No post or graphics?

Posted on 2005-04-08
Last Modified: 2013-11-08
JUst want to clarify really.

Have a newish PC . Been in storage for a few months (good conditions)

No boot up post codes, no graphics - tried different graphic cards.

I believe its either the motherboard or processor. The board has power and all ide items spin up.

Doe anyone know anyway to test either? I normally would add a new processor or test the old processor on a new motherboard, but I have none available.

Any ideas?

Question by:Kartibok
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    No easy way to test either one.  A motherboard needs a cpu in order to work, and a cpu needs a motherboard to access it, so swapping in a working model is the most effective and time-saving method.

    Have you tried a minimal configuration: motherboard, cpu, one RAM module and nothing else?  Take it out of the case and put it on a non-conducting surface like cardboard or wood, to be sure it's not shorting on the case.  It could also be the power supply that is faulty and can't deliver enough current to boot the system.  Late model cpus and video cards draw a lot more power than the old ones.
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    Do you have more than one stick of RAM?  I'd try alternating them to see if it's the RAM stopping the POST.  The way I troubleshoot your issue is:

    1. Check for bad RAM (may want to pull both and see if you get a POST code at least)
    2. Check for bad PCI card (usually a modem)
    3. AGP Video
    4. Power supply
    5. MB / Processor

    From what i've seen is the MB and Processor are usually not to blame if your fans are going.  Keep in mind I said usually :)

    Expert Comment

    Definitly try the minimal configuration.  Then remove all of the system memory and see if you get memory beep (Long beeps).  And try without the vga card and see if you get vga beeps. usually a long tone followed by two short tones.  If you do get these beep codes then your cpu may be suspect.  

    If the fans are running and there is no video/no post then the cpu or motherboard is MOST LIKELY to blame.  

    What kind of cpu / motherboard are you using?  What brand of motherboard?  
    I usually can estimate which is bad just by the reputation of the particular manufacture.  Out of all of the intel chips I've dealt with probably less that 1% have been defective.  So if you have an intel chip on say, a PCCHIPS brand motherboard, I would suspect the motherboard given the track record of PCCHIPS motherboards ;)

    Anyhow, hope this helps.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    I have seen instances of the voltage divider going out on a power supply and providing the power to run fans and hard drives but on of the other rails is out of spec (overvoltage) so the board won't boot

    Expert Comment

    Make sure the motherboard is mounted to the case properly, tighten the screws on the motherboard. Also make sure the speaker jumpers are connected properly from case speakers to motherboard. Make sure that thermal paste was properly applied to the CPU. Try to clean the existing thermal grease on the CPU and apply some new paste be careful if you apply not too much or too little, three thin lines along the cpu is normally enough.

    Accepted Solution

    The motherboard is dead.

    If there are NO beeps, nothing, the lights on it turn on, the hard drive does its initial little spin up, the cd drive does its normal access, the fans are on, but NOTHING else happens, its dead.

    I've had this happen to me when I burned out a motherboard. the mobo would still beep and make noise if the CPU was bad. If the board is bad, nothing happens. I would try a different power source to make sure, but I really feel that you have a dead mobo.

    Author Comment

    Many thanks for all the help. I gave Pauli, the points because he was specific about the death of my mb. As it happens it was mb, but it still let power go to the CPU fan (don't ask me how!)

    Did the cpu and mb swop on a new setup, and it all aimed at the mb.

    Many thanks everyone else for the advice.


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