I have an almost 6 yr old computer, today - it would not turn on, only a blinking amber light.
but now that i think back - it's been shutting down, and then i will notice the light blinking -- last evening, i could not get the computer to turn off -- had to pull the power cord to get the light to turn off.
so -- it's possible this has been happening for sometime.
I have my laptop next to it in my office -- and i'll hear it 'shut off' on it's own, but i've been able to refire it back up again -- until last night.
so -- i've googled it to death, and the general consensus is... dead PSU.
I have also noticed my 'boot up- really takes quite a bit of time now ... i've gone into msconfig and unchecked everything but 4
I've done my general maintenance cleaning up the 'junk'
i've blown the dust out of the tower...
Would a dying PSU make my boot up slow??
and granted, a new PSU is cheaper than a new computer... but is this just a sinking ship?
what about the battery on the motherboard? is that the Cmos battery? [i've seen that term used in the threads i'm reading]
Six years is getting old in computer terms. See how much it would be to repair this and then compare that to a new laptop with faster hardware and oodles more memory and hard drive.
I doubt a dying PSU will make your computer boot up slow. Can you boot off a CD? I have a feeling memory may be the culprit or your hard drive is corrupt and needs to be restored. If you can get to msconfig then your power sounds like it is doing its job.
The CMOS battery is just to keep certain things in non volatile memory refreshed such as the clock and BIOS settings. This will not affect anything but if you see your clock getting behind then it may be time to replace it.
Sounds like you have a corrupted system file. Boot off your recovery CD and do a repair or restore. Repair is safer since it won't (or shouldn't wipe any of your data files). Restore may be safe too but seems riskier.
As a suggestion, the battery you removed and replaced typically not only powers the system clock but also supplies power to what we used to call 'cmos setup' chip which stores setup info. Unlike the ROM which contains the POST info, the cmos chip (s) is volatile and dumps itself if power is removed. You may need to go into the setup mode and turn on a feature something like auto load which will let your pc find all the onboard devices. Once you read the options, you will be able to choose you correct setup. This is all from dealing with older style computers and may not be valid for yours. Check your manual or quickie startup sheet for the correct procedures.
Yep, in the olden days (early years of PC's) that was common to remove the battery to get CMOS to reset to default settings so you could start "fresh". Sounds like you will have to tell the BIOS what your hard drives are if it cannot find them. Hopefully you can just tell BIOS that you have two hard drives and use autodetect instead of filling in all the information (heads, sectors, etc) for each drive.
I spent some time on the phone with Dell Tech support,
this guy [Albert] did walk me thru the setup and we changed it to boot from the CD
now the kicker is... it's telling me I dont have a hard drive.
OH -- another thing Albert had me do was change 'something' back to default settings... we did this in the F2, then we went into maintenance and clicked something else that had it go back to default... sorry i can't be more specific on that, the PC is not on yet this morning and i did not write those steps down.
~~ if you need to know what i did here... i can retrace my steps and write that info down.
Any chances the motherboard is dead or dying? though the dvd drive is acknowledged and has power...
my next step is to remove the main hard drive and attach it to my laptop -- if i can find the data, at least i know it's all safe.
and I really did not want to spend the day in side... .it's gonna be sunny and upper 70's today. good day to wash the dog, then putter in the gardens.
as to the age of this... i've mentioned i purchased it in `04 ... i'm thinking sata drives were not common then. I was actually taking a course at the local college then, and i was talking to my teacher about upgrading my computer components -- and he commended "Wow, you have a data drive?" and i literally had no idea what he was referring... until i came home to reserach it.
But yea... i guess it is OLD now. worked like a champ, until yesterday.
Auto detect should recognize the hard drives. Appears to recognize the external drive so you may need to disconnect it and go into setup and set your 'C' drive as first bootup option. 'C' should be on drive 1-0 or 1-1 if you have 2 drives on the same controller. There is always the possibly of your initial problems being a failing HD. Too many possible issues to discuss remotely.
I went back into setup, here are my choices in the Boot Menu:
*Onboard or USB Floppy
*Onboard SATA hard drive
*Onboard or USB CD-ROM
*Hard Drive Diagnostics
*Boot to Utility Partition
I chose CD and went back into setup repair and here is the next window...
Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer.
Make sure any hard dish drives are powered on and properly connected to your computer, and that any disk-related hardware configuration is correct. This may involve running a manufacturer-supplied diagnostic or setup program.
setup can not continue. To quit setup, press F3
OH crap... i just pressed the eject button on the CD drive... and poof, that dang amber light is back on and i have no power within the computer again.
I'd still have it boot from the CD so you can get a system loaded. Then you can see if the system recognizes the internal drives and possibly pull data off them to an external drive. I assume you have no backup? If you don't then you definitely want to pull data off if you can because you may have to format it to get an OS on it. This is assuming the drive is not damaged.
Is this a laptop? If it is then it may be a combo power adaptor and battery that is causing all the problems - both easily fixable. Without a visible indicator or a voltmeter it will be hard to diagnose. Anyway start with the adaptor - remove the battery and turn the power on. If it doesn't power up then your adaptor probably has a broken wire and is usually the end that plugs into the computer but not always. Flex the cable where it bends near the computer and see if this helps in powering it up. If it does then you have a broken wire. You can strip the insulation and solder the wires back in place but eventually you'd want to replace this adaptor (eBay has them cheap compared to OEM parts). The battery is not that important until you are in a place without power.
Ghost is good. I used it on my XP system and recovered some files but never had to use it to recover the entire drive.
I am on Win7 with my new laptop and did a complete restore this past weekend with MS's own backup and restore program. Not as easy as I'd hoped it would be. Unfortunatedly I lost six weeks of email and any other files I may have touched and 3 weeks of pictures (I back them up with xcopy).
After 8 years you should consider a new one. You will probably want to go to Win 7 or 8 is just around the corner. More and faster ram, high definition video system and larger and faster hard drives. Newer cameras have high definition stills and video clips. All depends upon how much coin you want to expend. All in all, an old pc is a heartbeat away from failing anyway so they can become a money pit.
I had considered upgrading the MoBo and cpu... and probably have to upgrade RAM too -- i only have 2gig
I REALLY dont want to get rid of this computer -- i really like it... yes it's old but if i replace components to bring it up to current times - with the exception of the OS [that was something i had not considered]
i could almost consider it a new computer... [or trying to convince myself of that]
I'd be comfortable with $500... and really dont want to spend upwards of $800 ...
I called and talk to the kid at Best Buy [I know peeps dont like the Geek Squad, but i've had good luck with them]
and he also did not recommend sinking $$ into an old PC.