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ran for a year and stopped today

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January 31, 2008 12:29:32 AM

This machine was one I built and I'm no expert on this kind of thing. It's been running fine for a year. Came in today and it was off (as were the other 3 machines). All machines restarted except this one, which, of course, is my main machine. MB is a 965P-S3, e6600 cpu, OCZ 800 dual channel.

What I see on the monitor is the Award Bios V6.00pc, then the Intel P965 for 965P-53 F6, then it tells the CPUID, some other ID, says MEMORY: and totally stops. No keyboard so I can't get to BIOS or anywhere (usually runs through KVM but I connected a PS2 keyboard directly, no change). My searching didn't find anything where it started to boot like this and then stopped.

I had two sets of OCZ Dual channel and one set was removed from the machine, so I swapped them out. No difference. Shorted the BIOS jumper (or thought I did -- I read some about problems doing that). No difference. I've read in the forums about using lower voltage memory to start (I seem to recall I had a memory stick I bought for this purpose when I build this machine, but recall for sure) so I tried some other memory I borrowed from one of our tech guys (don't even know if it was DDR2, but the number of pins matched the OCZ). No difference.

I don't know how to tell if I've got a MB problem or if it is some kind of memory problem.

Other guts: two 250 gig HD in RAID 1 (on SATA), a couple more SATA drives, SATA Plextor, couple of other audio cards.

One concern if I need a new motherboard is whether the RAID will plug in and work or whether I've got to reinstall and start over. I've got daily backups of data, so there's no problem there.

So... how do I know if I reset the bios or doesn't that matter since I can't get to it anyway? Because I've tried other memory I'm guessing the MB but don't want to go there until I'm sure.

Any suggestions?

More about : ran year stopped today

a b V Motherboard
January 31, 2008 12:51:18 AM

If it stops at MEMORY then you probably have some bad RAM. Try clearing CMOS and see if that helps. Your PSU could also be dying.
January 31, 2008 1:00:17 AM

Again, I'm certainly no expert here, but I figured if I already used different memory that I know was correct for the machine, and some other misc memory that fit and both did the same thing that I'm leaning towards something else as the problem (unless is something with the voltage need to be reset in the BIOS I can't get to)

I did put a jumper on the CMOS clear pins, but others have mentioned something about this not always working. I don't know if I did or not since I can't get to it.
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a b V Motherboard
January 31, 2008 1:25:27 AM

Check the PSU. Sounds like you had a power surge/outage if all the machines were off?

PSU's can and often do die partial deaths. They will power up some stuff but not all of it.

Easy enough, just take a working unit from the other box and see if she boots. If not then possibly lost your MOBO.
January 31, 2008 1:35:43 AM

We did have an outage... the machine is on a UPS....

I didn't know they could die partial death's... that's certainly worth checking out...
January 31, 2008 4:20:57 AM

Anytime there's been any kind of an issue with the power and a PC stops working, the very first thing I always check is the power supply. There's a good chance that if anything is damaged from a power surge, then the PSU will be. I've had more than one instance where the PSU got hit, but everything else was fine. But even if other components are damaged, keep in mind that the surge had to go through the PSU first to get to them (as long as it came though the power mains and not a modem, etc.)

Also keep in mind that a partially failing PSU can produce irregular voltages that can affect other parts of the system. If you try another PSU and still have issues, the motherboard is probably bad (since you already tried different memory).

Lastly you might want to try using different slots for the memory. It's not unheard of for only some memory slots to function. Double check to make sure you seated the memory fully into the slot; even being slightly out on one side can cause it not to work sometime. And finally, I just wanted to mention that DDR1 and DDR2 are not physically interchangeable, so if it fits in the slot, it's the right memory type.
January 31, 2008 8:22:33 PM

So I went to work on it today. To try a new power supply, I disconnected everything, pulled the machine out from under the desk, set it on the desk, connected a different monitor (regular one is on a KVM), keyboard and mouse, thought I'd try starting it first, and it started up just fine (had to reset the bios to recognize the raid, but after that no problem)

So the solution to my problem was to take it out from UNDER the desk and sit in ON the desk. Problem solved.

Moved it back under the desk and it won't recognize the KVM keyboard (although 3 other computers will)

I use two KVM linked together so I can use two monitors on two of the machines (and becasue one KVM is DVI and two computers are VGA), and if I put the same keyboard in the VGA KVM it works fine on this machine.

To go to either of the computers on the DVI KVM I have to unplug the keybaord and move it, but at least I can get to everything now.

I'll have to remember that under-the-desk-to-on-the-desk repair for the future....
a b V Motherboard
January 31, 2008 8:49:30 PM

Quote:
I'll have to remember that under-the-desk-to-on-the-desk repair for the future....


