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System does not boot, does not beep, CPU dead?

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October 15, 2006 11:57:29 PM

Motherboard is an ASUS P4S333 with the latest BIOS. CPU is a 1.6 P4. Starting about 6 months ago, the system would neither beep when switched on, nor would it wake the monitor from sleep. I pulled out all the cards (including the video card), and the RAM, and the system still would not beep to report any errors. At the time I figured it must be a bad motherboard (which was also an ASUS P4S333), so I went on eBay and bought a replacement board. I put it all together, turned it on, and it worked fine for about a week. Now it's doing the same thing again and I'm left to wonder if the CPU is failing since that seems to be the only constant involved. It always boots if I clear the BIOS, forcing it to ask me for the CPU speed information, but once I save changes and exit the BIOS menu the monitor will go to sleep and the system won't boot. Thoughts? Suggestions?
October 16, 2006 12:36:11 AM

Could be the CPU... or even the mobo again... having almost the same problems, but my computer won't even start up. Here is the link to my topic, mabey this will help. Link
October 16, 2006 3:29:10 AM

I had a stick of ram that went bad and the computer would not boot up. The cpu fan came on, but that was all, no boot. I thought it was the video card or mb, but on advice I took out one of my ram sticks and it worked perfectly ever since. When I put the bad stick back in, no boot , no beeps...
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October 16, 2006 5:35:17 AM

I've already replaced the RAM. Even without the RAM it doesn't boot up and beep at me to indicate that there is no RAM installed. It's not the RAM.
October 16, 2006 3:43:49 PM

Exact thing happened to me this weekend. Push the power button and nothing, only fans would turn on.

I've come to the conclusion it's the CPU so I put in an order at newegg for a P4 3.0GHz (little upgrade from a 2.4). Thank god they're not expensive.

Now I just need to call Asus and have them ship a replacement bios chip for my P5W DH to support my C2D.

It sucks having 2 desktops not working and in pieces.
October 16, 2006 4:13:14 PM

Compusa sells a PCI boot code displayer. You might want to check this out. Even though the comptuer does not beep, if it still gets power, the system is going through hidden codes that you can see with this $15 device. Its similar to Dell's 4 lights in the back, but much more indepth. It will let you know if there is a CPU problem, memory problem....


Try it.
October 16, 2006 9:52:01 PM

Do you have an exact name I could search for on that PCI diagnostic thing? I checked CompUSA's site and they only have a $50 one and Newegg doesn't seem to have anything like it.
October 16, 2006 10:00:48 PM

Interesting. Newegg does not sell them.


What you are looking for is a PCI diagnostic board.
Compusa has 2, one is a full card and back plate, which is $50, and a cable that plugs into the PCI slot with a 2 char display (all you need). This is the elcheapo, and is about 12-15$. I know our store has it, and yours does as well, so just walk in and ask for the $50 one, and the cheap one should be next to it.
October 17, 2006 1:16:53 PM

That's pretty cool, I'll have to go to CompUSA and get one. Thanks a lot for the referance! It can definatly come in handy, just wish I knew about it over the weekend. Better late then never I guess.
October 27, 2006 10:44:59 AM

Ok, so I got my hands on a Startech.com PCIPOST Diagnostic Test Card (only $37.25 at Provantage.com), popped it there and the system got hung up at codes A5 and 61. When I would clear out the BIOS, set the CPU speed, and then save and exit the BIOS, 61 is where the system would hang, which the code for "Set system speed for boot." If I then powered off the system and turned it back on, A5 was the code for where it would stop.

The list of codes that came with the diagnostic card does not say what A5 means, nor do any of the online POST code listings for an AwardBIOS 6.0 mention A5. The error code book does suggest that any code not found in the book means that the motherboard is dead, *BUT* I've already had similar results with a different motherboard, which brings me back around to suspect the CPU. So, unless somebody here knows what A5 might actually mean or has any other ideas, I guess I'm looking at buying a replacement CPU. :/ 
October 27, 2006 1:49:54 PM

its different depending on your bios. What BIOS do you use?

