Instructables

Help! My Computer Went Brain dead!

Well, I hope you guys are good with computers.

Update! It's dead; the motherboard and a memory thing were fried.

The situation: I have a Windows 2000 or NT(?) that is in my room. I use it for playing music on my stereo (it is plugged in by the auxiliary port on the stereo), and to do basic drawings in Inkscape.
I normally put it on standby when I'm not using it.
Well, I don't remember what happened exactly, but now it is totally non-responsive.
If I turn on the monitor, the LED on it will turn green (normal working color) then switch to yellow (standby or no-input from computer color, from what I understand).

If I unplug everything, the LED goes out on the actual computer, but when I plug it in, the LED turns on without me pushing it. Also, once it is on, the computer can't be turned off, even by the power switch. It is totally non-responsive.Here is a video of me checking and pushing buttons showing that it is dead.
I show the "standby" button on the keyboard that is lit up, a crescent shape, like a moon. I push it ad it doesn't do anything.

Please help, I have a bunch of music on there, and plan to make it my music center, for recording stuff from my guitar.
C'mon geeks, I know you're out there ;D


Doctor What7 years ago
Try a baseball bat. BTW, good music in the background for the first second. David Bowie/Queen rocks!!
Play "Another One Bites the Dust"!
John Smith (author)  Sunbanks7 years ago
Yeah, that would be the best choice...
I agree. You should read this.

:-)

John Smith (author)  Doctor What7 years ago
Yeah, with a baseball bat my computer may feel "Under Pressure". Ha, that pun sucked.
Ah, but you can't beat the pleasure you'd feel (there's a pun for you LOL).
John Smith (author)  Goodhart7 years ago
*groan*
Yeah, it kinda did.
iman6 years ago
LinuxH4x0r7 years ago
haha you use windows! You got what you deserve for using winblows. The box said vista or BETTER, so I installed LINUX !!!
John Smith (author)  LinuxH4x0r7 years ago
Aw, shut up. I'd switch, but I'm not a computer geek, and I don't know that stuff.
Actually neither am I. I have had much better luck with linux (fedora core 5) than with windows. It is actually much simpler for beginers. Check out this video.
fedora's very poor with ATi Radeon X200. :P even the latest!
I don't think that worked
try this
http://youtube.com/watch?v=xC5uEe5OzNQ
I sent this link to my my brother and he had the gall (amongst other things, or lack of things) to say he could do all these things for the past 4 years with windows. My brother (younger then I am ) is one of those "know it alls" that just get others that do know better really upset (including family). He is definitely a bird (no, not the British slang, bird LOL) .
John Smith (author)  LinuxH4x0r7 years ago
Ok, that...that's just awesome.
the comments in that video upset me... "LOL no, your the idiot for even using linux. Windows is so much better and safer. Linux is open source. You can do anything to it. Thats why I hear they will be charging for linux soon. XD" i love and despise the stupidity of this comment...
actually going from your post, linux would be a great OS for you. you cant break it unless you want to (like me... i succeeded and wish i hadnt). It is practically virus free. it runs with fewer resources than windows. It looks much nicer. it is more stable. and using something like ubuntu, its extremely simple to do stuff, and if you have any questions, their forums are great. however, linux wont fix your dead computer.
John Smith (author)  its a lion7 years ago
Well, I'm considering. Where do I start?
Find a distro. that will suit(work) for you.

If you say what you need (everything) and your computer specs. I should be able to find one for you. ;)
John Smith (author)  ll.137 years ago
Well, I was going to try it on the computer I was talking about above in this post (we are taking it to get fixed tomorrow). Would Ubuntu work on it? It is a Windows 98. I need to know just about everything. I suck at computers. Do you have AIM? That would speed things up a bit.
it all depends on the hardware in the computer. i would think that most of the hardware from that era would be supported. however, there is a chance that it is not. not all distros support all hardware.

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HardwareSupportMachinesDesktopsCompaq

check to see if your computer's model is listed under there. if it is not, check this page for individual components:

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HardwareSupport
John Smith (author)  its a lion7 years ago
Well, it is a Compaq 5700N., and it's not listed. I don't guess that it is supported, then, is it? Hmmmm...what would happen if I tried the newest release (7.10, I think) on it anyway? ~~Would it crash or blow up or something?~~
no, it either would fail to boot, or some things would have limited functionality. i installed fedora on my computer before i realized it didnt support my network card. it was kind of hard for me to get drivers for something whenever i didnt have internet... the good thing about ubuntu is you can run the live cd and find out if everything works without having to install anything.
KentsOkay7 years ago
Check graphics card, or RAM, my comp did the same thing (in a different situation), and turns out one of my ram sticks was bad. NEVER EVER USE STANDBY MODE ON ANY SYSTEM LOWER THAN XP!!!! THAT IS A GUARANTEED WAY TO CRASH!
John Smith (author)  KentsOkay7 years ago
I'll remember that. I think that we'll take it to be fixed someday this week.
ll.137 years ago
Try unplugging everything for a few hours, maybe a few light taps on the case, if you have another computer about try changing graphics cards (though that will probably not do anything)

