1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
Dismiss Notice
Like RaceDepartment on Facebook.

Please Help - PC Not Starting / DVD Drive Smoking...

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Adam Farmer, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. Adam Farmer

    Adam Farmer
    Premium Member

    Hello,

    I'd be really really grateful for any thoughts on this.

    I built my own PC about a month ago and it's run absolutely fine, purely for playing racing sims.

    Last night I was just about to switch off when the computer suddenly died. I presumed it had a funny moment and would be fine. Because it was late I switched the plug off at the wall and went to bed and forgot all about it.

    Today, just pressed on the on switch and nothing happened. I turned off the power, tried again and noticed the case light come on, and a slight sound for literally a tiny fraction of a second, then nothing. Tried a different power lead and the same happened.

    I took the side of the case off. Checked all the connections and noticed nothing except a very slight smell that sort of reminded me of a toy train set from many years ago. Tried the power, same again.

    Tried one more time, everything starts running, fans etc. Suddenly I notice smoke coming out of the back of the DVD drive, either where the power or possibly the SATA lead attached - at the same time the DVD drawer opened. I quickly pulled the power, and now I'm upset!

    Any ideas would be very very welcome. Initially I thought the Power supply had died, and I'm still hoping that's that case, although I guess the DVD drive is dead too. Or could the problem be just the DVD drive?

    Any ideas?

    Many many thanks,

    Adam
     
  2. Hi Adam. The power supply has a built-in protection system whereby it will immediately go into shutdown mode if it detects something drastic like a short on one of the power lines. The power supply will then remain in this state until the mains input has been removed for 3 - 5 minutes.

    If you haven't already tried this then remove the power lead, disconnect the DVD drive and try reconnecting after a few minutes. Hopefully you should be Ok.

    Regards
    Iain
     
  3. Adam Farmer

    Adam Farmer
    Premium Member

    Many thanks Iain.

    I tried this and everything seemed to fire up ok, all the fans and lights, but nothing appeared on my monitor. I'm worried it's fried other components now.

    I will try and get a new (better) PSU tomorrow and will update.

    Thanks again,

    Adam
     
  4. Hi Adam

    Sounds like PSU :( It may well have damaged other components when the DVD drive shorted/failed...... Hope not, but Graphics card are very susceptable to power spikes :( Keep us up to date and we will try to help you as much as we can

    Chin up mate, its always fixable... well nearly always :)
     
  5. Adam Farmer

    Adam Farmer
    Premium Member

    Hello Brian,

    I have a horrible feeling that the graphics card and hard disc have gone too. I'll know tomorrow when I pop a new PSU in.

    If they've all died I'm hoping the company I bought the components from not 2 months ago will replace, but I don't know if they'll see it all as their liability, as a knock on effect of the PSU.

    On top of that I'll be really upset if I can't race this weekend!
     
  6. Hi Adam. If you do have a PSU problem there is a chance that it's this that's causing the graphics card and hard drive to not work. I take it that you have a graphics card that needs an additional power connector. If so then it could be that one of the power lines is down, hence why no graphics display and possibly no hard drive.

    I'll keep my fingers crossed for you as I doubt very much if you'll get anywhere with claiming for anything other than the PSU. The chances are still good that a new PSU will get you up and running again.
     
  7. Adam Farmer

    Adam Farmer
    Premium Member

    Hello helpers,

    Bought a more expensive PSU yesterday and connected up everything except the DVD drive. The machine and fans all powered up but nothing on the screen. Moved the monitor lead to the motherboard output and the screen came to life, to tell me there was no boot drive.

    I can get into the bios which confirmed the processor speed and RAM.

    So my guess is the graphics card and hard drive are dead, and hopefully the motherboard and CPU are OK. I backed up using Windows 7 default backup settings a couple of weeks ago, I hope the restore process is painless...

    The company I bought it all from have been excellent so far (other than selling me a rubbish PSU) and are accepting all the components back to test, and should replace as necessary.

    I was advised before I started building my PC to buy everything from the same supplier, this has proved to be excellent advice.

