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Father's monitor gets no signal.


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#1
zxcymn

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My father come home to find out his computer was frozen. Upon restarting it, the monitor now says it's not receiving a signal and the light stays yellow. I plugged the monitor into my computer and it works just fine; we also tried changing the cords on it, so we've ruled that out. He's tried switching his video card to another slot, and it still didn't work. He also tried switching to a different card and tried in both slots and still a no-go. He switched to a different processor, which didn't work. We also ruled out the power supply.

The only thing that's left to rule out is RAM and the motherboard. We'll be exchanging the RAM soon but I have a feeling it still won't work. My main question is how we can tell if it's the motherboard or not. Everything appears to be working fine when we start it up, but the monitor receives no signal.

Are there any ways to tell if the motherboard is dead? We have old parts for just about everything but no old motherboards to hook it up to.

***EDIT***
Ok, well I just noticed the computer never beeps when it comes on now. As far as I know (which isn't much to be honest) it's supposed to beep once on startup, right? So maybe it's the motherboard after all?

Edited by zxcymn, 25 April 2010 - 07:26 PM.

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#2
Ferrari

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You are on the right track.

Are there any ways to tell if the motherboard is dead?

Yes, if you have a known to be good/working CPU, swapped the PSU, and the RAM is positively in good shape, then the motherboard is probably bad. Try just one stick of RAM, if no go, then try the other stick. It is very unlikely that both sticks have gone bad at the same time. (All you are trying to do is get to the BIOS at this point).

Also, you can try booting the computer without any RAM. IF there is no beep code (i.e. two short beeps) then it's probably your motherboard. Another thing, visually inspect the capacitors around the CPU or any where else on the motherboard. If they are swollen or leaking, that's a sure sign of a dead board or soon to be dead board. Here is an image... http://members.dataf...0802/puscap.jpg

Here is my canned for a bench test. (If it's a OEM like a Dell, HP, or Gateway, you don't have to take the motherboard out of the case as it is 99.9% surely mounted correctly in the case) Also a speech for clearing the CMOS which may help.

In order to trouble shoot this issue, let's try a bench test:
  • Remove the motherboard from the case and place it on a piece of cardboard
  • Install only the CPU with heatsink and fan (remember to use thermal paste and plug in the fan)
  • Install only 1 stick of ram in dimm 1 (consult your motherboard manual for which slot is to be used)
  • Hook up the Power Supply (there should be a 20 or 24pin connector, and a 4 or 8pin connector)
  • Use onboard video, (if not available, use a video card)
  • Use any momentary case switch, or have your case close enough to install it's case switch
  • Make sure there is a case speaker connected, many modern motherboards have a onboard speaker
  • Connect a ps2 mouse and keyboard along with the monitor (if all you have is USB, that's ok)
  • Power the system on
  • Can you get to the BIOS? (Consult motherboard manual on how to enter the BIOS)
DO NOT hook up the hard drive, CD/DVD, case fans, lights, or anything else not mentioned above.

If the system does not power on, replace the 1 stick of RAM with the other stick. Are you getting any kind of beep codes? Do you get any video? Do the fans remain on, but no video?

Clear your CMOS:
  • Unplug your computer from the wall
  • Open the case up, usually the left panel comes off
  • Locate the CMOS Battery (See Image)
  • Use a small flat head screw driver to pry it out
    CLICK HERE TO SEE HOW
    BE CAREFUL and Gentle!
  • Wait 5 minutes while pressing and holding the power button
    a few times to release any left over electricity in the system
  • Pop the battery back into place
Please Note: You will have to reset the time and date in the BIOS upon first boot.
Posted Image

Sounds like a dead board though =/
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#3
zxcymn

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Before unhooking everything again we tried taking all the RAM out and booted it up. There were no beep codes but all the capacitors that I can see look perfect. However since it's never beeping I'm ready to say the motherboard is dead. Just to be safe we'll continue with your other suggestions before spending $94895458 on a new board.

Thanks for your time; I'll update you asap.



P.S. we also tried one stick at a time and still nothing. Lights up fine but no signal to the monitor.
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#4
Ferrari

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Yes, everything you've stated with all of the trial and error you've done leads to a bad board. Especially that you've swapped the PSU, CPU, 1 stick of RAM at a time, and swapped video cards and slots. There's really not much more to do really. I'm not there, but that sure seams like a faulty board for whatever reason.
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#5
zxcymn

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Yup. Just went and tried everything you suggested and nothing different. Powers up, no signal and no beeps. Thank you very much for taking the time to help us out!
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#6
Ferrari

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You are welcome. The only thing left to do really is try a new motherboard with the same hardware, if all works, then 100% confirmation, bad board.
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#7
zxcymn

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Unfortunately I don't think they make any more that support his processor lol so he'll end up having to get a few new things with it.
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#8
Digerati

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We also ruled out the power supply.

