Karl`s PC Help Forums

Two desktops dead, please help!!!!
frojas - 28-6-2009 at 13:02

This is insane but it happened practically the same day, both PCS are dead, the corps are more or less the same age 5 year old:

Dell Dimension 2400 Win XP, problem:
The booting is interrupted and appears the following messages:
- Diskette drive 0 seek failure.
- Primary Drive 0 not found
- Secondary Drive 0 not foud

HP Pavillion PC125A

It does not do anything, the monitor requests "connect the cable" but there are lines of different colors in the monitor. The monitor is OK

I do not have a clue of what to do except for throwing them the the trash but the economics are not so good.

Thank you very much for your comments!!confused2


Faolan - 28-6-2009 at 14:18

For the Dell check the caps see if they are bulging or leaking. If they are you'll need to a) replace the caps or b) procure a new mobo. If they are ok, make sure the HD is working.

As to the HP it sounds like a dead PSU but could easily be another issue. Simplest way to confirm is get a PSU tester.


scholar - 29-6-2009 at 01:13

Frojas, I do not have as much knowledge as Faolan, but I try to help if I can.

Some people have never even opened up the computer to do anything inside, while others have swapped parts and made repairs. Where, in ability and experience, do you stand?

PSU is Power Supply Unit. Faolan, when you suggest using a PSU tester, are you possibly forgetting that most homes do not have one lying around? (Leigh and Jmb and Daz are looking at each other and thinking, "Really?" rollarf ) I think a volt-ohm-meter is more common.

Can you tell us what Operating System (probably = what version of Windows) was in use on each machine?

(paragraph removed) DW

I invite those with more knowledge than I to give an opinion of my suggestion.doffs_cap


waffler - 29-6-2009 at 01:52

Quote:


Some people have never even opened up the computer to do anything inside



Mine is Never Closed , the side is always off . :):):):):):):)


Faolan - 29-6-2009 at 04:25

Quote:
Originally posted by scholar

(Quote removed) DW


Scholar, Dell and HP use non-standard PSUs and connectors which are rarely interchangeable between brands or even different models. A PSU tester costs maybe 10-15 or you can take it down to the shop and let them fiddle with it. If it was a normal ATX board then yes I would say yes, but since they are OEM the normal rules are little use.

A Muliti-Meter would be little use with a PSU because it needs to have a 'load' put on it. In fact if you don't have a load you can either kill the PSU or it just won't work.


Dreamweaver - 29-6-2009 at 07:15

Moved to PC Help for more effect.


Daz - 29-6-2009 at 10:00

Quote:
Originally posted by Faolan

Scholar, Dell and HP use non-standard PSUs and connectors which are rarely interchangeable between brands or even different models.


Whilst that is true, it's still a standard 20, or 24 pin socket on the Mobo isn't it...?


Faolan - 29-6-2009 at 10:54

Sometimes yes Daz, but I've actually seen in some case they've split the power lead for space reasons. I don't know the model in question as I've mostly only worked on the GX 2xx and Optiplex 5xx-7xx series machines.

HP is less likely to change the power lead but the lengths of the leads are usually way shorter than the standard PSU, often just enough to reach the actual devices! Dell does this but to a lesser degree.


LSemmens - 29-6-2009 at 11:23

A replacement PSU for any of these proprietary machines will need to be designed specifically for that machine, too. A generic one just doesn't fit. Do either of them Beep when powered on?

On the machine with the monitor that says it isn't plugged in, can you check to see if a) it, in fact, isn't plugged in, sometime the plug works loose if not screwed in properly, b) does the drive light flash as though the system is actually booting?

On the other machine, I'd be removing the cover and carefully checking all connectors to ensure that they are all plugged in properly. (you could do that at the same time as you check the caps as per Faolan's suggestion.


John Barnes - 29-6-2009 at 13:17

Quote:
Originally posted by Faolan
For the Dell check the caps see if they are bulging or leaking. If they are you'll need to a) replace the caps or b) procure a new mobo. If they are ok, make sure the HD is working.

As to the HP it sounds like a dead PSU but could easily be another issue. Simplest way to confirm is get a PSU tester.


caps =capacitors presumably? if so that could way beyond replacing by a ordianary computer user . mobo would sound easier . if you can replace capacitors use japanesse one as chinese are usually paper covered


waffler - 1-7-2009 at 02:02

Unless you can solder really well , you may as well replace the mobo . :)


Daz - 1-7-2009 at 09:26

Quote:
Originally posted by waffler
Unless you can solder really well , you may as well replace the mobo . :)


It's not too much of a hard job, usually, but it might be symptom of a failing board, or they might have already damaged the mobo, so I'd probably opt to replace anyway. But, as pointed out, unless you buy another proprietary mobo, you're unlikely to get a standard board fitting the case mounts, or cabling to reach necessary ports, so that means you're also going to have to splash out on a new case as well... (You may also get caught with needing a new PSU too!) I had all this on my cousin's old Compaq PC. It turned into a bleddy nightmare, because he was desperate to keep the Compaq case!

