Mom's crap PC will not power on

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Chacala_Nayarit, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. Chacala_Nayarit macrumors 6502

    Chacala_Nayarit

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Lakewood, Washington
    #1
    I know this is titled "Mac Basics and Help", but this Mac user has a mother who uses a crap 1999 Compac Presario 1200 475MHz AMD. The computer frooze when starting up AOL, and holding down on the power on button did not respond. So she unplugged it, plugged it back in, and now the computer will not power on.

    Is it dead? I am going to try unplugging it, holding down on the power button for 30-40 seconds and trying it.

    I hope she will buy an iMac! :D
     
  2. SummerBreeze macrumors 6502a

    SummerBreeze

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #2
    Sounds like a hardware issue, which can't be good. But then again, it is a six year old PC, and honestly that's a huge rarity. Your best bet would be to take it to CompUSA or the like, and show your mom the iMacs while you're there.
     
  3. DaftUnion macrumors 6502a

    DaftUnion

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #3
    Just tell her it's dead:) And then tell her to get a Mac mini:D That def. sounds like a hardware issue though. Sounds like both a power supply failure and possibly a harddrive failure...if you replace those both by youself it'll probably cost at least $125 to $150 for both...if you can't do it by yourself...well over $200 than with labor...um, I'd save the time and money and just have her invest in something new or newer.
     
  4. DaftUnion macrumors 6502a

    DaftUnion

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #4
    Actually, I'd bet 10 to 1 it needs a new power supply...I just replaced mine because these only have so many hours (usually about 30-40,000) before they die out. Check the back of the computer and see if there's a little green light that's lit up on the power supply on the back of the computer (assuming that the power supply has an led light on it) if this isn't lit up, or your computer doesn't start at all...rip out the power supply and put in a new one.
     
  5. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #5
    Shhhh! That won't help to convince her to get a Mac!
     
  6. skubish macrumors 68030

    skubish

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    #6
    you could also try replacing the battery on the motherboard. Or at least check it.
     
  7. qtip919 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    #7
    The worst thing you could do for her is to fix that old tired computer

    Reasoning:

    Once the power supply goes, it goes slowly...hence that power supply has been sending poor power through to the motherboard for quite some time now...

    It is likely that this is the first among other problem this computer will experience...the next thing to go will be the hard drive or motherboard...RAM problems will likely create instability problems and if she is running Windows 98 (please dont tell me she is...) she is likely to be having software issue as well...

    That being said, buying a mac mini is NOT cheap...this is a big expense (500 dollars when all said and done) and it is tough for people who have been living in windows to really make the transition without issues...you should really see if she wants a new computer or just wants this one to be fixed professionally by someone at best buy (a la geek squad)...getting the PC will be cheaper and likely involve less work on her end...
     
  8. muffinman macrumors 6502

    muffinman

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    #8
    if your mum is getting a mac mini, tell her to wait, cause there are rumours of a intel mac mini
     
  9. savar macrumors 68000

    savar

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    #9
    You mean the power light doesn't even come on? If that's the case, the logic board is shot or the power supply fizzled out. Given that it froze up AOL right before it died, I'd wager its the former. A new board might be had cheaply but odds are its cheaper to buy a new computer. A 6-year old PC is pretty ancient stuff. Replace it with one thats a year old and you'll save money vs. buying a new mobo and get something much better.
     
  10. DaftUnion macrumors 6502a

    DaftUnion

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #10
    lol, just forget what I said and don't tell her that...just say the insides are melted and fused together and she needs a new mac or the same thing will happen with the cheapily built PC's these days.:D :D
     
  11. Chacala_Nayarit thread starter macrumors 6502

    Chacala_Nayarit

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Lakewood, Washington
    #11
    Yes, she is still running Win98 first edition. :rolleyes:

    I told her about getting a used Mac, but she will not hear of getting a used computer. She wants an iMac 20", and I advised her to upgrade to 1GB of ram, and larger hard drive. I advised her that getting an iMac was overkill for the email, lite Web browsing, and greeting card software (Printmaster "Pro"). Even the old laptop could run Photoshop, well lite Photoshop.

    I guess grade school teachers at Christian schools in the USA are not tech savy. She prayed over the computer to get it to work, like a lot of good that did - real high tech knowledge at work there! :rolleyes: :eek: :eek:
     
  12. DaftUnion macrumors 6502a

    DaftUnion

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #12
    tell her to just get a 17" iMac, that'd be more than enough than she would need and it's def. the best buy in Apple's lineup.
     
