How do you work out what's broken?
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Thread: How do you work out what's broken?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    13

    How do you work out what's broken?

    I am working on a PC that will not boot (completely dead, no sign of life when you press the on switch). I know the power supply is dead, but if I put in another power supply that I know to be working (because it has worked on different PC), it still will not boot.

    I am guessing the power supply took out the motherboard when it blew, but I do not know for sure and I do not know how to test. Normally I would swap it out for one I have in another PC and know to be working, but this one has an Intel chip and all my others are AMD. If I order in a motherboard the supplier will only take it back if it is faulty, not but just because I ordered something I do not need.

    I guess what I am asking for is good advice about how to diagnose a problem like this without just keeping buying parts (motherboard, memory, processor etc), until it comes back to life.

    I figured if anyone knows, it would be the assembled company here.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    6,334
    yeah we will figure it out. we might not get it right away, but eventually we will figure it out

    I will first ask how this problem came about? is it your pc that you have been using, or has someone brought it to you for repair?

    if someone brought it in, i would first look at the tiny little mainboard header pins, for the power switch, power light, hdd light, etc. just make sure that power switch plug is on the right pins. also, if i were you i would take a nickel or something and short out those two pins to see if it starts the pc. if it does, then your pc case switch is just bad.

    but anything else i dont want to speculate till theres more details on the condition you aquired the pc in. most importantly if you know what happened just before it stopped powering up.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2000
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    The only other quick/reasonable alternative would be to test the processor in another verified working compatible mobo.
    "I know nothing."
    Cheers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    13
    >I will first ask how this problem came about? is it your pc that you have been using, or has someone brought it to you for repair?

    They brought it in to me for repair. Truth is I am mostly a software man, but I felt sorry for the family and I am trying to help them.

    >if someone brought it in, i would first look at the tiny little mainboard header pins, for the power switch, power light, hdd light, etc. just make sure that power switch plug is on the right pins.

    Yes I did check that, it looks right based on the labels printed on the motherboard.

    >also, if i were you i would take a nickel or something and short out those two pins to see if it starts the pc.

    As I am not in the USA and I do not have a collection of foreign coins ;-) I used a screw driver. Unfortunately, nothing happened. But it’s a good trick, I will have to remember that one.

    >but anything else i dont want to speculate till theres more details on the condition you aquired the pc in. most importantly if you know what happened just before it stopped powering up.

    They say one day it booted and the next it did not. One thing they did report is that it was used a lot to charge ipods. I guess they may have strained the power supply and caused it early death (it was only a 250w unit).

    >The only other quick/reasonable alternative would be to test the processor in another verified working compatible mobo

    That is what I would normally do, but in this case it is an Intel processor and all my other motherboards are AMD based.

    A real problem I have is working out what motherboard to purchase. There are no clear markings on this board saying who the manufacture is or what the model number is. I am used to the MSI or Arock that print it in big letters right in the middle of the board, but not this one. Any tricks to help what that problem?

    Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    fcc id number? there also must be some sort of model number printing i would think...

    nice response by the way, many like to get answers without any explination. it helps and much appreciated.

    the processor would be a likely culprit. youve ruled out the power supply and power switch now, cpu/mainboard would be next. i see that youve already drawn that conclusion but again thanks for filling us in.

    are you even sure its a standard mainboard? this isnt a compaq or packard bell pc were talking about here are we?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    13
    >fcc id number? there also must be some sort of model number printing i would think...

    I cannot find an fcc number. The closest I can find to a model number is written down the side of the board and says:

    “Mat, No 143159 IMPERIAL GV 20030812”

    Elsewhere on the board is a says “REV. C”

    Web surfing on combinations of these draws a blank. I wonder if anyone here recognises the format of the numbering? If not the numbering itself. It might give us a clue as to who built the motherboard. If I could I would like to purchase exactly the same board as a replacement to reduce any messing around to get it working.

    >nice response by the way, many like to get answers without any explination. it helps and much appreciated.

    Thank you, everyone here always seemed so nice, it seems only right to try and fit in ;-)

    >the processor would be a likely culprit.

    That’s a worry, so I could spend money on the motherboard only to find it was not that at all, but the CPU instead.

    >are you even sure its a standard mainboard? this isnt a compaq or packard bell pc were talking about here are we?

    This is an e-machines 420. I do not think this is a model they ship in the USA (judging by their website). I think it is a UK model, but the components are the same around the world, they just put different badges on the front.

