Hardware problems with a PC desktop

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by alxths, Nov 20, 2004.

  1. alxths macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2003
    I tried asking this on a non-mac related board, but no one there could answer my question, so I thought I'd ggive you guys a try.

    Basically, it all started a few weeks ago when my computer would just randomly freeze; this became more and more frequent until eventually it wouldn't boot up at all--I'd press the power button and the fans would kick in, but nothing would appear on the monitor, and the HD couldn't be heard reading. SO, after testing the CPU and RAM, I concluded that it was the motherboard, and thus went out and bought a shiny new one.

    After I installed the new mobo, i plugged the ps in and flicked the switch on the back of it, adn the fans and mobo lights kicked in automatically (before i had to press the power button on the front of the tower), and low and behold, there was STILL nothing appearing on the monitor and no HD sounds.

    I then tried a new power supply, video card, monitor, and the CPU and RAM again, with no results...

    This is becomming extremely frustrating, and I was hoping that some of you would have an idea as to what the problem may be. Is it possible for it to be the ATX case?

    the specs are:
    AMD Athlon XP 1700
    ASUS A7X8X-X(new mobo), ECS P.O.S. (old mobo)
    256 MB generic RAM
    Raedon 9600 pro
    Fairly old generic power supply and case

    I appreciate any input.
  2. musicpyrite macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Cape Cod
    Try switching out the hard drive. Can you get to the bios or boot of a linux live disk? If you can, that makes me think it is the hard drive.

    Does the computer even post when you turn it on?
  3. alxths thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2003
    The problem is, even without a harddrive a working computer should at least get to the video card bios and then motherboard bios wehre it would tell you there's no harddrive. This doesn't happen--I just get a blank screen, whether or not the harddrive is connected.

  4. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    Have you tried posting with ONLY ram and video card, and tried to see if you get a post screen? do you get beep codes even with the blank screen? can you get into the bios?

    One problem that it could be is if you got the same wattage power supply the PS could be over loaded, and not have enough to juice to power ram, but has enough power to give you a blank screen, but not post the video card check. funky stuff happens when there isn't enough power.
  5. DanTekGeek macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2004
    Denver, CO
  6. efoto macrumors 68030

    Nov 16, 2004
    Cloud 9 (-6)
    Check on the mobo manufact's website in a FAQ section or like area. If you cannot even get the system to post, it could very well be the PS (or ram, but you said you already tested that).

    I am not entirely sure, but if your CPU is fried I don't think the it will post either but check me on that because I am not sure. Nice part is that you have a 1700+ which last I looked, CPUs was not even found...but there are comparable chips that are under $100, which is pretty nice.

    Look at it this way, at least your not having these issues with a new FX-53 chip for over $800 :eek: , there is always a worse situation.
  7. simie macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2004
    You don't say how you checked the CPU snd the ram ?

    Remove the heatsink and look at your cpu and see if you have put to much thermal paste on it - it may be covering the top of the cpu and not just the heat spreader. If it is then you need to clean it off.

    When putting on the heatsink be very carefull not to scratch the motherboard - a slip from a screw driver whilst pressing down the clip will surely casuse damage - this will cause a failure as you could damage the pcb tracks.

    1, Check all connections leads and cables etc.

    2. Try clearing the RTC Ram the jumper is located in front of the motherboard battery.

    3. If this brings no joy disconect all IDE cables then power up - if it boots you have had a cable on back to front.

    4. You say that you have tried using a new PSU - It should be at least a 300W PSU.

    5. Check the FSB jumper located next to the Northbridge chip which is just above the AGP port (see manual)

    6. If you have access to another motherboard try its CPU and ram and see if it boots.

    7. Check that you have correctly seated the motherboard in the case.

    8. I would consider testing the board out of the case on a non-conductive surface.

    9. Also borrow some other DDR ram running at 333MHZ or 400MHZ, it may be that your ram is not working properly - if you connect the speaker to the motherboard it will beep telling you that there is a error.

    Here are the award codes.

