How can I fix an old desktop that won’t boot?

Jason b October 29, 2014
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Hello, I have been having an issue with my desktop Galaxy for while, but this time it just gives no love.

It is about 8-10 years old. When you hit the power on button, the light gives a quick blink and the fan starts up as if it is going to boot. But then the fan slows way down and acts like its in hibernation mode or something.

It will not boot up. I have removed the memory, cleaned it, put it back (eraser method), I have tried another memory card, I have cleaned it inside very well. I do not see any bulging or brown goo, I have removed the video card and cleaned it also, the power supply fan does not come on (not sure if it supposed to, but I can see it and it is not even attempting to move.

There is a green light inside that stays on. I have taken the drive out and replaced it with another one, I have placed this hard drive in another computer, when i did that it just went to start from safe mode or start normally. I chose normally, (on another tower mind you not the tower I am having an issue with) and it acted like it was booting went through most system checks then spun back to main screen where it displayed “how would you like to start?”

Then it repeated the same process in safe mode. I put the other hard drive in the tower but I am having an issue with it. It did not start up either, just the same thing as about here light initially blinks, fan starts to tun then slows and nothing happens. I appreciate any feedback on a possible solution.

I have Quickbooks and many other programs in that drive as well as ALL my passwords but I have no idea what they are :).

Thank you all for your time!

  1. Bruce E
    November 16, 2014 at 11:32 am

    I think the first suspect on your list here should be the power supply. It is likely that the 5V lines are working but the 12V lines aren't (hence fans not spinning and HDD not spinning up). Check all of your output voltages before going after the motherboard.

  2. Col. Panek
    November 15, 2014 at 1:31 am

    Take the hard drive out and put it in a new computer as a backup. Kiss the old one goodbye.

  3. Oron J
    October 31, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    By the sound of it, the CPU is overheating - a simple problem to solve if you know how!

    This would be consistent with PC being quite old. Usually, the thermal paste which conducts heat from the processor chip to the cooler ("heat sink") hardens over time and eventually detaches from the processor. Your computer then boots up, the processor overheats in a second or two and the internal heat protection shuts it down.

    To repair, you need to remove the heat sink (the "radiator" with the fan). Exactly how to do this depends on the socket-type of processor, so it's best to search for a video on the subject on youtube (e.g. "how to remove heatsing from cpu amd 939"). Usually it involves twisting a couple of pins to the "open" position and pulling off the heat sink, or else unscrewing a couple of screws.

    Once you have done that, you need to clean both the top of the chip and the heat sink very thoroughly. You can use isopropyl alcohol or better yet, something like Akasa TIM.

    You then put a VERY SMALL AMOUNT of new thermal paste (about half a grain of rice size) on the chip, spread it and refit the heat sink on. Again, it's not difficult to do, but if you've never done this before you should watch a video on the subject ("How to apply thermal compound"). Plug the machine in, switch it on, Bob's your uncle!

    The green light on the motherboard, by the way, is the network card.

  4. Will Knot
    October 30, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    well right now the only thing we know is that your hard drive works.

    1. Remove all the memory out of the motherboard. With no memory in the system, turn on the power. If you get a set of beeps we know that for the most part the Motherboard is all right. If you get no beeps then the Motherboard is dead and you need to replace the motherboard but with a system that old it would be cheaper to build a new system. with your hard drive.

    2. If you got a beep code in step one. Take a single stick of ram and install it in the first ram slot and try turning on the system. If it boots then that stick and that slot are good. If the system does not boot, turn off the power and move the ram to another slot. Continue till you either go threw all the slots or you find a slot it works in. Repeat the process for all the sticks of RAM.

    If the none of the ram work then the motherboard slots are bad and you need a new system board.

    Hope that helps.

  5. ha14
    October 30, 2014 at 2:43 am

    it can be motherboard problem you have to buy a new one

    Hot Wiring a Power Supply for Accessory Testing