How to Repair a DEAD Computer

How to Repair a DEAD Computer

today I’ve gotta repair and diagnostic video featuring an HP computer from one of my clients that has stopped working and I’m sure the fact that it’s an HP computer has absolutely nothing at all to do with that now those of you familiar with my channel know that i am no fan of HP I’ve often said that in the technician world i shared with you that we say HP stands for horrible products it’s kind of an internal thing we text in the industry share with each other although. i’m trying to get that information out to the customers this customer mine has bought several systems for me. over the years none of which have required any repairs whereas this HP computer does require a repair from the same customer so that’s not for me to brag and tell you how great my custom builds are you’re misinterpreting

if that’s what you concluded no no what I am asserting is that if you build it yourself it’ll be better than anything you can buy from specifically HP. but probably anything you can buy from anybody one, of the questions I’m often asked as will i ever show how to build a laptop and despite how many times I keep answering this question I keep that I keep getting it so i’m trying to find a more clever way to answer it so i guess i’m just going to say this if you guys know a place that sells the case the laptop case, motherboard.

hope all the stuff that goes together the screen to make a laptop please send me the link and i don’t mean to make a specific laptop i want a choice of motherboards, I want two choice batteries on a choice of screen sizes i want a choice the cases just like with desktops so if anybody is aware anybody out there in the world,if you are aware of any place that sells laptop parts enough to build your own laptop please send me that link until then.

please stop asking me if I can build a laptop for you expect so if i don’t know that sarcastic enough for you but now just try to put it out there trying to make it clear and I think I’ll just have to remember this part,so when I get that question in the future and i will then i’ll just point into this video so i don’t have to keep repeating myself so i don’t have to keep repeating myself so i don’t have to keep repeating myself alright so the customer says this thing doesn’t work.

so when I ask the customer what does that mean it doesn’t work so okay so okay what does that mean well it doesn’t do anything ok so this is one of the frustrations of technician has with a customer and it’s all in how you ask the question what happens when you hit the power button nothing, so if I were to hit the power button right now it does the same as when it’s all plugged in yes ok got a dead computer it’s interesting because in coincidental that my number one most viewed video is how to repair a dead computer that’s what it’s titled I guess that’s a good title so if this title looks familiar to you that’s why I’m here using it because a title seem to work well and that video was shot years ago when i had the SD camera and just using me be the in camera microphone so quality is much improved since then and it’s time to do an update and i have no idea what’s wrong with this computer everything you’re about to see is happening on camera as i’m experiencing it for the first time so I’m hoping in the process that you understand the frame of mind when take that I’m taking if you should ever have a computer problem that you want

to self-diagnose or whether it’s yours or a friend of yours what’s the diagnostic process so the first part is that we have to verify what the problem is i did not verify this when I picked it up from the customer i just picked it up and said I’ll deal with it want to take it back to my office so one of the first things I noticed here on the back is they have an ethernet port here and here now this suggests to me that this is probably a 100 megabit per second port and this is a gigabit port you’ll also see they’ve got a video card down here and they’ve got a video card here so i’m guessing we’re not going to be using any of this stuff because it’s probably all disabled except for the USB and the audio.

everything else you can ignore but at this point I only point that out because at the plug a monitor into it won’t do me any good to plug the monitor in here right because i won’t get an accurate diagnostic if I’m plugged into a MOT video card that’s not enabled so we got a plug-in up here i’m not going to use the network ports right now because when you’re diagnosing a computer you only want the very basic things plugged in you want to disconnect any printers & USB drives anything that’s not necessary for the computer to boot because sometimes computers boot when you unplug one of those things and there’s no real diagnostic to be done inside of the computer at that point you’ve got a bad device or bad cable or something else

is going on so let’s verify the problem because customers they don’t always tell you the truth and i’m not suggesting that customers purposely like but i do think that sometimes sometimes they do but sometimes they just simply don’t know enough to be able to explain the problem accurately and that’s why they hired you to do it so let’s verify it so I’ve got my monitor out i got my DVI cable here we’re going to plug that in writing on the proper should be the proper video card right back.