I won in the end, he ended up with a generic case and standard mobo. Costs became the issue! :D


waffler - 1-7-2009 at 12:59

You can normally pick up all the parts pretty cheap at computer fairs . I built my desktop from bits and pieces I had lying around , and also some parts off a friend who used to build PCs . For the cost of 1 mobo + cpu I built 2 PCs and sold 1 of them which covered the cost of parts and left some for me to spend . :)


frojas - 1-7-2009 at 23:59

Hi I'am back again...thank you very much for your comments and recommendations, I have done certain observations inside the two corpses and I could answer some of the questions:
- The caps (thank you for the translation!) look allright in both.
- I do not know what do you mean by "mobos"
- I do have an Multimeter (volt-ohm-ammeter).
- I am not an expert but I can deal easily with soldering (I have a couple solders), cabling, assembling, etc.
- Where do I get a PSU tester? the Multitester could help but may be the PSU tester is a simpler and right way to do it.
- Both PC use Windows XP with all updates.
- In both PCs there activity in their HDs
- All connectors are properly plugged in

Well, I do hope I have answered to your questions, I lok forward to receive yor reaction.

Thank you very much for your kind assistance!!!

Federico


waffler - 2-7-2009 at 01:03

mobo
motherboard :)


LSemmens - 2-7-2009 at 03:28

You say that you see activity on both HDD's which may indicate that the PSU and MOBO's are all right. Since you have two monitors, (two computers, right) then unplug them and plug each into the other machine, if you get the same results for each machine, then you can rule out the monitors, if the symptoms follow the monitor, then the monitor may be suspect.


Daz - 2-7-2009 at 08:46

Quote:
Originally posted by frojas
Where do I get a PSU tester?


UK Link 1

UK Link 2

USA Link 1

(Because I don't where you are, I thought it best to cover both here, and the USA. - No doubt you'll be from somewhere completely different! ;))


LSemmens - 2-7-2009 at 12:20

USA is closest, he's actually a bit off the coast in Puerto Rico. Thanks for trying, Daz, hopefully frojas will see this and let us know how he got on.


scholar - 2-7-2009 at 16:21

The people of Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens, and it is a US territory.:)

I am on good terms with a guy at a computer tech shop in the city, Eric, who would test a PSU for me if needed. Do you know anyone like that, Frojas? If you know a shop but not a guy, you might just ask if one of them would do the test.

However, if the hard drive working lights come on, it proves each PSU is not dead. However, it is possible for a PSU to become unreliable. The computers need a very dependable voltage. :)


frojas - 4-7-2009 at 14:17

Hi to all of you and again thank you very much for your time!....I have seen the PSU tester price in the link Daz provided and I will make the +$20 investment, I enjoy the time I devote to fix things and of course PCs are part of that. If the tester is not useful at all for this time, I am sure I will need it anytime. My base is in Puerto Rico so I will use the USALink.

Scholar, unfortunately I do not have a friend or business conecction who may help with the PSU tester, just for the sake of moving faster with the repair.

I did the exchange of monitors as LSemmens suggested, the problem remained the same, so the monitors are not brand new but they are OK.

Although today is July 4th. I will take another look to the PCs so if you have further suggestions they are very welcomed, I will be around

Thank you again and have a great weekend!

Federico


frojas - 4-7-2009 at 23:22

Hi, I have a couple more inputs,

waveysmiley

For the HP, this PC is now like a TV set without signal but there is activity in the HD.

For the Dell, it seems that it does not recognize the HD, any suggestion to solve this??

Well, looking forward to receive your comments!


Daz - 4-7-2009 at 23:55

HP = A quick, and simple solution, would be to test it with a working PSU. (Power supply unit) If it works great, you know what you need, if not, you'll have most likely pinned it down to Mobo or CPU. BTW, you have checked the RAM is firmly seated in it's slots...? (IIRC, and without checking, you said you moved the unit, so it's possible you could have "creep" going on, whereby the RAM has moved slightly in it's slot.)

Dell = Sounds like the HDD has gone belly up. I'm assuming it's not showing up the BIOS?


LSemmens - 5-7-2009 at 13:00

Since you have two computers that are not playing ball and you appear to be satisfied that the monitors are doing their thing. I'd be removing all components from one computer and then re-installing them one at a time with a power up after each component is inserted. I'm assuming that you are aware of BIOS Beep codes. If not, I'll explain.

