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Computer Repair with Diagnostic Flowcharts Free Download PDF

Eight flowcharts from published available through the FonerBooks.com website. The full revised eBook with 17 flowcharts and troubleshooting text is available for $9.95. The linked website versions of the flowcharts are interactive, ie, click on the diamond decision symbols and the browser shows the relevant text. The linked flowcharts also include the text for each chapter. I had to remove the text from this eBook due to possible duplicate content issues with Google.

Six laptop troubleshooting flowcharts online at: www.daileyint.com/hmdpc/repair.htm

Copyright 2011 by Morris Rosenthal This eBook may be shared online and printed for personal use only, on the condition that any electronically transmitted or printed copy include this copyright notice and statement. This eBook may not be used for commercial purposes or modified in any way without the prior written consent of the copyright owner.

Flowcharts produced with Microsoft Visio Standard

Power Supply Failure


No Live screen? Yes

Yes

Power comes on?

No

Proceed to Video Failure chart. No

New build? No Boot on 2nd try?

Yes

Check power requirement vs rating.

Good AC power source? No Use live outlet.

Yes

Yes

Is 110/220 V set? No

Yes Premature power_ok signal. Try different power supply. Select proper voltage on rear of power supply. Yes Installed motherboard lead? No

No

Hear any beeps?

Yes

New hardware installed? Yes Remove latest addition and retry. Test, replace power supply.

No

Proceed to Motherboard Failure chart.

Yes

Power switch fail?

No

Check manual and motherboard silkscreen. Connect lead from front panel switch.

Replace switch or substitute front panel reset switch, if available.

Yes

Power supply connections to motherboard correct?

No

Either you have a short circuit in the case or a geometry problem placing an unacceptable Yes stress on the motherboard. Its also possible that the video adapter was never seated, due the bracket position.

Hard drive spin up? Yes

No

Remake motherboard power supply connections.

Spin up on other lead? Yes Defective power supply lead or connector.

No

Powers motherboard on bench? No

No

Bad adapter on bus? Yes

Replace power supply.

Strip system down to video adapter only. See Box A, on Conflict Resolution chart.

Try drive in test PC.

You can open the interactive version of this flowchart in your browser on the fonerbooks.com website by clicking on the chapter heading below. The interactive version allows you to get the text for each decision symbol without paging ahead. Power Supply Failure Or cut and paste http://www.fonerbooks.com/power.htm

Video Failure

Yes

Does system power up? Yes

No Proceed to Power Supply Failure

No

Live screen?

No

Monitor power on?

Yes

Yes Connect video card power inside PC Yes

No power displayed?

No

Check monitor power source. Make sure cord is fully seated in the monitor socket.

No

Controls in middle of range?

Hear a string of beeps?

No Signal displayed? No Yes Video cable secure? Yes

No

Adjust brightness and contrast. Yes Adapter seated? No

Yes No Check both ends of video cable.

No

RAM seated?

Yes

Reseat video adapter, secure. Cable damaged, pins bent? No Yes Monitor tested? No Test monitor on good PC or laptop. No Any other adapters installed? Yes Live with new video adapter? Yes Try old adapter in other system before chucking. Live with lone video adapter? Yes Freezes on BIOS Screen? No Proceed to Video Performance chart.

Reseat RAM on Motherboard.

Yes

Repair or replace video cable. Testing with a different technology video adapter (PCI vs PCI Express) doesnt prove the card slot is good No

No

Yes

Proceed to Motherboard Failure chart.

Proceed to Conflict Resolution chart.

You can open the interactive version of this flowchart in your browser on the fonerbooks.com website by clicking on the chapter heading below. The interactive version allows you to get the text for each decision symbol without paging ahead.

Video Failure Or copy and paste: http://www.fonerbooks.com/video.htm

Motherboard, CPU, RAM Failure


No Power diagnostic done? Yes

No

Live Screen?

Yes

Yes

Freezes on boot screen?

No

Proceed to Power Supply Failure.

Yes

Video diagnostic done?

No

Freezes bare bones? No

Yes

No

RAM matched, seated?

Yes

Proceed to Video Failure diagnostic chart

Proceed to Motherboard Performance chart.

Reseat RAM, positive lever lock. Install pairs if required. No

Yes

CPU seated flat? Yes

No

Proceed to conflict resolution chart Freezes on swapped Yes RAM?

