Help! Computer won't start

Hi guys,

My computer won't start up. I don't see any physical problems inside and there doesn't appear to be any smell of burning or anything. All of the fans seem to be working (the one on the video card, the cpu, the vent fan and the power supply fan). The hard drive however doesn't seem to be starting up, also there is no startup beep. I tried removing different components (the video card, ram, cpu, hard drive) and am getting the same result.

I don't have parts to swap in and out to test, so I'm trying to figure out where the problem is. I'm guessing that since there is no beep, that the problem is the motherboard, although I don't know if some other faulty hardware would prevent beeping (like the cpu). I also don't know if a faulty power supply could still supply power to the fans and not everything else.

What do you guys think the problem could be?

Also, if you think it could be the cpu or motherboard or both, can you suggest a fairly inexpensive replacement? Maybe something around 250ish? 300 if it would make a huge difference?

Here's what I have:
OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI 700W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL4D-2GBPK - Retail

Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80557E6400 - Retail

GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Thank you in advance!
27 answers Last reply
More about help computer start
  1. Quick diagnostic instruction. Shut down and unplug the HD then boot and see if the system boots into BIOS. Reset the CMOS jumper, instructions in the MB manual. Be sure to unplug the machine from the wall and remove the battery when resetting the CMOS jumper. After resetting the CMOS jumper correctly and the system still fails, be sssure a working speaker is available to sound BIOS beep code, remove ALL the RAM and boot the system. If no beeps, the system does not recoginze there is no RAM which means you have a bad MB or CPU.
  2. I can't seem to find any jumpers to clear the cmos (none on any of the drives and I can't find any spares). I removed the battery and let it sit for a few minutes to drain. The manual said that you could clear by doing that, although i also said that if you have the jumper setup, that you should do it that way. Would just removing the battery for a while still work to clear?

    I tried restarting and still no beeps or cmos. I tried removing the ram and still nothing.

    Unless my CMOS clearing wasn't enough., it sounds like it must be either the cpu or motherboard. Is there anyway to tell which?

    If not, can you suggest a replacement combo that will support my ram, ect. in the 250-300 ish range?

    Thanks again,
  3. I'm not sure if it's helpful, in diagnosing the problem, but the keyboard light also doesn't come on.
  4. Unplug it from the wall for 15-20 minutes. If the MB always beeped once when it booted up and no longer does, unplug from the wall and remove the battery for 15-20 minutes. That may reset the CMOS and default the BIOS. Other than that, you would need spare parts to diagnose a potential hardware problem any farther. You can eliminate the HD as a problem by simply unplugging the 12v connector. Then you would need a spare video card and RAM to test with. That leaves the PSU, MB and CPU.
  5. The CMOS jumper is on the MB, not the drives. If you have the MB manual, instructions for reseting the CMOS jumper are there.
  6. So... I'm thinking that since I can't tell whether it is the cpu or the motherboard, that the best option is just going to be to replace both. I guess I'm really just looking for a cheap fix for now to last a couple more years, when i might to a full overhaul.

    I looked at some benchmarks and it seems like this cpu might be a decent inexpensive option:

    Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 2.33GHz 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail ($165)

    Do you guys think this will be the best option for a budget?

    In the same price range, I was also considering: AMD Phenom 9950 Agena 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor - Retail (for 169), but from the benchmarks it looks like the first one is better.

    What do you guys suggest for a motherboard to go along with it?

    I was almost thinking about going with this super cheap option: GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail (for $53) since i only have 4 gigs of ram and one video card right now.

    What do you guys think? Any other suggestions?

    I'd really appreciate any input... sucks not having a computer. :(

    Thanks again
  7. Hey Badge,

    I just saw your response. Maybe I used the wrong terminology.. I'm a bit of a noob. I meant that I couldn't seem to find one of those little connectors to put on the pins to reset the cmos. I know I've seen them on hard drives when I've installed them, so I looked there to see if I could find one.
  8. I'll try removing the battery for a while longer and see what happens per your suggestion. It was probably only about 5 min before.

