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ASUS A7N8X-E motherboard instantly shuts down during WIndows XP Setup

Posted on 2004-08-27
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
My computer was recently rendered useless by a thunderstorm.  After testing, it was determined that the CPU, motherboard, video card, and RAM needed to be replaced.  The original CPU specs are as follows:

ASUS A7V333 mobo
AMD Athlon XP 1600+ Thoroughbred
512 MB PC2700 generic RAM
Generic NIC
Matrox (Millenium?? can't remember...) Video Card
2 Maxtor 40 GB IDE HDDs
CD-RW
DVD-RW
Floppy
350 watt power supply

The replacement parts purchased are:

ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe mobo
AMD Athlon XP 2500+ Barton
512 MB Crucial XMS RAM
ATI All-in-Wonder 9700

I'm positive that the remaining parts (floppy, cd/dvd drive, hdds) are fine.  Here is what's been happening.  The first problem I've had is with receiving the vocal POST error of "System Failed Due to CPU Overclocking".  I then set the FSB and multiplier manually from the BIOS (166, 11.0) and turned off vocal post, after reading others similar problems.  When attempting to load the version of Windows XP currently installed on the Hard Drive, the computer would reboot (after loading the VIA drivers, since the chipset is different).  However, upon rebooting, I received the "your system was shutdown improperly" screen from Windows.  I left the room and let the timer count down to try booting again while I went to get a drink.  Upon returning, the computer was shut down, however the green mobo light and the case power LED were still lit.  I tried to push my powere button, but could not restart the computer until I unplugged the cord and replaced it.  This happened numerous times, so I removed the motherboard, etc. from the system and booted it up outside of the case, assuming a possible short.  Same results.  I decided to drop the FSB to 133 (Athlon 1900+) and the computer went into a constant reboot cycle, once again due to the improper drivers being loaded.  I put the hardware back inside my case, assuming all is fine, and began to reinstall Windows XP.  The setup begins to load drivers for a minute or two, then the bottom corner says "Setup is now loading Windows..." and the computer powers down as it had been after about 10 seconds.  I thought that it could be due to ASUS's C.O.P. and the CPU temperature, but the BIOS hardware monitor is reading 56 degrees celcius, and I believe the C.O.P. wouldn't kick in until a higher temperature is reached.  I've tried different RAM banks and booting up with only 1 HDD and 1 CD drive, but nothing seems to stop the problem.  I reseeded the heatsink, and noticed a tiny corner piece of the core cracked/missing.  I have heard of people running CPUs with small cracks in each corner and having no problems, and I've heard of people running CPUs with one extremely tiny crack and having them not even POST.  Is there any way I can determine what could be causing the problems I'm having?  Is it definately a problem with the CPU?  I would like to make sure it's the CPU before I have to purchase another.  Thanks for any help.  I'm completely stumped.
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Question by:patjjr
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by:eccs19
ID: 11915817
I think that if you got hit my lightning, I would be replacing the PS.  If it's not working correctly, it can cause funny things to happen.
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by:crazijoe
ID: 11915858
I would definitly change the PS.
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by:Callandor
ID: 11915967
You should also swap the RAM, in case it was affected and is preventing installation.  But the power supply would also be my first guess.
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by:patjjr
ID: 11916034
The RAM I have in it now is new (Corsair XMS).  It wasn't the RAM when the system got hit.  Should I still swap it?
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by:Callandor
ID: 11916071
If it was installed after the storm hit, it is unlikely it is bad.  The trouble is, if the power supply was damaged, anything attached to it could have been damaged also, so it means you may need to test everything that was attached to it: motherboard, cpu, video card, and drives.  But see if the power supply replacement will fix it first.
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by:Dragonmen
ID: 11916110
Your computer can be hit either trough power supply or some other device that has connected to "the resto of the world" like modem or nic (how you're going to internet?:)
If you're core is cracked it's almost definitely CPU problem. I've seen with my own eyes cracked cores that allow booting windows and after a min or so it show BSOD.
Try replacing the CPU. One tiny crack can be missing 100.000 transistors.
This happens when someone is putting heatsink by the force. The heatsing get in one side more than other and the core is cracked.
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by:crazijoe
ID: 11916210
I think he already replaced the CPU.
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by:patjjr
ID: 11916237
I replaced the original CPU (AMD Athlon XP 1600) with an AMD Athlon XP 2500.  The 2500 is the one with the cracked corner (heatsink).
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by:eccs19
ID: 11916327
Is the crack in the CPU, or in the Heatsink?  If it's the heatsink, then your probably OK.
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by:patjjr
ID: 11916342
Sorry about that.  What I meant was that the new CPU has a crack in the corner of the core because my hand slipped while applying pressure to the heatsink upon installation.
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by:crazijoe
ID: 11916366
I would replace the CPU.
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by:eccs19
ID: 11916391
I would try a different PS first, but again I also agree with crazijoe, because even if it's ok now, it will more than likely cause you greef down the road.  :-(
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by:patjjr
ID: 11916397
Any possibility of testing via a DOS burn-in utility?
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by:crazijoe
ID: 11916429
You probably could, but there is no telling if the computer will shut down in the middle of the dos program.
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by:Callandor
ID: 11916449
You can try www.memtest86.com, just to keep the cpu running for an extended period, but Prime95 (which I don't think is DOS) is the real cpu-stresser: http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft.htm
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by:patjjr
ID: 11916581
Does the CPU run at full load when in the BIOS menu system?  I was told this, but wasn't sure.  If so, would it be sufficient to assume the CPU stable if I'm able to sit in the BIOS?  I had the hardware monitor of the BIOS open last night for 45 minutes to watch the mobo/CPU temp, and it didn't shut down.
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by:eccs19
eccs19 earned 50 total points
ID: 11916639
My opinion is that in the BIOS there would be not a heck of a lot of load on the processor, as it's not really doing anything at that point, just basically sitting there idle.
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by:Callandor
Callandor earned 50 total points
ID: 11916646
No, the BIOS display is not a full load.  It will not even raise the cpu temperature, which is a good indicator of how hard it's working.
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by:patjjr
ID: 11916675
The CPU goes from 44 to 56 celcius sitting in my BIOS.  I haven't seen it raise past 56.
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by:crazijoe
ID: 11916697
The BIOS is what it is called Basic Input Output Software. It doesn't put hardly any load on the CPU.
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by:Callandor
ID: 11917310
If you're going from a cold boot, the temperature will rise as it warms up.  That is perfectly normal, and 56C is not hot by any means for an Athlon XP.
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by:Klintoon
ID: 11918287
According to the specs youre mobo is equiped with a NVIDIA® NForce2 Ultra 400 + MCP-T
Chipset. Remove the graphic adapter (matrox) and use the on-board chipset
see what it does.
And i might be possible that your power unit does not like the signals of the mobo. (This one tries to reduce the noice by making your fan spinning slower.
good luck
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by:nukeme369
ID: 11919117
Checked your memory speed?  Barton 2500 is a 333 part. Maybe your BIOS has a separate setting for RAM speed? I put together a Barton machine and only had PC3200 RAM. It would continuously reboot until I found the setting to turn the RAM down to 333 from 400.  (For some reason even tho the RAM could take it, the CPU didn't like it at all when the RAM was run faster than it.)
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Dynamic1 earned 400 total points
ID: 11919258
PAT ASUS boards read the temps lower then what they actually are espically the one you have. 53C is way way to high for that board. What thermal compound you using and look at this is it applied right. http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_silver_instructions.htm
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by:Dynamic1
ID: 11919268
Actually 56C on that board is way to high in the Bios. My mobile Barton overvolted on same mobo @2600MHZ is running at Ready 29C with windows loaded. It probally a little hotter but bois reads low on these boards.
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by:Dynamic1
ID: 11919271
Pat also that crack would worry me got a pic of it.
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by:nobus
ID: 11919863
you could try the following to test it : set the bios shutdown temperature at the lowest setting, like 50 or55 C°; take off the heatsink of your CPU, leave it connected. If possible, tape a thermometer or probe to the cpu Thermal pad.
The reboot into windows; watch temps. It should shutdown fairly quickly. Note the lapse of time when it shut down, and the temp.  Do this for a setting of 5° up. so you can evaluate if it is working normally; then replace the heatsink, and do the same. So you have an indication of what is happening, if it is caused by t°.
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by:Dynamic1
ID: 11922252
Nobus VERY BAD IDEA CPU's have been smoked that way. It Takes less than a second to get up to 400C-500C. I did an article on this with a Fluke laser thermometer a while back had 1 good CPU out of 3 luckily they were donated for the test.
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by:Dynamic1
ID: 11922257
BTW the Good CPU was an Intel.
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by:patjjr
ID: 11922294
I tried to test a new PSU yesterday, but the only one I had available was a 200 Watt so I didn't even bother.  It's from an old gateway ... I'm going to a friend's house tonight and I'll be testing the motherboard with a new PSU and a new CPU. Also...

