I think i broke my friend's computer

well around a month back i went back to living in my friend’s place after having left there for 5 months and started up the DELL desktop he letted me borrow that wasn’t used nor cleaned at all in the period of my absence. the desktop was around 3 years old but still relatively new as he bought it retail as a spare unit/backup. well i didn’t know what happened but when i came back after all those months i fired up the dekstop again and started to install several programs like Office and an Encyclopedia at once while launching Maya to finish up my class project, then all of the sudden the screen goes black and everything went silent. the monitor was not displaying a no signal error, and the pc was still powered on, but was quiet as if it had gone to sleep mode; but it really wasn’t.

at first i panicked and tried switching the desktop off then back again, but when it hums up nothing happens, there was no dreadful series of beeping signals from the mobo to indicate a problem, there was no noises coming from any components in the chasis at all, even the dvd drive did not respond to the eject button, there was nothing but the errie glow of the “busy” signal light remaining constantly on, and as i hammered away at the keyboard and whatever buttons the desktop had in the front i realized i must have broken either the HD, Ram, Video card or the MOBO or maybe the cables came loose.

after opening up the chasis everything inside seems to look fine, i didn’t notice any burnt marks or melted wires or sockets. i had the unit brought to HP, but they can’t say how much its going to cost, but they suggested that i get a new desktop alltogether since it could be the Mobo that’s fried and if so all the components in there are surely damaged to some extent and it’ll be “impractical” to fix the machine.

well my friend seems terribly expressive and insistent that i fix the machine somehow, in any case he’s quite enraged that i didn’t allowed the pc to warm up first because i was obviously the one not having used it for so long…so i really should have done that yes? i mean warm up the pc and let it sit idle on its own for a few hours before actually start stressing it out?

and i’ve also decided to fix it myself by replacing the broken components since i rekon it’d be so much cheaper than to let HP monopolizes on me after paying them a hefty just for the check-up fee, but i haven’t a clue as to which part i should replace, and i understand that without the beeping signals from the MOBO it is very difficult to tell which part is malfunctioning, but is there any other way i can check?

current PC condition:
Power supply - ok! can power on and off, all cables plugged to where they should go.
MOBO - no idea, the dvd drive is not responding to eject button, no beeping signals, but on one occasion the dvd drive tray came out on its own without me pressing anything prior.
HD - i can’t hear it spin, its quiet inside.
Display card - well there’s a nvidia geforce8 in there and the monitor is not giving out a"no signal error"…so…?
Ram - no idea if its working or not

turning on that pc is like turning on a toaster; the busy signal light comes on and nothing happens. no noises, no sound nor anything.

well that’s about it, i’d probably have to buy him a new desktop if i still want to live there. thanks for helping me out! cheers~

What model number is the computer?

Disgnostics phase 1:
Disconnect the power, and open the computer case.

Disconnect the cables (both power and data cables) from ALL the drives
And with them disconnected try powering up the computer and report what happens

Your computer should do something called “POST” (Power On Self Test)

If it doesn’t with the drives disconnected then the problem isn’t the drives, this leaves the P/S
(possible, even likely), MoBo (possible but not likely) the CPU (possible, but not likely)
or one of the memory modules (povssible, and somewhat likely)

there is no need for a computer to “warm up”,

AD

a computer does not need to “warm up”. the term refers to vacuum tubes so unless the PC is from the WWII era…[/rant]

I would go with AllanDeGroot’s instructions.

I would take the short way to the real solution…[B]buy your friend a new computer,[/B] and go fishing with all the time you saved :bigsmile:

[QUOTE=tomoyoafter;2586630]well around a month back i went back to living in my friend’s place after having left there for 5 months and started up the DELL desktop he letted me borrow that wasn’t used nor cleaned at all in the period of my absence.[/QUOTE]

Here’s a problem he hasn’t used it for 3 years and prior to that you don’t have any records of how he took care of the computer or maintained it in working order. He was expecting it to fail and hoping someone else would break it so he would get a new computer.

[QUOTE=tomoyoafter;2586630]the desktop was around 3 years old but still relatively new as he bought it retail as a spare unit/backup. well i didn’t know what happened but when i came back after all those months i fired up the dekstop again and started to install several programs like Office and an Encyclopedia at once while launching Maya to finish up my class project, then all of the sudden the screen goes black and everything went silent. the monitor was not displaying a no signal error, and the pc was still powered on, but was quiet as if it had gone to sleep mode; but it really wasn’t.[/QUOTE]

Running that many programs don’t kill a computer unless it was so bloated or corrupted program or problematic hardware that wasn’t maintained that would cause such a failure.

