Last week my friends called me. He asked me to check his computer. “It doesn’t boot even”, – he said. Well, thanks god he lives in near house and I went. Took some beer and knock in door. He welcomed me and invited inside. His computer is rather old – Athlon XP 2000+ and GeForce 5200. Others components are rather newer. The PC was already screwed up, so I just looked inside. I must stop here and tell you what is main in troubleshooting:
- Ask what has happened with subject.
- Try to boot PC and check the symptoms of the victim (PC certainly).
- Repeat second procedure several times and check whether it repeats.
- Check contacts on motherboard, hard disk, CD-ROM.
- Detect defect, which causes problems. Remember – there can be several defects. Defect is detected? Goto 8.
- If you can’t detect defect unplug everything, which won’t influence on PC boot: sound cards, hard disks, CD-ROMs. Leave only one RAM installed.
- If PC still doesn’t boot you have problem with main component of the PC (I will write about this in future).
- Remove the defect.
These rules are basic. Try to match them and I bet you will find at least defect. Advice – if you can, try to substitute broken component for some time. You can be wrong. In private case you can vary, but in general follow rules.
I have done almost similar these rules in my case. I tried to power on PC, but nothing happened. System didn’t start up, even coolers didn’t work. I thought it was motherboard or PSU. If the motherboard was broken it would at least powered on and coolers work. This didn’t happen. My thoughts was – PSU definitely. So I told my thoughts to my friend. Of course he was upset, but what we could do? He gave me money and I bought new PSU.
Imagine our surprise when we, after PSU was installed, powered on system. Guess what happened? Nothing! Similar symptoms. But this time cooler on PSU turned a little. So it had started and then stopped. At this moment I have realized my mistake. Electric defence on PSU didn’t let desktop working. Using my knowledge and sixth point I found out that it was hard disk. It was rather old as all system. Western Digital with 20 GB capacity (sorry, I don’t remember exact model). I apologized my friend and that time he gave me money for hard disk. Hard disk was bought and now my friend is happy with newly installed hard disk (Western Digital 80BB, not too far from old one).
Conclusions? I made several mistakes. I didn’t check my thoughts. I could change PSU and try one more time. But I was hurry and bought new component. The main conclusion, which I understood from this case – never speed! You never know what is real problem.