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Computer receives power but doesn't start (Resolved)


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#1
michaelg9

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Hey fellow techs :)

 

I have a custom build computer with windows 7 that denies to power on :upset: More specifically, when I push the power button, I can see that all the components receive electricity( the fans begin to work, the ram has leds on it that blink according to its usage) but nothing happens. The monitor doesn't receive signal (its led remains orange), no sounds, no beeps from the motherboard.

I'm sure it's a hardware error because some days ago it did the same thing and I disconnected all the psu cables from the peripherals and reconnected them, moved the ram module to another socket, removed the heatsink, reseated the cpu and put back the heatsink and then it magically worked. However, after a few days, the same problem. I tried the same 'solution' but without success. I left it some days like this, did some of the same things and it worked again. Unfortunately now, it's in the same situation and I tried reseating everything but without success.

 

There's an important detail that I must mention here. The ram module has leds on the top, like these:

ballistix-tactical-tracer.jpg

 

They blink according to its usage, meaning when data are being moved in and out of it, they blink fast whereas when it's idle, they blink slowly. As you can imagine, during the boot process they blink fast until windows load. Now, when I press the power button, they blink slowly and steadily and keep going like this until I shutdown the computer, meaning nothing happens inside there more than electricity flow. I mentioned this detail to clarify that it's not a video problem that keeps the monitor from showing, it's just that the computer doesn't start; not even to the post stage.

 

Motherboard :asus m5a78l-m lx

CPU: amd athlon II x3 455 3.3 GHz

RAM: 4gb ddr3 crucial ballistix

 

Note that I changed the power supply with a new one and the problem still remains.

 

What do you think?


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#2
phillpower2

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Hello michaelg9,

 

Can you confirm how many memory slots that your MB has, there are different versions of the same board and they all only have 2 Dimm slots according to their specs and manuals, is that correct.

 

Does the computer normally emit a single, I ask as the MB does not appear to have a BIOS speaker, unless you have fitted one yourself that is. MB specs here

 

Can I ask what you have for video and the brand and model name or number of the PSU.

 

Forgot to ask, are you using a wired PS/2 or a USB type keyboard.


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#3
michaelg9

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Hey phill

 

Can you confirm how many memory slots that your MB has, there are different versions of the same board and they all only have 2 Dimm slots according to their specs and manuals, is that correct.

Yes, it only has 2 memory slots.

 

Does the computer normally emit a single, I ask as the MB does not appear to have a BIOS speaker,

Hmm, now that you are saying, no it doesn't emit a single beep during boot. I'm not sure if it actually has a BIOS speaker; I thought every motherboard had.

 

This is my MB:

Jsi9nyaaOcBhHacb_500.jpg

If you look at the lower right corner, under the right corner of the PCI1 slot, there's a place that writes 'SPEAKER' on it, but I can't find the speaker wire to connect it to them. Aren't these the speaker pins: :confused:

iy1kp5.jpg

 

Can I ask what you have for video and the brand and model name or number of the PSU.

I'm using the integrated video card, ATI Radeon™ HD 3000 GPU. Regarding the PSU, it's named MS-TECH MPS-400 400W SFX PSU. Just to remind you that I just bought a new one and replaced the old one, but the problem is still there.

 

 

As for my keyboard, it's a wireless one but I'm using a usb to ps/2 adaptor to connect it to the ps/2 port.

 

Thank you for your time


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#4
Plastic Nev

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Hi, till Phill gets back to us, firstly there is obviously no BIOS beep speaker fitted to that board, they are usually soldered straight onto the board, shame because any beep code would have helped.

However, I suggest removing all the RAM modules, (Are they four 1GB or two 2GB? or something different?)

Then just replace one module and try the system, if no good pull that one back out and try the next, till all modules have been tried and checked, then let us know what you found.

I assume you know to power off and touch the case to prevent static damage before touching the RAM modules.

Nev.


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#5
michaelg9

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Hey nev :)

 

Just wondering, if there's no bios speaker then what's that speaker prescription?

 

It's just one ram module

 

I tried booting without the ram module, then with it attached to the first socket and then to the second socket. Nothing changes :(


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#6
Plastic Nev

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As far as the print on the motherboard, it is possibly where a speaker would go if it were fitted, quite often motherboard manufacturers use the same printed circuit board for different levels of similar model, a higher, or different spec board would have most of the components that yours has, plus some more or in different places depending on which chips were used and possibly including the speaker. You will see there are plenty of holes for components that aren't there as they design a board that can be used for multiple purposes to save costs.

 

If you have already tried the RAM, and considering there is only one module, which from your photo I thought there was more, not much more can be done without a different module as far as the RAM is concerned, unless a similar computer using the same type can be found to check the RAM you have.

Phill will possibly have some more suggestions to try, so I will leave it till he gets back to us.

 

Nev.


