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We have a desktop computer which is currently not starting up. When the PSU is plugged into the wall and switched on (via the switch on the back of the PSU itself) the PSU fan and the CPU fan spin for a fraction of a second then stop and the motherboard green LED light is lit up. When the power button is pressed, nothing happens (no fans spinning, beeping, etc).

Before this happened the computer was simply shut down and left for a few days. It was sitting horizontally on the ground at the time, and has been working that way for the past year. (Some of the plastic pins holding the CPU fan on had broken causing it to only work horizontally, so that's why it was set like that.)

Here's what I tried, in no particular order:

  • Removing all case fans
  • Using 2 other power supplies
  • Using another CPU/removing it completely
  • Removing all except one stick of RAM in the DIMM slot closest to the CPU/removing all RAM
  • Disconnecting all unnecessary items, such as hard drives, PCI cards, CD/DVD drives, etc.
  • Switching the clock battery with another 2032 one
  • Testing the switch with a multimeter and bridging the pins manually with a flathead screwdriver
  • Pressing the power button as soon as the PSU is switched on
  • Checking the caps on the board for obvious signs of failure (didn't find any so far)
  • Unplugging and plugging back in cables
  • Holding down the power button

During all of the above tests I kept the CPU fan plugged in since I read the motherboard needs that in to start up.

All have the same effect, which was the small fan movement and the green LED. Nothing lights up on the front. Since the problem happens without RAM, any components, or the CPU itself being in place I am assuming either the motherboard is being shorted to the case (not very likely since it was on the ground and hasn't moved when it failed) or that the motherboard itself has failed somehow.

The motherboard model is an Intel D915GEV/D915PCY/D915GRF, and the processor is a Pentium 4. If anyone has any advice please let us know.

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    I'd say it's time to let the old soldier finally fade away. Grab the drive from it & drop it in a USB enclosure to recover data. Sounds like the mobo itself has gone; not really worth replacing on such an old machine. You already spent more in man-hours than the machine is worth.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 19, 2015 at 10:16
  • You state "bridging pins"...was this at the switch or the header block (where the wires for the button attach to the mobo). If you only bridged at the switch, you may want to be sure that the front panel wires are attached to the header block. With what you have been changing, it could have become disconnected...anyway, it is a good thing to eliminate as a potential problem.
    – Carl B
    Jul 19, 2015 at 13:50

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