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Won't POST, nada

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September 14, 2006 5:56:05 PM

My build was working properly for a few months, overclocked, running stable (AFAIK). Last night it locked and now system won't boot.

Specs:
-ASUS A8N-SLI
-AMD X2 3800
-2 x 1024 Corsair Plat
-550W Ultra x-connect
-X1900XT
-Zalman CPU and VGA fans

Scenario:
-PSU on with the system off: Mobo green power indicator is on
-I can turn the system on, but HDD light flashes for a couple seconds then goes off and stays off
-PSU, fans, case lights, optical drive, etc power up
-won't POST, no BIOS, no beeps at all. Nothing.
-temps were fine before problem
-had intermittent lockups the past two weeks, so I tweaked the RAM volts, don't think I touched the CPU/chipset volts.


Theories (in order of likelihood):
-dead mobo
-dead HDD
-dead RAM
-dead CPU


Anyone have any ideas? I was told that it probably isn't the HDD if the light goes on but then off and system won't POST or BIOS. Sounds like the mobo isn't sending juice or a circuit is fried, especially considering the intermittent lockups I've had over the past couple weeks. I doubt lowering the RAM volts by 1 increment on Corsair sticks would have toasted them? My money is on the mobo as the culprit. Any way to verify if that is the case before I drop $$ on a new mobo??? And if that is the case, does ASUS have some warranty replacement or whatever? But I can't sit around waiting for weeks for a replacement to arrive....I need this fixed by the weekend for work.

Thanks in advance for the help.

More about : post nada

September 14, 2006 6:29:26 PM

Double check the cable connections on the PSU, the ones on the Power Supply itself. I have this PSU and have had problems with these connectors.

I suspect that heat and strain from the weight of the cables combine to pull the connectors loose over time.

I like the idea of modular cables, but not the implementation on the Ultra. IMO, the connectors are of poor quality.
September 14, 2006 6:36:38 PM

You got an extra video card around anywhere?

My suggestion, unplug your drives (optical, ide, sata), take out an extra cards you do not need and pull out one of your ram sticks.

See if it posts - yes, add things back in one at a time. no, try the other memory stick...

I'm not a gammer so don't have a pci-e 16x card... or an sli board - can the x1900 be put into the other slot? if so, give that a try too.
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
September 14, 2006 6:59:51 PM

Try clearing your CMOS. My Asus P5B-Deluxe was doing the exact same thing. After two hours of troubleshooting everything else, I cleared the CMOS and it finally booted up. Upon bootup, it said "Overclock Failed". Funny thing is... I wasn't overclocking to begin with. Anyway, everything is working fine now.

Try it out and see if it works.
September 14, 2006 8:43:01 PM

Some great ideas guys. Ya, I checked the cables to the PSU, they seem fine. Also checked the cable connections to the board, optical, HDD, gfx as well....seem fine.

Didn't think to clear the CMOS.....that's an easy fix I'll try first before blowing my time swapping components!


*fingers crossed, hoping today is my lucky day*
a b B Homebuilt system
September 14, 2006 8:58:18 PM

Yeah, I thought my video card had become unseated because the monitor wouldn't engage at all when I tried to turn the computer on or perhaps the memory was no good. No beep codes, just fans turning and the LED's turned on.

I tried the CMOS clear as a last resort. I remember reading in the Asus manual that if you have a bad overclock there is no need to reset the CMOS because it has some kind of recovery option. Must not work as well as they say it does since it won't even POST to let you select the recovery.

Well, I hope you fix the problem. Post back here if you fix it.
September 15, 2006 1:42:31 PM

Ya, I've had unstable overclocks while trying to find the right combo and the crashes never required a CMOS clear before. So I did that last night, tried to restart.....got a bit of HDD activity light for a couple seconds but then blank. Again, nothing showed on the monitors.

I'm bringing it in today to get the pros to look at it. I sure hope it's not the hard drive. I'm kinda hoping it's the mobo......not too expensive to replace, won't take too long to replace.

