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xw4300 powers up but no video

Posted on 2006-07-01
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Hi there,
My HP xw4300 workstation (Win XP Pro) was working but the nic apparently was fried. I got a new nic and installed it in an emply expansion slot without realizing that the computer was still on.
Now, the computer comes on (apparently)... there are lights on the Mobo, the fans come on, the HD spins, the cd rom light powers on but no video.
Do you think I fried the mobo?

What I have done so far:
Removed Ram (left only one stick in)
Changed video card
Reset Cmos (it comes with a rest button on mobo
Removed and replaced battery briefly

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Question by:Tburke6025
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 17024428
"... without realizing that the computer was still on ..." ==> !!!!!!!!!!!!!!  ... no further comment needed :-)

Yes, I think you fried the motherboard; although it's possible that you blew one of the power supply voltages instead.   But the motherboard would be my #1 suspect here.   It's highly likely you shorted a few things while installing the card -- whether it simply blew a power supply voltage or damaged the PCI transcievers on the motherboard is debatable; but I'd guess the motherboard is a goner.

I presume you have tried it without the new NIC card (hopefully removed with power off) ==> is that correct ??
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Expert Comment

by:jamietoner
ID: 17024431
I would say the motherboard is fried, hot swapping parts will usually do that, there is a good chance that pci nic is fried also.
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Expert Comment

by:gonzal13
ID: 17024831
The problem with HP is that it has a propriatry motherboard. Thus I would suggest that you purchase a server size case which comes with the power supply. You need about 450 watts. Next go to Tigerdirect and select a board that has the number of PCI slots that you use and an AGP slot if you need one. I would suggest a V8V Asus for 89 dollars.
Next get an AMD CPU 2.2 ghz. Now this board will handle the dual core CPUs that are very expensive now. Next get two boards 1 gig each, since the board has hyper threading. The total cost should be about 500 dollars. Next go to your friendly PC builders and get prices from them. The installation should be about 80 dollars.
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 17024916
The only "proprietary" thing about the motherboard is the non-ATX power supply connection.  Otherwise it's a fairly standard board with "standard" components.   But it does make it more difficult to test whether or not the power supply is the issue.   However, your power supply has a fairly reliable built-in self-testing feature.  To use it, disconnect all internal power supply cables (from the motherboard, the drives, etc.);  then connect power to the power supply and see if the power supply's fan spins and the green "BIST" LED on the rear of the workstation lights.   If both of these happen, the power supply is good.   This test is described on Page 103 of your Service and Technical Reference Guide.  (available at:  http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c00379687/c00379687.pdf)

Your system also supports a fairly extensive set of error codes and lights from the BIOS - including several that happen "pre-video".    Is the power LED blinking when you turn the system on?   ... if so, how many times?   The chart on pages 99 & 100 of the manual I referred to above shows you what these codes mean.   Note that the beep/blinking-LED code repeats for 5 cycles.

Does your power supply indicate that it's okay ??


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Author Comment

by:Tburke6025
ID: 17025008
I called HP Support and their diagnosis led to a fried Motherboard. They are sending one out to me because the unit is still under warranty.
As for the power supply tests...All the fans on the unit spin when the computer is turned on.
I tested the power supply with a power supply tester and all but the -5 voltage light came on.
I am hoping that the problem does not include the powersupply too.

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Accepted Solution

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garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 17025019
As I noted in the first post, the motherboard certainly sounded like the likely culprit.   Don't worry about a missing -5v ==> most modern power supplies don't supply it anymore (and no modern motherboard uses it).
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 17025031
... also, as I noted earlier, the power supply has a fairly good self-test built in => I suspect if you check it you'll get a green LED (on the back of the power supply) and spinning fan on the PSU (= good test) :-)
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Expert Comment

by:jamietoner
ID: 17025052
I'm kinda suprised hp is sending out a motherboard. All the computer companys i have worked for would have called that a non warranty issue where it was caused by hot swapping a pci card.
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Author Comment

by:Tburke6025
ID: 17025060
to <garycase>...
I tried the test you mentioned...the power supply spins although not connected to anything. (I thought that was not supposed to happen...most ps do not come on without the mobo)
there was also a visible green light from inside of the powersupply. I guess that means the ps is still working?

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Author Comment

by:Tburke6025
ID: 17025064
...Also, I "forgot" to mention to the tech that I did a hotswap! ;-)

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Expert Comment

by:jamietoner
ID: 17025114
hehe
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 17025128
Yes, the green light inside the power supply along with a spinning fan means the test passed (as I detailed in the post at Date: 07/01/2006 03:11PM PDT).

... I would also undoubtedly have forgotten to mention the hotswap in this situation !  :-)
    (as we age we tend to forget such trivial details !!)


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Author Comment

by:Tburke6025
ID: 17025148
Yep...thanks for all your help though...you guys are great!
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by:garycase
ID: 17025259
You're most welcome.
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