  13. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #13
    Seriously. The iMac might well be a very good call for her, but getting the 20" is a waste of money for email and web browsing unless she plans to start watching videos on it.

    And on the positive side of the switch to Mac, it really won't be that much more jarring than going from Win98 to XP, and it can't possibly not run more smoothly.
     
  14. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #14
    When she gets her new iMac, tell her to also dump AOL and use a REAL ISP!

    OTB
     
  15. Marky_Mark macrumors 6502a

    Marky_Mark

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    OK, let's try some real advice now.

    I've had this problem several times over the years and you don't need to necessarily 'rip out' power supplies or anything else! Sometimes the power management system gets confused and needs a reset. The easiest way to do this is to remove the power cable and the battery for an hour or so, and then reconnect both and try starting up again.

    The power management system uses capacitors on the system board to keep the chips powered for long enough to retain settings for a short while. By disconnecting all the power sources, these gradually drain and the settings are lost, thereby resetting the system.

    Hopefully this will work and then you can make a more balanced decision as to whether you want to buy a Mac or not!
     
  16. jmort macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    Southern CA
    #16
    A Six Year Old Computer?!?!?!?!

    Wow, how on earth does somebody make a computer last six years? I've gone through five computers personally, and the longest I've ever gotten one to last was four years, at the end of which I had run that thing into the ground so dang hard. At the end of those four years, I had so many pieces of hardware on their way out. I don't mean to hijack the post or anything, but this just got me wondering, how long have all of you ever gotten a computer to last?
     
  17. thequicksilver macrumors 6502a

    thequicksilver

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    Location:
    Birmingham
    #17
    If it's not on most of the time, quite easily - my parents still have a circa 1995 PC that they use a couple of times a week to run old apps that XP can't run. Short of a new PSU in about 2000, it's pretty much unchanged.
     
  18. jmort macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    Southern CA
    #18
    That's true, i hadn't thought of other people turning their machines off at night, what a novel idea. I think I gave up turning my machines off in favor of putting them to sleep about six years ago (got tired of waiting for them to start up, lol). I guess giving them some rest now and then would considerably increase the mileage.
     
  19. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #19
    I've still got an old WIN 95 laptop which works fine as long as I don't take it out on the internet (too susceptible to viruses there), and I think that machine is about 7 years old. I've also got another not quite as elderly desktop purchased in January 2000 running WIN 98 SE and it is still useable, although there are things it can no longer handle. A friend's father recently finally decided to stop using his still-functioning old WIN 98 1st edition machine and jumped into a PC with XP Home..... He's been a long-time AOL user and now is about to ditch that and get a broadband connection. Unfortunately I was not around at the time he made the decision to buy a new PC or I would have steered him into a Mac! He would have been very happy with an iMac.... Too late now. Actually, though, he said that he's having some problems with his new HP, that something isn't working, so maybe if he does wind up returning it he can go with an iMac after all..... :)


    In all of these cases, yes, his and mine, the elderly machines were always turned off when not in use. I still do that with my Macs; if I'm around the house during the day and just not using the computer, I'll leave it on, but if I am going out for a while I always shut it down, and at night I shut it down, too. I am just more comfortable with that than with the "sleep" function, and I think it is better in terms of RAM, too, as then the RAM is fresh when you start up the machine again.

    OTB
     
  20. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #20
    Mmm, putting a moderately new computer to sleep shouldn't be that much different from turning it off--really only the RAM should stay powered, and that's not going to make any difference.

    As for longevity, my lab has five Yikes! G4s that just passed 6 years old and have run regular 8-hour workdays for that entire time. A few hard drives have been replaced, and they've had RAM added, but nothing else has broken in that time.

    We also have two archaic HP Vectra desktops that are used for test station computers. Both have run 24X7 for about 7 years, and although I just replaced the hard drives last month, both (~4GB Seagates) were still working at the time. Never even an OS upgrade--NT4 the entire time, until now when I switched to XP Pro. That's an anomaly (the hard drives in particular, and the newer Vectras we have have *all* had issues), but computers can chug away for quite some time without issue if they were wel built to begin with (something I cannot say about most newer Wintel computers--they seem to be using shoddier and shoddier parts to keep those prices low...).
     
  21. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    #21
    My dad used a 133 mhz powermac clone for 7 years then he bought a emac, he decided to buy something new because email took 5 minutes to load.:D
     

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