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Possible dead motherboard?


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14 replies to this topic

#1 TinyTom

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 09:23 AM

Okay so my gaming rig's fans would occasionally boost up to max speed for less then 5 seconds and calm back down when playing certain games. This gradually became more frequent so I presumed it needed a can of air and new thermal paste applied.

 

I ordered the stuff needed and within a day the issue got worse. The pc seemed unusually sluggish and the fans were boosting to max just simply turning the pc on and sitting at the desktop screen. I had been checking the temperatures throughout the problem and all was reading normal.  I decided to leave the pc off until the stuff arrived.

 

A week later I used the can to remove dust, cleaned off the old thermal paste and applied the new, using all precautions.

 

I went to boot the pc up, the fans started but there was no display on the screen and no power to the usb ports. After about 20s the fans started going at max again and the pc would switch off. I heard the issue could be a faulty psu so I hooked the different one up and still the same issue.

 

I then removed all ram sticks (4) and the computer beeped. After messing around I concluded that all ram sticks were fine there was just one ram slot not working preventing the pc booting up. I tried again this time with the one empty ram socket and it managed to connect to the monitor and get power to the usb ports. My celebration was short lived when the bios screen flashed off quick to reveal a black screen with a white flashing underscore in the top left corner.

 

I tried a number of times to access the bios options but the pc just ignores my attempts. I also tried booting with windows 7 disc that came with the pc, still nothing. As soon as pc turns on the fans will go in hurricane mode. 

 

I also tried removing the coin battery for a few mins and using the jumper pins.

 

I'm no expert at this stuff (quite the opposite actually) but I was under the impression it could either be a faulty processor or the motherboard has partially died. I'm not sure about the motherboard because once the ram from the faulty socket was removed it was able to beep again.

 

I've had the pc for about 2 years, only issue I have had with it is it would occasionally blue screen and restart itself. This would happen 3-4 times a week. Funny enough time leading up to this new problem I had no blue screen crashes.

 

Specs I can remember off the top of my head;

Pc is an alienware aurora r4

x2 Nvidia GTX 690 graphics cards (might be slightly earlier model)

Intel i7-3820

Windows 7

 

Sorry for the lengthy post but I didn't want to leave crucial details out.

Hope someone can help! :)


Edited by hamluis, 11 July 2014 - 10:58 AM.
Moved from Win 7 to Internal Hardware - Hamluis.


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#2 zingo156

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 09:43 AM

Try 1 stick of ram in 1 slot at a time. Move it to the next until you have tried that stick in all 4 slots by itself. If you have issues with the stick in 1 particular slot (a no post for example) the slot may be bad. It is also possible you have a bad stick of ram instead of the slot being bad, in this case the ram will cause a no post in all slots or it should...

 

You may have a memory controller issue in which case if you have 4 slots, 2 may not work. With intel it should be 2 slots next to eachother channel 1 might be slot 0,1 and channel 2 might be 2,3. Trying with 1 stick at a time in all 4 slots is the best way to test everything.

 

If you never get a stable system with just 1 stick of ram in 1 slot (trying all sticks by themselves) try removing all non essential hardware to get into bios.

 

Leave only the power supply, cpu, cpu cooler, 1 stick of ram in 1 slot, and use onboard video if you have it (remove your video cards). Connect a monitor and a keyboard and power on.

 

Any single piece of hardware including hard drives, disc drives, wireless cards etc can cause this problem.

 

While you have the computer case open inspect the mainboard for blow or bulging capacitors example: https://www.google.com/search?q=blown+bulging+capacitors+motherboard&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=8ve_U5O2CIWeyATnzYHwAQ&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ&biw=1272&bih=766


Edited by zingo156, 11 July 2014 - 09:43 AM.

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#3 TinyTom

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 09:59 AM

Try 1 stick of ram in 1 slot at a time. Move it to the next until you have tried that stick in all 4 slots by itself. If you have issues with the stick in 1 particular slot (a no post for example) the slot may be bad. It is also possible you have a bad stick of ram instead of the slot being bad, in this case the ram will cause a no post in all slots or it should...

 

You may have a memory controller issue in which case if you have 4 slots, 2 may not work. With intel it should be 2 slots next to eachother channel 1 might be slot 0,1 and channel 2 might be 2,3. Trying with 1 stick at a time in all 4 slots is the best way to test everything.

 

If you never get a stable system with just 1 stick of ram in 1 slot (trying all sticks by themselves) try removing all non essential hardware to get into bios.

 

Leave only the power supply, cpu, cpu cooler, 1 stick of ram in 1 slot, and use onboard video if you have it (remove your video cards). Connect a monitor and a keyboard and power on.

 

Any single piece of hardware including hard drives, disc drives, wireless cards etc can cause this problem.

 

While you have the computer case open inspect the mainboard for blow or bulging capacitors example: https://www.google.com/search?q=blown+bulging+capacitors+motherboard&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=8ve_U5O2CIWeyATnzYHwAQ&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ&biw=1272&bih=766

Hi Zingo thank you for your speedy reply, I will try what you have suggested post back here.



