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I don't know how this works. Do I continue speaking to shiela65? Anyway, to elaborate, my computer originally said that my hard drive was failing, so I immediately backed up all my files to an external hard drive. I then bought and installed a new hard drive with the intention of installing windows 7. It was after I installed the new hard drive when the computer began behaving as I described (when turned on the lights flash up and down as they would normally but then the mute and volume up lights stay on and the volume down light flashes). There is no screen activity so I cannot do any kind of diagnostic or software installation. Have you encountered or know that this behavior corresponds to a motherboard failure?

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  • ryancarey Nov 06, 2010

    Ok, here is the situation. My computer started warning me that my hard drive would fail, I replaced the hard drive and when I attempt now to start the computer it behaves as I described. There is no way for me to do anything because the screen is inactive and then the computer shuts down entirely after about 10-15 seconds. Does anyone have any experience with this problem on a dell? From the previous solution, why would the problem be the graphics card, and why would the compute start doing this after I installed a new hard drive? What is the best course of action?

  • ryancarey Nov 06, 2010

    I have been asking questions and have spent about 18 dollars so far. I don't want to accept an answer or reply to someone of I have to continue to spend money. How does this all work? Anyway, can someone please read through all of what I have posted before answering. The last person asked me if I see a logo. NO I DON'T. I have clearly stated this before, just a black screen with the flashing LED lights on the dash. Volume up light on, mute light on, and volume down light flashing. Please, I have spent a decent amount of money so please read my previous quesitons and the answers I got.

  • ryancarey Nov 06, 2010

    Well, anyone else have some input here. I guess I'm just trying to get my moneys worth. I would appreciate any further advice someone can give me. Thanks

  • ryancarey Nov 06, 2010

    I think you win. Thanks for reading everything, getting to be quite lengthy. So have you seen anything similar to this on a dell? It just sucks because I don't want to spend so much money on diagnosing the problem then have to spend a bunch more on fixing it. Is there anyway to do a simple diagnosis, perhaps with the old hard drive, or something that won't be to difficult or costly? I almost want to gamble and install a new MB.

  • ryancarey Nov 08, 2010

    Good advice, thanks

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Yes you have either motherboard failure on the system, or memory / cpu failure. It is extremely difficult to diagnose on your own because you need to have extra parts to "swap" in and try to determine what exactly has failed. Without any information displaying on screen it is impossible otherwise.

It could be that your motherboard was the culprit all along, and your machine was thinking it was the hard drive failing when in fact it was the motherboard failing. The motherboard controls the hard drive.. so if the motherboard goes bad it can do all kinds of wacky things like make the machine think items are failing that really aren't...

At this point you will want to have the help of a computer professional to determine what has failed in your system. Chances are it was just one component and replacing that failed part (the motherboard for example) will fix everything up... so no need to replace the whole computer or anything drastic.

Thanks, let me know if you have any questions or concerns, just reply to my answer here and I will be right back with you.

Tim

Posted on Nov 06, 2010

  • Tim Grayson
    Tim Grayson Nov 07, 2010

    You should disconnect all components in the computer, hard drives, cd drives, anything that is not necessary to turn the system on. Disconnect power from them as well to be safe, it may be that your power supply is starting to fail and powering all those devices is draining it. Chances are very good that it is the motherboard, RAM, or CPU in that order. The system should turn on to at least get something on the display without a hard drive and anything else connected, just the RAM, CPU, and VIDEO CARD or on-board video is all that is truly required to get at least something on the screen. If you can't at that point you will need to try a new motherboard, if that doesn't work you know it is RAM or CPU. You can get a board from somewhere like Amazon or Newegg (.com) and can return the board if it ends up not being that... So you won't be out too awfully much aside from a little time. Best Buy's return policy is also very good for just trying devices... may want to go grab some RAM from them and see if you can get the machine to at least come on... that is a super easy swap out as opposed to a whole motherboard.

    Thanks
    Tim

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This is a long shot, but I'm thinking that you might have been experiencing a power supply failure, and the computer "saw it" as a hard drive failure. Of course, it could be a motherboard failure, but the power supply is the gas behind the engine, and it can cause some pretty crazy symptoms. One of the critical voltages could be dropping to a gray area which can do strange things.
If you have access to another power supply, try it and see what happens. If it doesn't work, some portion of the motherboard may be bad, but, unless it's memory, or a peripheral dragging down a voltage, it might require replacement of the entire board.
If you have a desktop computer, your sound board could be the problem, since the volume and mute controls are going crazy.
Wish I had a more definitive answer, but good luck, and hope this helps.

Posted on Nov 06, 2010

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Try this first, power drain the battery.
Do you see the POST screen (Dell Logo) before it shuts down after 10-15 seconds? Do you see a black display?

Posted on Nov 06, 2010

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Ryan,
If you do not want me to give you any solutions then ignore this.
Now that you have given almost complete info on your problem I can say that it could be the video card of your computer. Yes, it forms part of the motherboard. But it can be disabled and a new one (at much lower cost compared to that of the motherboard) and use your computer. I am sure you must be getting the POST on your screen before Windows takes over. If yes then the video card is fine. It just may not have the right drivers in Win7. And so would be the case with the sound card.
Reinstall Windows7, before you start buying cards, to save money.

Posted on Nov 06, 2010

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