I own an Asus A7V8X motherboard, this particular model motherboard did not have SATA or IEEE1394, some models had it some didn't.
The motherboard can be viewed at this Asus link: http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_Socket_A/A7V8X
Now the motherboard has a socket A 462 Athlon XP 2400+ processor, 3 sticks of PNY 1GB PC3200 DDR memory in each of the 3 slots totaling 3 GB.
The Power supply is an PowerLink Model CWT-500ATX.
Ratings are as follows:
500 WATT Max.
Now I am one of those people who attaches a digital VOM meter up to the various PSU outputs with the system running and checks the DC voltage outputs of each rail.
Outputs were as follows:
AGP video cards use 12.0 rail and 1.5 volts.
The original video card I had was an PNY Nvidia GeForce 6200 256MB DRR video card.
System consisted of:
Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 32 Bit.
3 hard drives (Primary C: Windows 7, Secondary E: Back up hard drive for C: and F: Windows 8 Dev preview.)
5 Case cooling fans
1 Processor cooling fan
2 cooling fans inside the PSU
1 cooling fan on video card heat sink.
1 NetGear Gigabit GA311 PCI Network adapter
On board Network adapter disabled.
1 DVD Burner drive as a Slave on secondary IDE.
I ran into issues with the Nvidia video drivers timing out and windows stating the drivers stopped working and were recovered.
This is an error often found with both ATI and Nvidia video cards with both Windows Vista and windows 7.
During a bug check on driver nvlddmkm.sys, my system went into an infinite reboot, crashing each time the system tried to load windows.
More can be read here from Nvidia's web site regarding issues with ATI and Nvidia's drivers, however you'll notice this information was written back on April 19th 2008: http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=65161
My eventual out come was the video card had failed.
Now just as a point to mention, the Asus motherboards came with a built in voice synthesizer chip that speaks out the results of the system boot procedure.
A normal boot up would be the built in voice synthesizer stating the following: "system now performing power on self test" then if all goes well it will output "system now booting from operating system."
Instead of me getting this, the system is reporting "system failed VGA test" it then boots with no graphics on the screen.
I decided to try an old ATI Radeon 7000 64MB PCI card I had laying around in the PCI slot and the system booted successfully, with 800x600 resolution of course because this card is not supported by Windows 7 drivers.
Thinking a bricked Nvidia 6200 256MB AGP video card is the cause, I decided to purchase a brand new AGP video card from newegg.
I chose to purchase the EVGA brand Nvidia GeForce 6200 8X AGP however this time around, I chose the 512MB card over my previous 256MB card. Link to video card I bought: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130654
The card came in and after installing the new card into my motherboard and boot the system up, I get "System Failed VGA Test" and again no video!
I decided the slot its self must be bad. Now let me tell you, trying to get a AGP slot off of the motherboard along with all 124 pins still intacted is a complete nightmare! I worked for about 3 hours trying to get all 124 pins free of the board using a soldering iron with a built in suction bulb, and do a final bake of the motherboard in a special oven to soften the remaining solder. Keep in mind, motherboards are double sided and parts are soldered to the motherboard on both sides.
My attempt to remove the AGP slot with all 124 pins was a failure, all but 30 pins came off the circuit board along with the slot!
Getting those pins back into the slot correctly is impossible, it can't be done without the pin tops missing their mark in the tiny holes at the top of the slot as they are being pushed back in where they were.
The only solution is replacing it with a new AGP slot.
As I was checking my favorite parts web site DigiKey for a new 124 pin AGP slot check this link: http://search.digikey.com/us/en/products/5145263-2/A33651-ND/1121510, I decided to look on ebay for another Asus A7V8X motherboard and save myself the headache of soldering a new slot onto the motherboard, which can be a royal pain even with the right tools!
The one A7V8X motherboard I find for a decent price on ebay has the 333FSB sticker on it as well as the IEEE1394 ports and associated hardware for it came with it and two SATA ports are built into this board, both of which my current motherboard did not come with because it was an optional feature.
I order the motherboard and when it came in, I put the system together, exactly as my origional one was, expecting everything to work.
When the system booted, it too having the audio chip for post reporter, states "System failed VGA Test"
Okay faulty video card right?
To find out, I put in a PCI 64MB ATI Radeon 7000 video card and the system boots, just like the other motherboard did.
Assuming the EVGA 6200 is bad and because someone at the ASUS forum board states your PSU is your problem, I decided to put this video card into the only other motherboard I had that supports AGP cards.
It is an FIC VA-503+ AMD-K6 socket 7 motherboard, with 500MHz CPU and 512MB of memory and a flimsy 250 WATT power supply!
The video card worked! So now it is a conclusion that video card is not at fault here.
My PowerLink 500 WATT PSU is a lot more powerful than this 250 WATT one, so if it works in this old system with this PSU, it would certainly work with the 500 WATT one.
One of the things I looked into like I do with any hardware problem is the computers BIOS support, I booted the ebay computer with a PCI card and checked system information to see that the actual BIOS was what was printed on the BIOS chip sticker, both were the same, AWARD BIOS revision # 1010.
An attempt was made to boot from a floppy which held the same BIOS revision update I had flashed into my original A7V8X motherboard which was revision # 1015.003 BETA. The AFlash utility loaded, but failed to flash the BIOS chip. It failed several times saying can't open the file.
Okay, since the BIOS chips are in sockets, I decided to wedge the 1015.003 chip out of my original motherboard, wedge the 1010 chip out of this board and switch BIOS chips then boot the computer to see if it will POST with a different chip.
The results was that it did boot and upon checking system information in windows, it indicated that the BIOS revision was 1015.003 BETA. So the BIOS chip switch did work.
Now I figuring that the BIOS updates were for support for newer hardware, as this is stated on the Asus web site for each BIOS firmware release they published, I figured the updated chip would fix the VGA failed error problem, because it should support the newer 8X cards.
Sadly, upon re-installing the EVGA AGP card in the AGP slot and booting up the system, the POST reporter again states "System Failed VGA Test"
14 hours of researching the Asus A7V8X or A7V8X-X or A7V8X-LA motherboards on Google brings me to than endless array of dead-ends, after dead ends!
No one ever posted a decent solution or most threads went unanswered and came to a dead end.
Being that I am a repair tech, I often check slots for signs of burns or defective components, such as leaking capacitors or faulty solder connections, I wish that was the problem, but it isn't!
Now of course I do plan on returning the motherboard to the seller on ebay, because it must obviously have a defect in the VGA circuitry.
Mind you these particular A7V8X motherboards do not come with on-board video chips, some of the LA or X models did.
As for the original motherboard, I'll have to wait for another AGP slot to come in from DigiKey and hope for the best.
Well I shared my nightmare with the rest of you, just because I am a repair tech does not mean I am immune from computer headaches and disasters.
Just curious what the opinions are from the rest of you out there.
Have many of you experienced issues like this with Asus motherboards?
I want to finish this rant with stating that my origional A7V8X was a motherboard I bought new back in October of 2002, I only recently started using it in January of 2009 when I took it out its box for the first time and built a system out of it.
Until a week ago, it worked flawlessly.
Thanks for letting me rant and share my nightmare!
Thank goodness I have more then one computer to play with.
Edited by MrBruce1959, 17 October 2011 - 04:57 AM.