how to find PC issues

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NRU Heed
NRU Member
15 Mar 2012
Falkirk, United Kingdom
Having put two motherboards in over the last week I can feel the frustration with PCs. First (refurbed) motherboard wouldn't keep BIOS settings even after a new battery and resets. The new motherboard wouldn't power on initially but waggling a few things and checking leads got things going and it has been fine since. Finding PC hardware faults can be a real pain so if it is any help this is what I normally do:

1. Remove everything
2. Reinstall CPU and heatsink.
3. Install 1 RAM stick
4. Use onboard (graphics if possible)
5. Use only one hard drive if you have more than 1
6. Power up and see what happens.
7. If that fails to boot, try a different RAM stick
8. If you still cannot get it to boot then you should at least know you may have an issue with Motherboard, CPU, Power Supply.
9. Try a different power supply (may be possible to buy a really cheap one if you haven't one handy - even if only for testing use as taking one out of another PC may be quite a pain)
10. If you still have no luck, you are probably looking at a motherboard or CPU issue.
11. At this point you probably need to try a different CPU in the motherboard.
12. You may now need to get things checked by someone who can do diagnosis on CPU or motherboard. Remember to not send any personal data, photos, "art films" on any SSD/HDDs!

From recent experience really check all your leads, unplug them and plug them back in can make things work. Just swapping out the cooler may be enough to unseat things.

Depending on how old your motherboard and CPU is it may be worth considering upgrading but not before checking the power supply is OK. I went from an i7 (socket 1156) to a i5 (socket 1155) and with everything else being the same (apart from mobo and CPU) and I'm getting a consistent 20fps improvement. I've also eBay'ed the bits I swapped out and have covered the cost of the new mobo and power supply and nearly the i5. Even broken stuff will sell on eBay - I successfully sold a cardboard box once as a bet!

Hope that helps even if it is a bit late.

Beware that if you replace too many components Windows may start mumping about it and require reactivation. If you have an OEM versions you may need to buy a new version. Having said (typed) that, as said previously, I've swapped in two motherboards and a new CPU without any issues with Windows 8. It did do a couple of restarts and has worked Ok for a few days now. Win8 does give the option to do a refresh which I may do in the future to make sure all drivers are correct.
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Re: Pc crap

cool glen. those are pretty generic tips on hardware malfunction troubleshooting and they are very helpful. good to have them in a post. should prob copypaste them to the computer support thread too.
Really good post glen - "art films" lol.

Anyway, the only thing I would add (taken from my own painful experience after hours of error detective work) is making sure ALL connections are proper e.g. memory, GPU etc. ;-)

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