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Computer fails to start up. Motherboard problem?

Posted on 2004-09-27
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Last Modified: 2011-08-18
My pc was working fine until recently when i tried to restart my OS, the whole system fails to start up. There's still power running, fan is running and Power LED is lited, but the monitor was totally blank. There was no beep coming from the CPU, and I had made sure that the monitor cable was firmly plugged to the motherboard.

Can someone pls advise on this? Is the motherboard causing the problem or has it just died?
Any hope?
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Question by:klackons
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by:nobus
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Try booting with a minimal config, this means take out or disconnect everything not needed for booting.
Try booting with only this : MOBO+CPU, 1 stick of ram, Video card, mouse and KBD
This should get you a post screen; from there, add on devices till you find the bad one
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by:tapkep
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Can you enter bios, set first boot devicd CD-ROM and try booting from it? Problem can be with HDD, too.
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by:klackons
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tapkep,

Nope I can't get into bios. Monitor was totally blank. Not a single thing is displayed. Monitor was still in standby mode.
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by:tapkep
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More things to check:
* video card
Can you check it in another computer or get another video?

Also, when you turn on computer, doen num lock, caps lock and scroll lock LEDs are all on, or just num lock? Can you turn NumLock on/off?

* power supply
again, can you get another PSU for testing?
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by:Chunks
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OK there are 3 things you really need to check.  They are in no order of significants

- Remove your memory sticks and then replace them making sure they are in securly, sometimes this can cuase the screen to stay blank as if it was in safe mode.  This tends to happen with Dell machines  Make sure when removing memory/hardware to stay destatified (no static on you to save chips blowing).

- See if you can get hold of another monitor just for half hour and plug that one into your pc.  If it all comes on fine its possibly your monitor at fault.

- see if you can get hold from a friend a video card and try that in your system.  It maybe the onboard video is no longer outputting a signal.  try putting a video card into the agp/pci slots on the board and testing, if it works you know the video on board is most likely dead.


One question does the hard drive still click on as if it was loading windows ?
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by:Chunks
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"Remove your memory sticks and then replace them making sure they are in securly, sometimes this can cuase the screen to stay blank as if it was in safe mode"

Sorry i didnt mean safe mode i meant power saver mode/standby.
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by:klackons
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Hi Chunks,

I have tried that but it didn't help. Anyway I will try it again. Thanks
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by:nobus
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what about my suggestion?
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pani_i earned 100 total points
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if you try all the above and still you get no result i would suggest that you remove either the ram or the vga card ( is your choice) and start the pc. you normally should hear a beep according to which on you have remove. if you do not hear anything then consider the situation of faulty motherboard or even cpu( in the worst case)
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by:nobus
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Now they start repeating my post...
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by:klackons
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Chunks,
Nope the hard drive doesn't seems to be loading windows, only the fans are working. The mini fan on the video card is running as well. If it's the video card problem, the hard disk should be loading and starting windows right? But it didn't.
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by:klackons
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Hi nobus,

I didn't mean to ignore u, it's just that I haven't got the chance to try ur suggestion out on my PC. I will try them out tonight. I will give you the reply tomorrow. And I will award u the points if it works, as you are the first one with the answer.

Cheers..
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by:nobus
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Ok, great ! It is always a good starting point (if not the only one); you will be able to determine what works, and what not.
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by:tapkep
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OK, if HDD is quiet (i trust you can tell if there is any HDD activity when PC starts), you can have problem with PSU still. Try to change power supply.

P.S. motherboards usually tends to be quite robust, while cheap memory, power supply etc. usually doesn't last long.
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by:nobus
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i would not dare say that...
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by:Griffon
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I would try the bottom up approach. First ensure that you actually have a system speaker plugged in. If not then you wont hear any system beeps even if they are occuring. Then unplug everything.. yes everything... All the ram all the devices the sound card the graphics card the hard disk .. everything.

Once you have done this try turning on the computer and it should beep if you get no beeps then you can be pretty much certain that the mobo is dead and you will just have to purchase a replacement.

if you get a beeps then insert the hardware relating to that and then continue for example if you get the ram fail beep then insert the ram and see if the sequence moves on to the graphics card beep etc.

http://www.auldfart.co.uk/beepcodes.htm

if you get beeps insert a piece of hardware and then the system hangs it is a safe bet that the piece of hardware you just inserted is up the spout. when inserting ram do it one at a time as you might just have one ram chip that is killing the whole machine.

Griffon
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by:tapkep
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nobus, statistics of organization with ~100 computers for ~5 years:

most common problems (most common first)
* bad PSU or CPU (non Intel) fan
* bad HDD (dead controller, bad sectors)
* bad PSU
* bad CD-ROM
* bad memory (rare)
* bad video (rare)
* bad motherboard capacitors (3 occurences)
* bad NIC (1)
* bad motherboard (1)

i don't take into account mices and keyboards :)
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by:nobus
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I will not contradict you, but it also depends on the used brands and models, environment in which they are used etc...
I would also add that it is not because you have a cheap device that itt is worse than the expensive ones, but i agree that some are.
What i am trying to say is that it is difficult or even unwise to generalise.
What we can safely say, is that the probability of failure increases with the power consumption or throughput, and the temperature rise or change.
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by:tapkep
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nobus, i agree with you.

Now back on the question:
*monitor is ok (to completely eliminate it - have you checked video cable - is it properly connected to video card? also, can you see monitor menu when pressing menu button or "no video signal"?)
* system does not power up after reboot
* screen is blank, no BIOS warning. most possible causes are video (would hear HDD activity when system boots, might be BIOS warning), PSU (PC just freezes in some cases), overheated/damaged CPU (might be BIOS warning), bad motherboard.

IMHO in this situation the most obvious thing to check is PSU. If it is ATX PSU, it may help just to unplug it from power outlet for several seconds.
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by:klackons
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Thanks guys for all the suggestions.
These are what I have tried:
- booting with minimal hardware(memory, video card) - still the same, nothing happened
- removing the memory module and boot up PC - No beep sound at all.

And I don't think I have to do anymore testing. Most likely motherboard is gone. =(

Will reseting of CMOS helps?
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by:tapkep
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Motherboard OR power supply :)
If you can't see anything on screen (event testing memory) - resetting CMOS won't help. Unless you have been messing with BIOS before reboot :)
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by:tapkep
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klackons, it seems that you were able to resolve your problem. What was wrong?
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by:klackons
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After removing the memory and not hearing the beep sound when booting concludes that the motherboard is dead. Therefore my only way to resolve it is to get a new motherboard.

I have tried resetting CMOS as well, but didn't help. Thanks for all the suggestions, I have learnt quite a bit on the ways to troubleshoot a PC.
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by:nobus
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if you take out the memory, you will not get beeps....
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by:danny4com
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if you are running a good AGP graphics card then try using a differant power lead as the heat from the card may have made the plastic expand and calsed a faulty connection.
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