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Power On, Fans Spin up, No Display


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#1
StewBizzle

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So this has been an ongoing frustration for the last few days. I powered on my computer a couple nights ago to make sure everything was fine after bringing it home from a friend's house, turned on, booted into windows, no problems.

The following morning, I turned it on, got no boot up display, no num lock key, no beeps, no nothing, just the fans spinning up, lights on, and that's it.

Thus far, I have replaced both power cables (monitor and PSU), and used a DVI cable and VGA cable on both my monitor and a 19" I know is working. Nothing, no boot up, or other display output.

I have removed my video card, after resetting the BIOS, and tried to use the onboard graphics. After this did not work, I pulled every peripheral off the motherboard, hdd's, optical, sound card, usb, tried to run it barebones, and nothing. After getting everything back together again, double checking jumper connections, I am at a loss. I can see it running a few feet away...like everything is juuuuust fine...and it is driving me NUTS. Any help would be appreciated. :D

(Additionally, I have pulled all my RAM, tried each stick individually, and still nothing. <- Just a side note)
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#2
phillpower2

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Hi there, sorry to hear you are having this issue.
You need to provide information about your computer, this includes is it a custom build or brand name such as Dell or HP and if it is provide the model name or series number, motherboard and any add on card details would also help others to help you better.
Try removing all the Ram and then power up to see if you get any error beeps, if you do this and you get error beeps it may suggest that the Ram is ok and that it is a graphics or power supply issue.
In your OP you said "I have removed my video card, after resetting the BIOS" How did you reset the BIOS?
Did you remove the silver CR2032 MB battery for a few moments and then replace it? If this is the method you used try replacing the MB battery if you can and with the power cord disconnected from the wall press the power on button to expel any surplus charge that may be left in the MB and capacitors.

Battery image courtesy of rshaffer61.
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#3
StewBizzle

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Sorry for the delay in response, this all had to wait until I got home from work ;)

The system is a custom build with these specifications:

- ASUS M4A78T-E motherboard
- AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition (AM3)
- XFX GTS250 Core Edition (PCI-E 2.0 x16)
- Sound Blaster Xfi Fatal1ty Edition (PCI)
- Belkin USB Extension Card (PCI)
- CD/DVD +/- R/RW (SATA)
- 1Tb Hitachi 7200rpm HDD (SATA)
- 500Gb Western Digital 7200rpm HDD (SATA)
- Corsair 750w SLI ready PSU
- 4Gb G. Skill DDR3 (1333/1600OC) (x4 1Gb DIMM's)


- All seated in a Raidmax Smilodon Case (x2 Thermaltake 120mm, x3 80mm Thermaltake/Raidmax fans)

In reference to your response:

"Try removing all the Ram and then power up to see if you get any error beeps, if you do this and you get error beeps it may suggest that the Ram is ok and that it is a graphics or power supply issue."

- I have tried this, removed all the RAM, cpu fan (as well as chassis fans) spin up and get no beeps. On a side note, as far as I know this motherboard does not have an onboard speaker, I do not recall it ever making a sound.

- For resetting the BIOS, I have tried multiple approaches:

1) Setting the jumper to reset the RTC RAM
2) Removing the battery for a few minutes, then replacing it
3) Buying and installing a new CR2032 battery entirely

Each time I have been sure to fully discharge any latent power.

So here are the updates from tonight:

- I have removed every component from the motherboard, except the 24-pin power connector, the 4-pin connector, and individually tried to power on with each of my 4 sticks of RAM, then no RAM. Still no display after trying with a DVI cable plugged into the onboard graphics.

- Removed my PSU from powering anything other than the motherboard.

- Double checked screws holding the motherboard in place, as well as the cpu fan chassis, and ensured that the RAM is securely seated.