USB keyboard mouse by now you’re all familiar with that will plug that in back here and then finally we’ve got the power cable so let’s plug that in and I do get a green light here on the back that tells me that power supply should should be working okay so far so good come around and going to turn the keyboard on and well it’s already turned on good monitors on everything’s good stand off to the side let’s hit the power button ah well it does turn on it is not what the customer described so I hear the fans and I think this is probably what the customers explaining is that nothing happens,

here so where he is starting your diagnostic with regards to trick figuring out what’s causing this problem well the first thing is don’t be too fast don’t be impatient i want to well I’m talking I’m actually biding my time just to see if anything will appear on the screen behind me and then once enough time has passed i would say usually 30 seconds to 90 seconds shouldn’t take more than 90 seconds on average two to see something then it’s safe to assume or to conclude at that point.

that something is wrong internally that needs repair this is not a software problem because we can’t even get into the software yet and I need to take a step back to say the first first part after you’ve asked the customer what’s wrong is then to determine if you think that sounds like a software problem or a hardware problem and I’m really difficult problem sometimes you have to just pull the hard drive from the computer or you have to pull it physically but pull the cable off of it and hook up a spare hard drive and reinstall the operating system and see if you can replicate.

the problem at the problem replicates on a fresh install it’s probably hardware it’s really that simple now during all this yakkung that I’m doing nothing is happening here but it is interesting to me that the system does turn on it does power up but that doesn’t automatically mean the problems not our power supply gonna hold the power button in and see if it will turn off after about 10 seconds and it does so there’s some communication between the motherboard in the power supply that is working now before you work on the inside of a computer it’s important you unplug it.

from power people talk about being grounded but you don’t want an earth ground not when you’re working on the inside of electronics and earth ground should you have a short will have that electricity flow right through your body and definitely into the earth ground you’ll you’re likely sustained I’m very very very serious injury or death and for that reason i cringe every time somebody says that you should have the computer plugged in and flip the switch on the back the power supply to off there’s a number of problems with that recommendation the first one is clearly this person is no electrical engineer or has any formal academic electrical education and you don’t need want to make a youtube video

I mean look I’m doing it the second thing is there’s no power switch on the back of his power supply i’m pretty sure HP saved about a quarter of a penny by removing it so you know those quarters pennies add up and the reason why consumers by these pieces of junk again my opinion is that they’re cheap and the reason they’re cheap is because they’re built cheap so in this industry .

you really do get what you pay for there are some pc builders that will make a pretty good profit but they’re very niche you know we’re talking like Falcon Northwest and you know alienware things like that where there’s a much more profit margin generally speaking regardless if you buy a four-hundred-dollar computer or a 2400 dollar computer in most cases the markup that can be made from that is about ten percent the only reason I still build computers it clearly isn’t for the money but it’s whether it’s for the fact that i enjoy it and of course the money comes in this which service now computers.

i build have a one-year warranty so i’m not going to make any money on service for a year after I built it so we’ll go back to the fact that i enjoy it and I enjoy diagnosing to this is basically a puzzle solving exercise and I guess I like solving puzzles so let’s go ahead and open up the HP but you remember HP does something nobody else does all the screws they use our torx bit it’s in this case t15 in many cases t15 you can remember that if you’re ever going to work on an HP computer.

even just to take the side panel off they don’t want you in there because heaven forbid if you saw what was in there and you knew what you were looking at you’d realize you paid too much but anyway let’s go ahead and let’s take it apart that’s gonna be the first thing we’ve got to do here and we’ll start by simply just removing the side panel Carolina and we go let’s see what we’re working with well we’ve got a lot of dust in their first and foremost and the first thing I’m curious about where I’m drawn to RR to particular things .

one is the power supply and two is the video card to me these in my experience are the most likely culprits of what can cause this behavior could also be a motherboard could also be a cpu could also be ram potentially could be any single component or cable in the system that’s causing this so I’m going to start by just looking to see if this fan spins easily with my fingers and it does often times on these video cards you can’t turn that fan or it requires some effort and that’s all I need to know in this case that fan looks like it’s going to spin okay i want to verify that so I’m going to turn this on and we’re just going to look and see that all the fans are spinning as they should so with the cover off going to plug it back in again .

DVI cable will be first and then we save the power cable for last and now I’m going to turn it on and I just want to verify our exhaust fan is turning cpu fan is turning video card fan is turning and I look here on the back power supply fan is is turning so that’s a good start i don’t know if you can tell just you know theres big dust bunnies in here this thing is absolutely filthy looks like we’ve got two hard drives in here and I the customer really wants the data off the drive they don’t really care of this is fixed or not but I i just got to know what it is so first

