View Full Version : computer question...technical

12-26-2004, 11:06 PM
i just sent a computer to a friend in colorado. It has a intel celeron, equal to a pentium 4 1.2 processor, 30 gig hard drive. 128 megs of ram. i just added a modum and a cd/rw to it so her kids can burn with it. i had ups box and ship it for me. this person has no money to buy 1 for her kids so i thought i would send it as an xmas present for all of them. right now she is using a pentiun 1 i believe 333 mega byte with a 4 gig hard drive. so you can see that this is a step up for them althought it is 2 years old. here's the problem. before i had it boxed and shipped i had it trested several times. now it gets there and won't even turn on. like it is getting no power at all. i know you have to turn on the power button on the back and then push a button on the front to get power. but yet it has none. could the pwer supply have gone bad during transit. i have no clue. she said that it was WEL packed and all. I am just at a loss to figure this one out. I try to help someone and this happens. i feel bad for them since they werre so looking forward to this puter. i told her to let me know what is wrong and how much it will cost to fix it. any ideas from you puter people out there.............mike

12-26-2004, 11:31 PM
Worse case scenario is a power supply, but I think they are just not holding the button in long enough. Tell them to turn on the switch in the back, then press and hold the button in the front for about 3-5 seconds. Some ATX systems had a spacebar power on also, but I won't get into that...

If that doesn't work, a new power supply is about 25 bucks.

12-27-2004, 06:46 AM
UPS is not known for gently handling packages. There's a very good chance that the computer you sent although well packaged may have been dropped from one conveyor belt to another during the shipping process or seriously jostled in transit.

It's possible that one of the internal cards (like the video card for example) may have become loose and needs to be reseated. It's also possible that a small but important wire connection like the one that runs from the case to a couple of pins on the motherboard and controls the computer's on and off function has somehow come loose.

You could start by having your friend open the case. Some motherboards also have a tiny light bulb mounted on them that will be lit up if the system has the power switch turned on at the back of the machine (even if it's not turned on at the front of the machine). If she pops the case and sees that tiny light is lit - her power supply may be just fine and the problem may rest elsewhere.

Then she needs to press each card firmly into its slot until she's sure that they are all well seated. Then (if you can) braille her through how to follow the main wire harness from the power supply to the mother board and have her check to see that the connection is still seated. Once the case is open (usually just a few screws - no biggie) help her identify the location of the cooling fan that sits on top of the CPU - assuming that the power switch on the back of the computer is in the on position -have her hit the power switch on the front of the system while keeping an eye on the CPU fan. If there's power to the system but a break in the chain of connections that's preventing it from starting up it's possible that she will see the cooling fan above the CPU spin up for a split second before stopping (indicates that the system is trying to start but immediately shutting down due to a loose connection somewhere.)

It isn't common for power supplys to go bad in transit but it is possible. Testing the power supply isn't a really big deal for someone who knows what they're doing. If she has to have it tested it shouldn't cost much. A trip to the local computer shop may be in order just to have someone with a little experience in these matters do the trouble shooting.

Also keep in mind that UPS usually insures all packages for a minimum of $100 (higher coverage costs extra). You may be in a position to file a damage claim for that amount considering that the machine was in working condition before it was sent. Although a hundred bucks is not a lot of money these days it might help offset the cost of having the system looked at by a professional tech.

Good luck -


12-27-2004, 11:25 PM
Before you rip the thing apart make sure she has the power cable and that it's plugged in.

12-28-2004, 12:35 AM
First off, make sure that the outlet is hot, plug in a lamp or voltmeter it. Next, make sure that the power plug if well seated at the computer end. I've had plug seats which needed extra umph, and maybe this one is like that. As far as the supply going bad during shipment, I seriously doubt that as the case. You'd most likely see physical damage to the computer box itself before suspecting the supply to be hammered into deadsville. Lastly, when a supply dies it's definitive, and it happens on one cycle, meaning that it could have died naturally by coincidence. I luckily have several old cases with good supplies which I quickly install(dangling off to the side instead of replacing) to test the supply, and yes, I've had sudden death syndrome a couple of times.

This sounds too simple, but you should also make sure that the primary switch on the supply is in the on position. Some people forget that the supply has it's own off-on switch. BTW, if it's plugged into a power strip with a surge protector, make sure that the reset switch isn't popped out on that strip...sid

12-28-2004, 09:11 PM
I just want to say thank you to everybody who replied. The problem has been fixed. She had it looked at and apparently a wire to the power source had come loose during shipment. So all is well and she has it up and running and her kids are loving it...thanks again....................mike

12-29-2004, 12:04 AM
All's well that ends well.. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif