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Thread: Computer Carked

  1. #1
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    Angry Computer Carked

    Hi,
    I have a problem with a computer that has died, about 4 weeks ago I purchased a refurbished computer.
    Specs:
    Make Acer
    WINDOWS 7 PRO 64bit
    CPU: Intel core i3 2120 3.3Ghz
    RAM: 4gb ddr3 1333Mhz
    Hard Drive: 500gb
    GPU: Nvidia GeForce GT610
    6xUSB2
    2xUSB3
    HDMI
    DVD/RW
    Card Reader

    I know the M/board is Intel, don't know the model, had it in email on the dead computer.

    I bought it in a private sale on ebay, no warranty,have been in contact with the seller who refurbished it trying to get advice about the problem, however he is slow to respond.

    The problem:
    The computer was performing ok when i shut down 4 nights ago, the following morning it would not boot, nothing showed on the monitor but the computer seemed to go through the boot process, all the lights cycled the HD light was flickering and the CPU fan was running - then it gave 2 beeps a pause then 2 more beeps then silence.
    The computer seemed to be running but there was no video output, it has a video card fitted so i disconnected the monitor from that and plugged it into the onboard video port, still no picture. During this time I had made several restart attempts without joy, I then tried another monitor with the same result.
    One thing I had noticed was that the HD seemed to heat up more than I thought it should, within 50 sec of powering up it was almost too hot to touch, at this time I quit and emailed the seller to see if he had any suggestion, he replied after 2 days suggesting reseating the RAM.
    By this time I had been thinking and decided to try something, I disconnected power from the HD and then started the machine, the monitor came on and it went through the startup routine till it found no OS, so I switched off and reconnected the HD and tried again, this time it booted into Windows and everything seemed to be working as it should. However to be sure I shut down and tried to restart - no luck, no video display as before, tried the same routine as when it had started, this time without any response, still seems like it is running but no output.

    Conveyed the latest info to the seller who has not yet responded - 2 days - not holding mt breath!

    At this stage I have no idea what to try next, without access to the system software it is hard to find a solution, hoping someone here can shed some light on the problem.
    Not too techy please I can plug and unplug things but the finer details of OS's and software leave me groping in the dark

    Thanks in advance,
    Max

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    Are you near an Altex Electronics or similar business-oriented computer store? It might be time for them to tinker with it and give you their analysis. Best case, they fix; worst case, you purchased somebody's problems [and that would make me sad and emphasize with you!].
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
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    This article suggests reseating the graphics card (and perhaps cleaning) for the beep error codes but lower down the page there's a section on legacy boards, so check the MB number to see if any apply to yours.

    http://www.intel.com/support/motherb.../cs-010249.htm

    Where the GPU is suspect, booting up into Safe Mode with Networking will isolate the card and utilise the on board VGA and if it boots okay then, that would normally confirm the GPU as the cause.

    If it does boot up in that mode, open a command prompt as an administrator and run chkdsk without any parameters.

    This is a read-only mode, but should show if there are any bad sectors on the HDD.

    ebay do have a complaints procedure, but the buyer is responsible for return costs, so that could be prohibitive where a desktop or any other bulky items are concerned.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-12-05 at 05:02.

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    Just pulling the power cord is just not good enough I have found, you also need to remove the battery, the try and start it to drain all the juice from pc. Wait a minute or so, put battery back in, power cord in. Turn PC on again.
    The tasks ahead of us, is never so great, as the power behind us.

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    If the Hard drive is getting hot, and disconnecting the hard drive caused the computer to start, then disconnect it again, and see if it will start again. That seems like a good place to start. If it will boot with the hard drive connected, and craps out with the hard drive re-connected, that seems pretty definitive.

    If you have a Linux DVD, try booting from that, with the hard drive disconnected. If you don't have a Linux DVD, and you have access to another computer, can you download a Linux iso and burn it to a DVD, or install it on a USB thumb drive?

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    Quote Originally Posted by S t r e t c H View Post
    Just pulling the power cord is just not good enough I have found, you also need to remove the battery, the try and start it to drain all the juice from pc. Wait a minute or so, put battery back in, power cord in. Turn PC on again.
    I don't dare plug anything into the front panel of my computer, because it blacks out the video. I'm pretty sure that the computer/operating system is still running, but the monitors are completely blacked out, and I can't do anything, including shutting down the system. I have to do a hard power down.

    Then I have to unplug the power supply, because just having powered down won't reset the video. It's a desktop, so the backup power is not built into the system the way it is with a laptop.

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    Hi.
    Just to confuse the issue, this is my thread, was on another computer with no access to my password safe and couldn't log in under this identity, now I am back on the computer of the post subject and don't have access to to the password for Max in Aus! Confused? If you aren't, I am!

