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Use new video card when onboard video broke

Posted on 2008-06-10
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I fix PCs for a living. This is for a customer situation.

Onboard video broke, black monitor screen, normal boot-up sounds. Monitor works fine when connected to another desktop PC.

THE QUESTION IS HOW TO GET THE PC TO USE A NEW VIDEO CARD **WITHOUT** DISABLING THE ONBOARD VIDEO CARD DRIVER ETC ETC as the latter can not be done as we have no video !!

Perusing various search matches on this EE site tells me

If video card is PCI, there is NO solution (EXCEPT something about removing the CMOS battery or changjing the CMOS jumpers ????). IF THIS WILL FIX MY PROBLEM PLEASE SPELL OUT WHAT TO DO IN DETAIL.

If the video card is AGP, Windows or the BIOS or whatever will use the AGP card and NOT use the onboard video due to some default behavior of something. There are several posts to that effect on this web site.

THE PROBLEM IS THAT MY CUSTOMER'S mother board has **NO** AGP slots; it has two x8 PCI express slots and one x16 PCI express slot. And he has bought a $200 x16 PCI express card.

SO THE QUESTION IS DOES THE BIOS OR WIN XP SP2 BY DEFAULT USE A PCI-EXPRESS CARD INSTEAD OF THE ONBOARD VIDEO or DOES THAT JUST HOLD TRUE FOR AGP CARDS?

Because if we cannot solve this problem my customer must either throw out a 1 1/2 year old $1000 custom PC
OR
get a new motherboard which costs $300-$500 if I do the replacement. AND NO the PC is not under warranty anymore.

Motherboard is EVGA nForce4 SLI  mobo from Jetway. A review with all specs and details and pictures etc is at www.nvnews.net/reviews/evga_nforce4_sli_edition_mainboard/index.shtml . OS is Windows XP SP2.

Regards,
   Mike
PS Some smart person might ask, Mike, what happens when he installs the x16 PCI express card??
The answer is PC starts for a SECOND and stops and no video. He removes new card, same result WHEN BEFORE IT MADE ALL THE RIGHT BOOTUP SOUNDS (but no video). Now obviously putting in a new card and removing it does not make the PC boot for a second and die?? It should do the same thing it did as before.

RED HERRING / WILDCARD: He put the x16 card in the x8 slot and booted. COULD THAT MISTAKE DAMAGE THE MOBO AND CREATE THE ENTIRE PROBLEM HE NOW HAS?

Note: I had him install the x16 board in the x16 slot and still no video and boot still lasts less than 1 second. BUT IF THE MISTAKE ABOVE DAMAGED THE MOBO .....

So my theory is
(a) Bad mobo
OR
(b) Bad Power supply that just happened to go bad when he put in the PCI E card (by some incredible coincidence).

THIS ENTIRE POST IS BECAUSE OF THE TINY POSSIBILITY OF (b) (a 2nd problem) occuring.

Customer to me: So if the Power supply is bad AND you put in a new good one, the video will reappear with my new card?

Me: I OBVIOUSLY CAN NOT ANSWER THAT QUESTION UNLESS SOMEOME RESPONDS TO THIS POST, CAN I? And if I do not answer THAT question, my customer will NOT HIRE ME. DO YOU NOW UNDERSTAND WHY I NEED ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS IN THIS POST ?

Regards,
  Mike

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Question by:mgross333
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by:joinaunion
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If you put video card in the slot it should work fine wether the onboard is on or off people turn it off to disable the shared memory.
It is better to disable onboard video if you have got a video card.
I,m confused when you say you installed the card and it booted will this damage board .NO it will not.
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by:mgross333
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joinaunion and other EE video card experts,

joinaunion: My general impression of your reply is that you SKIMMED my Question. Please read all of it before replying.

SPECIFICALLY
(1) Regarding
> If you put video card in the slot it should work fine wether the onboard is on or off people turn it off to disable the shared memory.
It is better to disable onboard video if you have got a video card.

