PC starts up.. but doesnt :S

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Wall of text incoming...

Hi, was hoping someone would have an idea of what has happened to my PC.

Earlier i plugged in a friend's external HDD, suddenly all my USB ports stopped working and a message popped up telling me they had failed. I decided to reboot the computer, then for some reason after the restart the screen does not come on. It has power and everything, but nothing to display. The mouse and keyboard remain turned off, and you dont hear the HDDs whirr as they do when windows starts. Also on my old corsair bits of memory they have a load indicator on the top of them, this stays as one single orange block the whole time.

Tried:

Switching it off for ages and waiting
Switching all the wires over (lol)
Switching the graphics card with a friend's
Switching the monitor with a friend's
Trawling the net for someone who has had the same problem, its just quite hard to specify without writing an essay.

These are the specs of my machine, its getting bit dated i know :p

Athlon 64 3500+
2x512 Corsair pro ddr
MSI Neo 2 plat mobo using CM Hyper48 heatsink
WDC 120GB IDE
WDC 250GB SATA
WDC 320GB SATA
Antec Neopower 480
Gainward powercolour NV 6800LE (AGP)
All in an antec P160 case, also, if it helps the monitor is a Hyundai imagequest 19"

Any help would be much appreciated.
 
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The external HDD had it's own PSU and was plugged in to the mains :S the only other things in the USB ports is a couple of printers and a mouse.

Would this still explain it's failure to load or display anything?

Thanks in advance
m
 
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Fubar PSU sounds the most likely... but also..

Have you used this USB socket before? The reason I ask is that the mobo headers for USB and firewire are very similar and plugging a USB device into a firewire header would cause serious "mobo breaking" issues.
 
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Good guess but ive used the port before plenty :( Also if it was a PSU issue surely i wouldnt be able to turn it on, or when it started to load windows it would turn off?

It's not turning off at all it;s just.. not doing anything when it's on :S

Anyone have a guess at what component could be causing it?
 
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Right, tried to reset the bios by swapping the jumper over for a bit and back again. This didnt work :S

I also noticed that i had the MSI Diagnostic D-Bracket that came with the mobo, if you're not familiar with it you plug it in to an USB header and the 4 lights on it can light up in different ways hopefully telling you what's wrong with it. Anyway, it stays stuck on the first one: 4 red LEDs which according to the manual means " System power ON - The D-LED will hang here if ther processor is badly damaged or not installed properly"

We also tried removing memory and graphics card, as well as re-seating the processor and heatsink to no avail.

Does anyone know how reliable this thing is? and whether processors usually just go like that? :S

Cheers
m
 
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