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PC reset button isn't working

(12 Posts)
Rolf Sun 06-Jul-08 16:12:58

My PC has been packed away for a few weeks whilst we're having building works done. I've just tried to set it up - plugged in monitor, mouse and keyboard and pressed the on/off/reset button. The little green light on the PC tower goes on but then goes off straightaway and the PC doesn't switch on. Is it the connction with the motherboard? <Rolf tries to sound as though she knows what she's talking about>. Can anyone suggest a way of fixing it?

thanks

Grrlscout Sun 06-Jul-08 17:17:27

Sounds like something might have come loose inside the case. How long does it try to start before giving up? Do you get the screen giving details about your system comes on? (I'm talking about the one that's usually black and white and old timey looking before your Windows or your operating system welcome window flashes on the screen.) Does it hang on for a bit and then die - or does it just click on and off again?

If it is just on and off again, with no attempted boot, I'd just pop the case open and make sure everything is plugged in internally. Just doublecheck that whatever's connected is there. It might be a connection. It could be your fan is knackered. If so, easy to fix - it's about £6 to get a new one from Maplin. Most systems have a kind of internal safety mechanism if the fan is wonky that stops the computer from overheating.

If it's trying to boot but fails somewhere in the process, it might be worthwhile having someone check your hard drive.

Hope this helps...

Rolf Sun 06-Jul-08 20:47:56

It's just on and off with no attempted boot - nothing on the screen at all. The only sign of life is the little green light on the PC tower which flicks on then goes off immediately.

I know it's really lame but I don't actually know how to open the case blush.

Grrlscout Mon 07-Jul-08 06:13:18

Aw, no Rolf, it isn't lame - why would you know how if you've never had to do it before?

It's either your fan, your connections, or your power supply. If it's your connections, here's how to check them:

I'm guessing you have a standard kind of upright rectangular case. Just take a screwdriver and go to the back of the case. There should be six to eight screws holding the case on. Unscrew them and keep an eye on where they go. The top of your computer may come off in a reversed "u" shape, or a panel may slide off the side, usually the left side as you're looking at the front of the computer. Just jimmy the box once the screws are off and see.

All you need to do at this point is to doublecheck that everything that's currently connected is still in place. Just make sure everything that's already pushed in is pushed in pretty firmly. If you have lots of dust in the case and the fan, blow or flap it out with a dry towel. Put your case back on, put the screws back in, and try to start it again.

If it doesn't start, at this point, given it's the first time you've popped the box, you might save yourself time and money by just taking the thing in to your local friendly tech geek. Most of those small local shops selling mobiles and chipped Wiis can help you out. They tend to be really helpful about this sort of thing, particularly if you mention that you don't want to go PC World to be fleeced. ;) If it's your fan, you could easily replace it yourself... but if it's your power supply, it's probably something you don't want to mess with right now.

Anyway, let me know how all of this works out - I'm curious now!

Grrlscout Mon 07-Jul-08 06:28:24

Forgot to mention - make sure the damned thing is unplugged before you do any of this. In fact, I'd switch the thing off completely before I popped the box. Unless you want to risk an Albert Einstein hair style, that is. ;)

There's an actual on/off switch on the back of the computer you can use to be supersafe, once you've disconnected it from the mains.

Rolf Sat 19-Jul-08 22:06:41

Thanks Grrlscout.

It has taken me this long to get the beastly thing open blush(although obviously I allowed myself time off for sleeping etc).

I fiddled around with it although the wires near the reset button were hard-wired into a green plastic thing, rather than anything I could really fiddle with, iyswim. I got rid of some of the huge dustballs too. But no luck - it's still doing exactly the same thing.

zebramama Mon 21-Jul-08 11:37:59

That sounds like a safety cut out to me.
Any chance that your PC could have gotten damp or really dusty?

I ask because it sound like as soon as you turn the machine on the power supply is turning itself back off. This normally happens in 2 circumstances:
1/ There is a system short caused by something bad (like damp, dust or damage).
2/ The switch itself is broken.

If you can't see anything obvious then asking a local PC shop to test it for you is the only option.

Rolf Mon 21-Jul-08 13:44:39

Thanks for the reply Zebramama. Yes. it was horribly dusty blush. I cleaned out a lot of it when I opened it up the other day. I hope I didn't make the problem worse.

I have a 3 year old who fiddles with everything breakable in the house so whilst the PC has been disconnected (couple of months) I reckon she's poked around with the reset button quite a few times.

So could well be either of the things you suggested. My DH has said he'll have a look at it (in that blokey way) but it'll take him ages to get around to it, and my brother works in IT and is great with computers but he's on holiday. Any idea how much a shop would charge to look at it?

thanks

zebramama Mon 21-Jul-08 21:38:05

If you ask them to diagnose and NOT fix then about £30-£50.
If you ask them to fix they shouldn't charge you more than £50 + Parts, BUT they will over charge you on the parts!
The problem is that the dust might mean the motherboard is shorting rather than the power supply, which is not good.
Personally, if you can wait I say let your IT savvy relative look at it.

zebramama Mon 21-Jul-08 21:40:53

Oh and if it has been disconnected for a few months then it could have gotten damp, or something bizarre like a dead spider! To shift dust you could try a combo of a compressed air spray (PC World) and a hoover / dust buster. Just don't let the nozzle of the hoover touch the PC to much as they tend to gather static when turned on and that leads to sparks, which (as they say) is the path to the Dark Side!

Grrlscout Wed 23-Jul-08 06:25:57

Soz for not checking back sooner, but work and RL went into overdrive. I meant the cables in the machine itself - the ones that look like long, flat ribbons - not the ones that are actually going to the reset button. Ribbon Cable

Seconding Zebramama's dust/critters suggestion as well, but for it to be cutting automatically, it would have to be really drastic dust or a really large spider! Have you swatted the dust away from the power supply and fan, as well as inside the case? Any luck now?

If it's been stored someplace where it could have picked up some damp, all bets are off as to how to fix it off of Mumsnet. There could be a very tiny short on the motherboard, or it could be your hard drive has failed. Or it could be something dead easy to fix, like your fan. I've had the last two be the cause on two different machines I recently fixed. Either way, find your friendly geek shop and ask them for help. I don't know where you're located, but if you're in the Leeds area, send me a message.

Rolf Wed 23-Jul-08 12:05:30

ohhhhhh...I had been thinking of that thing as the fan belt grin blush. Right, will give that a try.

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