it can short the modem which will stop the mainboard firing up. I have seen this a lot with IBM machines.

Secondly, make sure the power button is actually connected to the header on the mainboard and disconnect the reset switch from the mainboard in case it is stuck or shorted. Seen this so many times its not funny.

Once you have done this also completely disconnect your power and reset your CMOS - if you arent sure move the jumper closest to your battery on the mainbaord to pins 2-3 for 20 seconds, then back to pins 1-2.

Try and start the machine. Worth a try.........
January 11, 2007 8:46:29 AM

Thanks for the advice, i will check what you said when i get home 2nite, my only query is moving the jumper setting on a motherboard, is the pins right next to the cmos battery? i take it it's the same kind of thing as setting the pins on a hard drive from master to slave? just checking cause i ain't had no experience with cmos or jumper settings!! Thanks again.
January 11, 2007 9:38:57 AM

Yeah, they are the same sort of pins as on your hard drives and cd/dvd drives. There will be three pins in a row for resetting the CMOS - and generally speaking (95% of the time) they are the nearest to the battery on the mainboard.

So on the three pins there will be a jumper usually on pins 1-2 to keep the settings with battery power. Moving this jumper from pins 1-2 to pins 2-3 disconnects it from the battery and resets it.

Check this image - hard to see the third pin and its an old photo but you can see the three there and its over two of them. So in this pic you would change to the left two pins for 20 seconds with the power disconnected, then change back and turn on.

http://www.infopackets.com/graphics/cmos+jumper.gif

Really hope that helps....
January 11, 2007 10:13:48 AM

While this is all good advise, (except the guy that wants you to mess with the M/B mounting, what could have possibly changed? jeez, who's ass did he pull *that* out of).

Why don't you go to their site and read the FAQ or tech specs on this system and find out what a red light means? Is it solid or flashing? If flashing, how many times does it flash? Look for pattern, 2 second pause, pattern.
January 11, 2007 11:27:08 AM

Good advice given already regarding checking the seating of the CPU and RAM, etc...

I'd try booting without a graphics card, of course you'll get nothing and beeps. Power off and try booting with a graphics card. I've seen boards that need to boot without a card just to get it going. Like every 10 boots or so you need to do this or it won't post.

Pull the ATX connector from the board and reseat it. Some boards are crazy for this, you need to reseat the ATX connector every so often cause pulling it drains some caps or something I guess. Some boards eventually wear out and need a better quality PSU with tighter specs just to boot. All you'll get are fans spinning. I've seen this on cheaper boards.

Pull everything except memory and graphics card. Play with that. And use a high end PSU. Not an el cheapo from a $20 OEM case. Get an Antec, Enermax or equivalent.

If you want a new motherboard it should all work just fine. AS long as yoru CPU and memory are compatible.
January 11, 2007 5:08:31 PM

Tried all that surely it must be motherboard or processor now, will try and get to manufactures site and see what red L.E.D means it's not flashing just stays on and the fans still go.
January 11, 2007 5:47:15 PM

Sounding more and more like 3.3v or 5v is out. we need to determine if it's out in the PSU or not being passed from the M/B connection.

Packard Hell.
!