Gigabyte GA-8TRS350MT Won't Always POST

Above machine powers on, fans run etc. Most times, no start-up beep, no video. When I power it off and on a few times. then POST proceeds, and machine boots to Win XP which then fires up and runs fine. Sometimes machine shuts down in the middle of POST. Accessed BIOS and reset to fail-safe values, F10 to save and machine just shuts off. instead of reboot. No POST again for awhile. I have swapped out the memory with other known good memory, tried a known good PSU, successfully updated BIOS from level F6 to F8, disconnected all drives, PCI cards etc Same problem. Also, machine just shuts down after selecting RESTART in XP, or clicking restart now after a software/driver install. The reset button usually will cause a slightly delayed shut down and I only get a successful POST after numerous resets or power offs. Machine has on-board video and if I install an AGP card instead same issues. I thinking just a bad MOBO or
some kind of power management glitch. Suggestions would be appreciated.
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This is very typical of bad caps. Check the electrolytic capacitors on the mainboard, particularly those close to the CPU, for signs of bulging, cracking or leakage.

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elexigenteAuthor Commented:
All caps on the board appear to be OK, tops shiny, no leaking, bulging or cracking noted anywhere including around the CPU. On one occasion, when I was able to get it to POST  video became
garbled and erratic and when BIOS screen came up, no response from the keyboard, essentially
frozen up.
The problem with bad caps is that problems aren't always visible, or they show up only aftera prolonged time. I have a mainboard that had a similar issue. I changed the caps, and now it's working well again. At first when the issue started, I couldn't see any visible problems with the caps. But after I changed them and the old ones were out of the board, some more or less fell apart (the bottom of the caps was bad, so I couldn't see anything while they were on the board).
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elexigenteAuthor Commented:
OK....I will take a closer look at the entire board when I have taken it out of the machine. A look at the solder
side wouldn't hurt either. There are quite a few capacitors on the does not list
a pre-made cap pack for this model,but custom is available so apparently it's not a common offender. While I am adept at soldering, I'm not too sure all that work is worth it. Barring any alternative solution
then, and after I re-examine the board I will get back to you with what's what.

Here my troubleshooting procedure :
with a new motherboard : verify if all mounting standoffs correspond with the holes in the mobo !!
Or test the mobo ouside the case, on a wooden  (non conductive) surface
clean the system from dust, then  test with the minimum setup - disconnect also all peripherals and network cables :
connect only  motherboard + cpu + 1 ram stick, video card, power supply
verify that the 4-pin or 8-pin CPU Aux power plug is connected
on boot, do you have a display?
if NO it is one of the connected, swap ram, Power supply, video card or monitor - leaving only motherboard and cpu
if Yes, add devices till the problem shows

you can also check the motherboard for bad capacitors as shown here :

additional tests and things to try :
boot without ram, it should beep; (also, without video card)
try bios default settings,(if possible) or clear the bios by removing AC and bios battery
Gigabyte has a bad habit of changing what caps are used in the middle of production runs.
If you have the green Sanyo, those are okay.
The Black w/white markings  Nichicon HM(M) or HM [same thing] were defective from 2001-2004.
The Black w/gold markings Nichicon HN(M) or HN [same thing] were also defective from 2001-2004.
- The Nichicons generally bloat when they fail.
Gigabyte also often uses Chemicon KZG (Brown w/white marking) which are known to fail without bloating.
If you see any other brands then ask...

I would also BACKUP, then run CHKDSK on your hard drive with disk surface checking enabled.
The drive may be on it's way out.

elexigenteAuthor Commented:
OK, thanks for all recent comments. Due to the holiday weekend, I have not gotten back to this machine as of
yet. Will procede to do so probably by tomorrow and will advise. I also should note that when this machine has been powered off overnight, or has been off for just a short while, then it runs POST right through, loads the
OS and runs just fine. Other times or on a restart, it powers off and then acts up!.
Electrolytic caps behave differently at different temperatures.
If you dig into the technical docs on them you will find all sorts of temperature curves for their various parameters.
Caps that have lost electrolyte will be overheating internally.
The bloating is caused by gases forming inside the cans which pressurizes them promoting leakage past the bung [rubber plug] or through hair-line cracks in the vent stamp.
The 'shape' stamped into the end is a designed in weak point called a vent. Caps are supposed to split at the vent vice popping the bung out the bottom. [Which would turn the can into a projectile.]
elexigenteAuthor Commented:
Problem solved.  I decided to take out the processor and have a look at the pins and socket. No problems were obvious. Processor is a 2.80GHz Prescott Pentium 4. I took a 2.66 Ghz Northwood
from out of a working P4S8X and installed into the Gigabyte board. Viola!  All prior
symptoms I described here completely disappeared.POST's everytime now, restarts properly, no spurious shutdowns or any other erratic behaviors. least in this case, bad caps not the cause.
Whether or not the Prescott CPU has a problem of some kind, don't know right now as I don't presently have a mobo compatible with this CPU.
So..thanks for all the responses in any event and I guess I will accept my own solution.
So you say switching from a 89 watt CPU to a 66 watt CPU wouldn't affect the work load on the caps then?
If you say so........
Also consistent with an iffy PSU.
elexigenteAuthor Commented:
Did I say that? I don't think so. I said the problems I had disappeared and that's all! .... and I though here on this forum a civil comment from a professional would
be in order, not something sarcastic like "If you think so..."
Since the problem "seems" to have vanished, and in deference to all the others who politely
posted suggestions,l will accept multiple solutions. And... I did also state above a known good, PSU was installed and problem persisted,.
Case closed!
elexigenteAuthor Commented:
No comment
>> I had disappeared and that's all! <<
That was my point.
The -problem- may not have 'disappeared' at all.
You changed the loading condition which can easily make make the 'symptoms' less pronounced.
- If that's the case all you've done is bought sime time before a complete failure. [Dead mobo.]

You need to either:
Try a different Prescott in that board...
Or try that Prescott in a different board...
- Short of doing that to confirm you conclusion you haven't proved the CPU was the problem.

elexigenteAuthor Commented:
To PCBONEZ.....well firstly, I apologize for over-reacting to your comment. I have been accused at times of beiing thin-skinned!  I think you are correct though, if there is an offending capacitor(s) then
with the lower power draw it now seems to be behaving itself.I don't doubt that this is most likely the culprit.  By now though, it's a moot point as I've returned the computer to the friend who gave it to me for a look-see. He's happy it seems to be working OK for now. We agreed that if this problem resurrects itself again, then he's going  to either get a new computer or we'll put aniother mobo in the case he has now. Whiile I can handle replacing all those capacitors, too much like work for an older mobo like that. Thank-you again and to the others for the
suggestions/comments etc. I'm sure I'll be back soon again with anothjer issue on a different machine. With each repair job, there always sems to be a new learning experfience. You by the way, have a very impressive set of credentials and experience.
Gardening is also one of my bags too!
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