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PC wont entirely power up.

Posted on 2006-05-07
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I am building a shuttle pc using the Biostar iDEQ C1 barebone system.

http://www.biostar.com.tw/products/barebone/ideq/c1/index.php3

From the box:
Socket LGA 775 for Intel Pentium 4 / Celeron D with 800MHz FSB
VIA P4M800 + VT8237R
DDR400 Memory up to 2GB
Integrated VIA Unichrome

Also, the user manual for this system states 'Supports 133/166/200MHz DDR Devices. I thought the 400 in DDR400 represtented MHz?

Hardware I have installed on the motherboard:

Celeron D processor 331+ - 2.66 GHz 533 MHz FSB 256KB L2 Cache
pqi DDR 1GB (2x512) pc 3200 Turbo
2x500GB Seagate SATA.

The problem I have when when powering on is that once I press the power button the fans on the cooling fans (one on the heatsink, one on the case start spinning up but almost immediatly stop. Sometimes the case fan continues to spin, the heatsink fan always stops. The power LED continues to stay green and the Powersupply fan continues to spin. Also, the monitor does not display anything.

I have tried booting with no hdd's, no ram, no hdd or ram, and always get the same problem. I am not 100% sure if I tried booting with no CPU installed, but I think I tried that too, although not sure if that is even a reasonable troubleshooting step.

It's been about 2 or 3 years since I built my last pc where I really did my research in hardware because I wanted a top-notch pc. But this time I am just building a little media center file server so wasnt concerened about getting the best hardware configuration. But in doing so, I think I have over looked something probably pretty obvious which is causing this problem. Or Maybe I just have some faulty hardware, I was thinking maybe my power supply is bad but this barebone system has QC stickers all over it.

My next guess is that I either the memory or processor are not compatible with this motherboard.
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Question by:JF0
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by:garycase
ID: 16626131
"... Socket LGA 775 for Intel Pentium 4 / Celeron D with 800MHz FSB ..." ==> You're trying to use a 533MHz FSB CPU in this motherboard, but your quoted specs say it only supports Celeron's with an 800 MHz FSB.

"DDR" = "Double Data Rate" ==>  DDR400 is a 200MHz device;  the data transfer is at double the clock frequency.


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by:gonzal13
ID: 16626140
First I am concerned about " the heatsink fan always stops" You can burn up the CPU in seconds!
The fans are connected directly to the Motherboard, thus they should not stop. Possibly the CPU fan is faulty.
By the way when you install the CPU, use only a drop of the paste. Too much caused the heat not to transfer to the heat sink.

You should have at least a 450 watt powersupply.
Any store probably will check the Power Supply for free.
I would take out the CPU until you can get the fans to work
The case fan stopping when it is connected, I assume, to the motherboard would indicate that the Motherboard is defective.
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by:garycase
ID: 16626145
... I think it's obvious from what I just posted;  but just to be very direct:   Your memory is fine;  your CPU is NOT compatible with the motherboard .
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by:JF0
ID: 16626167
Thanks guys, question about the greese. I did not use too much but initially I used just a drop like most places tell you, but it did not entirely cover the cpu. When I took off the heatsink it was just about the size of a penny, so I used more until it covered most of the cpu, but its not thick at all.

The powersupply that came with the system is a 300watt one, should that be enough? Im using onboard sound and video. 2HDD's and a dvd rom only for installing the OS then its out for good.

I guess its the CPU then, I will go down and get a new one, any suggestions on this? Im trying to be as cheap as possible.
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by:garycase
ID: 16626173
... just re-read your post ==> booting with no CPU installed is NOT a "reasonable troubleshooting step"  :-)
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by:JF0
ID: 16626192
what I meant was I was not sure if you can even power on a pc with no cpu. I used to be such a hardware guru in highschool, now I just want stuff that works :p
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by:JF0
ID: 16626202
also just to be sure, would an incompatible cpu be the reason nothing shows on the monitor?
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by:garycase
ID: 16626230
I downloaded the manual, and IT doesn't even mention Celeron support;  but if the box says it supports Celeron-D's it most likely does.   Interestingly, however, there are NOT any Celeron-D's with an 800MHz FSB.   I just checked Intel's site and the best you can do is a 533MHz FSB.

So ... it's looking like the motherboard may in fact be defective ... OR  ... the box was incorrect about Celeron support.

By the way, the specs you linked to for this system indicate a 220w power supply;   did it in fact come with a 300w unit ??