The first part of your answer is WRONG if the video card is a PCI card; that is stated in other EE posts I have found PLUS ATI tech support told me that too for an ATI PCI video card installed into a PC with broke onboard video.

Please clarify and do NOT reply with general answers. If the added Video Card is PCI express, MUST I disable onboard video to get the PC to use the PCI E card: YES OR NO TO THAT EXACT QUESTION, PLEASE?

Also your 2nd sentence copied above
"It is better to disable onboard video if you have got a video card."

CONTRADICTS YOUR FIRST SENTENCE.  Again, please answer the question above in this post with a YES or a NO.

(2)Regarding
>  I,m confused when you say you installed the card and it booted will this damage board .NO it will not.

Again, if you read the entire Question you would not be "confused". I said my customer put the x16 PCI E card BY MISTAKE in the **x8** PCI E slot (instead of the **x16** PCI E slot). And I am asking if that mistake could have damaged the mobo and caused the PC to NOW only boot for a second and shut down.

Regards,
  Mike
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by:joinaunion
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I see you skimmed my answer.To clarify you do not need to disable onboard video this is my second time telling you.
The one and only reason it is on is if there is no video card and it shares ram memory SO AGAIN TURNING IT OFF WILL ONLY BENIFIT YOU FOR EXTRA RAM.
Just so you know I have computer at home with video card and onboard both running .
You said:
The first part of your answer is WRONG if the video card is a PCI card; that is stated in other EE posts I have found PLUS ATI tech support told me that too for an ATI PCI video card installed into a PC with broke onboard video.
Heres your own contradiction to your statement:
RED HERRING / WILDCARD: He put the x16 card in the x8 slot and booted. COULD THAT MISTAKE DAMAGE THE MOBO AND CREATE THE ENTIRE PROBLEM HE NOW HAS?
So just so were not confused the card he put in because you told him too worked in the 8X slot and you think it will damage the board,I,m telling you it won,t all the board did was default it to 8x instead of 16 is that hard for you to understand.Just so you know for the future this site is FREE HELP not a place for you to vent anger because you don,t know what your doing.
RIGHT FROM YOUR OWN LINK LOL:READ IT CAREFULLY:
Note the 3 PCI Express full-length slots above. The top and bottom yellow slots are PCI Express x8 (for SLI configuration) and the blue one in the middle is a PCI Express x16 (for single card non-SLI use). The bottom (yellow) x8 PCI-E slot effectively activates SLI when a compatible video card is mounted in this slot, of course, along with a like card in the top (yellow) x8 PCI-E slot with both cards connected by the SLI bridge chip. The video monitor plug is required to be plugged in to the bottom card for SLI operation. Much simpler than fooling with jumpers or switching cards.

Below the PCI Express slots are 3 "regular? PCI slots to provide support for PCI legacy devices. Located above the top PCI Express x8 slot is a small blue PCI Express x1 slot. The 12 volt, board mounted, SLI power plug (EZ Plug) is located just above the PCI Express x1 slot, as shown in the second photo above.


LOL LOL



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by:nobus
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>>  If video card is PCI, there is NO solution (EXCEPT something about removing the CMOS battery or changjing the CMOS jumpers ????). IF THIS WILL FIX MY PROBLEM PLEASE SPELL OUT WHAT TO DO IN DETAIL.    <<   i'll try -don't shoot me please for trying to help.

This is done, because the old card can be "locked" in the bios (for some boards), so refreshing the bios cures that. (normally it is done automatic, when you insert another card)
How : you clear the CMOS  in 2 ways :
- remove AC, and CMOS battery for a minute, reinstall it and test
- on some boards , there is a clear CMOS jumper (normally close to the battery) check the mobo manual for actual location, and move the position from 1-2 to 2-3, or VV.
-------------

what i do in such a case, is to test first with a cheap old PCI video card; if still nothing, test with another Power supply
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by:mgross333
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Nobus,

Thanks for your reply. If you could further reply to ALL 3 FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS BELOW, that would be great ! Because an answer to (3) below is ALSO important, not just to (1) and (2) below.

