Welcome to PCdied.com (these pages are not OEM maker PC created nor endorsed , it is only my opinions)
For all real OEM PC help, docs and drivers, & their forum, please click here !
These pages cover the causes of most dead PC's. ( Laptop or Desktop (LT/DT)
This is pool of dead here, I cover everything there that can be dead, (no printers)
Warning if you never backup your data, maybe now is the time to act !
| Guessing? , is ok but is very expensive with 20 modules to replace or more.
Many good folks do love to guess (It is ok !), here is my short list that I call the " dirty dozen reason's".
In most cases looking at any PC there are about 20 things in the group and inside that can fail at any time and do.
I will not cover virus infected PCs of any kind but the ransom attack yes but a real virus?, just reload the OS, fresh.
The Top 3 causes of a dead PC are, bad batteries, (Coin cells at 7 year mark and any battery of any kind in any Laptop, sooner., Bad/ weak/dead HDD hard disk drive and last a dead PSU.
If the PC power rails are overloaded the PC shuts down, and the tests to find it (14 deep) are here.
Before we go much deeper here , learn to never hot swap (plug) anything inside any PC, ever. (or damage can be unlimited)
In this page I will attempt to cover every device type failure and feature failures in a PC that can go dead, not windows dead, but I will cover Software drivers extensively.
The first rule of any dead PC is get the BIOS screens working first, forget Windows for now, (even remove the HDD and all USB devices see if BIOS hot keys wake up, and the goal of seening all BIOS screens working.
Keep the USB keyboard connected and do not test the PC with any wireless keyboard now while dead PC. (wireless means battery powered)
Post errors , can can be presented in many ways, BEEP codes, flashing LED codes and seen POST text errors to the screen. (POST IS BIOS level, Power On Self Tests) (keep in mind newer PCs are beepless , as many folks hate beeps)
In most cases a dead PC is fully silent, no Beeps , fans dead (1 -3 fans and more) and when this happens the monitor tells you NO SIGNAL and goes to sleep, as it must lacking such video signals.
See blink codes for POST errors (write them down and look them up in your service manual, see Dell codes here and Dell also has F12, ePSA Diagnostics !)
The one good charts that are correct, I see out there are ($20 cost and 7 years old) is by Morris Rosenthal. (the tiny dead PC chart and the huge is here)
The dirty dozen.
General topics: (thing to know and understand before service actions are taken)
Why LAPTOP's are so hard to repair?
How does BIOS work?, basic flows and order.
Try to know PCs are not all the same. (far from that) and vast features can be dead, 1 or more. (if a feature is dead, we call them DEVICES, then make sure it is not turned off in BIOS first ) if that check out ok next is Device manager "DM".
If the DM shows any device as missing , unknown or Red/yell marked bad, it is bad, the driver is missing or corrupted. (if the device is missing, wifi or bluetooth(BT), the card it self can be missing or was a non opted card day 1 new, had none.)
If you see unknown marks in DM that is a real device there and has no driver at all, we fix this first.
Try to know these things before working on any computer:
When I touch any PC, I "Carbon-14" Date it first (how old is it)? Age matters. (matters when getting support or not, getting parts, books, upgrades, drivers, and more...) The service manual tells me its age in most cases.
The first things to die on all PC's are those short lived things called batteries, in fact 20 times shorter life spans that the rest of the beast!
Number 2 on the short life, is a bad hard disk drives (5 to 10 years is par )
First diagnostic skills to learn are (is screen always black, no text) and if the PC BEEPS Codes or flashes the CAP's lock key LED with a code, we always decode these first, (as they say first things, first)
I try to avoid BIT Flipping issues here for Windows tweaking of any kind or endless VIRUS cure pages, not me. ) , MS changes Windows like , the weather does, even changes for the sake of change alone. (or 2 times a year majors)
But here is my Bit flip page. (non the less)
My web site pages are for mostly DEAD THINGS, I do mostly just that. (but lots and lots of testing done here too, depending on SYMPTOMS)
In most cases, 1 of 20 modules are bad in the PC (hardware) or any of 5 Ga-zillion bits inside Windows bits (settings) flipped wrong or corrupted anything ; the OS or the drivers or the app's can corrupt.
DEAD THINGS: (Black screens or Windows login missing and more, lots more, here...)
This is my running list of symptoms problems , dead things , tests and cures.
Diagnosis needs evidence, and tests to make clear smart choices, but many folks today fail at this and just guess, guessing is ok if rich, but you could just change out the cheapest parts, first working to the most costly parts (I will cover my eyes now)
Best to first focus on screens, is the screen dead?