Also, my motherboard, CPU, PSU, and graphics card are all about a year old, and there have been no recurring issues, or failures up until this point (at least none that were not related to user error :D )

Given the lack of progress after several hours of testing, and re-testing, I am somewhat convinced it is either a motherboard or cpu issue, but definitely need more input and help before I replace either one, or really even go about testing them. My previous BIOS settings had my RAM oc'd to 1600Mhz, and the fourth core of my cpu unlocked (seemingly stable) at the stock 2.8Ghz. For the most part, I did NOT mess with any advanced voltage settings, or extreme overclocking, other than what is stated above.

Thanks in advance, and I really appreciate every reply to soothe my ongoing frustration!
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#4
phillpower2

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No worries life must go on and work helps to pay for us to have nice systems.
I can see from previous posts that you are comfortable working inside the case and will know how to do a barebones set up outside of the case, others reading this looking for assistance may not so I have included the "how to" info.

Have the computer shutdown and all connections disconnected, remove the side of the case, ground yourself before touching anything inside, you can do this by touching a bare metal part of the case, make notes of where all connections go, take digital photographs if you can.
To do a barebones set up outside of the case > first remove the MB and set it up on a piece of cardboard (make sure it is larger than the MB) only connect the PSU, the GFX and only insert 1 stick of Ram.
You will then need to short out the 2 power on pins on the MB header to get the PSU to activate, you can use a small flat bladed screwdriver or a paper clip bent into a U shape, this is perfectly safe if you do not touch anything else, the idea is to see if we can get a BIOS screen if you do you can then add one component at a time until you find the problem component, you must power down and remove the power cord from the wall before adding any component.

As you have already carried out a lot of testing it may narrow things down somewhat so lets go though what is left;
The PSU, Corsair 750W, my PSU of choice (TX750) even these can fail, do you have or can you loan a known good PSU to try, the PSU may appear to be functioning but because of the various volts the rails put out +3.3V +5V and +12V if you get a problem with any of them you can get issues such as this.
The MB, harder to diagnose, possible causes, shorting out, doing the barebones set-up outside of the case can help rule this out, look for any stray screws that may have worked loose inside the case or any damaged wires, check the capacitors for bulges or leaks.
The CPU, also difficult to diagnose, you could try reseating the CPU this will allow you to see if the CPU is getting any power at all to it, to do this let the MB run for a few moments, shut down and remove the power cord, remove the HS and fan and feel the top of the CPU if it is hot it may suggest the CPU is ok.
The Ram, 4 sticks going bad at once, less likely but not unheard of, with being OCd maybe but if it is a Ram issue the Ram slots would be my first possible culprit, trying another stick of Ram is all you can do here unless you can try your Ram in another computer.
Have you had any power outages/spikes or electrical storms prior to this happening, was the computer left plugged into the wall and do you use a UPS or at least a good quality surge protector?
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#5
StewBizzle

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Alright, after a significant amount of testing (and buying a boatload of parts) I am pretty sure it is the motherboard. I rigged up a system speaker using an old motherboard 4 pin connector and hooked it up to a small speaker I bought at Radioshack. The only emitted sound (assuming it works) is one continuous beep. According to the BIOS beep codes from ASUS's website regarding the M4A78T-E, this means a power failure.

I attempted this after removing the motherboard from the case, along with the power supply, and placing both solely on a large piece of cardboard, as per your awesome instructions. Hooked up only 1 stick of RAM (but tried each one individually), the 24-pin and 4-pin power connectors and a DVI cable via the onboard graphics. Tried this with my current Corsair PSU, and an older, but known to work 650w PSU from another computer. On both occasions, the CPU fan spins up, but nothing else. Tried clearing the CMOS one more time, to be sure, which led to the same result.

I am somewhat surprised my ASUS board has gone bad after about a year (assuming I am correct) but I would have been down right shocked if it was my TX750w instead. Thank you for all your epic help, I really appreciate it, and I will be RMA'ing this board as soon as possible. :D

The only lingering concern I have is I let the system run for about 3-5 minutes, and pulled the heatsink to see if there was a change in temp, and as far as I could tell there was not. Not sure if this is indicative of the CPU going bad, or power to the CPU not being there.