How? I don't see that you swapped in a known good one. With all that you did, I'm still looking at power and would want to ensure beyond any doubt the PSU is bad before going for a new motherboard. See my canned text below for testing PSUs. Note a new motherboard, if not an exact replacement, is considered a new computer when it comes to your Windows license. Not a problems if a retail license, but most are OEM, and OEM licenses are NOT transferable and are tied to the original hardware - the motherboard specifically.

Also note that unless a speaker is connected to the motherboard, you won't hear any beeps. So either a case speaker must be connected to the front panel I/O header on the motherboard, or the motherboard itself must have an integrated speaker (many don't because many cases have case speakers).

***

To properly and conclusively test a power supply unit (PSU), it must be tested under various realistic "loads" then analyzed for excessive ripple and other anomalies. This is done by a qualified technician using an oscilloscope or power analyzer - sophisticated (and expensive) electronic test equipment requiring special training to operate, and a basic knowledge of electronics theory to understand the results. Therefore, conclusively testing a power supply is done in properly equipped electronic repair facilities.

Fortunately, there are other options that are almost as good. I keep a FrozenCPU Ultimate PSU Tester in my tool bag when I am "in the field" and don't have a good spare power supply to swap in. While not a certain test, they are better than nothing. The advantage of this model is that it has an LCD readout of the voltage. With an actual voltage readout, you have a better chance of detecting a "failing" PSU, or one barely within specified ATX Form Factor Standard tolerances. Lesser models use LEDs to indicate the voltage is just within some "range". These are less informative, considerably cheaper, but still useful for detecting PSUs that have already "failed". Newegg has several testers to choose from. All these testers contain a "dummy load" to fool the PSU into thinking it is connected to a motherboard, and therefore allows the PSU to power on, if able, without being attached to a motherboard - great for testing fans, but again, it is not a true load or suitable for conclusive testing.

Swapping in a known good supply is a tried and trued method of troubleshooting, used for years even by pros. If you have access to a suitably sized, spare power supply, carefully remove the suspect supply and replace it with a known good one and see if the problem goes away.

I do not recommend using a multimeter to test power supplies. To do it properly, that is, under a realistic load, the voltages on all the pins must be measured while the PSU is attached to the motherboard and the computer powered on. This requires poking (with some considerable force) two hard and sharp, highly conductive meter probes into the main power connector, deep in the heart of the computer. One tiny slip can destroy the motherboard, and everything plugged into it. It is not worth the risk considering most multimeters, like plug-in testers, do not measure, or reveal any unwanted and potentially disruptive AC components to the DC voltages.

Note the required voltage tolerance ranges:

Posted Image


And remember, anything that plugs into the wall can kill. Do not open the power supply's case unless you are a qualified electronics technician. There are NO user serviceable parts inside a power supply.
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#9
phillpower2

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I noticed you posted that another video card had been tried in the two slots with no luck.
Would I be right in thinking that the video cards you mention are the standard pci type &
if so does the MB have an agp slot you can try a card in, if only to rule out another test.
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#10
zxcymn

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How? I don't see that you swapped in a known good one.

My apologies for not going into more detail there. We did swap it out with another one.

I noticed you posted that another video card had been tried in the two slots with no luck.
Would I be right in thinking that the video cards you mention are the standard pci type &
if so does the MB have an agp slot you can try a card in, if only to rule out another test.

His motherboard doesn't have an AGP slot. The cards we tried are all PCI Express though so they wouldn't fit anyway.
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#11
phillpower2

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What about trying a standard pci gfx card (not pci-e 16) in a pci slot then!
Can you post the MB make & model.
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#12
zxcymn

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What about trying a standard pci gfx card (not pci-e 16) in a pci slot then!
Can you post the MB make & model.

We don't own one. We only have newer upper-end cards. The motherboard is an Asus P5N32-SLI SE Deluxe.

We tried recently swapping some things into my computer from his. His power supply works just fine on mine and his GPU works just fine on mine. The motherboard is dead.

Thank you for your time. I appreciate all the help :)
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