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Gigabyte GA-X68A-UD3R won't POST

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March 15, 2011 6:48:29 PM

I've got a dead PC, and I was wondering if anyone had any further ideas or had seen similar issues.

First, specs:
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R Rev 1.0
CPU: Core i7 930
Memory: OCZ Triple-Channel DDR3 - 6GB
GPU: GTX 460 (or 9800GTX+, or Radeon 4550)
Drives: Seagate 500GB, OCZ 120GB Agility2, LG HDDVD/Bluray Combo Drive
PSU: Thremaltake TR2 850w
OS: Win 7 64-bit

PC has worked well since I built it approximately 1 year ago. SSD and GPU were upgraded since the initial build; GPU was the later of the two, around 3 months ago.

PC shut down during operation and refuses to boot. No beeps are heard (though I don't have a speaker to install handy - I may breadboard something). Two banks of LEDs on the motherboard light up. One, between the memory slots and main ATX power connector, has 4 of the 7 LEDs in the following order: off, off, off, orange, green, orange, green. The second, about 2 inches above the Main ATX connector, has all 4 lit in a pattern of orange, orange, green, green. Also, the optical-out audio connector on the motherboard lights up blue (as it would when the PC is booting normally.

I've reduced the parts in the system as much as possible in troubleshooting this. I've removed all USB devices, the hard drives and the DVD drive. I've tried a different, known good power supply and with another video card (ATI Radeon 4550, known good). I've tried removing all RAM and using one stick at a time in different RAM slots. I have no other DDR3 RAM nor another LGA1366 socket processor to try. I've also disconnected all unnecessary pin headers - USB header, Azalia audio header, and case pins (starting it using a insulated screwdriver). In all configuration changes mentioned above - even with different combinations attempted - the lights on the motherboard are consistant. At this juncture, I would argue it MUST be the motherboard, CPU, or POSSIBLY the RAM. I'm leaning most towards the Motherboard.

I've also attempted to clear the bios by removing the watch-cell battery for 5+ minutes. Nothing changes here, either.

I've not recently updated the BIOS, changed BIOS settings, or installed new hardware within the last 3 months. That hardware switch was from a 9800GTX+ GPU to a GTX460, which is generally more power efficient (at least from what I've read elsewhere; given the lower heat and fan noise, I would say it's generally less load than the massive 9800GTX+ I had) and has worked without difficulty.'

I have the PC out of the case and on a safe surface, and I've checked for any type of obvious damage. I haven't noticed any obviously-dead components. I've checked for any sort of debris that may cause a short - including in external ports - and found nothing.

I'm running out of options. :sweat:  I have put a ticket in with Gigabyte. I'm debating reseating the CPU (though I have my doubts that it's a CPU seating issue), but beyond that, I'm out of ideas. How about you folks? Anyone see similar issues, or have any ideas on something I can try (or perhaps have omitted from my notes above?)
a c 1112 V Motherboard
March 15, 2011 9:09:47 PM

Looking at what you have done I think you came to the right conclusion putting in a ticket with Gigabyte for the motherboard.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
March 15, 2011 9:20:03 PM

The GA-X58A-UD3R (rev 1 & 2) are notoriously bad with SSDs.

'IF' possible unplug the SSD {or try the SATA3 port closet to MOBO} and Clear CMOS** then Flash the BIOS to latest version. Use F6 or the beta F7L http://www.gigabyte.us/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3... Use the 'Q-Flash' method with a FAT32 Flash Drive; videos:


1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCCId1Mcrw4
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qlx5GBkiaM0
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX78S4qyHu0

Unscrew the MOBO standoffs and other PCIe screws, dangle the MOBO away from anything conductive and support with a towel. Press and Hold the Clear CMOS button located on the rear I/O Shield. Use 1 stick of RAM => DDR3_1 or DDR3_3 {CPU DDR3_ 2/1/4/3/6/5.

Q - What if any MOBO LED lights are turned 'on' on the MOBO?
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Related resources
March 15, 2011 9:27:35 PM

jaquith said:
The GA-X58A-UD3R (rev 1 & 2) are notoriously bad with SSDs.

'IF' possible unplug the SSD {or try the SATA3 port closet to MOBO} and Clear CMOS then Flash the BIOS to latest version. Use F6 or the beta F7L http://www.gigabyte.us/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3... Use the 'Q-Flash' method with a FAT32 Flash Drive; videos:


1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCCId1Mcrw4
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qlx5GBkiaM0
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX78S4qyHu0


Hmm.... well, it's good to know that the board is not kindly to SSDs. I did have it on the SATA3 ports (GSATA, I believe the BIOS calls them - essentially the ports on a separate SATA controller instead of the southbridge).

However, currently, no drives are connected. Only a known-good video card, single stick of ram in any slot, and the PSU are connected - it's even been removed from the case. I can't get it to post with all hardware unnecessary to do so disconnected - hence, flashing the BIOS isn't an option at the moment.

That being said, it's at least good to know for if/when I get a warranty replacement. I'll have to take a look around for SSD use with the board later.
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March 15, 2011 9:29:36 PM

rolli59 said:
Looking at what you have done I think you came to the right conclusion putting in a ticket with Gigabyte for the motherboard.


Yeah... the only other thing I've thought to try is building a temporary case speaker. I'm not against doing show - I likely have the parts and if not I do have two Radio Shack's relatively close - but I am concerned that I wouldn't build it right and misinterpret, or perhaps cause further damage and void the warranty (which seems silly at this point).
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a c 716 V Motherboard
March 15, 2011 9:32:33 PM

Between posts, I reread and added:

"Unscrew the MOBO standoffs and other PCIe screws, dangle the MOBO away from anything conductive and support with a towel. Press and Hold the Clear CMOS button located on the rear I/O Shield. Use 1 stick of RAM => DDR3_1 or DDR3_3 {CPU DDR3_ 2/1/4/3/6/5.

