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System Failed CPU Test


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#1
domer07

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I realize this topic has probably been posted before, but I checked through 12 pages and through the Search function and didn't find the answer, so here is what I've done.

System Info: Two years old - problem is just within last 10 days
Barebones ABIT A8V K8T800 Pro MB
AMD 64 3200+ Socket 939 CPU
2 Internal HDD
1 External HDD
450W PS
Lots of video processing in the last two years

Just started getting a System Failed CPU Test on startup. The system is two years old and have not changed anything recently. So far I have cleaned out the entire interior of the box, includinghte video card slot, removed the CPU cooling fan & cleaned and blew out the heat sink. Still started up with the same error message. Prior to cleaning, the system would occasionally start up after 8-15 power downs and start ups. The last time it started successfully for me, I checked BIOS and date, time etc looked OK.

I haven't tried more than a couple of startups since I cleaned it last night, but both times had same error message. I took the heat sink and CPU out and intend on reseating the heat sink with new paste tonight as I had heard there were some people who found a bad connection to the heat sink caused this problem. After that I am out of ideas. By removing the heat sink and CPU and separating htem and re-sealing, I am going farther than I have in the past. I don't know how or if I'm brave enough to test the MB. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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#2
SRX660

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The BAD here is you need to test the CPU and MB. It seems thats not possible so the next best thing is to replace the MB with a new one( if you can find one). I say the MB first since it is usually cheaper than the CPU.

The next best alternative is to upgrade to a MB/cpu combo. Heres some links that might help.

http://www.tigerdire....asp?CatId=1569

http://www.tigerdire...a...CatId=1619

SRX660
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#3
domer07

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SRX,

Thanks for the reply. I spent some more time with the problem this weekend. I re-set the CPU/heat sink with new paste and re-booted. The computer booted up into BIOS, but then kept freezing during setup. I disconnected all of the drives and peripherals from the power supply and re-booted. The computer would re-boot into BIOS but then freeze again. It acts like a power supply problem - like something heats up, then loses the circuit. Could that also be a short in the MB?

In your opinion, would it be beneficial to take it to some place like Best Buy or other computer repair place that can do the tests on the CPU, MB and Power Supply?

Thanks again,

domer
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#4
SRX660

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The problem with the retail stores is the cost even just testing the hardware. I have one customer that spent over $200 just to find out the motherboard was bad on her computer. The only way to recoup any of the money spent on testing was to go ahead and have them fix it at a additional cost of $90( very good price on the MB, by the way). The bad part was that they could have bought a new tower for approximately the same price.

This is why many people come to me for repairs. My prices are low for testing to draw customers in. Where i make money is in the real repairs to the computers. There my prices are not much different than the retail stores. I cannot test every piece of hardware since i do not have every combination of parts available. Most of the time i can guess at what is wrong. I still usually have to spend some money on the hardware to see if it fixes the comp.

From your Explanation it is probably NOT the CPU. I usually find that the computer won't even boot at all if the CPU is bad. So that leaves you with testing the PS ( which i usually do in another computer) or replacing the MB. Perhaps you can find a local computer store that could test your PS at a reasonable price.

SRX660
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#5
domer07

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Thanks SRX - too bad you're not in N. Calif.

One last question, if I replace/upgrade the MB, I will have to start over with Windows? Is it correct that XP will recognize the new MB and assume I am installing it in a new computer? I don't think I can just slap my HDD into another case and start computing right where I left off.

Thanks again for the help.

domer
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#6
SRX660

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Usually replacing the MB with a new one that is not the same motherboard does cause problems in with XP. What usually happens is XP will add new "users" to the system and the old users will still be there but not be able to access the installed programs on the HD. For that reason i will always do a clean install of XP on a rebuilt system. I prefer it anyway as it lets you get rid of unused programs, and programs you installed but did not like.

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#7
domer07

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Updated information and another opportunity to learn something.

I swapped the Power supply (put in a borrowed 350W, replacing my 450W) and the freezing action stopped and I no longer get CPU Test Failed error message. Just prior to changing the PS, I had cleared the CMOS by removing the battery, changing the jumper on the pins and replacing it per the MB manual instructions. Initially the system booted into BIOS and required setup. I tried to set the BIOS correctly following the MB manual, but for some reason it does not recognize or see the IDE drives. Now the system boots into the BIOS splash screen and goes through the BIOS check very slowly then does the drive checks, recognizes the SATA backup HDD as being Serial Channel 0 Master and then I get a DOS screen saying "Error loading OS"

I tried to load an updated BIOS on a floppy, but that drive does not spin up either. It seems either the IDE drives aren't powered up, recoginzed or found by the BIOS or something more sinister, costly and time consuming is happening.

Any new advice?
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#8
SRX660

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I know it seems a bother but it looks like the MB is also bad in this case. I have had a few times it seemed the MB was bad but working on it usually got things running smoothly. Even with my own personal computers i don't spend more than a days worth of time fixing them. The computers that don't seem to ever to settle down in a month or so i usually end up breaking up and using the parts for other computers. I know this is a luxury i have that others don't have. I really don't have the time to spend trying to work out problems on a single computer. Computers are cheap enough that R & R is the usual repair for everything simply because a motherboard replacement cost the same as a 2 hour "look for whats wrong"service. I do have a lot of "DEAD" parts( motherboards, video cards, sound cards, etc) in a bin i use for caps, and other small parts, for other projects.

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