If the worst comes to the worst you can just stick the hard drive into another computer (as a secondary HDD) and recover all your music. :)
John Smith (author)  ll.137 years ago
I'll try that, thanks.
Goodhart7 years ago
As far as not being able to turn off the computer: You can look here: Start / Control Panel / Display / |Power Options Properties / Advanced There should be a place that says: When I press the power button on my computer......and a drop down menu (there is on XP anyways) and the power on and off button is programmed from there.
John Smith (author)  Goodhart7 years ago
Well, I would, but the screen is black. Like nothing. It sounds like it is a motherboard problem, from what others have said.
Yeah, if the machine is not so old as to have a video card.....since the computer can boot up without a monitor (what were they thinking when they allowed that one ? LOL) .
If I turn on the monitor, the LED on it will turn green (normal working color) then switch to yellow (standby or no-input from computer color, from what I understand).

If that is the Power LED, then no, you probably have a bad power supply inside the monitor...ie new monitor needed.
John Smith (author)  Goodhart7 years ago
I don't know, I plugged my laptop into the monitor, and it worked. What exactly is a power LED?
oh, ok yeah you did say that didn't you, sorry. The LED that shows there is power to the monitor; green for "power ok" yellow of not. Also, as you stated, when there is no signal from the PC (in older machines that mean the video card, in new ones, that is a part of the MB)
John Smith (author)  Goodhart7 years ago
Ok, is there any way I can check? It is a Windows 98 (well, that's what the case says).
Well, you did say the monitor worked on another machine....that is normally the acid test of whether it is power or signal (unless the power supply is being ornery LOL). Win98, hmmm, I can't remember if my last machine had a video card or not. I don't think so (my last machine was a WIMP98 too). The one before that I am not even sure of.....I know my old 286 does, but hey, that IS old LOL. as was my 8088 ;-)
Sunbanks7 years ago
Maybe a wire is loose? I don't know if that would be the reason but....yeah
John Smith (author)  Sunbanks7 years ago
Possibly, somewhere, but I'm not really prepared to go digging through it right now.
Yeah, I hate digging through the wires back behind the computer.
John Smith (author)  Sunbanks7 years ago
Oh, behind it. No, I checked everything back there. It seems to be getting power, it just isn't responding.
You could take it to a computer repair place...But you would probably lose all of your saved stuff.
John Smith (author)  Sunbanks7 years ago
I thought about that, I don't know. I'll probably do that, or take it apart for parts, like the hard drive (magnets), power supply, flyback (in monitor), etc.
Or you could always go sit on the couch and make a gum wrapper chain.
John Smith (author)  Sunbanks7 years ago
I could.
Yes you could.
its a lion7 years ago
well the monitor probably works... the good news is you can probably get your music off by putting the hard drive into another computer. your computer may turn itself on when it is plugged in (mine does this) so that could explain that. ummm when it boots up, do the other lights on the keyboard flash? the num lock, caps lock, and scroll lock? does the "loading" led light up while it is booting? i want to know what some other people think.
John Smith (author)  its a lion7 years ago
The monitor DOES work; I connected it to my laptop, and it showed everything correctly.
Well, I actually copied my music there from another computer, so there isn't anything on the dead one that I don't already have somewhere else.

your computer may turn itself on when it is plugged in (mine does this) so that could explain that.
That sounds about right. I only put it on standby, so I wouldn't know for sure.

ummm when it boots up, do the other lights on the keyboard flash? the num lock, caps lock, and scroll lock? does the "loading" led light up while it is booting?
It doesn't boot up, the light just comes on on the actual computer, and the fans come on. The moniter acts like it isn't getting any input. Come to think of it, there is only one light that comes on, on the keyboard, and that is the standby button, and if you push it, there is no response.
sounds like its probably a motherboard problem to me.
John Smith (author)  its a lion7 years ago
I hate computers. I don't even know if they sell a motherboard for that old computer...
Does it's living will say you should pull the pug? Do you have another hard drive you could try in it? If that doesn't work, i'd say it's probably the motherboard.
i was thinking it is the motherboard or the cpu... oh, one more thing. did it normally beep when it booted? and if so, does it still beep?
John Smith (author)  its a lion7 years ago
The second I turn it on, the green light by the bower button comes on and the fans come on. It doesn't beep or give any indication of anything on the screen. I checked, it is a Windows 98. Well, that's what it says it was designed for. I still think the startup screen said Windows 2000, though.
John Smith (author)  Weissensteinburg7 years ago
Haha, that wasn't that bad, well, as far as puns go, anyways. No, I don't have another hard drive. I mean, it was fine a month ago. I don't know what happened to it. What would cause it to blow?