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Troubleshooting with no spare parts

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  • Homebuilt
  • Blue Screen
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
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September 10, 2009 10:39:03 PM

Hi, during some intense gaming my rig just BSOD out of nowhere, not knowing BSOD came with an error message I just powered it down. When I tried to boot it up it wouldn't turn on, so I popped open my case and started reseating hardware. This solved the problem, and now the computer boots

However when I connected my monitor to the graphics card I was getting no signal, and when I went to power down the pc by holding the power button down on my case it would not shut off, I had to flick the off switch on my PSU to power down the machine. On top of this I have literally no spare parts laying around to start troubleshooting, as this pc was my first build.

Specs are as follows
Tuniq Miniplant 950w PSU
2x2GB G.Skill RAM
Gigabyte Mobo, I forget the exact model, onboard sound.
Visiontek Radeon HD4870

My father insists it's a power supply problem, but to me it sounds more like motherboard or video card issues. Any help? : :sweat: 

More about : troubleshooting spare parts

a b B Homebuilt system
September 10, 2009 10:50:09 PM

Do you have a case speaker to check for beep codes? It may very well be a PSU issue, find out which gigabyte motherboard, if it has onboard graphics you may be able to steal a low power PSU from another machine or borrow one from a friend and see if that can get the system going with no GPU.

Did you hear any noises prior to the BSOD? Any popping or clicking? Have you tried resetting CMOS yet?
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September 10, 2009 10:56:29 PM

Thanks for the quick reply, but no I do not have a case speaker so I cannot listen for the post beeps. I have regular speakers, will hooking those up to my mobo play the beeps? I have a Dell inspiron that I'm using right now, assuming my mobo does have onboard video would I be able to use that?

Also no, no audible discrepensies prior to the BSOD, but then again I had my headphones cranked up pretty loud so I can't really say for sure.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 10, 2009 11:01:03 PM

Nope, the 'case speaker' is actually a piezo buzzer so it requires next to no power to make noise unlike normal speakers, you can get a case speaker for cheap from here
http://www.cwc-group.com/casp.html

Easiest way to check for onboard video, look at the rear panel on the motherboard, do you see a VGA or DVI connector? If so you have onboard and you can reset the CMOS, pull the graphics card and see if it works.

But before doing that i would suggest you open up the case and make sure nothing smells funky(magic blue electrical smoke has a, shall we say distinct, odor to it) and see if any of the capacitors are blown or bulging, its just best to make sure there is no obvious damage prior to attempting to boot.
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September 10, 2009 11:34:38 PM

Yeah the case is wide open, and I didn't see any physical damage when I checked before, and all the smells are in order. Reset CMOS, but no dice. Another issue is my fans used to cycle when I turned on my PC, they started high and then went to medium, then to low once it started booting up. They don't do that anymore, they just start low and stay constant. I have... i'm not exactly shure of the name, but it's like the blue hookup to my monitor, but it's male to male, if you will, it's got pins instead of hole for the pins to be inserted into.
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September 11, 2009 12:58:38 AM

Update: PSU and GPU are still under warranty, my mobo however is not, but I'm going to replace those and see if that's the problem, if not does it have to be the mobo that's the culprit or is the CPU a suspect, too?

Thanks for the help.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 11, 2009 2:43:17 PM

By the way, the piezo "case speaker" hunter315 recommends (I agree - check any computer parts shop) plugs into two pins on the mobo pinout set that also has connections to front panel on/off button, reset button, etc. Look at it and check for a label that tells you which pins.

Sounds like you have a VGA video cable, one of the most common types. It will have on both ends a connector with pins (that's a male connector) in three rows of five (15 pins total). The connector shell has a raised collar around the pins in a trapezoid shape - that is, almost a rectangle, but with one long side shorter than the opposite.

Just to check, when you reset the CMOS there are several steps you should have done: disconnect wall power, remove flat cell battery, short out the labeled pins for 5 sec or so, re-install battery, restore wall power. Then the last part is tough here - you are supposed to boot the computer and go immediately into the BIOS Setup screens by holding down the "Del" key, then use the menu choice to restore Default Settings or restore Optimal Settings. But that's impossible if you have no video display. Here's hoping it gives you something when you remove the video card and plug your cable into the back panel's VGA output connector. But you may already have tried this and not had any joy!

On your last question, you are right that either the mobo or the CPU could be at fault if the PSU replacement does not solve the problem. With no spare parts to work with, you might narrow this down with a friend's help. See if someone has a mobo that uses your same CPU. Can you arrange to remove your CPU AND heatsink/fan assembly from your machine and plug it into another machine to see if it works there? I recommend taking the CPU and the heatsink/fan together simply because sometimes the heatsink is tightly bonded to the CPU and it can be hard to separate them, clean off the thermal paste, then re-apply, etc. This may not be possible, though - on either your machine or your friend's the heatsink may prevent you from opening and closing the lever that locks the CPU into the ZIF socket. However, if you can do this, be aware that, when you plug the whole system into another mobo, the mechanical contact of heatsink to CPU may be poor and heat may build up rapidly in the CPU. So do not plan to run it long this way - only time enough to determine whether the system can get at least part way through the boot process and put a video signal up on the screen.
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December 29, 2009 9:43:41 PM

Super big bump here, but I've got updates and it's still the same persistant problem. I tried uninstalling/reinstalling my PSU to see if I had a faulty connection somewhere, but after doing that my computer wouldn't start at all. Prior to this I RMA'd my video card and that wasn't a problem, so once I reseated the PSU I sent my power supply out for an RMA and never got it pack. Sent countless e-mails and about last month they stopped responding to me, but I'm still sending them, I'm fighting these bastards tooth and nail but the more time goes on the more it become apparent to me that they don't care. Contacted new egg who said they would contact the PSU company, Tuniq, on my behalf. No word back from newegg. I will never buy another Tuniq product again, this has made me absolutely furious :fou:  that the company that made my $240 power supply stole it from me. Just got a Corsair 850W from the 'rents for Christmas, but I just got all my connections done and it won't power on. Maybe I'm doing something wrong with my PSU, or could it be my motherboard or CPU that are still a problem? I don't have any spare parts to troubleshoot, again, so I don't want to just guess which one it might be and buy a new one, would it be cheaper to take it to someone to get it fixed? I'm thinking about doing that anyway because it's just been too much between the PSU and the all the returns I've done, waiting for parts to come in, trying to get this thing running.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 29, 2009 10:34:30 PM

If the new PSU isn't working, then it's likely the motherboard or processor. Unfortunately, without spare parts, there's no easy way to tell which one it is. As someone previously suggested, if you know someone with a processor that will work in your motherboard, see if you can borrow it and test. If not, then you're probably going to have to either take it in to a shop or buy at least one of the pieces yourself.

You didn't list your processor in the original post or the motherboard model, so it's hard to tell which would be cheaper to try to replace. If you want to try fixing it yourself, then I'd say buy whichever is less expensive first, and if it's not that piece, you can either try returning it or you'll have a spare.
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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
December 31, 2009 11:57:34 AM

And you really need a system speaker.
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