    RolandJS,

    Thanks for your thoughts, I'm in Australia so no Altex Electronics, unfortunately my experience with computer stores, unless they sold it to you they are not too interested, or the whole thing is crap and everything needs replacing.

    Sudo15,

    Thanks for that link, did as it instructed, removed and re-seated the video card, RAM and just about anything else I could unplug, computer is now up and running having completed 3 shut down and restart cycles, and everything seems to be working OK hardware wise.
    The only problem I seem to be having now is Win 7 hanging on start-up, gets to the Welcome screen and hangs there for about 2 min before it starts operating -any suggestions as to cause?

    StretcH,

    Thanks for your help, didn't get quite that far,but will keep in mind for future use.

    Prescott,

    Thanks for your ideas on the matter, re the hard drive getting hot - just how hot do they get? This one is still to hot to comfortably touch, I have never had cause to feel one when it was operating in the past and have no idea just how hot they should get, the seller (still had no further communication from him) said in his first reply that the fan at the front of the case should keep the HD cool, without pulling the front cover off, I can't see or feel the effect of any front fan.


    Thanks to everybody for their interest and help in this matter.

    Max

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    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    Maximum1812, I'm glad you have courage and perseverance to try many things! Keep on keepin' on following the advice of the many other brave techies here! I was only giving you the worst case scenario, if all other things do not work. Concerning hot harddrive: download the forever-free Acronis Drive Monitor from acronis.com -- it does a good job of monitoring harddrive temp, and giving you a yellow or red flag if temp exceeds set green zone. If you're interested, after downloading, I'll offer suggestions on what to disable within the settings.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maximum1812 View Post
    This one is still to hot to comfortably touch, I have never had cause to feel one when it was operating in the past and have no idea just how hot they should get, the seller (still had no further communication from him) said in his first reply that the fan at the front of the case should keep the HD cool, without pulling the front cover off, I can't see or feel the effect of any front fan.
    That is too hot, with or without a fan. I would suggest that you replace the hard drive. Under nominal load, 95°F to 105°F is about normal.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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    Did you run chkdsk without any parameters to check if there were any bad sectors ?

    Data can be lost if you run chkdsk /r as it moves what data it can to the good areas of the HDD prior to coning off the bad sectors so nothing else can be written to them.

    While the problem could be mechanical in the spinning, creating a full system image while available would be prudent.

    You can use the free version of Speccy or HWMonitor to check the temps to compare with what bbearren has advised and HDDScan-3.3 can give you some further diagnostics at a glance.

    https://www.piriform.com/speccy

    http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html

    http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/deta...r_windows.html

    Probably also a good idea to pull the cover off to see if the front fan is working.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-12-06 at 07:20.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    1. Replace the drive and reinstall the OS.
    If the disk is running hot, obviously, you'll want to know why.
    (Q&A for yourself to answer: If the disk is running hot then what else is.)

    2. Find the exact make and model of that motherboard, then download the specs sheet.
    You'll want to look specifically at your BIOS error beep codes.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    Data can be lost if you run chkdsk /r as it moves what data it can to the good areas of the HDD prior to coning off the bad sectors so nothing else can be written to them.
    That's not quite correct. the /r switch tells chkdsk to attempt to recover any data found in bad sectors, move it to known good sectors, update the MFT, then mark the bad sectors as unusable to the file system. There is no risk of losing data, although bad sectors may exist from which data recovery is unsuccessful, but that's because of the sectors, not chkdsk.

    chkdsk.PNG

    Running chkdsk with no switches takes about the same amount of time, but doesn't really accomplish anything. When chkdsk /r is run, the utility performs its analysis of the disk before attempting any repairs, so it already knows where the good sectors are and if there are any bad sectors.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2014-12-06 at 08:23.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    If the OP is able to access the drive enough to utilize a check disk with the "R" switch, then by all mean please do.
    bbearren is 100% correct on this. Any switch that doesn't attempt to fix or recover is useless.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
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    Carked? Why doesn't Bing Translator speak Aussie?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maximum1812 View Post
    Hi.


    Prescott,

    Thanks for your ideas on the matter, re the hard drive getting hot - just how hot do they get? This one is still to hot to comfortably touch, I have never had cause to feel one when it was operating in the past and have no idea just how hot they should get, the seller (still had no further communication from him) said in his first reply that the fan at the front of the case should keep the HD cool, without pulling the front cover off, I can't see or feel the effect of any front fan.

    Thanks to everybody for their interest and help in this matter.

    Max
    How hot disk drives normally get depends on the drive. Some of the older ones got pretty hot and it was perfectly normal. The newer ones don't as a rule get hot enough to be uncomfortable to touch. I have a USB toaster, that I use for backups. During a back-up, it gets noticeably warmer, but not uncomfortably warm. Before the backup starts, it is barely above room temperature. If your hard drive is that hot, when you don't have that much disk activity going on, you probably have a problem.

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