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MB Won't Boot

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January 8, 2010 1:41:04 PM

I have been in contact with ECS tech support about a DVI corruption issue with my A785GM-M mobo... The support tech told me to make sure I had the latest BIOS. I did. However, the BIOS was updated recently (since then), so today I went to update it while waiting for tech support to respond to my latest message (they're rather slow). The BIOS flash supposedly went ok. (I've done it before and it was fine.) I followed the instructions exactly, and was supposed to reboot as a final step. Well, now the PC won't boot... Everything powers on (PSU, fans, HDD, DVD, etc.). However, the monitor never comes on (attached to onboard HD 4200 VGA). About 5 seconds after pressing the power button, the system just gives one medium-length beep and doesn't do anything further. I see no BIOS screen, observe no HDD activity, etc. I'm thinking the BIOS flash really wasn't ok.
So... Does anyone know how to revive the mobo from what I think was a bad BIOS flash?

More about : boot

January 8, 2010 6:13:26 PM

I had the exact same issue... whatever the newest BIOS is online is not taking and is in turn corrupting the BIOS. There's no floppy connector so you can't recover via the AMI BIOS recovery method. This is looking like a lost cause and I can't find any answers anywhere.
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a b V Motherboard
January 8, 2010 6:27:36 PM

Try looking up your beep code.
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January 8, 2010 6:39:17 PM

CORRECTION: It gives two beeps so close together they almost sound like one. The BIOS is AMI. One site I found said two short beeps from an AMI BIOS indicates RAM problems, but I haven't touched my RAM for a few weeks; plus, the problem happened on the BIOS update reboot, leading to believe that a corrupted BIOS flash is almost certainly the culprit.
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a b V Motherboard
January 8, 2010 7:11:54 PM

Try removing your RAM. See if that gives you a different beep code.
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January 8, 2010 7:38:22 PM

@aford10: Thnx for the quick replies. With the RAM completely removed, it gives me a much different beep pattern: 3-3-1 (pause), 3-3-1 (pause), 3-3-1... You get the picture. The beeps are longer than the two very quick beeps produced when the RAM is installed.

@drealit: Do you get the same beep patterns as I do? And, to make sure we are in the same situation if/when I report this to ECS tech support, you do have a A785GM-M microatx motherboard, and this issue started when you tried to upgrade to BIOS version 09/12/02 released on 2009/12/15, right?
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a b V Motherboard
January 8, 2010 10:13:52 PM

Disconnect the hard drive, any optical drives, and the video card.

Put 1 stick of RAM back in.

What is the beep code then?
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January 8, 2010 11:58:16 PM

With the video card, hard drive, and optical drive all unplugged, there is no beep code at all! This is true with either one stick of RAM installed or both. Any idea what these results mean?
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a b V Motherboard
January 9, 2010 12:32:36 AM

That could mean it's progressing through the POST. Plug the video card in, and see if you get the BIOS screen.
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January 9, 2010 12:33:20 AM

Great News! It wasn't a bad BIOS flash after all! I'm not really sure what happened, but it was the dedicated video card that stopped it from starting. I pulled it out (reconnecting everything else) and switched to the onboard video, and the computer booted just fine; Windows 7 showed its Startup Repair dialog, and I'm on my way! I guess I'll try re-inserting the card (Radeon X1300) after the first successful boot. Perhaps the newly-flashed BIOS just wouldn't boot the first time with it in there for some reason... Weird. Anyway, many thanks to aford10. It was your prompting that got me pulling out components!
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a b V Motherboard
January 9, 2010 12:47:24 AM

Good deal.

What's your PSU? It may just not be putting out enough power to handle the add on graphics card.
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January 9, 2010 12:50:51 AM

aford10 said:
Good deal.

What's your PSU? It may just not be putting out enough power to handle the add on graphics card.

Power draw can't be the problem. It's a 700W PSU (A-Top, modular sleeved cables, etc.). Besides, it's powered the card just fine so far. Now that I've had a successful boot (just completed Startup Repair) and have reconfigured all my custom BIOS settings, I'll try installing the card again and see what happens. Thanks again for your help.
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a b V Motherboard
January 9, 2010 1:05:46 AM

It was just a thought. Good luck.
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January 9, 2010 2:41:37 AM

The system now boots with the dedicated video card installed! Don't know what was going on, but that problem has simply disappeared. The problem I was originally troubleshooting with ECS tech support, however, (DVI corruption) still occurs with the updated BIOS. All this trouble for nothing. But hey, I learned some boot issues troublehsooting. :D 
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January 9, 2010 4:00:44 AM

Thanks. I already checked that site. The same monitor and cable work fine on other PCs, but on this computer it messes up using either a dedicated or integrated DVI port, leading me to believe it's a motherboard issue. (Perhaps PCI-e lane corruption?)
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a b V Motherboard
January 9, 2010 4:09:31 AM

Which leaves your graphics card settings. You may want to look for updated drivers or check your refresh settings. Most LCDs use a 60hz refresh.
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January 9, 2010 4:35:32 AM

1) Got the latest drivers from AMD's site.
2) Set Catalyst Control Center to 60 Hz refresh rate. It does work on DVI, but I can't push the resolution past 1024x768 reliably without corruption or the screen blinking in and out. It also depends on what's up on the screen. E.g., it's stable at higher resolutions if I have MS Word open and maximized, but when showing my desktop, the background is black and only stable at 1024x768. Really weird that it depends on what is up at the time...
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a b V Motherboard
January 9, 2010 7:18:35 PM

How does it look if you use VGA?
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January 9, 2010 7:45:31 PM

aford10 said:
How does it look if you use VGA?