(1) Regarding
> because the old card can be "locked" in the bios (for some boards)......
IS THAT TRUE FOR PCI-EXPRESS CARDS (for some mobo's) or just for PCI cards?  

With regards to THIS question, please refer to
www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Misc/Q_21260625.html?eeSearch=true
AND TO the 4th post down by Alan Kingsley where he says (3rd paragraph) that for PCI cards that there IS a problem (which perhaps your recommended CMOS changes would address)
BUT FOR AGP CARDS (4th paragraph) THERE IS NO PROBLEM, NO CMOS CHANGES ARE NEEDED, THE AGP CARD JUST TAKES OVER FROM THE ONBOARD VIDEO.

WHAT I WANT TO KNOW IS WHETHER THE PCI EXPRESS CARDS ALSO TAKE OVER... AND THE CMOS CHANGES ARE ONLY NEEDED  (on some mobos) FOR PCI CARDS. PLEASE REPLY.

(2) Regarding
> on some boards , there is a clear CMOS jumper (normally close to the battery) check the mobo manual for actual location, and move the position from 1-2 to 2-3, or VV.
 
Do I change the jumper and then attach AC power for a minute AND THEN RESTORE THE ORIGINAL JUMPER POSITION and then put the new video card in OR just leave the card in while I make the jumper changes and the card will now work. Because jumper positions are set for a reason; if I do not put the jumper position back, I would think there will be some problem down the line.

(3) Regarding
> what i do in such a case, is to test first with a cheap old PCI video card; if still nothing, test with another Power supply

ARE YOU REFERING TO THE PART OF MY ORIGINAL QUESTION IN THE P.S. UNDER MY NAME ?? (i.e PC now boots for a second and dies). IF you are, then I do not undestand your reply quoted directly above here. WHAT IS WRONG WITH USING A NEW X16 PCI EXPRESS CARD (as my customer has already done) and since that fails, moving on to trying a new Power suppply?  Why do you recommend I try a "cheap old PCI video card" especially in view of Alan Kingsley's remarks (see my link in (1) here) where he says PCI cards sometimes do not work if the onboard video is broke BUT AGP cards ALWAYS work.

Regards,
  Mike
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by:mgross333
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joinaunion:

Thanks for your reply on the PCI express stuff (putting card in wrong slot will not damage mobo, just run at x8 speeds) and your explanation of what the two x8 PCI E slots are for.

However, FOR THE 2ND TIME, the first part of your post is wrong. THREE REASONS:

(1) ATI TECH SUPPORT SAYS YOU ARE WRONG FOR THEIR PCI VIDEO CARDS; i.,e you must disable the onboard video FIRST and there is no way to do that if it is broke. YOU KNOW "ATI" , the company who makes 1/2 the video cards in the world (and NVIDIA makes the other half). I guess you know more than ATI tech support about video cards ???

(2) Please read nobus's post below yours here where he says "This is done (CMOS changes) , because the old card can be "locked" in the bios (for some boards), ..." i.e for "some boards" you are wrong.

(3) My actual experience at a DIFFERENT CUSTOMER 2 weeks ago. Onboard video displays NOTHING, I put in an ATI PCI card and it displays nothing too.

So, NO, you do not just disable onboard video to free up shared ram, sometime you MUST disable it to get the new **PCI** card to work at all.

Mike
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by:mgross333
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nobus,

Just to be 100% clear about (3) in my reply to your post above:

My customer has tried putting the x16 PCI E card in the (blue) x16 slot and still gets no video and PC boots for less than a second and dies. I mention this because, as joinaunion points out, the two (yellow) x8 slots on this board are designed to be used in tandem (x8 boards in both x8 slots) so putting the x16 card in one slot may not be a valid test.

Regards,
  Mike
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by:mgross333
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joinaunion:

Here is a FOURTH example of why you are wrong about the 'shared ram" stuff etc etc. Go to my FIRST reply above to nobus, and the link in (1) there and then go to Alan Kinglsey's post at that link, 3rd paragraph, where he ALSO says that for PCI cards there IS A PROBLEM, not just about shared ram.

