Motherboard or PSU problem?

Hi,

I've had this WinFast K7nCR18D PRO since January this year. All has been well since about 8 weeks back when occassionally the PC would fail to boot. It would -

Base Unit Green LED on
Base Unit Red LED on
CD ROM LED would flash 1-3 times and go off
My Iiyama CRT Monitor LED would go green and display a white screen.
System does NOT beep

Resetting the PC 1-6 times solves the problem. The PC WILL power up and everything works.

In the last week, I powered up and got a CMOS Checksum failed, default page loaded. I reset the CMOS and resaved my settings and it went away. For some reason though a later reset, it did power up with 100FSB rather than my set 133FSB resulting in a lesser clock speed in XP.

Is this my PSU? Or could it be my motherboard? I don't understand why it powers up sometimes and not others.

Thanks

Greyster

FURTHER INFORMATION -
PSU is 350 Watt peak power PSU, ATX 12V standard with AUX connection P4 (came with case and has worked with setup perfectly for 10+ months). - "Eagle power PSU" and offers 28A on the +3.3V, +35A on +5V and 16A on +12V
PSU specifications - http://www.deer-group.com/products/active/DR-B350ATX.pdf
- Getting new CMOS battery tomorrow even though existing one still provides 3.3V (tested).
- I am beginning to think this is a 'cold boot' issue.  This problem only occurs in the morning when PC has been off for a while.

WinFast K7nCR18D PRO
Athlon XP+ 2000 (1.67GHz @ 133FSB)
512MB PC3200
120GB Western Digital HD /w 8MB buffer
Samsung CDRW
Creative GF4 4400
greysterAsked:
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philby11Commented:
Hi Greyster,
this does appear to a mobo issue. If your CMOS battery is on the way out most camera shops or chemists sell them here in Aussie. So you should be able to get one today.
"My Iiyama CRT Monitor LED would go green and display a white screen" mmmmm..... this maybe related to the cmos not supplying the correct info , change the battery & we'll see.
hope this helps

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philby11Commented:
In the advanced chipset properties screen in the bios are you using Optimal, Aggressive or Expert settings?
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greysterAuthor Commented:
Philby11, its optimal.

Yeh I'm getting a CMOS battery in the next 12 hours.
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philby11Commented:
Cool keep us posted,
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greysterAuthor Commented:
Also, I can't seem to repeat this error.  The only time I tend to get it is when I turn my computer on at the start of the day.  It doesn't happen all the time but usually does.  I can get it working by rebooting 1-6 times as mentioned above.
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philby11Commented:
It's just being lazy, have you tried to threaten it .....
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philby11Commented:
Are you in a dusty enviroment, how clean is the interior of the PC & the PSU?
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greysterAuthor Commented:
"It's just being lazy, have you tried to threaten it ..... "

Jokingly or you mean power it up 100 times to try and create the error?

"Are you in a dusty enviroment, how clean is the interior of the PC & the PSU?"

It's in my bedroom on the floor.  The inside of the case is clean with an average amount of dust in the CPU fan.  I guess I could clean out the PSU but like I said the timings of the error's occurance is strange.
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philby11Commented:
My daughter tell's me that when her PC plays up she threatens to go & get me & it works. she's 11 it was a joke.
I was thinking about the dust cause it settles in the system overnight when everything shuts down.
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greysterAuthor Commented:
I took the battery out and measured it, 3.3V and stable.

It only forgot my settings once and I dont know why.  Its remembered them quite happily since resaving them.

Guess I have to wait until the morning (when its been off for 8+ hours) and see if I get the error.
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tmj883Commented:
Your power supply specifications appear adequate but your symptoms are that of an inaequate power failing to provide peak amperage needed for a cold start(most demand on psu). I would try another power supply with a higher 12v rating...no POST beep can only be one of three...cpu, mainboard, or power supply...since the system boots correctly intermittently, this would indicate the mainboard and cpu are functional.
I have more success avoiding physical confrontations with the pc...try the spiritual approach instead of threatening it. T
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greysterAuthor Commented:
I didn't bother getting a new battery, the current one is still sitting above 3V after sitting in an off motherboard for 12 hours.

I disconnected my ATX power cable and took the whole thing outside in the cold for 30 minutes.  Here in the UK its very cold right now :)

Took it back in and tried to power it ... did not boot.  Reset button didnt do anything so I turned it off and on and it worked (after about 30 seconds from 1st boot).

Would a better power supply be able to power it 1st time in the morning?
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greysterAuthor Commented:
"...no POST beep can only be one of three...cpu, mainboard, or power supply"

Could one of the devices such as the Hard Disk be taking up too much power because its cold therefore preventing the rest of the system from booting? So its the HD at fault rather than the PSU?  

Saying that, when I powered it up 1st time this morning, the CD ROM LED didnt flash at all either.  

