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Old 21st January, 2007, 02:36 PM
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No Boot? Before posting try this first!

If you are in the situation that your PC is refusing to boot, the I recommend that you try the following steps before posting up your issue, you could save yourself a lot of time.

If your computer was working immediately prior to the failure then you can normally discount these following steps, if the PC has been out of use for a while or moved recently then it is a good idea to go through this checklist first, the points here are not to patronise but it is often the most simple, obvious things that get forgotten when troubleshooting, you should always start with the simple things and work up to the more complicated possibilities

- Check all the leads connected to your tower, make sure they are all seated properly and have the minimum connected for a successful boot, in most case this is the power cable for the PSU, mouse, keyboad and VGA..

- Check the inside of your case, make sure that none of the cables have come loose and that the memory and add-in cards are correctly seated.

Now we move on to the less obvious...

- If you can hear the fans working in your PC it is wise to check if any are not functioning, for example if the GPU/CPU/NB fans are not working you can assume in most cases that this component is causing the boot failure probably through overheating.

- Check your motherboard and add-in cards for signs of capacitor bulging/leakage and check that no components on these cards are visually charred or otherwise damaged.

- Reset your CMOS, do this by shorting the jumper described in the user-manual for your motherboard, this is often located near the battery on your board and with be marked "CMOS" or similar.

- If the above fails then it is worth performing two more related steps...
-- Check that the CMOS battery is not flat by replacing it with a known good battery
-- Remove all power cables from the board(PSU included), remove the battery for the CMOS and leave the board for 20 minutes or so, then replace cables and battery and attempt boot...this has solved a suprising number of boot problems.

Narrowing down the components at fault.....

The complete boot failure of a system can normally be narrowed down to a single component, finding which one can be a lot of hassle, however trying these steps first may speed things up....

- Remove all hard-drives and CD/DVD-ROM drives from the system, whilst these can cause boot issues later on in the process they will not normally cause a total POST failure.

- Remove all sound cards, network devices and physics card from the system, if the system then boot the failure can be attributed to one of these add-in cards and trial and error with those devices will lead to you find which is causing the issue.

- Using a multimeter you can check the voltages your PSU is outputing(or not as the case may be), connecting a fan and single drive to the PSU and shorting the PSU to start it(normally a green and adjacent black wire; see diagram below). then use you psu to measure the volatage across the red and adjacent black wire on the molex (should read approx 5v) and the same with the yellow wire and nearest balck wire (should read approx 12v).
If the readings are more than 10-15% out then this could be your problem.

- Finally remove the graphics card and memory give the contacts a visual check, clean with a lint free cloth while making sure you are grounded and replace them, often a dirty contact can lead to a boot issue.

Once you have tried the above steps it becomes more hassle, unless you have the time and money to swap your current components with known good ones(expensive and time consuming) more detailed trouble shooting is required, post up in this forum and someone is always around to lend a hand.
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