Mike
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by:PCBONEZ
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ATI tech support is wrong. [Not the first time with them.]
That only applies to SOME motherboards. - Usually old ones.
ATI makes video cards, not motherboards.
Control of what video starts is in the motherboard.
Most boards now will default to PCI if you reset the CMOS.
Most, not ALL. It's an unofficial standard/policy.
It is so you can recover the system if the on-board video fails.

This may help you.
http://www.evga.com/support/manuals/133-K8-NF41.pdf

Flaming people that are trying to help you won't.

.
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by:mgross333
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PCBONEZ,

Thanks for your post and the mobo manual. TO BE CLEAR (AND I HAVE ASKED THIS OVER AND OVER AND OVER and NO ONE REPLIES) IS RESETTING THE CMOS NECESSARY (for some mobos) if the added card is PCI-EXPRESS, not PCI. There are several posts elsewhere in this forum (I have provided a link to one) saying it is not necessary for any mobo if the added card is AGP. Your post above refers to PCI; I have made clear that my customer has bought a PCI express card. Please clarify, does your post ALSO apply equally to added PCI express cards when the onboard video has broke.

Regarding FLAMING, I fee that he flamed me first; I feel that his first post here was very brief, not grammatical and did not imply that he had read my question thourougly. HE THEN FLAMED ME for my remark that he had scanned my Question. BUT MORE IMPORTANT, I CANNOT GET A RESULT HERE THAT WILL HELP ME IF I LET STAND HIS STATEMENT THAT DISABLING THE ONBOARD VIDEO IS NOT NECESSARY TO GET A NEW VIDEO CARD TO WORK; I MUST CHALLENGE THAT STATEMENT.

Perhaps I could have been more polite about it.

Regards,
  Mike

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nobus earned 250 total points
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when a person reacts like that - i'm out, i have no need for shouting, insulting or such.
to clarify however what i can :
>>  Do I change the jumper and then attach AC power for a minute AND THEN RESTORE THE ORIGINAL JUMPER POSITION and then put the new video card in OR just leave the card in while I make the jumper changes and the card will now work. Because jumper positions are set for a reason; if I do not put the jumper position back  <<   you are supposed to look in the manual for the correct procedure; on most boards i know it is done by :
-remove AC power
-change jumper
-put jumper back
-restore AC
-Boot

regarding the PCI card versus pciExpress or AGP; i said to use PCI since it employs a more basic bus, and connection than the others, so you can have success with one type, and NOT with the other

i know i did not answer ALL your questions, i answer to those i know, and keep silent about the others    :-))
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by:mgross333
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Nobus,

Thanks for the clarification.

Mike
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by:mgross333
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nobus,

I looked at the mobo manual provided by PCBONEZ above and the correct procedure for clearing is

To clear the CMOS, follow the procedure below:
1. Turn off the system and unplug the AC power
2. Remove the ATX power cable from the ATX power connector
3. Locate JBAT and short pins 2-3 for a few seconds (by moving the jumper one pin to the right)
4. Return JBAT to its normal setting by shorting pins 1-2
5. Connect the ATX power cable back to the ATX power connector

Step 3 is different than your general instructions so that difference matters. However at another thread in the EE forum, someone clared CMOS with the jumpers and still could not get the new video card to work so you never know till you try it.

AND UNLESS I CAN GET THE PC TO BOOT THIS IS ALL USELESS. I will try reseating memory and ATX and square 4-pin plugs to mobo and also replacing memory if the former fails. If all that fails I will test Power Supply with my tester and if it is bad, replace it.

Mike
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by:nobus
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clearing the CMOS is no guarantee it will work, it is only a step to take on the road.
the PCI card is only to get you to a screen , where you can modify things ; not a solution
if the pd does not boot, my suggestion is always: try with a minimum setup :
mobo + cpu + 1 ram stick, video card, PS  --> any display? if NO it is oone of the connected
if Yes, i guess you know what to do...
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by:nobus
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pd = pc ; sorry..
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by:mgross333
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Nobus,

Thanks for additional replies. SITUATION HAS GREATLY CHANGED AND CUSTOMER ALSO MISINFORMED ME (i HAVE NOT YET BEEN ONSITE). FIRST, PC now boots OK (does not die in 1 second). No changes were made. It just started working.

