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Motherboard GA-Z68P DS3 Motherboard or CPU damage?

Posted on 2014-11-02
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Last Modified: 2014-11-03
Hi Guys,

We have a Gigabyte GA-Z68P DS3 motherboard on a VMWare server.
The server's been running for a couple of months, but today we had a power surge.

The computer gives one beep, about 5 seconds later switches off, then restarts.

Unplugging all the cards, including the screen adapter does not produce any more beeps, same result.
I've tried a different PSU and still the same.
I swopped the RAM modules (test one by one) still the same.
Unplugged the HDD still the same.

Is this most likely CPU or motherboard damage?
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Question by:Rupert Eghardt
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by:dbrunton
ID: 40418563
With no RAM modules what happens on boot?

If no beeps it is still either the motherboard or the CPU.  You could try resetting the BIOS, usually by jumper switch on the motherboard, but I suspect that won't do much.

If it does beep then I'd test the RAM in another machine.

At this stage you'd have to take the CPU across to another machine to test but might be better to plan on replacing both board and CPU.
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by:Rupert Eghardt
ID: 40418598
Without RAM modules ongoing beeps.

Putting RAM back, one beep, auto switch off and reboot.
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dbrunton earned 250 total points
ID: 40418625
Right so the board knows that there's missing memory.

This what those beeps should be 1 long, 1 short: Memory or motherboard error

From the manual

Q: What do the beeps emitted during the POST mean?
A:  The following Award BIOS beep code descriptions may help you identify possible computer problems.
  (For reference only.)
  1 short: System boots successfully
  2 short: CMOS setting error
  1 long, 1 short: Memory or motherboard error
  1 long, 2 short: Monitor or graphics card error
  1 long, 3 short: Keyboard error
  1 long, 9 short: BIOS ROM error
  Continuous long beeps: Graphics card not inserted properly
  Continuous short beeps: Power error

---------------------------

You're getting one beep which seems to indicate it is booting.

I'd suspect the CPU more than the motherboard but I wouldn't wager money on it.  You say the system is only a couple of months old?  Then use the warranty.
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by:garycase
garycase earned 250 total points
ID: 40418641
Difficult to say for sure, but the fact that it's responding at all indicates the CPU is running (and generating the beeps).     There's no easy way (short of test equipment that costs far more than a new system) to isolate this without simply trying both alternatives.    You could pick up a Socket 1155 Celeron for ~ $45, or a used Celeron or Pentium on e-bay for ~ $30 to simply try another CPU.    That's easier than getting a replacement motherboard, since it's a discontinued board that's likely difficult to find.

By the way, r.e. your comment "... The server's been running for a couple of months, but today we had a power surge."  ==>  EVERY computer -- and ESPECIALLY a server -- should have a UPS, which would completely eliminate this type of problem.    The #1 cause of hardware failure in computers is power surges and sudden loss of power without a graceful shutdown.   A good UPS completely eliminates these events.
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Author Comment

by:Rupert Eghardt
ID: 40418870
Hi Garycase,

This computer runs off an APC UPS and also has surge protection from the mains.
The damage did however occur just after power was restored, subsequent to Eskom (our local power supply company) experienced a collapsed silo.
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by:nobus
ID: 40418884
i suspect the mobo is bad; in such cases, it is 95% mobo, and 5% cpu
you can always test the different parts on other PC's - if you want to continue testing
look also for visible damage on mobo - and test the PS also on another PC
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by:garycase
ID: 40419181
Agree that it's almost certainly the motherboard -- as I noted above the simple fact you're getting the beeps indicates the CPU is indeed running (and generating those beeps).

Since this occurred even in the face of a good UPS, you should also replace the UPS.   Once they've suffered an event that they can't handle, their surge protection components are no longer reliable.
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Author Comment

by:Rupert Eghardt
ID: 40420077
Thanks Guys,

The supplier replaced the motherboard for us, was fortunately still under warrantee.
The server is operational :-)
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