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No Power to IDE Devices


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#1 Unfortunato

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 03:00 PM

Hi all,

I'm looking for a bit of advice here. I picked up a case (already had IDE DVD-RW drive installed) and motherboard free, and had a processor and some RAM to fit the board, so thought I'd put it all together. So I connected up an IDE hard drive (which I know works in another machine) and started the machine up. The LED light at the front comes on, and the CPU fan rotates, so power is coming into the machine. However, no light comes on at the front of the DVD drive, and the hard drive cannot be heard spinning up. Strangely, if I disconnect the ribbon cable from either of these IDE devices, and leave only the 4-pin power cable plugged on, power is getting to them - the hard drive can be heard spinning up, and the DVD drive will open/close. I've tried 2 or 3 different ribbon cables, and also tried only having one of the devices connected instead of the two of them at once, but I still get the same result. It's as if the ribbon cables, when connected, are somehow stopping power getting to the drives.

Another thing I'm getting is that no display of any type is appearing on the monitor, no BIOS screen, nothing! The monitor and VGA cable is working fine on another machine, so I know it's not that...

Any ideas?!

Edited by Unfortunato, 01 February 2011 - 03:01 PM.


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#2 Crizz44

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 07:48 PM

Are you sure all of the front panel led connectors are in the proper positions?

#3 Unfortunato

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 07:10 AM

Are you sure all of the front panel led connectors are in the proper positions?

Hi Crizz44, thanks for replying. :thumbup2:

I didn't actually fit the led connectors from the front panel to the motherboard, they had already been fitted - I'm right in thinking you mean the wires with the small, slim black connectors at the end, yes? Do they fit in pretty much a universal configuration, or would it depend on the specific motherboard?

#4 dc3

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 11:50 AM

The headers for the front panel connections will vary by the manufacturer. Usually the header pins will be labeled, but my experience with these is that they can be difficult to read. The best solution would be to down load the manual to see the header pinout.


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How do you have these two IDE devices connected, both on the same data cable?

How do you have the jumpers set?

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#5 Eyesee

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 02:13 PM

I agree with DC3.
Sounds to me like they are both on the same IDE channel and are jumpered incorrectly.

If they are on the same IDE channel see if it works by putting the hard drive on the primary & the cdrom on the secondary. Jumper them both as master

Edited by Eyesee, 02 February 2011 - 02:20 PM.

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#6 Crizz44

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 02:30 PM

It is difficult to know how the led connectors should be configured. And it could also be the jumper settings on the drives, even if you tried one at a time you would need to change the jumper on the hard drive alone or if its connected with a second device. You said the motherboard was new, do you know who hooked up the led connectors? Even if you have the IDE jumpers incorrect you should still get a bios screen. Have you tried testing the cmos battery for a charge?
Unfortunately you can't install the spec program, but can you give us the motherboard manufacturer and the model number? It should be on the board in good size lettering. Do you know if the person you received the tower and board from ever had it running?

#7 Unfortunato

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 07:14 PM

Tried a new cmos battery and pretty much every other suggestion... no initial beep from motherboard speaker on start-up, so I'm guessing the motherboard is goosed!

#8 Crizz44

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 08:08 PM

Are you using an onboard video? Is it possible to try another video card on the board?

#9 MrBruce1959

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 08:31 PM

unfortunato you said you got this motherboard for free, so am I to understand this motherboard is a used motherboard?

Can the previous owner verify if this motherboard worked prior to them giving it to you?

All motherboards have a BIOS chip that have a boot-able firmware burned into them, this section of the chip can boot a computer independent of the rest of the system.

Since your computer is NOT initiating a POST of any kind, the area you need to be looking at is the power connector coming from the PSU to the motherboard.

I would take it your computer is an ATX type motherboard, so your power connectors would be a 20 or 24 pin power connector and a 4 wire (note: some systems now come with an 8 pin) 12 Volt ATX power connector.

Make sure both are connected to the motherboard.

There seems to be some power connection happing here if your system is powering up the drives, the question we need to answer here is why the BIOS is not initiating a POST.

Try booting the system minus the cables which go to your drives, the system should boot to the BIOS screen, where it will eventually attempt to search for a boot-able device to pass on the bootstrap to. If there is NO POST of any kind, research the PSU to motherboard power connections.

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#10 Unfortunato

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 04:44 PM

Crizz44: Yeah, I had thought of that and plugged in an old Radeon video card that I had... no luck though, unfortunately!

Bruce: I had even tried another PSU - and yeah, the connections you mentioned were definitely connected properly to the board. Unfortunately, I'd also tried booting with every drive completely disconnected with no luck! I can't find out if the board was working before, as no longer have contact details for the person who was giving the board away.

#11 MrBruce1959

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 04:10 AM

There is very much a possibility the BIOS chip is toasted, perhaps it was a victim of a bad BIOS chip flash, which would give the same result you are getting with this motherboard.

The BIOS chip on motherboards have the ability to start up the system board as long as the chip or its firmware have not been corrupted.

This may very well be the case here, but since you wasn't charged for this motherboard, I would take it the person may have known it didn't work.

The only possibility you would have here is replacing the BIOS chip, however I want to caution you that there may have been more damage done to this board then the BIOS chip being wiped out.

The motherboard may have been subjected to a power spike or maybe even possible damage caused by lightening.

Unless you know a lot about electronics and how to go through and trace electronic circuits, there isn't much you can do.
Besides, it is really more of a challenge then you may realize, everything is surface mount technology and chips are very hard to replace and do a proper re-flow of the circuit board.

There is just no way to solder the pins on the north-bridge or south-bridge chips, they have to be re-flowed by placing the board in temperature controlled ovens and heated to over 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

That's more work than its worth and it's better to buy a new motherboard instead.

Bruce.
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