My PC refuses to boot. The power switch lights up and the fans spins, but it doesn't boot. Usually this happens for long stretches of time and then sometimes it magically boots after a few restarts, but recently the screen resolutions are screwed up and my PC doesn't detect my GeForce graphics card.

This has been going on for over a year, and I've sent it for repairs more than three times. It comes back fine, but in less than a month the problem comes back. Sometimes when I resit all the cables in the tower it boots, but that doesn't happen anymore. I read somewhere that this exact problem is the hardest to troubleshoot.

What should I do? I know very little about PC hardware, so I'm quite afraid to take anything out I'm not sure of fixing back.

  • 1
    Well, the first thing you should do if you ever manage to get it booted again, is backup everything onto an external hard drive... – Jan Doggen Jan 1 '14 at 12:05
  • And try to find out what they did to the machine when 'repairing' it. That may give you a clue. – Jan Doggen Jan 1 '14 at 12:06

I had this problem (minus the graphics card issues that you mention), and as best as I could tell, it was exacerbated by temperature - leaving it off for hours would cool it down, and it would refuse to boot several times after that, like a car that won't start.

I think (from the smell and the sound I experienced one day) a capacitor had blown on the motherboard or in the power supply unit prior to this problem happening, which is never a good thing, and might have been the cause.

Anyway, I replaced every single component inside my PC case one by one, and after I'd done that, not surprisingly, it worked reliably. Of course, it was effectively a new PC at that point!

Sorry I can't be more helpful!

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