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Motherboard or Power Switch?


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#1 bigalexe

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 03:26 PM

I have a Dell E510 with the original mainboard, and case. The specs are in my signature.

I opened up the case today and removed a Wifi Card (PCI) and dusted my Video Card with a Q-Tip, I also wiped down the mainboard some with a paper towel lightly. I then replaced the Video card back into its slot and plugged the PC back in. Upon hitting the power button NOTHING happens, no lights, beeps, or anything. The power supply lights come on and I can hear it, also the GREEN LED on the mainboard does come on when the pc is plugged in.

I tried replacing the video card with the original (in the event I did something to the card while it was out), and it did not help. I also tried removing the mainboard battery for about 2 minutes and attempting to boot after placing it back in, this did not help. I also tried removing the I/O panel and manually hitting the power switch in the case that the mechanical linkage had weakened and failed.

I am afraid I nuked the mainboard with static because I used a paper towel. How would I go about testing whether it is the mainboard or power switch that is broken? It is a very humid Michigan day so I don't think there should be tons of static and at no point did I feel any static while wiping stuff down so I hope that isn't it.
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#2 AMD010

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 12:07 AM

So you said your power supply comes on when you hit the button, is that correct? If so, then it would not be a power button. also since you have the green LED turned on also tells me that power is getting to the motherboard

assuming that your original video card works, and you installed it correctly I would rule your video card out as the problem.

did you remove any other connectors from the motherboard? there is usually a ESP 4pin 12v connector that connects to your motherboard, the wires should be black and yellow. (you might get sounds and fans going, but your CPU will not power up)

You can test the motherboard power switch by taking a screwdriver and placing it across the two jumper pins to which or front panel power button connects to.

to test if your power supply is working using a paper clip - http://www.overclock.net/faqs/96712-how-ju...supply-psu.html

its hard to troubleshoot a motherboard failure. it usually requires swapping out good known working parts. you can try to take out or video card, memory, unplug the hard drive, turn your computer on and see if you can produce a beep code.

Remember, always use compressed air to clean out the your computer/computer components. touching them with a cloth or even a paper towel can cause static electricity. You dont even have to feel the static electricity for you to ruin a component, although it is unlikely but very possible.

Edited by AMD010, 03 May 2010 - 12:09 AM.

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#3 bigalexe

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 07:29 AM

UPDATE ON REPAIRS:
Today the computer worked very temporarily.

I started by disconnecting every cable from the mainboard and the PSU, pretty much dismantled the PC without removing screws. I removed all the PCI Cards also.0

I then reconnected the PSU to the mainboard and to a single main HDD which is HD(0), I installed an old video card I had that was the original in the PC which for simplicity we will call VideoCard A (ATI Card, fanless). So at this point during the morning my computer still would not boot. Then I decided I was too frustrated to try anything else, left the computer plugged in and off as far as I knew. Some hours later (like 4-5 hours elapsed) I noticed the LEDs in the front of the PC were on and guess what.. the case fan is running to! Understand please that at this point I did not connect a monitor, keyboard or mouse so I never saw the PC really boot up fully. I assumed it worked here because previously it was doing nothing and now it's doing something.

So after this magic incident I switched the computer on and off a few times (3-4) before leaving it in the off state. At that point I had to go to school, so I could not work on it until I returned home. Once I got home since the PC had been working earlier I switched it on and off using the power switch, then proceeded to break it again somehow. I managed to break it by reinstalling the old video card I will call VideoCard B (the one I dusted with the Q-Tip), I reconnected my second HDD, connected both my DVD Drives, and reinstalled the modem.

Now I have got everything back connected how it should be and the computer DOESN'T BOOT! At this point I get pissed and want my computer back, I figured that since I had a configuration where it was working I could live with the old video card, and no modem (who uses those anyway?) or DVD Drives. So I proceed to disconnect everything again and install that old VideoCard A. Now the computer still does not boot.

QUESTION STARTS HERE:
I was told that I may have shorted the fan circuity in my VideoCard B while dusting it. Thus attempting to boot the PC with it installed does not work because it is throwing an error on the fan RPM and the computer is protecting itself (makes sense to me). So could my computer be throwing an error code regarding fan RPM on the Video Card B, and it gets stored so that when I install the Video Card A the computer still does not boot?

Edited by bigalexe, 03 May 2010 - 10:48 PM.