[QUOTE=tomoyoafter;2586630]at first i panicked and tried switching the desktop off then back again, but when it hums up nothing happens, there was no dreadful series of beeping signals from the mobo to indicate a problem, there was no noises coming from any components in the chasis at all, even the dvd drive did not respond to the eject button, there was nothing but the errie glow of the “busy” signal light remaining constantly on, and as i hammered away at the keyboard and whatever buttons the desktop had in the front i realized i must have broken either the HD, Ram, Video card or the MOBO or maybe the cables came loose.[/QUOTE]

Yes we do panic when someone else computer fails but if your not abusing it or dropping it and it you just used it after a long time who knows what your friend did to it between those times and whom else the friend let use the computer.

[QUOTE=tomoyoafter;2586630]after opening up the chasis everything inside seems to look fine, i didn’t notice any burnt marks or melted wires or sockets. i had the unit brought to HP, but they can’t say how much its going to cost, but they suggested that i get a new desktop alltogether since it could be the Mobo that’s fried and if so all the components in there are surely damaged to some extent and it’ll be “impractical” to fix the machine.[/QUOTE]

Here a big problem why are you taking a Dell to HP to fix??? You should take it to a Dell service repair center HP has nothing to do with Dell.

[QUOTE=tomoyoafter;2586630]well my friend seems terribly expressive and insistent that i fix the machine somehow, in any case he’s quite enraged that i didn’t allowed the pc to warm up first because i was obviously the one not having used it for so long…so i really should have done that yes? i mean warm up the pc and let it sit idle on its own for a few hours before actually start stressing it out?[/QUOTE]

This sounds more like again your friend was expecting it to fail for someone else and then friend would say your broke you fix it. That is no real friend whom doesn’t even take care of his own stuff and letting others use a poorly maintained computer just so they can get a new one.

[QUOTE=tomoyoafter;2586630]and i’ve also decided to fix it myself by replacing the broken components since i rekon it’d be so much cheaper than to let HP monopolizes on me after paying them a hefty just for the check-up fee, but i haven’t a clue as to which part i should replace, and i understand that without the beeping signals from the MOBO it is very difficult to tell which part is malfunctioning, but is there any other way i can check?

current PC condition:
Power supply - ok! can power on and off, all cables plugged to where they should go.
MOBO - no idea, the dvd drive is not responding to eject button, no beeping signals, but on one occasion the dvd drive tray came out on its own without me pressing anything prior.
HD - i can’t hear it spin, its quiet inside.
Display card - well there’s a nvidia geforce8 in there and the monitor is not giving out a"no signal error"…so…?
Ram - no idea if its working or not

turning on that pc is like turning on a toaster; the busy signal light comes on and nothing happens. no noises, no sound nor anything.

well that’s about it, i’d probably have to buy him a new desktop if i still want to live there. thanks for helping me out! cheers~[/QUOTE]

Here a big news why shouldn’t you fix something the friend let go broke and didn’t maintain in the first place?? You should ask the friend that question and whom else has used it since you used it last?? Your friend should take most if not all responsibility for properly maintaining his computer and if the friend doesn’t do that then failure is bound to coming knocking on the door. Which it seems to have done when you used it. So tell your friend proper computer maintenance of software and hardware would be in order to keep it working order. You shouldn’t have to fix what the friend didn’t want to take care of since the friend is the owner of the computer. Tell him if he wants a fix he will have to pay you to fix it or pay you fore replacing his computer and if the friend doesn’t like that then so be it. That tells you the friend lack of responsibility for taking care of anything the friend owns. If you truly abused the friends’ computer then that is a different story altogether but if you just after long time came to use it and it broke the culprit is the friend and the friend has no one to blame except himself for why the computer did what it did and died when you tried to use it.

[B]I have no sympathy for those whom don’t take care of their computer and expect others to fix their problems for them when it fails on their watch. [/B]Another note electronics are bound to fail regardless but it is how you take care of it that will also determine it life span usefulness these problem we can’t predict but proper computer care is one way to decrease the unexpected software or hardware failures or catch the problem before it happens. Which is what your friend is lacking in.

Also @deanimator fishing won’t solve the problem the problem is the friend is being unreasonable and the lack of proper care of the computer is what lead to this problem in the first place.

After turning on the computer does the keyboard light up ( numlock or caps light ) if so my first guess would be the video card needs to be reset or replaced.

hi there and thanks for the replies!

@AllanDeGroot:
thanks alot for letting me know about this method, the pc is an 3 year old optiplex desktop though i’m not sure about the model number and he told me that he added a few parts to it when he first bought it (1 extra dvd drive, secondary 200gb HD, and for some reason an “santa cruiz” sound card “for your mp3s.” he said), i’ve disconnected every disc drive and HD from the mobo, and fired up the pc again but it is sadly, still the same; silent and unresponsive, but there’s a loud screeching sound from somewhere in the pc, i’m not sure where it came from but there’s nothing attached to the MOBO so could it have been from the mobo’s buzzer? what does it mean?

