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#1
iknowjohnny

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Hi,

I am in desperate need of help here. The other nite my pc died, and thinking it was the PSU i bought a new one which turned out to be $100 down the tubes. The problem is apparently the mobo, the core2duo, or the video card. The ram and drive are the only other things, and i've eliminated those. It froze up on me one nite, and when i tried to restart it with the button on the tower it wouldn't start. Let me describe exactly what happens when i try to start it. It does any of three things when i try and start it....

1)-starts and goes to the post screen where it counts the ram and all that, but freezes about 1/2 way down the page and won't respond to any key entries. (using a PS2 for testing, not usb)

2)-screen stays dark and nothing happens.

3)-LED's go on, then it turns itself off in about 5 seconds. Then it turns itself back on a couple seconds later, then in 3 seconds back off. It repeats this infinitum.

It does these 3 things somewhat randomly;y, but for the most part it does #1 first after it's been sitting for any length of time, then second try it does #2, then after a few more tries it starts doing #3.

So to me it sounds like a heat issue which i assume makes it most likely the mobo. but the thing is, i need to me much more sure than my non-tech mind can be. because each time i make a mistake in determining the wrong part that is the problem, i'm out another few hundred $ as i was by buying a new un-needed PSU. Please help if you can, as i am lost w/o my PC and can barely afford to replace 1 more part let alone all of them. Oh, and i forgot to mention it also sometimes goes to the 2nd screen where it lists PCI devices. But thats rare, and as in all other scenarios at no time will it respond to any key entries, so no chance of ever getting into the bios or starting from the windows CD. Thank you.

Edited by iknowjohnny, 15 May 2008 - 08:31 AM.

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#2
SRX660

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This does NOT sound like the motherboard. If it really was the motherboard you would probably not get any POST BEEp at all and all you would see is a black screen(maybe with a no input message on it). What it does sound like is that you are losing your bios setup when the computer is shut down. Try replacing the motherboard bios battery.

http://www.intel.com...img/battery.gif

After the post test the computer looks for video,IDE/ATA drives ( cdrom and Hard drives).
Then the computer does the ram count.
It then does a system inventory of your hardware.

I think it is there you are having a problem.
You can disconnect the cdrom drives from the system and see if the computer will boot up. If not where does it stop booting at? After post beep? after video?

Does it seem to freeze every time at the ram count? Try using only one stick if you have more than one, borrow the same kind of ram from a friend . It could possibly be a bad stick of ram.

Beyond the ram or bad cdrom drive problems, i would tend to think the hard drive has a bad sector in it.

Let us know what you try and the results so we can move forward.

SRX660
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#3
iknowjohnny

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This does NOT sound like the motherboard. If it really was the motherboard you would probably not get any POST BEEp at all and all you would see is a black screen(maybe with a no input message on it). What it does sound like is that you are losing your bios setup when the computer is shut down. Try replacing the motherboard bios battery.

Sometimes it DOES beep normally, but other times it doesn't.

I think it is there you are having a problem.
You can disconnect the cdrom drives from the system and see if the computer will boot up. If not where does it stop booting at? After post beep? after video?


I already disconnected all PCI cards and all drives except the C drive. And i even tried starting w/o that once to see if it would always go to at least just before it looks for windows, but nothing changed.

IDoes it seem to freeze every time at the ram count? Try using only one stick if you have more than one, borrow the same kind of ram from a friend . It could possibly be a bad stick of ram.


I tried booting with one stick, then with the other. i doubt both sticks could be bad.

Beyond the ram or bad cdrom drive problems, i would tend to think the hard drive has a bad sector in it


As i said before, i tried it w/o the C drive at one point and nothing changes. it still sometimes never even gets to the post screen and is just black, then other times it does. if it were the drive i think it would always at least go to the post screen with the drive disconnected.
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#4
SRX660

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You still have not tried replacing the CMOS (BIOS) battery on the motherboard.

Yes, both sticks of Ram may be bad. I had lightning strike a computer and the only thing that fried was all 4 sticks of ram.

The comp wont boot without ram
The comp wont boot with a HD.

So, it you only had a MB, cpu, HD, 1 stick of ram, video card, power supply, KB & Mouse the computer should boot to the BIOS. Can yours do this? Can you take the MB out of the case and boot it up sitting on a pizza box? It may be shorting out to the case.

Waiting to hear from you.

SRX660
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#5
iknowjohnny

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I've been planning on removing the battery since i read about that in a seasrch. Will do so when i get home tonite. I'll also try booting up w/o ram and then w/o the video. I already tried botting w/o the any drives. if nothing shows up after all that i'll look at the possibility of the mobo grounding, but i doubt it because i removed it last nite to get the chip out and look at that and redo the heat sink compound. (huge aftermarket cooler can't be easily removed w/o removing mobo) I looked at everything, plus unless thee was something obvious grounding it theres a good chance it would have then worked. I'll post back tomorrow and let you kbnow what i find.
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#6
iknowjohnny

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Come to think of it, i doubt it could be the battery because the first sign of trouble was when the PC froze while in windows. So i don't think that could be it unless a huge coincidence occurred and the battery went bad right after whatever caused the freeze happened. I'll still try it tho.
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#7
fawoodward

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The battery is not the cause. If you remove the battery completely the computer will still boot up, it just won't retain any BIOS changes or the time/date whenever it's shut off.

