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how can I test a motherboard "outside" of the case?

Posted on 2010-09-21
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Hi Everyone;

           I am interested in testing the following motherboard "outside" of the case: MSI KM4M Motherboard: Model MS-6734 Ver 1.  If I am not mistaken, a jumper can be used to "jump start" the motherboard if it is place on an off quickly for the pair of pens corresponding to where the power connector goes.  However, I am unsure on that part.  

          The reason I am bringing this up is because the new motherboard I recently purchased does not seem to work either despite of the replacement of the power supply.  It has been suggested from a previous post to test the motherboard "outside" of the case just in case the back plate might be shortening it out.

            Any shared input or suggestions will certainly be appreciated and welcomed.  If more information is needed or should there be any questions regarding what I am wanting to do, please feel free to let me know.  And, thanks once again for any attention given to this question.

           George
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Question by:GMartin
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Chris Staunton earned 250 total points
ID: 33727585
plop your new motherboard down on a non conductive surface and plug in the power supply to it, usually there is some foam that comes with motherboards, I suggest using that.  With a screw driver you can "Jump Start" your motherboard by touching the two pins for the power switch together and releasing.

Shooter
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by:GMartin
ID: 33729631
HI

         Could you elaborate upon touching the two pins for the power switch together and releasing them?  If I am not mistaken, I understand your suggestion to mean touching the two pins for the power switch with the head of the screw driver and releasing the head of the screw driver.  Is that a correct interpretation?  And, could the same be done also with just a pair of neadle noise pliers and a jumper?  I like the screw driver suggestion because it sounds much simpler if I am understanding the logistics or procedures correctly.

              Any further clarification upon your suggestion will be appreciated.  Sorry for this followup question, but,  I just want to make sure I am clear on everything.

               Thank you.

                George

           
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_ earned 100 total points
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>> touching the two pins for the power switch with the head of the screw driver and releasing the head of the screw driver

Correct. To turn ON the motherboard, it needs to be shorted just 1 second.
A jumper will work (as long as it fits over both pins), but 1 second is all you need. DO NOT leave it on the pins.
You can do either of them for 4-5 seconds to turn the system back OFF, if needed.

You will need the cpu, one stick of ram and video, for the motherboard to boot to the bios.
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by:nobus
ID: 33732113
personally, i took the momentary switch from an old pc, and just hook that to the mobo start pins - much easier.
what i also do is just put all devices around the system, as you can see on my "test" system.
note the switch ASSy in the blue circle
PICT00051-800.jpg
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by:Callandor
ID: 33737335
That's not quite "outside the case" - it's still screwed on to offsets on the motherboard tray, which can short it out.  The point of testing a motherboard outside the case is to eliminate the possibility that something conductive was touching the motherboard and shorting a circuit.  My preference is to use the cardboard box that the motherboard came in.
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by:Chris Staunton
Chris Staunton earned 250 total points
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Yes touching the two pins with the screwdriver and removing it will start the system, you'll see the CPU fan start up or hear the power supply come to life.  At this point remove the screwdriver and boot the system, you do need to make sure you have your power supply, CPU, Ram, Video and Hard Disc/CD/DVD drive connected at this point, you can basically have your machine outside the box and install the OS this way if you choose.

Shooter
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by:nobus
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Callandor - i did not say that was an outside of the case - it's my test system, and the picture is used to show the switch connection !
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by:GMartin
ID: 33741659
Hi Everyone;

          Very good points and tips are being brought to life here.  Many thanks because I am learning so much so far from this post.  Just one more thing which I feel merits some attention while we are on the topic of testing a motherboard.  I have a PCI Analyzer Card which is used for diagnoistic purposes of isolating or identifying problems with a motherboard.  Basically, as I understand how this card works, it is inserted into the PCI slot and the computer is started up.  The card itself has an LCD display on it which will reveal a "code" if a problem is found with the motherboard.  This "code" is then referenced within a technical manual which came with this card which describes the actual defective component or part of the motherboard.  

              Without getting into too much more detail about this card because I am sure everyone gets the picture, what is everyone's thoughts about the use of PCI diagnoistic cards for motherboards?   Are they fruitful avenues of diagnoising motherboard issues?

              Any followup to this portion of this thread will be appreciated.

              Thank you.

               George
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by:nobus
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if the mobo still boots  - it is ok for most problems.
but if it does not do anything, you have to use other techniques : swapping, or disconnexcting parts and devices.
Personally, i do not use those cards
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by:Callandor
ID: 33749948
>Callandor - i did not say that was an outside of the case - it's my test system, and the picture is used to show the switch connection !

You are correct, nobus, I thought you were addressing the question in the title but it helps to clarify what the purpose of the picture is for - that circle drawn in could be seen as a stray wire.
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by:Callandor
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>Without getting into too much more detail about this card because I am  sure everyone gets the picture, what is everyone's thoughts about the  use of PCI diagnoistic cards for motherboards?

There was a thread on how to best test a motherboard, towards the bottom of the discussion: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Components/Motherboards/Q_26390705.html
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by:GMartin
ID: 33759237
Hi Everyone;

           I am in the process of sorting out information presented within the last link given within this thread.  After reviewing it, I have found several ideas or suggestions which are fruitful avenues for troubleshooting motherboard issues.  One in particular I find intriguing is POST cards.  Perhaps I overlooked this part, what how are POST cards used?  Are they simply inserted into a PCI card and the pc powered on?  And, secondly, what type of diagnoistic information is revealed by these card?  As I understand the information from the the EE thread, POST cards have the limitation of not being able to distinguish between a bad CPU and a bad motherboard.   I guess if there is a limitation of POST cards, that would probably be the major one.  

            At any rate, I will look forward to reading any input offered on POST cards in diagnoising PC motherboard issues.  This certainly seems like a good avenue for further exploration and understanding.  

           Thank you.

           George
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by:nobus
ID: 33759662
>>  what how are POST cards used?  Are they simply inserted into a PCI card and the pc powered on?    <<  YES
and yes, they don't find all problems, but they do find many.
it can also be necessary to buy a new one with new technology coming out every 2-3 years..

here all info on them (look under products) :  http://www.uxd.com/
http://computer.yourdictionary.com/post-card
UK :  http://www.pctestpro.com/post/postcards.htm
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by:Callandor
Callandor earned 100 total points
ID: 33762062
POST cards are not all the same, and the more expensive professional ones are better.  However, they do require the ability to boot the hardware, which is not always possible, and distinguishing between a cpu fault and a motherboard fault is almost impossible (each needs a working opposite number to be testable).
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Author Closing Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 33762188
Hi Everyone;

         Thanks so much for the great feedback given to this question.  Personally, I found each response given insightful and thought provoking which kept this thread very much alive.  The suggestions given in addition to the resourceful links will certainly point me in the correct direction.  Now, I just need to make time to carry out the tips given.  

           Once again, many thanks everyone for taking the time to share your knowledge and expertise to this question.  As always, I did learn a great deal from this thread.

             George
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by:_
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Thank you much.    : )
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