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After replacing CPU cooling unit ....I get no posting, no beeps, and no video

Posted on 2008-06-25
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
I acquired an older server and started to format it for a company that is in need of a basic file server.  I opened the machine to clean it and while doing a visual inspection I noticed that the CPU cooling fan had broken away from the retention bracket.  This machine, being a P4 socket 478, was hard to find a cooling unit that came with a mounting bracket.  I finally found a unit from @ Newegg (Vantec cck-7015).  To do the install you have to remove the motherboard so i had to unplug everything.  (Power, chassis components, raid hard drives, CD burner, memory, tape drive, etc).  After putting it all back exactly the way it was originally I am getting no video (onboard), no posting, and no beeping.  I also noticed the mirrored raid hard drives aren't spinning up unless i play with the cables.  However all fans, CD drives and tape drive are all getting power.  There is also a green light on the MOBO.  I've tried different memory modules and removing different items from the mix.  I cannot get any video signal so i see no post/bios.  I have even tried to stick an old AGP video card with no success.  What are my options from here?  Could I buy a duplicate motherboard and not start from scratch?  ANY HELP WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED.
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Question by:techitch
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by:Callandor
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Try booting the motherboard outside the case - it may be shorting on contact somewhere.  You should only have metal standoffs where there is a hole in the motherboard.  You also need to plug the cpu fan in the header marked CPU, and it should be a 3-wire type so that the motherboard detects that the fan is spinning.  You may be able to get the same motherboard, if it is available, but if you have no data on the hard drives, an equivalent motherboard with a socket 478 that recognizes your cpu should work.
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by:techitch
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I tried booting outside the case with no sucess.  All the standoffs are preasent and in the right places (the machine worked fine before the new fan/heatsink install) and the fan is plugged into the correct  header.  The fan operates with no problem.  The hard drives are formated with data and software that i would like to use.  Do you think the cooler could be shorting out the MOBO?  TY
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by:Callandor
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>I also noticed the mirrored raid hard drives aren't spinning up unless i play with the cables.

The fact that this is happening means you either have a bad connector, bad cable or bad hard drives.  Did this machine ever boot up?  Start with a minimal setup: motherboard, cpu, cpu cooler, one RAM module, and video card.  If it works, start adding components back until it stops.
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by:techitch
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Callandor, the machine worked fine before the replacement of the CPU cooler.  If a take a hard drive out of another machine (or take one of the RAID hard drives from this machine) and plug it into the normal hard drive IDE header the drive spins up but still no video signal.   I have tried a minimal configuration with no success.  I have tried multiple RAM modules.  The only variable from then to now is the CPU cooler.  Do you think I should remove the cooler and just try for a boot and shut down?  One thing i noticed is that the replacement retaining bracket is metal (on the back side of the MOBO).  Can it be that is the cause of the short?  Lastly the video card was not originally I introduced it to the equation when I wasnt getting a signal from "onboard" video.  I since removed it.    
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by:Callandor
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>Do you think I should remove the cooler and just try for a boot and shut down?

You should be able to use the original one with the broken bracket, but only to see if it boots - the cpu will get hot after 30 secs.

>Can it be that is the cause of the short?

Possibly, if it does not have any plastic or rubber insulation to prevent metal contact with the motherboard.

>Lastly the video card was not originally I introduced it to the equation when I wasnt getting a signal from "onboard" video.

That's another variable, because a nonworking video card (onboard or separate) can prevent bootup.  If it's onboard and not working, you are stuck, unless the motherboard has automatic detection on the video card.
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by:techitch
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I just tried removing the CPU cooling fan from the board......no success on video.  What i mean by playing with the IDE cables is that if I pull on the seated connection about half way out the drive spins up however still on video signal?????
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Callandor earned 250 total points
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This motherboard is fairly old, and if it saw a lot of use, it could have reached the end of its life.  I think you have done all you could to revive it and it's time to replace it.  Fortunately, it's not that expensive: http://www.gearxs.com/gearxs/product_info.php?products_id=8927  
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by:techitch
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Unfortunately that is what I thought :(
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