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Motherboard DOA?

Boling
Boling asked
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I am building a new PC with a Soyo SY-K7VTA-B board, Athlon T-Bird 900 mz cpu, Thermaltake Volcano 5HSF, 256MB of generic ram, ATI Rage Pro 8 MB agp video, Western Digital 30GB HD, Enlight 7237 case with Enlight 300w PS, US Robotics 56k modem,etc. (all new).

This board has a feature called "Voice Doctor" which announces during boot any problems it detects.

Upon initial assembly, when power is applied VD says that the memory module may be damaged or not properly installed, and that the video also might be damaged or not installed properly, and the boot sequence freezes. The same resuts occur if the ram and the video card are placed in different slots.

I put both of the components into a known, working PC using the same type of board and cpu, and both worked fine.

Soyo tech support suggested removing all add-on cards and the ram, turn the board on to see what happens, and then add the ram and the cards to the board one at a time.

With no ram or video, VD repeats the video warning only.  With ram only, it repeats both warnings.  Dito after adding both ram and video.

What do you Experts think?  Bad motherboard?

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Commented:
It could be a bad motherboard but before you send it back, check your power supply.  If it's marginal, the motherboard may be fooled into thinking that the plugin cards are bad when in fact they are just not getting good power.

Author

Commented:
Good idea jhance. What's a simple way to test it?  I'm reasonably handy with a voltmeter.

Commented:
With the board connected (PC power supplies don't work right when not connected to a load) measure the DC voltages for the -5, -12, +5, and +12 lines.  They should be within 5%.  Then measure the AC voltage on each of them.  You shouldn't have more then a few mV of AC on these supplies.

Commented:
Is your CPU OEM or Retail?  I have seen some interesting info on some differences in what power supplies can be used.  One thing to start with is to physically look at the Power supply and note some information.
Check this list for comparison.
http://www.amd.com:7246/us-en/Processors/DevelopWithAMD/0,,30_2252_869_1039^1053,00.html

Commented:
Seems to be a problem with the AMD link at the moment, but I'm pretty sure the Enlight 300W in a 7237 case is an AMD approved PS. It's a handy link to keep in your favorites though.

Is the board you've tried these components in an exact match to the one you're having problems in? Your board does not support ECC memory, so if you're trying to use that, it wont work.

Try a PCI video card if you can get your hands on one.

Off this topic;

pbessman,

Check:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/jsp/qShow.jsp?ta=broadbandgen&qid=20181720

Author

Commented:
Yes, it is identical.  Memory is non-ecc.

I forgot to mention that I tried a known, working identical video card in the new MB with the same result. I also tried the new video card in the known, working MB and it worked fine.

Thanks for your comment.

Author

Commented:
Cpu is OEM.

Author

Commented:
Cpu is OEM.

Commented:
You could also try removing the motherboard from the case and "bench testing" it. Put the board on a non-conductive surface. Connect the power connector and start switch only. It will be easier to make sure that the memory and video cards are seated correctly and that there are no improper grounds shorting the board.

Commented:
Try to change the memory

Author

Commented:
I removed the MB from the case to a non-conductive surface with no change in the results.

Commented:
Return the board You've already done more than I would to determine it's faulty.

Commented:
Thanks jlauster.

Author

Commented:
Checked voltages from power supply--all within 2%.

Commented:
One last thing you could try before condemning the motherboard is trying the CPU in the system you've tested the other components in. If it boots OK, I think you can then call the motherboard defective.

Author

Commented:
RMA'd motherboard.  Replacement board works fine out of the box.  Thanks for all the comments.
Top Expert 2007

Commented:
Dear questionner/expert(s)

No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I'll leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is to be:

 - Answered by: WiZaRd

Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.

==> PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER ! <==

VirusMinus
Cleanup volunteer

Commented:
I disagree...

While WiZaRd's suggestion to send the board back is a valid one, you'll note that he was NOT the first to suggest that the board is bad.

Note my INITIAL comment to this question, suggesting that the board may be bad and should be returned but before doing so the power supply should be ruled out.

I suggest that it be force accepted to jhance.

Author

Commented:
Sorry for the delay in accepting an answer.  I thought I had already done so.
Top Expert 2007

Commented:
love it when the asker comes back... :) !

VM

Commented:
VirusMinus I can see you have just started being an EE cleanup volunteer (as I have). Are you regretting it yet?
Just kidding but it doesn't half increase your emails.
Have to agree with jhance on this as the guidelines state the first correct answer should be what you recommend.
I'm just a newbie to this cleanup thing but I've found if you ignore who posted and how many comments they made, find the right answer, then check if anyone said it earlier it will steer you to the best recommendation.
At the end of the day the moderators have the final call but I hate getting points for just seconding a previous comment.
Good luck with the cleanup operation. It's amazing how many correct answers have gone ignored here (well more likely used and not acknowledged).

Dean
Top Expert 2007

Commented:
Hi Wizard...

I enjoy cleanup, it gives me a chance to learn, and interact with ppl like urself....the only thing that gets to me in a funny way is that everytime i do a cleanup round and come back, all the easy Qs in my TAs have been blitzed!

Abt the recommendations i make, the first thing i do is to see if the Q as a whole has value as PAQ, if not i recommend delete, next i see who had the most appropriate answer. so far its worked allright with a few exceptions of course ;) , I'll do what u say, i.e. going backwards and seeing if any1 answered earlier, as another parse.

Are u from Oz? where in Oz?

good luck to u as well..im sure i'll run into ya again...

VM

Commented:
"Are u from Oz?"
Perth, Western Australia. Born Blackpool UK but been here since I was 8 years old.
You're right about missing out on questions in the TA but my aim is to clean up when the TA has gone a bit quiet.
As a learning experience it's still good because often you'll find out what fixed that old problem even if no one got it right at the time.

Regards

Dean

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