One other consideration:   Although memory manufacturers claim that the higher speed modules are fully compatible with lower speeds; I have seen many cases where this simply isn't true.   In fact, Intel publishes a chart for their motherboards indicating which modules will work at what FSB's => and the "safe" thing to do is to use the correctly spec'd memory.   For your Celeron at 533MHz FSB you should use DDR266 memory.   If possible, I'd try booting with a stick of that and see if that's your issue.
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by:arthurjb
ID: 16626233
Yes.
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by:garycase
ID: 16626235
"... would an incompatible cpu be the reason nothing shows on the monitor? " ==> If the CPU isn't executing, then the BIOS code doesn't execute, the Video BIOS doesn't execute; etc. -- so NOTHING will happen !!  (that's also why powering on with no CPU isn't useful)
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by:JF0
ID: 16626240
reading my user manual that came with the box it has this:

. Supports Socket 775
. Supports Intel Pentium 4 prescott processor up to 3.8ghz

Does the first bullet maybe infer celeron D since it is a socket 775 processor?

Also, I was not aware you can only have one stick of DDR memory used. I will give that a shot.
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by:JF0
ID: 16626249
garycase:yes, 220watt
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by:JF0
ID: 16626262
one stick of memory dosnt change anything as far as what ive been describing.
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by:garycase
ID: 16626287
Just wondered about the PSU,  since you said 300w above.   220w is a very low rating by today's standards; but since this is an integrated unit I'm sure it's adequate for what it's designed for.   I would, however, just use one hard drive until you get the system loaded;  then you can add the 2nd.   That way if power IS an issue it will become apparent when you add the 2nd drive.

Your user manual is the same one I downloaded -- and you're looking at exactly what I looked at:  it indicates Pentium 4 support but NOT Celeron.   If it doesn't SAY it supports a Celeron, it probably doesn't !!

The issue you're having is very difficult to identify for sure without having other components to test -- it COULD be (a) memory incompatibility per my last post;  (b)  incompatible CPU (which seems pretty likely); and (c)  a defective motherboard.

Best guess ?? .... the CPU.   I'd try this with a Pentium CPU.   Note that your manual indicates it supports either 533 or 800 MHz FSB Pentiums -- so if you don't want to spend a lot you can get a 533MHz FSB version.   This is currently the least expensive Socket 775 Prescott Pentium-4 at Newegg:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819116224

Note that with a 533MHz FSB you COULD still have an issue with DDR400 memory -- it IS "supposed to work" (according to the memory manufacturers); but as I noted earlier the best approach is to use the correct memory for your CPU/FSB combination.

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by:JF0
ID: 16626300
thanks garycase - I am off to FRY's now to get a new cpu, I will run my problem by one of the guys there who has a pretty good idea of what he is selling too.

 Ill let you guys know how it goes in a couple hours!
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by:willcomp
ID: 16626798
According to VIA website, the P4M800 chipset does support Celeron CPUs.  Promo page lists P4 only, but technical specs include Celeron support.

Behavior is similar to what occurs when 12VDC aux CPU power is not connected.  Although I've surely never forgotten to connect aux power, ahem ...
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by:garycase
ID: 16626839
"... Behavior is similar to what occurs when 12VDC aux CPU power is not connected..." ==> True !!   Good catch Dalton.   I didn't even think to ask if the power was properly connected, since this is a barebones case/motherboard/power supply.   Last one of those I built (an Asus Pundit) had all of the power connections internally connected -- you just had to install the CPU.   But IF that's the case here, it would certainly explain what's happening.

... but the manual (a 20+ MB download) only says "Pentium" support;  and the BioStar website is silent on it.  In fact, the BioStar's section on CPU support is decidedly lacking:
http://www.biostar.com.tw/support/cpu/socket_775.php3#p4m800-m7(p4m80-m7)

It DOES indicate that you can't use Cedar Mill or Pressler chips; but is very incomplete in terms of exactly which CPU's it DOES support.

JF0 ==> Check to confirm that the 12v aux power is connected, as willcomp suggested !!



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by:JF0
ID: 16627014
Well I got the new processor, the one you linked to above  and still no luck...

I assume the 12v aux is the square 4 pronged power plug? That is surely connected... One thing I have never been sure of is the power switch on the power supply itsself, to switch from 115 or 230v... does that matter? Its currently at 115.

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by:willcomp
ID: 16627174
115 volts is correct for US.
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by:willcomp
ID: 16627185
There are several possibilities at this point, but the 2 most likely ones, IMHO, are a faulty motherboard (voltage regulation) or a faulty power supply.  Can you borrow a standard PSU and connect it to determine if power supply is the problem?
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by:willcomp
ID: 16627203
Note to Gary:  I've used quite a few Biostar mobos over the years and found them inexpensive, solid, and reliable.  Manuals are rather skimpy which is not a problem, but web site usually has pretty good info and good driver support even for legacy boards.  Not the case for iDEQ we're dealing with here.  I looked and there's no CPU table for this system as you surely already know.
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by:JF0
ID: 16627231
plugged in my 450 watt power supply and still no luck.... i guess at this point I need to go exchange the system and start fresh. Any other ideas out there otherwise?
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by:willcomp
ID: 16627249
Wait awhile and see who else responds.  We are all prone to miss something and normally someone else catches it.

I highly suspect a bad mobo, but don't recall if RAM was swapped.  Your symptoms are not typical of faulty/incompatible RAM, but RAM cannot be ruled out until changed or tested in another PC.
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by:JF0
ID: 16627308
I was thinking RAM might still be an issue, its the only thing I have not swapped at this point. Its pretty cheap ram, and I have never heard of the name before. I will probably swap that before I swap the barebone system.

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by:garycase
ID: 16627343
If this is "really cheap" no-name RAM I'd try swapping it first -- as you've suggested.

Agree with willcomp that the most likely candidate if that doesn't do it is the motherboard.
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by:JF0
ID: 16627494
ah what a day... ram didnt do anything... will get a new barebone system tomorrow......................
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by:JF0
ID: 16632413
Just wanted to sum things up as far as what hardware I have used so far on the current motherboard. I am getting a new barebone system tonight.

Celeron D processor 331+  2.66 GHz 533 MHz FSB 256KB L2 Cache
Intel Pentium 4 506 533MHz FSB LGA 775

pqi DDR 1GB (2x512) pc 3200 Turbo
Mushkin DDR 1GB (2x512) pc 3200

220 Watt Power supply (came with the barebone system)
450 Watt Power supply (swapped from my desktop)
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by:JF0
ID: 16632481
The only other combination I have not tested is using DDR266 RAM as garycase suggested. Which is more likely an issue here? Motherboard, or maybe still incompatible ram?
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by:garycase
ID: 16632542
More likely?   ... the motherboard.    The RAM is SUPPOSED to be downward compatible;  although, as I noted, I've seen cases where this simply isn't so ==> but in those cases you could get further along in the boot process than what you've noted, so I have to say the more likely scenario is the barebones system needs to be swapped.
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by:willcomp
ID: 16632766
DDR speed compatibility issues I've seen were with older motherboards that originally supported DDR200 and DDR266 only.  That would not be the case with your system.  Additionally, as Gary stated, symptoms are different.  Powers up and stays powered, just won't boot and usually has memory beep code error.
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by:JF0
ID: 16636299
Exchanged the system for a brand new one, still nothing.

Thanks for helping out so far though! Whats next?
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by:garycase
ID: 16636474
Time to try DDR266 memory :-)    Symptoms aren't what I would have expected; but you've eliminated power, processor, and (since it's integrated) video -- so it's time to either eliminate memory as a suspect, or confirm that the system is indeed sensitive to the exact memory timings.
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by:JF0
ID: 16636570
at least it will be cheaper :)

Ill pick some up tomorrow after work.
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by:garycase
ID: 16636810
... actually you may be surprised.   DDR266 is not necessarily less expensive than DDR400;  it may even cost MORE !!
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by:willcomp
ID: 16640121
Could well be that shop doesn't stock DDR266 RAM.  If not available, either oder from crucial.com or try DDR333 RAM.  You are trying a 2 notch jump and that could be the problem.  Although as Gary and I both noted, it's not exhibiting symptoms normally encountered.
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by:willcomp
ID: 16640171
Light Bulb On!!

I encountered a problem with Biostar mobo and high density DDR RAM similar to what you describe.  Biostar issued a BIOS update to correct the problem.  See if you can get some lower density DDR RAM to test system.  Recommend a 16 chip 256MB module if your shop has one.  An 8 chip 256MB module or 4 or 8 chip 128MB module would be next best choices.

Your memory is probably 8 chip 512MB modules.
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by:JF0
ID: 16658235
I got some new ram at the store but it turned out to be the wrong kind when I picked it up at the counter and I didnt have time to go back to the computer department to fix it so I just took it anyways to give it a shot. It was 1 stick of DDR266 512MB, I thought I was getting 2 256MB sticks. And it didnt work, but I'm not sure if its because I am only using one stick because I thought DDR can only be used in pairs. Should I try to get a 2nd stick to go along with this one, or just get the 2 256mb chips?
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by:garycase
ID: 16658975
DDR does not have to be used in pairs -- so it's unlikely to make a difference.   If you don't have matching pairs, the system will simply run in single channel instead of dual channel => slower effective access, but it will still work.   So ... the memory speed is apparently not the issue here.