One additional note: I reseated the cpu with a new heatsink/fan on the off chance it was overheating, or had come loose. I have never noticed any extraordinarily high temperatures, even with the fourth core unlocked, but at the same juncture...you never know. Also, I pulled the CPU, just in case I would get a different beep, or series of beeps, and nothing but the same continuous tone. ;)

If you have any further advice, or can think of an alternative possibility, I would love to hear it as I will be supremely disappointed if I get the motherboard replaced, and it turns out it's not the culprit.

UPDATE: (and feel free to e-slap me for this one) With my finger on the power switch of the alternative PSU, I powered on the mobo with a single stick of RAM and the CPU (no heatsink!) and flipped the switch after about 5-10 seconds. There was a definite change in temperature on the CPU.

SECOND UPDATE: Since I am not the patient type when it comes to my hardware not working, I ordered this: Motherboard pending any issue's anyone see's fit to raise.

Edited by StewBizzle, 29 December 2010 - 12:37 AM.

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#6
phillpower2

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I couldn`t find any information in your MB user manual regarding error beeps
http://static.compus...M4A78T-E_v2.pdf
No such thing as one long beep according to this site http://www.pchell.co...beepcodes.shtml
System pass according to this site http://www.5starsupp.../beep_codes.htm
1 Beep = Memory refresh timer error according to AMI;
http://www.ami.com/s...de_List_PUB.pdf
How are you meant to know which information is correct :D

The only lingering concern I have is I let the system run for about 3-5 minutes, and pulled the heatsink to see if there was a change in temp, and as far as I could tell there was not. Not sure if this is indicative of the CPU going bad, or power to the CPU not being there.

Bad atx power supply, bad atx socket on the MB or bad CPU, the only one you can rule out is the PSU by trying a known good one which you have done.

UPDATE: (and feel free to e-slap me for this one) With my finger on the power switch of the alternative PSU, I powered on the mobo with a single stick of RAM and the CPU (no heatsink!) and flipped the switch after about 5-10 seconds. There was a definite change in temperature on the CPU.

I would risk doing this with my own kit but I would never recommend it on the forum, the CPU should have become too hot to the touch in a nano second, if it was getting warm slowly it may point to low voltage from the atx supply.
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#7
StewBizzle

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I know what you mean with the beep codes, I dug around for quite a while before deciding either my speaker did not work (very possible), or it at least pointed to a power failure. Still somewhat up in the air over the whole thing, but the speaker I assembled was more meant to help in my decision did not hinge on it (unless it specifically pointed to something listed in the motherboard's manual) :D . I'm just praying it is in fact the motherboard, and not the CPU. I know it was a bit of a gamble, but I have always had exceptionally good luck with AMD cores, so I am biased toward the motherboard being bad.

Also, came to find out my motherboard was not covered under warranty, which was not thrilling to find out, hence ordering the replacement. (Hoping it gets here before New Years).

I really appreciate all your help with this, especially taking the time to go over everything again to check my thinking! I honestly can not thank you enough, as I would have been floundering to some extent, and a second opinion is ALWAYS welcome. This is the first motherboard (or CPU) I have had fail on one of my personal computers. Anytime my personal electronics fail (especially the one's I have modded or built) it's like there is someone flicking me in the back of the head reminding me something is not working right. Thanks again, and with any luck I'll be posting from my desktop instead of my laptop to update that it was in fact the motherboard, and the new one is not DoA. ;)
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#8
phillpower2

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Sorry to hear about the no warranty bit :D
Fingers crossed, MBs are more prone to failure than CPUs unless OC and then both can go.
No worries I am happy assisting people in trying to resolve their computer issues and even happier when they succeed.
I will look out for you posting back on the new set-up good luck and let us know if we can help at all.
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