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How to repair a DEAD computer

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In this video a customer brings me an HP (model P7-1423w) to repair. They believe they ‘need a video card.’

HP Specs:

Leaf Blower:
ANY electric leaf blower works.

Button battery tester:

EVGA 430w 80+ PSU for testing purposes:

USB Hard Drive Dock:


See more of Carey’s video’s here:


Steve T says:

look at all the dust bunnies!!! Reminds me of when I worked on my neighbors computer, She said it wouldn't turn on, opened it up giant clumps of dust and fuzz maybe about 3"-4" in diameter the PSU had a giant dust cloud over the fan it was nasty would not turn on the PSU was burnt up and bad replaced it she was lucky nothing else got fried.

David Naylor says:

I too was a tech for over fifty years from tube tvs to consumer electronics now retired , but was a thorough tech as you are love your videos running a home built asus MB with just a i3 3.50
16 gigs ram would love to upgrade but on SS that's out of the question keep up the great work

Tony wallow says:

Nice repair ❤️

Jenderleen Jansen says:

You are very competent in what you do and offer at large to everybody.

Ray S says:

In the car business customers always say that the battery is good because the lights turn on. 98% of the time it's a bad battery.

Ray S says:

That thing was clean compared to the ones I clean at work.

Joseph DESTAUBIN says:

A leaf blower! That one way toget the job done. Definitely better for the environment than those cans.

Rambler Andy says:

11:46 OK, the mention of Sherlock Holmes, means I have to tell this story. In the 1990s, in between Uni terms, I was the computer tech at a branch of UK store chain. One day, a customer told me his recently purchased PC kept on restarting. It would run for 10-15 minutes then restart every 2-3 minutes. He had it with him, but was in a hurry, so he left it with me. I tested it at length – it worked perfectly. I showed him and he took it home. That afternoon he told me it was doing exactly the same thing. As he lived on my way home I dropped by. He let me in and I diagnosed the problem from the doorway. Actually, that's not true. I diagnosed it on the drive there. Seeing the setup confirmed my diagnosis. Can you work out what it could have been? Clue – I asked him to move his table and computer setup along the wall a couple of metres. It behaved perfectly. OK, the answer is he had the whole kit set up over a room radiator. He said, 'Wow Andy, you're Sherlock Holmes.' Which was very nice as I've always admired Holmes.

BTW, if anyone is in any doubt, this is a great lesson in how to arrive at the correct PC hardware diagnosis. Drink in every gold word he says.

DED DOA says:

got to say I agree on the leaf blower bit, I've been using one for best part of 20 years to clean PC's and never once had a problem that was down to the leaf blower. If there has been a problem, it's just exposed one with the hardware which I have then been able to fix, usually loose components that were not soldered on properly so were a failure in waiting. I would say that in some cases, without it, I wouldn't work on some PCs, especially those owned by heavy smokers. I had one recently that was so clogged up that I honestly thought it had foam padding between the front of the case and the actual chassis, turns out it was years of fluff and cigarette tar, and with that in mind, no way I am working on something that nasty without that leaf blower to get that stuff well out of there. It was bad enough that everything inside was stained orange brown, but if I had to remove the tar and fluff "padding" any other way, that thing was going back to the owner to clean themselves.

Carl Ryan says:

Hello Carey, I just happened to run across your videos by accident and really enjoy them. This is a great public service you are providing and I'm sure many people out there appreciate you efforts.

This video of the dead HP computer really hits home. I threw together an old HP like this from scavenged parts a few years ago and managed to get everything working as new. This computer was set up as a music and video server with multiple drives including backup drives for my music and photo collection. The computer was located outside my home in an out building connected by wired Ethernet and set up to Wake On Lan and go back to sleep after a set period of time. This computer function at this task for several years until one day it refused to boot.

I'm a retired field service engineer that worked in the aerospace industry for about 35 years and have an electronics background including plenty of experience in troubleshooting. I was surprised to see that my troubleshooting methods closely mirror yours almost exactly! I was finally able to get the computer to boot after removing the BIOS battery and letting the system drain any stored power over night. After the BIOS was cleared and re configured it boot and ran normally for about two months then refused to boot (I did replace the battery with a fresh tested new one). Clearing the BIOS and re configuring worked again until it failed a month later in the same way. I figured there must be some issue on the motherboard that (leaky capacitor possibly) that causes the BIOS to corrupt.

What I did as a jury rigged solution is mounted a switch outside the box to switch off the battery instead of taking it apart each time the system fails. The computer is still in use and been running for about a year since then with this occasional glitch. I plan on replacing it soon with a refurbished Dell. Thanks again for providing these videos, learning is a life long experience and I try to learn something new every day.