    Thank you
  9. The CMOS jumper will have it's own jumper. If you can find the CMOS reset header on the MB, remove that jumper from pins 1/2 and 'reset' the jumper by placing the jumpwer briefly on pins 2/3. Then put the jumper back to default or run like it was. I use a thin nosed pair of angled needle nose pliers to reset the jumpers.
  10. I only have 2 pins.

    The manual says:
    "You may clear the CMOS data to its default values by this header. To clear CMOS, temporarily
    short the two pins. Default doesn't include the jumper to avoid improper use of this header."

    Normal operation has no jumper and to "short it," i need to add one it looks like.
  11. This should be your MB product page, it's rev 1 of that series. If you download the manual resetting the CMOS jumper will be explained. Trying to find a picture.
  12. Picture of your MB. Let's see if I can find the CMOS jumper.

    Here's the downlaod of the MB manual
  13. Page 16 of that manual details the CMOS jumper location. I'll point to it.

    Use a screwdriver and lay it across the two pins of the CMOS header and short it that way. Turned off of course.
  14. I think i found it... but it looks like there are only 2 pins... but good news.. someone was throwing away an old computer in my building so I have some parts to work with... including a little black connector thing.

    I'm struggling with removing the battery though.. can't seem to get that thing out again. Do I have to remove it.. or do i just put the pin in to clear?

    Also, do i restart the computer with the pin in to clear or do you do it when it's off?
  15. brienvw said:
    I only have 2 pins.

    The manual says:
    "You may clear the CMOS data to its default values by this header. To clear CMOS, temporarily
    short the two pins. Default doesn't include the jumper to avoid improper use of this header."

    Normal operation has no jumper and to "short it," i need to add one it looks like.

    Yeah, exactly. Try shorting the two pins with a screwdriver. Be sure to have the system shut down and unplugged with the battery removed.
  16. No, shut the system down and unplug it from the wall. Remove the battery, use a magnifying glass and a light. Press the clip to release the hold on the battery. If you do not have a jumper, try laying a screwdriver across the two CMOS pins and shorting it to reset it. I have all ASUS MB's for about 10 years now. Gigableep is a little different.
  17. I had the wrong link above. I corrected it to show this picture.
  18. phew... finally got that damn battery out.

    put in the black connector... took it out... restarted.. still nothing.
  19. While I'm posting pics, I had this left over and readily available from another forum.

    'For when they run out of conventional face masks.'


  20. brienvw said:
    phew... finally got that damn battery out.

    put in the black connector... took it out... restarted.. still nothing.

    Yeah, if the system beeped once before and doesn't now you may have a hardware problem. You would need spare parts to troubleshoot any farther.
  21. haha... that swine flew is making people crazy.. hahaha

    Yea... I'm pretty sure it use to beep. Well.. i now have this old computer that I found. Its a P4.. but it looks like my motherboard will support the cpu. I can also try out the PSU. So, if all that fails.. its the MB i guess.

    If its my MB.. i may go ahead and just replace both the cpu and the MB..

    Do you think the CPU that i mentioned above is a good choice for a fairly inexpensive replacement/upgrade. What do you think about that cheap MB above? do you have any other suggestions?

    BTW.. i REALLY REALLY appreciate all your help. I hate when my computer is down... glad to find someone willing to lend a hand.
  22. An Intel 965 is pretty old by now, I have two running. If you unplug the 12v power connector from the HD, the system may boot into BIOS if the old hard used HD is problem. Just unplug the power connector then boot the system.
  23. yea.. hard drive is unplugged.. still nada
  24. A Pentium 4 socket 775 cpu would likey work in your 965 for testing. If it's old may be a single core chip. You mentioned the G31, which is micro board with onboard video. I have a G35 running with an e8400. If you do not need a micro, the P45 would be a major step up from the 965 Gigabyte you have currently. Your e6400 would work on a P45. Maybe someoen can make some suggestions for a new MB and/or CPU if needed.
  25. Well, it sounds like a MB or CPU failure. Check the CPU support list on the 965 Gigabyte product page and see if that P4 chip you have will work in the 965. Download and install CPUZ if the old system still runs. Check what chip is running.
  26. One other thing. The MB has a 4 pin 12v header that supplies 12v power to the CPU. Be sure that 12v auxillary 4 pin lead from the power supply is plugged in.
  27. will do.. thanks again!
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