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Russell H.
Russell H., Computer System Tech
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 12066
Experience:  11 years experience
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Hi my name is martin Following my dell desk top freezing

Customer Question

Hi my name is martin

Following my dell desk top freezing last Wednesday and having on option but to turn it of by removing the power

I can't get it to fire up the screen keyboard or mouse although it does power things like my sore drink fom a old PC in a caddy my Bluetooth attachment and cd drive

This did happen once before and I left it 48 hours and at that time it went into PC repair mode

I have made a boot up cd but that doesn't work

Any ideas please I'm using windows 7
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Computer
Expert:  Russell H. replied 4 years ago.
Hi, thank you for contacting My name is Russell. I will do my best to provide the right answer to your question.

What is on the screen of your Dell desktop at the moment (just to let me get an idea of the problem) ?

And, what is the model # of your Dell desktop, please?

Can you boot the system in Safe Mode?

You seem to refer to the OSK (On-Screen Keyboard) application, but that is usually appropriate for tablet PCs only. Do you mean that you have a keyboard (for instance a USB keyboard) that isn't working now? or something else? Please explain.
Or did you mean that the screen, the keyboard, and the mouse, are all dead and devoid of function?

Thanks - with that much clarification, I should be able to advise you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It's switched off but it's just a blank screen as if no signal but not getting that message I'm not sure of the model all it has is optiplex 740

No I can't do anything the USB k.b and mouse are not working and devoid of function
Expert:  Russell H. replied 4 years ago.
OK, I get the picture now.

I think that if it previously started working again owing to its being turned off for a very long time (48 hours) and thus being allowed to cool thoroughly, that it might have a problem with either a defective or sluggishly operating cooling fan, or else vents into the CPU box clogged with, for instance, dust.

Optiplex 740 is a familiar model name, thanks for the information. How old is yours?

Make sure it is well ventilated on every side, leave it turned Off altogether (with the power plug removed too to make sure) for a straight 24 hours, and when you turn it On again, check whether the fans are moving air properly... there should be a fan on the back, behind a grille, near where the power cord enters the CPU box. There may be another fan also, though I rather doubt it... if there is another one (behind a circular grille, almost certainly, which is a giveaway sign that there's a fan behind it), then check it for function also. And check the grilles for dust... if there's even any at the edges, your CPU box (if it has been in place for years) may need opening up and cleaning out by a repair professional.
(Or, you could do it yourself, with some care, and hopefully an outdoor environment free of rain and blowing dust or grit, and a small air compressor with a hoze and nozzle. Just ask me for instructions if you'd like to try it yourself.)

(PS: If you get a repair pro. to do the opening and cleaning of your CPU box, don't have him do it indoors. The dust from CPU boxes left in place for years is noxious and not good for an indoor habitation at all.)

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I bought this second hand no idea of the age of it I have open it up and it does look very very clean inside almost as if some one had cleaned it previously I am concerned and wonder if this might be the problem I can't see any fan inside.

As it didn't cost me to much I don't pay a lot for repair if the lack of a fan has damaged a part do you have any idea how it might cost and what might be involved please

Expert:  Russell H. replied 4 years ago.
If you saw no fan inside, not even on top of the CPU chip (???? improbable! but if the cooling fan and heatsink on the CPU chip were removed, that would absolutely explain the problem!) then the only fan would be the one in the power supply.

And yes, it is sounding increasingly likely that you need to let this PC cool off for a day!

Look for the big heat-sink (a lot of vaned metal, probably like a cube of metal, either silvery or lacquered black, projecting up from the main board.) If it isn't even there, then it was removed. The CPU chip, thus exposed without its heat-sink, would look like a flat square, about an inch or two broad.
If there is such a big heat-sink on the main board, then (with the cover Off, but being careful not to let anything touch the inside workings of the CPU box while you do it) - after the day of cooling-off - turn On the CPU box and see if you can detect the action of the fan in or on top of the heat-sink. If that fan is dead, then there you have it: the CPU chip overheats, the PC suffers sudden 'black screen of death' failure... and with the CPU chip capable of overheating, the life of your PC is not likely to be very long, I'm sorry to say.

Also, while doing this cover-open test of the fan functions in your PC's CPU box... also note, by holding your hand against the grille on the back of the CPU box where the power supply (a smaller box inside the CPU box, with a wire bundle coming out of it, is the usual design), and seeing whether the power supply fan is working.

Lastly, since you asked: if the lack of proper cooling has damaged your CPU box, then you are not likely to be able to repair it cheaply. After two failures, avoid a third if you can get it running at all. Otherwise... repairing it would be more expensive than replacing it, in all likelihood. After a terminal overheat with black-screen-of-death, you can only pick accessory parts (hard drive, plug-in cards, that sort of thing) out of it, but the CPU usually remains dead.

Please rate my Answer - favorably, I would hope - so that I may be paid for the work I have done on your question. Thanks... and good luck.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thaks I'm not optimistic as I did try it after 48 hours without success but I'll try again tomorrow in the worst case what would you call expensive bearing in mind it proble needs a new fan

It has latest office on it which is not transferable to a new machine

I m very grateful for your expertise would it help to send you a pic of the open case or not

I'll let you know tomorrow if that's ok
Expert:  Russell H. replied 4 years ago.
A new fan is cheap: $20 at most, plus labor.

But if your system has burnt out its CPU for lack of adequate ventilation and cooling, then the parts to replace would cost about $300 or more, I would guess.

If you have MS Office install media, or a downloaded install file for MS Office, then that might be transferable - though I am not sanguine, since I know how utterly retentive of their property Microsoft tends to be.

Send a pic of the open case by all means, it might help me advise you even better than I have, and it would be a pleasure. Posting on would be best, possibly, because our online image posting facility is not always working. WikiSend is drawback-free, reliable, easy to use, and does not require registration.
(-Be sure to copy the WikiSend file posting URL and include it in your reply, of course.)
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Russell
I hope you are well I decided following your advice to take it in to a specialist

The strange thing is that he didn't replace any parts and said there was cooling quite hidden so I wouldn't see it

All he did was to remove a few bits put them back again and all was fine

Somehow from previous experience with PC I think I will get more problems but at the moment it is ok
Expert:  Russell H. replied 4 years ago.
I hope that the repair you received actually keeps on working.

Please rate my Answer - favorably, I would hope - so that I may be paid for the work I have done on your question. Thanks, and good luck.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You certainly understood my problem I must admit I've had so trouble with this unit I'm wondering if as I'm. Sure it will give me hassle again should I just cut my loses
Expert:  Russell H. replied 4 years ago.
OK. As to just cutting your losses... if the unit's repeated failures continue, and it obstructs your working with it or using it, then putting more $ into the unit might be less good than replacing it (and hopefully, recycling it rather than just throwing it away).

But that is really up to you to judge; I just don't know enough of the circumstances to say.