Klintoon - The board specs according to my manual doesn't list onboard video, and theer's no connection coming off the board for it.  I'm not using the Matrox card currently.  That was replaced after it got hit.  I purchased an ATI All-in-Wonder 9700.  Also, I've had the fan spinning control turned off from the beginning.  I have a manual fan control POT in an expansion area.  Fan speed is approx. 5000 RPM.  I'm going to try and sand the heatsink tonight, cause I feel that it might not be making good contact.

Nukeme369 - I'll check the memory settings later also.  I've tried reseeding the memory half a dozen times or so in different slots, and I've had no luck.  I'll see what happens if I switch the speed.

Dynamic1 - I didn't have an artic silver, so I just used RadioShack compound, and figured it would be fine for a few days until I picked some up from my friend.  Everything I'm testing tonight will be done with arctic silver.  Also, I'll attempt to get a picture of the crack.
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by:Dynamic1
ID: 11922359
Here is a lapping article i wrote hope it helps you.  http://www.xpnt.com/page9.html
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by:patjjr
ID: 11926402
Thanks everyone.  I got it running fine now (and overclocked to a 3200 before touching the voltage).  It was a heatsink contact problem. I appreciate all of the help.
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by:Dynamic1
ID: 11928255
Thanks Pat glad you got it fixed. If you want to go even higher on the overclock the Zalman CPNS7000 Fits that board cools absolutely awesome and is near silent. Give the copper and ALuminum one a look the all copper one is over twice the recomended weight for that board and they cool almost exactly the same. Enjoy.
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