Some advice to do myself or help wanted

So parent’s computer broke and won’t turn on now its been dumped on me to fix it since apparently I go to Space and know how to fix computers according to their strange logic. I just went to check the outlet and wire if they’re receiving power and they are so I need to know what would be my next steps in troubleshooting? Any guides online or steps I should do next? Need to know if this is a hardware or software issue.

The only other thing done to it was a quick dust off with compressed air. Also what would be the best way to back up files from a hard drive to a chrome/dropbox/cloud based storage with just a laptop, just some files from dad’s is valuable to work/contacts. Can share details.

Does anything light up on the motherboardwhen hitting the power button? I would check the connections from the power button. If not I would test the PSU. If you have another to swap I would do that. If not you can technically jump the PSU with a paperclip between two certain wires.

If that turns on, then your problem lies elsewhere possibly with the motherboard

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There’s a lot that can go wrong with a computer that will not power on/ boot up. You’ll have to go through the entire check list step by step.

for starters. use google for more info.


as far as getting things off a hard drive use this:

ive used this exact one myself with success.

if your mother board might be fried after confirming all possibilities look up your particular model and the firmware CMOS reset options (several tricky key strokes that are different for each motehr board) i’ve used it successfully once.

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to start off the best knowledge base for anything related to what your looking for is the A+ Bible which has all the POST error codes, guides to troubleshoot, and other details one would ever wish to know when debugging and reviving PCs.

Now there is potentially a few things to check for:

Fan does not turn on check Power supply, cabling, BIOS
Fan Turns on but no POST ( pull hdd then ) check BIOS, Chips, RTC Clock
Fans Turn on, POST but beeps check error code agenst
Passes POST, dies before OS Check EFI/Bios, HDD, OS
Nearly all else Check OS by pulling the drive, boot into RescueCD, reseating chips, and cross reference A+ Bible
POST Bios, O/S, Device Admin password lockout Check BIOS Central and DPL, use chntpw, or boot into root/ recover luks passphrase
OS Boots but system/software errors Review Event Viewer and Process Monitor Logs / Syslog and strace under Linux/OSX
Software Will Not function “correctly” or does not start backup current configuration files/registry entries, tag it as unclean, then purge and reinstall software.
Network not working Check cables, dhcp, passwords,VPNs, Firewalls, SSL certificates, and VLANs then use wireshark, traceroute, ping, and socat/telnet/openssl s_client to test OSI layers 5-7

One can always pick a time that works best for oneself and I’ll be glad to help guide you through any problems that come along or answer any question.


Yeah, VCC has a range of these available for members to use along with other tools for PC, Smartphone, and IT repair work. One just has to request that they be brought onsite for now, after the expansion they will be available in the committee area.

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oh man! good to know. especially since my last data recovery project ended up with the cable being in the client’s posession :laughing: something about doing data recovery in the green room of a concert / bar venue that inevitably leads to misplaced items~

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