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For the first time over the past weekend I downloaded a video from a torrent website. It had the most seeds and I had never had problems before so I figured it would be okay. The video was fine no corruption when it I played it. I think maybe initially I opened tried to open it and my player crashed (VLC) but then I tried opening it again and it worked.

This was on Saturday. I can't remember if I turned off my computer that night or not but I am going to assume that I did. Sunday everything was fine no problems. Monday comes around I try to turn on my computer and I hit the power button and hard drive spins up everything seems to have power but nothing comes up on the screen. Monitor button is orange and not green. I had a dual boot system and I was required to choose which OS to boot with, and one of the OS I had tried to uninstall but it still thinks it is there and chooses that one by default, so if I don't press anything it will try to do that one and then a screen will come up that says press any key to restart etc this OS messed up, something along those lines. I am saying this because I think if my computer had started up correctly then after a few moments if I hit like some lettered key on the keyboard then the computer would have restarted but this didn't happen. The BIOS screen that typically flashed up as soon as I turned on my computer that says ACER, press delete key to enter BIOS, didn't even show up. I was thinking I could rule out the GPU going bad in this case.

Fiddle around with some electronics around the house to see if maybe one of the circuits is messed up and everything checks out fine. We go to turn on my computer again and randomly success, it turns on however, there was some kind of error. When it turned on I believe it listed my hard drive and CD drive and then it said something like CMOS error, something something. Press any key or something like this. The computer then starts up normally and everything is grand, and all of this happened on Monday.

Tuesdays comes and I try to start up the computer and the same thing happened, except this time it didn't eventually start up saying CMOS error, it just never got going again. I tried 5 times throughout the day and I even took a PSU from an old computer and at the very least tried to see if I could get the "beep" sound that I would get when the computer normally would start. The single beep. Tried it with a different PSU and no beep.

From this I am thinking the motherboard or CPU died.

I read that some viruses can wipe the motherboards CMOS or something like this, I don't know much about motherboard things or computers really. I am thinking maybe this happened and it "killed" my motherboard in this way.

In a way I am happy as I want to order parts and build a new computer.

My concern: To save money I wanted to just reuse the hard drive from the build that failed as I think the hard drive is okay however since I am thinking now that it is possible that the running of the video killed my old motherboard that I don't want to take the risk of the new motherboard and/or CPU getting killed too. I have a 40gb partition set aside on the hard drive that I was intending to wipe and put a new purchased OS on, and then getting in to the new OS and then pulling what files I needed from the hard drive, putting it on a flash drive, then just wiping the entire thing, and doing at least one pass of the wiping of hard drives where it really wipes everything (I don't recall the name for this) and then putting the new OS and beginning afresh.

I would like to get important files from the old drive but I don't want to risk killing another CPU and/or motherboard (probably motherboard?). Any advice or does this sound plausible? Sorry for my ignorance and stupidity, though it will only effect myself lol.

*For future viewers, my computer I bought is an Acer Veriton M410. I bought it 5 years ago in 2008. The computer would not POST. Monday I got CMOS error during POST. Tuedsay, "dies." Today, Wednesday, dead still. I unplugged everything replugged everything in etc. Anyhow, I bought a new CMOS battery, installed that, computer posted and I've restarted it at least 3 times so far and everything seems to be good to go as far as I can tell though it looks like a lot of things got set back old school like my time for example was set to December 2006. Probably some other things like this too but functionality is there and I am doing what I was doing before on the computer, internet browsing etc. So let this be a case that it appears that changing the CMOS battery seemed to have after that the computer running again.

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closed as not a real question by Breakthrough, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, soandos, Scott, Excellll Jun 9 '13 at 0:57

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

In my experience what we fear to be the worst often is something simple. Have you confirmed that your video cable (VGA, DVI, HDMI) is secured in both your monitor and video card (note make sure its not into your motherboard)? Have you tried another cable? Is your video card secured and power cables to it (if any) are secured? Have you tried a different monitor? I have known monitors who are at the end of their lifespans crap out like that due to blown capacitors in the screen.

I can almost assure you that the problem did not originate from the video as you played it days prior to your issues and I have never heard of a video doing anything like what you might be fearing.

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To be honest I haven't tried moving the GPU. Taking it out then putting it back in. At this point I am willing to try it. The computer hasn't been making the beep sound that it used to make. We'll see! ;) – Johnsan Jun 6 '13 at 19:45
A good first step is always reseating everything. Remove all cards / drives and power ribbons then re attach – AthomSfere Jun 6 '13 at 21:17

If you're getting CMOS error, probably there's some problem with your motherboard. It's hard (some say impossible, and that was a battle long years ago) to cause hardware problems with a malicious software.

And, about getting a new computer: sometimes isn't that easy to simple plug an old hdd, with windows installed on it, and just turn it on. Sometimes there are so many itens to reinstall (like drivers, etc) that is easier to reinstall everything from scratch.

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Okay thank you very much this sounds good. Maybe it is just a coincidence and my motherboard died. I've had the computer for more than 5 years and been using the same motherboard and CPU. – Johnsan Jun 6 '13 at 19:46

To troubleshoot:

  • Take your computer outside and blow it out well (especially around the processor heatsink).
  • Unplug your hard drive from the mother board (your computer should boot as long as there is ram in it).
  • Try a monitor that you know works, plug yours into a different computer if you want to verify it works.
  • If you have a graphics card: remove it and plug your monitor into the on-board graphics or try a known working graphics card.

You said that when you turned it on, it did not beep. Did the fans turn on?

I doubt this would cause boot errors like you are talking about but you could replace the CMOS battery or try removing it and putting it back in.

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Okay. I just removed the battery and put it back in. I will see if I can get it to get working again – Johnsan Jun 6 '13 at 20:56
No luck, thank you anyways. I even tried mashing on the keyboard and no beeps like would normally happen. – Johnsan Jun 6 '13 at 21:02
I will try and buy a new battery if I can get one locally for cheap and see if that helps. – Johnsan Jun 6 '13 at 21:07
I really doubt that will fix anything. All fans come on and the light on the motherboard comes on too? – user142485 Jun 6 '13 at 21:15
@Johnsan a bad CMOS battery should not prevent POST, it may throw errors but that's it. It is likely either the board or the PSU. CPUs almost never die. – AthomSfere Jun 6 '13 at 21:16

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