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bomyne's avatar

Why will my custom built PC not turn on?

Asked by bomyne (303 points ) September 26th, 2012

I had a PC built by my brother two years ago that worked fine up until this morning.

It has three LED lights. Two are always on while there is power to the computer, and one is on when the machine is on. The two that are always on, are on right now. When I try to turn the computer on via the power button, the blue LED flashes, the fan starts to spin then they both shut off.

I have taken the cover off and had a look, but nothing is out of the ordinary.

Does anyone know what could be going on?

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10 Answers

Kayak8's avatar

Is your brother available to offer an opinion?

bomyne's avatar

Unfortunately, no. He’s moved out of town because he got promoted and is now a manager at a shop over 300KM from here.

poisonedantidote's avatar

I know I am wrong, because it would not have time to over heat so fast, but it does sound like an over heated computer.

If the processor was dead it would probably be totally dead, no action at all, if it was the hard drive or ram or something you would be getting bios beep codes.

I would say make sure that the fan/processor system are working properly, not just the fan spinning, but that the heat sink is attached properly to the processor, that there is not excessive dust, or anything else causing it to trigger an over heat shut down.

However, I doubt heat is the problem. Looks like we got a bit of a puzzle.

EDIT: also check no electricity is affecting the processor, short circuits in general, damage arcing electricity at the processor, or things like that.

bomyne's avatar

I just checked, but it doesn’t have excess dust, and the fan appears to be able to spin freely. But I’m unsure how to make sure the fan/processor system are working properly.

poisonedantidote's avatar

There is usually some aluminum block that sits under or near the fan, this block is stuck to the processor. It is basically there to draw heat away from the processor. It has to be completely flat against the processor, not even a bit of paper should fit in the gap, if there is a gap, it can overheat, causing the computer to shut down so it does not burn out.

For it to over heat this fast, the block should be fairly out of place, with a rather large gap. Maybe even totally loose. It should be clamped down hard and flat to the processor, with the fan on top or near by cooling the block.

The only other thing I can think of, is maybe you have a short circuit some place, or that the computer is not earthed. There should be a little copper stud some place, with a wire attached to it, to earth the computer. If the earth was loose, or you had a short circuit it could cause a similar shut down.

See… when a computer has problems like yours, there are usually ways to know what is wrong, via how and when it shuts down or restarts or how many times it beeps or does not, etc.

All that comes to mind, is its either 1 over heating, 2 has electrical problems, or maybe the cpu is dead and your motherboard just behaves this way with a dead processor.

I could not really guess or tell you more without more info about the computer/parts model, and various other things.

EDIT: also I’m not really a hardware guy, we are approaching the limit of my understanding, hehe.

bomyne's avatar

I had a look but I can not find this aluminum block you mentioned.

Unfortunately, it sounds like the best option for me would be to take it in to a service center.

Thanks guys.

poisonedantidote's avatar

If you take a picture of the inside of the tower, and upload it, I can download it and circle the block with red or something.

If there really is no block, I’m guessing there used to be one right around before this problem started.

jrpowell's avatar

Part of me is thinking that it could be bad or unseated RAM. I would try taking it out and putting it back in. Here is a picture of where it is in my computer. It has two tabs you need to fold out and it ejects the RAM. Then stick it back in. This might take more force than you are comfortable with. Use common sense.

I would start with yanking them all out and putting in one and see if it starts. If it doesn’t try a different stick. Then add them back until it fails to find the faulty part.

Or it isn’t the RAM. If I was you that is where I would start.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

I may be clutching at straws here, but I’ve not yet heard of any checking to see if the PSU is malfunctioning in any way. Maybe that’s worth checking into?

RocketGuy's avatar

Has the computer been moved or shaken? Anything recently plugged in or unplugged? At this point I would agree with @lightsourcetrickster that maybe the power supply pooped out.

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