    Many thanks for all the help.

    Adam
     
  8. Hi Adam. Thanks for the update. It's really good news that the company are willing to look at the components as I know many that simply wouldn't be interested. Unless it's a small company local to you it may help other members to know who it was you purchased the bits from.

    Let's hope that you get everything sorted as soon as possible.

    Regards
    Iain
     
  9. Adam Farmer

    Adam Farmer
    Premium Member

    Thanks Iain,

    I've got no problem in mentioning Ebuyer as having excellent customer service. So far!
     
  10. My personal experience with eBuyer has been the worst ever company I have ever had the misfortune to deal with, by far. But this was over 12 months ago. At that time it was almost impossible to find a returns address for them and the faulty monitor I sent back they returned as 'repaired' and hadn't even opened the box !!

    Let's hope that they've improved considerably.
     
  11. The video not working does not necessarily mean that the graphics card went bad. Getting the video to the monitor requires that quite a lot be set correctly so that the graphics card knows what to send to the monitor. If the system had an issue the caused the bios to reset to defaults, and the default had the graphics set to use the onboard graphics only, then you would lose the video from the add on card. The hard drive showing as not being there also could be an issue with the bios being reset.

    It is very possible that the PSU was the root cause of this entire situation, but it is also entirely possible that the DVD drive is the cause and the rest is just a side effect. Hopefully you will get good service from ebuyer and you will be back up and running in short order.
     
  12. Adam Farmer

    Adam Farmer
    Premium Member

    Hello Jim,

    Thanks for writing. An interesting post! If I'd had a spare DVD drive I could have booted off the Windows disc and tested that out, could have saved a lot of effort.

    Regardless, it was all collected earlier today and hopefully I'll soon get it back in good working order -it would be great if the hard drive is ok after all.

    Thanks again,

    Adam
     
  13. Any news yet Adam?
     
  14. Adam Farmer

    Adam Farmer
    Premium Member

    Hello Brian,

    Phoned on thursday afternoon, arranged for them to collect on Friday, which they did, and got an email from them first thing this morning to say they'd recieved it and would sort it out in 3-5 days. I keep refreshing my account status on their website for updates!

    Thanks for asking,

    Adam
     
  15. Ok Adam, keep us posted :)
     
  16. Adam Farmer

    Adam Farmer
    Premium Member

    Update for those those interested:

    On Tuesday I had a few emails listing the results of their testing. Sadly, the hard disc, graphics card, and dvd drive were all dead as I’d suspected. The rest was ok.

    On Wednesday I received back the motherboard/processor and RAM. On Thursday I received the new replacement parts.

    I put it all back together last night but it was late and I was too tired to switch it on. Assuming it works I’ve been really impressed with eBuyer’s service.

    Thanks for the help, advice, and comfort I’ve received here! It’s much appreciated.

    Adam
     
  17. Well, sorry to hear about the death, but at least the company is good about giving replacement parts to get you back up and running. I would look into how each piece is installed to be sure that what happened before doesn't happen again. Make sure that there isn't anything that is touching the motherboard in places where it could short it out. Make sure that there is nothing in any of the slots that might short stuff out. Keep an eye on things and hopefully you won't see any other issues till it is time to replace it with a much newer setup several years down the road.
     
  18. Good stuff and thats decent service from the Supplier too! :)

    Hope thats the end of your probs and your back in the saddle now :)
     
  19. Adam Farmer

    Adam Farmer
    Premium Member

    I don't know why it failed before, maybe the somewhat budget PSU was the problem. Anyway, all carefully re-assembled, and everything re-installed, and even managed Sunday morning's Race On event here at RD!

    I urge anyone who uses Windows 7 backup feature to look closely at the settings. It implies that the default mode is good to use, yet it basically just saves the Documents folder. I've now set the option to backup up C:\ as well, but I'm still not happy or convinced by it. I may set it to a system recovery mode instead, but I wish it was more like Apple's Time Machine utility which covers everything, including a system restore.

    Thanks again for all the advice and help.
     
  20. Glad yer back on track again :)