While all of our systems are extensively tested prior to being dispatched unfortunately problems can occur after this, such as damage in transit.
Hard Drive or DVD drive not detected
Despite our best efforts, this is one of the more common issues that we see. While the smaller SATA data cable will typically have a locking mechanism to hold it in place, the connectors on power supplies do not. While in transit these cables sometimes work themselves loose, leading to the drive not receiving power when the computer is turned on.
Both are very easy to fix thankfully, and would just require the side panel to be removed from the computer.
The DVD drive will typically be located at the top of the case, with the connectors facing inwards. Depending on the cables available when the system was built, the power connector may be one of several located around the DVD drive or potentially have fallen further, but if the DVD drive in your system is not ejecting then this is almost always the reason why.
Locating the loose connector and plugging it back into the rear of the drive is all that is required to bring power back to the drive in these situations. The power plug will have an L shaped connector, if you hold the connector so that the longest side is horizontal, the foot of the L should be pointing downwards when it is connected into the drive.
Similarly, the power cable for the hard drive can also come loose. The location of the hard drive can vary, with some cases having the drive behind the left hand side panel where it cannot be easily seen and in others it will be underneath the DVD drive in plain sight.
Regardless of where the drive is located, the power cable connects and can be reconnected in the same way and orientation.
Hard Drive not initialised
If you have a system with more than one drive, and both drives are physically connected the second drive sometimes may still not appear. This is due to the Windows installation process only activating the drive that it is installed on, so a system with a solid state drive as well as a larger traditional hard drive may only show the solid state as a usable device.
The hard drive in this situation is in most cases working perfectly fine, but simply needs to be initialised. To do this you simply need to go into disk management. In Windows 10 and 8, you can access it simply by right clicking on the Start Button and selecting it from the list. In Windows 7, you need to open the Start Menu and right click on Computer and choose manage. This brings up the Computer Management window, and Disk Management is at the bottom of the list on the left. You can see detailed steps on our hard drive formatting guide if you require them.
Once in Disk Management the process is the same for any version of Windows. It should automatically pop up and notify you that a disk needs to be initialised.
With this done, you should then be able to see a second drive in the list of discs on the bottom half of the screen. The new drive, which will usually be Disk 1, will have a black bar next to it saying unallocated space. Right click on this, and you should have an option to create a new simple volume.
Once you've clicked this, follow the steps in the new simple volume wizard. Unless you wish to create several smaller partitions or give the drive a custom name, you can simply click next through the wizard and once complete Windows should automatically detect the hard drive.
No Display - Loose Memory
While they've been in use on some motherboards for a few years, the release of DDR4 memory and the motherboards to go with them has resulted in memory slots with only a single clip becoming much more commonplace. Instead of the traditional clip at the bottom of the module, there's instead a fixed slot with a spring designed to keep the module in place. Unfortunately these aren't great at keeping the memory secure in transit, and can result in the memory coming slightly loose - enough for the motherboard to recognise that the memory is fitted but not enough for it to work.
If your computer is powering on but not giving any display, and you don't hear any beeps (a single beep indicates that the computer has started fine, while constant quick beeps are a result of memory not being fitted at all) then that's likely what will have happened. Pushing the memory module at the bottom until it clicks back into place should be all that is required to get the computer back up and running in these situations.
No Operating System
All of our systems are listed with options to be purchased without Windows installed, as many customers already have existing licenses which they wish to install or transfer from an older computer. If you've purchased a computer without Windows installed and turn it on you'll likely be presented with a black screen with white text, either telling you to insert a system disk or giving a message about being unable to connect to a PXE, which is the network connection we use to install Windows.
If you have purchased a computer without Windows and aren't planning on installing an existing license or an open source operating system like Linux then you would need to purchase a Windows license. We carry all currently available versions of Windows on our website and would recommend 64 bit Windows 10 for any new computer.
We have guides available for the installation process of Windows 7 and Windows 8 - we've not yet updated the guide to add Windows 10 however the process is identical to Windows 8.
Most computers will have a number of audio outputs, and depending on your setup it may not automatically give output from your selected device. If using a monitor connected by HDMI, for example, the computer will often default to the HDMI audio output but if you're wanting to use external speakers these would not play any sound.
In the vast majority of cases, manually selecting the correct audio device is all that is required to resolve this. Right clicking on the volume control icon in the taskbar will give an option for playback devices and selecting this will open a new window.
The first thing to do here is to right click and make sure that both disabled and disconnected devices are being shown, as whichever output you're wanting may be hidden by either of these. Then, right click on the required device and you will have an option to set it as the default device, and you can also test to ensure that it is working correctly. While the names of some devices will vary depending on the computer and what you have connected, generally 'speakers' refers to the motherboard's audio connectors while 'headphones' is the connections on the front of the computer case. The HDMI outputs may either refer to your graphics card or specifically name the monitor or TV.