Computer Issues…Help?

UPDATE: Last night I was able to pull the power supply from my older computer and then plug in the components on the new one.  This appears to have solved the problem.  I’ll pick up a new power supply this week and I hope that will be the end of it (and that it might solve my hard lock up issue as well.)  Thanks for all the input I received here and around the web on Facebook and Twitter!

It seems like computers and I are not getting along lately.  But I’d better start from the beginning…

WARNING: Non-computer geeks, feel free to turn back now.

A few months back, a friend of mine gave me some old PC components of his (case, motherboard, CPU, video card, hard drive, and power supply).  They were old for him, but blew any PC I had out of the water.  So I assembled them, and upon plugging it in, the PC booted right up.  Using a copy of Ubuntu on disc, we discovered that the hard drive was bad.

This part is kind of fuzzy for me: I got it shut down somehow.  I can’t remember if I got it to shut down through the OS, or if it locked up and I had to “hard” shut it down (holding the power button for 5 seconds).  I’m leaning towards the second, but that may be based on recent experience.

Regardless, it wouldnt’ start back up.  We tried swapping out the hard drive, but no matter how many times I pressed the power button, it wouldn’t boot back up.  I could see a green LED lit up on the motherboard though, so I could see that there was power getting there, and my brother-in-law used the power supply to boot up his computer and it seemed to work fine.  But I never got it back up and running.

Fast forward to this week.  I got some more old (new to me) components from my brother-in-law.  Operating under the assumption that the motherboard or CPU may have gone bad, I replaced those, and plugged the rest of the components in.  Voila!  It worked!  I had an awesome computer…for a week.

I’ve been having some issues with hard locks in the last week, and I thought that an update on the video driver had solved the problem, but then yesterday afternoon, it locked up on my wife.  I didn’t know this until I got home last night around 10pm.  I went upstairs and found it hard locked, and I thought “Well, I was going to shut it down anyway”, so I pushed the power button for 5 seconds, walked downstairs, and went to bed.

This morning, I got up, went upstairs to get some things done, and the computer won’t boot.  It’s the same thing as a few months ago.  I can see a green light on the motherboard, but the power button has no effect.  I can hear a high pitched noise (seemingly from the power supply) when I turn it on, but I’m not totally confident that wasn’t there before.  I tried turning off the power supply and unplugging the computer for about 90 minutes this morning, but after putting it back together, it’s still the same song and dance.

At this point, I’ll probably start by trying to boot the computer using the power supply from last PC (an Antec I purchased within the last two years), and if that has no effect, I may try to see if I can get the motherboard into my old case to make sure it’s not the case.  But other than that, I’m perplexed.  Surely I can’t have burned out two motherboards in the exact same way: just by being forced to shut the computer down.  At this point, I’m wondering if the old motherboard was even bad.

So, computer geeks, I ask for your assistance.  Any ideas?  Have you heard of this before?  Anything I should have tried that I haven’t?


One thought on “Computer Issues…Help?

  1. This reminds me of a time when Dell had capacitor issues with their GX270 models. It primarily affected their motherboards, but power supplies had issues as well. It was not uncommon for a motherboard to take out a power supply, or vice-versa. As you swap one, then the other, you could be alternately taking out power supply then motherboard, then another power supply.

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