Then are the BIOS screens all dead, did you know the BIOS screens work great (all but F11 key can fail)EVEN with the HDD and DVD drive removed ! (to be clear there is no operating system there now, with HDD removed and BIOS still works)
Is the fan dead, is the screen dead ,is BIOS screens dead or only they work , does the DVD tray drive eject? If a Desktop?, do all 3 fans work, PSU/ CPU /GPU, (the latter is present on 1/2 the video cards made and for sure all Gaming level cards, most have a fan)
Many things can go dead for the lack of a Software driver, we call them drivers for short. All chips and cards, and modules need a driver or that DEVICE, will be dead or 1/2 dead.
I will attempt to list everthing that can go dead (for sure a huge list on all PC made)
I will show mostly hardware failures first. I consider bad drivers, bad hardware only because the hardware is dead lacking that. (Bundle that in your mind)
Data backup or last chance recovery ? SEE HERE TO RECOVER DATA FIRST.
BIOS features and very common: As they relate to service and maintenance and testing any PC.
Is basic Input Output system, the lowest level of intelligence it the system is read only memory ROM or more accurately EEPROM memory.
The newer BIOS today is called UEFI, or DUAL BIOS, or CSM
See this first: BIOS IS OK, lets say it can boot to any bootable USB memory stick(aka, thumb drives) or to CD boots or DVD boot disks, so BIOS is OKAY.
The top features of BIOS are: (exclusive of the new wild security of UEFI) are:
See how BIOS can fail to allow USB devices to boot.
Some Laptops a ADV7. a hidden coin cell socket just like Desktops have, and is covered in your free service manual of your PC, at your OEM makers web site, HP.com or Dell.com etc.
After replacing the CELL battery, go in to BIOS and do a full BIOS reset to defaults.
Voltmeter tests, below 2.9vdc, the battery is no good now, and falling fast to DEAD.
Dim screens or stuck in sleep mode? If CCFL 2010 screen or older the back lamps are dead, or dim or dingy yellow.
The screen stuck dim or went to sleep?
Why are Laptops so hard to fix: ( (Compared to a real ATX spec. desktop DT)
The DO not list: (do I need so say no soda drinks spilled on the key board?)
Captain obvious the PC is not water proof.
Do not open your PSU, as it has 120 to 250volts A.C. inside, if plugged in or even 1hour later with capacitors inside charged up.
In the same vain the PC has only max 12vdc inside and is safe to humans, but if you short it out, sparks fly into you eye (never good results that) and you blow up devices inside the PC.
Do not run any LAPTOP on a blanket locking air vents. (in fact clean those vents often)
Do not run a PC with dead fans; (this does not apply to super expensive silent PCs )
Do not upgrade to W7 or W10 unless HP says its ok, to do so and has matching drivers, or it's not going to work well. Why kill HP support? or if like me , I do this and run what I want.
Do not listen to MS.com telling you , to upgrade, IGNORE THEM , (They got into big trouble doing that.. bad act on W10 free upgrade saga from H3LL)
Never hot swap internal devices or modules or cable inside your PC, of any kind,
Never use the wrong power pack on any Laptop.(LT) Never use universal power packs (with a voltage switch device DC switch like, 5/7/12/24vdc)
Use the HP (example) correct voltage (19vdc) and watts (65 or more watts), try to know there can be up to 3 watts ratings used from just one model laptop, based on CPU+GPU needs.
On my LT, the fastest GPU and fasted i7 CPU needs the 100w supply or it fails.
I see no problems using HP cloned power packs at Ebay.com at all, and have used many.
If unsure? what pack to use?(ask HP they can answer you )or just get the 100watt (or 90w) pack. (19vdc, HP , class, 100watt)
The 65watt pack fails hard on my i7, 2010 LAPTOP , due to the silly processor then sucks 50 watts all by its self. and so does my fastest GPU chip. Oops. 100watts total !
Get the larger pack, and it too runs cooler and lasts longer, (loafing along)
The newer laptops can have a CPU that only uses 17watts (intel) and use very little power and 65watt packs work great. (but not full blown gaming systems of any kind)
Do not short out anything inside you PC, nor watch the idiots on youtube.com do that. (other than just for laughs watching them...be derps)
On a Desktop do not run under powered, PSU's ever. (use same Ampere rating or more , on every line) 200 watts is pathetic. (the PSU must match your motherboard spec +CPU choice and GPU choices or it will fail)
The $15 PSU is junk, try going to newegg.com buy a Thermaltake PSU, for at least $39 and win.!
Do not not upgrade any PC if the newer OS does not support your very old hardware.
Lacking OEM support on media you then must use MS install media.
MS media can work okay, if you can dig up all the missing drivers, any and all.
The OEM may end support for install media even after 3 short years, leaving only Microsoft media or Linux.
