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So why won't it start?


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#1 cottage

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 06:52 AM

Hi guys, I hope this post is in the correct section.

 

 

So why won’t it boot up?

 

Specs:-

 

Custom built desktop  Power Predator running Xp Home 32 SP3

Asus A8N-VM-CSM mobo

Integrated graphics with NVIDA GetForce 6150  and  nForce 430 MCPchipsets

AMD 64x2 3880 CPU

500 Gb Sata hard drive

Ram  2 x 512 Mb DDR 400 PC3200

PSU Colors IT 400w

Samsung SH-S162L/BEBN 16x DVDRW

BENQ monitor with VGA and DVI ports

 

This computer has run like a dream for the last seven years, then about six months ago it started to hang occasionally, and I also noticed that the single beep it use to give on start-up had stopped beeping.

A couple of weeks ago I was running a full system scan with Avast virus check when it hung with the page showing all the details it was checking plus several small white zig zag lines. It wouldn’t shut down or restart so I had to pull the mains plug to shut down…… It wouldn’t re-start.

 

This is the present status: - When you press the power button on the front of the case   the power-on light comes on and goes off, the green light on the front of the case comes on and stays on, the num lock on the keyboard flashes once, the CPU fan runs at normal speed, as does the PSU fan, The green LED on the CD ROM caddy flashes, and the caddy can be opened and closed.  The green light on the mobo comes on, the hard drive runs; there is no beep from the mobo. The monitor remains totally blank.

 

The monitor has been checked on another computer (using the same video leads) and is ok. A new mains power lead has been tried. The PSU voltages have all been checked with a voltmeter and Multimeter and all show correct voltages within five %  at the IDE socket with mains power on, including the “good for power” circuit. The CMOS RTC RAM data has been cleared; the CMOS battery has been removed and checked for the correct voltage. The RAM has been removed, cleaned and re-seated. Removing the RAM and powering up produces no beeps. All board connections have been re-seated. The power supply to the mobo is correct and the small green LED is on; no capacitors seem to be blown or leaking. The board has been removed and inspected for signs of burning or damage: All connections seem to be sound. The small speaker that gives the beeps has been checked and works ok, the continuity on all the leads from the front of the case to the system panel on the mobo is ok. The computer can be powered up by shorting out the reset pins on the mobo, but the result is the same as pressing the power-on  button on the front of the case.

 

The only things I have found so far is that the thermal paste on the North Bridge and the CPU had dried out (now recoated)

The Ethernet light on the router doesn’t light up and the small LED lights on the RJ45 socket on the back of the computer don’t light up.

 

So why won’t it start?

 

I would be grateful for any help and suggestions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 



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#2 ranchhand_

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 09:58 AM

You did a really great job of test diagnosing, very thorough.

 

If you are getting no boot, no system beep and no mouse recognition, it sounds like a low-level hardware failure. The power-on signal from the PSU is not reaching the BIOS chip. That can be caused by only 4 things: CPU failure, power supply failure, BIOS corruption/failure or mainboard failure. Since you have checked the PS, the monitor and reset the BIOS to factory default already, that leaves only the CPU or mainboard. Of the two, mainboards fail more than CPUs, so that is where I would guess is your problem. Fortunately, those components are available on Ebay for very reasonable money. I just did a quick search and came up with two pages:

 

http://www.ebay.com/sch/items/?_nkw=amd+athlon+64+x2+socket+939&_sacat=&_ex_kw=&_mPrRngCbx=1&_udlo=&_udhi=&_sop=12&_fpos=&_fspt=1&_sadis=&LH_CAds=&rmvSB=true

 

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=amd+athlon+64+x2+socket+939&rmvSB=true&_sop=12&_fspt=1&_mPrRngCbx=1&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xmainboard+socket+939.TRS0&_nkw=mainboard+socket+939&_sacat=0

 

Before you throw in the towel, I suggest doing a test of your memory with Memtest 86+ just to make sure. Only once did I see bad memory cause this same problem (which was strange, but we are dealing with computers here).

Just in case you are not familiar with this tester, I have included my canned tutorial:

>  Download the (free) zip file (2nd from the top) ISO of Memtest86+ and burn to a CD.

>  Make sure your BIOS is set to CD = 1st Boot Device, HDD = 2nd Boot Device.

Reboot with the CD in your drive. Allow it to run until you get a message at the bottom of the screen that testing is complete (about 20 minutes). Any red posts at the bottom of the screen means that memory stick is bad.

If you have multiple sticks, test only one (1) stick at a time using the #1 slot

If Memtest will not run or you get error messages, let me know.

When you finally discover what the cause is, please post back and let us know; I like to check if my analysis is accurate which helps me in future postings with folks.


