Hardware Troubleshooting

Normally I’m pretty good at troubleshooting hardware, but sometimes I just miss stuff. On sunday I did some summer cleaning of computers, blowing out dust, making sure connections were tight, etc. I did naked, the arcterex.net server last sometime sunday afternoon or evening. After blowing out all the dust I put things back together. My hope was that the hard drive fan that had been malfunctioning would get scared that I was going to replace it, and start working again. The fan worked great for a while when I got it, but something happened, probably me pinching a wire or something, and basically the computer won’t boot with it plugged in.

So I got things plugged back in, and I click the button (actually push the switch that the button would push if the faceplate was put on).

Nothing. Ok, no worries, I guess the hard drive fan didn’t get scared. Unplug, replugin the hard drive, click the button again.

Nothing. Hmm….. that’s odd. Look for anything obviously missed, cpu fan, memory, etc. Nope. click button again.


So I did some more troubleshooting.

  • disconnect all IDE hard drives… Nothing.
  • disconnect both SATA hard drives… Nothing.
  • move video card to different slot… Nothing.
  • remove all cards but video… Nothing.
  • remove video card as well (should get beeping when the button is hit complaining there is no video card)… Nothing.

By this time I’m really confused. The motherboard is definately getting power, and I didn’t do anything that I thought would blow it out that badly, but who knows. Definately not wanting to have to replace it or move the services to a different system or anything like that. I’m starting to think that what people say about my bad hardware karma is right 🙁

About that time I guess I started thinking about ripping the motherboard out to see if some sort of short occurred sporadically and looked over at the pins that come from the computer case and are attached to the motherboard. You know, speaker, reset and ….. power switch.

Turns out that it’s really hard to turn a computer on if the switch you’re hitting isn’t plugged in 🙂

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