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Requesting help diagnosing a dead PC

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Requesting help diagnosing a dead PC

Postby InsanityRocks » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:22 pm

So today I came upon a white screen and a frozen machine. When I rebooted nothing came to life. I didn't hear the normal BIOS beeps, just the fans spinning up.

Spoiler: show
It's a Windows 10 machine I usually keep running. Normally if it gets stuck I can just reboot it, and everything is fine. I haven't noticed anything odd to lead me to believe it's one component over another, though.


I unplugged my machine, plugged it back in, and still nothing.

My PC is 6 years old. And I have no idea how to diagnose the issue(s).

Any suggestions would be welcomed. Thanks!
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Re: Requesting help diagnosing a dead PC

Postby Wi1D_K4rD » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:54 pm

Disclaimer: this is only from years of building my own computers and troubleshooting my own issues.

So based on the white screen it sounds like some hardware failed while you had it running which caused windows to white screen. Now, I doubt it would be a CPU problem, from my experience its the motherboards or RAM that are usually the first to go.

First thing I would probably start with is breaking down your PC into the minimum components it needs to run. So mouse, keyboard, monitor, motherboard, cpu, power supply, primary hdd (in case you have more than one), and single stick of RAM. Now this assumes your motherboard has an on board graphics chip. If it doesn't I guess also your video card but hopefully it does have its own cause I personally wouldn't rule out a weird video card failure as well and you can't really test it without an alternate means of outputting to a monitor.

If it doesn't turn on from there try one of your other sticks of RAM until you've ruled out that its not your RAM. Just remember your RAM has to be in whatever the primary slot is for your motherboard or else this test won't really prove anything.

So that's where I would start and see where I could go from there.
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Re: Requesting help diagnosing a dead PC

Postby Ghoul » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:22 am

Blow out all the dust. Unplug all unnecessary hardware (extra drives, CD/DVD drive etc). If boots probably a failing Power supply. If not, try a different rail on the power supply if it has other places to attach power cables. Try again. If no boot try single sticks of RAM. if no boot try different ram if you can borrow some from another machine. Continue removing components (sound card, network card etc) trying to boot each time. If no go. reset BIOs via jumper or removing battery for 20 seconds. Try re-seating CPU. Sometimes computer will not boot if CPU fan is not working correctly. Inspect motherboard, if Caps are bulged at top (things that look like little barrels) good chance your motherboard has died. see if you smell a kinda burnt smell coming from anything (kinda ozone burnt plastic smell)

In 25 years of building computers I've never had a motherboard fail except when I did something stupid. I have however had them no longer be able to provide enough power to RAM that required more voltage than the Motherboard was suppose to supply. (Ran 1.6v memory in a MOBO that only provided 1.5v for 2 years till it would not do it anymore. 2010 to 2012) put some 1.5v memory in and its been working since.

Most common component to die is the power supply bar none.

Could be an issue with your monitor.
try disconnecting the video cable from the pc graphics--if the monitor goes from white to black even if it says no signal then the monitor should be ok
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Re: Requesting help diagnosing a dead PC

Postby InsanityRocks » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:18 pm

Wi1D_K4rD and Ghoul: thanks for the awesome suggestions. I greatly appreciate them! :thumbup:

I'll let you know how I get on when I'm in a position to try out the suggestions.
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