Brian Barcus says:

I fixed many desktop computers (in the early 2000's) for people that were around my neighborhood and didn't have much money so I fixed computers for $20 to $40 plus the cost of parts. This is how I got better and better at diagnosing computer problems. I found out that poor people back then would run their computer around the clock, usually the entire family shared one desktop and when it broke down the whole family was bummed and anxiously awaiting me to work my magic on their old outdated and overworked machine. These were the Windows XP days with 512 MB of RAM – I brought hundreds of these machines out of their grave and kept them running for years past their prime and upgrading them, doubling or quadrupling the RAM with used RAM sticks on eBay for $5 or $10 – aw! the good old days when the operating system was only about 625 MB and installed loaded fully with updates to a little over 2 GB. Anyhow … these computers always had pounds of dust, hair, and disgusting smelling cigarette infused dirt packed so thick you couldn't even see the motherboard. The fan would usually grind to a halt from so much dirt caked inside and around it, when the fan stopped the CPU would overheat in seconds and auto-shutdown. I used a mini shop vac for about 20 years now because it blew strongly outward and sucked in. I used the inward suction to suck out all of the dirt and dust, drawing it away from the computer, then I would use the outward blowing air to blow out any loosened dust. Some computers were still so bad I would have to completely disassemble them and clean each part with a toothbrush and 99% alcohol or distilled water, then reassemble it – those I charged $40. That was how I gained a lot of knowledge on fixing computers – and helped people that couldn't afford a $300 repair bill from Geek Squad (Best Buy) or Staples.

TheFissionchips says:

Cool, I'm not the only one who uses a leaf blower to clean a pute.

Chris Nixon says:

Usually with a PC this filthy thermal damage is definitely something to consider from the outset, and you tested everything rigorously. Only thing I'd say is HPs tend to suffer from massive corruption to CMOS RAM to the point where you have to bridge the reset pins after removing the CR2032. Sometimes leaving the power rails & caps to droop for a long time is not enough. So I'd have tested the CMOS RAM a little earlier in the diagnosos. Apart from that it seems we have a similar methodology & I found this quite enjoyable to get another tech's perspective on a very irritating but surprisingly common (in my experience) issue.

Mensa Berle says:

Hi Carey. Thanks a lot for your videos. I am, like you, a computer technician since 1990. As you realise, computer hardware and software were very different back then, and I think because of the simplicity to build computers nowadays most of these people think they know it all by simply putting a few components together. I am grateful to you to demonstrate to the majority of people what really is required to analyse and troubleshoot a failing computer. Well done and keep up the good work.

Tom Turnbull says:

I like your honesty

Tom Turnbull says:

I had a job with HP repairing printers for them. The thing I remember most was how cheaply they where built and how expensive they where to buy. They where very unreliable.

caicaraskiki says:

I have been blowing out desktop computers with the reverse flow on my ShopVac since 1997. Never a problem with a fan blowing out and I crank them up with the air! I like your style!

Guillermo Valladares says:

I like your style. Keep it up.

Paige Webber says:

Just ignore the negativity. Forget the trolls. You know you can turn off the comments if it bothers you. Thanks for the info, Hp repair.

Sam Ong says:

Carey, I have been using leaf blower to clean my 4 computers for the last 2 years. It works so well & never breaks anything inside not even the case fans. The whole thing takes only 2-3 min and my computers just as clean as new.

Steve W says:

I love the MSI cut heat sink on the test video card, very cool.

cat Chaser says:

I had an HP in 2002, it took alot of abuse from me (a novice) I messed it up so many times but always somehow got it working, I never had to take it in, A Miracle ! But IMO HP went bad when they combined with Pavilion. Today it's Acer for me.(These days I have to go Low Budget / Desktops) Thanks for the great help in your videos Carey, it's too bad you have to excuse your methods to so many doubters.

KatFartz says:

I live by a philosophy: if you want a computer done right, do it yourself. Also, don't buy HP.


Also, if I were to use training videos for future technicians, I am using your videos.

Bob Hawk says:

I've recently watched quite a few of your videos, and have enjoyed them, and put some things to practice. I must admit, when I first heard you speak about the "leaf blower," I figured it was what you called some tool you used to clean out the machines. It really cracked me up to see an actual leaf blower!! It certainly did the job well. Thanks for the great videos. (BTW, I also enjoy watching the dogs stroll in and out.)

Gustavo Daniel says:


B. Traci L says:

Carey I love your videos! You have to come help me with my HP!

anand panjwani says:

Thanks for great video. God Bless.

steve larkin says:

I have had an hp desktop computer for at least 8 years i upgraded the ram and when the ethernet card went down i replaced that
also had to replace the cd/dvd /burner i dont think i did bad and its still running to this day i think your videos are ver good and informative i look foreward to seeing more once again thanks

Asiedu Solomon says:

very useful to me

Brian Heney says:

your advice is good, dude don't mind the trolls they're idiots.

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