View Full Version : Arrrrrrggghhh!!!!! My System is Down!

12-15-2007, 09:09 PM
After having Grey Wolves installed and playing for only two days, my gaming is hors de combat. It "starts" but there is no output to the screen, or at least none that I can see. If I start my LCD first, it does its self test then says, "no signal detected." As soon as I start my PC, that message goes away but the screen remains blank. As well, my DVD ROM drive will not power up. Everything was working fine this afternoon. The computer was running and I was in the middle of a GWX2 patrol when the power to my upstairs circuits was cut by a tripped circuit breaker. I think it was my wife's hair dryer that tripped it. My system is connected to a UPS, so I was able to save my game and exit, then shut down the PC. It started normally, I played some more then shut it down and went out for the evening. Just got in and now the system is acting up. I am suspecting there may be something wrong with the PC's power supply, since it seems to be the common denominator with these symptoms: DVD drive suddenly not working, no apparent output from video and no hard disk sounds. Fortunately, I do have a spare case and power supply handy, but that will mean swapping the entire case contents, which I will leave until tomorrow. In the meantime, if there are any PC hardware gurus here, any advice/comments welcome. This is not a problem I have ever encountered until now.

And to show what a successful evening this has been: The Toronto Maple Leafs lost to Montreal and SH3 will not work on my brother's PC. I went up to his house for supper and to install SH3 [I bought him a copy for Christmas last year] and it will not get beyond the mission loading screen. It simply locks up or reboots the computer. What an evening it has been! I suspect his video card. I recently upgraded his old card to an Nvidia 6200 GT. SH3 ran before this, but he has also had a total reinstall of Windows at the same time. His Civ4 game is also crashing on him, so I think there may be something to do with his card, which has the latest Nvidia driver version. Perhaps an older version is more reliable?

12-16-2007, 02:12 AM
Ouch! There are many here more qualified than I K61, but I would swop out the PSU first off. Was it a power surge do you think? I hope whatever happened hasn't gone beyond that and damaged your GPU and HDD's http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

We'll have a whip round for you if that's the case to help fund replacements http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

As for your Brother's PC, I'm not aware of any Nividia driver issues with SH, but it's always worth a try rolling back to an older version.

12-16-2007, 03:20 AM
Yep, sounds like the PSU to me.

Does it still has guarantee on it ?

If not you could open it and check that little fine wire fuse inside it. Usually its the first to pass out in case of a power surge like the one that triggered your circuit breaker to protect the PSU itself.

Its specs should be printed on the fuse, or maybe it has a color code, dont know how this is handled in Canada. You can buy a new one in almost every electronics shop. Just show it to them and tell them where it is from.

Replace it with a new one and try again to start your system.

Be CAREFUL ! Dont touch anything inside the PSU except that area were the fuse is !

Even when its not connected to a socket anymore, the big Capacitors inside can stay charged for several hours so better dont touch anywhere near them.

12-16-2007, 03:47 AM
Also bear in mind one of the main reason PSUs go bad is when they struggle to power the system properly, maybe go for something with higher wattage but more importantly look at the Ampage levels on the 24v Rail (should tell you on the side of the box) Go for a good brand if can afford it, i suggest Antec, Seasonic and Tagan, to name a few.
Much more solid than having a 'Mickey mouse' brand.
I wouldnt open the PSU to fiddle with its guts unless you are a qualified electrician/engineer, not to mention you will void the warrentee if it has a seal.

12-16-2007, 07:05 AM
Well i'm certainly no hardware expert, but psu is where i'd be looking first too.