    Beep Code

    No Beeps
    No Power, Loose Card, or Short.

    1 Short Beep
    Normal POST, computer is ok.

    2 Short Beep
    POST error, review screen for error code.

    Continuous Beep
    No Power, Loose Card, or Short.

    Repeating Short Beep
    No Power, Loose Card, or Short.

    One Long and one Short Beep
    Motherboard issue.

    One Long and Two short Beeps
    Video (Mono/CGA Display Circuitry) issue.

    One Long and Three Short Beeps.
    Video (EGA) Display Circuitry.

    Three Long Beeps
    Keyboard / Keyboard card error.

    One Beep, Blank or Incorrect Display
    Video Display Circuitry.

  8. alxths thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2003
    Thanks for the detailed post.

    I have another system of similar specs, so i just tested the RAM and CPU by replacing them and observing no change (I also tried the CPU on the other computer, where it worked).

    I tried resetting the RTC RAM, after which I saws a little progress, as the computer doesn't turn on immediately after flicking the power switch anymore, i get to use the power button now. The other psu I tried was at LEAST 300W...

    No beeps at all :( . I think I can hear the speaker turn on when I flick the power thouhg...

    Is it possible for this motherboard to also be defective?? Maybe I should try testing the PSU one more time...

    I'll try out #5 as soon as I remember where I left the manual, heh.

    edit: There doesn't appear to be anything referring to such a jumper in the manual. (It's an ASUS motherboard, if that makes a difference).

    Yeah, no luck with that either..

    The more testing I do, the more suspicious I'm getting of this power supply though, it's been through a lot, so who knows.
  9. varmit macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2003
    I believe its a bad power supply. Try replacing with one that has more power.
  10. justinshiding macrumors member

    May 7, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    You might not even need more power.... It doesnt sound like that particular system is very power hungry unless there are a LOT of PCI cards that weren't mentioned. I've had even new power supplys start the fans, but refuse to start anything else , so the computer sounds like it's on , but it isnt. If the mobo was getting power it would probably at least do some kind of beeping..like someone else above said.

    My suggestion is to unplug everything....let it sit for a day...and then come back hook everything up tomorrow. This might seem silly , but it's happened to me at least once where I just couldnt see the problem whatever it was , so I left it alone. When I came back the next day and tried it worked...The more frustrated you get the less likely you're going to solve the problem.

  11. cmvsm macrumors 6502a


    Nov 12, 2004
    PC Issue

    In this case, I'd have spare parts of everything that you know works by buying it new. Then strip the system and go through the trial and error system. I believe that you can return hardware as long as you buy it from a reputable place and keep everything. This may not apply to cpu's and ram, but everything else it certainly would so I'd go shopping for a new video card, power supply, motherboard, and whatever other cards you have installed and begin a long day. Just verify the return policy before you go strolling off with anything high priced.

    You'll find it eventually but that's the only way unless you have testing equipment, but who wants to buy all of that jazz??? I gave up building PC's a while back ago...GO MAC!!

    Good Luck!
  12. simie macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2004
    You list the motherboard as Asus A7X8X don't you mean A7N8X-X if this is your board then here is the manual in PDF.


    If you look on page 16 of the*above PDF you will see right next to the Northbridge (Nvidia nForce 400 Chipset) a little jumper marked CPU_FSB

    This controls the Front Side Bus (step 5 Check the FSB jumper located next to the Northbridge chip which is just above the AGP port)

    Details for the jumper can be found on page 20 position 1-2 is default giving FSB 400/333/266 positon 2-3 is FSB200

    Also check the Usb device wake up - there are 2 sets of jumpers here these are located behind the ports on the motherboard and to the left of the CPU. Both these need to be set to position 1-2 which is default.

    The Keyboard wake up feature jumper as the same effect as the Usb device wake up so it needs to be set to default position 1-2 this is located at the back of the ports and to the left of the cpu top most jumper.

    If your PSU does not have 2Amps on the +5Vsb lead then when these jumpers are set to position 2-3 the motherboard will power up. Worth checking.

