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My new build is now dead, any advice??

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October 18, 2008 5:28:22 PM

I had a Shuttle PC sg31g2 assembled and running with XP Home, everything was fine until it started randomly freezing up after 10 - 15 minutes of use.

Foolishly I decided to update the BIOS (Shuttle PC recommended I try this) but just as the software started to flash the 'new' BIOS the computer froze up (BIOS erased)!

I sent the BIOS chip back to Shuttle for a re flash with the latest BIOS. I just got finished putting the chip back into the motherboard and I started the computer:

BIOS info came up on my monitor with installed components listed, everything looked fine so I went into the BIOS during start up to set the BIOS to 'optimize defaults' (Shuttle recommends this) and now the machine is dead, black screen ..... I expected Windows to start after exiting the BIOS but it did not.

I have tried many re starts but nothing. During startup the DVD drive reads, the HDD reads, but no signal is sent to the keyboard (i.e. lights on the keyboard don't illuminate as they normally would during start up) The monitor is blank every time, not even a blinking cursor.

I tried to start up with Windows disk in the DVD drive but that did nothing.

The system is:

Shuttle SG31G2
Intel E8500
Corsiar Twin 2X4096 - 8500C5
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB SATA II
Lite-On 16X DVD-ROM ATAPI/E-IDE Drive

Anyone got any advice?

Thanks for any help...

More about : build dead advice

October 18, 2008 5:45:32 PM

Sounds like your motherboard is not completely passing through its POST, if you're not getting keyboard lights or anything. Could still be a BIOS related problem, or perhaps a hardware problem with the motherboard itself.

In situations like this, I like to start from the beginning. Double check all your power cords, IDE/SATA connectors, etc etc. If you have multiple memory sticks, pull them out and try one at a time, just to be sure you don't have a faulty memory stick. If that doesn't work, you can try replacing your CPU (if you have another Intel chip with same socket type). If your system always froze/crashed between 10-15 minutes, it could be a heat related issue with the processor. Or it could also be a bad memory chip, wherein after a while the bad sector on the memory stick finally got used and caused a system crash.

Sometimes trying to troubleshoot individual items like this will reveal where a hardware problem might be. If none of that works, it could be possible your motherboard just died or shorted out somewhere within itself.

Hopefully Shuttle PC examined/tested your BIOS chip before they sent it back, so you can probably assume the chip itself is okay...?

If you can't get from POST to Windows loading, chances are pretty likely it is either hardware related or BIOS related. What exactly does it do last before stopping? You hit power, and just get a blank screen? If that's the case (meaning you get no POST text on screen) you may just have a bad mobo.
October 18, 2008 5:47:05 PM

Sorry for the unimaginative answer, but this sounds like a PSU problem.
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October 18, 2008 6:05:13 PM

It is either the motherboard or the psu.
Try the startup with limited parts, good luck.
October 18, 2008 10:10:18 PM

I think right now I'm starting up with about the bare minimum.

The problem in a situation like this is that one has to use a process of elimination to find the problem. Unless one has compatible spare parts lying around (which I don't) it is almost impossible to diagnose if a component is faulty without sending it all back to new egg / tiger direct etc. at great hassle and expense. At this point it would have been cheaper to have got a system built by a trusted company like JNCS.com.

Like you said jerreece, I don't even know if Shuttle checked the BIOS chip.

When the system was last working I didn't like the sound of the hard drive, it was searching and clicking even when no applications were open and the computer was basically idle. All I had on the hard drive was Windows XP. I tried to do run the Seagate diagnostic but it froze up during that test too. Tiger Direct had just thrown the hard drive in a box with the styrofoam packing along with the Shuttle PC box. It was an OEM drive and so had minimal packaging of it's own.

My only hope is my companies computer techs on Monday... they couldn't help much last time because they had mislaid their EPROM Programmer.

One strange thing: when I first powered up with the new BIOS chip in, the cooling fan went to max for a few seconds before slowing to idle. Also, when I power up it reads the DVD ROM and HDD drives then shuts down and then re starts on it's own.

Also, now my Windows OEM version is useless if I end up with a new computer.
October 18, 2008 10:55:22 PM

LeginA36 said:


The system is:

Shuttle SG31G2
Intel E8500
Corsiar Twin 2X4096 - 8500C5
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB SATA II
Lite-On 16X DVD-ROM ATAPI/E-IDE Drive

Anyone got any advice?

Thanks for any help...

Here's some thing that concern me:

* My first thought is the PSU is reeking havoc on your system.
* Next concern is that you might have a bad HD or something like that.
* You list 2x4 gb's of DDR2 1066mHz, but from my initial research the mobo only can handle 2x2 gb's of DDR2 800mHz. Newegg only has 2 2x4 gb DDR2 memory sticks and neither is Corsair (G.Skill & OCZ)
From this link at newegg.com for the Shuttle SG31G2

* Are you running an additional GPU with this setup? If so, you are probably taxing the PSU and have possibly damaged the PSU. Not saying you have really done this, but a 250w PSU may not be able to support much of a GPU. You only have 16A on the 12v rail, which doesn't support much as far as an additional GPU.
October 18, 2008 11:44:32 PM

Thanks lunyone,

Actually it has 2 x 2Gigs of RAM, it's the twin x 4096 (total) paired (typo... sorry).

Interesting because I have a friend who told me NOT to but this system for music production (Cakewalk Sonar 8) because of the small power supply, but Music XPC sells this same mobo / power supply combo specifically for music production totally loaded (2 hard drives, DVD writer, Graphics card etc.) for 2000 bucks, hard to believe.
I can only equate it to a laptop which only has a small power supply (usually around 90 - 120 watts).

Also, Shuttle assures me (!) that it can handle all of this and that all of the components that I have used are compatible. I don't know how they get away with such a small power supply either.

I have contacted Shuttle again via e mail and will be interested to hear their advice on Monday.

Next time I will use a full size form factor. I read that these computers are quiet but they are not really any quieter than my old desktop.

October 19, 2008 12:08:36 AM

Well I'm sure it can run a full system, but that is the main concern I have with it. You can't really upgrade much with SFF cases, but that is how I see it.
January 29, 2009 9:46:10 PM

Man, i'm having the same issues (system freezes) with a build that is very similar to yours (sg31g2 + e8500). The problem has to be the e8500, I just bought the e8500 to replace my q6600, and it does exactly what you were saying in regard to the system freezes. I put the q6600 back in and everything works the way it's supposed to. Have you had any progress in getting your sg31g2 + e8500 system to work properly?
!