Hi i have a computer i use as a server (ubuntu 14.04).

Recently it stopped working, but i don't know how to diagnose what hardware might be damaged?

i have plugged in a monitor and when i turn the computer one, lights on the mobo flash as normal but i don't see anything on the screen for booting (bios menu etc).

there is no display port on the mobo so maybe it was the graphics card? to check this i know the server asks for a password at login, so i entered the details without using a monitor. ssh should be working straight away, but i couldn't get a response.

could this be the processor? how could i diagnose that?, would the mobo not have it own micro controller? (if it helps... my mobo is a asus p5n32-e sli).

unfortunately i dont have another computer i could try the hardware on.


check your mainboard manual for diagnosing errors. Normally you have a speaker or LED control which tells you what part may be faulty.

The speaker often is not connected, so you wont notice the beeps.


It is almost impossible to tell. It could be Video Card, Motherboard, CPU or memory. That said, It would seem the motherboard is the most likely cause.

Try replace the onboard CMOS battery and see if that helps. (No idea, it was a comment on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zD5iGgWWs_Y - this would appear to be a known issue on this type of motherboard, and CMOS batteries are normally cheap).

You seem to have tried networking without success, so its probably not worth pursuing this too much further initially, but you could do a "lower level" test by seeing if its pingable, or if you have an appropriate router seeing if the network card is generating any traffic). If you can get in remotely you should investigate the likelyhood that the graphics card has failed.

Another thing - if you can do a blind log in on the keyboard, typing "beep" should get your computer to beep if that worked - again if you can do this it would tend to indicate a graphics card failure.

  • i have tried pinging... no response, it could well be the CMOS battery, but would it really fail if the computer was powered up to begin with? id would imagine there would have already been a continuous supply of power to the CMOS module so even without a battery it would have stayed on. i thought the battery was only used for when the mains power is off.
    – X0r0N
    Jul 13 '15 at 7:50

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.