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One of my desktops stopped working after I tried to switch the memory stick.

And the system can't boot up now.

I'm now using my laptop,thinking if there are any method to detect which part of the desktop is actually in trouble.

Thinking in economy,what's the cheapest solution?

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migrated from Sep 19 '09 at 0:23

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

This should probably be on SuperUser. – Craig Sep 19 '09 at 0:21
i agree that this should be on – John Boker Sep 19 '09 at 0:22
Where exactly does the boot fail? Does it power on at all? Does it reach the BIOS? Does it reach the Boot Manager? Does the OS begin start? – Grumbel Sep 19 '09 at 0:39

If the machine's beeping on startup, you might consider looking up the beep codes. Otherwise, remove all components and see if it boots. Add them back 1 at a time until it stops.

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If your desktop doesn't start at all, I'd check for:

  • power button (may appear stupid, but disassembling PC just to find out you've accidentally damaged power button wire isn't as funny as you may think it is, especially after few hours of searching)
  • power supply - try to take another and see if it works

If it's none of the above, probably your mainboard is fried.

If your PC starts, but immediately afterwards turns off - its either your mb or power supply.

If you hear beeps, try reading beep codes, as smalloy said.

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Fried the power supply? Unplug it and take out the battery for 30 minutes.

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What is removing the BIOS battery going to do if the PSU is bad (bad PSU is a stretch given the limited info we have anyway)? – MDMarra Sep 19 '09 at 4:12

Power-On Self-Test (POST) beeps would be a good thing to check, as smalloy says.

Assuming you didn't touch anything else other than the memory, (which you may well have done, if the memory was difficult to get at without taking the machine apart), then there are three main possibilities: the memory you put in is bad, the memory you switched back to wasn't put in right, or you cracked the mainboard pushing it in wrongly or just too firmly.

However, if you did take other parts out, just start from scratch, building the machine again with just the essentials, and then try the other stuff, one bit at a time.

Also, make sure you haven't just knocked the power cable out or hit the off switch on the PSU or something (if it has one)

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