He was already using a PCI or PCI E card and that card failed.; he had told me he was using the onbard video; wrong wrong wrong. He removed the older PCI or PCI E card (that had failed) and puts the new x16 PCI E card in the blue slot (which per the mobo manual and the mobo review article and a post above is the correct slot for x16) and STILL gets no video. My theory NOW is that the old card overode onboard video and the new x16 card does NOT so the CMOS thing still needs to be done.

There is a problem with this theory. He swears the mobo has NO VGA out plug meaning it has no onboard video; I have not had time to check the mobo manual as I am at a customer site. But if there is no onboard video, that destroys my lastest theory.

It is also possible AT THIS POINT that he got a bad $200 card and simply needs to go get another non-defective one.  For me the next step is to bring up the mobo manual at my customer site and check his claim that the mobo has NO VGA out connector.

Mike
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by:joinaunion
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http://www.evga.com/support/manuals/133-K8-NF41.pdf
video card install starts on page 18 plus all other info you need.
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by:PCBONEZ
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Clearing the CMOS to reset the video to defaults is a standard procedure that works on most (but not all) motherboards.

We can't possibly know if it works on your specific board without having one to experiment with.

Reseting the CMOS will not hurt anything.
If the board is good it -might- help and won't hurt anything.
If the board is bad it won't make a difference.

.
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by:nobus
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since it boots, you can ask him what mobo he has (or run Everest) to verify the onboard video.
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by:mgross333
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PLEASE NOTE I HAVE NOT YET SEEN THIS PC because the customer does not want to pay me unless I get video to work here (i,e will not pay a minimum fee for my time). The purpose of this post RIGHT HERE is to give me some confidence I can do that given the failure of the tests below.

I concluded that the PCI Express slots in the motherboard were bad (I.e that the motherboard is bad and must be replaced) . IF YOU DISAGREE and think the CMOS reset will still restore video here PLEASE POST HERE but quickly as the customer is about to get a new mobo.

p. 7 in the Manual provided by PCBONEZ and also by joinaunion shows there is NO onboard video (unlike ANY motherboard I have ever seen) and the customer says that visually there is no VGA output plug for the motherboard. This blows away the entire reason I posted here.

i.e video was ONLY provided by x8 PCI E cards (one, not two in tandem) in the past.

Test 1: He removes the PCI E old card and puts in the new x16 PCI E card in the blue x16 slot and boots and gets no video

Test 2: He removes the new x16 board and puts the original x8 PCI E card that came with the custom built PC in the **SAME** x8 PCI E slot it was originally in and gets no video after booting. That card was replaced by a 2nd x8 PCI E card because of defects in the graphics BUT BASICALLY IT STILL WORKED AND DISPLAYED VIDEO WHEN HE REMOVED IT.

In Test1, Windows Plug and Play should notice the new x16 board and since there is no other installed video card  or onboard video card, should install the default Windows low res video driver and then the customer inserts the CD that came with the x16 card to install the x16 card driver. IF THAT DOES NOT HAPPEN, IT MEANS THE X16 SLOT IS BROKE.

For test2, the same remarks apply OR BETTER YET, if he did not delete the old driver, then the correct driver is installed by Windows.

Hence Test2 implies that the x8 slot is ALSO NOT WORKING.

In addition the current video card (2nd x8 card installed on this PC) stopped displaying video AFTER 5 WEEKS. A brand new card fails in 5 weeks??? I don't think so, it is much more likely the x8 slot it was in failed as the mobo is 1 1/2 years old (not old for a mobo but a lot older than 5 weeks).

If you see any reason why WITH ONLY ONE VIDEO CARD in the PC and no onboard video that Windows Plug and Play would NOT install the default Windows video driver (i,e that CMOS reset is STILL needed), please post here.