What's the density of this module?   You need to get low density modules to confirm whether or not this is a memory density issue -- as willcomp suggested.   Your symptoms aren't typical of what I've seen with memory density issues (usually you'll simply only see 1/2 of the memory), but since willcomp has seen similar issues on another Biostar motherboard I'd certainly try using low density modules.
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by:willcomp
ID: 16659958
Gary/JFO - Biostar mobo I referred to would not boot with some high density and would with others but only if installed in second bank.  In all cases PC was unstable.  I found cause by using old 256MB DDR266 module from one of my PCs.  Contacted Biostar tech support and they issued BIOS update to address.  It was a new model socket 754 mobo with nVidia 6100 chipset and supposedly supported high density DDR.  Modules that would not boot were all 512MB DDR400 with 8 chips from Crucial, Corsair, and Buffalo.
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by:garycase
ID: 16660114
... I suspect there's a good chance this is having a similar issue => if not it's sure strange; as it seems unlikely he'd get two bad barebones in a row; two bad CPU's; etc.

Hopefully the issue can be resolved with a BIOS update (there have been two recent updates; so your system probably doesn't have the most current BIOS).

... of course to apply a BIOS update you will need:  (a)  at least one memory stick that WORKS with the system (if you can't boot, you can't update the BIOS); and (b) a floppy drive to boot from and do the update (of course you can "hang" a $10 floppy outside the case temporarily for this).
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willcomp earned 1000 total points
ID: 16660480
A "Catch 22" since you have to boot to update BIOS.  Reason I recommended trying to beg or borrow some low density DDR RAM to test with.
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by:JF0
ID: 16686172
Ive tried now with 2 different 256mb chips and still get the same problem from day one... what else is there?
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by:garycase
garycase earned 1000 total points
ID: 16686315
How many chips on the 256mb sticks you tried?   The important thing here is to use low-density RAM; so there should be at least 8 chips on the module, or preferably 16.

... a couple of other random thoughts after skimming back through this thread:

   -- are you SURE the monitor you're using is good ?  (Hate to find out you've been receiving a BIOS error message all this time)

  --  have you been trying this with a keyboard and mouse connected?  (known good ones??)

  --  Have you tried the 800MHz P-IV on the new system?  (Just to be sure this is not a FSB issue with the 533Mhz Celeron)

  --  When you say the fans STOP do you mean STOP ==> have you actually looked to confirm they are coming to a complete stop?   It's not unusual for fans to start at a very high speed and then slow WAY down as thermal management systems in the BIOS take over and reduce the speed.   The noise level can definitely drop enough that you can think they've stopped.

  --  None of the major memory manufacturer's memory selectors (Crucial, Kingston, 4allmemory, etc.) list this system => otherwise I'd suggest you buy a module from one of them just to be SURE you're trying the appropriate memory.

  --  By the way, the marketing page for this DOES mention Celeron-D support (although it still just notes 800MHz FSB):  http://www.biostar-usa.com/ideqdetails.asp?model=ideq+c1    Interestingly, however, this model is not listed in their "comparison" charts, nor is it listed on the CPU support charts.

  --  The likelihood of 2-in-a-row defective barebones is pretty small;  the likelihood of 2-in-a-row defective processors is even smaller (and BOTH are supposed to be supported -- although I'd still lean towards using the P-IV as the main test);  the likelihood of 2-in-a-row on-board video systems being bad is very small;  so ... I would be SURE the memory you're using is low density memory; and be SURE that the monitor you have connected is good (connect it to another system and be sure it's working okay).


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by:willcomp
ID: 16686785
Good stuff Gary.

The old 256MB DDR266 module that I used for troubleshooting was a 16 chip Crucial module from an Athlon T-bird system.  A stick of very early DDR RAM.

Wish I knew whether it was a DDR400 high density problem alone or affected other speeds.  I didn't have any DDR333 in stock at the time except SODIMM.

Agree that odds of 2 duds in a row are quite small.  If not memory, would likely be another add-on component.

Try a boot with only monitor connected.  No drives, keyboards, mice, or other peripherals.  That's after verifying monitor is functional.

If still no boot, take system back to shop and let them try different DDR modules and troubleshoot for you.  This is one of those that I wish I could get my hands on to test.
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by:JF0
ID: 16687007
"This is one of those that I wish I could get my hands on to test."

And one that I would love to get off my hands!
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by:JF0
ID: 16687195
One for the Blooper Reel:

The monitor I was using came from my PC. It is a digital monitor with 2 analog input's, one of which I was using to plug into the barebone system. And, now this is quite embarassing but if you have not guessed by now, I never switched the input signal on my monitor from the digital port to the analog.

A certain Southpark chant comes to mind...

Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb!
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by:garycase
ID: 16687250
Glad all's working well :-)     ... enjoy your new system !!

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by:willcomp
ID: 16690403
Ah, the simple things!!  Glad you got it working.
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