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#4 bigalexe

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 01:52 PM

I tested the power supply today by shorting the pins in the 24-pin connector and it works fine. I think we have this nailed down to being a motherboard issue.
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#5 meuchel

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 01:06 PM

I tested the power supply today by shorting the pins in the 24-pin connector and it works fine. I think we have this nailed down to being a motherboard issue.


this will tell if the cicuitry is okay but it doesn't test if you are getting proper power to the board.
as far as the fan, the motherboard cannot tell if the fan for the video card is acting up as there is no controller for that unless you have some kind of cooler that plugs into the motherboard.
if it is giving a fan error you need to check that the cpu fan is plugged into the fan port labeled cpu.

i would try replacing the power supply first as that would be a cheeper solution but if you don't have a spare to test with you can usually get a local repair shop to throw one in for testing purposes.

#6 bigalexe

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 10:18 PM

next step i am going to attempt is running the cpu/case fan as a standalone unit to see if it runs. then I am going to hunt through the basement looking for a spare PSU I might have hanging, also I have yet to test the mainboard battery to see if it has proper voltage.

I am assuming the mainboard is being powered adequately because the LED on the mainboard itself is on.

At this point I have ruled out by testing, removing or swapping: RAM (SWAP), Video Card (TEST), CD/DVD (DISCONNECT), Hard Drives (DISCONNECT), and other PCI cards (REMOVED).
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#7 Sneakycyber

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 11:25 PM

Shorting the pins will tell you if the PSU is turning on you should test the voltage levels of the PSU too
The purpose of this procedure is to bypass the motherboard to test a ATX PSU. Some manufacturers Like Dell have used some non ATX PSUs which have a different pinout for the 20/4 pin connector, please confirm that your PSU is a ATX type before using this procedure.

Caution:
This procedure will involve working with live 12VDC electrical potentials which if handled improperly may lead to electrical shock. Proper precautions should also be taken to prevent electrostatic discharges (ESDs) within the case of the computer. For safety purposes please follow the instructions step by step.

First, shutdown your computer. Then unplug the power cable going into your computer.

Once you have opened the case, touch the metal of the case to discharge any static electricity.

The connector of the PSU which connects to the motherboard is readily recognizable by the number of wires in the bundle. To disconnect it you will need to press on the plastic clip to disengage it and then pull the connector up and away from the motherboard. Please take notice of the location of the locking tab and the notch on the socket of the motherboard, this will only connect one way as it is keyed. This wire bundle will have a memory of the way it has been installed and will want to bend back that direction, you may have to play around with it to find a position that the connector will stay in the same position while you run the test.

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From the top left to right the pins are 13-24, the bottom from left to right are 1-12.


Please notice that there are PSUs with 24 pin and 20 pin connectors, the location of the green wire in the 24 pin connector is #16, and the green wire in the 20 pin connector is #14. If you look at the connector with socket side facing you and the clip on the top the number one pin will be on the bottom left corner. This makes the pin out for the 24 pin connector from left to right 13-24 on top, and 1-12 on the bottom. The pin out for the 20 pin connector from left to right is 11-20 on top , and 1-10 on the bottom. If you look at the connectors you notice that these are sockets that fit over the pins on the motherboard where the PSU cable attaches, this is where you will place the jumper. For a jumper you will need a piece of solid wire about the size of a paper clip (20-22 awg), preferably a wire with insulation. It will need to be large enough to fit firmly into the socket so that it will not need to be held in place while testing. You are at risk of electrical shock if you are holding the jumper when you power up the PSU. Insert one end of the jumper into the sockhttp://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/index.php?act=post&do=reply_post&f=7&t=314257et of the Green wire, and insert the other end into the socket of any Black wire.

Once the jumper is in place plug the cord back in. If the PSU is working properly the case fans, optical drives, hdds, and LEDs should power up and remain on. I would suggest that you not leave this connected any longer than is necessary for safety purposes.

To reconnect the 20/4 pin connector unplug the power cord, remove the jumper, and reconnect the connector. Take a moment at this time to make sure that nothing has been dislodged inside the case.

You can compare the voltages to those found here

Edited by Sneakycyber, 05 May 2010 - 11:27 PM.

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#8 bigalexe

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 01:54 PM

Awesome information on using jumpers straight to the board. I was able to use that info to at least get power to the CD Drives and make sure they were empty, also I can confirm that the HDD's work to. The only thing I did not see was any LED's in the front of the case to light up, and also the case fan didn't move a millimeter or even twitch.