Edited by ranchhand_, 09 January 2016 - 10:01 AM.

Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#3 cottage

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 09:24 AM

 Hello Ranchhand,

 Thank you for your kind remarks, detailed reply, and web information

 

Because the machine is unbootable I unfortunately will not be able to use Memtest, but on all other counts, I had more-or-less come to a similar conclusion as you, but wanted to get independent input to reassure me that I was probably looking in the right direction.

My Athlon 64x2 3800+ apparently lacks the in-built (CMPXCNG 166?) instruction that the EUFI needs to load and run Windows 10.  I would have preferred to continue with my present XP and hardware even though it is not supported until such time as Windows 10 has ironed out some of its more obvious problems.  Guess I will now have to bite on the bullet and make a decision on which way to go.

Once again many thanks for your help.    
 



#4 ranchhand_

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 10:08 AM

 

machine is unbootable I unfortunately will not be able to use Memtest

Yes, I understand that from your initial post; since Memtest 86+ boots virtual from the optical drive it will by-pass the hard drive entirely. If it will not run then it is further evidence that either the mainboard has failed or your CPU is blown. If, for some surprising reason, it does run the memory test then both of those must be good.


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#5 cottage

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 06:24 AM

 

 

machine is unbootable I unfortunately will not be able to use Memtest

Yes, I understand that from your initial post; since Memtest 86+ boots virtual from the optical drive it will by-pass the hard drive entirely. If it will not run then it is further evidence that either the mainboard has failed or your CPU is blown. If, for some surprising reason, it does run the memory test then both of those must be good.

 

Many thanks Ranchhand,

The bios at present runs the floppy first, and because I have no display I cannot see the bios to alter it to run the CD first. I assume that due to normal sequencing the CD would eventually be acessed as it set as second boot device, do you know if Memtest would still operate under these conditions?



#6 ranchhand_

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 08:18 AM

At this point Memtest probably is not running; I can only think that either the CPU or the mobo died. Unfortunately, 7 years is a "ripe old age" for mainboards now. It used to be that a computer would last until the technology was so old that it was necessary to replace it, but nowadays components are being manufactured in China and the Pacific Rim so cheaply that getting 7 years off a mobo is doing well. The average is 3-5 years to failure (IMHO). I am having increasing numbers of bad mainboards coming in for repair within the last few years, something I have not seen before. I have replaced the mobo 3 times on my 5 year old computer; my first Asus died, and I am running my 2nd Asrock board currently.

The good thing is that you are able to build another. I think you have a socket 939 board (correct me if I am wrong) and the only listings I could find were Amazon, and that surprises me that they are still being manufactured. I strongly suggest to stay away from Foxconn and Pegasus, they are junk boards.

Link: http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A172282%2Ck%3Asocket%20939%20motherboard

 

If you can afford it, you might consider just building a new unit with current technology. Here is a link to some suggested building and component testing techniques that I have found to be very helpful.


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#7 cottage

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 12:44 PM

Sincere thanks for your support Ranchhand.

I haven’t yet built a new computer from scratch, so perhaps this is the time to consider doing so. If I am going to spend money, it might as well be on up-to-date technology rather than staggering along with out of date gear.

If I can occasionally come back to you for analysis and suggestions I would be most grateful.        

 



#8 ranchhand_

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 02:56 PM

I'm welcome to be of service any time. If you want my attention, just PM me to notify that you are posting and I will pick it up. Or same thing on the other website.


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#9 Vcut

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 09:06 AM

 

 

I have no display

Have you tried reseating your RAM? If no, remove your RAM from the motherboard (be sure to remove the power plug before doing this) and clean the contacts using a soft cloth then place it back again firmly into the board.



#10 cottage

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 10:21 AM

 

 

 

I have no display

Have you tried reseating your RAM? If no, remove your RAM from the motherboard (be sure to remove the power plug before doing this) and clean the contacts using a soft cloth then place it back again firmly into the board.

 

Hi Vcut

 

I have tried:-  soft cloth, a rubber, and alcohol. No change.



#11 Vcut

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 02:45 AM

 

 

I have tried:-  soft cloth, a rubber, and alcohol. No change.

How about swapping your RAMs? Trying each RAM.



#12 cottage

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 06:35 AM

 

 

 

I have tried:-  soft cloth, a rubber, and alcohol. No change.

How about swapping your RAMs? Trying each RAM.

 

Tried. No luck



#13 Captain_Chicken

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 12:18 PM

It looks like your ram is dead. Could also be the mobo but I doubt it. Ddr ram is expensive so replacing it should be a last resort. I would look into building a new pc. What is your budget?

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#14 cottage

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 06:39 AM

Hi Captain_Chicken

Don't know yet, still in thinking mode.






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