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PC wont turn on. How to find out if PSU, motherboard, or CPU is bad?

Last response: in Components
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November 17, 2011 5:19:36 PM

I don't know whether this is the right category or not but I am trying to see if a computer is worth throwing money into to find out what is wrong with it. This is not my computer but I was asked to try to find out what is wrong with it as it will not turn on.
The computer was bought around 2 years ago and now the monitor will not display anything? The computer is:
HP Pavillion a6500f
Pentium Dual Core E2220
4GB memory
500GB Hard Drive
NVIDIA GeForce 7100
250W Power Supply
Windows vista Home Premium 64 bit

(non-factory components) both installed about 1 year ago
VisionTek Radeon HD 3450 Graphics
dynex wireless card

I dont know exactly when it started not working properly as it isn't mine. No hardware was recently installed inside the case (perhaps usb drives or wireless mouse/keyboard etc) but to my knowledge not around the time it started not working. I was told that the screen went blue and it turned off. Then it wouldn't turn back on. She tried again the next day and it turned on, booted up and started windows normally... after a couple minutes the monitor went dark and couldn't do anything but hold the power button down to shut it off. She started it up and it did the same thing one more time. Now when you turn it on it wont display anything.

I have tried starting it up normally, reseating components/cables inside case, cleaning dust out from inside case (found alot of dust around cpu. I turned the computer on with case open to see what was working. The case fan, cpu fan, psu fan all work. I hear the hard drive spinning, dvd drive opens and closes. I have worked through a couple different strategies people suggested to troubleshoot similar problems. Clearing CMOS (by removing battery and switching jumper (together and independently)), swapping memory bays, using 1 stick instead of both (tried both sticks in both slots individually) disconnected everything except cpu,cpu fan, psu, and 1 stick. Even tried without any memory sticks just to try to hear a beep. Tried a similar 250w psu from an older working computer. I even tried to take everything out of the case and set it on a piece of plywood as I seen on this site (breadboarding, i think it was called) Still have not heard a beep with any of my tests.

I was wondering what my next step should be. I dont want to have her put a lot of money into it as she might can get a newer pc around black friday for what it may cost her putting into it. Is the motherboard officially dead? I seen on amazon reviews looking for solutions that 7 of the 13 reviews claim motherboard issues. Could it be the cpu since it was covered with so much dust. Or is the power supply gone/not strong enough? But why wouldn't the other old 250W work to at least turn it on once as the one in it has worked for 1 year with the same components?

Sorry for the long post, but i wanted to make sure I covered everything and I wanted to make sure I dont tell her she needs a new computer if it is something simple that I overlooked? And I dont want to tell her it will work if she buys (psu,cpu,motherboard) if it may not work. But if I know it will work then it will save her a lot of money. I am open to any/all suggestions.
November 17, 2011 5:25:01 PM

Get the new pc on black friday. Sell off the components that still work on craigslist except the hardrive, unless you format it first.
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November 17, 2011 7:49:22 PM

Hi

If selling your hard drive

Formatting drive does not destroy data, it is very easy to recover confidential data. (even if Windows has been Reinstalled)

consider Format + Eraser or DBAN or similar data destruction programs

regards

Mike Barnes
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November 17, 2011 8:36:32 PM

Lots of early motherboard death in that line. Sell what you can or replace the motherboard (black friday pricing should be pretty good)
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November 21, 2011 1:09:23 AM

I appreciate your inputs, I was thinking that I would be better off telling her to look into getting a new one on black friday. I was suspecting the motherboard was done for after I seen all the reviews stating they had motherboard issues.

I have another question now though, I was looking at leaked black friday ads and seen two that I thought were the best under $400. I am trying to determine which would be the better option, I can't find reviews on either....

The first is:
sale$399
reg$599
HP Desktop w/ Intel i3-2120 CPU, 8GB RAM, 1.5TB HDD
p6-2026 can't find it anywhere... I found a p6-2026uk oh HP website(not the same as that has a A4 3400 processor) so I dont know what else is same/different.
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Docume...

The other is:
sale$369
reg$499
Gateway Desktop PC w/ AMD A6 Quad Core CPU, 4GB RAM and 1TB HDD (SX2370-UB30P)
found it on newegg for $399 (is this that great of a deal?)
I am hesitant that it only has 220W power supply... would I have to replace the power supply soon? If I upgraded the memory(as it has less than the other deal)?
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1688311318...

According to cpu benchmark the A6 processor is ranked higher(98th overall) as opposed to a i3-2120(147th overall).

Are either of these a great deal? Is the $399 worth the difference or is the gateway better just with less memory, and smaller hard drive? Do you think the HP has a HDMI port? According to newegg the gateway does.

Any suggestions on which is the better replacement for her computer with fried motherboard? If I should have started a new topic in a different category... please let me know and I am sorry.
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November 21, 2011 2:23:05 AM

All the oem systems have minimal power supplies except a few from dell that are designed for gamers. But they cost too much. You can replace the power supply yourself in about 15 minutes with a phillips head screwdriver. You can find a much better unit for about $50 such as this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... Unless you upgrade the video card, the oem power supply will be ok; some last up to 3 years.
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November 21, 2011 3:46:10 AM

1) as its a core 2 you will hear beeps if components are failing.
2) do the paper clip test on the psu http://www.overclock.net/t/96712/how-to-jump-start-a-po...
3) turn off the pc at the wall and turn on the monitor only. press power on, on the monitor and wait for no signal and then go into standby. this is normal for most monitors and should take about 5 seconds total.
now turn the monitor back on, as soon as you see no signal pop on the monitor, quickly turn on the pc. if the monitor jumps immediately to standby (ie doesnt take the normal 5 seconds for the monitor to jump to standby) as soon as you hit the pc power it means the cpu is dead. if it takes the normal amount of time to go into standby with the pc on, then its most likely to be the power supply. if it is. check the fuse in the wall plug to see if that has poped.
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