Hi All! I am hoping someone can give me some ideas of what to try next...
Here is my setup:
MOBO: ECS P45T-A2R
Graphic card: GeForce 8500
I had the same problem with my system 6 months ago, so I bought a new mobo and set it up with this new one. Now the same thing is happening again!
Ever month or so, the computer would suddenly just not POST. I would go in, remove the battery, unplug the main power to the motherboard, and it would usually start back up. This time, it is not coming back up. Last I saw was it froze up in the middle of the very first few lines of the BIOS startup.
I removed the mobo from the case to eliminate the possibility hat it could be a case switch problem. Now I have it out with only the graphic card, memory, and CPU in. It will power up when I short the 2 pins for power, but it will not POST or show anything on the screen. Sorry all, there is no speaker, so I have no beep codes to help me out.
I connected a different power supply, an aerocool zero dba 620W, and it will not power up the system.
Q: since the aerocool is a higher end, does it have protection built in if it detects a short, which is why it will not power up?
Any thoughts on what I can do to check if it is the mobo? I don't want to buy another mobo and have this happen again!
Thanks for the reply. I Have never hooked up the AeroCool to the new motherboard, so it could not have been the PSU that killed both mobo's. Should I test the PSU's to see if they have the proper voltages? Are there any other things I can do to know if it really is the mobo? Why does 1 PSU spin the fans and the other does not?
I have tested the following beep patterns on Gigabyte, eVGA, and ECS motherboards. Other BIOS' may be different.
Breadboard with just motherboard, CPU & HSF, case speaker, and PSU. You do have a case speaker installed, right? If not, you really, really need one. If your case or motherboard didn't come with a system speaker, you can buy one here: http://www.cwc-group.com/casp.html
or microcenter. Probably Frye's has them. Shouldn't be more than $2 - $3.
Breadboard with just motherboard, CPU & HSF, case speaker, and PSU.
Make sure you plug the CPU power cable in. The system will not boot without it.
I always breadboard a new build. It takes only a few minutes, and you know you are putting good parts in the case.
You can turn on the PC by momentarily shorting the two pins that the case power switch goes to. You should hear a series of long, single beeps indicating memory problems. Silence indicates a problem with (in most likely order) the PSU, motherboard, or CPU. Remember, at this time, you do not have a graphics card installed so the load on your PSU will be reduced.
If no beeps: Running fans and drives and motherboard LED's do not necessarily indicate a good PSU. In the absence of a single short beep, they also do not indicate that the system is booting.
At this point, you can sort of check the PSU. Try to borrow a known good PSU of around 550 - 600 watts. That will power just about any system with a single GPU. If you cannot do that, use a DMM to measure the voltages. Measure between the colored wires and either chassis ground or the black wires. Yellow wires should be 12 volts. Red wires: +5 volts, orange wires: +3.3 volts, blue wire : -12 volts, violet wire: 5 volts always on. Tolerances are +/- 5% except for the -12 volts which is +/- 10%.
The gray wire is really important. It should go from 0 to +5 volts when you turn the PSU on with the case switch. CPU needs this signal to boot.
This checks the PSU under no load conditions, so it is not completely reliable. But if it can not pass this, it is dead. Then repeat the checks with the PSU plugged into the computer to put a load on the PSU.
If the system beeps:
If it looks like the PSU is good, install a memory stick. Boot. Beep pattern should change to one long and several short beeps indicating a missing graphics card.
Silence or long single beeps indicate a problem with the memory.
Insert the video card and connect any necessary PCIe power connectors. Boot. At this point, the system should POST successfully (a single short beep). Notice that you do not need keyboard, mouse, monitor, or drives to successfully POST.
Now start connecting the rest of the devices starting with the monitor, then keyboard and mouse, then the rest of the devices, testing after each step. It's possible that you can pass the POST with a defective video card. The POST routines can only check the video interface. It cannot check the internal parts of the video card.
The Aerocool, while fairly expensive, is not a high quality unit. Modern PSU's do not need a voltage selector switch. And all computer PSU's are supposed to shutdown under overload conditions. The good ones actually do.
Here's another potential problem. ECS is not known for high quality - or even average quality - motherboards. You may not have done anything wrong to the first one. It may have just died.
Thanks for the helpful replies! The PSU that I am using is a Antec HE550. I tested it using the paperclip trick, and then tested it while it is running, and all of the voltages are within range.
The AeroCool is my old spare, which looks like it is dead. I tried the paperclip trick on it and it won't even run.
As to the speaker, no I don't have one. Unfortunately, I live in the middle of a jungle, and there is literally no computer store within a days drive. I will hunt around and see if I can rip one out of someone elses computer...
As to the power issue - you are right. The power here is as dirty as you can get with frequent outages. Thats why I have always had it on a 1000W UPS. We're on 220 here, by the way.
I have memory, graphic card and no post. I will try to get a speaker to see if I can get some beeps out of the thing. Thanks again, will update.
I found an old PC and used my hacksaw to get the case speaker out of it.
I followed the instructions above. No memory, beep. Memory, no grpahic card, 8 short beeps. When I get to the part where I put in the graphic card, I get no beeps, and nothing comes up on the screen. The computer will sometimes shut itself off, and restart. Shut off, restart, then stay on.