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Troubleshooting with homebuilt... oldisha

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March 15, 2006 5:16:10 PM

First of all, this PC is old.

2200+ amd processor
some 256 5200 agp geforce card
1 gig of ram
160 gig hd, probably not very good, just decent storage
asus socket a (solid att he time) motherboard
win xp pro

don't really know the names to everything, but those are the specs. Anyways. Recently something happened where the computer would not boot correctly, in fact not at all really. I don't get the BEEP you're supposed ot get with my motherboard when you start the computer. I push power, it runs, but it never beeps or gets to windows at all. The fans are running fine, the motherboard light is on, i *think* everything is connected in the right spot, I'm not sure about the harddrive. It's not a SATA, it's whatever the old style one is, IDE i think it's called lol. Thanks.

EDIT: Title was supposed to say oldish, not oldisha.
March 15, 2006 11:09:39 PM

it sounds like it's the PSU or motherboard. other parts usually give error messages on boot.
do you smell anything burning or hear loud fan? if so it might be the PSU.
if you have an extra power supply try that.
if that still doesnt work, it sounds like the motherboard (unless you been moving the PC around, then you might want to check that all the cables are secure)
March 15, 2006 11:52:27 PM

Try resetting the CMOS using the jumper on the motherboard. If the system boots, its time to replace the CMOS battery. RadioShack or any PC Parts joint will sell you one pretty cheap.
Related resources
March 16, 2006 1:37:02 AM

Quote:
Try resetting the CMOS using the jumper on the motherboard. If the system boots, its time to replace the CMOS battery. RadioShack or any PC Parts joint will sell you one pretty cheap.


If you will, please explain this easier so that a noob can understand. What I see in my head when you say CMOS battery is the little circular silver batter on my mobo. As for resetting the CMOS using the jumper on the mobo, i don't know what to do there. If you could provide explanation, i'd be very appreciaive... thanks in advance.

As to the person wondering if it was my PSU, i'm pretty sure it isn't. it runs fine.
March 16, 2006 2:25:38 AM

remove your video card and ram reboot you should here error code beeps
if not you have a bad mb or processor. if you can open you cd/dvdrom drive with the power on and you did say all your fans are running fine then i really don't think it would be the power supply
March 16, 2006 2:54:17 AM

I would look for burnt stuff.

RAM Dimm traces - 20 pin connector

Those are usual spots I notice them.

When you power up the PC, do the CD-ROM Drive open?

Could be a power spike that went through the system.
March 16, 2006 3:21:23 AM

Quote:
Try resetting the CMOS using the jumper on the motherboard. If the system boots, its time to replace the CMOS battery. RadioShack or any PC Parts joint will sell you one pretty cheap.


If you will, please explain this easier so that a noob can understand. What I see in my head when you say CMOS battery is the little circular silver batter on my mobo. As for resetting the CMOS using the jumper on the mobo, i don't know what to do there. If you could provide explanation, i'd be very appreciaive... thanks in advance.

As to the person wondering if it was my PSU, i'm pretty sure it isn't. it runs fine.

Sure...
There should be a 3 pins on the motherboard (with 2 covered) marked CMOS Reset Jumper or something close. The jumper will be over PIN 1 and 2 with PIN 3 exposed. Move the jumper from PIN 1-2 to 2-3 and wait for about 10 seconds then move it back to 1-2. This will clear all BIOS settings back to default. You can also just remove the battery for 5 mins and accomplish the same thing.
March 16, 2006 2:52:42 PM

The CD drives do not open, but I don't know if they're all plugged into the correct spot, as I was moving stuff around to try and get this to work. They have IDE plugs in, and something else, a bunch of wires. I still am having trouble identifing the CMOS cables. A more detailed description would point me in the right direction. Also, can anyone confirm that if I take out my graphics card and ram that if there aren't error beeps that my mobo or processor is dead? Please remember this is a very old mobo, socket A. THANKS
a b B Homebuilt system
March 16, 2006 3:54:54 PM

"The CD drives do not open,"

As the drives get pwr right off of the Power supply, this is likely your issue, asusming no mainboard is shorting it out, etc......;PS units fail every 3-4 of years for most folks like me...!

