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New System won't boot - motherboard issue?

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July 2, 2005 3:48:50 AM

I just finished putting together a new system for my brother. The motherboard is an ECS N2U400-A, processor is an AMD Athlon XP 2600+ Barton 1.9Ghz, 2 sticks of Kingston 512mb PC3200 RAM, Geforce 6600, 430W power supply. The system booted up the first time and I went straight to CMOS, tweaked a few things, and then saved and exited... except the machine didn't restart. The monitor flipped to "No Input Signal." Hmm... I tried turning it off and back on, nothing. After several tries I reset the CMOS using the on-board jumper, and it started up again, this time with several error messages...

"Display switch set incorrectly [I never messed with this in the CMOS]
CMOS checksum error - Defaults loaded
CMOS battery failed.
Override enabled - Defaults loaded"

Those messages may have been present during the first boot, I honestly didn't check before going to CMOS.

This time around I didn't mess with CMOS, I just hit F1 to continue, and it seemed to be fine... it checked the CD drive for a boot disk, etc. I didn't install anything though cause something still didn't seem right... the first BIOS screen wasn't reporting my hardware correctly. It said my processor was only 1150 Mhz instead of 1900, and the memory was only running at 200 Mhz. Anyway, I shut it off and booted it up without changing anything, and again, it wouldn't start... "No Input Signal." I reset via the jumper and it worked again... once. Every time I reset it with the jumper it would boot once and then die on me.

I tried swapping out the CMOS battery with a good one, didn't make a difference.

Next I tried getting into my CMOS and loading the "Fail-safe" defaults. This actually showed signs of success.... the machine would boot multiple times without me having to reset the jumper. However, when I went back into CMOS to change things to how it should be, it went back to "No Input Signal." I have yet to try a troubleshooting approach using these fail-safe defaults and changing values one at a time, but that will be tomorrow's mission.

Anyone have any ideas? I don't know why it's misreporting my hardware values. It also reported that the processor was running at 59C with the case closed... I don't think it should be, I already had two fans in there and added a 3rd after I saw that. I haven't checked the temp after adding that third fan though.

I'm wondering if maybe the board is defective. I hear that CMOS battery problems out of the box is a sign that it might be. Either that, or maybe there is just some setting that I am overlooking that is causing this. It wouldn't be a driver issue, would it? Should I try installing XP and getting some drivers installed, or is that going to be a waste of time?

Any ideas, comments, or solutions would be greatly appreciated.
a b V Motherboard
July 2, 2005 6:09:33 AM

Theres a lot of possibilities so check over this list;
Be sure there are only motherboard mounting studs at the mounting holes.
Pull your video card and firmly reseat it,[making sure it seats all the way in the slot]
Pull and reseat your RAM modules[you can drop to one module and check them independently]
Make sure all cables are secure.
Make sure your video card is good[having another one you could swap out would be good]
Make sure all jumpers are properly set IE. M/B, CD Drives, HDDs Etc.
Pull all PCI cards out of the machine, and boot with just the video card.
Make sure theres not an FOC [Fan Off Control]feature activated in the CMOS
Make sure the CPU Fan is hooked to Fan 1 header, and its running.
Also in the CMOS under system health make sure the M/B is receiving a RPM signal from the CPU fan.



Quote:
I went straight to CMOS, tweaked a few things, and then saved and exited...



ECS M/Bs are not tweaking friendly, thats not an OCing M/B at least I've never know any of them to be, and if you're tweaking your RAM settings, it may not like those settings, let it set the RAM settings on Auto.





Try these suggestions and post what happens

<A HREF="http://forums.btvillarin.com/index.php?act=ST&f=41&t=25..." target="_new">My Puter</A>
July 2, 2005 6:16:07 AM

It cant be a driver issue, no drivers installed. ECS makes crappy mobos, that are hard to rma.
If you can get it to boot to floppy, you might want to try flashing the bios.
It is also a good idea to see if a better psu helps (since a lot of ECS mobos have crappy vregs, and generally require a lot of current at boot.)
BTW, once you set the fsb to it's proper speed, the chip will run at it's proper speed.
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a c 435 V Motherboard
July 2, 2005 8:12:09 AM

I had the same cpu and board, and my temps were reported as 37-62 celcius, depending on the room temp and load. I would try remounting the heatsink with thermal paste, and your idle temps should drop to the 40's. I would also try replacing the mobo battery, and move any second memory sticks to a different slot, if you're using more than one. Be sure you have the 4 pin 12v plug connected. Your cpu fsb should be set at 166 for the barton 2600.
July 2, 2005 5:07:24 PM

Why can the Barton only handle 166 FSB when it is labeled for 333 Mhz? Is there some unspoken rule that it can only run at half of what is specified?
July 2, 2005 6:01:03 PM

You didnt read the manual.. because you'll have see that the recent ECS board I've dealt with has the cmos jumper set to clear to save the batterie and it has to be set correctly before first boot.

so, maybe you set the jumper to the right position when you cleared the CMOS, then put it back to the clear CMOS position and try to have it boot again...

I think it is written too that trying to run the mobo with the jumper set to clear may damage it too..


So, are you sure the jumper is set correctly?



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a b V Motherboard
July 2, 2005 6:34:44 PM

Quote:
Why can the Barton only handle 166 FSB when it is labeled for 333 Mhz?

Simple explanation for you is, DDR stands for double data rate, that means the RAM is actually running double the 166mhz, some M/Bs give you a FSB setting range of 0 to 200, and the RAM doubles the throughput, some M/Bs actually give you the settings of 266,333,400 and then some do not, but setting it to 166 actually is 333FSB.








<A HREF="http://forums.btvillarin.com/index.php?act=ST&f=41&t=25..." target="_new">My Puter</A>
a b V Motherboard
July 2, 2005 7:13:07 PM

Quote:
You didnt read the manual.. because you'll have see that the recent ECS board I've dealt with has the cmos jumper set to clear to save the batterie and it has to be set correctly before first boot.

so, maybe you set the jumper to the right position when you cleared the CMOS, then put it back to the clear CMOS position and try to have it boot again...

I think it is written too that trying to run the mobo with the jumper set to clear may damage it too..


So, are you sure the jumper is set correctly?



His manual doesn't say anything about that, but it won't boot at all if the Clear CMOS jumper is set to clear.


<A HREF="http://forums.btvillarin.com/index.php?act=ST&f=41&t=25..." target="_new">My Puter</A>
a b V Motherboard
July 2, 2005 7:38:39 PM

Try going into the CMOS setup, under Advanced Chipset Features, if AGP 8X Support is Enabled, Disable it, save the CMOS change and reboot and see what happens, if when you get in there and AGP 8X Support is already Disabled, then Enable it, save and reboot, and see what happens.


Leave all the settings in the Advanced Chipset Features in Optimal, don't tweak anything at this time set the FSB to half of your AMDs 2600+ Barton I think that CPU runs at 333 so set the FSB at 166.


You can tweak later, just get to where you can load the OP/SYS for now.




<A HREF="http://forums.btvillarin.com/index.php?act=ST&f=41&t=25..." target="_new">My Puter</A>
July 2, 2005 8:50:15 PM

Sometime it is written in the manual or on a warning paper sheet that come with the mobo.

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