Determine if Your Motherboard Is Dead

Edited by Michael J., Anonymous, Lynn, Eng and 24 others

When it comes to issues regarding computer hardware, motherboard defects are among the most dreaded of all. The motherboard is one of the most expensive components of a computer such that having a dead motherboard would basically mean burning a fairly large hole in your pocket. Sometimes, computer owners and even technicians prematurely declare some motherboards as "dead on arrival" or "dead on the spot" without performing comprehensive diagnostic tests. This article will guide you toward carrying out relevant tests in order to ascertain that a motherboard is dead.

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Note

Before you perform any actions with your motherboard or any other components attached to it, be sure to discharge yourself of static electricity. If possible, buy yourself a static wrist band and use it before interacting with your motherboard. If you don't have access to a static wristband, a simple way of discharging your body's static electricity is by tapping a smooth metal surface using your fingers. Most technicians use the computer's power supply for this trick. Why is it essential to discharge yourself? The circuitry in your computer motherboard are sensitive to any form of electrical charge; even minute ones like the static electricity of your body. Administering an unwanted charge towards the motherboard could cause alteration enough to destroy the motherboard or cause it to malfunction.

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Steps

  1. 1
    Power up your computer and wait for a short beep.
    If nothing gets displayed on your monitor and you did not hear a short beep, those could be signs suggestive of a motherboard failure. The short beep signifies the success of the computer's power-on self-test. This beep is also technically known as the "POST beep." The POST is the computer's way of checking the necessary system requirements and hardware connections in order for the system to power up properly. Almost 50 percent of the time, if no beep and no display are observed, this is indicative of a dead motherboard. In times like this, you should not leave any stone unturned. You should perform every reasonable test humanly possible to rule out any other hardware defect and ascertain that your motherboard is indeed dead. The last thing you would want to do is dispose a still working motherboard due to a wrong diagnosis.
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  2. 2
    Remove the RAM and the third-party video card (if there is any) and power up your computer.
    In this step, we will try to rule out a memory or video card defect. Most motherboards will produce a beep code similar to the POST beep if it detects that no RAM is installed. But unlike the POST beep, RAM error beep code is characterized by long and repetitive beeps. So if you hear this kind of beep after powering up your motherboard, we could deduce that the motherboard is not dead and it is actually the RAM that is causing the problem. If no such beep is produced, then you should continue with the remaining diagnostic tests.
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  3. 3
    Reset the RAM in other slots if there are any.
    Most boards do not produce a beep if no RAM is installed. Another way to rule out a RAM-related defect is to try and reset the RAM stick in other memory slots if possible. This further rules out the possibility of RAM stick or RAM slot defect.
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  4. 4
    Try another working RAM if possible.
    If an extra, compatible RAM stick is at hand, you might as well try and use it on your motherboard to ultimately rule out memory-related issues.
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  5. 5
    Check if the motherboard speaker is properly attached to its designated slot.
    The motherboard beeps are made possible by a tiny speaker attached to the motherboard. Consult your motherboard manual to find where this speaker is located and check if it is still securely attached to where it should be.
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  6. 6
    Try a different power supply.
    There are instances wherein your computer's power supply may look functional and normal, but the opposite actually holds true. Just because the power supply fan or the CPU fan is spinning and the power LED lights are on doesn't necessarily mean your power supply is delivering the necessary voltage to your motherboard. If you have a spare power supply or if you know someone who has, work your way to get a hand on it and try it on your motherboard.
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  7. 7
    Remove the motherboard out from the case and place it on an insulated surface.
    In tech speak, this is commonly called as "breadboarding." This step is essential to check for shorting or grounding issues. While on the "breadboard", connect the motherboard back to the power supply and power it up once again.
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  8. 8
    Reset the CMOS.
    By this time, we are running out of cards to play. Desperate times call for desperate measures. This is one desperate measure. The CMOS or complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor is a part of the motherboard that is commonly known for housing the BIOS settings for older motherboards. Modern computers often have their own non-volatile memory to store BIOS settings so they do not use CMOS for that function anymore. Nevertheless, CMOS is still considered a viable option for troubleshooting motherboard boot-up problems, regardless if it is a modern or old board.

    There are two ways to reset your motherboard's CMOS. The first one is to remove the CMOS battery, a silver disc resembling that of a watch battery, from the motherboard. You may need to consult your motherboard's documentation to locate the battery. You need to attach the CMOS battery back to its slot after at least 5 minutes and power up the motherboard thereafter. Again, you should cross your fingers and wait for a short beep.

