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Motherboard/CPU issue? (LONG)


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#1
Enigmatik

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Hi folks-

New poster here and new to mucking around with the vital insides of my machines. Replacing a drive or GPU, no problem. Fiddling with mobos or CPUs...BIG PROBLEM. At any rate, here's the deal and I appreciate any and all feedback/help you guys can provide in advance. :blink:

So...I order a brand spanking new barebones kit (case, PSU, mobo, CPU) online. I also order a new GPU and RAM to go with the drives I salvaged from my previous rig which finally died. I must state in advance that I originally bought 2GB of OCZ Platinum Revision 2 PC6400 800 MHz memory. At any rate, when I installed my drives, etc, the system wouldn't stay stable long enough for me to install Windows. It would freeze either in BIOS or during Windows install. Figuring bad memory, I RMAed the memory and got the Corsair memory I currently have. Put that in, same thing. The system would hang during POST, in the BIOS or during Windows install. I tried adjusting timings/voltages when I could but this would only make my system more unstable.

So, after extensive "Googling" I learned that the PSU I got originally with my system was considered trash. It was an OKIA 650W ATX SLI-ready PSU. Prior to that, however, I mistakenly took my system to Geek Squad for diagnostics, where it took them a week to tell me that I had bad memory (with the Corsair) after I'd told them about my persisting symptoms through both Corsair and OCZ memory and about the possibility that my PSU was insufficient/trashy. Annoyed, I reclaimed my system from Geek Squad and bought an Antec Neo HE PSU. I'd never installed a PSU before, but the instructions were easy and I quickly got the thing in with no problems/issues. I go to push the power button and all fans light up/spin, HD spins, CPU fan spins, mobo light comes on but no POST, no monitor signal, no beeps...nothing. Extremely annoyed, I remove the Antec, put the OKIA back in and same thing. I remove all the drives and GPU leaving only case LED, RAM,fans and mobo connected to the PSU...same thing happens. Everything spins/lights up, but no post beep. I remove the RAM (leaving everything else out) and I get memory error beeps like I'm supposed to. Put one stick of RAM back in, same thing as before with all fans spinning and mobo light being on but no POST/beeps.

So, in your expert opinion(s) what could be causing this? Did my new CPU somehow get fried? Do I just need to reseat it? Is my mobo dead? Is it grounding/shorting out somewhere? What? I'm at an absolute loss as to what to do and I'm about to toss this potentially wonderful system out the window (meaning...box the PoS back up and RMA it) but I really don't want to do that if I can help it (as it would take forever to get it back).

Any recommendations as to additional things to try would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
:whistling:

Edited by Enigmatik, 02 April 2007 - 12:25 PM.

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#2
Samm

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Welcome to G2G

From the symptoms you described - i.e hanging in the bios & on the post screen etc, this normally indicates either a cpu or a memory issue. My bet would be cpu in your case, especially as you've already had the ram replaced once.

Can you tell me...
1) When you got your system back from Geek Squad, did you power it up before replacing the PSU? i.e was it definitely in the same state as before, after Geek Squad had it?

2) Are the cpu & motherboards the ones listed in your signature? If not, what are they exactly?
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#3
Enigmatik

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Can you tell me...
1) When you got your system back from Geek Squad, did you power it up before replacing the PSU? i.e was it definitely in the same state as before, after Geek Squad had it?

2) Are the cpu & motherboards the ones listed in your signature? If not, what are they exactly?


Hi Samm and thanks for taking the time to try to help a hardware nooblet! :blink:

1) Actually, I didn't. They had it during the period of time that I found out about my original garbage PSU. I even asked them to check it for me while they had it. 5 days later, they still hadn't tested it so in my anger/impatience, I took it out and got a full refund for the diagnostic I ordered since the only thing they found out was that my system would hang in memtest (which I told them when I dropped it off). I may not be a computer tech, but I know how to run memtest. :whistling: Since they hadn't really done anything to my system (so they said) other than try to run memtest and have it freeze like I told them it would, I didn't bother powering it back up again since I assumed the original symptoms would still be present.

I bought the new PSU 3 days later and that's when the symptoms I currently have now began. So, in theory, it is entirely possible that my CPU got jacked/dislodged from its seating in transit to, at or from the Geek Squad location.

2) Yes, they are. Everything in my sig is what is in my rig at the moment. Much to my chagrin after purchasing my system, I learned that ASUS mobos tend to be very finnicky when it comes to finding/configuring compatible RAM. The OCZ variety I originally purchased was not on the AVL for my mobo, the Corsair RAM I have, however was and unless it was bad also (TigerDirect confirmed the OCZ memory was defective) that should've solved my problems when I put it in unless there were another motherboard or PSU error at that time since it woud POST, but quickly freeze thereafter.