Fan on heatsink active? No

Reseat CPU and heatsink.

No

Check fan power point, (fan1), replace.

Hear beeps?

Yes Yes Replace RAM with type listed in motherboard documentation. CMOS settings default? No Load defaults from BIOS.

No

Default motherboard Yes settings?

Restore default motherboard settings with jumpers or switches.

Yes

Runs on bench? No

Yes

Heatsink active?

No

Locate short, binding, or swap case.

Yes

CPU swap work?

No

Install new heatsink, connect fan. May be too late for CPU.

Bad CPU, watch voltage and heatsink on replacement.

Motherboard bad.

You can open the interactive version of this flowchart in your browser on the fonerbooks.com website by clicking on the chapter heading below. The interactive version allows you to get the text for each decision symbol without paging ahead.

Motherboard, RAM, CPU Failure Or copy and paste http://www.fonerbooks.com/cpu_ram.htm

ATA Drive Failure


No Drive seek, spin up? No Yes

No

BIOS register drive?

Yes

CD or DVD drive? Yes

No

Try swapping power cables and test in other PC or external USB shell before trashing.

SATA drive?

Yes

Proceed to CD / DVD chart. No

Yes 300 MB/s SATA2? Check on-drive compatibility jumper if old 150 MB/s controller.

Drive No cycles up, down? Yes

Swap power Data lead, try isolating Yes connection on IDE cable, good? check power Set management. BIOS on old No Master/ Yes motherboard may No Slave? fail to detect Mode, No SATA when X-fer speed present. correct? Check data Set Cables cable seated PATA hard No cable select Yes seated, both ends, test Yes drives require 80 (CS)? new? cable. conductor cable, check mode in No Reseat IDE and Yes CMOS. power cables. Select Master/Slave or Replace IDE cables CS. CS requires 80 if in doubt. Does No FDISK see Yes conductor IDE cable or custom 40 wire cable. drive? Isolate drive on primary IDE controller. If FDISK still doesnt see drive, the MBR may have been trashed by a virus.

IDE Yes ribbon cable No keyed? Replace IDE cable. If BIOS still doesnt register drive, either motherboard controller or drive is bad or incompatible.

Proceed to Hard Drive Boot and Performance chart.

Match pin 1 on all connectors.

You can open the interactive version of this flowchart in your browser on the fonerbooks.com website by clicking on the chapter heading below. The interactive version allows you to get the text for each decision symbol without paging ahead.

ATA Drive Failure Or copy and paste http://www.fonerbooks.com/ide_hd.htm

CD or DVD Playback
Yes BIOS register drive? No

No

Tray ejects?

Yes

No

Yes Eject and remount. Try another disc. Check drive mounted level with 4 screws.

Drive vibrates, noisy? Yes

No

Yes

Locked in software?

Proceed to ATA Drive Failure

Plays music CDs? No

Try ejecting before boot.

Yes

Pin hole on drive face?

No

Yes

Plays movies? No

Unplug power, insert straightened paper-clip, pull tray. Make sure you didnt use any long mounting screws. Yes Two drives installed? No

Pull drive, faceplate, pry and pray.

No

Burner problem? Yes Proceed to Recording Problem.

No

Read data disc? Yes

Check CODECs, recent update of media player DAE settings or audio patch cable from drive to sound card.

Reading right drive?

Yes

Read other discs? Yes Clean disc with flannel, check for scratches. Yes

No Yes Boots OS? No

No Laugh at self, pick right drive.

Try other diagnostic chart. Device Manager problem? No DVD SATA?

Change CMOS boot sequence, pre-spin drive, try CD in test PC.

No Proceed to Conflict Resolution.

Yes Replace data cable, test drive in USB enclosure or other PC.

No

Replace IDE cable, change BIOS mode, try drive in test PC.

Drive shares IDE cable?

Yes

Isolate on secondary IDE.

You can open the interactive version of this flowchart in your browser on the fonerbooks.com website by clicking on the chapter heading below. The interactive version allows you to get the text for each decision symbol without paging ahead.

CD or DVD Playback Or copy and paste http://www.fonerbooks.com/ide_cd.htm

Modem Failure
Yes LED may say Online, green is usually good. Yes Internet LED lit? No Power off PC and modem, retry. Line unplugged, modem failure, or service out. No

DSL or cable modem?