Check HP first. How to find a good OS install disk
Install Media means USB memory stick installs or DVD-R. USB is faster by far. W10 can be installed USB to SSD in 30 minutes flat.
OEM PC help page links all USA and only DELL and HP the best PC's made.
Dell.com and HP.com easy URLs no?
The service tag and all software must match this.
HP now tells everyone today it seems, to run this Help Assistant, so do what they say !
HP Parts Surfer ! ( tell country first) The only PC maker on earth to have such a GREAT PAGE LIKE THIS !
Find your HP Drivers and Manual's are all here.( and now deeper by age!)
The great HP Forum , ask for help there, log in and ask ?
HP Beeps and blinks.(my list)
Dells fabulous, embedded Diagnostics ePSA.
Dells great Support assistant runs on only these listed PC by Dell.
Dell Forum (click Lap/Desk or Server and join )
Dell driver + manuals support page, click Browse by products
Dell secret blink/beep error code page buried deed deep inside and not listed on your direct PC model page.
Dells now have this great Windows 10 support page showing all PCs they every made that runs on W10. (way to go DELL)
See my favorite DELL PCs here, "Optiplex" the ones that can run FAST GPU cards. (and my Dell list under cheaper PC's)
HP Secrets on DRIVER/ packs. (FAQ and facts)
A list of all ways, drivers magically work, to how a tech gets them the hard way.
Factoids: (OS means Operating System) and why drivers fail and solutions.
I hear odd acoustic NOISES, that is Abnormal noise?
Jargon buzz words.
LT = Laptop, DT = Desktop
PC , any personal computer, even 1985 to now has BIOS.
CPU the Center processing unit, (the main brain, Alan Turing's jargon, RIP)
GPU , Graphics Process....unit.... (aka as the VIDEO chip or Graphics chip or Video card in a DT)
BIOS, basic input output system, now called UEFI (or CSM or Dual BIOS )
HDD, hard disk drive, SSD solid state drive (FAST), SSD is the best upgrade you will ever see !
CD/DVD or BluRay or ODD, are all optical media , those old silver spinning disks we bought years ago and now your LT has no more, these magic spinning disks.(or its optical DRIVE)
USB , universal serial bus.. you can plug in vast things here and they work like magic, (the magic of PnP )
PnP, this is Plug and Play, (pray?) It's a system (magic) that discovers you just connected something new, and with the help of the internet , the correct software driver is installed.
Driver, what is a driver? its the most low level chunk of software that makes all unique hardware work, for sure chips. (all hardware has a matching correct driver or it fails to function correctly or at all)
OS = Operating Systems, be it XP (ended 3 years ago 2014) Vista (now dead April 11, 2017 ) W7, W8 or W10 or LINUX. (avoid XP it is, in fact, a virus magnet from H3LL)
CMOS - this is special memory that does not forget, if the 3v CMOS battery is good and is the memory storage for all BIOS data, parameters, you setup, and if you pull said battery , the BIOS forgets what to boot from , not a wise idea pulling it (unless you learn how to use BIOS)
PSU is a power supply unit in any desktop., The LT has an external power pack , mine is just 19vdc power, 100watts. do not guess the watts, use the correct voltage and watts or more watts and win. (your HP, service manual tells you the correct power to use)
DC direct current as in Volts. measure the volts in its pins, with a tool called a voltmeter(or DMM). end guessing. Tool costs $20 at Walmart. (On a LT check for 19vdc. on a desk top check all listed pin voltages , listed on this sticker on said PSU.
MOBO = slang for motherboard. That huge green card filling the base of the LT case.
TIM - Thermal Interface material
Heat sink, that large finned metal thing on top of large CHIP, that may have a fan too. (as most CPUs do) See all heat sink problems here.
Heat sink thermal interface material or compound (TIM) )
Heat sink grease, see TIM above. (or heat sink compound)
WVGA-, Video Graphics adapter, seen on rear of LT to use any DT external screens. (mine has HDMI port tool for connection to a TV) also used for a projection system .
LCD- a liquid crystal Display, either old CCFL back lighted, or modern LED back lighted. The former loves to fail.
Chip- = gross slang for , fully integrated circuits of any kind from 1970s to now. At vast different levels of complexity. Open up your PC see that MOBO, see all those chips, bingo. chips. (square-ish and black, and flat)
SMD - Surface mounted devices. & SMT , surface mounting Technology.
A SMD- security chip is a chip (tiny) called TPM chip that holds the BIOS password.
SOC = System on a CHIP ( CPU and vast other chips extra not needed now)
Backup-., is the process and goal of having your precious data copied somewhere but "NOT HERE." (not this dead PC) Know that all hard drives do fail, and that a virus can block all files in your Windows documents folders...or erase them...