Now it has occured to me that if a fan is broke in the case or power supply or cpu or cpu fan is not spinning fast, that the two previous video cards were damaged by overheating; I have seen this happen. BUT EVEN THEN, the new card should work (with the case side off) IMMEDIATELY after the boot (and even if the case side is on).

PLEASE REPLY IF YOU STILL THINK THE CMOS RESET IS NEEDED TO GET THE NEW X16 CARD (OR THE OLD WORKING-WITH-DEFECTS x8 VIDEO CARD) TO WORK.

Oh, BTW, I replace mobos WITH EXACTLY THE SAME ONLY and can make a lot more $$$ doing that than fixing the video. So I do an EXTENSIVE internet search and there are NO NEW motherboards available of this 1 1/2 year old model. There is ONE used one available on eBay but I do not want to install a used mobo PLUS the seller will provide no guarantee, not even against dead-on-arrival. I told the customer to call the company that made the custom PC and ask for a price for a new DIFFERENT but compatible motherboard installation. But if you think the CMOS reset will work here, I can ask him to hold on that till I come over.

Regards,
  Mike
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by:PCBONEZ
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Clearing the CMOS to reset the video to defaults is a standard procedure that works on most (but not all) motherboards.
Clearing the CMOS to reset the video to defaults is a standard procedure that works on most (but not all) motherboards.

We can't possibly know if it works on your specific board without having one to experiment with.
We can't possibly know if it works on your specific board without having one to experiment with.

Reseting the CMOS will not hurt anything.
If the board is good it -might- help and won't hurt anything.
If the board is bad it won't make a difference.

We can't possibly know if it works on your specific board without having one to experiment with.
We can't possibly know if it works on your specific board without having one to experiment with.

I'm out~~~~~~~
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by:mgross333
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PCBONEZ,

I got the message but you did not address the LOGIC of my last post which is that iIF there is only one video card (counting onbaord video as a card) in the PC, then CMOS reset is unnecessary as Windows or the BIOS does not go to non-existant HW for video. And also, the new x8 PCI E card stopped producing video in 5 weeks; THAT is not a case of a new card not working immediately upon installation, did you notice that ?

In any case, I will go over and reset the CMOS and only charge the customer if it fixes the video problem.

Regards-Mike
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by:mgross333
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I am going over at 6 PM EST today to reset the CMOS. Then I wil try the x16 PCI E card. I will also bring a new (but returnable) PCI video card as nobus claims above (in his post of 06.11.2008 at 09:46AM EST) they are easier to get to work (but that can not be used long-term as the customer wants a gaming card and I don't think anyone makes a PCI gaming card). However if the PCI card works I can go into Device Manager and delete all the other video drivers and then try the x16 PCI E card again).

Regards-Mike
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by:joinaunion
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Hey Mike:
         After reading the manual a few times heres how I understand how to get it to work.
first slot yellow:8x pci-e(for sli operation only)
second slot blue:16x pci-e(for standard graphics card operation)
third slot yellow:8x pci-e(for sli operation-note that this slot will be the primary graphics out slot when runnig in sli mode-so make sure to attach your monitor cable to this cards vga out)

So in a nutshell if you have one standard video card connect it to the blue slot it should work.
If you want to take advantage of SLI mode you will need 2 SLI compliant cards ALONG WITH SLI BRIDGE.
To do this install both SLI compliant cards one in the top yellow one in the bottom yellow leave blue empty
On the SLI cards attach the SLI BRIDGE to connect cards together(nice pic in manual when you look)
connect monitor to bottom card output this is the video out card when running in SLI MODE.
HOPE THIS HELPS.

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by:mgross333
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Going over to customer now. Quite late !!! I called Nvidia mobo tech support and they gave me a number of other approaches to fixing this (in addition to CMOS reset) OR at least figuring out what is wrong.

#1 Also replace memory as this could cause NO video all by itself (however most mobos beep if memory is bad and the customer has not reported beeps to me; but maybe this mobo does NOT beep, I forgot to ask that).

