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jonah794 Plus
8 1.7k 11 United Kingdom
4 Mar 2010 9:05PM
I have now reached desperation level 7! My computer is dying, it's young it's sad Sad

Level 1: My computer turned off by itself. Ok, turn it back on.
Level 2: It wouldn't turn back on.
Level 3: It turned on and then flashed a blue warning sign onto the screen.
Level 4: It made a really loud noise, which continued for several minutes.
Level 5: The noise died down and everything was quiet.
Level 6: Computer turned on! Hooray, did a system restore. OK, all files same as, everything working.
Level 7: Came back from school, making very loud noises as it were crying, nothing on screen, can't turn it on, can't turn it off, screen currently black, but saying its connected and power on!

Something is seriously wrong, the back-up doesn't work either, and I really don't want to lose my files!!! I have just had a great success with the smoke photography, but its a disaster as I can't edit them as I don't have photoshop on the other PC.

Please give some sympathy/tips. Its a Windows Vista Home Premium. I tried to be all 'techy' and had a look inside the box. A bunch of coloured wires ending in a white head was unplugged. So was a bunch of wires coming from the wire box thingy with a black head at the end. These were just loose.

Very annoyed, as I am going to Norfolk tomorrow with Nigel Pye to photograph Barn Owls, and I was planning to upload them into the Wildlife Photographer of the Year, but by the looks of it, its a no-no SadSadSadSadSadSadSadSad

My friend from school is very kindly going to give me a copy of lightroom 2.5 tomorrow, the one I have on my broken (sniff, sniff) computer.

please bear with me while I sob

OK wiping eyes.

Please help Sad


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4 Mar 2010 9:41PM
First thing - don't fiddle with any of the wires inside the system unit!!!! There will be a number of spare connections e.g. for additional hard drives (white are data connections, black power usually). The ones you saw are probably not unplugged from anything.

Second - if you are lucky the system has just overheated - the screeching may only be a failed fan, though in that case it ought to have re-booted when cold. Its interesting that it did reboot once which hopefully means that the problem is not with the hard drive - in my experience they usually die silently or making a clicking noise. Though not rebooting the second time does suggest possible disk failure - difficult to attempt a diagnosis at distance.

Thirdly, it would be useful to know what the message on the blue screen of death said - there will be clues as to the problem.

Your best course of action will be to seek the advice of a qualified technician - try the tech guy at school perhaps as a starting point

Good luck

BigRick Plus
12 2.1k 3 United Kingdom
4 Mar 2010 9:47PM
.... and buy an external hard drive so that you can back up your work on it,,,, then if the computer does die.... you wont loose everything.
Photogeek Plus
12 605 6 Wales
4 Mar 2010 10:21PM
Jonah, I feel for you. I built myself a really nice i5 rig at Christmas . . . and a couple of days ago decided to see how far I could overclock it . . . It lasted 30 minutes of stress testing at 3.8Ghz . . . . then it has died and refuses to switch back on . . . Either the PSU has blown, or the Motherboard or (less likely ) the CPU. . . . . Still going to be an expensive fix
cattyal Plus
12 8.3k 6 England
4 Mar 2010 10:26PM
If nothing else you can still hopefully get the hard drive out and hook it up to another pc to copy the files across. I've had to do that on more than one occasion with various computers (happily not usually my own but ones I've had to fix for other people).

My current pc is very twitchy and I've had it less than 2 years. The main problem with that one is that there is no consistency in it's grumblings but I've got used to it now.....

The suggestion to get an external hard drive is a very very good one - I back up all my photos to one on a regular basis.
cats_123 Plus
13 4.8k 28 Northern Ireland
4 Mar 2010 10:48PM
Hi Jonah

sorry to hear about your problems Sad

....there used to be a telephone helpline run by Computeractive (1 a minute, but worth every penny) but I can't trace it at the moment. However, I googled your problem and found this answer forum
yahoo answers

It talks about trying to identify where the sound is coming from (by using a screwdriver - suggest you use a static strap and an insulated driver). might help?