There is no life time HDD made. (some can go 10 years as seen in high end servers)
BOOT, (short for boot strap) means pulling yourself up by your boot straps. The CPU by itself is brick stupid and dumb, it can't do any thing at all by itself, but can JUMP (jmp instruction hard coded this) and does so the the BIOS starting point in memory. BIOS then brings the system online. (called booting up and is a SERIAL STEP BY STEP PROCESS) From IBM day one , 1981 to now. (even or old CPM computers did the same , older)
OMGGW = Oh my golly gee wiz?
IDK, I don't know or have clue, or don't care to use that. (Chrome is that) I boycott google so.... what can I say.
GOOD LUCK fixing your PC !
This site is free of all spying or any kind , no binary code or scripts here ever. (but some links to the most safe I can find) This site is also free of paid pro web publishers, just some lazy dim bulbs rantings.
No spying , spam , scripts or any tracking here, no machine codes here. No begging here, no donations asked nor accepted. 100% fat/sugar/gluten free. 100% Politics free.
The only scripts here is the free find script to allow searching, a very important feature of any website, (I can't cross link everything so... this works great) the Free find uses fuzzy logic too, so finds things even spelled wrong)
Zero exploitation here, (just text , links and photos only) We do not guarantee what you find on other 1billion now, websites, ever, nor is that possible ! This also means every page on this domain, same statement here.
My favorite Program Applications are: (I do not get paid to say any of this, ever!)
RANSOM ATTACKS 101: Short and simple cures. (and preventions) Firefox has a safemode run feature that works ! Do not use Edge or IE11 or older, they do stink here. Chrome, IDK sorry.
First is do not believe the bandits, lies, you can stop and block them. (now, this instant)
DO NOT PANIC, do that PAY CASH to RANSOM JERKS that do this, ever!
Just do this... (sure the X button is dead in your buggy Browser, sure and now the browser has been Hijacked)
The only hard part is I do not know which of 8 browsers you use. (best answer is Firefox new, I will call that FF below and FF is free.)
If you get attacked using any Browser, (I use Firefox ,v68+ BEST!)
Do the 3 finger salute (control + alt + Delete) keys at once, and pick TASK Manager (TM), and tab processes, then right click your browser and pick end task, bingo the attack is now ended. (works for IE, and Firefox and others)
If not able to do the above TM?, (it is also an infected PC, that is problem #2 )
All you do is force the PC off by holding the power button for 10seconds, see the PC does turn off fast, if not pull the wall AC power cord and if a laptop pull it's battery too. (later or now, set BIOS settings so button = power off)
Next : ( turn the PC back on, using power, sources above replaced)
Rule1 do not re-RUN your browser , first reset it per below;
Then reboot and run Free CCLeaner next, do not skip this part.
I next run Firefox FF (9%) , in safe mode, by holding the Shift key while clicking the desktop FF short cut, and pick start safe mode.
Then in FF properties/settings, make sure your home page is where you want it to be not the RANSOMWARE JACKASS page. then delete all add ons, not wanted by you. (that's just 4 steps there, and now FF is back to normal)
In the case of other browsers: (the xx% is market share 2019)
Chrome (67%) is more difficult to run safe mode and no hotkey, (sadly) I'd avoid Chrome until they GET their bad ACT TOGETHER. (no HOT key is BAD programming) and the below same advice!
Microsoft IE11 internet exploder (12%), see here: (wow! some websites now ban IE11 as it had already IE1 to 10.)
Microsoft's ugly? Edge, nobody use this but see below:. I delete all ICONS marked EDGE, but here is the reset. (Edge may be more secure, but nobody likes using it, it is so alien like ) why EDGE, stinks.
For Edge, do this, click left win key and X at the same time. and click, App.'s and features, then click Edge and last the RESET button there.
Once back in control run all A/V (even online scans) run many anti virus scans on you PC, and malwarebytes linked above. (go to Microsoft.com and read how to run SFC, system file checker)
In my OPINION no Browser ever should allow any website to take over YOUR browser (X) click icon ever, or its controls . (or the least a setting called (block key take overs )of any kind)
Nor should the Alt +F4 key be dead, (means kills this task)
This is totally unacceptable and shows the makers very poor design. (for example the top right corner of the page, X button must always work) (why they find this too hard to do escapes me)
Prevention: (Windows 10 64bit v1909 or newer or Linux. Do not run any older OS ever again.
Use Firefox v73 up. (even run Adblock and run Privacy Badger, extensions)
If you get attacked, just do control + alt + Delete) and click task manager, and shut down FF, then restart FF using shift key, and bingo take over is GONE. (be safer and clear history and cookies)
V32 ,,,,,10-9-2017 , 8-13-2019 last edit I recommend this Domain hosting service. INTERSERVER.net
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