# 2 The mobo has a 2 character LED window that reports where it is in the POST process; if it stops or lingers a long time, the Post code in the window will  EXACTLY identify the problem. The same window also shows error codes for some things the mobo can detect.

I am also taking a new x16 PCI E card and a new PCI card on the off chance that the customer's new x16 PCI E card is no good and simply replacing it will restore video.

Regards,
  Mike
Regards,
  Mike
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by:mgross333
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POINT ASSIGNED AS THE CMOS RESET INFO MAYBE OF FUTURE USE (BUT NOT USEFUL HERE).

Typical customer call. After hours of research, the problem turns out to be something different.

# 1 Customer never read the printed install direction for his $200 x16 PCI E video card and did NOT PLUG IN THE 6-PIN POWER CONNECTOR TO THE END OF THE CARD !!!! As this is a custom built gaming PC, the manufacturer connected two 4-pin WHITE power connectors to inputs to the 6 pin power connector needed for high end PCI E cards. And he failed to plug that 6-pin connector into the x16 PCI E card.

#2 Believe it or not, THAT STILL WAS NOT THE MAIN PROBLEM HERE.  After connecting the 6-pin pwer connector to the video card, we STILL GOT NO VIDEO.

I'm now going to skip over a lot of things here. Upon booting,  the debug/POST codes in the 2 character led on the mobo started with FF and remained at FF forever. THAT IS WRONG; the codes are supposed to start with something else and go thru about 20 different POST status codes and THEN END UP WITH "FF".  I called EVGA tech support and they said that this means EITHER the mobo OR the cpu OR the Power supply was bad. And that no video will ever be produced by a board that has this problem.

THEN I GOT LUCKY. While buying a low end PCI E video card (and also a PCI vid card) at Staples for diagnostic purposes ONLY, I happened to notice that there were power supplies right next to the (overpriced) cards so, just to be on the safe side, I bought a low-end 350 W power supply (BUT WITH THE NEW 24 PIN ATX PLUG and a Sata HD power connector BOTH needed by the mobo and sata HD here).

I install the new power supply AND BINGO, THE PC BOOTS, the correct sequence (from the manual) of POST status codes appear,  AND WE HAVE VIDEO (LOW RES, WINDOWS DRIVER). We reboot (NO Found new HW wizard ever appears) and now we have hi-res video and there is **NO** yellow mark in Device Manager next to the correctly named NVIDIA graphics card. Done !!! (Although I will check with Nvidia as to whether the version number and date of the driver is good enough OR should the customer install the driver on the CD that came with the video card).

Regarding CMOS reset, YES while installing the new Power supply, I also did the CMOS reset by moving the jumper back and forth. But in view of the debug code and the EVGA tech support analysis, that was not the problem; that ALONE could not cause the POST code to start and remain at FF instead of going thru the correct sequence of about 20 POST status codes.

THERE IS STILL A SERIOUS PROBLEM HERE. The Northbridge chipset fan is not spinning and at boot the PC complains bitterly about that and we must press F1 to continue boot. EVGA may not have the little $5 fan as the board is 3 years old. And if they do, they may refuse to supply it (EVEN FOR A FEE) because we cannot prove the mobo was ever registered. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT ?? They said they will think about my request for the $2 fan and get back to me by Monday. In the meantime my customer runs the PC with the case side off (and for short periods only).

EVGA said Northbridge chipset heat sinks (not fans) are readily available online but I looked and it is not clear how you connect them to the mobo base PLUS someone in a forum (I HOPE THAT THEY ARE WRONG)  SAID TO REMOVE THE BAD FAN THE ENTIRE MOTHERBOARD MUST BE REMOVED because the fan connnectors do NOT UNSCREW AND MUST BE PUSHED OUT FROM BENEATH THE BOARD). If that is the case, I WILL NOT BE INSTALLING A NEW CHIPSET FAN OR HEATSINK. The customer can call the custom PC manufacturer and get a price to do all that (the PC is out of warranty)).

Thanks for your help.

Mike
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by:mgross333
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Yes, the Northbridge chipset fan IS pluuged into the 3-pin connector on the mobo.

