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Discussion Starter #1
My son called me from college to say his computer won't boot up. His monitor comes on, saying it's working correctly, but nothing happens with the computer.
Instead of getting a green light on the computer, he gets an orange light.
I was wondering if this could mean the motherboard was dead.
 

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Is the orange light on the monitor or on the computer?

Please post more info.

Could be the motherboard power connector worked loose. If the orange light is one of the cd drives on the computer.
 

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If all of the connections are tight on the motherboard, it could possibly be a blown powersupply. Sometimes when the power supply goes nothing else is ruined. Other times, only the RAM survives due to a glass diode.

If the case cover was off and any of the ide cables were unplugged from the hard drive or the cd drive, installing them backwards will cause similiar symptoms. The ide cable has a red line on it, and it should be on the same side as the power connector.

I hope this isn't above your head tech talk.

Let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for trying to help me. It's a little above my head but I don't think any cables would have been changed on the computer.
It worked at home although on day this summer he said he couldn't turn it on. When I went to look at it, it went on fine for me so I wasn't sure what he was talking about.
Last summer we had a power surge go through our home which wiped out the power supply on 2 other computers in my home. Several months later, this computer in question's power supply went but at that time, nothing at all would happen when you tried to turn it on. No orange light, no nothing. I myself changed the power supply which was the first time I ever attempted something like that and it seemed to work fine again, until now.
I have a feeling that power surge may have weakened a lot of the components and maybe the motherboard is now bad.

Are there any steps I can take to try and figure out just what isn't working? I know your computer gives you different beeps when certain things don't work, like your video card and ram so I'm thinking this can't be what's wrong with the computer.
Would your computer show an orange light if the battery was bad?
 

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Try a new power supply. It may have bad connections, and maybe during the move rattled to much. That would be my best guess by the information you have given me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have a little more information about this problem because my son brought his computer home this weekend.
I tried booting it up and all I got was a black monitor screen. No beeps.
The power supply felt as if it was working because it was blowing air out the back.

The computer is a Gateway Essential 1100 with an Intel 1100MHz Pentium ll processor.
384 MB SDRam
Integrated Intel 3D graphics
20 GB ATA drive
Upgraded to WinXP from Windows me.

After getting only the black monitor screen I decided to see what would happen if I booted up the computer using a win98 SE floppy disk, even though the computer is using WinXP. It actually tried to boot up but gave me an error, saying it was the wrong operating system, which of course I knew.
I turned off the computer and tried booting up using my Windows XP CD. It again booted but wanted to install WinXP and I was afraid this would wipe out the computer so I stopped the process.
I tried to boot up again and got an error about the cosmos reporting the wrong time so I booted up into the bios and changed the date from the year 1989 to the correct day and time.

I then was able to boot up the computer to Windows XP and it seemed nothing was lost.
My son didn't turn off the computer all weekend, because he wanted to save his important files and was afraid he'd lose everything if he shut down the computer and didn't have a chance to back anything up. This morning, while he was off working, I decided to update his video card driver because the monitor was real fuzzy. When the computer went to reboot after installing new drivers, I went right back to getting the black monitor screen with nothing happening. Only this time, I couldn't even boot up with that windows 98 boot up disk.

I tried replacing the battery and took out the cosmos jumper then replaced it and still nothing.

I also took out the hard drive and CDRom and reconnected everything making sure I had tight connections.

I'm at a lost as to what to try next.
 

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Do you get the POST screen? Counting memory? Do you see a starting winxp logo screen before it goes black?


Power supplies that are bad can still provide power to the fan.

You seem to be booting to a screen though. If it boots and goes black, press f8 after the memory screen. Boot into (Enable VGA mode). If you are booting, it sounds like your monitor is not working with the refresh/display rates of the xp dirver/video card.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I don't know why I never thought to check my ram when I started looking at this computer, because after completely messing up my cmos settings, I decided to start taking components out of the computer, one at a time to see if I could pin point where the problem was coming from.
I had 2 sticks of ram and when I took one of them out, the computer tried to boot up only I had reset the cmos, so it didn't recognize my CDrom or hard drive, plus it wouldn't see my usb keyboard. This computer only has usb ports.
I figure there's nothing more I can do without a keyboard so I dropped it off at a repair shop this morning and will have to see if they can get it working again, or at least tell me if there's more then just bad ram and incorrect cmos settings.
Thanks for taking the time to try and help me.
 

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Is that one of those IBM computers that shows the system status via the power LED? If not, that mobo is shot and it's gonna take that power light with it.:eek:
 

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Before you throw the thing in the trash - I would reprogram it. If you are going to loose everything anyway - stick the windows CD in and let it set up. When it asks delete the partition and then set up in the unpartitioned space when prompted for this.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The computer seems to be working fine again, after taking it to the repair shop. All they needed to do was fix my Csmos settings.
I can't believe the mess I made out of it for nothing.
 
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