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Help!: CPU(?) Suddenly Stopped Functioning

Last response: in Systems
June 16, 2007 5:55:18 PM

Two-year old component(s):
Mobo - Asus A8V-E Deluxe Socket 939 VIA K8T890
CPU - AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Venice 2.2GHz Socket 939
GPU - EVGA 256-P2-N528-AX GeForce 7800GTX 256MB
RAM - Kingston ValueRAM 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200)

One-year old componet(s):
PSU - FSP Group (Fortron Source) AX400-PN, RoHS, 12cm FAN, version 2.2, 2 SATA, 20+ 4 pin, PCI Express, 400W Power Supply

The Tragedy:

I was running City of Villains, Ventrilo, Winamp and Firefox. Within a span of 5 seconds, my framerate suddenly slows to a stop and my music (internet radio) starts skipping. Once the screen froze, the last few seconds of music in the buffer played, then silence. After waiting for a minute, I manually restarted the computer. Upon powering up again, I could hear the mobo saying, "system fail: CPU test," over my headphones. After opening my case, I discovered that the front and rear case fans hadn't been running, leaving only the side one (out of the case fans, CPU / GPU / PSU fans were normal).

So far, I have attempted to it up without my video card in, to see if it was drawing too much power. Same result. I haven't tested the actual voltages on the rails yet, but I plan on doing this today.

Any insight would be very much appreciated.

Edit: The 12v and 5v rails were both 2-4% above their respective voltages. Tested with a DMM.
June 16, 2007 7:09:24 PM

You actually HEAR your system said "System fail CPU test" over your headphones?!?!

Did it beeps at all upon a power-on??

Do you have another system to test if your PSU is still working? Or you can short out the (only) green wire and any black(1) wire together, hook up a fan, turn on the switch, see if it's the PSU.

June 16, 2007 8:04:06 PM

If you have any other of the following conponants, here is what you can try.

Graphic card
and maybe Psu.

First power comp off and unplug it from wall. Then change graphic card and ram follow by Resetting the Bios. Then power up, if this does now work, you will then switch out Psu and try again, remembering to reset bio's. If it still give you the voice error, then change cpu and reset bio's. If that does not work, then you will know your mobo is dead, most likely the Southbridge chipset.

I had it happen to me on my Asus P4P800E-Deluxe, but I had another comp waiting in the wings to replace it. It took me a few hours to find this on the ASUS Forum board, also they had a problem with their Southbridge chipsets around that time and had to replace alot of mobo's back then.

Hope my advice above works out for you or otherwise you will be looking for new mobo.
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June 16, 2007 9:07:57 PM

Yes, I know it's odd, but my mobo does talk through my headphones.

The only messages I've heard are, "system fail: cpu test," and, "system fail: video test."

Yoosty, thanks for the advice. My roomie and I will be doing those tests today.
September 5, 2007 1:52:47 AM

Got tired of fighting my three year old ABIT AV8 mysterious crashes and went shopping for any 939 w/AGP and 4 memory slots. Only thing I could find locally was at a "tent sale". Thought my twenty bucks was well spent when I installed this used ASUS A8V mobo and everything worked perfectly. Then I plugged headphones into the green audio jack... normal speaker hook up was too far away from the middle of the floor where the build is taking place.

Yes... everything appears to work great except I have this constant scream of "SYSTEM FAILED CPU TEST" from the moment power is applied, during boot and until power is removed.

I guess I am lucky, my system works except for that minor annoyance. The "failed CPU" is an FX-55 with water cooling. And yes, my system does the normal beep from the internal speaker.

September 16, 2007 4:15:34 AM

Know this helps your immediate problem little, but there is a lot of used mother boards out there fresh from ASUS's factory... and they don't work because somebody put plain jane BIOS chips on the Deluxe boards. I recently bought one from a one or two foot stack of brown boxed anti-static wrapped RMA'ed boards. Mine worked but...

Over night S&H charges for a new A8V Deluxe BIOS chip probably doubled the price I paid for this mobo but after successfully loading every previously used program and last night rendering an hour long 720X480 movie w/lots of special effects AND NO CRASHES, I'm sorry I did not change motherboards ages ago.

Major problem installing the new BIOS. The plain jane A8V worked on this mobo with the exception noted above. The new Deluxe BIOS refused to work when first installed. All I got were the following screen messages (an no annoying audio announcements):

1. Case intrusion detected
2. CMOS checksum error
3. Fatal error
System Halted

I could do nothing with this new BIOS chip... except put the old one back in and listen to the "System failed CPU test" over and over while the machine apparently worked perfectly.

After getting this bright idea and really reading (rather than skimming) the PDF owner's manual, I discovered that the two pins I successfully used for the panel power LED were not listed or even shown in the manual. I should have used the two pins immediately behind (beside??) these.

When I moved the LED to the correct pins, the new BIOS worked perfectly and for the last week or so, I have known happiness and not one crash. ASUS A8V Deluxe belatedly gets my vote.

The user interface for over clocking isn't as cute or useful as that of the Abit AV8 but this board worked second time every time. So far.


And yes, the board does talk... pull out everything except the power supply leads and it will tell you what is defective. I tried it with memory removed, video card removed, even with the BIOS chip totally removed. It talked.
September 16, 2007 6:13:54 AM

ASUS motherboards talk. When mine POSTs and boots the OS it says

"System power on self test complete. Now booting from operating system."

It sucks that your fans aren't working. I find it unlikely it's your power supply since your computer was capable of powering all of the other components, including providing you with the audio output to tell you CPU failed.

I would say try a different CPU, but I'm thinking you don't have one since I'm sure you would have tried that. If your fans weren't working for some reason, I'm betting you slow cooked your computer until something died. In this case my guess would be the motherboard's north/south bridge. I forget which one get's hotter, but they usually get pretty darn hot and they often come without a fan. The constant high temps might have finally killed it.

crashmore said:

And yes, the board does talk... pull out everything except the power supply leads and it will tell you what is defective. I tried it with memory removed, video card removed, even with the BIOS chip totally removed. It talked.

That is funny! Trying to make us believe the voices in your head or what!?