Technical / Consumer advice needed please

  Bailey08787 09:47 28 Jul 05

My pc recently stopped operating (well, I say recently, it's been about 6 weeks now). At first it started freezing, and then powering down (whilst nothing graphically intensive was going on). The amounts of time it lasted before shutting down became smaller and smaller, until eventually when powering up, the monitor just remains in standby. The cpu fan and system fans start spinnning, and there's a bit of hard drive activity, but then nothing.

So I've been trying to remedy this by trying (buying) different components. So far I have tried a different GPU, a different CPU, a different PSU, and finally a different mobo. I've also tried replacing the CMOS battery, swapping the memory around, trying different hard drives, taking the whole thing apart, cleaning, putting back together again etc, etc - all of which has proved very costly.

I've also tried my monitor (17" Taxan CRT) on a different pc and it works fine.

So I'm pretty much at the end of my tether, and this process has been pretty expensive.

Here's my original system: P4 2.8ghz cpu, 1gb ddr3200 ram, Leadtek GeForce 4 Ti4000 GPU, Gigabyte GA-8I875 (socket 478) mobo, 350w PSU

Here's components I have since tried (to no avail): P4 3.4ghz cpu, a cheapy agp GPU, 550w PSU, Gigabyte GA-8IPE1000 Pro-G 865 PE (socket 478)

So now I'm pretty baffled - I guess the only thing I haven't tried replacing yet is the memory - but i'm reluctant to shell out more dosh if this is unlikely to be the culprit.

So, now I'm thinking shall I cut my losses and buy a new system??

If I were to buy a new system, there would be several things I'd like to bring across from my old system / wouldn't need from a new supplier, such as my P4 3.4ghz cpu, 2 IDE hard drives and 2 SATA drives - as well as my soundcard, tv tuner card, wireless card, 1gb of ddr memory, copy of xp, etc.

So whilst on one hand I'd only need a really barebones system, on the other hand it hardly seems worth it.

Basically at the moment all I want is a pc that flippin works - but if I am going to be shelling it, I guess I should go for a set-up that is to some degree current/

All advice gratefully received.

  961 10:20 28 Jul 05

Let's find out why this ain't working before throwing any money at more hardware.

Tell us
what operating system
what virus checker
what firewall
what spyware/trojan finders
broadband/dial up?
can you see in the BIOS (press del on boot up) what temperature cpu and system is running at?

  Bailey08787 10:37 28 Jul 05

i've been running xp pro, and the latest norton product with all the updates etc.

if i could get as far as the bios that would be a start - but when powering up the monitor remains on standby

  961 11:40 28 Jul 05

Well the symptoms you describe in the first para. fans spinning etc and then nothing are classic PSU failure.

However I just wonder how the operating system has coped with all these hardware changes

Do you by any chance have a proper windows disk?

  Bailey08787 11:45 28 Jul 05

when i say 'nothing', i mean that nothing comes on the display - the fans keep happily spinning.

  961 11:53 28 Jul 05

Try reseating the graphics card

If that does not work try original graphics card

Ensure all graphics card cables are undamaged and properly seated

  Mysticnas 11:54 28 Jul 05

but... is the monitor lead plugged in?

Can you hear the drives being accessed, as the computer was working?

check the monitor lead carefully for any damage? (pins etc.)

Have you been through all the cables internally and checked that they are all in securely? any loose components?

You seem to have changed the components around quite a bit so i can't think of anything at the moment. Have you got any other memory that you could use? maybe try a friend who's willing to lend you some for a couple of hours just to see if it makes a difference?

You mentioned the monitor being ok on another PC. How old is it? what make, size, spec?

I've noticed on a few occasions, on some older monitors, that they seems to come up blank if the res on the AGP card is too high for a monitor.

Sorry if i sound a bit patronising.

You seem to have changed all the major components and still no go.

  Bailey08787 12:03 28 Jul 05

i replaced my existing graphics card with a cheapy agp one - i wasn't expecting much, but would have thought it would have given me some onscreen display.

but if no signal is reaching the monitor, it does seem likely its the gpu - right?

  Bailey08787 12:06 28 Jul 05

the monitor's quite old, it's a 17" Taxan (but I like it as it has 6 handy usb ports)- i haven't been messing with the resolution at all - and it worked fine on another pc.

i've made sure the wire is properly connected too.

  Bailey08787 17:35 28 Jul 05


  howard60 19:10 28 Jul 05

try removing the cables both ribbon and power to the floppy and cd drive[s]. See if this makes any difference. Another trick do you have a spare memory slot if so take the memory out and stick it in the other one.

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