12-16-2007, 10:17 AM
It's the weirdest thing I've ever seen. I have "partial power." The case lights come on, the CPU and case fans spin up, I have power to one of my optical drives, but no POST message, hard drive sounds or beeps. I suspect the PSU; it may be under warranty still, so I will call my guy tomorrow. It wasn't a cheapo model, either. It's an Antec True Power 2.0, 530 watts max output. It cost me about $150 Canadian when I bought the system a few years ago. I custom speced the components [this was before I got my IT training] and had my local shop put it together. As I said, I do have a spare case and PSU sitting next to my desk. That's my project for this afternoon. We've got about 10 inches of snow so far and it's still coming down hard. I'm going to hunker down in my bunker and work on my Frankenstein. Thanks for all the suggestions. Yes, I do know about the PSU's ability to retain voltage. That's one of the first things they teach you. Still, I have opened up PSU's after they have been shut down and disconnected for at least a day or two. It's really the best way to clean one. Blowing air through can only remove so much. I am careful not to touch the innards; I blow them off and then use cotton tipped swabs and alcohol to clean off the remaining gunk. Usually air blowing is all they need, but if the computer has been in a smoker's house, it will likely have gunk caked on.

12-16-2007, 10:27 AM
K61, the symptoms sound very similar to the problem I had earlier this year (with an expensive PSU!)...


12-16-2007, 10:31 AM
I may be way off here, but might you have damaged your RAM? I fried mine once, PC would boot in a very odd manner then fall over on me. I thought it was the PSU turned out to be the RAM.

12-16-2007, 10:41 AM
Powering on with all lights, drive and fans - but NO singnal(monitor) and No post beeps is usually a dead Mobo.

12-16-2007, 11:06 AM
Originally posted by JU88:
Powering on with all lights, drive and fans - but NO singnal(monitor) and No post beeps is usually a dead Mobo.

The thing is, I can't really tell if the hard drives are spinning up or not, with all of the fans in the case, trying to isolate that sound is difficult. I could try messing with this myself, but I think as the system may still be under warranty I may be better off just letting my shop guy take a look at it.

12-16-2007, 11:23 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/compsmash.gif

12-16-2007, 12:28 PM
Frankenstein lives! I had some lunch [always helps to cogitate on a full stomach] and had a go at it. I had a spare system case with an OCZ-520 12U PSU, which I connected temporarily to my system. After double checking that everything was connected, I crossed my fingers and pushed the button. It came fully to life, and the bonus is that the "dead" DVD drive came back to life. Everything seems to be normal, so I have shut it down. Assuming all goes well, I should have it back online sometime later this afternoon. Since I have everything to pieces, I am going to take this opportunity to have a major cleanup of my computer desk/workbench and reroute a bunch of cables and wires. Thanks to all who made suggestions. A problem shared is a problem halved.

12-16-2007, 12:36 PM
Good news K61! Little else matches that sense of hope and trepidation after a big PC problem as you go to push the 'Power' button!

12-16-2007, 03:13 PM
Kauleun 1961,
I find it telling that, in the midst of your computer agony, you still had to mention the ignomy of the Leafs going down in flames to Les Habitants Canadiens. Couldn't resist a Go Habs. Hockey does transcend even computer woes.


12-16-2007, 09:54 PM
It is now quarter to midnight and I have just finished putting it all back together and testing various bits and pieces. My back speakers had not been working at all, so I did some detective work and found by poking around in the advanced settings that they had been turned down all the way. Don't know how that happened, but I adjusted their properties and I now have full, proper surround sound effects coming from all six speakers.

I ended up swapping all the case contents back into the other case; the PSU cables were just a bit too short to reach everything. One SATA cable cracked and broke while installing my hard disks; those little connectors are very fragile and easily damaged. I was fortunate to have a spare on hand. They are small and save space, but the price paid is in increased fragility. I'd rather have the old IDE style connectors; those things were tough.

One other area that gave me trouble was in reconnecting the front panel connectors; those are the five fiddly little wires that power your reset switch, power LED, etc. Four out of five are connected properly, but the power LED will not work at all; I have tried it both possible ways and I am definitely on the proper pin header. I can live without it though as everything else is functional.

Now, off to bed for a well deserved night of sleep.

12-17-2007, 06:21 AM