Yep. I'll add that to the list. :) 

Angle of the monitor cable maybe?
January 31, 2008 9:13:01 PM

tromba1 said:
I'll have to remember that under-the-desk-to-on-the-desk repair for the future....


LOL awesome....
February 8, 2008 1:50:17 PM

IT STOPPED AGAIN TODAY

Rather than use to previous solution of taking it out from under the desk and putting it ON the desk to make it work, I thought I'd just KICK it....

I started this thread here becuase it thought it might be the motherboard, and although it ran great for the last week (until I re-installed Spy Sweeper and then it asked me to reboot) - this might not be a motherboard problem, but I don't know what kind of problem I have or where to post it.

I really don't think the moving-it-to-the-desk is a good solution :)  because although last time it might have jarred something, it wasn't touched a all now -- from working fine to reboot to not working!!

Any further suggestions?
a b V Motherboard
February 8, 2008 2:30:15 PM

This appears to be an intermittent error. Any number of things could cause this to happen, unfortunately in my experience an intermittent error can be caused by more than one fault.

For instance a power surge could have damaged your psu, but it also could have damaged other components as well and finding the solution could be a hair pulling experience.

Try the pc with a known good power supply as suggested. Also try stripping the computer to its bare minimal components, if that works try adding components one at a time.

Had a computer that all of a sudden one day didn't want to turn on. I had it very close to the wall, and i discovered after fooling with it that the power cable into the back of the power supply had over time become somewhat shorted (probably due to the pressure of the wall pressing against the cable, which I hadn't noticed to this point) . The cable had to be seated into the psu at a certain angle to work, it ran fine when it was just so.
Prolly not an answer for you but an example of how a box's position could affect the computer's operation.
February 8, 2008 6:50:25 PM

I may have isolated some of the problem....

last week I disconnected EVERYTHING, put the computer on the desk, used a PS2 kbyd/mouse and a separate monitor - then it worked fine. Put it back under the desk, connected the KVM mouse/monitor and it still worked fine. THen plugged all my other stuff in (2 USB printers, USB hub, USB scanner, in/out to 2 sound cards, etc.) everything worked until the reboot today

So rather than move it all out this time, I just disconnected the KVM stuff, plugged in a separate monitor, PS2 mouse/kbd and it DIDN'T work

THEN I unplugged EVERYTHING else and it DID work. moved out the ps2 stuff, plugged the KVM stuff back and it still works.

THen I remembered that last week it was the same thing... AFTER the computer started I plugged all my USB stuff back. I'm guessing it's having the USB stuff plugged ON BOOT that makes it stop booting. After the machine is running, I can plug it all back in. I can't actually remember if I used ALL my USB stuff in the previous week.

If that is indeed the problem, what is there about having the USB stuff plugged that would cause it to stop?
February 12, 2008 1:11:06 AM

You might be near the root of your problem. My old lexmark aio did not have XP certified drivers. Occasionally it will cause my pc to hang during reboot. Solution was to disconnect it, and sometime uninstall/reinstall was necessary. Also my ipod causes same problem, if it is plugged to the USB expansion ports on the monitor (instead of a port on the case).
February 12, 2008 1:57:08 PM

Did you check the warranties? Usually things break because the warranties expire…
February 12, 2008 8:30:19 PM

I had something similar happen a while back due to a bad USB hub. Your computer enumerates the USB devices at boot, and a bad one that doesn't respond can cause it to lock. Since it boots fine without your USB devices hooked up, it looks like this is what's going on.

The next step is going to be the most tedious one. What you need to do is start hooking up your USB devices one by one and rebooting, in order to find the culprit (i.e. hook up keyboard, reboot, hook up mouse, reboot, etc). If it fails to boot, remove the last device you hooked up and smash it with a sledgehammer. Repeat until you've gone through all your USB devices.
February 12, 2008 9:32:14 PM

tromba1 said:
Again, I'm certainly no expert here, but I figured if I already used different memory that I know was correct for the machine, and some other misc memory that fit and both did the same thing that I'm leaning towards something else as the problem (unless is something with the voltage need to be reset in the BIOS I can't get to)

I did put a jumper on the CMOS clear pins, but others have mentioned something about this not always working. I don't know if I did or not since I can't get to it.


the proper procedure is to take out the CMOS battery and then short the CMOS_CLR pins for at least 10 seconds. If you don't take out the battery, the CMOS won't clear on some motherboards.

I didn't read the whole thread but you have taken off every peripheral except video, 1 stick of ram, cpu/hsf, psu, and mobo right?
February 12, 2008 10:41:20 PM

"ran for a year and stopped today"

MAN! U must be tired!
:p 
!