Is that what you call flatline?

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Q_Goest
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Ok, this is a first. My daughter's computer seems to have s*** the bed, but thought I'd see if anyone had seen this before. The computer has a little light that comes on to tell you the power is on, and the light seems to work just fine. Same color blue it's always been. Lights up as soon as you turn it on. Push and hold down and it shuts down and the little blue light goes out. The blue light works just fine. But the little blue light seems to be the ONLY thing that works.

The screen is black and doesn't act like it's getting a signal.

I checked the monitor by connecting to another computer. It works fine. Good as new.

I tried hammering the F8 key to start in safe mode but that makes no difference. The screen remains as black.

Any thoughts on what I can check?
 

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  • #2
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If this is something that happened abruptly or were there previous symptoms? Is the VGA integrated or separate? If its separate, try taking it out and re-seating it.

You may also want to try resetting the CMOS. To do this there is usually a jumper on the motherboard located near the BIOS memory chip and coin cell battery. Switch or pull the jumper, turn the pc on, then turn if off, and replace the jumper.

A make and model of PC would help too.
 
  • #3
Q_Goest
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Hi Topher. This happened without previous symptoms. There was nothing wrong with it prior to this 'anomoly'.

The computer is an HP Pavilion Slimline, GC665AA. This link shows the model.
http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/ca/en/ho/WF06b/12132708-12133156-12133158-12133158-12133158-80230533-80451688.html

I've tried pulling the cable out of the monitor and reinserting. No change. flatline... :frown:

As for reseting CMOS, jumpers and BIOS chips, I don't understand. I'll see if I can remove the cover tomorrow and get some pics. That way, perhaps you can point to what you're referring to.

Thanks for the help.
 
  • #4
Q_Goest
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Hi Topher,
You may also want to try resetting the CMOS. To do this there is usually a jumper on the motherboard located near the BIOS memory chip and coin cell battery. Switch or pull the jumper, turn the pc on, then turn if off, and replace the jumper.
I took the side cover off. The opposite side cover is pop riveted onto the frame. I can take that off if need be, but figured it wasn't necessary.

You can see the battery and there are 'jumper' wires here. Can you point out which jumper might need to be relocated?

If you need more pics, a different view, whatever, let me know. I can also download as a .doc so arrows and things can be stuck on there.

Thanks!
 

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  • #5
berkeman
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Did you try checking at the HP website to see if there are any debug steps listed for that PC? I don't know if they have anything, but at least they might give you a few things to try.
 
  • #6
Q_Goest
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Thanks berkeman. I found the http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=bph04760&tmp_task=solveCategory&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=ca&lang=en&product=3440605#bph07460_damaged" and went through the step by step list. Step 3 talks about resetting the BIOS which seemed to have no affect at all.

Step 4 tells me to check loose internal components but that didn't help. Tried the BIOS reset a few more times, still nothing. At the end of step 4 they say:
If the monitor still displays a black screen, the video hardware may be faulty and needs to be replaced or serviced.
Looks like I have to change the "video hardware". I wonder if I can do that myself? I guess I'll look around the net a bit, but if you or anyone has some suggestions on that, please drop me a line.

Thanks.
 
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  • #7
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Thanks berkeman. I found the http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=bph04760&tmp_task=solveCategory&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=ca&lang=en&product=3440605#bph07460_damaged" and went through the step by step list. Step 3 talks about resetting the BIOS which seemed to have no affect at all.

Step 4 tells me to check loose internal components but that didn't help. Tried the BIOS reset a few more times, still nothing. At the end of step 4 they say:

Looks like I have to change the "video hardware". I wonder if I can do that myself? I guess I'll look around the net a bit, but if you or anyone has some suggestions on that, please drop me a line.

Thanks.
Typically, when I hear blank screen, especially on laptops, I think video card failure. It has happened to several of my laptops before and it is because the VGA chip just got too hot.

But with a desktop, it's odd for a video card to fail (i.e. video hardware). I found this site:
http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/hp-pavilion-slimline-c171510.html

It seems that HP made these computers with faulty motherboards. This is likely your problem. Did you recently buy it? Maybe you still have a warranty.....
 
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  • #8
Q_Goest
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Thanks Wellesley, The computer is 2 or 3 years old. Warranty is 1 year, so it's out. I'm hoping there's an easy fix for this, but it isn't looking good. :(
 
  • #9
Evo
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Thanks Wellesley, The computer is 2 or 3 years old. Warranty is 1 year, so it's out. I'm hoping there's an easy fix for this, but it isn't looking good. :(
This recently happened to my computer, it was a defective motherboard. They came out and replaced it and it works fine. I'd get the blue "on" light and even the little green light at the back, other than that, it was dead as a door nail.

One of the things the HP tech had me do was remove the memory cards and plug them back in, it didn't help that one and that's how they diagnosed the motherboard. So on a hunch, I removed and replaced the memory on an older computer and low and behold, the computer was fixed!!! Before that it would start to boot, then stop.
 
  • #10
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It looks to me like your GPU died. Obviously it will have to be replaced, but your PC has integrated graphics. In other words, the video card is on the motherboard, so the entire board will have to be replaced. You could try and replace the motherboard with a used one from ebay or something but they will probably be difficult to come across. You could also try and replace it with a similar sized motherboard mATX board as well.

However, in my opinion you would be a lot better off just buying a better computer.
 
  • #11
Evo
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Q_Guest, I have the HP slimline and it was the motherboard. Like Wellesley said they were put out with defective motherboards. They have a number you can call 1-800-Hp Invent. Very, very helpful. Bring up the fatc that they've had known problems with the motherboards.
 
  • #12
Q_Goest
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Thanks for the help Topher, Evo. I called up HP and decided to get them to fix it. Not that I wanted to, but the price of a new machine is just too scary. The fix was less than half the price of a new computer. Plus the problem of finding all the software that was on it. That alone was almost worth the charge to replace the motherboard. <argh>
 
  • #13
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Yea, if you press the little button and your computer lights up but no sounds come from the operational parts and no motherboard fans turn on and it just sits there glowing at you... USUALLY your motherboard.
 
  • #14
rhody
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Q_goest,

One thing you did not mention was, if you have the windows install disk, put it in the DVD/CD drive, boot the machine, press delete (your system may have some other key to get into bios, find it, there are sites on-line with the most comment bios key mappings), go to peripherals, then select the DVD as primary drive, press F10 to save, and reboot, if the PC loads enough Windows basic drivers, and asks you to repair windows, go ahead and do it.

If it is strictly hardware at some point this process will fail and you will know for sure.

If this is not the case and works, on reboot, press delete again, change the bios, peripheral setting (to the primary hard drive), save it using F10, and reboot the machine. (Before doing this if you have external usb drives, unplug them when rebooting after repair), I have had problems starting windows after doing this. After Windows boots successfully the first time, reconnect your usb backup drive and reboot again to see that it works.

If this works, it was a software versus hardware issue.

One more thing most systems ship today without sending a copy of the windows DVD with them. The system allows you to make a copy yourself, make sure you do, and be sure to write down the windows registration key. If you have this problem and don't have the backup Windows DVD, and the problem is strictly software you are stuck.

I hope this helps...

Rhody...
 
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Q_Goest
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Thanks Rhody. Unfortunately, I'm one of those people who didn't get a Windows CD with their computer and didn't make a copy. :(
 

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