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tmj883Commented:
If the HDD were faulty, it would not prevent the POST audio code. Peak amperage is drawn at a cold start especially +12V in oder to spin up all drives...still suspect power supply...T
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greysterAuthor Commented:
I'm investigating a RMA on my case /w PSU.

Just want to clear up my use of 'cold boot.'  As you can see from one of my comments, I've taken my PC outside to make it real cold which prevented it from booting.  When my PC has been on a for a while, I can turn it off for a few mins, hit the power switch to drain the capacitors and power it up 1st time.  So I can actually power it up 1st time from a COLD BOOT but not from a cold boot when the PC has been literally cold.

T, are you definitely sure it can only be a PSU issue? Can't there be an intermittent fault with the mainboard or CPU?
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philby11Commented:
You cant be 100% that it's the PSU but its looking more likely.
when you it's cold there, how cold ?
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greysterAuthor Commented:
Not snow or anything, just a fair amount of rain in the winter months -

Rest of Today:
A few sunny breaks are likely, though it will be often fairly cloudytoday. Occasional light showers, especially near coasts. . Maximumtemperature 12 deg C (54 deg F).

Tonight:
Isolated light showers this evening. Heavy rain before dawn. Minimumtemperature 8 deg C (46 deg F).

Outlook for Saturday:
A windy day with heavy rain through the morning.

Obviously my computer is in doors and we have central heating on when we wake up.  Its just strange how I can only trigger the error if I let is stand outside for 30 mins or leave it off in my room for 12 hours.  So I'm guessing its a coooooold boot problem?
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CallandorCommented:
Maybe the lubricant in your hard drive is just thick enough to prevent spin-up?  Can you disconnect the hard drive and repeat the experiment with a bootable floppy in the morning?
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greysterAuthor Commented:
sure.
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greysterAuthor Commented:
I just took the PC outside again for 25 mins (and its colder than before), brought PC back in.  Powered up PC without HDD, took 3 attempts before I could post.  It then came up with the no drive detected etc.

So I guess that rules out the HDD?
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CallandorCommented:
That's right.  If the system was working in its current configuration before, I would say the power supply is not as likely as the motherboard to be the problem.  But since power supplies are cheaper and for most people easier to borrow than a motherboard, I would recommend replacing the power supply first.
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greysterAuthor Commented:
I just turned the whole PC on, left on for about 10 mins with CPU working at 100%

turned off PC, took only the PSU only outside for 20 mins.

Brought it back in and reconnected, PC booted 1st time.  I'm going to repeat this one more time but seeing as everytime I have taken the PC outside, it failed to boot on 1st attempt.
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greysterAuthor Commented:
Awaiting RMA on motherboard, watch this space.
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pegasysCommented:
Set it all to default... Usually the mobo will sort itself out by reading chip registers...

Are you sure that your mobo reaches speeds as high as the processor?
And, the memory, is that PC 133? or pc 100? If it is PC100, and you try run PC133, you get that effect (i.e. 6 /7 boots till cmos resets back to 100)

regards

pgx
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greysterAuthor Commented:
Hi.  Everytime is has successfully booted, it runs at 133FSB i.e. 1.67GHz - the highest speed for my processor.

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greysterAuthor Commented:
finally changed the battery, no change.
Changed the PSU awaiting result (over next few days).

Leadtek has allowed me to return, so may return pending PSU result.
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greysterAuthor Commented:
I replaced the PSU with a QTec 550W PSU, getting same problem.

Someone on another post is blaming the QTec PSU ..... surely its the motherboard now?!
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CallandorCommented:
You have eliminated the obvious - now you've narrowed down the suspects...the power supply is not completely ruled out, but the likelyhood of two different power supplies being faulty, one after the other, is not very high.
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Fl4wlessCommented:
Listen my Man. I had this problem also.

Its not your motherboard, CPU, Harddrive, CyberDiscombobultory Device.

Its the PSU. Q-Tec have low ampage on their 12V Rails! Quite frankly your PC would be stabler running off a Dynamo!

Please dont learn the hard way of Using Q-Tec (Blew up a £1000 System I built for a client), get an Enermax 350-500W PSU, bit pricey but ur PC will be rock solid stable afterwards! Its a bargain really!

Your "Eagle power PSU" peaks at 350W you say, that means it will only really be doing 250-320W, well under power requirements for your system. The 12V rail is only 16Amps, which is not good, you need 20odd+.
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Fl4wlessCommented:
The Q-Tec rails are also low ampage, thats why they soo cheap for the Wattage!
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pbhjCommented:
Have you run a memory test (such as memtest86 - incidentally available on the RH/Fedora install discs) ?

Seems like an option to me ... but the PSU looks v flakey from the history here.
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Fl4wlessCommented:
Its not memory... its PSU...
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Fl4wlessCommented:
any change?
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greysterAuthor Commented:
Please award points on a 50/50 split to tmj883 and Callandor.  Thank you Fl4wless for your input but the feedback was actioned before your comments.  Apologies for not replying sooner.
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