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Dead Motherboard?

Posted on 2003-02-21
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
I was reinstalling Windows XP Home the other night when my PC just switched off. It may have been something to do with Asus' CPU Overheating Protection, I'm not sure.  The problem is, it refuses to switch back on again. It's an ATX case and MoBo, and the power light ON the motherboard lights up when the switch at the back of the case is switched on.  However, when I press the power switch at the front, the computer won't boot and doesn't respond.  Nothing happens either when I short the power switch pins with a screwdriver (I had done this before when first installing the motherboard, so I know that works).

Has my motherboard fried or is there anything I can do to save it? It's only about 6 months old.
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Question by:SteveFerson
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30 Comments
 

Accepted Solution

by:
st_john_chen earned 150 total points
ID: 7993946
ur motherboard got a lot of possible issue...
1) may be u power plug got problem
2)ur power supply got damage
3)the power switch with ur motherboard haven't switch properly
4)may be ur motherboard got problem ..?!,cannot sure this issue, coz i can't see the situation

so, i think u can check out to solve the problem...
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Expert Comment

by:galloglass
ID: 7994571
Steve,

I rule out the front panel power switch since you already know how that thing works.

Please unplug everything except the motherboard, power supply, first bank module, and processor. Disconnect all IDE, ATAPI, and floppy drives. Power up. If it fails then...

Check the first bank RAM module. In most cases if it fails, it will cause your PC to appear dead. Maybe that will explain why your PC just switched off while you were reinstalling XP. Try replacing it with a new, or perhaps a borrowed one.

Or it could be a bad processor. Try to replace this if you can find a spare.

If it still does not work, disconnect the PS and use one that has built-in protection features ONLY. Otherwise, you will just destroy the replacement/new power supply. Most generic power supplies out there do not have protection circuits built into them to protect against overvoltage and overcurrent.

Finally, if the PC still does not power up, then it's time to replace the motherboard. It could be the front panel switching circuitry on the motherboard that's gone bad even though it's receiving the 5 volt Standby power from the PS.

=)

(Besides the screwdriver trick, have you tried jumpering between pins 14(PS ON) and 15(GND) on the ATX PS motherboard power connector while it was attached to the motherboard?)
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Expert Comment

by:lorddef
ID: 7996186
"Please unplug everything except the motherboard, power supply, first bank module, and processor."

Firing up some motherboards without a CPU can cause serious damage, I wouldn't recommend it unless you'er sure the mobo isn't going to throw a paddy.

Like galloglass says, remove everyting *except" the CPU and heatsink, see if it fires up.  If you get nothing then it's either your CPU or mobo, try and get hold of another mobo or cpu so you can find out whats causing the problem.

By the sounds of it your CPU's overheated badly and screwed up.  My moneys on the CPU thats buggered.

def
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:galloglass
ID: 7999058
Lorddef: What part of 'EXCEPT' did you not understand?

Steve: I forgot to mention not to remove the video card.
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Expert Comment

by:lorddef
ID: 8000598
Oops.  Soz, misread that bit.
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Author Comment

by:SteveFerson
ID: 8004761
I know it isn't advised, but I tried to switch on the computer with no CPU. The same thing happened, no noise or fuss, just a faint sound from the PSU.

(According to the Asus A7V333 manual, if no CPU is installed, the POST reporter should let you know, but with the system not starting up it's not even getting that far.)

I'd taken the CPU out because I thought it was the faulty part, however after this my suspicion has shifted back to the motherboard.... what does anyone think?
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Expert Comment

by:lorddef
ID: 8004836
Hmm, it could very well be the motherboard then, do you have a surge protector, could be that your PSU got a spike which blew your mobo, but thats just a guess.

Personaly I'd try a new motherboard.

def
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Author Comment

by:SteveFerson
ID: 8004865
BTW the faint sound from the PSU was a split-second thing, almost like a spark (there were no sparks, i just mean that's how quick the sound was)
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Expert Comment

by:lorddef
ID: 8004926
Hmm, could be that your PSU is raged too, and it's taken your mobo with it, hopefully nothing else.

A friend of mine had everything in his 'puter blow up except for a few SCSI devices when he go caught out by a power spike.

It's hard to recommend specific things to try at this stage.  Maybe get hold of a multimeter and check the voltages off the psu, with it being ATX you're going to have to short the right pins to get it turned on.
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Author Comment

by:SteveFerson
ID: 8005085
See this is going beyond me now, we're venturing from the world of computers into the world of electronics. Not my forté. Also, my chances of getting hold of a multimeter are slim :'(

I wouldn't know how to short the pins on the PSU anyway, I was impressed myself shorting the pins for the power switch on the motherboard.

I'm just wondering if it would be worth getting a new PSU to check it - as the one I had was no good anyway (only had one front fan, no side one as recommended for running Athlon XPs) - the only problem being i'm not sure how to install the damn things. (I'm only a 2nd year Business IT student at the minute and this is the first PC I've ever built - not exactly good for my confidence :-\ )
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Author Comment

by:SteveFerson
ID: 8005087
The thing that put me away from the PSU was the light on the MoBo coming on when the power was switched on at the back :-\
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Expert Comment

by:lorddef
ID: 8005146
My advice would be to get hold of a new PSU, and if then you find its not the problem you could always take it back to the shop, say it's the wrong one and you need one for some rare noenexistant computer and get your money back.

I'm in the same boat as you I have one that only has the air intake at the back and not the sidem like AMD reccomend, and I think it would make a great difference to my CPU tempretures.

