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Is there any way to "hotwire" a motherboard?

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August 18, 2007 5:29:43 PM

So here is my problem. My computer is crap! It's a Gateway GT5058. I didn't know it at the time when I bought it that it had a BTX motherboard. I figured that out a week ago when I bought a Nvidia 8800 graphics card that wouldn't fit onto the motherboard despite having the necessary PCI-Express slot. It's a 2 slot graphics card and it was banging up against the heatsink on the cpu, powercord to the mobo, and the connection on the back where you plug in the mouse. I was pretty confused about that until I did a little research and found out that you had to flip the graphics cards upside down to put them in a BTX case and my case/mobo didn't account for 2slot graphics cards. Anyway, I wound up getting a single slot graphics card the GeForce 8400 GS and that worked fine.

The actual problem with my motherboard started a couple months ago. One day I went to restart my computer and the bloody thing won't turn on. All the powercords and wires to the mobo are connected just fine, but the pc wouldn't even get to the bios screen on the monitor. More out of frustration then anything I kept power cycling the computer. I've always found the saying "stupid is attempting the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result" pretty amusing. But in this case the saying turned out to be wrong. After I power cycled it a dozen or so times the computer actually fires up. Once it gets running, everything works fine. So I figure "hell, I just won't turn my computer off anymore!".

But like all half-assed plans that just doesn't work. Every now and then there is a power outage or some program needs the computer to reboot for the changes to take effect. But the old "keep pushing the button till it works plan" continues to be effective. Until this week that is. The last thing I was doing on my pc was trying to play EQ2. But I got an error with the graphics card and it kept dropping the program after the launch screen. So I figured the first step would be to make sure my graphics card driver was up todate. So after installing the new driver of course the effects won't take place until I reboot the pc. So after power cycling the computer like 500 times (not much of an exaggeration sadly...) I've come to the conclusion that just won't work. I've checked the connections numerous times.

I would probably just replace the motherboard... if it was that simple! I can't find a BTX motherboard anywhere for sale, much less one that supports an AMD Athlon 64 x2 processor 3800+. So now I'm desperate. I need my gaming fix. I figure if I can just get to the bios screen I'll be set. So I'm wondering if there is any way to "hotwire" the mobo to bypass whatever power system is failing? I don't really care if I break a broken mobo so if anyone has any ideas I'd be willing to experiment. Or alternatively, if anyone has a less stupid idea I'd be willing to entertain that notion too =p Thanks for any help offered.

Here's a link to my computer if that helps: [http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite... 246&Sku=G153-GT5058&SRCCODE=NEXTAG&CMP=EMC-NEXTAG] Gateway GT5058

More about : hotwire motherboard

August 18, 2007 6:22:45 PM

you can try just shorting the two pins that are for the power switch. Works for old computers when you don't have a case for them and want to test them. Should work in this. use either a screwdriver, a jumper, or you could make your own switch by hooking up the wire to a push switch. Might be that the power switch on the case is busted.

HTH.
August 18, 2007 7:02:22 PM

Nitro350Z said:
you can try just shorting the two pins that are for the power switch. Works for old computers when you don't have a case for them and want to test them. Should work in this. use either a screwdriver, a jumper, or you could make your own switch by hooking up the wire to a push switch. Might be that the power switch on the case is busted.

HTH.


No, the power switch is working. The harddrive, fan, dvd drive, etc are still getting power. But the motherboard isnt' sending any data to the monitor. No bios or anything.
Related resources
August 18, 2007 7:21:45 PM

does the computer complete the POST? ie do you hear a short beep shortly after powering it on?
a b V Motherboard
a b U Graphics card
August 18, 2007 8:05:20 PM

Lornick said:
So here is my problem. My computer is crap!


Why do you call your computer "crap"? Is it because you bought a cheap computer that was never designed to handle high end components but afterward you decided you wanted one? Or is it because it won't start at all now after you ignored a major problem for months until it became worse?

By the way, according to the link you listed the form factor is uBTX - or micro BTX. Not surprising that it would not support a huge graphics card - not to mention one with 2 slots on a one slot board.

One possibility is that you have a small short in your board. Repeated boot attempts warm up the ciruits enough to close the short.

What is the warranty status? The link you listed is for a refurbished computer with only a 3 month warranty. Is this what you purchased? Did you elect an extended warranty option?


August 18, 2007 8:25:12 PM

rockyjohn said:
Why do you call your computer "crap"? Is it because you bought a cheap computer that was never designed to handle high end components but afterward you decided you wanted one? Or is it because it won't start at all now after you ignored a major problem for months until it became worse?

By the way, according to the link you listed the form factor is uBTX - or micro BTX. Not surprising that it would not support a huge graphics card - not to mention one with 2 slots on a one slot board.

One possibility is that you have a small short in your board. Repeated boot attempts warm up the ciruits enough to close the short.

What is the warranty status? The link you listed is for a refurbished computer with only a 3 month warranty. Is this what you purchased? Did you elect an extended warranty option?


