Desperate for PC Help

Just to be right up front, I nominated myself for this years Darwin award. All flames welcome for my stupidity. With that said, here it goes.

A buddy at work gave me a used Radeon PCIE video card for my computer. Mine does not have a video card - it uses onboard video, so I figured I’d try it. I seated the card and tried to boot it, but it wouldn’t boot - although it continuously powered off and on every 10 seconds, attempting to boot. Usually, (during a good boot) the “Energy Star” screen comes up first, with a list of function keys to get into the BIOS, etc. However, now there is absolutely no display to the monitor, no “beep”, no nothing. I removed the card, thinking it would go back to using the on board video but it still will not boot. It just keeps powering off and on every 10 seconds. What scares me is the absence of a “beep” as I am assuming that maybe I fried the motherboard.

A Google search says that this video card is an OEM for Dell computers. (Wish I would have done that first!) Not sure if it was for 32 or 64 bit, but my HP is a 64 bit. I did notice that there is a 6 or 8 pin socket on the motherboard labeled “BIOS Debug.” Is it possible to hook something up to this to help troubleshoot the problem?

Like I said, it was probably one of the most ■■■■■■■■ things I ever did, and now I am desperately seeking answers. Any help would be greatly appreciated. If there is any other info I could provide, please ask.


My guess is the mobo has short-circuited as there’s no beep sound and nothing on screen at all (when putting on/unplugging the video card the PSU’s power cord should be unplugged and you should make sure the computer’s power has been totally cut off), but first you should check to see if some wires have been knocked loose.

Suggest you take it to a computer repair shop and have them check it out for you.

When I physically unplug my computer, there is a little green light on the back that remains lit. I am always careful to hit the power button several times until it goes out before attempting anything inside. I haven’t really thought about it until now but the card was as long as my case and was rather tough to get into position. I may have inadvertently bumped the heat sink on the
processor, and I’m now wondering if I may have disturbed it somehow. Does that sound theoretically possible?

I guess my next step would be to search on the interconnected webs to find out how to remove the processor and re-seat it - as I have never gone down that path before. I will try anything at this point. One last question though: In your opinion, would removing the battery from the motherboard do anything to help? And if it’s worth trying, how long does it have to be removed to clear things out?

Thanks for replying to my thread - I appreciate it.


Hi Paul, next time in addition to hitting the “Power button” to turn off the computer you should also make sure the power supply to the computer’s PSU is totally cut off.

Though the symptoms described might also be caused by an overheating CPU (due to bad contact between it and the heat sink), I still tend to think it’s more of a faulty mobo. If you can take out the heat sink you should also apply some “thermal paste” (which is specifically designed for use on CPUs) before re-seating it.

I still think you should take your computer to a neigborhood computer repair shop to have them check it for you.

p.s. even with a drained battery, the computer should boot though it may take a bit longer.

I mostly agree with james321888, except I think it is worth a shot to remove the CMOS battery for 20-30 seconds. If that doesn’t work, it is time for a shop. Find a local mom and pop type shop- they tend to be more honest and reasonably priced. Good luck and let us know how you come along. :slight_smile:

I think it is worth a shot to remove the CMOS battery for 20-30 seconds

Surely, even replace it with a new battery as it would take very little effort to have that done.

I would just clear the CMOS.

Same here, using whatever procedure is appropriate for your mobo Paul.

Dell has of course used nonstandard PSUs, but I have a hard time believing they would make-or-use a PCI-E card that was nonstandard in any electrical way.

Though it is certainly possible that if you inserted the card with power applied, you may have fried something.

Thanks for all of the replies. As I stated earlier, I bumped the heat sink while trying to do the installation. My last act was to remove the processor and re-seat it. When I pulled it out, there was tiny little specs of dust and dirt on the white pin board. I’ve obviously failed at doing preventative maintenance on my pc, as the heat sink was packed with fuzz and dirt. Anyway, it boots fine now.

Have a great new year.

Glad you got it sorted, Paul, and thanks for letting us know.

Happy New Year to you!

Glad you got it sorted, Paul

:-TU, same here. Glad you solved the issue Paul ! Next time be a bit more cautious when dealing with things inside the box. And Happy New Year !