I did confirm that the case fan works though because I wired it straight to 6.5v from a pack of AA Batteries. The one thing I could not measure though is if the fan sensors are outputting signals so it is possible at this point that everything works and the fan just isn't telling the computer it is running, however if that were the case I would expect it to at least ATTEMPT to POST instead of doing the nothing that it is.

At this point I am going to contact the computer coroner to pronounce my Mainboard as DEAD, then it will be placed in a plastic coffin and taken for recycling where it will be made into something more useful than it is now.

Time for me to go i7

Thank you everyone that assisted me, I learned alot about bypassing stuff and how to test individual parts in ways I didn't know before.

Edited by bigalexe, 06 May 2010 - 02:09 PM.

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#9 AMD010

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 02:33 PM

I would suggest buying a power supply tester to make sure that the voltages are correct. besides its handy to keep around, and a for sure way to know if you psu works or not. (I think someone already mentioned that). you can even buy a volt meter for at an auto store or even wal-mart and test each pin to make sure the voltage is correct.

Also - although i dont think this is the problem, but you can check. you do have voltage set to 110 not 220? one time my son flipped this switch on the back of my computer.

another thing i have seen happen, It could be the motherboard is grounding to the case through one of the mounting screws. To check, remove the motherboard from the computer case and place it on a table. You can set it on something to ensure the table isn't scratched, such as the packing in which the motherboard came. Leave all of the first boot components (video card, RAM, and so on) installed and connect all the power and other cables just as you would if the motherboard were inside the case.
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#10 bigalexe

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 03:39 PM

If I am getting a 4.75-4.8v and 4.88v on 2 pins that should be 5v is that ok? All the other pins were 5+, 3+, or 12+ right where they should be. The lows were on pins 8 and 9. Pin 8 is Power_OK and Pin 9 is Standby Voltage.

I used a regular multimeter to measure the voltages, shorted pins 15-16 to turn the PSU on.
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#11 AMD010

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 03:44 PM

that should be ok. it wont always be exact. let me try to find the accepted +/- amount.
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#12 bigalexe

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 03:47 PM

Battery Voltage is 3.12v

According to what I read about the Stby Power it should not be preventing it from coming on with the power switch. It is apparently there to allow for things like Wake-Up on LAN and other non-switch methods. It seems like the button on the front should bypass that.
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#13 AMD010

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 03:50 PM

Battery Voltage is 3.12v

According to what I read about the Stby Power it should not be preventing it from coming on with the power switch. It is apparently there to allow for things like Wake-Up on LAN and other non-switch methods. It seems like the button on the front should bypass that.



correct it keeps a small trickle of charge to your CMOS memory. to keep your BIOS settings saved.
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#14 AMD010

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 03:54 PM

Voltage Rail Tolerance Minimum Voltage Maximum Voltage
+3.3VDC ± 5% +3.135 VDC +3.465 VDC
+5VDC ± 5% +4.750 VDC +5.250 VDC
+5VSB ± 5% +4.750 VDC +5.250 VDC
-5VDC (if used) ± 10% -4.500 VDC -5.500 VDC
+12VDC ± 5% +11.400 VDC +12.600 VDC
-12VDC ± 10% -10.800 VDC - 13.200 VDC

your +5v seems to be right in the tolerance range.

What where to values for pins 8 and 9?
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#15 AMD010

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 03:59 PM

here some more info


When you plug in an ATX supply—and the rocker switch on the supply, if there is one, is on—there will always be a nominal +5V at the 5VSB pin (pin 9) regardless of whether the computer is turned on or not. This standby voltage is used to power the push-button circuitry that actually turns on the machine. It is also used in conjunction with the PS_ON pin (pin 14) to allow software such as the operating system to control the power to the system. Normally, the PS_ON pin will be at a nominal +5V when the system is off. When you press the case switch to power on the system, the voltage at the PS_ON pin will drop to ground potential (0V), and the ATX supply will be powered on. A short time (a few hundred milliseconds) later, the power supply will send a Power OK signal to the motherboard via the POWER_OK pin (pin 8), and the system will start its boot procedure.

dirrect link http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-...11-1046820.html

Also
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_supply_unit_(computer)

Edited by AMD010, 06 May 2010 - 03:59 PM.

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