    If that didn't work, you might try another way. You may need to use "jumpers" to perform a Hard Reset on your CMOS. The location of these jumpers and the process to reset the CMOS by using them vary from one motherboard brand to another, so the best way to get a hold of comprehensive information about this process is through your motherboard's manual. After successfully carrying out the necessary steps, power up your motherboard, cross your fingers and wait for a short beep.
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  9. 9
    Try inserting your other system hardware components (RAM, CPU, Power Supply) to a similar motherboard.
    You have exhausted all the possible steps to rule out a dead motherboard problem. Unfortunately, it appears that a dead motherboard might just be the case here. This last step could be the final nail on the coffin for your predicament. Migrating all the essential hardware attached to your motherboard to another working motherboard and successfully booting up with the new setup is the only surefire way to validate if your motherboard has finally succumbed to the death harbinger.
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Questions and Answers

How can can I check if my Tablet's motherboard is dead?

Well my Tablet won't switch on and it won't pick in the charger also. I have boosted my battery also but no response

To test if your Tablet's motherboard is dead, you will first need to confirm that a charge is reaching the Tablet through the battery. To do this, you will need to take the Tablet apart, and then attach the battery. After this, plug in your USB charger to a low voltage source, such as a computer USB port, and test whether or not the Tablet is receiving a charge using your meter. If it is receiving a charge, then you will test the connections from the charging port to see if they are passing a current to the main board.

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If your motherboard is not accepting the current, and you can not see any visible problems, then it is most likely a bad connection somewhere on the motherboard. While technically possible to fix, the sheer cost in terms of time and man hours make this impractical, and you will be best served simply purchasing a new one. Much like the example of spending 4 hours to repair a $10 game pad, it's usually easier just to purchase another one. In the case of a motherboard, you could spend hundreds of hours trying to fix it, and still never succeed if there is an actual component failure, as opposed to a connection failure.

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See more questions like this: How to know if my motherboard is working

I want to know if my motherboard is dead?

I have a Nvidia A8N5X motherboard, I had attempted to remove the heat-sink one night (I wasn't very gentle hindsight is always 20/20) anyway I got another heat-sink on it, tried to boot it up and did not post, followed everything in the guide (removed everything except the CPU, didn't post, just plugged it into the power supply no CPU or RAM etc. no post) so is it safe to assume it is dead?

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This is a tricky question. There are other components you could have damaged, such as flexing the board and causing a hairline fracture in a connection, or damaging either your RAM or processor when removing the heat sink and applying pressure. Likewise, if you didn't ground the system and yourself before starting, you could have damaged components with a static charge.

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To troubleshoot, I'd recommend the following:

  1. 1
    Plug the system in, and see if the battery light comes on.
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  2. 2
    If it does not come on, then there is no power cycling through the system.
    This is your first problem (though there could still be others).
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  3. 3
    If it shows a battery light, then you have power to the system, which is a good sign.
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  4. 4
    Unplug the system and remove the battery.
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  5. 5
    Make sure you're properly grounded to remove any static charge.
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  6. 6
    Touch the metal chassis of your unplugged system to ground out everything.
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  7. 7
    Switch your RAM (RAM 1 goes in RAM2 slot, etc.).
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  8. 8
    Put everything back, and try to restart.
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  9. 9
    If it works, you have a bad RAM stick.
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  10. 10
    Repeat this until you've cycled through all of your system RAM (2 or 4 sticks).
    You can use a Sharpie or other permanent marker to mark your RAM (I, II, III, IIII). That way you know which is which, or you can just remove them and cycle them one at a time.
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  11. 11
    If this fails, go to Step 4.
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  12. 12
    Remove your processor, instead of your RAM, and then replace the processor.
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  13. 13
    Try to boot back up.
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  14. 14
    If it still fails, then you probably have a motherboard problem.
    In this case, you can consider taking it to a local computer repair shop to see if they can get it to work (they might try new RAM, etc.). Just be honest with them, and most of the time they'll not charge much more than their hourly to get it working (if they can).
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Motherboard diagnosis, problem, etc?

Screen is black, all other components are working properly... When I take off GPU and RAM, laptop still continue spinning the fan. I have changed my GPU, because the previous one get fried. Laptop is Acer aspire 5520g

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Your Acer Aspire 5520G should include an NVIDIA 7000m graphics card, and an HD-15 video port. Are you able to to connect an external video device through that port and view your video signal? In most cases, the first thing to consider when video is not showing properly are either problematic video drivers (which are difficult to fix on a laptop when you can't see what's happening), or a hardware problem (this is almost always the case in what you are describing).

