I went to turn my computer on and it would not go on. What can be the problem?

Question

Sometime last week, I went to turn on my computer and it wouldn't turn on, so I turned the main power source switch on (it's on the back of the modem or hard drive) and it came on. But the real problem is that when the computer starts the memory test and runs its following test, the computer stops. At the bottom of the screen, there is only update success. That's it! The computer does not run normally like it should, it doesn't load windows like normal. Also, I found that when I put the windows 98 disk in the C drive, it loads, and acts normal. Then when I shutdown and the computer stays off for a long time, it doesn't turn on again, and likewise with turning it off. When I shutdown, the monitor turns off and the modem stays on. The only way to turn off the modem is the main power switch.

Answer

This question was answered on March 6, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

The first step, of course, is to check the power cables Also, if you use one, make sure your surge protector is turned on and you are receiving power from your wall outlet.

If all of these connections are fine but you still hear and see nothing when you turn the computer on, the power supply may be damaged In this case, you will need to take your system to a repair shop to have it diagnosed and repaired

Sometimes the cooling fan will spin even though the power supply is broken.

It can also be BIOS (CMOS) problems

If you do see the power lights come on and you can hear the hard disk start to spin, check to see if something appears on the screen On PCs, there is a built-in program stored in the computer's BIOS This is called the POST, or Power-On Self Test The BIOS stores information about the hardware in your system in an area of memory that is not erased when you turn your computer off This non-volatile memory is referred to as the CMOS RAM.

When the battery dies, the CMOS settings are lost, and you have to get a new battery and restore the settings.

Try booting into Safe Mode If your computer gets past the POST stage, the problem is most likely something in the Windows boot process If you can boot into Safe mode, you can set it to not load certain drivers, disable startup items, run ScanDisk, and use a number of other diagnostic tools

Booting from a floppy disk If your computer gets past the POST stage, a number of other problems may show up At this point, it's very useful to have a bootable ("startup") diskette handy Run the boot disk and I think this might help1

Good Luck!!!

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Author

Posted by Ileen of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on March 6, 2003