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Blank screen and beeping after installation

Last response: in Systems
December 30, 2009 9:55:47 PM

A week ago, I asked for some advice here after my old 7900GS suddenly died. The feedback I got was very helpful and reassuring, confirming my suspicions that PCI-E 2.0 was backwards compatible and as a result, I determined that a 9600GT I'd purchased was faulty since it was producing strange vertical bands on screen. I returned that card for a refund and instead purchased a BFG 9800GT 512MB with EcoIntelligence.

I tried to install it today and despite the fact that my machine easily meets the minimum spec, it still won't accept a PCI-E 2.0 card. I tried starting the machine up and got a blank screen. It then beeped at me, one long and three short which I believe is a GPU issue on my board.

I then replaced it with the 7100GS I've been using as a stopgap and discovered that the previous attempt to boot with the new card had actually reached some stage of loading Windows XP because there was a message saying that Windows had been unable to start due to a hardware issue.

The motherboard is an ASUS M2V I purchased in August 2007, using the VIA K8T890 chipset (I was trying to work out which BIOS revision I had). From searching the internet, it appears that some VIA chipsets seem to work with Nvidia graphics cards from the 8/9 series. Both BFG and ASUS tech support have said that it should work, but it clearly doesn't. Have I just been incredibly unlucky and been sent two faulty graphics cards, or is there an underlying issue?

I have no idea why my machine is doing this and am starting to think that I might as well change the motherboard anyway. The case is somewhat small but does fit an ATX motherboard. I'm on a budget of around £50 max for a new mainboard if I have to, so can anyone suggest a good AM2 mainboard that won't break the bank; I'm a student and I have a "cashflow issue".
a b B Homebuilt system
December 31, 2009 12:36:18 AM

I'm too lazy to google beep codes right now. I will however get you to check all your cabling/wiring. When you futz around inside your case it's easy to slightly dislodge a connection....... okay, so I googled.......... says VGA. Got power going to the card itself ? Is your power supply up to snuff.....what is it ? make and model please.
December 31, 2009 7:47:09 AM

I've had a response from ASUS, contradicting their first e-mail to me, telling me that my mainboard is incompatible. It looks like I'll have to change the mobo.
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December 31, 2009 10:58:38 AM

To add more detail to the situation, it appears that due to a known limitation of my chipset, I can't run a PCI-E 2.0 card. Unless I downgrade, I won't find a graphics card that will work!
a b B Homebuilt system
December 31, 2009 10:32:20 PM

I find it hard to believe you can't run a new card on that board. 1.0 or 2.0... shouldn't matter. What do you have for a power supply ? make/model/watts/amps, etc.
January 11, 2010 12:54:02 AM

I've investigated the problem thoroughly and it's definitely a chipset issue. Some of the early VIA chipsets aren't forwards compatible with PCI-E 2.0. It appears to be a known issue with certain ASUS motherboards running particular chipsets. The M2V I have was one of the first AM2 motherboards with a VIA chipset, the K8T890. Having tried various ideas, I've eliminated everything else as the cause of the problem. The machine needs to be upgraded anyway, so I might as well do it now instead of 6 months from now.