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Graphics card port dead on mobo? Or something else?


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#1 cornflakes2

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 10:11 AM

I got a new SATA III HD today and I plugged it into my desktop computer using the available SATA cable and power cable.  Normally, the computer would just detect a new hdd, but when I booted up

my computer, there was the "check signal cable" message floating around my screen.  I checked the cables and plugs and everything was in perfectly.  Could the new SATA III drive have done something to my graphics cards or mobo?

 

I opened up the case to dust it out and reseat the graphics card etc, and I was able to get everything working again just fine and for a couple hours as I was checking the net, watching a few video files, checking my albums etc and backing data up....so everything was working fine on the MOBO. But I had to turn it off again and unplug everything to sort it all out after that was done (i had the case open and all the cables and wires out so I was just cleaning it all up and putting the case back on and arranging the cables to how I normally have it on my desk). Then when I booted up, the issue came back and there was once again no signal.

 

At first I thought it might be the DVI cable so I plugged the monitor in my 2nd computer (beside the 1st computer) and the monitor displayed everything fine so the monitor OR the monitor cables were not the issue.

 

The next thing I tested for was to see if the problem was my graphics card.  I took the graphics card out and put it into my 2nd computer and it worked fine.  So the graphics card was not the issue.

 

Then I took the original graphics card from my 2nd computer and decided to try and see if it would work on my main computer where the issue is happening.  Upon boot up, there was no signal cable detected.  Soooooooooo I believe this means that the issue is my motherboard?

 

Both graphics cards work on the 2nd computer. 

 

But I'm wondering, does this sound normal to you?  Is it possible for JUST the graphics card slot (PCI Express 2.0 slot) to go bad while everything else on the MOBO works fine as it was for me just earlier?  If a mobo goes bad, doesn't that mean everything on the mobo won't work like the cpu too?  My cpu works fine and everything else connected to the mobo but only issue is I can't see anything since the graphics card slot appears to be the issue.

 

My mobo is BIOSTAR AG880GU3

 

Now my dilemma is do i just buy a new computer or try and replace the mobo? 



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#2 ranchhand_

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 10:31 AM

Take your graphics card out again, and gently rub the contacts with a paper towel to make them clean and shiny. Blow out the PCie slot (your breath is fine) just to make sure no dust go down in there, and reseat the card. See if it powers up the video again. I know you did this initially, but it may just be a dodgy connection. If you have integrated video on the mobo, remove the card and see if you get video then. That will tell you a lot. Post back and let us know the results.

I like to do the easy and simple things first before starting to replace things.

In answer to your question, replacing the mainboard is a far cheaper way to go IF the mobo is your problem, and it's not a difficult thing to do actually. In addition, you will learn a ton of things about your computer that can help you in the future.


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#3 cornflakes2

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 10:37 AM

Thanks, I'll try that again right now.  Your advice sounds very reasonable.

Strange thing happened just a few minutes ago.  Whenever I open up the case and slide the tray out and let everything out and then turn it on, it was working again just fine....but i can't leave my computer and wires all open and laid out so i was trying neatly

and gently to tuck everything back in the case and then when I slid the tray back in all the way, i saw the screen go blank again with the "check signal cable".  Could it be something is getting jammed whenever I put everything in?

 

I'll try the cleaning the card again right now.



#4 cornflakes2

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 10:43 AM

oh i dont know if i have integrated video on my mobo....how can i tell?



#5 cornflakes2

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 10:47 AM

oh i dont think i have integrated video because the plug from the outside does not plug to anything on the mobo on the inside...its just a plug and empty.



#6 zingo156

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 11:02 AM

When you have the computer apart, check for blown or bulging capacitors on the mainboard and video card examples: https://www.google.com/search?q=blown+or+bulging+capacitors&biw=1262&bih=743&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=zqd0VO_IGcyoyATPsYK4Cg&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ.

 

Re-seat your ram/other components etc a few times to clean contacts.


Edited by zingo156, 25 November 2014 - 11:02 AM.

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#7 cornflakes2

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 11:04 AM

It's really weird, it's like playing games with me.  Right now everything working fine because I removed the case, the power supply is no longer seated inside but just sitting outside on top of the metal frame, the mobo tray is out half way and all the wires just hanging out and it's working so I'll just leave my computer like this.  The moment i try to put everything back inside the case and screws, it goes black and tells me there's no cable signal.

 

Does this sound like a mobo / graphics card slot failure to you or is something else going on?