Also, you said you have similar results with another computer? That computer needs to have the same bios, and it should not be stoping on anything but 00 once the boot is complete.
October 27, 2006 1:52:33 PM

and your sure the voltage and multiplier..... is set correctly in the bios? The problem here, is that your board ended in a rather inconvenient place. It ends in a location that affects both the motherboard and processor so it could still be either. I would look up on google and see what that returned code means in detail, and what others have had experience with it.
October 27, 2006 10:43:58 PM

Quote:
its different depending on your bios. What BIOS do you use?

AwardBIOS 6.0, as stated in my last post.

Quote:
Also, you said you have similar results with another computer? That computer needs to have the same bios, and it should not be stoping on anything but 00 once the boot is complete.

No, not in another computer, in the same computer's old motherboard, which I replaced with an identical board (Asus P4S333) when I had assumed that the motherboard was bad in the first place 6 months ago.

Quote:
and your sure the voltage and multiplier..... is set correctly in the bios?

16x multiplier and a voltage of 1.75. Here's a link to it's specs. I checked and rechecked that part specifically last night and I even tried underclocking it to the lowest speed option it had. It just would not boot up.

Quote:
The problem here, is that your board ended in a rather inconvenient place. It ends in a location that affects both the motherboard and processor so it could still be either. I would look up on google and see what that returned code means in detail, and what others have had experience with it.


And I have Googled it. A5 is simply not on any list of AwardBIOS 6.0 POST codes available online. Like the book that came with the PCI card, the list of codes stops somewhere in the 80's and resumes somewhere in the B0's or C0's.
October 30, 2006 1:15:23 PM

Ok. I will do some research and get back to you.
October 30, 2006 1:35:22 PM

Many bios' codes are similar.
A5 External ROM scan
A5 Memory wait states programming over. Screen to be cleared next.
A5 Memory wait states programming over. Going to clear the screen and enable parity/NMI.
A5 FDC failed reset

61 Display memory verification over. About to go for DMA #1 base register test.
61 Check DDNIL status bit and display message if clear
61 Test RAM
61 Set Boot Speed
61 (during mem test) Enter protected mode

These are a mix of older and newer Award Bios codes as well as a few others. I would say at this point given this information, you have either a bad memory controler (new mobo required), or bad ram. Since "set boot speed" is specifictly your error, you might want to downclock your ram. Anyway, buy a cheap stick at best buy and return it if it doesnt fix your problem... cause a new mobo is in order.
October 31, 2006 7:35:08 AM

I've already ruled out the RAM. System originally had 384MB (128+256) of PC2700 (DDR333) and ran fine on them since 2002 until this problem popped up. I've since used them in other systems with no problems. Current stick of RAM is a new 512MB PC2700 DIMM I bought off Newegg. BIOS correctly detects it when I'm put in there to set the CPU speed after clearing it out. Motherboard's already been replaced, so unless this is a flaw in every ASUS P4S333 board, I'm doubting that as the cause. I should be getting my hands on a different CPU to test with in about a week, and if that fails to get this thing going, then I'll be looking for a(nother) new motherboard for the ol'girl.
October 31, 2006 12:41:47 PM

Like I said, its either the RAM or the Memory controler (which means new mobo). Good to see you can test other solutions though just incase. Good Luck and let me know what you find out.
October 31, 2006 12:58:07 PM

i was having the same problems in a pc i have no beeps. i tried a diffrent cpu and it fixed it.
October 31, 2006 12:59:42 PM

Memory errors wont cause beeps... infact many issues wont cause beeps.


Some mobos will make a long beep if the ram isnt in... but that is if the controler is working fine.
October 31, 2006 1:06:17 PM

i swapped cpu's and when i went to turn it on, no beep. so i checked everything, when i pulled out the ram i got several long beeps then the vga more beeps. then i got to the cpu which i was hoping it wasn't, and same scenario. so i tried another cpu and it booted up.
October 31, 2006 1:08:05 PM

The long beep (singular) is what you should have heard. And that was because everything was working fine. But, if you were to slightly loosen the memory, no beeps.
October 31, 2006 1:11:42 PM

on the board i was using if i put the ram in the wrong slots i would get beeps. also all motherboard beep sequences are not the same.
October 31, 2006 1:15:12 PM

"all motherboard beep sequences are not the same". If you are telling me this...