The warranty is a limited one year which has already elapsed so no help there. As far as why I bought the cheap computer in the first place.. well that's a somewhat involved story too. I was trying to help out my little brother. He wanted to borrow some money for a computer. So I sold him the one I had pretty cheap and got this one to hold me over for a while. I'm pretty content for the time being with the GeForce 8400. It runs the games I want at an acceptable level. So my problem isn't really the high end components. It's that the motherboard doesn't work at all. The link I provided isn't where I bought my computer. I bought it at BestBuy. But it's the exact same make and model as the one I'm using so I thought the data might help with advice.
August 18, 2007 8:27:14 PM

pavel- said:
does the computer complete the POST? ie do you hear a short beep shortly after powering it on?


No beeping at all. It doesn't even get that far.
August 18, 2007 8:35:24 PM

The symptoms you describe are more likely to be the PSU! When you switch on a lot of components draw a high surge current and PSU that is failing will trip out. Size of surge varies with where the main supply is on sine wave. Max surge if power at peak, 1.4xRMS value. Min surge when volts at zero at start point. Test with a spare PSU, just attach the cables, you don't have to fit it in the case.

Mike.
August 18, 2007 10:06:10 PM

mike99 said:
The symptoms you describe are more likely to be the PSU! When you switch on a lot of components draw a high surge current and PSU that is failing will trip out. Size of surge varies with where the main supply is on sine wave. Max surge if power at peak, 1.4xRMS value. Min surge when volts at zero at start point. Test with a spare PSU, just attach the cables, you don't have to fit it in the case.

Mike.

It's definately not the power supply. I guess I should have mentioned that when I bought the GeForce 8800 GTS graphics card I also bought a new power supply. I took back the graphics card, but kept the power supply.
August 18, 2007 11:27:55 PM

There's no such word as "definately". It is "definitely" and always will be. Learn it. Spelling it wrong marks you as an uneducated fool. Let's move on.

Despite your assurances that the cables are correctly inserted, the very first thing to check, and the most likely location of failure is at the contact level.

Remove all the PSU power plugs and inspect. Clean with spray-on contact cleaner once you have unplugged it from the wall. Reinsert the plugs and seat them well.

Most likely that is your issue.
August 19, 2007 12:00:45 AM

Lornick said:
It's definately not the power supply. I guess I should have mentioned that when I bought the GeForce 8800 GTS graphics card I also bought a new power supply. I took back the graphics card, but kept the power supply.

Have you got your old PSU? Try it and see if it fixes the problem. If your problem goes away it may not be that your new PSU is bad. I wouldn't rule out a new type of proprietary design as all OEM system builders love. Would be a good way to get joe consumer to buy new.
August 19, 2007 1:01:01 AM

elbert said:
Have you got your old PSU? Try it and see if it fixes the problem. If your problem goes away it may not be that your new PSU is bad. I wouldn't rule out a new type of proprietary design as all OEM system builders love. Would be a good way to get joe consumer to buy new.


Yeah, tried both power supply units. No change in status.
August 19, 2007 4:03:36 PM

Mobius said:
There's no such word as "definately". It is "definitely" and always will be. Learn it. Spelling it wrong marks you as an uneducated fool. Let's move on.

Despite your assurances that the cables are correctly inserted, the very first thing to check, and the most likely location of failure is at the contact level.

Remove all the PSU power plugs and inspect. Clean with spray-on contact cleaner once you have unplugged it from the wall. Reinsert the plugs and seat them well.

Most likely that is your issue.


hehe, gotta luv the spelling nazi! :love:  Anyway I've checked and rechecked the contacts numerous times... with 2 different power supplies. My brother and I pulled the whole thing apart, cleaned it out, and firmly replaced all the components and connections. Same problem.

I think you guys are missing a good opportunity here. I've already begun building a new pc. I'm not worried about breaking this one. I'm willing to entertain hair-brained schemes to try and bypass the short on the mobo. I think rockyjohn is most likely right when he said this, "One possibility is that you have a small short in your board. Repeated boot attempts warm up the ciruits enough to close the short." This theory would explain much of the computers behavior. Any ideas on how to bypass that short? Or alternatively, anyone have an idea where to purchase a micro BTX motherboard compatable with an AMD Athlon 64 x2 processor 3800+?
August 20, 2007 2:55:28 PM

To bypass the short...........hmmmm, that would mean you have to track down where the short is happening.

To do that.........I would have to say just one thing - hope youve got a O-Scope and alot of time and the ability to track traces on a layered PCB.
August 20, 2007 3:52:32 PM

Is it possible the short is actually in the switch that's connected to the motherboard?

I had something like that in which my switch was not working right. I spliced the wires and threw away the bad pieces, picked up a new push switch from a electronics store, sodered the pieces with new wire, covered with shrink tube and installed - worked like a charm!
August 20, 2007 4:23:21 PM

double_helix said:
Is it possible the short is actually in the switch that's connected to the motherboard?

I had something like that in which my switch was not working right. I spliced the wires and threw away the bad pieces, picked up a new push switch from a electronics store, sodered the pieces with new wire, covered with shrink tube and installed - worked like a charm!


I really don't think so. When I push the power button on the case it does turn on power to the optical drives, LED power light, and I'm pretty sure I hear the harddrive turning on too. I also tried Nitro350Z's idea "you can try just shorting the two pins that are for the power switch. Works for old computers when you don't have a case for them and want to test them. Should work in this. use either a screwdriver". I used a screwdriver to short the two power pins and I had the same thing happen. Power to optical drives and harddrive, but no "beep" or bios message on the monitor.
!