I’m gonna hold the power button in make sure it’s off pull the cable sometimes there can be residual power in the capacitors on the board so if you hit the power button did you see this the fans spin just then even though nothing was attached is like magic where that power come from that power was stored on the capacitors and it will slowly drain out but if you’re in a hurry yeah and you go yank that video card out plug another one in before you drain those compact capacitors are giving them enough time to drain on their own you might see a big spark and well chances are you’re going to have to be replacing a motherboard

and who knows what else probably a video card two of them I’m very specific with that example you could just wonder why alright so to get the video card out with another t15 so to get these cards out HP requires this little retention plate to be taken out and now the video card should just slide right out of there who what is it I’m not even sure what it is probably die don’t want to know but I’m gonna just grab a spirit any any pci express video card should be fine for diagnostics so I always have a few laying around let me go grab one I’ll be right back this is an old radeon x1300

and gets 256 megs of ram it’s great because there’s no fan on it is completely silent and it’s a great test card for me to just slap into any system i know this card works it’ll probably work for years and years and years we’re going to just put that in place here and the pci express slots of you don’t want to be too hard on those so it’s important to get everything lined up properly before you add the downward force to plug the card in or you could break the slot it’s all real easy stuff it’s

just being aware of what your limits should be with regards to how much force and effort you put into getting hardware installed i always say never force anything i’m going to plug power in here and turn the video are starting to turn the computer back on i just want to see if this makes any difference at all if we get any video and it is not making any difference nothing is happening so good power the next thing i want to check is the power supply

but before we get ahead of ourselves i want to undo what I’ve done here i want to put the original video card back in take this one out put this one back in you’ll see these video cards they just run off the pci-e bus power there’s no power cord from the power supply like a modern gaming card would have they don’t draw that much power the great thing about testing a power supply first of all i don’t recommend those power supply testers I think those are a waste of time and a waste of money to meet a spare power supply is cheaper and more accurate and faster.

so let me go grab so a couple of diagnostic parts i use the most with the pci-express video cards and power supplies these are the most common things that go wrong on computers and it’s very common for people to just automatically assume there’s no sense and testing power supply because the system comes on and I wish I wish being a technician was really that easy but the fact is when you don’t know what’s wrong you have to test everything you can assume nothing now the only two things i need to pull on the power supply are the motherboard power cable so that’s the large 24 pin cable and the smaller cpu power cable down here in the corner that’s not blocking your view and then

I’m just gonna put this in here really quickly i should mention there are some manufacturers that like to use their own proprietary power supplies but you’ll find that out soon enough if you work on one because your connectors won’t fit so you should have any worries there let’s see this should be cpu power right here and that’ll go for second go right down here it’s like that ok once again like the video card back in and we’re going to plug power back in and turn it back on that’s not going to work.

if I don’t plug the power into the right power supply you saw that right that you catch it alright alright that’s going to go down here make sure the switch is in the off position you don’t want to give yourself a shock that would not be fun flip the power switch on now you see there’s a little green running light down here on the bottom of the motherboard that that identifying working good confirming get that word out that it has power so this is all starting up power supply fans running this just a 500-watt and tech basic brand power supply and it’s great again for diagnostics check

i wouldn’t even mind putting this in the system not not one who would sell their customer but I it’s just a great power supply so it’s good that it has a second life after its first life which was powering a computer for I don’t know how many years but now it’s kind of retired and it just kind of does this part-time very part time so this has made no difference whatsoever well now that’s interesting the system just turned itself off I didn’t do that that’s very very interesting so I’m going to unplug this and here’s what I know .

so far i know most likely How to Repair a DEAD Computer ,whatever this problem is is not the video card and it’s not the power supply and that’s basically the process of diagnosing is that we’re figuring out what isn’t broken you get it because once we’ve gone through every single component all we’re going to be left with basically if we go all the way down will be the cpu and motherboard combination that will be all that’s left and I very rarely have ever seen a bad cpu and these motherboards are so expensive you purchase them on ebay they shipped out of China and most cases you don’t know what you’re getting with regards to quality they’re just it makes more sense to just buy a new computer than to repair.

these one of the things I like about so anyway I just want to try this one more time because i don’t like the way the power supply cable was seated and I didn’t notice that until they pulled the the cable off half the little 4-pin addition to it just kind of fell off and expect it to have a little more resistance than that so I just want to make sure it was plugged all the way and it looks like everything is still the same nothing has changed and so what do we do now so

I’m going to just want to pull that pull this and that and that and we’ll just set this down here for right now so I’m just simply going to put this back the way it was since it seems the power supply in fact is fine the video card is fine so what’s the next step next step was that we could have a problem with the hard drives or anything plugged into the motherboard so I want to go ahead and unplug be hard drives back here this is a tight squeeze back here there’s a everything there’s two drives you can’t see the solid-state drive behind us apparently we’ve got a storage drive and boot drive and this thing’s gone through a lot of upgrades you see you see. How to Repair a DEAD Computer

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