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Odd Motherboard Behavior

Last response: in Motherboards
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May 14, 2007 2:01:33 PM

This is really strange behavior I have seen in the last week. Here are the symptoms. ( ABIT NF7-S2 )

I go into the bios ( Phonix - Award Bios ) In the section that deals with FSB frequency and memory frequency, immediatly when I enter that page, the cursor is frozen over "Memory Frequency", its flashing there but its also making this very regular ticking noise. The actual MOBO is making a ticking noise. This stops after a minute or so and the cursor unfreezes and stops blinking.

I get the feeling its trying to tell me something? But I have no clue how to interpret it.

My feeling is something is not right with the memory slots. I have swapped out the memory sticks and get the same behavior. I have even moved them around.

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Side note, and maybe related. I believe my PC also has a virus. I am running windows XP and for one of the users. all it wants to do is type the letter "Q" and keep typing this. None of the other user accounst are affected and this is the only symptom. Apart from this and something getting corrupted in the COM system that wont allow me to start Internet Explorer...the system is stable.

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So, is it possible this MOBO is going bad? What about a boot sector virus?

Any ideas or help of course would greatly be appreciated. You all are the best and why I love coming here for ideas!

Thanks

HJ
May 15, 2007 5:20:20 PM

At a glance, I think your BIOS doesnt have your CPU on its list of compatible hardware, and its continually trying to figure out exactly what it is by auto-detecting against its list. It's probably timing out after x number of attempts, but it is able to gleen enough info from the CPU to run it, probably with some not so attractive default settings. A bios update should fix, if this is the case.

If I were at work and I encountered this problem, the first thing I would do is remove the virus. With a clean install of windows, if neccesary. It's a truly random wildcard factor that can cause all sorts of strange behavior, and should be directly eliminated as cause first.

The only part on a mainboard that clicks that I am aware of is a part called a relay- relays are basically physical switches that are operated by electric magnets on seperate circuits, and are generally only used when absolutely neccesary (due to cost, solid state switching is cheaper), usually for power switching. If this is the case, than something is continually reseting itself, likely because it's not initializing correctly. As much as it sounds like a broken mainboard when I say this, if often isnt. This sound could be originating at the power supply too, so boot to a bench power supply to eliminate this possibility.

Disconnect your hard drive cable and boot, does the behavior continue? Rules out boot sector virus, altho it sounds to me like we arent getting that far, this is a basic input output system issue, in short, busted or incompatible hardware.

After that, flash in an up to date bios. I would flash in a new, identical version bios if it was up to date, in case of current bios curruption. If this doesnt fix it, start working backward in BIOS revisions... flash it in, cold boot test, download, flash, test, downloadfalshtest. It's great fun, that.

Are you using all of the available RAM slots? If not, try splitting the RAM. Instead of a 1GB stick, try a pair of 512s. Not ideal, but this can sometimes reveal certain RAM revision/bios compat issues.

Still not working? Heavily test your CPU in another machine, preferably with the same chipset, but dont take anything but the CPU from the afflicted box.

Still not working? Swap out each and every hardware device, one at a time, with another same type/ different model device, and test. If say removing the DVD-ROM does the trick, then try a same model/different device, does the behavior continue? If not, RMA the offending device.

Still not working? RMA the mainboard.

I'd be surprised if you get to the end of this list still stumped, but if you do, I'll fire up a browser and try and solve this. Please post back results, questions.
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