non-booting desktop

  cmandsgs 10:01 25 Jul 10

My Dell Dimension when turning on the cooling fan starts and builds up a very fast speed but nothing else happens? Nothing appears on the screen and no bleeps heared. Any ideas?

  gengiscant 10:26 25 Jul 10

If your happy enough to take a side panel off,I would first take a soft brush and a vacuum cleaner and remove the dust which can build up inside a PC.
Just had to do it to a friends and there was plenty to remove.
Then check that all cables are seated correctly.Then try again and post back,when your doing your bit of dusting,make sure you do all the fans.

  birdface 10:45 25 Jul 10

See if it works ok in safe mode.If so try last good configuration and check device Manager for problems.

  onthelimit 10:49 25 Jul 10

When the side is off, check all cables and connectors are secure. Take anti-static precautions when working inside the case.

  cmandsgs 11:51 25 Jul 10

To clarify the computer does not fully start up apart from the fan going at High speed and the CD/dvd drives do come alive, nothing starts on the screen and yes I've tested the monitor. Therefore cannot go into safe mode. I have had side off and checked connections plus dusted with compressed air.

  Taff™ 12:13 25 Jul 10

We don`t appear to have the POST routine before Windows loads which means either we can`t see it (Video problem) or the BIOS isn`t functioning.

Is there a separate video card on the system or is it onboard graphics?

  Taff™ 12:30 25 Jul 10

Which Dell Dimension is it by the way?

Does the motherboard have a power light on it?

Just noticed that you mention the CD/DVD`s show signs of life. Disconnect the power from them just in case one of them has developed a fault.

Any POST routine after doing that?

  cmandsgs 13:36 25 Jul 10

Dell Dimension 8100, yes light on motherboard. Disconnected disc drives problem continues. Graphics card present.

  Taff™ 13:46 25 Jul 10

Let`s disconnect power from everything other than the motherboard and Graphic card (if applicable) and remove all the RAM then replace just one stick in the slot. If that doesn`t work swap the RAM sticks.

Next check is the CMOS Battery. Let`s assume it`s not too old and just remove it for an hour to see if that will reset the BIOS.

When we`ve done that we need to check that the Graphics Card isn`t at fault either by swapping it with another one or reverting to on board graphics. Is that possible?

  Taff™ 13:57 25 Jul 10

Just had a quick look at the Spec on this machine and it seems to be quite old from around 2000 - 2001. At this age it could be any of several things that have failed. Have you ever had to replace any of the following: Graphics card, power supply or CMOS battery?

  woodchip 14:13 25 Jul 10

As you said no beeps! did it beep before? if yes. Then you need a new PSU irrespective of the fan running

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