Power surge trouble...need some help

Posted this in the mobo forum but I think I might get a better response here...

Last night while playing WoW there was a nasty power surge on the top floor of my apartment. It's happened before but there was never a problem, however that's not the case this time. Immediately after the surge my computer rebooted but I wasn't receiving any video. I tried rebooting one more time but still no luck so I took the side of the case off to see if there was a problem. Here's what I've found so far:

Video card does not appear to be the issue (tried another which definitely works and still no video)
Everything powers on, no POST error beeps or anything to that effect but no video.

I have a ABIT AS8 3rd Eye mobo that has the 3rd eye uGuru utility which monitors board performance. Here are the results:

One meter shows CPU frequency at 3060Mhz (I have a P4 LGA775 @3Ghz so that is accurate)
Voltage to CPU @ 1.38
CPU Temp @ 45C

Another meter shows this information however:
CPU frequency @ 204Mhz

Other readings include:
GPU @ 1.58v
DDR @ 2.65v
AGP @ 66Mhz

I don't know anything about voltage, so do these numbers seem "normal"? Is it possible to discern some type of issue from those numbers? Here is my full system config for reference:

Intel LGA775 @ 3.0Ghz (800Mhz FSB Prescott chip)
eVGA GeForce 6800GS CO Edition (DDR3 256MB AGP 8x)
Dual channel Mushkin Green Line PC3200 DDR RAM
Dual 80GB WD Caviar drives in RAID0 array (SATA drives)
On board audio but not using it (have a PCI Turtle Beach sound card)
OB LAN (using)
LITE-ON CD burner DVD player

I tried different monitors and different monitor cables to eliminate that possibility as well. As you can imagine ANY help would be so greatly appreciated. Thanks!
18 answers Last reply
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  1. if you have no video, how can you get the readings?


    The Front Side Bus (FSB) of most of todays P4 operates at 200MHz (2% deviation is defenetely OK) (which is "quad pumped" (ie 4 pieces of information per cycle sent) = "800 MHz FSB")

    200 multiplied by 15 (so called multiplier) = 3060 GHz

    so that is all OK

    The voltages/frequencies seems OK (The correct voltages depends on where you measure them)

    Temp seems OK


    If the readings you got were done on a different Mobo it seems you Mobo seems to be faulty. Do you use a different PSU for that. That could be likely to be bad. you could always try to up the voltages a bit slightly to get a stable system.

    edit: what mobo are you using?
  2. what you should probabely do now is to eliminate as many sources of error as possible. Do you have a second PSU to try? disconnect everything you dont need (HD/CD/PCI cards,...).

    To test the mobo take everything except the processor out. That should cause fast continuous beeping due to missing RAM. If you dont get anything the mobo is fried.

    The AGP connection can sometimes be faulty. Look for any sign of damage and put in and take out and repeat the GFX card to make sur there is no dirt inside (and yes the connection can be broken even when the gfx card is inside).

    EDIT: while you look for erros all unnecessary HW should be removed use only 1 RAM module (is RAM good? if you have a second Mobo run memtest 86+ from a bootable CD --- maybe a DDR slot is broken try movin from 1/3 to 2/4)
  3. I was able to get the readings off of the 3rd eye utility, it's actually a cool little device that connects by USB to the mobo and has an LCD display.

    I'll try disconnecting everything except the CPU first to see how that works. In order should I go CPU, RAM, GPU? Is there anything to be said about swapping out the PSU perhaps? I have the original PSU which is rated to 350W I believe. The current is an MSI at 450W.

    When I power up the machine everything seems to be getting power just fine, so the PSU is probably ok but I wanted to check with the forum first.
  4. You could do more harm than good by trying to hook up a 350w PSU to that system. If it draws to much power, you could blow a capacitor and damage other components, so be careful.

    Anyone else here think 350w is enough to safely boot and test this system without running into other problems? I'd hesitate, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!!

    I'd risk a guess that the motherboard took a nasty jolt and might be on strike...permanantly. In any case, those voltage dips and spikes are certainly going to damage any system hooked up to that circuit, unless you invest some serious change (>$100) in an Uninterruptible Power Supply.
  5. The 350W is the original PSU for the comp, and it ran fine on that but I upgraded as a "just in case" when I got my GeForce6800 GS, since it requires its own connection to the PSU. If I'm simply testing components then the 350W should work fine, since I'll be consuming far less power anyway.

