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Computer will not start up

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October 20, 2007 3:31:16 AM

Hello,
I built a computer for a friend using a K9n Neo motherboard, which operated fine for 3 months and the system malfunctioned. MSI tech support said to RMA the board. The new board came today, however the problem hasn't been resolved.
Whenever the power button is pressed, the system will power up, fans will start spinning, etc. but only for a split second. The only signs I see are the LAN led flash on and off, and the power LED blinks, no beeps or other signs.
I have taken everything off of the NEW board except the CPU/cooler and 1 stick of RAM and tried it with no luck. I also removed the board from the chassis to see if there was a short, and it still didn't work. I cleared the CMOS to no avail. I tested the power supply using the paperclip trick, and with a few devices plugged in, the PSU (Antec TruePower Trio 550w) pulled 4.98V and 12.06V, which seems fine to me. I don't know if the PSU isn't able to handle the entire power load, or if the CPU has malfunctioned in some way.
The specs are as follows:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000, stock cooler - 2GB Wintec Ampo DDR2 800 RAM - EVGA 8800GTS 320mb - Antec TruePower Trio 550W - Western Digital 160GB SATA HD - LiteOn DVD-R SATA disc drive - Apevia X-Cruiser case - Vista Home Premium
My friend spent over $1500 on this new computer, and so far he has only been able to use it for the 3 out of the 5 months he had it. I really appreciate any assistance you can give me; also take note that the computer is not in my possession and I do not have much time out of the day to work on it. Thank you.

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October 20, 2007 5:28:10 AM

Based on your list of components, my first two guesses would have been the ram and the motherboard. Since you replaced the MB, I would suspect the ram. The rest are all quality components. Try booting the board without ram and see if you get the missing ram beep code, or if the MB acts the same way. If it beeps, then try a different brand of ram stick if one is available, just as long as it is DDR2.
October 20, 2007 12:57:07 PM

I won't be able to get over there until later today but I'll certainly give that a shot. Thanks for the reply.
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November 6, 2007 5:04:13 PM

Unfortunately I have had lots of trouble with MSI motherboards and even now have a 875 Neo that will not post. I suggest trying the steps under the MSI trouble shooting guide for your issue. http://www.msicomputer.com/support/sup_tshoot.asp

RMA as soon as you can as well or you will be out of luck. I have sent in my Neo 3 times and unfortunately since the warranty started when the board was made rather than when it is retailed they will no longer fix it. They will just tell you to buy another motherboard.

I am currently running on my ASUS and Gigabyte systems as they run perfectly.

I wish Tom's Hardware would do an article on life expectancy for motherboards as I do not think MSI would rate well specifically on the Neos.
November 6, 2007 9:58:49 PM

Hello everyone. Sorry for the topic bump but I figured out the problem is actually with the power supply. When it's plugged into another power supply the motherboard is able to beep and beeps 8 times for no video card (and that's right, it's not installed). Looks like the problem has been resolved. Thanks for the help. And a lesson for you troubleshooting a computer: make sure you test the power supply on another computer, because that's usually the culprit!
November 6, 2007 10:22:01 PM

Power supplies are one of the most overlooked components. It is wise to invest in a 1st or 2nd tier quality PS and protect it with a UPS/surge unit.
November 7, 2007 6:24:25 PM

I was expecting more from it, it was an Antec TruePower Trio 550W bought in May. Well it's getting RMA'd, hopefully that goes well.
!