    This is something worth trying - replace the RTC battery - I have seen a motherboard that was dead until the RTC battery was replaced.

    If all else fails get the motherboard replaced by your dealer as it could be faulty. Should not be a problem as its under warranty.
  13. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    Aside from using an ECS mobo (thank god you tossed that), nothing scares PC builders more than a generic PSU.

    A PSU can take your whole PC down if it blows (Mobo, HD, Optical Drives, Video card, etc.). You name it, a bad PSU can take everything down when it decides to go *kaput*.

    Get a new PSU first (Enermax or Antec, though a 350W Enermax is CONSIDERABLY stronger than a 350W Antec). Clean energy from a quality PSU just as important as having a good chipset/error-free memory.

    *I also see you are either using an A7V8X-X or A7N8X-X*
    If its a V, its a Via board. Likewise, an N for nForce2. I personally refuse to go back to Via ever since I tossed by A7V 2 years ago, so I hope you don't have to deal with the 4-in-1 driver nonsense that Via loves so much.

    edit-ok, if you got the A7V8X-X, its based on the KT400 (ugh, possibly one of the worst chipsets released besides the first buggy Athlon chipsets). The last Via chipset that was worth anything was the KT266A; yeah they releasd KT600 but if you're still using Athlon XP's, why aren't u using nForce? So yeah, I hope you're using the A7N8X-X and just typed it wrong =D
  14. alxths thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2003
    Yeah, it's the A7V8X-X.. Simie, you got me all exciting, thinking I had just downloaded the wrong manual ;)

    I'm going to head down to the store tomorrow and say it's defective--they'll test it there, so we'll finally know fo rsure, heh.

    I'll update you guys on it, since considering the attention you've given it, you're probably almost as curious as i am by now. :p
  15. simie macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2004
    Appollogies for guessing your board model number wrong I just thought that you would have chosen the that board over the Via

    This boards FSB is jumperless that why you could not find it. You can change various things in the Bios when you get the thing to boot.

    If your ram is DDR 400 then it will only work in one slot - I presume this will be slot 1. DDR 333 is only supported in two slots normally Slots 1 & 3

    The following jumpers need to remain as default
    KBPWR1 = Keyboard Power jumper pins 1-2
    Overvolt = Overvoltage jumper pins 1-2
    USBPWR_12 & USBPWR_34=USB Device Wake UP jumper pins 4-5 & 7-8

    These aare located at the back of the keyboard and mouse ports.

    USBPWR_56 jumper pins 1-2

    This is located between PCI slots 4 & 5

    On the motherboard there is a Green Led called SB_PWR1 this indicates that the motherboard is in Sleep mode or soft-off mode.

    The board as a AGP warning LED - This light ges red if you plug a 3.3Volt AGP card into the slot - This also acts as a Smart Burn out protection and prevents the motherboard from booting.

    If this is lit up red then get yourself a different AGP Card anything from a Geforce 440MX through to a ATI X800. Your AGP card needs to be 1.5Volts

    You could try attaching a PCI graphics card (remove the AGP card but remove mains lead from PSU first as this will damage the motherboard) as most bios are set to boot from PCi graphics until it is changed in the bios.

    Your motherboard has a post reporter so it may be worth attaching a pair of speakers and listening to the error messages.

    In reality there can only be the following things that prevent any motherboard from booting.

    Dead or wrong AGP card not using a card with the correct voltage for that motherboard.
    Dead CPU or not inserted correctly
    Ram - compatibity issue - or Dead ram or wrong speed for that board
    Dead or faulty PSU or not strong enough like 300Watts or higher.
    Dead motherboard.
    Jumpers set wrong if there are any that effect boot up
    Compatibility issue with PCI card or faulty
    Floppy or IDE lead on the wrong way round
  16. alxths thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2003
    So, I took the board back to the store where they tested it and found it to be defective.. I got a new one, stuck it in and everything's spiffy now. :D

    You've all been extremely helpful, and I appreciate the input from everyone in this thead.

Share This Page