This happened a few weeks ago. I was getting ready to go to the gym and decided to leave my computer running as I was downloading a movie and the timer still showed slightly over an hour remaining to complete the download. I thought I will go work out and by the time I come back, the movie will be downloaded. I went to the gym and came back after almost an hour to find that there was a power-cut in the area. My computer was turned off meaning that it was an abrupt shutdown after the UPS supply was exhausted.
When the power returned, I tried switching my computer on but it simply refused. It would turn on, show the BIOS screen and then will freeze at a black screen with a highly annoying beeping sound. I immediately knew that whatever went wrong was because of the abrupt shutdown during the power-cut. I tried a few times but the same thing kept repeating. It would just take me to a black screen and start beeping. I have faced this issue in the past as well and freezing at a black screen means that there is either no RAM or the one installed is not working anymore. I took the RAM out of the socket and then plug it back in but that did not work either. I tried taking out the sound card and graphic card but that too did not solve the problem. So the only option I was left with was to get a new RAM.
I waited for a few hours then went to Janakpuri District Center at 11 AM to buy new RAM. Much to my annoyance, after I came back home and put the new RAM in the socket, the problem still remained the same. I took the graphic and sound card out again but nothing happened. My next thought of course was that the hard drive has crashed so I unplugged it and put in another one but still nothing. I inserted Windows install CD thinking to try formatting but it refused to even boot from the CD. At the BIOS screen, I tried hitting the F2 button to check out the BIOS settings and if it was even reading the hard drive and CD-ROM but I couldn’t even get into the BIOS screen as well. The moment I turned it on, it will show the BIOS screen, wouldn’t respond to F2 command, would go to a black screen, freeze there and start beeping. I unplugged everything but the problem remained so the last thought was that the motherboard has faulted.
There is a cyber-cafe near to my house and just to get a second opinion, I took my CPU to the cyber cafe owner. Now imagine my surprise when the computer turned on and loaded windows at the very first attempt when we connected it to a monitor at the cafe. It was a surprise but more than that it was a relief as it meant that the motherboard was OK and whatever was faulting earlier is now functioning properly. I brought the computer back home and got a second shock as it came back to the same problem when I plugged it back to my monitor. I thought maybe it’s somehow related to my monitor so I unplugged the display and switched it back on. Even though I couldn’t see anything but I knew it was still not working because the beeping sound was still there. Frustrated, I took the CPU back to the cyber cafe and to my shock this time, it again switched on, loaded windows without any problem. Both I and the cafe owner were puzzled about what was happening. This computer wasn’t working at all at my place but was OK at the cyber cafe. Even though It was highly improbable, I thought maybe my HDMI cable was faulting so I took the one that we used at the cafe, brought the computer back home and much to my frustration this time, It refused to work and again started beeping the moment I turned it on.
I was totally puzzled and had no idea what was happening. It was working fine at the cafe and only refused to work at my home. How is that even possible? Is there a ghost here or what? I once again unplugged everything and that’s when I noticed a small piece that I was missing earlier. I use a wireless keyboard and mouse and there is a small dongle for wireless connectivity that gets plugged into the USB port. It is a very small piece and I was totally ignoring the fact that it was still plugged in all the time. I took it out of the USB port and the moment I turned my computer on, it came back to life. Totally puzzled, I picked up my keyboard and realized that the control and shift keys were stuck pressed down and that is what was causing the problem. It would not get switched on because the keys were pressed but it worked at the cafe because the keyboard went out of range. The moment I brought it back home, keyboard would come within the range and computer wouldn’t start.
Hence after more than 8 hours and spending money buying RAM uselessly, the mystery was resolved. Reminded me of the old Hindi proverb of “Khoda pahad, nikli chuhiya”. What a day.