Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

I just got a computer which boots NOT :S

  1. Jun 3, 2005 #1
    Hi everyone, I need some help here.

    Basically, I have recently received a PC. I do not know what Operating System it runs, although I belive it is either a Win98 or a Win NT. It has an Intel Pentium III processor and has all the hardware with it.

    Although I cannot boot it up properly (maybe that is why it was given to me and I didn't pay for it). When I power it up, I get a message from the monitor (NOT from the OS) which says "Off mode in 5 sec" ; 5 seconds later it shuts down.

    My theory is that the computer received a virus and the operating system fails to boot. I know that the monitor is not broken because I hooked it up to another PC and it worked fine.

    Any help will greatly be appreciated

    --eNathan
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 3, 2005 #2

    dduardo

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus

    Can you get into the bios?
     
  4. Jun 3, 2005 #3

    robphy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

  5. Jun 3, 2005 #4

    chroot

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    You need to provide more information about what happens before the monitor turns off. (The monitor is going into power-save mode because there is no signal from the computer.) Does the BIOS power-on self-test screen come up? Does it begin booting an OS but then fail? Does anything at all appear on the screen?

    There could be a million different hardware problems that would cause the computer to fail this way -- your diagnosis of a virus has little to no evidence.

    - Warren
     
  6. Jun 4, 2005 #5
    I have no idea how to access the bios, unless I boot it on an MS-DOS OS.

    I tried boot disks, they do nothing.

    The live Lunix sounds good. I already have one but if I cant find it I will check out knoppix :)

    and chroot, when I turned on the computer all it said was "Off mode in 5 sec" -- nothing more nothing less.

    Well I hope this Lunix works, thanks for the help everyone :)
     
  7. Jun 4, 2005 #6

    dduardo

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus

    When you start the machine you should see something similar to this:

    http://www.hardwaves.com/display/2001124/bios_boot.jpg

    Note at the bottom of the screen it says press DEL to enter setup. This is how you get into the bios. The bios is software built into the motherboard on a flash memory chip.

    If you don't see this type of screen then don't even bother with linux or windows. You won't be able to boot from any media (CD, Floppy, Harddrive)
     
  8. Jun 4, 2005 #7

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Do you hear the hard drive spinning up after a while or the cd-rom light flash?

    If so: video card is probably dead/not connected fully

    If not: bios isnt working and you may want to try to clear it. You'd need the motherboard's manual to find the cmos clear jumper however.
     
  9. Jun 4, 2005 #8

    robphy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    For BIOS, if it's not DEL, it could also be F2.
    As Pengwuino implies, it might be a good idea to reseat the video card. Since you're in there, you might as well reseat the CPU and the RAM.
     
  10. Jun 5, 2005 #9
    dduardo: I see no screen like that when I boot the linux -- nothing happens :(

    Pengwuino: Yes, the CD rom light does come on. How do I know what motherboard I have?

    robphy: I was actually pressing F1 because thats the button to enter the BIOS on my computer -- I will try DEL and F2 and see if that works.

    How do I reset the video card and RAM? I have opened up the entire computer and see all of its components.

    By the way, I also 'unhooked' the broken computer's hard drive and hooked it up to my working computer (which I am using right now). From the looks of it, its a Windows NT. There seem to be NO personal files on the computer, as if the formatted their HD before I received it. Will the fact that I have access to the hard drive files help me also?
     
  11. Jun 5, 2005 #10

    dduardo

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus

    eNathan. This has nothing to do with Linux or Windows. Turn on a machine that you do know is working and you should see a screen similar to this:

    http://www.hardwaves.com/display/2001124/bios_boot.jpg

    The bios is the first piece of software that loads into memory and has nothing to do with the operating system your using.

    If your not seeing this type of screen I suggest you start pulling out cards from the machine. Everything execpt the video card of course. If need be get a known working video card and put it in the machine.

    Pengwuino suggestion to reset the bios is also a good idea.
     
  12. Jun 5, 2005 #11

    robphy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    You can probably read it off the motherboard... but you'll have to look around.
    You might get clues from the company and model number on the case.

    I wrote reseat... that is, remove from its slot, then reinsert. Do this for the CPU, as well as the video card and the ram.

    Yes, it suggests that hard drive failure might not be reason for the problem you have.

    Does your computer make any "beeping" sounds? [Check that the internal speaker is properly connected.] Often there are error codes [for example, video card failure] conveyed by specific beeps. http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/sys/beep/

    I'm going to bet that the video card is the problem. I'd remove the video card. Look for any damage. Put it back into its slot. If that fails, try dduardo's suggestion to replace it with a working video card.

    (It's possible that there's a short on the motherboard somewhere. Use an air can to clean it up. Look for any stray screws or wires that might lodged in bad places.)
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: I just got a computer which boots NOT :S
Loading...