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Pre-BIOS failure

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posted on Jan, 2 2009 @ 07:44 PM
ok, if indeed it is your CPU that overheated and went bye bye you should be able to yank your hard drive out and install it on another computer.

To do this your gonna need another computer that boots up fine. Either yours or a friends.

Some Notes to be aware of:
When I say Ribbon cables I and talking about IDE/EIDE ribbon cables. There are two type of ribbon cables that run from your motherboard. A narrower one that goes to the back of the floppy drive and either one or two wider ones that go to the back of hard drives or cd drives. The wider ones are the ones that I'm talking about here.

I also am going to presume that this is a temporary measure to let you remove your data and transfer it somewhere else. Therefore since this is only a temp measure don't worry too much about mounting the transplanted hard drive. Just make sure that it doesn't short it's housing against the motherboard. The computer case is ok. It's grounded.

There's two ways that you can do this.

1) yank out the one from your dead computer and swap it out for another one on another computer. Then boot. C Drive for C drive swap. You'll of course need to reinstall drivers etc due to hardware differences.

For situation 2A I'm gonna assume another computer that has a hard drive and a CD drive (or better yet a CD burner) on the same ribbon cable.


Yank out the one from you dead computer and mount in another computer but leaving the other hard drive in. On the ribbon cable that connects the hard drive to the motherboard there should be a total of 3 connectors. One is what's plugged into the motherboard and the other two connect to the hard drives. If you are going to go that route there is a jumper on the back of your hard drive. It should be labeled "master/slave/cable". Assuming that you don't plan on booting from your hard drive set the jumper on the back of your hard drive to "slave". Detach the CD drive by unplugging the ribbon and power cables from it. Attach your hard drive to the ribbon that the other hard drive is on. Attach the power leads to the hard drive. The power leads are shaped in such a manner that they can only be plugged onto the back one way. Likewise the ribbon cable. Boot the system.

Assuming that things go all right you should have a computer that shows 2 hard drives. C drive is the original drive. D drive is the one that you removed from the toasted computer. You then should be able to copy over from the D drive to the C drive whatever you want to salvage or keep.

(2B) Other computer has 2 ribbon cables with a hard drive on one and a CD Drive/burner on the other cable.

This is a better situation. Yank yours out of your toast computer. Move the jumpers on the back of your hard drive to the "slave" Position. Install your hard drive onto the same ribbon as the other hard drive. Attach power leads. Fire that baby up! Assuming that the other computer has a CD burner you can then burn whatever you want to keep off the hard drive onto a CD.

Congratulations, assuming that all has gone ok, you've just had yourself your first transplant. Kick back and relax a little you've earned it.

Hope that this is of some help.

Edited to add:
To yank out your hard drive all you need is a screwdriver. Chances are there are 4 screws holding in the hard drive. 2 on each side. You'll need to remove all 4 in order to slide your old hard drive out. Some setups use slideing rails that allow you to 'unclip" the hard drive and slide it out of the front of the case. It depends on the model type.

[edit on 2-1-2009 by Deson]

posted on Jan, 3 2009 @ 04:17 AM
Sounds like you might have a bad power supply. Yank it out and take it to Circuit City (they will test it for free usually).

New power supplies are relatively cheap.

posted on Jan, 3 2009 @ 11:49 AM
reply to post by Deson

I think it's easier to keep it simple... Slave the HD from the bust computer to a good one.

Be sure to re-position the jumper to 'slave' (usually SL)... OR if you IDE ribbon cable actually has the words 'master' and 'slave' printed on it you could also position the jumper to cable select (usually CS).

This is a pretty good pic of a jumper... in this one it is set to master.

Any who, put it to slave (or cable select, only if your ribbon is printed up) and when you boot up you comp will automatically assign it a new drive letter, rock on through my computer and all your files are ready to back up somehow.

Oh yhea... don't forget the power cable... it will be one of the 4 hole ones... none of the others will fit, just see the one you yank out and find one that looks the same on the good comp.

[edit on 3/1/2009 by Now_Then]

posted on Jan, 3 2009 @ 02:31 PM
Computers need good power and good clocks before they can do anything. The high-pitched sounds points to a power supply. I would have it checked out before you worry about recovering your data, which may be just fine, as far as you know.

Just my 02.

posted on Jan, 5 2009 @ 04:27 PM
reply to post by jsobecky

The power supply is actually fairly new. I switched it out around two years ago, maybe a bit more recently. I do still have the old one, there wasn't anything wrong with it I just replaced it when I upgraded my graphics card, so I can try switching those around once I find the old one.

reply to post by Deson

Thanks for posting those instructions! Once I get the spare desktop dug out of whichever closet it's hiding in, and get it running of course, I'll give it a go if switching the power supply doesn't do any good.

It occurred to me that I hadn't responded in a few days, so I figured I'd update and let you all know I haven't had a chance to work on it. Real life had other plans for me.
I'll let you all know if I get it working or not though once I get a chance to try!

posted on Jan, 6 2009 @ 01:53 AM
You could just re-seat all your connections inside your case first. This can sometimes fix un-bootable computers. This includes reseating your CPU. You may have already done this.