Mike
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by:PCBONEZ
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That 350 watt power supply probably doesn't have enough amps on the 12v rails for that system.
Chipset fans are normally are on 12v power.
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by:joinaunion
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As per the manual FF= boot
FF=load boot sector
Are you sure the fan is installed in the correct power supply?There is a chassis fan  and to the right of the usb connectors theres one called sfan2.You also may see one called chipfan.
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by:joinaunion
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I did a little research and FF means that the computer has booted to os with no problems i,m sure theres nothing to worry about.
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by:mgross333
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PCBONEZ and joinaunion,

The original PC Power Supply had 450W. Your (PCBONEZ's) reply concerns me GREATLY because EVGA tech support said that if the new 350W PS was not enough that the PC would not boot and that THE SYMPTOM WOULD NOT BE THE CHIPSET FAN NOT SPINNING. If that guy was wrong and you are right, I am about to go thru a lot of hassle (ie get and install new chipset fan or heatsink-approach) for nothing !!!

Also the chasis fan was not spinning EITHER and it also was powered INDIRECTLY form the mobo (where the connection was NOT visable however becasue the wires were going under and over parts; ie it was NOT plugged directly into a little 3-pin connector on the mobo that was EASILY VISABLE). I plugged a male big white 4-pin power supply plug into a free female big white power 4-pin connector that WAS VISABLY connected to the chassis fan ( thru some connectors into other connectors) AND BINGO the chassis fan spins. But

#1 I swear on my Mother's name that that female 4-pin plug was empty BEFORE    Ie the 450W PS was NOT plugged into that female 4-pin plug AND the customer confirmed that the chassis fan WAS spinning before (i.e when it was APPARENTLY connected to the mobo SOMEWHERE)

#2 The audio speaker for beep errors WAS working and beeping (BEFORE I MADE THE ADDITIONAL 4-PIN CONNECTION) and it was plugged into the SAME THING as the chassis fan which PROVES THAT THE CHASSIS FAN WAS POWERED by the mobo BEFORE the additional 4-pin power connection was made BUT not spinning

SUMMARY: The mobo connection (somewhere) for the chassis fan with a 350 W PS was NOT enough to get it to spin. And the chipset fan is also connected to the mobo SO YOUR REMARK THAT "That 350 watt power supply probably doesn't have enough amps on the 12v rails for that system. Chipset fans are normally are on 12v power" suggests that the chipset fan is NOT broke and I need to connect a 450W (or higher wattage) PS in and see what happens.

However if you are wrong, I will waste another 1 1/2 hour for nothing (including time to buy and return the 450W PS) on a site I have already put much too much time in for what I am being paid. Also the chassis fan is a MUCH BIGGER fan than the chipset fan and may have needed more amps to spin.

joinaunion,

Regarding
> Are you sure the fan is installed in the correct power supply?.....You also may see one called chipfan.

The chipset fan **IS** connected to the "chipfan" 3 pin connector on the mobo. PLUS whatever it is plugged into was not changed by anyone and it was spinning before (or there would have been a POST error and beeping) so that ALONE proves it was plugged into the right connector when I arrived.

Regards,
  Mike
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
Comment Utility
joinaunion,

Regarding
> I did a little research and FF means that the computer has booted to os with no problems i,m sure theres nothing to worry about..

You do NOT understand. Per EVGA support AND the mobo manual, the mobo LED codes are supposed to go thru a long sequence AND FINALLY END WITH "FF". If they start with "FF" and never leave "FF" (whch was the case when I arrived and had no video) THEN SOMETHING IS BROKE. With the new 350W PS, the long series of codes PRECEDING "FF" were now visable and the codes then stopped finally at "FF" and we had video and Windows started properly.

Mike
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by:joinaunion
Comment Utility
I understand I just assumed you had got the video to work and you were still worried about the ff code.
You are right it will go through post steps if there are any errors it will display them if there are none it will display FF and boot to OS.
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
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PCBONEZ,

The 430 W Power supply did not fix the chipset fan. EVGA is shipping me a replacement fan.

Mike
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