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In the case of your fan, this is also something that should not be happening. The fan should not be operating when the system is not hot. If it is operating constantly, then you will need to check whether some system components might have actually been damaged when your last processor overheated.

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In most cases, your processor should not run higher than 75C (167F). If you know what you are doing, and are comfortable over clocking it for burst performance, you still shouldn't set your cutoff over 100C (212F). FYI, this is also the temperature at which water boils. In other words, at this temperature, you're boiling your processor and anything touching it. This can cause excessive expansion of solder connections, which can for hairline cracks when they later cool down, resulting in main board damage that is impossible to diagnose in a cost effective manner.

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PC is not Booting, no display but all fans are running?

I have an old Desktop with . 1. Dual Core 2.8 GHz (socket LGA 775) processor. 2. GA-G41M-Combo Gigabyte dual DDR2/DDR3 Motherboard. 3. 2GB Zion PC2 6400 (800Mhz) -Two Rams (Total 4GB). 4. Iball Ps282 PSU.. 5. 1GB ATI Radeon 4350 Graphics Card. 6. Windows 8 Pro & Windows 7 Pro (Dual OS) installed. . My problem is my desktop is not starting up. When I press the power button it starts with no display, all the fans are running OK, then the monitor is entering into power save mode (shows on the screen), & after few seconds when the processor is heated enough it stops the fans. Until the processor is cooled down it's not starting any more.. . My diagnostics--. 1. I removed my 500GB WD hard disk & removed the PSU. 2. Tested the PSU with a jumper wire by shorting the green cord & a black cord & the Power Supply fan is running without any breakage.. 3. Removed the Battery (CMOS) & 2 RAM & the graphics card & Cleaned my 2 RAM sticks fully with an eraser. 4. After 15 minutes of cleaning all dust with air pump blower I replaced the battery & powered on my PC with motherboard VGA video cord connected (not the HDMI of graphics of ATI) without any of the two rams- Then a continuous beeping I heard until I switch it of.. 5. I inserted each of the RAM in different slots simultaneously but the same result, no display, no beeps. I placed my two RAM , my processor & the PSU to another Foxcon computer & that computer was running properly with 4GB RAM. But when I brought them back to my Gigabyte board the same problem occurred. But all the parts were working with another Motherboard. I can't figure if the Motherboard is defective then why it was beeping continuously by removing rams like a working board. Please tell me reason of my problem. I will appreciate your help in this regard.

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What if I don't have a motherboard speaker?

I am rebuilding my old working PC, but it is not starting. I have checked my power supply (it is working). Can you help me to rebuild it?

  1. 1
    You can always buy a small internal speaker at computer stores or online.
    Here is one: Internal Mini On-board Speaker.
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  2. 2
    Disconnect every peripheral device from your motherboard, remove all of the RAM sticks but one (put it in slot 1), remove USB connectors running into your motherboard.
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  3. 3
    Disconnect all of the PSU power connectors.
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  4. 4
    Disconnect PCIe, PCI, etc., cards.
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  5. 5
    Connect the PSU power connector into the CPU power socket (orient it correctly!)
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  6. 6
    Connect the PSU power connector to the motherboard socket.
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  7. 7
    Connect the CPU 3- or 4-pin fan to the motherboard.
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  8. 8
    Connect a couple of fans from the case to the PSU.
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  9. 9
    Start the PC.
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  10. 10
    If the fans spin, then add more peripherals one by one.
    Start with the video card. This will help you identify the perpetrator.
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  11. 11
    If the CPU fan does not spin, then you need to check CPU and motherboard by using another computer parts or at a service center.
    When removing the CPU, check for the socket pins on the motherboard. They should be straight. Their bending might be the cause for not starting too.
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Lenovo B500 All in One not powering up?

My Lenovo B500 All in One was not powering up. I shorted the Green & Black wires of my SMPS, but the SMPS fan did not started. So, I deduced that my Power Supply has failed. I got the same repaired 2-3 times, but every time, it stops working after 2-3 days.. So, now I purchased a new supply. But my computer is not powering up. I've checked the new supply by shorting its green & black wires & also checking the voltage levels, and it seems perfectly fine.. So what could be the problem now?. Has my motherboard failed? How do I check it?

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Is there anyway I can do to revive my motherboard?

I think my motherboard is dead

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Hello. I'm not sure what the problem is?

I'm not sure if my motherboard is dead or not. My laptop has been dead for 3 weeks now. no signs of power when I plug in the charger

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Could a bad motherboard cause a total power failure on a HP g73 laptop?

