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Help on Abit KA7-100 mobo gone nuts (1 Viewer)

Vince Maskeeper

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Jan 18, 1999
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Yesterday, out of the blue, my computer restarted on its own. No big deal, some fluke I figured. An hour later- it kinda did it again- only this time it just went black and never restarted...

Now the system won't boot beyond the windows splash screen- it just goes to black and shuts the monitor off.

It just started happening out of the blue yesterday (along with some other OS related problems I caused when trying to fix it)-- so I decided it was due and formatted the drive and reinstalled windows. It was working fine for the first couple hours with the reinstall, and then it started doing this again.

Whether i boot in safe mode or normal- it gets about 1/2 way through the splash screen, and then kinda goes into standby. The system is still powered up (drives and fans still spinning, power still on)- but the monitor goes into standby (can hear it click and powerdown) and the system sits.

I thought at first that maybe the monitor or video card was just shutting off- and the system was still running in the background-- but back when it was allowing me into windows before going black I tried playing some audio to see if it continued when the system died, and it didn't. So when the screen goes into standby, the entire system is dead-- reset won't work, ctrl-alt-del doesn't work, must be shut off and powered up again.

I've tried everything I can think of: stripped the system down to one stick of ram, videocard and the hd, and it still does this. Have tried different RAM, Different Video Cards, reinstalled OS- everything I can think of- still repeats the exact same thing- gets to windows splash and goes into standby.

I would be happy to chalk it up to the Mobo failing, except if I go to reinstall it will work throughout the reinstall process. No problems formatting the drive, installing windows- heck it will even boot a few times and let me install drivers before it goes nuts. If it was some sort of short or mobo power problem, it seems that it would happen regardless-- but it dies 99% of the time at the same point on Windows load.

I tried line by line confirmation on boot- and it usually dies right after confirming loading msmouse.vxd- but it dies regardless of if I load that vxd or not (I also tried not loading any VXDs, but it died regardless). It seems that whatever step it hits immediately following msmouse.vxd is killing it (??).

Also, now it only even STARTS booting every couple times I turn it on. I turn it on, powers on- but no BEEP or booting. I shut it off, power it up again- and it will boot. At first I thought it was a badly seated card, so I would power down and adjust the cards, and then it would boot. However, I eventually realized that if I powered down and didn't touch the cards, it still decided to boot when I turned it back on.

Any thoughts on this? I've put together 2 abit based systems (mine is the Abit KA7-100) recently- and both were real sketchy with the AGP slot... slightly jarring the AGP card usually prevented the system from booting, and you had to reseat the video card. But this isn't happening in my case- the system is just fucking nuts, regardless of how the videocard is seated.

-V
 

Drew Wimmer

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Messages
61
you may want to try testing the power supply, despite the fact that the shutdown seems to be a bit sporatic, it could be that the psu is supplying an uneven voltage so it's spiking or dropping at seemingly random times, such as when the psu get's too hot, or just when it gets put under a certain amount of load
if your mobo is bad, I suggest the MSI K7-Master, rock-solid board, based on the amd 760, not much for overclocking but that doesn't matter much to most ;), it's incredibly stable (as most MSI boards tend to be) and I've had absolutely no compatibility problems with it whatsoever
 

Vince Maskeeper

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Joined
Jan 18, 1999
Messages
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Drew,

Thank you very much for your thoughtas. The power supply is resonably new- but I might hunt down the receipt and return it for another, just to be sure.

I have been racking my brain about this, specifically because it seems to be working okay again all of a sudden. I came up with a theory of sorts, that I wondered if anyone had any thoughts on:

My thought is something is hootie with the AGP slot on the board. I think the time that it is going out is right when it would be swicthing from the default 640x480 16 color setting for the win splash screen to my 32bit 1024x768 desktop. Now, I don't know much about how the AGP interface works, but I would wonder if it would be possible that some sort of short would exist allowing it to work fine a low refresh/memory levels- but die when it goes to kick into overdrive.

Is that a realistic idea? If that would be the case, would you think this would be cause by the mobo agp slot- or would it be a possible powersupply issue (extra power pull on the ATX portion causing something to blink out).

Again- without an internal knowledge of the AGP interface, I'm at a loss to confirm specific ideas on how it might work.

-Vince
 

Drew Wimmer

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Messages
61
if that psu is a sparkle, then i think it's most likely the psu's fault, sparkle is notorious for their psu's failing way before the marked mtbf

that idea's entirely feasible, but there could be a couple of reasons, at least so far as i can determine with my knowledge:

1) some sort of fault like you described with the slot itself or the logic driving it, higher level graphics require more bandwidth for the slot, so perhaps increasing the slot's throughput could be enducing a strain on the logic chip driving it(northbridge chipset for traditional AMD systems) that it can no longer handle, and so it craps out

2) something wrong with the card itself along the same lines, the card's core is stressed more by XGA graphics than VGA graphics so some fault in the card is causing it to die

Most of the time I've seen this sort of video problem it's been heat-induced, that is, the core/northbridge get's above spec temp for a little too long and it get's fried just enough that it can't run at spec, only at some setting under spec. This is caused by insufficient cooling for your case, is you case inside a closed cabinet by any chance? If it is, take it out.

You may try finding another AGP video card to throw into your system to see if that fixes the problem

It's also possible that your system is actually booting into windows, just your video is failing so you can't see it

After the video dies when you boot, give it a minute or so to complete booting into windows, then hit the key sequence to shut down your computer through windows (windows key then u then enter then s then enter again).

If that kills the system, then you almost definitely have a video problem, the source of which can be narrowed down by trying a different card.
 

Travis Hedger

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 24, 1998
Messages
695
Check the capacitors on the mobo. See if any of them are buldging on the top or if any black/brown crusty stuff is @ the bottom where they are mounted on the board. Some Abits were shipped with inadequate caps that can cause instability or outright not booting up like mine that happened a few months back.
 

Vince Maskeeper

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 18, 1999
Messages
6,499
Well, just an update- the Board has gone back to refusing to even properly power up. When clicking it on, the fans and whatnot come on- but it never gets to the boot sequence (never gives the beep), it just sits.



Travis,

Thanks for the suggestion- after I try the PCI video card today, I plan to pull the board from the case and I will give it a thourough inspection at that time.

Thanks

Vince
 

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