Dead Motherboard or Something Else?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Rob Landolfi, Sep 29, 2004.

  1. Rob Landolfi

    Rob Landolfi Stunt Coordinator

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    While my PC was powering up, everything shut off as if it had been turned off (complete shut down). When I tried to restart it, only the fans (two case fans, CPU fan and graphics card fan) and cathode light tube would come on. The light tube would only come on about half as bright as normal, and only along about 3/4 of its length. The green and amber lights on the front of the case stay steady, but there is no hard drive activity, and no activity from my power supply (none of its fans running), monitor, keyboard, etc. No startup test beep is heard.

    While troubleshooting, I disconnected all the power inputs to the motherboard, optical drives and disk drives to test the power supply (Allied 400W). When the tester was switched on, the power supply's fans ran along with the case fans, CPU fan and cathode light as described above and I got the green light on the tester indicating that the power supply is OK. When everything was hooked back up, the power supply would have no visible activity, but the rest of the fans and cathode light came on again as described above.

    No hardware changes have been made since a memory upgrade about a month ago, and I'm running XP Home, P4 2.8GHz, 1.5 GB RAM (3 banks of 512MB Crucial), and an MSI 648 Max MS-6585 ATX Mainboard. My system is about 21 months old, but the motherboard and CPU are only 14 months old. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks.
     
  2. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    You said that the power supply fans weren't running. (Hint, hint). If the power supply gets too hot or figures out that something is wrong, it will shut down.

    Hoping it is just the fans, can you give them a spin (not with your finger) to see if they want to go, or are they dead? Maybe it is just a case a dustballs mounting your fans! [​IMG]

    If a CD drive shorted out, that would send an error signal back to the poer supply too. Can you start it up with just your floppy drive? Can you get into the bios?

    Glenn
     
  3. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    Start with the least amount of stuff which is memory/video card installed and then add 1 item back at a time until it fails.
     
  4. Rob Landolfi

    Rob Landolfi Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks guys. Prior to testing the power supply, I was hoping that was the culprit. Now it's on to taking everything out and reinstalling piece by piece. I guess if I take everything out and nothing works, I can assume it's the motherboard, huh? Right now, the fans on my graphics card and in my case work, but none of the disks or drives. If it's the motherboard, I might be able to get it replaced under warranty and at least everything would be taken apart for when the new one came in. I'll let you know.
     
  5. Rob Landolfi

    Rob Landolfi Stunt Coordinator

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    I wanted to close the loop on this. Following the advice here, I took my PC down to the motherboard, memory, and video card and added pieces as I was able to get things started again. Surprisingly, things seemed to work out rather well, and I was able to get booted up into Windows. After a few hours, all I had left to figure out why I couldn't get back online, and finally decided that my onboard LAN was dead. Nothing would work (ipconfig release/renew/etc., reboots, repair[​IMG], so I dug up my old system and transferred the LAN card to my PC and all was well.

    I was having trouble with a hard disk prior to everything getting zapped, but was fortunate in that it was a drive I used for video projects and nothing was on there when it died.

    I sent my PC maker (ABS PC)the note that I posted here, and they thought it was the motherboard and was offering to have it RMA'd back to them, but it looks like I should be all set. Since the hard disk that looks like it died was in the system when I purchased it, I'll see about sending that back.

    Thanks for the advice.

    Rob
     

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