/ignore
October 31, 2006 1:20:32 PM

thats what i'm sayin and i'm sure you know that. but i just saying in my situation old with the old cpu i got no beeps and when i changed it i got a beep and the pc booted.

by the way nice avatar. i used to have a brideported 13b.
November 4, 2006 2:49:54 AM

Out with the old CPU and in with a 2ghz CPU I got off eBay. Never have I loved seeing a "you don't have a hard drive plugged in" (because I don't at the moment) error more. This is hopefully solved now, unless it stops working in about 2 hours like it did when I swapped motherboards. If I don't return to post here again, then you can consider that no news is good news.
November 4, 2006 2:54:18 AM

sounds like you're back up and running. i hope it fixes the problem, it did for me
November 5, 2006 11:54:26 AM

So I got the replacement CPU, I put it in. Everything booted up, ran fine. I turned it off and back on about 10 more times just to make sure it was doing everything right. No problems at all. I installed Ubuntu Server, which went absolutely smoothly, and then shut the system down and went to bed. Today, I turned it on, and guess what? Guess I'll be looking for a 3rd motherboard for this stupid thing. Any currently available Socket 478 board will do to run an older P4 processor (link to CPU specs), right?

EDIT: Now that I think about it, this time was different. The BIOS on the board has a voice output, meaning that instead of beeping out an error code, it speaks out loud through thr onboard sound what the problem is. It told me "CPU is not installed." Interesting that it didn't do that with the 1.6g P4 CPU installed, but it did with the 2.0g CPU.
November 6, 2006 1:03:07 PM

Does your mobo support that speed? And when it was working, did you see the speed being displayed correctly?
November 6, 2006 1:38:14 PM

PSU problem?
November 6, 2006 1:40:25 PM

Quote:
Does your mobo support that speed? And when it was working, did you see the speed being displayed correctly?


Dont forget your mobo is also saying BAD RAM / MEMORY CONTROLLER.
November 6, 2006 2:42:13 PM

Hmm:

Dead system
Replace M/B
Now working system.

Later on...
Dead system
Replace CPU
Now working system

Later on...
Dead system

Look at the whole situation. One of two things are most likely happening:

Feedback faults - Bad M/B stresses CPU, which eventually fails, which stresses M/B... repeat. Very rare, but I've seen it twice in 11 years that I worked in repair.

I would put money that you have something in that system (other than the M/B CPU) that is putting stress on both components. Electrical stress. Voltage-related stress.

Before you drop another dime into this rig, have your PSU checked.

Idev
November 6, 2006 2:53:25 PM

Second that. If you want yet another tool in you collection, for $9.99 at COMPusa, you can get a PSU tester. It will verify all power is comming though at the right Voltage. Your mobo may beable to check this as well, if you can get to the bios at some time.
November 6, 2006 4:43:21 PM

Not usualy. A bad psu say, missing the 12+ or a 3.3+ volt will just cause booting issues, but no damange.
November 8, 2006 7:08:10 AM

I must have not selected "notify me" on my last post, because I never got an e-mail with the latest suggestions posted here, but last night I too started thinking of the PSU. I'd replaced practically every other part in the damn thing, and ignored the PSU the entire time. I do own an Antec PSU tester, and so I plugged it into that, and all the lights lit up and it showed a green light on the 'good' indicator. "What the hell, why not," I said and swapped it out with another PSU. Since then, it's been running fine. I'm hesitant to say it's fixed for good, just because of this system's recent history of working and then not working. My best assumption is that when the system wasn't drawing power for the CPU (such as when I would clear the BIOS and it wouldn't know what it had), it would boot just fine. Once I set that however, it wouldn't be able to power the CPU sufficiently, and thus would complain that I didn't have one installed at all.
November 8, 2006 8:20:33 AM

Quote:
MrKorb,

if it still fails, try replacing the CMOS battery. Strange thinks can happen when the battery goes dead.


One of the first things I tried replacing, actually. We're now at about 24 hours since I replaced the PSU. Everything is working fine on it.
November 8, 2006 12:53:15 PM

Quote:
Not usualy. A bad psu say, missing the 12+ or a 3.3+ volt will just cause booting issues, but no damange.


What if for some reason it's allowing a higher current than the specified one on one of the rails?


I covered my ass with the "Not Usualy". If for some reason there is 20v coming though the 12v rail... ya dmg insues. Normaly, damaged PSUs can be replaced with no other failures.
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