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Author Topic: diagnosing a borked motherboard?
magefile
Highlie
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Icon 1 posted November 23, 2004 18:26      Profile for magefile     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My computer (running FC2, for all you OS zealots ;-P) just died. I figured it was the power supply, but the power supply worked once I unplugged everything ... after some testing, I found that it works when everything but the motherboard is plugged in (the power supply fan doesn't spin up when the mobo is plugged in to it).

Which leads me to my question: is it definitely a mobo problem, or could it be a CPU problem? Or (although I'm guessing not) could it perhaps be a video card or RAM problem? Also, I'm using an AOpen AK77-8XN - is this a problem anyone's heard of before?

Basically, what I'm asking is, "how do I narrow it down so I don't spend money on a part that doesn't fix it?" Thanks in advance for any help.

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Let them be stupid - the market will sort it out.

Posts: 743 | From: Massachusetts | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mike M
Maximum Newbie
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Icon 1 posted November 23, 2004 18:56      Profile for Mike M   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Have you tried only plugging your mobo in to the power supply? It's possible the PS is dying and can't supply the wattage to power everything when it's connected.

If the PS doesn't come on with only the mobo+cpu plugged in, try taking out the cpu and see if it still fails. If the PS fails with only the mobo in, then it's almost certainly the mobo. If the PS comes on w/o the CPU, then it's probably your CPU.

I really hate taking out the CPU from a mobo, but you're going to have to do it one way or another (sounds like you're buying a new mobo and/or cpu).

Another risk you have is the CPU could have shorted out the mobo...plugging it into a new mobo could just short it out again.

I say this from experience, I had a bad sound card that shorted out 3 motherboards.

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Mike

"Everyone dies frustrated and sad, and that is beautiful." - Don't Let's Start - They Might Be Giants

Posts: 17 | From: Rochester, MN | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted November 23, 2004 20:57      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Personally, I take the motherboard out of the computer and strip all the parts off it. I then proceed to cut one end off a Cat-5 cable, and braid pins 1,2,4,&5 together, and likewise for 3,6,7&8. I solder the former to the positive terminal of a 9 volt battery, and the latter to the negative terminal. I hold my left hand over the CPU slot, touching the RAM slots with my thumb or pinky, if possible, and with the other hand, insert the standard end of the Cat-5 into the Ethernet port (if not integrated, Ethernet card is left in PCI||ISA slot before procedure begins).

Such steps are not highly recommended, unless you feel like sharing your findings with me (grievous as they may be), in which case I will buy you your beverage of choice (hot or cold).

P.S. MikeM's advice sounds pretty much in line with what I'd advise during decent hours, when I'm not in a weary mood. [Smile]

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

Posts: 9331 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
littlefish
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Icon 1 posted November 24, 2004 00:14      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Does it beep when it turns on? FWIW, when I worked in a computer factory, MB's were tested by plugging them in with a ethernet card, ram, processor and video card installed. Can you test the components in another system?
Posts: 2421 | From: That London | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
magefile
Highlie
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Icon 1 posted November 24, 2004 12:28      Profile for magefile     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm going to try removing everything, including the peripherals. It doesn't beep, nor does it make the keyboard flash (y'know, the num/caps/scroll lock), but its booting may be blocked by something else that's fried.

So a mobo should boot with the CPU and RAM removed, if it's not borked?

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Let them be stupid - the market will sort it out.

Posts: 743 | From: Massachusetts | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted November 24, 2004 12:38      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by magefile:
I'm going to try removing everything, including the peripherals. It doesn't beep, nor does it make the keyboard flash (y'know, the num/caps/scroll lock), but its booting may be blocked by something else that's fried.

So a mobo should boot with the CPU and RAM removed, if it's not borked?

No, but the power supply should at least turn on, and the motherboard should beep at you to tell you it's missing stuff.

If you have power to the board, and the board doesn't beep at you with nothing in it, the board is dead.

Posts: 4897 | From: Cambridge, ON, Canada | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged


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