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No boot, but fans spin


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#1
ThunderT

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I built a computer for a co-worker. I loaded in all the components, the computer booted up without any problems (I even got all of the case wiring into the motherboard correctly on the first try - that's a first). I loaded Windows on, rebooted several times as required without any issues. In total I had the computer running for probably 2-3 hours while loading in software/drivers, running tests, etc.

Here is the problem - I handed the computer over to my co-worker, and he plugged everything in and said that nothing came up on the screen. I was hoping this was a simple problem like an unsecured connection to the monitor, but then he told me that the fans spin when he powered it on but the monitor displays no signal.

I took the computer home with me to attempt to diagnose and correct the problem. It seems likely to me that the only things that could be wrong with it are that either some connection shook loose while in transit to his house, or some component has failed after the first day of use. Perhaps the motherboard is shorting on the case somewhere, but this seems unlikely since it was working perfectly fine when it left my house.

The only time I'd seen this problem before, was when I was using an nForce motherboard and the Antec power supply was not providing sufficient +12V amps to power the system. I can't see how that's the problem this time if the power supply worked the first time I tried it! Also I connected a more capable Antec power supply last night (gives 20A on the +12V rail), but the system wouldn't boot.

I've also already tried putting in a different video card (PCI instead of PCI-E), but the same thing occurred. I even tried my AGP video card from my system in this machine (it has an unusual AGR slot for "certain compatible" AGP video cards) as a shot in the dark, but I had the same result occur. I did check the monitor on my system and it worked fine.

I tried to reset the CMOS but I'm not sure if I did it correctly for this system. It has a push button instead of a set of pins like most motherboards. I did remove the battery for a couple of minutes with the system off to try and reset it that way, but no luck with booting successfully.

I would appreciate any help that is out there. From my testing yesterday, it seems the problem is likely not the power supply, the video card, nor the monitor. The system is loosely based on the Value Gaming PC Buyer's Guide for July shown here at www.sharkextreme.com.

Here are the specs:

AMD Athlon 64 3400+ Newcastle core (Socket 754)
MSI K8N Neo3-F nForce4
Aspire Case w/ 420W Aspire PSU (+3.3V/28A, +5V/40A,+12V/18A,-12V/1.0A,-5V/1.0A,+5SB/3.0A)
Corsair ValueSelect 2x512MB DDR-400
Saphire 128MB (ATI) X300 SE, PCI-E x16
WD Caviar SE 80GB HDD (ATA-100)
Light-On DVD-RW
Samsung Floppy
Viewsonic 17" LCD
Windows XP Home
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#2
austin_o

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I suggest stripping it down to barebones and see if you can get it working. Here is some good advice from Eldergeek: http://www.theelderg...nstallation.htm
If you can get that to boot, follow his advice and add ONE component at a time. If you can't get that to go, you will need to take the mobo out of the case (check for shorts!)
See http://www.geekstogo...ems-t28727.html
Good luck :tazz:
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#3
ThunderT

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I have done everything including trying different RAM, but no go. I think the motherboard may be dead. I will try to re-seat the CPU and HS+Fan, but I think that's the last option I have. Can there be any other reason for no POST?
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#4
Tyger

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MAKE SURE that the spacers that support the MB aren't shortintg anything out.
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#5
ThunderT

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Thanks for the advice. The motherboard is now sitting on a piece of cardboard with just the CPU + HS/Fan, 1 stick of RAM (I've tried both), video card, mouse & keyboard. Fans spin, mouse LED is active, but no POST, nothing on screen. I suspect there is a motherboard problem.

It doesn't make sense to me that it worked perfectly the first day during assembly and failed after that between my assembly and when the new owner tried it out. Clearly the motherboard can distribute power to the fans/LEDs on the case, but there is some problem initializing the system. The funny thing is that there is a D-bracket that came with the motherboard but no pins to connect it to (for system diagnostic).
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#6
Doby

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Hi,

Since you have tried a different video card and psu it does sound like the mobo or cpu,

with a case speaker connected, remove the ram and power on if the mobo does not beep this usually indicates its bad, you can try the same thing with the video card.

If it does beep try the ram in a different slot, if the beep is weak or you can't make the beep code out it could be the cpu.

Rick
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#7
ThunderT

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Thanks for the response. I've tried running it without RAM and also I've ran it without video card. There has not been any beep code. I know the speaker is connected since I heard it beep back when it was initially working to let me know that things were normal.
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#8
Doby

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My guess would be bad mobo but its not a definite without trying another cpu,

Look the board over carefully, look fo bulged or leaking capacitors, look on the undeneath for burnt traces, remove the cpu and look for burnt edges if no sign of either problably the mobo.

sorry can't be of more help.

Rick
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#9
ThunderT

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Thanks for the advice. I will check it over for signs of burns on the mobo/CPU, but when I removed the CPU last night to re-seat it, everything there looked fine. I also ran it and tried to detect a burning smell, but all I can smell is that new computer smell.
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