    I think what this dialogue is telling me is I need to purchase a motherboard in the same form factor (Micro ATX) for the same socket (478) and hope it does the trick. Although I am nervous of buying boards because I have gotten wrong a few times before and the suppliers will not take them back. I was thinking about this one:

    http://www.dabs.com/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=3S1N
    which I think has an integrated graphics card, it is hard to tell because they do not say out right (the existing board has integrated) graphics and that is good enough for the user. What do you think? Is that board ok? (and I am sure it is not going to be high end enough for most of the folks here, but this is a budget system that does not need to be a hot rod)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    probably wont work. well it may but most big name computer makers design their own mainboards and sizes.

    i would try to get that processor checked out first. gotta be someone or some computer store that could test it for you.

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Mar 1999
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    does the processor heatsink fan spin easily?
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  10. #10
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    Dec 1998
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    Grand Haven, Michigan, USA
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    Strip out everything you do not need to boot... you only need one stick of memory, graphics card, and CPU. Jumper the ATX 20 pin power cable's green wire to any black, just to make sure the power supply is working. The fans in the power supply will turn on along with anything else hooked up. Reset the CMOS (there should be a jumper, or you can pull the battery out and hit the power button with it unplugged to drain all the power from the CMOS's memory).

    I usually keep a few parts for testing like a PCI graphics card. Every system has a PCI slot. Does it make any beeps? Do any lights come on? Do the drives come on?

    If they can afford iPod(s), they likely can afford a $300 E-Machine or something like that. If you are lucky you can put the hard drive, memory, and optical drive into the new system as an upgrade.
    AMD Phenom II x4 945 3Ghz | ASUS M4A77TD | 2X WD 1TB SATA 2 hard drive | 2x2GB Corsair XMS3 | nVidia GeForce 8800 GTS | ATI TV Wonder Theater Pro 550 | Antec P-160 case | Antec 650w Earth Watts | LG Blu-ray Super Drive | LG DVD RW | Windows 7 Pro

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    13
    And so the story ends...

    I ordered the Arock motherboard, installed it, repaired windows and all is now well. Thanks to everyone that took the time to reply.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    3
    Hello all, I did a google search on this same motherboard and found this topic here. I have the same identical issue and believe replacing the MB and power supply will effectively resolve my issue. My only problem is finding a suitable motherboard replacement.

    The links above result in a deadline (emachineinfo) and the MB being no longer availabel.

    I did however find a line to another MB and am just curious as to if this is a viable replacement:
    http://www.pagecomputers.com/store/p...ct%5Fid=841150

    Any assistance you could provide would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Location
    San Jose, California, USA
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    2,676
    Socket type and memory are the same or better. Should work.

    Current Main Rig:
    AMD FX55 @ 2.9 GHz
    2 GB PC 3200 DDR RAM
    ABIT KN8 SLi motherboard
    ATI X1900XT O/C to XTX speeds

    Retired Rig:
    AMD Athlon XP 2500+ Barton @ 2387 MHz. (217*11)
    512MB DDR RAM @ 436 MHz. (PC 3700)
    Abit AN7 motherboard
    BFG GeForce 6800GT OC!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    HOrsham, UK
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    10
    Hi,

    Great news that others have this problem.

    My friend doprs his parent's pc off, they don't charge ipods or anything like that but there's is dead.

    Tried ther PSU from my own machine and no joy, tried the trick with the power swtich, still no joy.

    todda , how do you Jumper the ATX 20 pin power cable's green wire to any black, just to make sure the power supply is working?

    I am guessing the motherboard has had it and just want to know if someone's success can point me to the best cheap option motherboard and also do I need a new PSU.

    Current motherboard is the same as the other peeps in here an Imperial GV 20030812.

    Thanks

    Damian
    UK

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Location
    San Jose, California, USA
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    Use a section of wire or a bread twisty (with the insulation removed from the ends) and just connect the green wire to any black wire on the 20 / 24 pin power connector. Make sure that the power switch on the back of the power supply is switched on.

    Current Main Rig:
    AMD FX55 @ 2.9 GHz
    2 GB PC 3200 DDR RAM
    ABIT KN8 SLi motherboard
    ATI X1900XT O/C to XTX speeds

    Retired Rig:
    AMD Athlon XP 2500+ Barton @ 2387 MHz. (217*11)
    512MB DDR RAM @ 436 MHz. (PC 3700)
    Abit AN7 motherboard
    BFG GeForce 6800GT OC!

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