I have an HP G72 laptop that recently went out right after it did it's nightly updates. After Windows started to reload it was taking forever so I finally decided to just shut it down, but it wouldn't turn off. Tried to hold the power button, still nothing. Finally I took out the battery but it was still plugged into the charger and still could hear the fan running and power lights were still working at that point, but as soon as I unplugged the power cord, "battery reinstalled and fully charged" that was it! Black death, no power, no lights, no noise, absolutely 100% dead! I have tried a hard reset, different battery, power cord, but still nothing? I'm pretty tech handy, so I took it completely apart, cleaned anything that looked dusty, checked the power port cable, fan, anything that I could possible do but still no nothing? Do you think it truly is the motherboard, if not what else could cause a total power failure? Thanks for any help completely lost and desperate. Also I did forget to add, that before it did it's nightly updates, the fan had come on and was running to me a little loud. I had been working on it for about 3 hours and didn't realize the surface wasn't providing proper air flow. When the fan kicked on I put it on the usual tray that allows proper air flow and the fan stopped about 10 minutes later prior to updating? Plus it doesn't show any signs in or out of it ever overheating.

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My computer starts, then after 5-7 sec it turns OFF? All external devices are OFF. I have basically only PSU, CPU, Motherboard?

My computer starts, then after 5-7 sec it turns OFF? All external devices are OFF. I have basically only PSU, CPU, Motherboard

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Only getting blank screen after cleaning and inserting new graphics card?

I recently got new graphics cards for birthday, decided to clean computer of dust before inserting it, when I finished and inserted new card, I only get blank screen, put old card pack in and still get blank screen. Not sure if its because I cleaned and damage something or if driver issues are occurring. Have tried using both HDMI and VGA cables, with no success, computer does not switch off, so don't think its CPU (although I did clean and replace thermal paste and had to bend back some CPU pins because I accidentally bent some, believe CPU is not issue as computer does not shut off, but not entirely sure), motherboard beeps when I remove graphics card power cords, so don't think its motherboard, but motherboard does not beep when I remove both 4gb RAM sticks, have tried moving RAM to all different slots with no change, have re-checked all cable connections. . Currently my computer has:. Asrock z68 pr3 gen3 motherboard. Intel i5 2500. 600watt silverstone power supply. 2X 4GB 1600mhz RAM. 128GB SSD drive with Windows 10. 1tb HDD backup drive (which vibrates when I hold it, which makes me believe connections to it are not improper). . I would really like to avoid taking to repair shop, I believe error is likely simple, as from googling on internet, if my motherboard was faulty I would likely not have power to all the fans, GPU, HDD and and it would not beep. Also if CPU was faulty (as I bent the pins and may not have properly bent them back) then it seems that my computer would not be able to remain on and would continue to cycle through a reboot process.. . Can you help?. I have tried: Explained in original post, also tried multiple monitor, different cables, resetting the BIOS (took out MB battery and also moved pin from 1-2 pin to 2-3 pin),. I think it was caused by: Me cleaning the computer, or maybe just from inserting a different graphics card without removing older drivers. Oh my old GPU is a Radeon HD6970, and my new one is a Geforce GTX960 G1 Gaming, when it wasn't working, I put the old one back in and have tried everything above with the old card that use to work)

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My motherboard shows no signs of receiving any power?

My motherboard is a MSI K8MM-V motherboard paired with AMD Sempron 2800+ 1.6 GHz processor and 1GB DDR memory. The system was working just fine for almost 7 years. However, since last year it has refused to accept (showing please enter a drive during bootup) almost 3 hard drives which I almost thought to be corrupt and replaced the same. However, it has now stopped showing any signs of power. On pressing the power switch, there's no power. On checking with a normal tester, no part of the motherboard showed any sign of power. I tried a fresh working PSU, shorting the power pins and all, but to no avail. Can you please help?

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I do not believe the mobo is the problem, I think PSU is the cause?

When I push the button to start the computer there is no response (as in dead), I then unplug unit from wall and give it 30 sec with no electricity (off the wall plug), when I reconnect to the house power, and push the power button to power up the unit, all I get is the light on the tower stays on for 1 second, and the exhaust fan on the back spins also that long, and it all goes dead, any attempt to push the button again to power up comes to no avail. My layman's knowledge tends to indicate that the problem is with the PSU and not with the mobo, my predicament is without detaching the PSU unit, how can I test it using a dual prong volt meter, in an attempt to see if it produces any power whatsoever. Also just prior to this, (previous night) I had a (couldn't load xpcom) through my Firefox browser, could this also be some kind of an indicator?