You should definitely put more thermal greese between your CPU heatsink and CPU, after you clean off the old to prevent overheating, when you re-seat it.

Re-seating is simply un-plugging things and plugging them back into place.

Your memory could be bad. I have seen machines that did absolutely nothing when you hit the power because of bad memory.

If you have two sticks of memory in there, you could pull one out, try to boot it up. If it still doesn't boot, try the other stick of memory by itself.

Or, you could borrow a matching stick of good RAM, and put it in the machine, and see if it will boot.

Your power supply could still be bad, it is worth checking.

Power supplies, memory, and hard drives seem to fail more often than the actual motherboard. This makes many repairs quite cheap, usually. Shop around on E-bay for parts. Hard drives are cheap, memory is cheap, and power supplies are cheap. This problem is obviously not your hard drive, though. Just make sure the power supply is going to work with your DELL.

**To sum it up, re-seat, check your memory, and check your power supply.

If these don't seem to be the problem, you can check your motherboard for swollen and leaking capacitors. Capacitors are round tall-ish cylinders, that are soldered onto the board. If so, you are looking at replacing your motherboard. With labor costs, it may be better to just to replace the board, unless you find someone who is skilled and cheap at replacing such a thing as capacitors on a motherboard. You can fry a motherboard if you aren't careful. I think it's more of a lost art these days. People just replace the boards. A good used motherbaord might not cost too much, again, you can shop around on E-bay.

Also, a computer that stops beeping when it boots up could be a sign of a bad motherboard.


posted on Jan, 9 2009 @ 11:17 AM
reply to post by cybertroy

Ah do the easy thing first.

I have a dell 5 years later no start up at all no bios nothing but power lights came on and so did my Ethernet connection lights on the back of the computer.

You battery in the computer itself will give you a warning if it's going low and it will still run if it's dead as that happened to me before so I'm positive that's not it.

However I though I fired something and took mine apart nothing all the boards looked good.

(don't mess with the jumpers if it worked before it still should)

Turns out power supply in dells fail on average after about 5 years.

Even though lights lit up and it was getting power to the lights the power supply had failed and could no longer generate enough power to run the computer. Ya I know stupidest thing I ever heard I always assumed you have lights you have power but apparently they can partially fail and just give out a small amount of power to make you think you need a new computer.

Cost to have it tested and replaced was 60 bucks which is actually kind of high in my area.

posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 06:24 PM
I would put my money on your power supply died 1st. Usually that's the 1st thing that goes bad and sinces it's whining power supplies are known for that noise when they are going.
Since your not getting the post power good beep, or any other beeps, then the power supply is the 1st place to look.

posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 08:21 PM
reply to post by gonzo610

+1 The PSU is usualy the first thing to go... and considering that it could be having to deal with small surges and such it would make it more likely to fail on you. Lucky thing for you is that you have changed on before by the sound of it

posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 10:37 PM
Yeah, definitely don't assume, because LEDs on the power supply or motherboard are lit, that the power supply is good. LEDs do not need much power to be lit up.


posted on Jan, 27 2009 @ 09:29 PM
I ended up having to take my computer into the shop. Turns out the hard drive and mother board are fried. It was plugged into a surge protector but apparently it didn't work right or something.

Thank you for all of your help though!

posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 01:41 AM
That stinks. But, I guess this happens too.

The motherboard is one of the most expensive parts too. Though not too bad these days, depending on where you shop.

Motherboard and hard drive. Interesting combination of failures.

I guess a surge could have done this some how, even with surge protectors? Or you had some bad caps or something that allowed too much electricity through? Or, just a bad coincidence of failing parts?

Unless the shop is trying to milk you for money in repairs or replacement. A second opinion might be helpful, just to make sure.


posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 11:01 PM
I have the worst luck, so it really doesn't surprise me that two parts failed at the same time. Our house is over 50 years old, so I think the wiring may need to be updated. We go through so many light bulbs each month we've started buying in bulk, so it's believable that we just had a major power surge to the outlet the surge protector was plugged into.

We told the repair guy up front that if the hard drive was fried we wouldn't be getting it fixed, so I wouldn't think he is trying to get more cash out of us but it's possible. I may take it somewhere else to get the hard drive checked again though. Had a lot of pictures of my kids on it that are gone if it is.

posted on Feb, 10 2009 @ 12:17 PM
That sucks...I had the same thing happen, but luckily, it didn't get my hard drive. I currently have that drive as a slave drive on another computer (and promptly saved the pics on it to a DVD).

If you have a way to hook up the hard drive to another PC, it's pretty easy to do, and see if it works. Heck, I hadn't done it since pre Windows 95, so I was shocked when the Dell actually automatically recognized the drive and assigned it a drive letter. All I had to do was jumper the drive as a slave (i.e. removed a plastic jumper), plug in the power and IDE cable, and bam! There it was....

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