@MrPete1985:
he says because i haven’t owned very many desktops so i wouldn’t know better. he’s saying that i was away for too long and didn’t let the pc warm up BEFORE i use it, well i have had a desktop around a year and half ago but it wasn’t exactly mine (my pop’s) that he gave me when we moved wayyy back and it was also a dell machine, it too had problems of its own as the video card would go dead once in a while so i got rid of the whole thing (sold the junk parts) and bought a new HP mini laptop, which also broke abit last year but i went to HP and they repaired it. in these few years i’ve had a marrid of computer problems so i guess branded pre-builts really aren’t very durable to begin with hence whatever it was that i did must have broken the already aged dell.

@deanimator
yes quite, he saids he’s ok with a entry level desktop so i’ve already picked a pre-built cheap to spare myself of this misery, then some wilderness relaxation should be in order. :slight_smile:

@coolcolors:
i understand what you’re saying but it broke while i was using it so i know i don’t have a say in this anymore. and i don’t want any stupid computers to drive a wedge between us. if the new computer breaks again then he’ll know that computers are not sturdy at all and they’re eventually supposed to break at some point. with an ASUS e-machine this will probably happen very soon. and sorry my bad i meant Dell repair center, not HPs. i got it mixed up because i visited HP’s very recently to repair my HP laptop (the touch-pad broke) which is in the same floor as Dell’s repair center.

@bean55:
yes the numlock or caps light does come on when the pc is powered. my classmate has an old ATI display card that he’s letting me borrow next week so i’m going to test it out to see what happens. thanks for letting me know!

so i’m going to borrow a video card and see if anything changes, if not then its off to a new cheap desktop to get this over with. atlesat i didn’t break his gaming rig (expensive dell XPS) thanks for all the help guys! cheers

@bean55:
yes the numlock or caps light does come on when the pc is powered. my classmate has an old ATI display card that he’s letting me borrow next week so i’m going to test it out to see what happens. thanks for letting me know!

Sounds more like it is the video card is loose and just needs to be taken out and put back in ( reseat it )

and fired up the pc again but it is sadly, still the same; silent and unresponsive, but there’s a loud screeching sound from somewhere in the pc, i’m not sure where it came from but there’s nothing attached to the MOBO so could it have been from the mobo’s buzzer? what does it mean?

Loud screeching noise could be cpu fan ? if you have a can of air you can spry the fan and cpu out and get the dust out of it.

Sounds to me like there is an unseated accessory card OR a bad RAM memory module

If there is a bad Memory module Dells will typically screech…

Physically disconnect the power cable.

Remove ALL of the memory SIMMs there may be only two or there may be four.
(possible but unlikely there may only be one)

Reinsert ONE in whichever socket is labeled #1 OR whichever socket is a different color from the others.

Reconnect the power cable and try to start the computer.

If it still “screeches” unplug it again remove that one module, set it aside and try the other one.

Let us know what is going on…

AD

I’d like to add something.

Make absolutely sure you have no static electricy on your body. Grab some bare metal on the computer case.

[QUOTE=AllanDeGroot;2587332]Sounds to me like there is an unseated accessory card OR a bad RAM memory module

If there is a bad Memory module Dells will typically screech…

Physically disconnect the power cable.

Remove ALL of the memory SIMMs there may be only two or there may be four.
(possible but unlikely there may only be one)[/quote]

Check the memory modules carefully. Look for black spots and electric shortages on the connector strip. If found, place these modules aside for now.

Reinsert ONE in whichever socket is labeled #1 OR whichever socket is a different color from the others.

Reconnect the power cable and try to start the computer.

If it still “screeches” unplug it again remove that one module, set it aside and try the other one.

Let us know what is going on…

AD

[QUOTE=tomoyoafter;2587304]
@coolcolors:
i understand what you’re saying but it broke while i was using it so i know i don’t have a say in this anymore. and i don’t want any stupid computers to drive a wedge between us. if the new computer breaks again then he’ll know that computers are not sturdy at all and they’re eventually supposed to break at some point. with an ASUS e-machine this will probably happen very soon. and sorry my bad i meant Dell repair center, not HPs. i got it mixed up because i visited HP’s very recently to repair my HP laptop (the touch-pad broke) which is in the same floor as Dell’s repair center.[/QUOTE]

That would be true for anything if that was the case i.e. like you drove his car and it breaks down do you buy him a new car as well??? Especially if the friend doesn’t take care of his car and didn’t tell you before hand in letting you use it? Your friends’ way of treating his equipment leads alot to be desired as a good friend but that and what you do is up to you. Since it is a dell do you know the service tag for that unit so we can here at least know what computer your referring to as all our help won’t do much if we don’t know what kinda computer it is??? Put this way the friend should pay half of the cost to replace the computer as the friend is party to the demise of the computer in the first place so ask the friend since the friend is the owner to at least contribute half of the cost to replace the computer. That way both parties know that they are both responsible for the use of the computer. And no one person is completely to blame for what happen. As for the GPU being the cause without a [B]Dell Service tag no.[/B] that will be hard to know what kinda system ti was???