Having hardware problems, help

My uncle just gave me his pc cause he said that the motherboard is broken, but I dont think it is the motherboard. When i start it up, i see like the check thing that comes up in the first few secs you turn on a pc, but after that just goes black. It has a integrated video card, so dont think its the video card. Could it be the cpu or maybe something happen to the os or hard drive? What do you guys think.
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More about having hardware problems help
  1. Change the power supply first. If your pc has a standard atx case that sits upright or an older case that is full size and sits flat, a standard atx power supply should fit. Narrow or slim designs may take a custom sized ps. Check some photos at for comparison to your old ps. Newegg has an HEC HP485D 485w ps for $19.99 with free shipping. For $5 more, you get a power cord. If your power supply has a removable power cord, it should work fine. You don't have to use all the connections, just the ones currently on the motherboard. Make a diagram as you go; the ps is held in place by 4 screws at the back and should slide out easily. If the new ps doesn't work, then it's time for a new pc and possibly memory. It's possible to replace the board if it's an older model; but you may not have the experience to do it yourself. You'll have to read up on diagnostics and faqs; you can download some board manuals from their website for instructions on basic components, such as memory and the cpu installation.
  2. o1die, there's no reason to jump to conclusions and force him to buy things unnecessarily.

    leonee, when you see the "check thing" as you call it, is there a message there that suggests pressing a certain key to enter BIOS or Setup? If not, try pressing delete, then F1, then F2, then F10 after powering on the PC (not all in each run, but rather, turn on the PC, continuously (do not hold down) press one of said keys, if you enter a screen with many options with a text-based layout, check to see if the BIOS registers an HDD; if not, try a different key until you do-I could find the appropriate key if you give a model number of either the system or the mobo).

    If this doesn't work (and if your mobo has a speaker connected-either onboard or otherwise--note: not the same as external speakers) remove all the ram modules and power on. If you have working speakers, you should hear beeps; otherwise, you don't have working speakers, or your mobo and/or cpu and/or psu is dead.

    PS. this list is not complete; I'm in a bit of a hurry right now, but posting full system specs would help us determine your exact problem.
  3. You can also remove and reinstall the motherboard battery with the power off, which may may get you to the post screen for more info displayed. If it posts, copy down the bios version and motherboard model number, memory quantity and speed, hardrive info, etc.
  4. hey here is a link to the pc

    Its not that old of a pc. I have the 250 version and wanted to use that motherboard for my pc casue it has a pci express slot and can upgrade cpu to dual core.

    I am going to see the bios later.
  5. ok after i disconnected my hdd i started getting "reboot and select proper boot device" errors so i went into bios and set the boot to default. now when i boot i see the windows logo but then few sec later shows "reboot and select proper boot device" I notice the floppy drive was set to boot third or something but this pc doesn't have a floppy drive could this be the problem? if so how can u remove it from the boot?
  6. The mobo will read the HDD before the floppy the way it is set so you don't need to worry about that (you can disable the floppy support, but if you aren't getting problems, you don't need to mess with it).

    It sounds like your OS is corrupted and/or the HDD is bad. If you want to ensure the rest of your PC is ok, download puppy linux , burn it onto a cd, set first boot device to cd-rom if not done already, and boot. If the HDD is ok, you should be able to access the files on the HDD, and copy the if you need to. From there, you'll need to repair/reinstall the OS (you will either need HP recovery discs or original boot media).
  7. ok thxs burning the cd now... have another question i see that the mobo has same socket as a dual core, would this mobo support the dual core then ? right now its just a Pentium 4.
  8. If you are referring to the mobo of the hp comp you listed earlier, the answer is unfortunately no; looking at the mobo specs , we see that the only supported cpus are P4s, meaning only P4 (not even PDs) and the celeron derivatives are supported.
  9. hey ok after messing around with the bios i got the pc to boot to windows but few sec on window i get some error saying ati driver is wrong and then i see white lines on the screen and everything is frozen. i figured ill just reformat hard drive with my windows xp. Heres a new problem. after i reformat it starts copying the windows files but it always gets stuck at some %. Tried this like 4 times and keeps on freezing. I am guessing the hdd is bad?

    update: ok i found system restore disk but when i run it few sec into the restore the computer freezes with those lines across

    update ok i switch hdd with the one on my computer when i start the pc up it gave me option to go to safe mode or normal i clicked on normal and the pc just reset i clicked safe mode and it just froze . It could be that this hdd is old , it has different connection. It had what you use to hook up the cd while the original had some small wire. It also told on startup that the hdd is about to fail or something but works fine on the other pc
  10. You probably can't use the other pc's HDD with the one you're trying to fix; the drivers are likely not compatible, which would explain the freezing/restarting.

    Look at the brand for the HDD, check the manufacturer website, and download and burn the HDD testing utilities (ex. Western Digital Data Lifeguard ). You can then boot from the disc to check the HDD.

    As for the installation; if the HDD checks out, you might have a corrupted disc (scratch, dent, etc.), and you could try another disc or another OS to install (if you don't have another Windows, you could try installing linux onto the HDD just to see if it works).
  11. ok i got the program and did a quick scan and said pass, doing the longer scan. When i picked to reformat the hdd, it was running fine but when i went back to check everything froze like when i went on windows. I saw the white lines running across the screen. BTW the hdd is seagate. Thinking it might be the integrated video card cause when i did login to windows got an error, something about ati video card driver wrong or something. After the long scan going to try switching ram if that doesnt work should i buy a video card from bestbuy? I think i can return it if it doesn't work.

    update ok well the computer froze again at 50% scan, i just switched ram to see if that works, but thinking more it has to do with the video card, maybe processor?
  12. Best answer
    I'm guessing your cpu and mobo (at least the core components) are fine. Are you saying that the HDD scan froze at 50%? If so, that could mean a bad HDD. One thing you could do to verify is to try running the same utility but with the HDD in a different computer and see if you get the same results.

    If the HDD passes, then yes, I'd say its your gpu; you could buy one from bestbuy, but you could get one significantly cheaper from an online retailer such as newegg . Just make sure the interface (you have a PCI-E) and make sure you have enough power (if you have questions on whether a specific card will work, post your psu wattage and rail amps--all on the sticker on the psu itself) and/or power connectors (most cards do ship with adapters).
  13. wow i fixed it and it was the hardware i least expected . It was the ram. that pc had 4 sticks, so i just though i would put one stick from my other pc and seem of fixed all the problems.
    Well thanks for your help. I just have one more question, kind of off topic. which video card should i get for this pc? Want a card for gaming but this is a pentium 4 so the cpu would bottle neck the video card. Thinking of ether the hd 5750, geforce 9800gtx or would my cpu bottle neck those card? Should i just get like hd 4670?

  14. You shouldn't get anything more powerful than a 4670, and even with that, you won't see much difference between a 4670 and a 4650. That being said, if you can find a 4670 for the same price as a 4650, get it, but if the price difference is big (>$10 difference) just get a 4650. If would recommend their Nvidia counterparts in case you have a brand preference, but the Nvidia counterparts tend to use more power and I'm not sure of your psu's capacity. That being said, you shouldn't have a problem powering either a 4650 or a 4670 if your psu is 300W or greater.
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