You should be able to find a suitable 300-350 watt atx replacement for $25-$30....

Good luck
March 16, 2006 4:20:33 PM

I have the same problem, did the same things, even posted here on the same issue (sadly didnt get any responses) only my computer is significantly newer. Today ill take my computer to ppl who know more about computers than me (or more experienced, cause i know a bunch 8) ) and ill tell u the results, maybe it'll help u too.
March 16, 2006 4:37:54 PM

Quote:
"The CD drives do not open,"

As the drives get pwr right off of the Power supply, this is likely your issue, asusming no mainboard is shorting it out, etc......;PS units fail every 3-4 of years for most folks like me...!

You should be able to find a suitable 300-350 watt atx replacement for $25-$30....

Good luck


Are you sure that this is the problem? If so I'll take your word on it and go buy one, but I really want to be sure that this is the problem. Is it possible that the drives are not plugged in right?

What i forgot to mention is before this happened, the computer slowed down significantly for about 3 days. Would this be a PSU issue? Are there any other possible discussions of any other problem? Help me decide further pleaaase, thanks much
March 16, 2006 8:48:08 PM

also, if the PSU was what is wrong then why is the computer starting? If the PSU failed then wouldn't the computer not start at all?
March 16, 2006 9:13:43 PM

Quote:
also, if the PSU was what is wrong then why is the computer starting? If the PSU failed then wouldn't the computer not start at all?


Just because it powers up, doesn't mean it is working properly. It can still push some power, but not enough in some cases.

A friend of mine had problems with is PC.

He told me it would power up, and nothing would happen, and no beeps.

So I took a look at it. Turns out, all the fans were turning, the led lights came on. After going through some basic troubleshooting, I took the ram out, and saw a burnt trace on it.

Also, I learned later on, he had 2 CD-ROMS (DVD), the drives wouldn't open/eject. The power was hooked up. Later on, I put one of them to my system, and it worked properly.

That basically told me, some thing fried the PSU and MB. So I assumed it was a power spike. Power spikes can do weird things to a PC, so it can still work, or not power up, or have major problems.

Same thing happened to my dad's old PII system. Though I found a burnt molex on the 6 pin to the MB. The thing with his was.. it wouldn't power up at all. Replaced the PSU on it, and it did power up, but had problems coming up. Once it did get up, it seemed okay.

Anyhoo... those are a couple of times I had to TS some PCs with PSU issues.
March 16, 2006 10:15:43 PM

So would it be reasonable to believe it's my PSU and to go out and buy one for 50 dollars? If not please let me know before i do so.

P.S. I did reset CMOS, to no avail.
March 16, 2006 11:17:48 PM

If you believe it worth in keeping.. perhaps a PSU tester could help decide if your PSU is okay.

Hard to recommend what kind would be best.

Just wish everyone would get a spare PSU when they get a PC setup. :wink:

Edit:

Thinking about it, as far as choosing a tester, I forget to mention the type of pin for power on the MB side.

20 pin

Aspire Tester

24 pin

Coolmax Tester
March 16, 2006 11:38:11 PM

How would I know what pin I have? I'm such a noob to motherboards / PSU it's crazy, I know everything else pretty well. Anyways, this is an ollllddd 300w psu with an ollllddd asus socket a motherboard.
March 17, 2006 12:31:13 AM

Usually... ATX form factor has 20 pin standard.

Newer ATX would have 24 pin standard.

Older AT form factors would have a 6 pin power connector.

If you still have the manual to your MB you can figure that out without having to open it up. Or d/l the pdf manual of it.

You can look at it as well. It should be basically 20 wires bundle together on a rectangle shape molex plug from the PSU.

If you count the pins, across one row then multiply it by 2 should give you the idea.

If you look at the pic's on those testers, you can count the pins, as well as understand what you can test on them.
March 17, 2006 1:41:35 AM

Quote:
Usually... ATX form factor has 20 pin standard.

Newer ATX would have 24 pin standard.

Older AT form factors would have a 6 pin power connector.

If you still have the manual to your MB you can figure that out without having to open it up. Or d/l the pdf manual of it.