The computer with "no signal" tends to indicate that the video card has probably gone belly up, is it on board video or a separate card?


scholar - 5-7-2009 at 22:53

Quote:
Originally posted by Daz
HP = A quick, and simple solution, would be to test it with a working PSU.
Do not let this distract you, Fedoric, but--I made a similar suggestion, and it was removed because others pointed out some power supplies are not interchangeable with others.

So, Fedoric, if you were to follow this suggestion, you would first need to know that you were replacing/seeing-if-it-works with a PSU that matches what you need.

The guys here who either work in a computer shop or have a boneyard of dead computers to cannibalize would find this easier, than would a guy who would have to buy the PSU. I once bought a PSU, thinking it to be the problem, only to find the problem still persisted--in my case, the processor had fried.


Daz - 6-7-2009 at 00:37

Quote:
Originally posted by scholar
Quote:
Originally posted by Daz
HP = A quick, and simple solution, would be to test it with a working PSU.
Do not let this distract you, Fedoric, but--I made a similar suggestion, and it was removed because others pointed out some power supplies are not interchangeable with others.

So, Fedoric, if you were to follow this suggestion, you would first need to know that you were replacing/seeing-if-it-works with a PSU that matches what you need.


S/He already has an apparent working PSU in the Dell. (It doesn't need to be fitted in the case, it just needs to be connected to the Mobo....)


frojas - 7-7-2009 at 17:07

Thank you again for your time!... I have interchanged the PSUs and the PCs show the same sympton, that is, the Dell presumably does not recognize the HD and the booting is interrupted. The HP continues the same, it seems a TV set without the cable connection.

For LSemmens, I am not familiar with the BIOS Beep Codes please educate me; in the case of the Dell there are 2 beeps before it stops the booting.

From the test with the PSUs it seems to me that may be the problem is somewhere else

Thank you I look forward for your inputs


Daz - 7-7-2009 at 19:28

Basic Dell BIOS list here...
http://miro.pair.com/tweakbios/dellbios.php

Dell BIOS Codes... (D-2400)
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim2400/en/sm_en/advtshoo.htm


LSemmens - 9-7-2009 at 11:57

Thanks Daz, I was off the air for a night. As Daz has provided the links, I need not look for them. The beeps when a system boots give an early indicator of system problems detected by the BIOS before it even attempts lo load an OS. For the HP where the monitor does not appear to work (no signal) do you get this message after it seems to go through the boot process, or is it there all the time? In other words, do you see a Logo or any text on the screen before that message or is it there even when you first power up?


For the Dell, after analysis of the beep code, we may get a better idea of where to look to resolve your problem there.


frojas - 9-7-2009 at 12:16

Thank you for the links!!....I have a lot to read and learn.

For the HP there is no booting at all, is totally without signal. The message I get is from the monitor claiming to "connect the cable" since I power it up. However, I can listen activity in the HD which as a matter of fact, I connected it as a slave in another computer and it did work well.

I will come back with further details onthe Dell, in the meantime, have a great evening!!


LSemmens - 9-7-2009 at 14:19

It sounds like the HP is terminal, frojas. You may pick up a cheap motherboard that will fit inside the case, but, like many proprietary systems, often the case is designed for one motherboard only. That machine, I'd begin by removing all components, memory, cards and drives and try powering up with just the motherboard. If you get a beep then, at least you may have some chance of resurrecting that system.

The Dell, you are on the way with that one once you've digested those links.


frojas - 18-7-2009 at 16:11

Hello to dear friends!

I want to thank you for your comments and recommendations, at this stage of the game I have reached to the conclusion that I lost the battle and therefore I will stop my attempts to resuscitate the PCs. waveysmiley

Thank you again, now I have another presumably simple problem with the e-mail!


scholar - 18-7-2009 at 16:52

Fedoric, please don't be insulted as I mention two faiirly simple ideas. Other people looking in at KF, who are beginners, might benefit from their mention:

If any hard drives on the failed machines work, put them in another machine as an extra drive. To do so, put the jumper to "slave" position. (Most hard drives have a picture on them, of how this looks, or they have the position labeled.) Then put them in an open position on a hard drive cable that has another drive on it in a working machine. This allows you to access data you had on it--documents, pictures, etc. If the drive is near failing, and so not dependable, copy the stuff to a newer drive.

Second, for a few years at least, the parts which still work can be useful. People like Leigh or myself save them in boxes or on shelves and then grab parts when two bad machines can be combined into one working machine. :D If you are not a guy who does this kind of thing, then I suggest you pass them on to a friend who does. You might be helping somebody save some kid's machine!;)


frojas - 22-7-2009 at 18:28

Scholar, thank you very much for your recommendations. I have already checked the HDs in other PC and both are OK, what I need now is the time and knowledge to make one machine out of the two I have.

It is quite likely that I will return with more on this case, thank you again
:)