I'll let ya know when I get the news........
September 18, 2006 1:42:50 PM

-clearing CMOS didn't work
-tried a different vid card.....no work
-tried a new mobo.....no work

Tonight I try a new PSU....hoping that's the trick. It's really the only thing left untested/not replaced, so fingers crossed.
September 18, 2006 3:46:31 PM

i think it's the memory.
have you tried re-seating the sticks, even testing with differente memory?
September 18, 2006 3:55:44 PM

Quote:
-clearing CMOS didn't work
-tried a different vid card.....no work
-tried a new mobo.....no work

Tonight I try a new PSU....hoping that's the trick. It's really the only thing left untested/not replaced, so fingers crossed.


That's my hunch, but report back here and let us know . . . I hate to flog this idea, but Ultra PSU's are just not worth the trouble. There are far too many other reputable brands out there at comparable prices. You might indeed have a dead mobo, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the PSU fried it (considering that you were overclocking for awhile and then it all died).
September 18, 2006 5:20:21 PM

Well, both the old and new mobo light up, etc. My guess is something is wrong with the PSU and it isn't cranking enough juice or something of the like. Having the SAME problem with different vid cards and even a brand new mobo is toooo much of a coincidence, considering the PSU is the only thing I haven't tested......(stupid me, it's the 1st thing I should have tested, but hindsight is 20/20 I guess)

As for the Ultra PSU, I really like the modular PSU idea. It's not the price or the brand that I bought it for, it's the modular. Is there any other modular PSU out there that cranks above 500W that is readily available at Tigerdirect or something (I live in Canada and Tiger is 10 minutes from my place)??? I'd love something modular. If that's not possible, any recommendations on a GOOD PSU that can handle overclocking, extra case fans/lights, a 1900XT, and isn't stinking LOUD?? This Ultra is alot louder than I'd like.

-Thermaltake Tough/Pure Power?
-Cooler Master?
-OCZ?

(are any of these brands modular? The OCZ looks like it is and I hear good things about them. Failing modular, if they come already-sleeved, that would make things alot easier. I've kinda pimped my case LOL and I want cabling to be either hidden or look good)

I'm not a brand fanboy, I'm a quality and a performance-for-price guy. I don't want to get into brand arguments......I just want something tough, dependable, and somewhat quiet. If it's "affordable", then that's a bonus.

Thanks alot.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 18, 2006 5:54:15 PM

Try to find yourself an Enermax Liberty.

I have the 500W version and love it.

It's SLI certified with dual 12V rails, has modular cables sleeved in black mesh, has active PFC, and is the quietest component of my system. It even comes with a carrying case to keep the modular cables that you aren't using.

I highly recommend it.
September 18, 2006 6:33:20 PM

Enermax and Hyper both make good modular psu's.
September 18, 2006 11:37:31 PM

Tagan are very good as well (for a modular design).

Beyond modular, the following Brands will more than likely do you right:
OCZ
Enermax
Mushkin
Tagan
Silverstone
Seasonic
PC power & cooling
FSP (fortron source)
Antec True power (though anecdotal evidence suggests they are not reliable as they once were?)

The bottom line is you mostly get what you pay for with PSU's (mostly). Expect to pay around $100 for a 500+ watt unit (give or take $20) 600+ watt is going to be $150+, etc.

extremesystems, SPCR, and extremeoverclocking all offer pretty comprehensive reviews on PSU's that would be worth taking a look at.
September 20, 2006 2:33:00 PM

Well, I tried the OCZ and the system didn't fire up with the 1900XT in it. Put in my old 7600GT and the system worked. So then I swapped out the OCZ PSU, put in my old one and the 7600 worked and 1900 didn't.

Final Conclusion:
Defective X1900XT.

Needless to say, I returned it for a full refund.


So I installed my original 7600GT back in my system and everything's running fine, quick setup, no fuss. It's a shame I've had such problems with ATI on more than one occasion......they provide awesome performance-to-price, far better than Nvidia. If only NV could drop their prices to match.......

We'll see if I take another crack at the 1900XT.....maybe as a Christmas present if prices drop some more. Oh well.

Thanks for all the help guys, much appreciated!!!
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