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#7
hazard209

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Generally when seeing that you have power but aren't getting a display one of the big four, as I call them, are usually the culprit. Video card, RAM, processor, and motherboard. As Nev said, short of finding either new RAM or testing it in another machine there's not much (as far as I know) that you can do about it. Same with the processor. Although it's interesting to me that you were able to temporarily fix it by reseating everything. Maybe it's just dirty pins/sockets for the RAM or CPU? I'm sure Phill will have more insights, but I just wanted to toss my two cents in there. 


Edited by hazard209, 10 November 2014 - 03:12 PM.

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#8
phillpower2

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Hello all,

 

Michael, 

 

If you count the bottom set of pins you will note that there are 9 + 1 blank (unused) this is the 10 -1 pin F_ Panel header and the 4 pins behind it lined up like soldiers is the 4 pin speaker header, attaching a BIOS speaker like that in the picture below and then removing the Ram and powering up to see if error beeps were emitted is how you can rule in or out the Ram as the cause, no error beeps suggests a bad PSU or MB but if you do get error beeps it suggests a bad video chip.

 

I also thought that there was two sticks of ram fitted btw.

 

Thanks for the additional assistance Nev and Hazard  :thumbsup:

Attached Thumbnails

  • MB speaker.jpg

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#9
iammykyl

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Gday.

Mini speaker, details, page 24 of the MB user manual.

Buy, > http://www.cwc-group.com/casp.html

Also on eBay, Amazon or ring your local PC shop.


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#10
michaelg9

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Hey all,

Sorry for that, the first photo isn't mine, I just used it to show an example of a ram module with leds. I have one stick of 4gb ram

 

OK, so I have to buy one of these now...

 

Just wondering:

Isn't the fact that, when I press the power button, ram's leds blink slowly and steadily instead of showing heavy usage, a hint that there's nothing actually being done there?

Additionally, usually during the bios tests (POST), when the power button is pressed once the computer shuts off right? This was the case with that computer. However, when this problem is present, if I press the power button to start the computer, and then press it again after a few seconds, nothing happens. I have to press and hold it in order to shut down the computer.

 

Aren't these clues that it's a faulty MB?

 

Thank you :)


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#11
Plastic Nev

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Hi Michael, a faulty MB is of course a possibility, however the reason I asked for a check of the RAM, is to try and rule out other possibilities first, and there are more, a check of the power supply and then hard drive would have been next if there was a way to be sure the RAM is OK. Condemning the motherboard right out is an expensive option if it turns out to be something else.

 

Do you have access to another computer? If so it can be used for testing the hard drive, and of course the power supply, even though I know you have fitted a new PSU, there is still the odd chance you got a Friday afternoon duffer.

 

Nev.


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#12
phillpower2

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An explanation as to why the LEDs on the memory module are not flashing quickly is possibly due to the fact that the computer is failing the POST, I have absolutely no idea how fast the LEDs normally flash but until an OS is loaded the system memory is only checked as part of the POST to confirm that it is functional, once the OS and/or other software places demands on the Ram the LEDs most likely do resemble a light show

 

An explanation regarding the POST;

 

When the computer's power is first turned on the CPU initializes itself which is triggered by a series of clock ticks generated by the system clock with part of the CPU's initialization being to look to the system's ROM BIOS for its first instruction in the startup program. 
The ROM BIOS stores the first instruction which is the instruction to run the power-on self test (POST) in a predetermined memory address, POST begins by checking the BIOS chip and then tests the CMOS RAM, if the POST does not detect a CMOS battery failure it then continues to initialise the CPU and checking the inventoried hardware and devices, first the Ram then the video chip/add on video card, secondary storage devices such as hard drives, floppy drives where present, MB ports and other hardware devices such as the keyboard and mouse, this to ensure that they are each functioning correctly, if an issue is detected with any one of the aforementioned components POST will halt, depending on the hardware component/s concerned there may be an on screen message that provides the user with information as to what item/s need attention.
 
Once the POST has determined that all components are functioning properly and the CPU has successfully initialised the BIOS looks for an OS to load.
 
The fact that you can only do a hard shut down is also to do with the computer failing the POST, a soft shut down would need for certain items of hardware to be in use such as the CPU, Ram, GPU and HDD etc, as they are not actually in use the only thing that you can turn off is the PSU and by holding the power button in, pretty much like throwing the mains switch.

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#13
iammykyl

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It's been a while since we heard from you.   Have you sorted out your problem,. or do you still need help?   An update would be appreciated. 


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#14
michaelg9

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Hey,

Sorry for not updating the topic. A friend has a 1gb ddr3 ram stick that he will lend it to me so I can figure out if it's the memory's fault or not. I will receive it these days and I will update the topic as soon as I try it

 

Thank you :)


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#15
iammykyl

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Thank you.

Ask if there is a MB mini speaker to borrow as well. 


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