Edit: I'm thinking I'm going to have to try reseating my CPU in my board, which is something I've never done and quite frankly, the thought of it frightens me immensely. The only things that have changed to my knowledge between the time it would POST but freeze to now when it doesn't POST/beep at all is being moved from my home, to my vehicle, to GeekSquad, back to my vehicle,into my home and the addition of a different PSU. Other sources also suggest possible mobo shorting in the case. My case makes it rather easy to remove the mobo from it so I'll give that a shot when I get home to see if that's the case and update you tomorrow as I have to post/read/research from work atm.

Thanks again!

Edited by Enigmatik, 02 April 2007 - 02:04 PM.

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#4
Samm

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OK, thanks for the info.

The main reason I asked whether you tested the system in between getting it back from Geek Squad & replacing the PSU, was to make sure that Geek Squad hadn't done something to the system to cause the current problem.

I suggest you try the following :

1) Disconnect the power - external power lead, then internal ATX power lead.

2) Remove all components except the video card, one stick of ram (in the dimm_A1 slot) & cpu/fan. Disconnect all drive cabling from the motherboard.

3) Locate the CLRTC jumper (near the motherboards battery). If you can, remove the battery first but be careful when removing it not to damage anything. If you have problems, leave the battery in place.
Move the jumper cap from it's current position of PINS 1-2 on the CLRTC header, to PINS 2-3. Wait approx 30 secs then return it to PINS 1-2. Reinstall the battery if you removed it. (Remember - positive side up).

4) Reconnect the power. Make sure that as well as the main 24 pin ATX connector, you also have the 4 pin ATX12V power connector plugged in. Ensure that the CPU fan is connected to the correct fan header (CPU_FAN).
Make sure the only external devices you have connected are the monitor & keyboard/mouse.

Power the system on & let me know what happens. In particular:
whether there is power to the board
whether you get a display on the monitor
whether you hear any beeps & if so, how many.
Also check to see if the keyboard LEDs flash once a few seconds after powering on
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#5
Enigmatik

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Well, here's what happened last night:

I took my motherboard out of my case, and tried to boot...praying that my board was shorting in the case. No dice. There were no bulging condensors, or any other visual indicators of a bad motherboard from what I could see upon inspection.

I removed my heatsink/CPU fan and reseated my CPU (which actually was easier to do than I thought it would be aside from the damned screws holding the heatsink/fan in place were tough as [bleep] to get out), and tried to boot. Once again, no dice. I didn't notice any damage to the CPU...no discoloration, no scorch marks, etc.

The sytmptoms remain the same. All of my case/fan lights come on, fans spin away, CPU fan kicks in, GPU fan works, HD spins but no POST beeps, no monitor signal...nothing.

As a not-so-random aside, I called ASUS last night and spoke with rather helpful individuals in both Tech Support and their RMA department. I described my symptoms and gave them background I gave you. Both Tech Support and the RMA department seem confident it's the board at fault and they told me if trying to boot the mobo outside the case or reseating the CPU didn't work to RMA it and they'd send me another one. Which I'm fine with.

My main concern now, however, is the possibility of a bad CPU. I just don't see how a CPU could get jacked at GeekSquad when they tried running memtest (assuming that's all they did). I called them last night to verify what was on their service reports was all that they'd done and the manager assured me it was (but I can't prove that with absolute certainty). Since was a barebones kit, I don't have the box/container for my CPU (but I did have the packaging for my motherboard). I've read a variety of forums and articles in regard to my symptoms and people seem divided as to whether it's the motherboard or CPU so I guess I'll have to RMA them both just to be sure since I have no way of testing the processor. I just am concerned about RMAing a processor when I was never given the original packaging for it.
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#6
Samm

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The reason that I suspected the cpu, was because you said the system was freezing in the bios etc. As it was doing this before Geek Squad had it, then if it does turn out to be the cpu thats faulty, then it's probably not Geek Squads fault!

I asked about testing the system after getting it back from Geek Squad in case they were the ones responsible for it not booting up at all.

It is possible however, that the motherboard is at fault, rather than the cpu. RMA the board as planned & see what happens when you get the replacement. There's not much point worrying about the cpu until then.
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#7
Enigmatik

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I understand, Samm. I've read/heard so much conflicting information as to the potential cause of my symptoms (mainly either CPU or motherboard or PSU) that my head is spinning from trying to determine which actually is at fault...hehe. I figure to RMA the board first (as that's the easiest to deal with) and go from there.

Thanks again for all your help and honestly, just listening and actually comprehending what I'm trying to say has been a great relief.
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#8
Samm

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You're very welcome. Be sure to let us know how you get on with the replacement motherboard :whistling:
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