I came into a computer today and it was apsolutely filthy. It booted up ok, but it neeed a good cleaning. I took off the CPU fan and heat sink and cleaned it off and put it back exactly the way it was. I compressed air'd the rest of the dust and gunk on the inside and reconnected everything just like before. Now it starts, but nothing shows on the monitor, (the monitor light stays yellow instead of green) and I noticed a red LED2 light flashing on the motherboard. INTEL A-OPEN #AX4SG-N. I'm thinking overheating of the CPU? Maybe I need to clean off all the black that was on the back of the metal heat sink/CPU fan that was burned onto it from the CPU? Do I scrape it off and put some of that white gunk on it? Could some of the dust that was scattered around have landed on the CPU and be causing the problems? What the heck is a LED2 anyway?

Any help and ideas will be greatly appreciated.


10 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by Chaky

For the black and white gunk (otherwise, known as thermal paste) definitely YES. Clean the back of the heatsink and front of the CPU and apply very thin layer of the "white gunk".

It is not overheating CPU, since it needs time to heat up and eventually overheat, by which time your PC would behave as usual. Even then, your CPU would do emergency slowdown, and no harm would be done. That's one good thing about Intel CPUs.

In case you dismembered all of the components, it is a possibility that you haven't seated all of the RAM sticks properly and/or PCI/PCI-e cards. I suspect that your VGA is not seated properly and thus producing no video feedback. That is why every mobo should have beeper implemented.

Regarding that LED2... it could be some kind of warning. Bad power connection, faulty RAM, faulty CPU.... even "case open warning". Whatever that is, it should be in your mobo manual. I tried to find that mobo (given that INTEL A-OPEN #AX4SG-N is the model of the mobo), but no luck. A-OPEN homepage is in Japanese and my Japanese is, kind of, rusty.

Couple of things you should know about vacuuming the PC:
dust itself has capacitor of static charge proprieties and combined with vacuuming (or any kind of breeze) it can discharge and harm sensitive electronic parts, and with RAM being the most sensitive of them, it would be the first to go.


If it's not booting, look for dislodged or misplaced cables, check you have put the RAM in correctly, or if you accidentily put in some different RAM if you had some spare. Think about checking that all of the data cables are corectly placed in (the thin grey ones).


Thanks. I did end up with a small grey cable that I have no idea what it goes to. I did find the manual on-line in English even, :-) and today I'm going to take everything out this time and just try booting with the basics and discover from the manual where that grey cable goes to. I dont think it was hooked up though the first time I booted it. I did take one RAM out (theres 3) just to look at it and see what kind it was and how much RAM it was. So that could be a problem. I did take out the video card and the AGP slot had dust galore in the slot. That could be preventing it from seating properly I guess if there is still dust in it. I dont have any white gunk, so the CPU will have to wait. I dont wanna scrape off the black stuff till I get some though.

If none of this works, it might boil down to a toasted motherboard due to my poor job of cleaning, static electricity causes. I'll keep you posted. Thanks again for your ideas and suggestions.


Well that Grey Cable will be causing your problems! :P
RAM only goes in 1 way into the slots, also look at everything in your computer and look for a power socket next to, such as on the gfx card (if required) and for all of the hardware components (DVD/CD Drive, Multi card readers etc.


The small grey cable (its not really a cable) is the exact size of the little wires that go to the LED pins located on the motherboard like HDD and Speakers etc. I checked the manual and no where would that bugger go on the motherboard. Besides its a little different then the other LED wires and I wouldnt have a clue where it would go once I found one end of it to plug in. I pulled out the SB Live PCI card, I pulled out the AGP card and put in a PCI graphic card. Nada. So that's not the problem. I rechecked the CPU and that checked out fine. The computer still boots up nicely but nothing is still appearing on the monitor. So I must have done something drastic to the motherboard. Off to the shop it will have to go as I have run out of ideas.


Well I stuck a different video card in it and it finally shows up on the monitor now. The other video card works fine in my other computer though, so I have no idea what that is about.

The problem now is that WinXP wont boot up. Says its missing important files. So I tried to boot up using the win xp CD and it keeps telling me there isnt a boot cd in the drive. GRRR!!!! Whats up with that?


hi, check your cable and supply to the CD-ROM if there is no loss connection, and make sure it's plug-in properly. When you boot go to CMOS check if the system can detect your CD-ROM...and configure it to Boot to CD..where the XP installer is placed.. hope that helps..


BIOS settings tend to get lost and reset to defaults after prolonged period of motherboard being unplugged from the power source. Keep in mind one thing that can render Windows XP unbootable:
ACPI/APIC setting (usually has option of disable or enable) is crucial. If it differs from the setting by the time Windows was installed it will not boot. Not even in safe mode.

BTW, you failed to mention where that gray cable is coming from. Usually those wires are marked. (HDD Led, PWR, Reset, Speaker, Keylock...)

In my experience, taking the PC apart and cleaning it usually end up with same situation that you're in. Sometimes everything goes back to normal by itself after some resting time (for both you and your machine). Sometimes you need to do is reseat the VGA and PCI cards and re-check the wiring.
Few times I plugged 40-wire IDE cable upside down by mistake. It doesn't matter which end goes where or the orientation of the pin 1, as long as it is same on both ends. If you flip over one end and plug it in, then none of the drives would spin, no VGA output, no beeps, no nothing. Just like your machine...

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