No

Yes

Does modem dial? Yes

No

ISP pick up?

Yes

Busy or ringing?

No Try dialing on pulse

No

Gets online?

Yes

Confirm ISPs phone number, area code and prefix for outside line. Cable? No Yes

Get valid user name, password from ISP. Filters installed? Yes No Install on ALL lines! Connect to different ISP? No

ISP No confirm user info? Yes Connect at lowered speed? Proceed to Modem Performance

No

Yes

Yes

Friend w/ same? No

Yes

Try borrowed DSL modem.

Check modem standards and brands supported with ISP. Yes Best driver installed?

No

No dial tone? Yes

Multi-port modem? Yes Try networking cable on different modem port, USB, or test wireless function with laptop.

No

Try direct line or new modem.

No

Connect line jack on modem.

Likely PC networking, network adapter or software, especially firewall. No

No

Device Manger report problem?

Yes

Download latest driver from web.

Pass OS modem Yes test? Reboot, try again.

Proceed to Conflict Resolution.

Try new modem.

You can open the interactive version of this flowchart in your browser on the fonerbooks.com website by clicking on the chapter heading below. The interactive version allows you to get the text for each decision symbol without paging ahead. Modem Failure Or copy and paste http://www.fonerbooks.com/modem.htm

Sound Failure
No Enable sound (Control Panel for Windows PCs) and test clips for Windows actions. No Sound enabled in O.S.? Yes

No

Any non-beep audio?

Yes

Proceed to Sound Performance External speakers powered?

Yes

No Plug in speaker brick (transformer), except for USB powered or old battery speakers. No

External volume dials up?

Yes

Turn up external controls on speakers, old sound cards.

Yes

Best driver loaded? No

Yes

Device Manager register card?

Download latest driver from Internet. USB sound? No Yes Try different USB port, cable. Try on other PC or laptop. Built-in motherboard No sound? Replace sound card. Use USB speaker or USB sound card if no expansion slots.

No

Any ! or ? in Device Manager?

Yes

Proceed to Conflict Resolution Checked all jacks? No Confirm speaker jack connected correct port (nonUSB only). If 3D sound card, use front speakers. No Hunted down every software volume? Yes

Yes

Register with video only?

No

Yes

Disable motherboard sound in CMOS and install sound card. Yes

Yes Proceed to CD or DVD Playback

Sound capable devices, and 3rd party software may all have individual volume controls. Watch for mute boxes checked.

Problem with music CDs only?

No

Hardware failure. Check speakers, patch cables, sound card on test-bed system.

You can open the interactive version of this flowchart in your browser on the fonerbooks.com website by clicking on the chapter heading below. The interactive version allows you to get the text for each decision symbol without paging ahead.

Sound Failure Or copy and paste http://www.fonerbooks.com/sound.htm

Network Hardware Diagnostics


Yes Check crossover (X) port wiring. New hub added to LAN?

No

PC sees other network units?

Yes

No

No

Random problems?

Yes

Yes

Link light lit?

No

Software limits, user settings.

No

Shielded cable? Yes

Yes

Copied network config? No

No

Physical layer (cables, devices)

Check proper ground (one end) Yes Within physical layer limits? No

Yes

Device Manager problem?

Clone setup from good workstation. No No

Proceed Conflict Resolution.

Tried Yes known good cable?

Tried different port on hub?

Yes Add repeaters, re-route cables. Fails on traffic, # of users? No

PC Yes works at new location? In-wall cabling failure, limits, or hub port.

No

Swap cable or check pairs, ends.

Yes

Reboot, improper software configuration or bad network adapter.

Swap hub for switch, check server utilization. If connection stable on new port, prior port is failing. No Cable bypass to hub fix? Yes

No

Flaky off network also? Yes Proceed to Motherboard Performance.

Problem is unlikely network hardware if only this workstation has intermittent failures. Try eliminating all other non-essential software tasks for testing purposes.

Yes

No Most likely software conflicts, virus.

New network card works?

Bad patch or inwall cabling.

Throw out old adapter, $10 new.

You can open the interactive version of this flowchart in your browser on the fonerbooks.com website by clicking on the chapter heading below. The interactive version allows you to get the text for each decision symbol without paging ahead.

Network Hardware Diagnostics Or copy and paste http://www.fonerbooks.com/network.htm