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System will no longer POST

Last response: in Systems
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October 31, 2009 12:33:08 AM

My son’s system is:
Asus M4A78 Plus
Athlon II X2 250
AMD retail cpu cooler
Sapphire HD4830 video card
2 - 2GB OCZ PC2 6400 "SLI Ready Edition" DIMM's
2 - 160GB SATAII Barracudas
Thermaltake TR2 RX-450 power supply
Sony DVD burner
Airlink 101 Super G wireless PCI adapter
ECS card reader
Combo floppy drive (disconnected)
generic tower case

This evolution has been running 32-bit XP Pro with no problems for the past few months. A few settings in BIOS or some of the ATI Catalyst Control Center adjustments might have been tweaked, but nothing was over-clocked. (I blew out the old power supply letting the video card setup utility see what the optimal settings should be.) I installed 64-bit Windows 7 as a dual boot setup a few days ago with no problems. However, there was no driver that I could find for the wireless card, so there was no internet access. I found some 64-bit Asus drivers and left the system while it was extracting the contents of one of the zip files. When I returned, the system seemed dead.

Power lights on the case, the psu, and the mobo are all on and a light on the video card and the keyboard lights were flashing. A cold start will not even POST, but the fans and lights work. I tried clearing the CMOS, several times, swapping around the memory, disconnecting everything except the CPU, and the results were the same. The keyboard lights (on a year old HP multimedia keyboard) were flashing in what seemed to be a random pattern -- up to 6 times in a row. An old IBM keyboard would not flash more than once at a time, at a longer interval. On the chance that the keyboard flashing was similar to a beep code, I searched for some explanation and found nothing. I contacted Sapphire tech support to see what they could tell me about the flashing light on the video card, which is labeled "over heat protect," and they said to RMA the video card.

To get by while waiting for the turn around, I bought a Galaxy GeForce 210, with the intent to put it in my system later. The new video card made no difference – the system still won’t POST at all. I hooked up a pair of speakers to see if there was a beep code that I couldn’t hear through the system speaker, and there was nothing.

I have a lot of spare parts, but just not the right ones to determine exactly what is wrong, so I took it to a computer shop to have then diagnose it. I think that I can trust them, but I’ll have to see what they say.

Any thoughts on what the problem is?

More about : system longer post

a b B Homebuilt system
October 31, 2009 12:52:38 AM

Edit, pulled this from the trouble shooting guide.

"Pull everything except the CPU and HSF including the ram. Boot. You should hear a series of long single beeps indicating memory problems. Silence here indicates, in probable order, a bad PSU, motherboard, or CPU - or a bad installation where something is shorting and shutting down the PSU.

So not fast beeps if you read this before I edited it.
October 31, 2009 12:55:51 AM

No beeps at all.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 31, 2009 1:01:45 AM

If you have a known working PSU laying around, you could try that or have the shop do it while they have it. Otherwise, like stated above, the board or cpu took a dump. Its possible, if the PSU is the problem, that it took one or both of the others with it. While Thermaltake can make good PSUs, that TR2 RX isn't one of them. The red switch on the back indicates they cut corners on parts quality and design and being 70% efficient adds to the fact that its a poor unit. Might be worth it to buy a new PSU anyway and use it for the diagnostics before going for the mobo and ram.

This one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

with this promo code OZSAVEOCT will be $29 delivered amir.
October 31, 2009 1:11:54 AM

Thanks, skora -- I may do it. The Thermaltake was an emergency purchase a few months ago.
October 31, 2009 3:53:41 PM

It's the motherboard.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 31, 2009 4:13:20 PM

Even the best manufactures have their bad boards.

Is the shop ordering you a new one? If not, then you can get a good board from the egg relatively cheap. If you don't OC, then most any AM2+/AM3 board will fit the bill. Didn't see any good combos with PSUs.
October 31, 2009 4:52:33 PM

I got the board from Newegg on 6/18/9, as a combo deal that also involved mail-in rebates, so I have no idea where I stand on a replacement. The warranty is 3 years from Asus, but they say contact your reseller and it's the weekend, so...
a b B Homebuilt system
October 31, 2009 10:14:25 PM

At least its still under warranty. Newegg is very fair to deal with, I have complete confidence they will get you squared away.
November 1, 2009 2:26:04 AM

The famous no post question... literally a dead motherboard most of the time especially from a system working fine.

If it was the power supply, nothing would power on, fan, case power button etc.

For me, it was my Gigabyte P965-DS3 that died on me 3 times in less than a year. I would advice you to stay clear of their products.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 1, 2009 4:31:10 AM

I disagree. Their customer service is great. I had my 780g launch board (which I'm using right now) die on me and they had me squared away fairly quickly. Not a long hold time either, and it sounded like they weren't reading from a script. (whatever happened took a stick of RAM at the time too)

Then again we're supposed to be talking about ASUS not gigabyte. I haven't used theirs before.
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