Everything is fine if I use the VGA output. It runs at my monitor's full resolution and refresh rate (1680x1050@60Hz) without a hitch. Only the DVI gives me trouble. It looks sort of like the corruption in this picture, only the streaking covers my entire screen, making it impossible to see anything accurately.
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a b V Motherboard
January 9, 2010 7:50:11 PM

Do any of the DVI pins look bent? Does the screen change at all if you play with the cable/adapter?
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January 10, 2010 12:49:48 AM

No pins bent (the cable has barely been used); screen does not change if I wiggle the cable at the connector. As I said before, the same cable and monitor have worked flawlessly on another system.
One thing I noticed is that the problem is very erratic. E.g., the scenario below.
I turned the computer on using the VGA connected to the onboard graphics. It booted and worked fine as normal. With the computer running (and the desktop shown), I switched to DVI on the dedicated video card. The desktop displayed just fine! I opened Thunderbird snapped to one half of the screen; still no problem. I then maximized Thunderbird; the screen went blank! I then restored Thunderbird to half the screen; everything went back to normal. Then, I dragged the Thunderbird window to the edge of the screen. As soon as it started to go off the edge, the screen went blank! Dragging it back made things appear normal again. I should add that this is not a bug in Thunderbird; the same thing happens with Word. After those experiments, I switched to the onboard video's DVI. No corruption, but the 1680x1050 pixels were horizontally "squished" to take up about 3/5 of the width of the monitor. Also, the "squished" picture kept blinking irregularly in and out. Switching back to VGA caused the screen to display normally again.
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a b V Motherboard
January 10, 2010 1:18:19 AM

I think the problem is the low quality of the video card and the high resolutions. VGA converts the signals and can handle the throughput with some degradation. DVI doesn't convert the signal, and as such needs a quality card, or lower resolution to make up for the lower clock rate.
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January 10, 2010 2:54:38 AM

I don't think that's the case. The Radeon HD 4200 specs (the onboard chip that first gave me trouble) say that it can handle up to 1920x1200 via single-link DVI (the cable type I'm using). It can go even higher using dual-link DVI. The Radeon HD 4200 chipset was largely aimed at HTPCs, meaning it had to be capable of streaming full HD Blu-Ray content. Thus, I don't think that a 1680x1050 resolution is outside of its capabilities at all.
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a b V Motherboard
January 10, 2010 4:33:24 AM

I thought the corruption issue was with your Radeon x1300?
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January 10, 2010 1:06:25 PM

Sorry for the confusion...
The corruption occurs with both the onboard HD 4200 and dedicated X1300. In fact, the only reason the X1300 is in there is because the ECS support tech told me to stick in a dedicated card with DVI and see if there were still problems using the dedicated card's DVI output.
(Actually, the X1300 is borrowed from a friend!)
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a b V Motherboard
January 10, 2010 8:10:57 PM

I gotcha. Though, I'm not sure what else to suggest.

You could try starting from scratch with the drivers. Or maybe try upgrading the video card. But other than that, I'm out of ideas.
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January 10, 2010 10:18:40 PM

aford10 said:
I gotcha. Though, I'm not sure what else to suggest.

You could try starting from scratch with the drivers. Or maybe try upgrading the video card. But other than that, I'm out of ideas.

Yah, I had the same problem with the last driver version. Completely uninstalling them and then installing the latest version didn't help. I guess I'll wait for Catalyst 10.1 and the accompanying updated drivers. If that still doesn't fix it, I'll ask for an RMA. I don't know what else it could be besides a bad motherboard. (Already reinstalled the OS, too.)
Anyway, thanks for your time. You did help me solve the issue I first posted about!
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a b V Motherboard
January 11, 2010 3:45:32 AM

No problem. Good luck!

If you figure it out, let us know.
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January 26, 2010 1:48:53 PM

aford10 said:
No problem. Good luck!

If you figure it out, let us know.

Don't know if you'll read this old thread... But the corruption was solved... by a bent pin being straightened. I'm ready to swear that no pins were bent (and I checked twice), but I checked again yesterday out of frustration, and one was bent! Straightening it fixed the DVI corruption. I put you and the ECS tech through a lot for what can only be sheer stupidity and blindness on my part, so I'm very sorry!
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a b V Motherboard
January 26, 2010 2:54:13 PM

aford10 said:
Do any of the DVI pins look bent? Does the screen change at all if you play with the cable/adapter?


:o  ^^

Lol, no worries. Good to hear you found out what it was. It's a cheap fix :D 
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January 28, 2011 4:13:33 PM

drealit said:
I had the exact same issue... whatever the newest BIOS is online is not taking and is in turn corrupting the BIOS. There's no floppy connector so you can't recover via the AMI BIOS recovery method. This is looking like a lost cause and I can't find any answers anywhere.


Hi drealit,

I have the exact same problem btu from my side no additionnal car in the pc.

How did you fix your bios error ?

Thanks,
Eric
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