Sigh. I need trouble-shooting advice again.

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wussboy
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Location: Southampton, UK

Sigh. I need trouble-shooting advice again.

Post by wussboy » Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:18 am

Hey everyone. I've been having trouble with my computer for the last few days. It started when I bought some canned air and dust cleaned it while it was running. I think still-liquid air might have shorted something out. But...

It still works. Sort of. It would boot up past the black WindowsXP screen, and then go completely black. It worked fine in safe mode. So I reinstalled Windows. Everything worked fine. Then I shut it off today and went to work (it normally stays on). When I came home just now, it booted to the black WindowsXP screen again and then black.

I did a hard CMOS reset (unplugged everything, battery out, jumper switched), and when I turned it back on, everything started up (HD spins up, DVD spins up, all fans and lights come on) but no video signal. Monitor didn't come out of stand-by. I've tried it now with the on-board video and an AGP card, and no video signal.

Any advice? I want to kick it, but I don't think that will help. The only thing I can think of is possibly a short from spraying it, but it seems to work just fine (when it does), and I never smelled any burning when it happened.
Everything is exactly what it seems.

NeilBlanchard
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Post by NeilBlanchard » Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:34 pm

Hello,

You could try disassembling it, and putting it back together after a thorough cleaning (and drying)?
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ame
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Post by ame » Fri Aug 03, 2007 1:43 am

problem seems to be display adapter related because only the high res windows screens wouldnt load properly...
You might have had some static electricity while cleaning or some dust make its new home in the slot.

Try removing olny your vga card first. After removing it clean the PCIe or AGP slot, then reinstall.

If this fails try installing a different card if you have one.

If not take it to your local shop they probably have one for testing and might agree to test a replacemet card for you (on the hopes you might buy a new one from them).

Or if its still under warrenty then you can allways RMA it.

wussboy
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Location: Southampton, UK

Post by wussboy » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:21 pm

I tried both on-board video and a graphics card and same issue. I think it must be the motherboard. I'll try and get it replaced.

Thanks, everyone.
Everything is exactly what it seems.

Plissken
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Post by Plissken » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:42 pm

I would try to test and swap components, like PSU, RAM, even CPU, just to make sure, before RMAing the motherboard. Hopefully you have access to swappable parts and a PSU tester. It would suck to get a new mobo and fry it again with a bad PSU (for example). Although it does sound like a bad mobo. Good luck.
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VanWaGuy
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Post by VanWaGuy » Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:23 pm

Wussboy, curious how much you sprayed, and in what area that caused it to go bad?

Moving dust around, and causing a bad connection as has already been mentioned is probably the most likely cause of the problem.

It is possible to damage a part internally if you caused a sudden temperature change. (Different materials in the part expand and contract at different rates, and that can cause internal damage that can get slowly worse each time the part heats up and cools down.)

Although I do not think that I have damaged anything this way, hitting a fan with compressed air can spin it fast, and turn the motor into a little generator, and the power generated this way could theoretically damage something, so I try to remember to hold a fan still before blowing out my heatsink for example. I have no clue if this can really generate enough voltage or current to damage anything, but better safe than sorry.

Aris
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Post by Aris » Sat Aug 04, 2007 12:35 am

It could possibly be just a coincidence, but anywho.

Id try it with different memory and PSU before you replace the motherboard. Ive seen a bad memory stick and also a poor PSU cause this exact problem before.

If you dont have spares, you could try the system with 1 stick of memory at a time. Usually its just 1 stick thats bad, and when the system is run with just the one bad one without a good one it will show.

No real good way to test a psu without a spare though.

Ive used can air on a system while its on before, you just have to be careful when you do it. Dont tip the can sideways, and dont spray directly on the PCB board. Just like with anything you do when dealing with circuitry, you just have to use common sense and be careful.

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