Possible Dead Motherboard

I have desktop PC running Windows XP. The systems powers up had video and attempted to load Windows XP and locks up. Hit reset the system agins tries to load XP and locks up. Shut off power waited a few minutes restarted system and now systems displays no video , but checks for mouse and keyboard. I replaced the video card still no video present also will not let boot from floppy drive with starup disk. Please help.
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james_in_hardwareConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Try to hit F8 and boot into safe mode when booting up and try to see if there are any problems in the device manager
Check your memory.
If you have multiple sticks of memory - try alternating between one or the other.
Also - remove all non-essential components (sound/modem, etc)
Can you tell more spec of your PC, please
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It sounds like a dead motherboard, but it could also be a bad power supply.  Swap another one in that has the same rating or better.  Look over your motherboard and make sure all your capacitors look ok - flat tops, and no discolored material around them.  Try the cpu in another system, in case it's the cpu, and not the motherboard.
enegmaAuthor Commented:
Other info-

Status indicators on motherboard illuminate. Did not notice if CPU Fan was running. It has a large heatsink and fan blades were dust covered.Hard drive runs all the time. Only one stick of memory and have removed all nonessential cards.

No noticeable odors from something burned. Have tried to get system into safe mode but unsucessful. Since there is no display present can't tell what mesages come up. No beeps codes.

I will try to swap power supply today
enegmaAuthor Commented:
Also the motherboard uses AMD Athlon processor and there is no heatsink compound on the VIA chipset device VT8363 chip. Heatsink is attached though.
No problem with the chipset not having thermal paste - it doesn't get that hot, like the cpu.
Coming in late again - put it down to time zones.

No questions - have you tried to reinitialise your bios. Its possible its set to AGP and you have a PCI video card but you cannot see anything to start from so.

I would start from the begining,
mobo out of case, rest it on some non conductive surface -  local paper is ok.
have only cpu & heatsink, memory and vga adaptor.
Remove cmos battery and leave out for a few minutes
If you can identify the cmos shorting pins clear the cmos by moving the jumper to clear and then back. (this is in addition to removing the battery which normally clears all the old stuff out)
Put CMOS battery back and power up have monitor in and powered on.

Heatsink fan should rotate, any mobo lights should come on, monitor should be blinking or orange waiting for adapter to fire up, should get a single beep if all is ok(ish) or a series of beeps if there is a fault.
The monitor ready state light should change, if it doesn't cpu fault is most probable.

If the ready state changes and the monitor is still blank, try hitting numlock key the keyboard light should go on and off indicating the mobo is in a ready state.
If keyboard light goes on and off the choice is faulty monitor or cpu.
If keyboard light does not go on and off best chance is faulty cpu.

Please come back with results and will try to continue.  
I'll bet $10 it's a bad hard drive.  

What brand is your Hard Drive.  Fujitsu?  Quantum?  Doesn't matter.  Most hard drives can be tested using Maxtor's MaxBlast software.  

If you have a working computer somewhere, go to


download and install to a floppy per the directions.  Run the full diagnostics, not the 90 second test.  

If your hard drive is bad, and like I said, I have $10 that says it is, stick it inside a couple of ziplock bags (squeeze out as much air as possible) and stick it in the freezer for 30 minutes.  Sounds stupid, but it has worked for me a thousand times.  Pull it out of the freezer, quickly hook it up to your system, and retreive as much data as you can...save it to another hard drive or networked computer.  This trick only works once or twice so hurry!

Good Luck!!!
enegmaAuthor Commented:

To Callandor
I have replaced power supply - no change

To bigguy44
I have pulled the hard drive and will try it in another system today. Will try the the freezer idea if I can't boot in another system. The drive is Western Digital Caviar. I will download the maxblast3 and run diagnostics. Will let you know if this works.

To multihull
I will try your suggestions also today and let you know what I find.

To James in hardware
Can't get to the point where F8 helps me

Does it boot without the hard drive connected?  If it does, then the hard drive is the problem.
enegmaAuthor Commented:
Cannot get the unit boot with the floppy or the CDROM. I will tyry some other things tonight
enegmaAuthor Commented:

It is the CPU that is defective. I look at the temperature monitor at the die temperature was reading between 91-96 degrees. This was after I discovered that the heatsink was improper installed on the CPU. The little adhesive pad was covering only 25 percent of the die surface. So I then added some thermal compound and reinstalled the heatsink/fan assembly. The thermal transfer did not improve the temperature reading. So I have ordered a new CPU, but now another issue.

The machine I am working is not my machine but a friend's, Windows XP attaches itself to the CPU when installed on that machine, now that I am changing the CPU, what will I need to do to get it to run? The hard drive will not run on my machine, I get a "NTLDR missing" message. Please let me know.


The operating system does not "attach" itself to the CPU.  Go into your BIOS and make sure the first boot device is the Primary Master hard drive or HDD-0

If that doesnt work, we have a few other things we can try
If you take a hard drive from one system and put it in another, you will likely get conflicts.  It doesn't tie itself to a cpu, but to a specific IDE driver and video driver.  If you want to continue using it, you can get it to work by performing a repair install: http://www.dougknox.com/xp/tips/xp_repair_install.htm 

Keep in mind that a repair install will take about as long as a fresh install, though it will keep your data and programs.  When you switch back to your machine, you may need to do it again.
enegmaAuthor Commented:

Suggestion did not work.

Callandor - I do not wish to damage the data. If I can just install the new processor when it comes in and it works that will solve the problem, right? My friends want to save their data. The CPU should be here tomorrow.I will let you what happens.

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