#4 TinyTom

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 11:27 AM

A quick thanks is definitely in order, I managed to get back into my desktop. I did what you suggested with the ram sticks, turns out there is actually 2 ram sockets not working (1 on each side, both the left ones). All the ram sticks were tested in working sockets, they were fine. After leaving the dead sockets empty I managed to get in.

 

When I was looking at the capacitors there was no signs of leakage or residue on them but some did look bulgy I wasn't 100%, did take take some pics of the motherboard.

 

Also when pc loaded it was still quite sluggish, downloaded a program that gave me a true temp reading, motherboard and cpu temps were over 70, so no wonder the fan is going crazy. I also got a error message from my thermal controller.

 

What would you recommend I do from here?


Edited by TinyTom, 11 July 2014 - 11:29 AM.


#5 zingo156

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 11:49 AM

Watch the temperature from the bios if the bios reports it. Software, virus's and other things can use the cpu at 100% which would cause heat to be high. If the heat is high in the bios I would recommend removing your cpu heat sync, re-applying thermal paste and testing the temps again. You can do a youtube search on how to re-paste a cpu heat sync. 

 

If 2 ram slots are bad and cause a no post with a stick installed, and they are both next to eachother, it could be the cpu ram controller (built into the cpu) causing a problem or it could be the mainboard.

 

If the cpu was running hot, it may cause damage but it should shut off before it reaches the max safe temp. If you can post the pictures I can help determine if you have bulging capacitors, these can cause many issues.


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#6 TinyTom

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 11:59 AM

http://i947.photobucket.com/albums/ad316/CrinAnnex/20140711_162656.jpg

http://i947.photobucket.com/albums/ad316/CrinAnnex/20140711_163328.jpg

http://i947.photobucket.com/albums/ad316/CrinAnnex/20140711_162746.jpg

http://i947.photobucket.com/albums/ad316/CrinAnnex/20140711_163344.jpg

 

There we go, in regards to the ram slots, the two bad are not next to each other.

 

They go:  good, bad, good, bad


Edited by TinyTom, 11 July 2014 - 12:02 PM.


#7 zingo156

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 12:05 PM

Those are solid state caps which I have never seen bulge or blow before. I am sure they do fail but it seems they show no signs of failure when they do go. I see no problems with any of those caps.


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#8 TinyTom

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 12:08 PM

Those are solid state caps which I have never seen bulge or blow before. I am sure they do fail but it seems they show no signs of failure when they do go. I see no problems with any of those caps.

Well I'm going to do the bios temp monitor like you suggested. I don't think I have a virus. Other then that I'm running out of ideas. I already put fresh thermal paste on the cpu this morning. 



#9 killerx525

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 12:18 PM

Is there still warranty on the system? Dell may be nice enough to send out a replacement motherboard but worst case scenario is buying a different motherboard. 


>Michael 
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#10 zingo156

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 12:38 PM

Warranty is a good thing to look into. In this particular case it could be the cpu or mainboard since the ram controller is built into the cpu. If it is out of warranty, if you have a spare board or cpu that is compatible you could test with those. If you do not have a spare cpu or mainboard, you could replace the cheepest part first or take it to a local pc repair shop that is qualified to test it.

 

In my experience mainboards fail much more often than cpu's.


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#11 TinyTom

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 02:47 PM

Sadly I'm no longer under warranty, and I don't have spare parts to test.

 

I was getting idle temps on my cpu of 76 and motherboard 77. Found something on the internet about alienware cooling system clogging up the vents with cheap fluid they used. Cleaned it out and now my idle temps are down a bit to cpu-57 and motherboard-61 still high, but a noticeable difference. I was thinking of getting a new heatsink and fan and buying ram sticks with more memory to sit in the two ports that work.

 

At the moment a new motherboard is a bit out my price range, so maybe doing this will be a good temp solution?



#12 zingo156

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 02:56 PM

I have never been a fan of water cooling, I have seen many issues with systems even when they are fully enclosed. Good catch on the possible plug. With liquid cooling 76 is way hot. You could replace the cooler and run larger sticks of ram in the remaining working slots. As for reliability, that is a good question.


Edited by zingo156, 11 July 2014 - 02:56 PM.

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#13 TinyTom

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 03:01 PM

I think I will try that for the time being. Who knows I might end up back here again haha. Anyway thank you Zingo, you have been very helpful :)



#14 zingo156

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 03:19 PM

Glad to help, happy computing.


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#15 wiredog

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 04:38 PM

While I would do as you are rather than buy a new board, But I'd also contact Alein ware and as if they can help you ? replace the board or discount a replacement.

I have had pretty good luck with various companies taking a I like your product and I can't belive this has happened approach, while subtily hinting something happened that should not have ( a defect)

be polite and non accusitory but firm. you have nothing to lose.  and don't be afraid of making a suggestion if they say it's out of warranty we don't have any, can't repiar it... say could you please subsitute wait for their response if the s=answer is no say could you give me a discount ...maybe you you have some repaired RMAed boards .... negoiate .

 

 

wiredog

do you know what a wire dog is ?

hint: a military term






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