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HP A867C WOn't start/boot

I had a power outtage in my place the other day and wasn't home to unplug my appliances. I came back and tried to turn on my computer and it wouldn't start. I noticed the green light in the back blinking and I could hear it ticking as well. I unplugged the tower and let it sit for 30 minutes or so. Still not working. I opened the side panel and unplugged the ATX cable from the motherboard and waited for 3 minutes. I plugged the power cord back in without reattaching the ATX cord. The green light in the back stopped blinking and stayed solid. None of the fans turned on, but I plugged the ATX cord back into the motherboard only to find that the solid green light was blinking and ticking once more. I unplugged the ATX cord again and the light turned solid. The tower still wouldn't turn on and none of the fans turned on. I took a closer look at the components and found that I have two capacitors that are bulging slightly. I am at a loss of what to do. How will i know if there is something wrong with the motherboard or the power supply? Will two bad capacitors effect the entire system like that? I have important files on the tower and haven't gotten the chance to buy an external back up system and am currently low on funds. Anyone know what I can do?

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1) Take the SATA harddrive out, install it into a SATA external enclosure. The external enclosure has a USB cable that you plug into the USB port of a working computer. You can retrieve your data this way.

One example of a decent economical SATA 3.5 inch external enclosure,

2) Which Capacitors are bad?

Only takes One bad capacitor to drop the computer to it's knees, if it's a capacitor in the motherboard Voltage Regulator Circuit.

Part of what the motherboard Voltage Regulator Circuit does is regulate voltage for the Processor.

The Asus PTDGD1-LA motherboard, is used in the HP Pavilion a867c desktop computer,

(HP/Compaq name is Grouper-UL8E)

I would like you to scroll down the page, and look at the motherboard photo under the motherboard illustration.

Which two capacitors is it?

(You can save the motherboard photo to your My Pictures folder, and enlarge it for better clarity.
Put your mouse cursor directly on the motherboard photo, and Right-click.

In the drop down list Left-click on - Save Image As
In the Save Image window you will see - File name: at the bottom.
In the box to the right of File name: will be the file number -

If you have a lot of photos in your My Pictures folder, looking for the file name - c00208573 may lead to difficulty.
Should you wish to make finding the file easier, you may wish to do this.

Put your mouse cursor after the 3 in c00208573.
Left-click twice.
Make one space with your spacebar.
Type - HP Pavilion a867c

Now go below, and Left-click on - Save.
Go to your My Pictures folder, and Double-click on the file name.
At the bottom of the window you will see a Zoom In icon for enlarging the motherboard photo. Looks like a magnifying glass with a + sign in it)

I'm hoping your bad capacitor reference, isn't regarding the Power Supply. (Actually I kind of hope it is. Read on)

Capacitors slowly build up a charge, and release it all at once.
There are Electrolytic Capacitors used to Filter the incoming AC electricity, (Input Stage), and the outgoing DC electricity the Power Supply has converted. (Output Stage)

Electrolytic Capacitors can store a charge for a Long time, after power has been removed from them.
Weeks, Months, and sometimes over a year.

If your finger/s should touch both leads coming out of an Electrolytic Capacitor, the charge could be released to you!

If your finger/s complete a circuit that one, or more Electrolytic Capacitors are in, the charge could be released to you!

Result can be a BAD shock to FATAL!

(Especially the capacitors used in the Input Stage!)

On the other hand, if it is two Electrolytic Capacitors that are bad in the Power Supply, you may be lucky, and just have to replace the Power supply to get your computer working again.

(Above ALL, I want you to be SAFE!)

Most of the capacitors used on a motherboard, are in the motherboard Voltage Regulator Circuit.

Part of what the motherboard Voltage Regulator Circuit does, is to regulate Voltage for the Processor.

The Processor must have a Steady, 'Clean', supply of voltage, and it must be within a specified range.
Too much, or too little, and the Processor will not turn on, or stay on.

Looking at the Asus PTGD1-LA motherboard, it looks like Solid Capacitors are used around the Processor socket.
To my knowledge they do not bulge, they just pop open.

These capacitors are part of the motherboard Voltage Regulator Circuit.
However there are other capacitors that are not in close proximity to the Processor socket, and may be Electrolytic Capacitors.

IF, it is Electrolytic Capacitors, AND IF, they are part of the motherboard Voltage Regulator Circuit, having just two of them go bad can make it so the Processor will not turn on.
They are in a Series circuit.

Replacing the two bad capacitors may, or may Not, be all that is needed. There may be more bad capacitors that are not showing visual signs of failure, or that you haven't spotted yet.

The damage could also have gone further.
Best option is to simply replace the motherboard.

Do I have a concise, clear solution for you?
No sir.

If this computer were in my shop, and I spotted two bad capacitors on the motherboard, I would start with replacing the motherboard.
(Actually I would try replacing the capacitors, and see what happens. Computer geek, lol!)

I would also test the power supply.
I happen to have a few spare Power Supply's around, so I would just use a KNOWN to be good, Compatible power supply for a test unit.

You can test the Power Supply with an economical multimeter. Doesn't take a Fluke quality multimeter for this diagnosis. You can use a $5 multimeter.

You can also use a power supply tester.
Continued in an additional Comment.

Posted on Jun 03, 2010


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Your bulging capacitors might indicate you were hit by a voltage surge but replacing them is not likely to solve the problem.
You can get a power supply tester (approximately $20) at most computer stores and sometimes at office supply stores. These tester vary as to how much information they give you but all that I've seen will tell you if your power supply has a problem. Try to get one that test your power plugs for your drives as well.
Testing the Motherboard is a much more complicated situation. It requires special test equipment that is rather expensive. Most shops either send them to a testing facility or just swap out parts to determine the problem.
You can pick up an USB drive adapter ($20-$40) at the same places you can get the tester, this will allow you to take the drives out of your computer and access them from any computer with the right USB port, most recent computers are USB 2.0 which is what you'll need. You may need to buy a wall transformer depending on the model adapter you get. Make sure to set the drives flat on a non-conductive surface.
There is a chance that the drives may have been damaged as well. If this is the case depending on the value of the data you can have the data retrieve by the drive manufacture but it's not inexpensive.

Posted on Jun 03, 2010

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The capacitors you are referring to. is located at the power supply or the motherboard, if youre referring at the motherboards capacito, your motherboard is toast, and the only solution is to buy another motherboard, hopefully the capacitor you are referring to is at the atx. and the only thing you would replace is the atx power supply. i guess your data is safe, and you can check that by slaving your hdd to other pc.

Posted on Jun 03, 2010

  • rhuns1 Dec 12, 2010

    I had exactly the same thing happen to my a867c. I observed two bulged caps as well - one on either side of the dimm sockets. Having just repaired a magnavox plasma with the same issues, I replaced my motherboard ... sadly no luck, the power supply light is still blinking. I just ordered a new power supply, and if that isnt the issue, the only thing left is the processor ... total cost to repair will be motherboard=35$, power supply=30$, processor=30$ ...i am going to check my power switch on the front, I'm guessing it's a momentary type. Any comments on my issue are greatly welcome ... if I find that it was the processor, I think I'll replace the caps on the first MB just for practice .....


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