I'm not a huge PSU toff myself, but I don't think that just because the light comes on on the motherboard, the PSU works fine.
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Expert Comment

by:SHONNER
ID: 8011950
What was the reason for re-installing XP?  That may be the clue to the system's failure.
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Author Comment

by:SteveFerson
ID: 8012237
Nah, I was only reinstalling it to avoid the 30 day registration thing (because I wanted to get a new GFX card before registering - I've heard bad things about product activation causing problems with hardware upgrades).  I've now got my card but no computer to put it in :'(
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Expert Comment

by:lorddef
ID: 8012330
The activation thing only kicks in if you change 3 or more major bits of hardware, and as usual, it's easy to get around with a little tinkering.
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Expert Comment

by:rickisme
ID: 8018623
Hi Steve.  FIRST .... CLEAR THE CMOS !!  This will effectively reset your hardware.  2nd.  If the power gets to the mobo, there is a CPU (even a damaged one) and there is a memory module in the first slot... you should get a POST ... even if it gives error beeps.  If you are getting no POST or error beeps and the CMOS has been reset... I would bet on the memory module...(swap it with a test module//if you have to buy a cheap one)... >>and remember they are highly sensitive to "static electricity" so ground yourself by touching the Power Supply Unit with the case open and plugged in BEFORE touching the module!)... then stay as still as possible) in my 20+ years of building and repairing systems I find that the memory accounts for 90+ % of a system not being able to POST. >>A system will post without a hard drive or any opticals.<<  If I was checking your system it would be the first thing I would do.  If you are not getting video but the sys is starting... then your video card is at issue.  Move it to a different slot after clearing the CMOS and then boot up. After testing a new memory mod... then you can consider the CPU, mobo, or PSU but frankly these generally do not fail just from a reinstall of an OS <grin>. God Bless, Rick
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Expert Comment

by:lorddef
ID: 8019487
@ rikisme

AFAIK Steve has tried booting with just the bare mobo and still gets nothing, he won't be able to clear the cmos settings as it's not even firing up at all.
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Expert Comment

by:rickisme
ID: 8019753
lorddef... You CAN clear the CMOS if there is nothing hooked up to the motherboard at all!  All it needs is the battery to be on the motherboard (or for that matter just remove the battery for 15 seconds and its done though I recommend using the jumper designed for the task).  Re-think you comment.  >>I suspect that the reload of XP may be encountering conflicts with the origional CMOS setup... causing the system to fault in the POST (this would also produce the symptoms he has described) and thus my suggestion. <<  If clearing the CMOS produces the same result, then I would start looking at the other items mentioned.  But I appreciate you imput, God Bless.  Rick
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Expert Comment

by:lorddef
ID: 8020422
"You CAN clear the CMOS if there is nothing hooked up to the motherboard at all!  All it needs is the battery to be on the motherboard (or for that matter just remove the battery for 15 seconds "

Hmm, yeh I didn't think of that, you're right.
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Author Comment

by:SteveFerson
ID: 8021502
I'll try taking the battery out, as I'm not sure about the jumpering thing.  Although I still think it's the Motherboard as I'd reinstalled windows this way a couple of times, without problem - and I had recently been getting a warning about the CPU temperature being too high on bootup, I really should have replaced the case.

Thanks for your help I'll let you know how it goes.
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Author Comment

by:SteveFerson
ID: 8021579
Is there a technique to removing the battery? The only way I can see is to prise it with a screwdriver, but that can't be healthy :-\
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Expert Comment

by:lorddef
ID: 8021766
Usually the batteries are small lithium batteries with a retaining clip over the top, just  lift the clip a little and the battery will pop out.  Some older motherboards (and I'm thinking ones too old to run XP here) used to have a soldered on battery, bu this shouldn't be the case with yours.  Or you could just do what rickisme says and close the jumper next to the battery, then plug your pc in, but don't turn it on, unplug it and open the jumper, then try to boot again.
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Author Comment

by:SteveFerson
ID: 10387539
Actually the problem was just a fried power supply as it turns out.  While LordDef's help is appreciated, unfortunately it wasn't the right answer.
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Author Comment

by:SteveFerson
ID: 10387560
Having re-read all the answers I'd have to recommend giving them to galloglass
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Expert Comment

by:lorddef
ID: 10387660
Although I don't see any point where galloglass mentioned it could be the psu, and seems to have posted the similar comments to us all, I'm cool with them going to him.

p.s. Steve, why not just accept Galloglass's answer. Instead of wasting moderator time on the cleanup ping?
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Expert Comment

by:AlbertaBeef
ID: 10388284
the reason I suggested lorddef is he stayed with you for 3 days and multiple comments after galloglass dropped out, so it was a decision based on which expert stayed loyal to the Q.

However, if the power supply WAS the problem, the first and only one who mentioned that as a problem was st_john_chen and technically they then deserve the points, imo.
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Author Comment

by:SteveFerson
ID: 10391771
I appreciate the help lorddef and I'm sorry for "wasting moderator time".

It's been that long since I've been in experts exchange I'd forgotten how it worked and thought the mod awarded points.  Anyway I've given them to st_john_chen since he did mention the power supply first... I'm sorry I couldn't divide the points between you really.
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Expert Comment

by:lorddef
ID: 10393160
no probs fella, hope your 'puter is running like a dream :)
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Author Comment

by:SteveFerson
ID: 10404009
well it's running lol.  74 degrees c but it's running. thanks.
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