You can look at it as well. It should be basically 20 wires bundle together on a rectangle shape molex plug from the PSU.

If you count the pins, across one row then multiply it by 2 should give you the idea.

If you look at the pic's on those testers, you can count the pins, as well as understand what you can test on them.


Indeed.


The OP stated the board is Socket A so it has a 20pin ATX connector and "possibly" a P4 4pin +12V connector ( many Socket A boards did not have the 4pin +12V connector ).

It is possible the PSU died and took the motherboard with it. Then again it might just be the PSU or just the motherboard.

I would advise the OP to ground himself, take a very bright flashlight and carefully examine the board for any bulging, leaking or exploded capacitors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague
March 17, 2006 7:14:41 PM

I don't see a problem with the capacitors... they look normal to me. Thanks for the advice though. Anyway, based on what the problem is, (comp turns on, fan works, but does not show video or beep or boot to windows at all, drives do not open) would anyone advise me to get a new PSU? If so, please let me know!
March 17, 2006 7:32:04 PM

It is probably your motherboard.

But it could be both the motherboard and the PSU or just the PSU.
March 17, 2006 7:49:30 PM

Why do you say motherboard? Someone earlier said it's the PSU because the drives are not opening. Can you explain?
March 17, 2006 8:28:34 PM

Quote:
Why do you say motherboard? Someone earlier said it's the PSU because the drives are not opening. Can you explain?



Because your motherboard should be initializing the optical drives during boot ( the activity LEDs should be blinking ) and they should eventually allow you to eject.

I am guessing tho.
March 17, 2006 8:42:59 PM

Thanks for the response; can anyone else vouch that hte problem is the motherboard instead of the psu, or the other way around?
March 17, 2006 9:22:36 PM

Heh.. your CD drives won't open?

Can you disconnect the IDE cable to the cd drive, and then try?

That would determine if that rail is getting power, instead of using a volt meter.

All in all, its an either or situation, or both.

If you think the old PC is worth saving, and want to figure out if it can still work, the only options I see you have is:

1.) try a new ATX 20pin PSU - not sure what to recommend. If it still doesn't work, then you wasted money on a new PSU.

2.) take it to CompUsa or PC shop and pay them to TS it. Not sure how much they would charge, but if they find it won't work then, your basically in the same situation. It may cost more for the PSU, and what ever they charge for labor if it does work.

3.) Save up money and just get a new rig.
March 17, 2006 10:21:35 PM

they do open without the IDE connectors in. Does this mean that the mobo is bad?
March 17, 2006 11:10:56 PM

Quote:
they do open without the IDE connectors in. Does this mean that the mobo is bad?


I can't claim to be correct, but it does sound like a short on the MB.

When I did that on my friends PC, when the drives didn't open, I disconnected the IDE. Still wouldn't open.

I don't know what else to say, or recommend.
March 17, 2006 11:55:44 PM

what you said is pretty eye opening, thank you. I believe it's the motherboard now instead of the processor since the psu alone can open the hard drives without the IDE cables. Surely the IDE cables didn't go bad and it's my old motherboard. thanks again, I should get a socket 939 anyways, lol
March 18, 2006 12:31:24 AM

Crap I wrote all this without seeing that the guy already came to the exact conclusion. At least now u can all laugh at my story, and how i dont get to play oblivion any time soon.
OK OK! EVERYBODY!
I believe i have the solution, since i have the EXACT same problem. I went to some of my friends and they ran it thru some machines and got some numbers, and said that the motherboard is fried. Luckily i got the warranty. I do not know exactly how it happned, but i wear a coat which sometimes resonates a static shock from my fingers when i take it off. Now, i turned my pc off beforehand (pulled it out of the plug), and i tried to switch the power on without plugging in the plug. The static shock was extremley (!) big this time, and because the motherboard wasnt getting a static amt of electricity, this short (in comparison) amt of electricity caused it to go bonkers. To make sure its the mobo, check ur processor, make sure it aint friend (or anything of the like) smells ok, and if beeps are coming out when u load it up). Pretty sure u need to replace ur mobo buddy :(  Im upset myself, wanted to play oblivion on this baby, but poop happens.
!