I've been trying to fix my girlfriends computer for a few days now and I reaaaaally need some advise on the matter. I built it for her in January this year (2009) and I've had experience with building/upgrading my own computer over the years.
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 6000 3.00GHz (Socket AM2)
OCZ StealthXStream 400w Silent Power Supply
Asrock ALiveXFire-eSATA2 (Socket AM2) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard
OCZ Platinum Revision 2 XTC 2GB (2x1GB) PC2-6400C4 Dual Channel Series
BFG GeForce 8600GTS OC 256mb
Seagate 120mb HDD IDE
Samsung Writemaster DVD-RW drive SATA
Windows Vista Business
Went home with her for a weekend and when the computer was set up it would turn on yet nothing would happen on the screen and windows wouldn't load. Took everything out inc motherboard, found a screw behind the mobo, not a problem, removed the screw from the case, cleaned out the components and case, put it back together, booted up and was fine.
Come monday the computers having issues by restarting or bluescreening after an indeterminable amount of time (within 5 mins of turning on), so checked all connections were fine, swapped gfx card for a geforce 9400 to counter any overheating issues relating to the graphics (you never know) but still nothing.
Attached the HDD to my own computer to back everything up but smoked it and lost the HDD, however we bought a new one (Maxtor 120gb IDE) and installed windows on it again (Vista business w/SP1) and yet the same issue happens with the computer restarting or bluescreening.
I then tried booting up Ubuntu (version 7.10 I think) from a cd-rom and it works fine. My last resort was to take everything apart again, including the CPU cooler and to clean re-apply the thermal paste. Strangely enough I'm back to square 1, with the computer not outputting any graphics, or sound, and the power button not able to turn it back off.
Personally I feel that the motherboard is going wrong, possibly the connection with the hard drive(s), however it could be the PSU...
It is refreshing to hear someone being so honest about the ****-ups that they have made in trying to fix a computer; I have made a few myself, but never so many on one computer. Lets face it you are not intellectually suited to repairing computers, but then I am a jealous as I am a geek and I don’t have a girlfriend. My advice to you would be to take it to a good computer repair shop without telling your girlfriend and earn her personal gratitude.
If you insist on trying to fix it yourself then the first thing I would check would be to ensure that the graphics card was seated in its slot properly (put the original card back in ) as it is easy to dislodge it when you muck about with the heatsink . If this doesn’t work then you should remove the processor and check that it is fitted correctly and has no bent pins etc (why did you decide to remover the CPU cooler?) The original problem of it blue screening could well be the power supply, substitution is the best test.
The graphics card is fine, I'd put in the 9400 to test whether it was that then replaced it with the original one, which is seated fine, and as to why I removed the CPU cooler, I remember fixing a computer with the same sort of problem and it turned out to be a chip overheating, so I thought I'd at least TRY re-applying the thermal paste (was getting pretty desperate to try and fix it at this point).
To be honest, I'll probably take it over to the repair shop (thankfully down the road) and get them to have a look at it.
The computer stopped working between disconnecting it, taking it on a fairly rough hour-long drive while stood up (her dad packed it ) and turning it on again at her place. I've checked for cracks/bends/loose capacitors/etc but nothing seems broken
Ah well, off to the repair shop!...
Lets face it you are not intellectually suited to repairing computers, but then I am a jealous as I am a geek and I don’t have a girlfriend.
I'm studying Computer Games Programming at university atm, so don't feel left out in your geekiness lol