 

As I said, it first started when I connected the new SATA III hdd.  I didn't have to open up the case or anything.  A power cable and sata connector was out and available as I always add external hdds here and there to back up and whatnot.



#8 cornflakes2

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 11:08 AM

hmm ok this is interesting i'm afraid to touch anything right now since it's working fine.... I'll check for those signs (bulged capicatotor) and leaking (although I'm sure I did not see any leaks).  I checked for smells before just to make sure if something got fried but no smells.  I'll also try cleaning the ram and reseating those too as I didn't try that yet.

 

I've been working on this since 6 hours ago (3 hours backing up data and now 3 hours checking, unplugging, reseating etc).  I will need to take a break and try this again later. 



#9 cornflakes2

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 11:09 AM

Is there any software that can test for mobo issues?
  Since my computer is working fine now and I can see my display, I might as well try a test on it.



#10 cornflakes2

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 11:13 AM

This is how i let my computer sit now...it works fine when I do this....but as soon as i close it up, the screen goes black 

So I'm letting it just all out for now

2ztalpk.jpg



#11 zingo156

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 11:54 AM

Did you dust out the video card? It could be an issue with heat. it might be the power supply as well.


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#12 ranchhand_

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 12:00 PM

Here is the spec sheet from Biostar, and it states that board does have integrated video, Radeon.

http://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en/mb/introduction.php?S_ID=516#spec

Is your board like this? The blue socket on the top is the VGA, the white socket on the top is the DVI.

 

Ok, your  experience helps. It would appear to be an electrical short of some kind that breaks contact when the board is repositioned back into the case. First, try what I suggested initially, the re-setting of the vid card. If no joy, try the integrated video.

Check the PCIe slot carefully; does it flex, does something touch it when reinserted into the case? Check the bottom of the mobo, make sure that nothing contacts the bottom and shorts out. You might put a double strip of clear, plastic boxing tape (the type that is sold in stationery stores) over those video card contacts on the bottom of the mobo just to insure that nothing is making contact and shorting out.

 

In answer to your question: there is no software that will test the mainboard. Testing is done by a process of elimination until only the CPU or Mainboard is left. There are hardware motherboard testers that are inexpensive, but I have no direct experience with them. Newegg.com carries several, you can read the users' reviews for an idea of how well they work.


Edited by ranchhand_, 25 November 2014 - 12:08 PM.

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#13 cornflakes2

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 12:16 PM

Wow thanks. 

 

-yes, i used compressed air can to blow out dust from the graphics card, motherboard, PCI slot

-CPU temp and other temps when I checked are all good and just a few minutes ago I opened up and played about 6 video files at once for 20 minutes or so and there was no problem with heat or anything like that.

-I did the paper towel wipe and also the reseating of the card (several times today)

-I removed the graphics card and no integrated video was working (I don't remember it ever working for me), even if I plugged into either the VGA or DVI, it didn't detect any signal.

 

-I haven't yet reseated the RAM and I haven't checked for bulging capacitators yet.  I have pretty much ruled out that these are the issue as I've been using my computer and graphics cards without any issues as long as the monitor is working (signal to the monitor).

 

I feel 80-90% certain that is has something to do with what you suggested about a possible short?  Maybe something is shorting it out.  If there was an actual problem to the mobo graphic card slot, I don't think then I'd be able to be using my computer as I am now and there's never been any signs or warnings of imminent failure.  I think it's either something is shorting it out or possibly the power supply.

 

I will have to check tomorrow about the covering with tape idea and see if that helps.  You guys have been very helpful and given me a lot of good suggestions.  I hope we can figure out exactly what is the cause.  I guess the adding the SATA III HDD part doesn't have anything directly to do with this as nobody has suggested that.  I always add and remove HDD using the SATA cables and power cables and it's never done this before.  Maybe it was just coincidence that this happened for the first time right when I also connected the new additional HDD.  


Edited by cornflakes2, 25 November 2014 - 12:18 PM.


#14 ranchhand_

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 07:31 PM

 

no integrated video was working (I don't remember it ever working for me),

Enter your BIOS, and see if the video port is set to integrated (Radeon vid card) or PCIe port. The mobo should automatically switch over if the PCIe card is removed, but sometimes this fails. You definitely have integrated ports and they should be working. You can access the BIOS by tapping an F key when you boot; the proper key will be listed in your user's manual that came with the computer. If it is a good manual it will also walk you through the various BIOS settings. I assume this is not a home-built computer, correct?


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