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Motherboard lights flicker once, computer won't boot


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#1
nickkruge

nickkruge

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Hi Everyone, thank you for your time. This is my first post to this or any forum, but I have high hopes!

I just built a new computer this past week. Everything was going very smoothly, all OS and software installed and running fine, until this morning. I just moved into a new apartment, got everything set up, then ran my old computer, which is an old power mac G5, in target disk mode in order to transfer some of my files to my new PC such as songs, documents, photos, etc.. It seemed innocent enough except as soon as I plugged in the firewire cable it was LIGHTS OUT for my brand new computer, it was instantly gone.

I saw no smoke, smelled nothing funny. The computers were plugged into the same Furman rack mounted power supply. Nothing really seemed out of the ordinary except that the new computer went out. I disconnected the mac and tried to boot the PC again, there was a small click but nothing. If I waited another 10 seconds or so, re-flipped the power supply's rocker switch, I could get it to reproduce the click again but nothing more.

At this point I was nervous, and rightfully so. Was my Mac reaching its hand out of the grave for one last hurrah at me...cursing my lack of loyalty? Perhaps. Is my new apartment's power faulty, causing some weird power surge for my two computers? A little more likely I suppose, although it doesn't really make too much sense if they were plugged into two branches of the same exact outlet.

I opened up the case and tried the power again to determine the source of the clicking. On the motherboard, the CPU fan is beginning to turn but stopping almost instantaneously. At a similar rate, a few LEDs on the motherboard flicker once (I think they're green and yellow but its so fast I can't even tell).

I should note that it is a Gigabyte Motherboard and Antec 450W PS. I will be able to borrow or buy a PS tester and can check that.

My guess is its either the power supply or the motherboard (i'm hoping for power supply). If I'm unlucky its both. If I'm really unlucky its all of the components! Please help! Yargh!

Thank you again! Nick
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#2
Samm

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Welcome to G2G Nick

A power surge from the mains seems unlikely in this case as the Furman should prevent this from affecting the computer. That said, it may be worth while to try plugging the PC directly into the mains & bypassing the Furman altogether just in case that's been damaged in some way (unlikely I know seeing as the Mac is still ok)

There is a simple way of testing the PSU without using a PSU tester:

1. Disconnect the PSU from the motherboard completely. Leave power connected to the CD/DVD drive but disconnect everything else.

2. Get a metal paper clip (or similar size piece of wire). Straighten paper out then bend into a tight U shape.

3. Connect the mains power lead to the rear of the PSU & turn the PSU's rocker switch on.

4. Get the main ATX 20/24 pin power connector (this is the large rectangular connector that was plugged into the motherboard) & locate the hole on the underside that has the green wire going to it. This will be pin 16 on a 24pin connector or pin 14 on a 20pin connector. See diagrams below.

atx20m.gif
wtx_24p_cableconn.gif

5. Insert one end of the metal paperclip into this hole. Make sure it's pushed in firmly. Insert other end into any of the holes (pins) with black wires.

This should switch the PSU on. If it does, it still isn't any guarantee that the PSU is OK however for reasons which I'll explain if this happens to be the case. If it doesn't work, then the PSU is probably toast.

Let me know what happens
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#3
nickkruge

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Thank you for your quick response! I was able to do the paper clip method and the rear fan, which is attached directly to the power supply, kicked on. I'm not sure if it was the idea with keeping it plugged in, but the DVD drive did not open when I pressed the button. Also, I borrowed a new power supply from a friend and when I plugged it in just to the motherboard it still did not power up. I'm thinking to take the motherboard out and visually inspect it, and perhaps buy another one and try swapping them out. Any ideas? Thanks!
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#4
nickkruge

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Visual inspection of the motherboard doesn't show anything. It looks brand new still with no burned out spots. I'm going to borrow a motherboard from a friend and try that out perhaps? Maybe I can even borrow a processor and some ram to rule all that out too.

Thanks!
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#5
Samm

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As I said before, just because the PSU starts up this way doesn't mean it's ok but as you've also tested the system with a different PSU as well, then it's probably safe to assume that the PSU is not the problem here.

If I were, I would start by stripping everything down to the bare minimum components.
1. Remove the motherboard from the case & place it on some plain card or paper so that the underside is completely insulated.

2. Leave the processor in place for now along with the memory & video. Make sure all drive cabling is unplugged from the motherboard, as well as any other cards & USB devices you might have. Connect the monitor to the video card.

3. Clear the bios with the PSU disconnected from the motherboard then make sure the clear bios jumper is is back in the correct position. Double check this!

4. You'll probably need to remove the PSU from the case so that it reaches the motherboard.

5. Reconnect the PSU to the board

6. Locate the 2 power pins in the front panel header on the motherboard. These are the 2 pins that the power button on the front of the case would normally connect to. With the PSU switched on, bridge these 2 pins using a small flat bladed screwdriver. Unlike the paperclip trick, you only need to touch the 2 pins briefly in order to power the system on.

Let me know if the PSU does turn on when you do this, and if so, what else powers up.
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