Do you get any beeps when you start your computer? If so, those can identify your problem. Since it's booting up some of the time, it sounds like it could have been a heat issue and that your motherboard, cpu, or video card are damaged. Do you have access to a different cpu or video card you could replace in your system to test?

If you purchase anything like the PSU, video card, memory, etc, you can return it for a full refund so you may want to consider purchasing an item or 2 to test and get your answer much quicker than attempting needless troubleshooting.

Good luck.
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#8
iknowjohnny

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I get a single beep just as it does when it's working some of the time. usually always when i get the post screen at least. Other times no beep at all. No, i have no other parts to swap for testing. I'm not sure either how they would feel about taking a return on a opened mobo, chip or video card. Maybe the card, but the others i don't think so.
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#9
fawoodward

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Sure, I've purchased CPUs, video cards, motherboards, and returned them with no problem. I think the only limitation was the return had to be within 15 days as opposed to the usual 30 days. But it's worth asking what their return policy is on items like that. However, if you have items to test then it's a non issue :)

If you have a CPU you can swap in, try that first. Unplug the hard drive, all CD drives, any non-essential peripherals to eliminate as many possibilities. You have to have a keyboard, video card, CPU, and the minimum # of ram sticks req'd by your mobo to boot up. If you have a 2nd computer you can test your CPU, RAM, and video card in to ensure those are either operational or not operational, you can pretty much figure it to be the motherboard.

Good luck.
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#10
max-a-million

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i think it has got to be the motherboard. there is no other explanation. its not the RAM because you are getting the board to recongnise it at startup with the beep. if it was the RAM the computer would beep continuesly and not continue startup. Its nto going to be the HDD because of the different times at which the startup restarts, meaning that the bios settings would have to be changing each time, which i doubt.

it only makes sense that it is the motherboard. if it were me, i would go and buy a similar motherboard (brand, model etc) that uses the same drivers etc, and re-install it. give a whirl. if that works then problem solved, if not, as someone else said return it, and you have me stumped!

good luck

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#11
iknowjohnny

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I would agree except theres one thing that causes me to believe it might be more likely the CPU. Let me explain why, then tell me if you think those symptoms could be the CPU. I have a synthe (sp?) cooler on the CPU, and the mounting it has is not very reliable. i once caused one or 2 of the pins to come loose causing the cooler to come loose enough to hang down a couple of degrees from normal so the heat sink was obviously not making full contact with the chip. This happened with the PC off luckily. But when i checked it this time one pin was loose, tho it didn't seem like it was leaning at all. But as we all know it would only take a very slight air gap to over heat the CPU. When it first froze it was with a game up, thos minimized. But never the less games even when minimized are running higher cycles as is obvious by the fan going fast even after minimizing.

This PC is only a year old and it just doesn't seem likely a good quality board (gigabyte DS3) would just go bad for no reason. So while i can't tell you for sure the heat sink/CPU connection wasn't solid, there is a good chance. And i know that CPU's can fry within seconds with no heat sink. So a sink with very bad contact i would think could easily go bas in a few minutes when running it hard like games do. What do you think?

Second question. If i buy a new chip, then a new MOBO if the chip isn't it, is there anyway i can hang onto my current C drive install even if either isn't the same model? I don't want to lose it. I have most things on a storage drive, but i have so many things installed that are highly customized, losing it all will cause me a LOT of work. I figure since i have to buy at least one of them if not both, i would feel a lot better about it if i upgraded so i could at least feel like i'm getting something for my money. Then again, if it means losing my drive i may rather go with the same chip and board.

Edited by iknowjohnny, 16 May 2008 - 07:55 AM.

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#12
fawoodward

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When you say you want to keep your C drive install I assume you mean not having to reinstall windows. If you get the same make mobo - like an nvidia chipset for example, then there's a good chance you won't have to do much at all. If it ends up being your CPU, unless you get a new mobo for the CPU, you won't have to do anything with windows. If you can keep the hardware as close to what you've got now, you shouldn't have any problems.
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#13
iknowjohnny

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Thanks. I'm thinking of buying a core 2 duo 3.0 if it will work in my GA-965P-DS3. If it will, and it IS the CPU, at least i'll have a nice upgrade from my 2.13 core2. If it turns out to be the mobo maybe i can find that same mobo in stock somewhere even tho it's an older one. They'd be dirt cheap by now.
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#14
iknowjohnny

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By the way, do you mean ANY CPU? In other words, if i upgrade from a 2.13 core2 to a 3.0 core2 will my HD still be usable w/o reformatting?
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#15
fawoodward

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You just need to be sure your motherboard supports it. The cpu won't need any drivers so it won't affect your windows installation, your motherboard probably would unless you got as close to the same motherboard that's currently in your system.
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