Help: No POST beeps

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Here's my story...

I have a homemade computer that is 3 or 4 years old. The other night, I
go to shut it down, but it doesn't do it cleanly. The OS (Windows XP)
appears to shut down gracefully, but I see that the LED lights on my
case fans are still illuminated. To my best recollection, the hard
drive powered down as well as every other moving component. Simply, the
colored LED lights for effect still remained lit. This has happened a
few rare times in the past. I attempted to hold down the Power button
hoping the lights would turn off but nothing happens. I ended up
turning off the power switch on the power supply which turned off the
lights. I tried to boot up again just to make sure things were okay and
I got a message saying Windows did not shut down properly and asked if
I wanted to boot in Safe Mode. I chose the normal mode and it booted
fine to the login screen. Everything seemed good, so I immediately shut
it down through Windows. So, I went to sleep.

I wake up in the morning and flip the power supply switch back on. The
LED lights on the fans turn on, the fans start up and to my best
observation the hard drives is spinning. The problem is that the system
never beeps and there is no POST. The hard drive LED indicator light on
the front of my case lights up a constant orange (which I'm not sure
what it means).  My monitor doesn't recognize any input and the power
light flashes like it does after you shut down your computer and leave
the monitor power on.

I have another computer so I started swapping parts to see what works
and what doesn't. The video card works fine. I put the hard drive from
the computer I have issues with into my good computer and it made some
POST error beeps. I put the hard drive from my good computer into the
bad one and still no POST beeps. Although, not thorough, I concluded
that it's not a hard drive issue.

What else can I do to pinpoint the issue? Should I even try to swap
power supplies since it's able to light up the fans as well as
everything else? It doesn't seem to be a power supply issue. How can I
tell if the CPU died out (AMD Athlon)? How do I tell if it's the
motherboard (Abit AT7 Max2)? I see no visual burn marks whatsoever.
Please help!


Re: No POST beeps

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Take out everything except the cpu and see if it will
beep like that, complaining about the lack of ram.

If it wont, its pretty dead. Check the motherboard for bad caps.
These are the usually blue or black plastic covered post like things
sticking up vertically from the motherboard. The tops should be
flat. If any of them are bulged or are leaking, thats a bad cap and
you need a new motherboard and given the age of the system, it
would generally be best to get a new motherboard and cpu.
Maybe or maybe not new ram too. If you are about to replace
the motherboard, try it loose on the desktop first, you can see
a lack of any beeps due to a short to case, obviously with the
speaker and power still connected, if it hasnt got an onboard piezo.

If it does beep with everything except the cpu removed, add the
ram back and see if the beep pattern changes, now whining
about the lack of a video card if it doesnt have built in video.

Worth trying a new power supply if the caps look fine and it
doesnt beep with just the cpu. Measure the existing one with
a multimeter if you have one and know how to use it. Not
worth buying one tho, better to try a new power supply.

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The fans will be powered by just one rail, it may well be
one of the other rails thats failed if it is the power supply.

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By trying a known good one. Its uncommon for cpus
to die tho so its not normally worth trying a new one
unless its been shutting down due to overheating.

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The only real way is to swap that, last obviously
because thats the most expensive component apart
from the cpu and its the most hassle to swap.

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