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Recently one of my clients called and said his computer would not turn on. The monitor went blank and the mouse and keyboard was not working. We made an appointment and I visited his home to check it out.

I noticed that the monitor had no signal, mouse and keyboard were dead. This computer was going to have to come back to the shop. The computer was a clone and was about 4-5 years old. The PC fans and internal lights all came on but nothing else happened. I tried rebooting several times but nothing was happening except fans restarting.

Okay we have several possibilities here.

1. Listen for beeps
2. Check post codes (power on self test)
3. Check Power Supply
4. Check memory
5. Check other hardware connections
6. Bad Motherboard?

Listen for beeps. Here are some links to what those beep codes mean. When you push the power button on your PC usually you will here a single beep. This is the sound of the motherboard going through a series of tests. When the tests have passed you will here a beep. Then the computer starts to boot. If the test fails it may make a series of beeps. This is kind of a morse code to let you know where the computer is failing. Here is a link to the most common list of beep codes. If you don’t have any beeps, your motherboard has likely failed. I would try blowing compressed air to completely clean out the dust from the machine. I have a compressor for really dirty jobs. Sometimes it’s just so much dust the fans won’t spin and it overheats quickly. You might get lucky!

Another option is obtaining post codes.

I was fortunate that this computer had a post code screen built into the motherboard. You may have seen these before and not known what they were. It’s easy to tell if your machine has one. It will look something like this picture.
post codes
If you don’t have one and want to know what the post codes are for your motherboard I recommend this piece of equipment called pci diagnostic tool. It helps you diagnose what hardware could be wrong. You can even use it in the field since it connects to the PC’s internal connections. For $35 bucks you can’t go wrong, you’ll look like a superhero and be able to diagnosis your problems very quickly.
pci diagnostic

If you’re lucky enough to have the post codes, you’ll need to Google the name of the manufacturer of the mother board. Search for the post codes or manual of the mother board. There rest is easy, just look up the code and you’ll know exactly which hardware part needs replaced!

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