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Is my motherboard dead from it being overheated?

I left my laptop by my heater and the screen went black does that mean my motherboard is dead

It does not necessarily mean that your motherboard is dead. Was your laptop powered on while it was next to the heater? If it was not on, it's unlikely that the heater could have caused the problem unless it was directly on the heat source in which case it could have melted some component. If the laptop was on, then the fact that the heat from the CPU and motherboard could not vent out properly could have caused it to overheat. Unfortunately it is very difficult to diagnose and even replace parts of a laptop. Unlike desktop models, laptop motherboards are integral to the whole case.

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I own a Dell Latitude D630 manufactured 2006. Operating System Windows XP Professional. It just powered off?

For the last few days, after 3 hours on the laptop the cursor from my wired mouse disappeared from screen, screen in effect frozen and so the only way to power off the computer was using the power button. At the time I had about 18 - 22 minimized Windows. The bottom of laptop is hot - The laptop has not been cleaned since I've owned it (I bought refurbished) which is about 6 years now. Is it possible that the dust inside computer is causing laptop to overheat. The disappearing cursor is happening with increasing frequency i.e. after an hour. And it 20 minutes ago it just powered off by itself while I was watching a video online from 20/20 website. Is this an indication my motherboard is fried? 3 Days ago, when the cursor disappeared the internet signal light was off. The next day, the 2nd time my cursor disappeared the internet signal was still on, as the last few times.

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My HP notebook PC motherboard?

Good day sir, on my way going home, rain started falling, so rain beat me and my laptop was with me, while getting home it was wet so I turned it on directly it displayed very well, when I left it for thirty minutes the screen was displaying rubbish so I turned it off and on again, since then the screen is not bringing anything except black, how to fix sir, please help me.

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Motherboard won't post, I am trying to figure out how to get it to?

Hello, I recently bought a CPU that my motherboard accepts, I transferred this motherboard from another tower (wasn't working) but it did at one point work. I hooked everything up, my computer CPU fan, and other fans start up, however it's not posting, and I was reading this article to weed out to see if it's something from my end I'm messing up on

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My desktop computer does not boot. Shuts down?

Hello, I have an i3 550 with 16GB of RAM (4x4) gtx 950 CPU, 1tb hard drive, corsair 500 watt psu. . I had recently upgraded my RAM (before I had 8gb RAM (4x2)) and my CPU (not quite sure which one I had before- but it was a fairly standard one that did not require a PCI cable and my PCU (before I had a 300 watt). Since 'upgrading', I had found that my PC does not work. When I power it on- at times it gives of 4 beeps - which I researched is a memory problem. However after removing some memory sticks, inserting old ones it either gives a different beep noise (still 4 beeps but they sound different when I start up my PC)or sometimes no beeps at all but still shuts down. I concluded my RAM are fine ad so are the memory slots. . On a few occasions I can get into BIOS settings however the computer shuts down shortly after. So far, I have tried resetting BIOS (located the pin on the mobo and reseated) checked all cables are plugged in properly and in the right place. . Reset the CMOS, taken out the button cell battery then reinserted after a few minutes. Put back in my old CPU, however the problem is still there.. I have ran out of ideas - and money- as I have bought new PCU thinking it was a power failure as it kept turning off.. NB: When I press the power button, the fans turn on, the graphics card led is lit (white) and the MOBO is lit red. I don't know if this indicates that there is a problem with the mobo or if this light just shows up to say it is on. . I am at the end of my tether, please can you advise on what I should do next

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What can I do to determine what might be causing my computer not to power on?

My HP Pavillion sleekbook 15-b119dw was working fine yesterday but when I tried to power it on today, it would not do anything. I have tested the battery, the DC and AC adapter and all are working. The computer shows to be getting power to it when it is plugged in...the LED is white. It will not power up with the battery attached either. The computer is only a year old and up till now I have had no problems with it. I wasn't sure if the motherboard went out in it or if something wasn't getting enough power to it in order for the computer to come on

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Are you up at this hour...or am I chatting with a bot?

ASUS A8n5x motherboard ran fine for months and today, I can't even get to the BIOS screen.

- re seated RAM - re-positioned RAM - changed out to a known working video card - beep code unchanged 1 long....followed by 3 short (one time only) - fans and lights all appear normal - tested extra power leads to the video card with multimeter..all about 12.5v

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So I guess that leaves the power supply, RAM itself, CPU and motherboard, right?

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Categories : Hardware

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