A while ago, a friend asked me to help with a new computer. He has been using a Laptop with an attached mouse, keyboard and monitor for years and it started to show it’s age. I was happy to help, and created a list of parts. Skip a few months, and all the parts have arrived. We build the computer this week and it ran fine. Stress tests were passed, software was installed and everything was good.

Everything was not good

Now, a few days later I got the message. The computer had a bluescreen with a message like ‘Nvidia sys’. Now it does not even POST anymore. Since I built the computer with him, I feel responsible for this. I’ll have to go there and try to fix it.


Since he won’t have a lot of time (about an hour), I need an action plan. I plan out these steps

  • Try to start the pc myself and see if he missed something
  • Try to enter BIOS myself
  • Observe the POST status Leds on the mainboard
  • Reset CMOS
  • Take out the GPU
  • Test with a single RAM stick
  • ??? Whatever else will enter my mind.

I’m a bit anxious as I’m writing this, since I want this issue fixed as fast as possible. But I can’t do anything right now. So, let’s wait.

Trying to fix the computer

When my girlfriend and I arrived at his place, the process started. The pc did, in fact, not boot. That was to be expected. Since it’s fast to do, I also removed the cmos battery for a while. This did nothing. However, the status LEDs for CPU and RAM were both glowing. Despite this, I removed the Gpu first in order to have more space available. Afterwards, I removed the CPU for broken pins. All looked fine, but there was something in the socket. I still don’t know what exactly is was. If it really was a broken pin, it was a redundant one. After reseating the CPU, I tried again - no success yet. So I went to the next logical part on my list: The RAM.

Long story short: One stick successfully booted in all slots, the other prevented a boot in all slots. It’s just bad RAM. PHEW. Luckily, I had leftover RAM from my last upgrade, which he now uses until the RMA process is complete. So far, his computer has now been running smoothly for the last weeks.

I stressed myself out in the time before I could do anything, which was really not necessary. I’m experienced enough, that I should trust myself more. I’ll try this next time. I got this.