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Gigabyte motherboard; fan is powered, but no monitor display or BIOS

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January 21, 2011 12:39:44 AM

Windows 7
Gigabyte ga-p55m-ud2
i7-860
1 1/2 yrs old

My computer has worked great for more than a year, but when I went to turn it on today the fan powered on, but stayed running strong. Usually it runs loudly for about half a second, and then gets quiet. I turned on my monitor to see if the BIOS was available, but it was not. There was no info on the screen.

On the case, the power light turns on, and the DVD-R drive reader light links a couple times before stopping.

I have turned it off after about a minute each time I turn it on for fear of burning out any hardware. I was at first fearful of a virus, however, I think it is more like that it is a hardware failure. I have very little experience with technical computer hardware (mostly installing cards and harddrives).

I have many pictures and videos that I haven't backed up yet on the harddrive, as well as documents I need for school, so just tossing the drive isn't an option. (i know, this is completely my fault for not backing it up)

My phase leds read green, green, yellow, red if that means anything. I cannot find info on them.


Much gratitude in advance,
Harvey
a b V Motherboard
January 21, 2011 1:34:49 AM

Don't sweat the hard drive data Harvey, this most certainly is not a problem. It does sound as if you have some basic hardware issue, probably more in the PSU/MB/RAM area.

- What PSU do you have?
-What video card?

I would get a speaker and see if there are any POST beep codes.
http://www.cwc-group.com/casp.html
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a c 156 V Motherboard
January 21, 2011 11:26:40 AM

Work systematically through our standard checklist and troubleshooting thread:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...
I mean work through, not just read over it. We spent a lot of time on this. It should find most of the problems.

If not, continue.

I have tested the following beep patterns on Gigabyte, eVGA, and ECS motherboards. Other BIOS' may be different, but they all use a single short beep for a successful POST.

Breadboard - that will help isolate any kind of case problem you might have.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/262730-31-breadboardi...

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 once you are finished.

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.

You can turn on the PSU by completely disconnecting the PSU and using a paperclip or jumper wire to short the green wire to one of the neighboring black wires.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FWXgQSokF4&feature=yout...

A way that might be easier is to use the main power plug. Working from the back of the plug where the wires come out, use a bare paperclip to short between the green wire and one of the neighboring black wires. That will do the same thing with an installed PSU. It is also an easy way to bypass a questionable case power switch.

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, long single beeps, or series of short beeps indicate a problem with the memory. If you get short beeps verify that the memory is in the appropriate motherboard slots.

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.
At this point, if the system doesn't work, it's either the video card or an inadequate PSU. Or rarely - the motherboard's PCIe interface.

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.
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January 25, 2011 5:27:56 PM

It turned out to be my power supply. I used a quick tutorial online to learn how to change it out, and it wasn't too hard (was my first time dealing with a power supply).

I appreciate all of the quick responses!
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