    Another thing I though of is if I do have to replace the mobo will it have to be an exact duplicate since my HDDs are in a RAID0 array? The RAID controller is onboard...so will another OB RAID controller work or will it have to be the exact same mobo?
  6. because you swaped the vid card for one that definaly works I would say your mobo took a hit, maybe something to do with the video card slot.

    Altough a pc wont boot wiht out video (correct me if im worng but im almost 100% on that) so if something did get cooked on the mobo that has to do with the video I wouldnt think the pc could boot.

    This is my only thought on this, try a crapy pci video card. If something is wrong with the video bus, but somehow the pc boots w/o video, putting in a pci video card should get you some video and tell you that something is deffinatly worng with the mobo. they arent too costly if you go with like 32 or 64 meg of ram on it.
  7. I heard mention that I should try to boot with only the CPU, RAM, and the vid card. The guy said that should at least get me some sort of BIOS video and then I should know better if the mobo is hosed or not. The problem with that is that if the AGP slot is cooked then there won't be any video coming across at all. I'll know better when I get a chance to horse around with it tonite.
  8. if you can get a reading out of the usb-lcd, that idicates that the pc does infact post (also indicated by no beeps), and is probabely booting to win. if you switch it on and feel the hd it should vibrate slightly. If that is the case you are booting into windows, you just arent getting vid. As i understand it, a second good card does also not display anything. If all this is the case there is a problem with the connection from the mobo to the gfx card - you will probabely nee a new mobo. Watch that you get a mobo with ddr RAM support and not DDR2 RAM

    Is the gfx card fan spinning???

    have you tried resetting the Bios

    maybe you can find someone with pci card who will lend it to you - just to quickly see if you can get a vid signal
  9. Ok I just removed everything...RAM, disconnected all devices with the exception of the CPU. Nothing, no beeps, nothing at all. Does this definitely mean that the mobo is toast?

    If that's the case, since I have a RAID0 array will I need to replace this with the exact same mobo? I'd prefer not doing that, since I don't particulary care for this one. I found another board I like on NewEgg but I would hate to have to wipe my HDD for this...although I am willing to do that if it's necessary.

    And to answer the other questions:

    Vid card does power up, fan does spin.
    No, I haven't reset the BIOS yet. Is that even worth doing at this point?

    I'm going to try swapping out the PSU right now just in case to see what happens. Thanks everyone for their help so far, it's much appreciated.
  10. Swapped out the PSU to one I know is in tip-top shape and still no go. Tried with and without RAM and video but no luck either way. With just the CPU there are no beeps at all (no beeps in any config actually). I'm about rdy to declare this mobo a lost cause, unless anyone has any further insight for me.

    My only concern is the RAID, and I would definitely like some feedback on that before I toss this thing.
  11. Well turns out it was the BIOS, just needed resetting. Weird...but fixed! Thanks to everyone for the advice. I didn't lose too much hair over this one. =)
  12. Just in case you have to it at some time, yes, you'll need same brand controller to reuse your RAID array.
  13. Quote:
    Well turns out it was the BIOS, just needed resetting.

  14. Truth be told, I've spent the same number of long hours trying to fix a problem that I couldn't identify, and only at the very end of my patience did I flip the little jumper tab on the Clear CMOS pin and, behold, the system comes back to life.

    Also, though it's irrelevant at this point, an indentical motherboard would allow you to simply plug the HDD's back in and the RAID controller would work without a hiccup.
  15. Cool, thanks for all the feedback. Yeah imagine my surprise last night when I reset the BIOS fully expecting nothing to happen and I was greeted with those happy little beeps I've come to love. I then bathed in WoW gaming goodness. :D
  16. Congrats on reviving your PC !!

    However, according to your first post, you are experiencing frequent power surges in your apartment buiding?

    May i suggest you invest in some protections for your rig?
    Like a UPS or at least a power surge absorber?

    As for me, to protect my rig, I have:
    (i) Voltage Stabiliser
    (ii) UPS
    (iii) Industrial grade noise filter and surge absorber

  17. Ditto on the surge protection reccomendations.

    1st make sure the 'resume after AC power loss' is turned OFF - a lot of surges come through the system when power comes back on after an outage.

    next go get a good quality surge protector. preferrabley one with a "connected equipment guarantee" .. basicly it means they trust their equipment enough to not let surges through, and if they do get through. the company will be replacing your stuff.

    And then dont forget surges can come over your cable/ DSL lines too. so a protector with those kindof plugs will help.
  18. I've been in the place since November, and I think we've had 3 surges that I can recall. Two of which I was actually on the comp when it happened. I'm already planning to be out this weekend picking up a nice UPS and some surge protection equipment. Thanks for the suggestions on parts.
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