Sounds very much like a fan...let's hope so, 'cos you could probably be able to replace this yourself.

Good luck Smile
5 Mar 2010 12:56AM


Sounds very much like a fan...let's hope so, 'cos you could probably be able to replace this yourself.

A case fan wouldn't cause the pc to fail to boot up, Sorry!
If it was the cooling fan on the cpu heat sink that had failed then the cpu would have overheated. Changing the heatsink fan is daunting if you have never fitted/replaced one. If the cpu has fried, then it's a bit more complicated.
The only other fan to worry about is the one in the PSU. Changing the psu is easy enough, you just need the confidence to do it for the first time. If none of these are the problem, then it could be the hard drive! :0(

Remember there are only 2 types of hard drive: those that have failed and those about to!
s800byj Plus
10 133 United Kingdom
5 Mar 2010 1:07AM
Hi Jonah,

My heatsink fan started making funny noises then one day my PC would die after 2 hours. Next day it would be 2 minutes.

I changed the fan and the heatsink clay and it has been right as rain ever since.

Cost about 20 from Maplins.


jonah794 Plus
8 1.7k 11 United Kingdom
5 Mar 2010 7:45AM
Thanks for all the help Smile I have a local Maplins, so I'll go down there and buy whatever is needed. The blue screen was flashing quickly, so was hard to see. All it said was: WARNING THE COMPUTER HAS FACED AN UNEXPECTED ERROR. I couldn't read the rest, as the screen then went black.

Do you think it may be a virus? I thought it was fans, as the back fan (is there one?) was making NO noise.

Pete Plus
16 18.8k 97 England
5 Mar 2010 8:27AM
Sorry to hear that Jonah...when the computer dies and everything you have is on it it's a horrible feeling. The trouble is there are so many things it could be that the only way is to really be there and seeing it in action (or not) I've had several problems with PCs over the years. One did something similar a few years ago and when I opened the back the heat sink had come unstuck. Another time it was a faulty drive. That makes a light clicking sound though (like a scratch). (Both occasions the PC could not be accessed And two other times its been a virus (and in those instances it just started behaving badly. Really slow, rebooting etc.

I'm not sure Maplins will be able to solve it - they certainly have all the spare parts. PC World do have computer clinics but they charge a lot. Ideally you need a local friendly PC whiz who can pop by and have a look. I hope you get it sorted.
Coleslaw Plus
12 13.4k 28 Wales
5 Mar 2010 8:41AM
PMorgan told me something he got (can't remember the name), that he is even able to get dead hard drive to work again (or something like that).
I will ask him what it is.
crookymonsta Plus
10 834 10 England
5 Mar 2010 11:27AM
Horrible thing to happen, Jonah, I do sympathise with you. You mentioned at the start that the computer is 'young'. Despite what the retailers and manufacturers tell you, all goods sold in the UK have at least a two year warranty, so if the computer is less than two years old contact the retailer in the first instance. You may well need to get hold of the manufacturer to establish what has gone wrong but it is up to the retailer to put it right.

Hope you get it working again very soon.
whipspeed Plus
13 4.2k 22 United Kingdom
5 Mar 2010 3:23PM
Agree with above, how old is the computer, is it still under warranty, who bought it and do they/you have the receipt. That would be the first call before opening it up and checking it yourself as if you do have a warranty you don't want to void it.
cats_123 Plus
13 4.8k 28 Northern Ireland
5 Mar 2010 3:29PM

Quote:Agree with above, how old is the computer, is it still under warranty, who bought it and do they/you have the receipt. That would be the first call before opening it up and checking it yourself as if you do have a warranty you don't want to void it.

hope it doesn't need saying...but don't admit that you've already had a look inside!!
simont Plus
13 2.3k 4 England
5 Mar 2010 3:39PM
That'll teach you to try making smoke images Smile

Is Norman any relation to Derek? Wink

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