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07-10-2010 10:09 PM #1
Dead Computer: Old Age, or Accidental Manslaughter?
Ok, I decided that since I haven't opened up my old desktop in years, today I would take a look inside, vacuum out the case and make sure all the connections were still tight.
After doing that, I went to turn it on, and nothing happened.
This is an HP Pavilion MX50, nine years old, that has worked as recently as the last time I turned it on, which would have been a couple months ago. And when I plug in the cord to the back, the power indicator light flashes on, than off immediately.
Now, I stupidly decided not to turn it on before I vacuumed, so I could see if it worked in case I messed something up, so I don't have a baseline.
Basically, what I want to know is the likelihood that this is simply the computer (or just part of it) dying from old age, or if it could have been something I did and if it is possible to fix it.
I understand that this isn't a lot of information to go on, so I'm expecting a detailed checklist; just some suggestions to try.
It isn't an important computer; I never use it anymore. But it would be nice to have as a backup system, especially since am not exactly in the market for a new PC.
07-10-2010 10:24 PM #2
This is a backup, right? You haven't been usin the same computer for 9 years, right?
You need to unplug and re-plug EVERY connector. Probably several times each. Also pull all your boards, video, modem, RAM especially, whatever. Use a pencil eraser across all the connections.
If that doesn't work, the power supply is the likeliest culprit. But it could be anything, mother board, chip, anything.
07-10-2010 10:35 PM #3
Did you use a regular vacuum to clean the inside of the case?
If so, this could have easily fried a number of your internal components, including the mobo. They make special portable vacuums for electronics.
This site has good cleaning tips.
07-10-2010 10:54 PM #4
07-10-2010 10:55 PM #5
07-10-2010 11:09 PM #6
07-10-2010 11:33 PM #7
Did you bump the power switch on the back... The one with the 0 / | on it? When you push the on button in the front, any fan noise at all? Is the outlet to which it is plugged in switched? Tried a different power outlet? Did you leave it plugged into the wall, then plugged it into the computer? ( thats a big no no )
07-12-2010 11:15 PM #8
07-13-2010 07:13 AM #9
Heat in PCs is all about air flow. With a well designed case and good cable management, heat should not be an issue for any general PC user. Also, a good fan and good thermal compound on the CPU/GPU doesn't hurt either.
One hint to decrease the amount of dust, with or without a side panel on, is to raise the PC off the ground/carpet if it isn't all ready. You'd be surprised how much this can help.
Oh, and when dust and muck build up, so does heat!
07-13-2010 05:51 PM #10
07-13-2010 05:58 PM #11
Did you plug it in? Did you push the power button in the front of the computer?
That's about all of the suggestions I've got.
07-13-2010 06:24 PM #12
07-16-2010 01:13 PM #13
For the heat questions... I have a 3 year old Pavillion. It's a very nice computer and has plenty of power.
However, the fan seems to max out pretty often. Every time I sync my iTouch, the fan sounds as if it can't run fast enough.
Lately, I've been closing all applications when I walk away from the computer when I used to leave tons of stuff open all the time (well, not tons, but an IE browser or two - typically with a few tabs each - and iTunes).
I dust/vaccum a lot, but have poor cable managment. The computer is off the ground by a few inches.
07-18-2010 10:38 PM #14
Last edited by theonestevewh; 07-18-2010 at 10:50 PM.