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When I turn on my pc nothing happens apart from the lights coming on? I have no idea of where to start looking to fix it and am not sure how to get the information off the harddrive? Please help.

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Last Post by Suspishio
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Can we have more information please? What lights? Any beeps? Fans running? Disk spinning?

What happened when you last switched off? What PC and configuration? Any recent changes? Any power spikes?

Getting info off the hard drive eventually will be easy if you have access to another PC or laptop. But let's concentrate on the problem first.

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In addition: Does anything appear on the monitor? Have you checked the monitor connections?

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Can we have more information please? What lights? Any beeps? Fans running? Disk spinning?

What happened when you last switched off? What PC and configuration? Any recent changes? Any power spikes?

Getting info off the hard drive eventually will be easy if you have access to another PC or laptop. But let's concentrate on the problem first.

The main light comes on next to the power button, it them seems to fire up the cd rom drive but that's where it stops. I have tried pressing F5 to get into the safe mode but that doesn't work.

It does sound like the fan is running.

We think it turned itself off - the machine has been almost permanently turned on for some time until recently when it has crashed a few times and needed rebooting.

The only amendments that I have made to the basic dell machine is to add a XFX graphics card about a year and a half ago.

The monitor has power going to it but it is saying it is in safe mode and to move mouse or press keyboard.

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I had suspected this was a PC that had been left on. These things usually (but not always) when either the thing gives up or there was a power surge.

Now you have confused me. The screen says SAFE MODE but you refer to F5; I presume you mean F8. So are you in Safe Mode or not?

Are the keyboard lights on? What happens when you hit the keyboard.

Turning to the PC crashing a few times, that suggests some sort of equipment glitch. What is the equipment configuration (other than Dell)?

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Sorry I should have put power saving/sleep for the monitor.

Nothing happens when I press the keyboard.

All I have is that it is a Dell Dimension 2400, I think 1gb ram, not sure which processor it has? The graphics card is a FX5200, windows xp home.

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Right. So take us through it doing the following steps:

1 Switch everything off (including monitor)
2 Switch monitor on
3 Switch PC on noting the flashes on the keyboard lights & what is displayed on the screen
4 At first BIOS beep, hit F8 a few times
5 Safe Mode should be offered

If Safe Mode isn't offered, then your keyboard isn't working (but then you'd have a few beeps telling you this or a displayed message on the screen).

So please, step by step report. As much info as possible.

You're there and we're thousands of miles away!

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I have taken out my graphics card and plugged the monitor into the standard port - all seems to be fine now apart from the appearance.

Would you suggest trying the card in the machine again?

Also, should I shut down my machine more regularily?

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It won't hurt to try the card again. If the symptom reappears, you can assume the card or the port is bad.
Turning off the machine is one of those controversial topics that comes up often.
You can save some power that way, and some wear, but turning off and on also introduces some wear.
Check your Power options in Control Panel, and look at things like turning off the HDs and the monitor, but overall a decent computer just doesn't care that much.

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About the graphics card, do try,to uninstall the hardware first so that XP does a full hardware detect and install.

As to switching off, I'm quite certain where I stand. It's at night that the power companies do all sort of maintenance and spikes can occur. I've been switching PCs on and off for 20 years now without wear and tear being a factor - and I've never had any cold start problems.

Anyway, since the problem wasn't allied to that but seems to be a degraded graphics card, you could argue that keeping the card powered and no doubt hot is a true cause of wear and tear!

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