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Gateway PC won't start up... need advice.

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November 23, 2012 4:46:27 AM

Hi all. I was given an older (3-4 years?) Gateway PC that won't turn on. Press the power button... nothing. The case (and power supply) was filled with dust bunnies, lint, etc. What is the chance the PSU got overheated from lack of airflow?

The PC is of no use for me, but would be a decent upgrade from what they currently have. I think I can pick up a PSU for this PC for $30-40. Worth the risk?

Thanks,

More about : gateway start advice

November 23, 2012 6:33:55 PM

When I have a tech prob I start by doing a Google (Bing, whatever) search and see what others suggest. I'm not much of a tech but there are many out there, not just on this forum. Type "no boot" with quotes , the word 'computer' [no quotes], and you can/should refine the search using your computer model, and/or motherboard model, and do use your operating system in the search. You will see a great number of solutions and possible problems. You will also have to weed through a lot of dead ends. It takes time and a lot of reading. You may find the perfect answer this way. No boot problems are common and can be caused by thousands of different factors. In this forum I can't seem to get peeps to reply to the "old computer" problem stuff, they must all have screaming new machines and don't want to bother with old equipment. You didn't put enough info in your Q anyway. They always want specific models and OS and other details and will skip over a Q that's way to generalized, like yours because then they have to go thru the "What OS, MB, model #. etc. do you have.." and it's tedious. Good hunting.
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November 23, 2012 6:59:49 PM

But... to give you a start, you need to remove all slot cards except graghics card if it has one. Keep that the mouse and keyboard and that's it. It could be a hardware conflict or failure or both. You need to pop out your ram and reinsert it (gently). If you have more than one ram board inserted you could try removing all but one and then trying each individually and in each of the slot sets. Always remove power cable before touching anything inside the computer. Make sure you don't have static charge on your finger and touch the outside of the case first once before you start working on this. Then don't go running around on the carpet in your stocking feet in between (lol). If you have 4 ram slots the mobo might need you to use a specific slot first before adding another memory board. That means you need to find or dl the mobo manual if you don't have it. You need to dl all drivers and firmware specific to your make/model too. Reseat the graphics card too. Even the simplest stuff like trying a different power cable. You start with the simplest and work your way to more complex. Just assuming you need another power supply is a big jump. Inspect the mb for any signs of burn or brown marks. Some older mb's had leaking caps (capacitors). Look at them to see if they're bulging or have burst. If you have a working PS in a computer around and it's rated OK for your cpu you could try and replace it just for a test. This is how you start. Then if you're still stumped, you post specific Q's stating what you've tried already. You may know all this already. You might bring it to a local geek and let them do it for you. Is it worth 50 bucks to get a geeks expertise and this comp running? Hope this helped.
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November 29, 2012 9:07:36 PM

I did the Google search. Found nothing. I found a PSU on ebay for $30 and got it. That was the issue. PC boots fine now. BUT... none of the USB ports work. The serial ports don't seem to work either.

The keyboard and mouse work during boot. I am able to get into the BIOS by hitting F2 and the laser on the mouse lights up. But they stop working once Windows starts to boot. I checked the BIOS and all of the USB items are enabled.

Any ideas? More Google searches incoming...
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November 29, 2012 9:30:39 PM

Well, while starting for a solution it started to work fine. Hopefully it will stay that way.
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