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Old 02-06-2006, 05:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey everyone I am having trouble with my budget CISNET computer that I got around late March in 2005. It all started today. I was using the system fine all last night and into this morning. I took a nap, and got up to search something on the internet. When I got to my PC I found it shutdown. I turned on the On button and it didn't turn on my PC.
The funny thing is, the same thing happened to me last November. I went out and when I came back I found the PC shutdown and no way to turn it on.
When this happened to me in November, I had to send the PC for repairs. I got the PC back in late December and now I am in the same jam.
To me it seems the same problem has occured.

So this is the situation. The PC won't turn on at all. I have tried it on another outlet and that didn't work. The odd thing is, on the back of the PC the ethernet port continues to light up even after the PC is shutdown. I have my DSL ethernet cable in that ethernet port and it continues to light up.

I realized one thing after I got my PC from repairs. My heatsink/fan got really noisy. I could feel my hand shake when I laid my hand on my computer desk. The PC itself was just terrible noisy. Roughly about 3 days ago it got alot quiter which I found strange.

I popped off the side panel and I found no damage or burns. The heatsink/fan is made by Coolermaster. Everything looks good and I see no problems.
I did notice that there was alot of dust on the heatsink/fan. I took off the HS/F and underneath it I saw thermalpaste. I blew the HS/F a little to get the dust and placed it back on the board. I did not however reapply thermalpaste on the HS/F. After everything, the PC still won't turn on.

So really nothing in the PC will turn on. The fans, nothing. As I have said, the same thing happened back in November. I want to avoid sending the PC for repairs again because they will reformat my hard drive and it gets annoying to re-install everything.

My PC specs are a P4 processor, Buffalo 512mb DDR RAM, WIndows XP SP2, DVD burner, a 120gb hard drive, media card reader, and that is about it.I haven't added anything on the PC.

All help is appreciated and thanks for any help.
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Old 02-06-2006, 07:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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it seems to either be the motherboard or the psu. it could be that the power switch has been disconnected from the motherboard though. so first i would try and trace the cable back from the power button to the motherboard. the fact that the ethernet port still lights up (thats normal) indicates the motherboard is receiving power though.
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Old 02-06-2006, 08:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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First swap out the power supply. I would bet that you have a failed PSU. Get aq friend to pull their PSU for a swap test.
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Old 02-06-2006, 10:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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See I think that it is the PSU as well. The only problem is that the only two PSUs that I can borrow come from Dells. To my understanding, they have proprietary stuff so I can't swap out my PSU and check if that is the problem. If the ethernet port lights up, then I agree that it is getting power. I first had the same problem in late November, I sent the PC to CISNET repairs and got it back late December and now the same exact problem has occured. I have checked all the cables and they are all secure. Beyond the PSU, could anything cause this problem like a power outage or something? I have the PC running through a UPS so I don't know what else to think. I am going to perform a beep test to see if I hear anything.
Thanks for the help.
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Old 02-06-2006, 11:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Something new just happened. Ok as I powered up the PC, I heard no beeps. I then looked over at everything, and at a particular corner of my heatsink/fan I smelled a pretty strong burning smell. As I stated earlier, the heatsink/fan was getting alot quieter toward the last fews days the PC was alive. If I just replace heatsink/fan wil the PC continue to work or has the damage to the processor already been damaged?
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Old 02-07-2006, 08:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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bad smelling smoke is not a good sign, see if you can get another HSF cheap just to test with.
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Old 02-07-2006, 10:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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CPU! Ouch......looks like you are going to be shopping for a Mobo and CPU! Unusual for P4 intel to fry. most newer intel CPU have a built in termal sensor and shuts down arund 130 +/- degrees C. That chip must have really gone nuclear!!!
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Old 02-07-2006, 10:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Sounds like you got some power issues. Does your area suffer from brown-outs or black-outs? What PSU do you use in your machine? Do you have your machine connected to a surge-protector? Does it have a buffer?

Brown-outs and black-outs can do some serious damage to your PC and its components.

As for the chip and fan, the noise that slowly goes away can be caused by a number of things, most of which are benine. For one, just plain old dirt can get accumulated in them and after the fan runs for a bit the dirt gets released or balances out. This is often the case after cleaning a machine, where some chunk of dust or whatnot has become stuck in the fan. The fans bearings and/or lube can be going bad, too. Usually if a fan is acting badly, replace it immediately. They are vital to the system's more expensive components, and are cheap and easy to replace.

You'll have to poke around for the source of the smell. If it smelled distinctly like burnt wiring, I would be skeptical about it being the CPU frying. Like others have said, most chips now have sensors that will turn them off if they get critically hot. Chances are, the smell may be coming form an inferior heatsink paste that got barbacued. Removing the CPU's heatsink will give you a clear indication of what happened (I assume you know what you're doing, so I won't go into details).

Now would be a good time to backup your data, just incase your machine decides to light itself on fire. Once you've done that, you can pop the top off your case and keep an eye on it to see what happens. You might get lucky and see some smoke coming from somewhere.

Either way, I think you're definately looking at replacement time.
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Old 02-07-2006, 08:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The PC won't turn on at all or show any indication of life. I did remove the heatsink/fan and blew on it a little. Underneath the HS/F I saw the thermalpaste. I did not reapply thermal paste when I tried to turn on the PC. Nothing happened. People are telling me that the power supply went bad of the HS/F went bad. I think it is the power supply, but yet the ethernet port lights up(or used to). The heatsink/fan is gigantic and I would assume it would provide ample cooling. I can't find a CISNET tech support number now. Before my case with the number on a little sticker but it isn't there any more. Do you guys think that applying a little thermal paste will cure the problem, or will I have to replace the PSU? On the back of my PSU is a little red strip which says either 115 or 230. I thought that when I saw the 230 on the red strip I shut down the PSU. Someone told me that the 230 is just option for voltage, so I am wondering how do I really shut down my PSU? When I first got back my PC from repairs it was set to 115 volts, and now since I think I caused electricstatic damage by touching the RAM. So someone please answer me thing, did I actually turn shut down the PSU by swiching to 230 volts or did I do more damage like static damamage?

Also I need this question answered.

What specific part in a PC can cause a complete shutdown in a computer? Nothing in my PC turns on(except for the ethernet port which lit green, but that stopped yesterday after I was tinkering around inside the PC), no fans, nothing. Can a defective HS/F cause this problem?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-07-2006, 09:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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A PSU failure can cause a complete shutdown in a PC, obviously. A motherboard or CPU failure can cause a partial shutdown. Partial in that you could still activate some case fans or other basic functions.

EDIT: I hope you get it sorted out, and sorry this had to happen to you. =(
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