Q - What if any MOBO LED lights are turned 'on' on the MOBO?
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March 15, 2011 9:42:39 PM

jaquith said:
Unscrew the MOBO standoffs and other PCIe screws, dangle the MOBO away from anything conductive and support with a towel. Press and Hold the Clear CMOS button located on the rear I/O Shield. Use 1 stick of RAM => DDR3_1 or DDR3_3 {CPU DDR3_ 2/1/4/3/6/5.

Q - What if any MOBO LED lights are turned 'on' on the MOBO?


As I mentioned previously in terms of Mobo LEDs:

Quote:
Two banks of LEDs on the motherboard light up. One, between the memory slots and main ATX power connector, has 4 of the 7 LEDs in the following order: off, off, off, orange, green, orange, green. The second, about 2 inches above the Main ATX connector, has all 4 lit in a pattern of orange, orange, green, green. Also, the optical-out audio connector on the motherboard lights up blue (as it would when the PC is booting normally.


I'll try to ID them - DLing the manual to this old PC now, because I'm too lazy to rip out my laptop.

The blue LED I thought was on the optical audio was actually the Clr CMOS button - I forgot it had a more convenient way to clear it. I tried using it - same result. And the motherboard was already in the state you described - case standoffs removed, non-conductive surface, etc. I moved the stick of memory I still had in to that slot.

I should also note that the CPU fan does spin up.
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March 15, 2011 9:54:32 PM

OK, it looks as if these are the Northbridge/DDR Phase LEDs (described above as set 1) and the CPU Phase LEDs (described above as set 2).

The manual has a very terse description of each, which seems a bit engrish-y.

Quote:

PHASE LED
The number of lighted LEDs indicates the CPU loading. The higher the CPU loading, the more the number of lighted LEDs. To enable the Phase LED display function, please first enable Dynamic Energy Saver 2. Refer to Chapter 4, "Dynamic Energy Saver 2," for more details.
NB PHASE LED
The number of lighted LEDs indicates the North Bridge loading. The higher the North Bridge loading, the more the number of lighted LEDs.
DDR PHASE LED
The number of lighted LEDs indicates the memory loading. The higher the memory loading, the more the number of lighted LEDs.


It doesn't say which LEDs within the bank are NB and which are DDR. The motherboard also doesn't appear to have useful markings on them.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
March 15, 2011 10:01:16 PM

Yeah, deciphering is a task:
Assuming -
1. {DDR Voltage} between the memory slots and main ATX power connector
L2: Level 2 (Moderate, yellow)
2. {PHASE LED} second, about 2 inches above the Main ATX connector

'RED' is the only worry, yellow is very easy to get with the UD3R. Ideally, if you actually Clear CMOS you get Green, Blue or Off across the MOBO.
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a c 156 V Motherboard
March 16, 2011 1:18:46 PM

If you have a nonworking computer, you need the system (or case) speaker. Otherwise, you will be just changing parts until - if you are lucky - the problem goes away.

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.
The following is an expansion of my troubleshooting tips in the breadboarding link in the "Cannot boot" thread.

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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March 17, 2011 3:00:26 AM

jsc said:
If you have a nonworking computer, you need the system (or case) speaker. Otherwise, you will be just changing parts until - if you are lucky - the problem goes away.


Thanks for the post. I had read that thread, and had already done 90%+ of the steps - removal from case, simplification of HW, testing other PSUs and Video Cards. A few of the steps on there don't really apply to my case (2, 3, and 9 come to mind). Again, this was a fully functional build for almost a year.

I didn't have easy access to a case speaker, but after your post decided to dig through my storage room, and found a case that contains one. I don't have a good way to verify it's functionality, but when plugged into my MB I got no beeps.

Again, I've tried swapping the PSU, so the MB seems the most likely culprit at this point.

For the most part, the purpose of this thread was to see if there was any other step I hadn't tried (other than the speaker, I haven't seen anything yet that I could do with the HW I have available, though my stupidity about the Clr CMOS button vs. watch-cell battery was helpful). More importantly, I wanted to see if anyone else has seen their Gigabyte X58 MB (or, heck, any X58 mobo) die this way.
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Best solution

a c 716 V Motherboard
March 17, 2011 2:03:09 PM

After replacing, removing and swapping parts it's a coin toss between MOBO & CPU. A service store can rule-out the CPU.

Since I see a lot of bad GA MOBO's my 'best guess' is the MOBO.
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March 17, 2011 6:35:55 PM

I agree... I'm honestly trying to avoid a service store though.

I have seen in the other threads that they will deny returns without the CPU cover. I took a cursory look for mine, and haven't had any luck yet.

Anyone know a good place to get a generic one for LGA1366? I have a ticket in with Gigabyte asking about ordering a cover, but they don't seem to be quick to respond.
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April 1, 2011 3:29:38 AM

I have exactly the same problem (ongoing), almost exactly the same build. Here is what has worked so far:

- First time, I took out the CMOS battery and put it back in after around 10 seconds. Computer started up fine afterwards.
- Couple of days later, same issues.
Did nothing for a couple of days, then saw this thread.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/259383-30-solved-clea...

I too disconnected all the power connectors out of my motherboard and reconnected. Its come back on for now at least. Keeping my fingers crossed. I just moved between cities, so Im speculating that the move might have loosened some connection.
Hope this helps.
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April 26, 2011 3:56:59 PM

If you still have your motherboard try taking a hair dryer for about a minute to the northbridge and heating it up so its warm. See if that helps.
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April 26, 2011 5:47:53 PM

This was fixed. The problem was a very loose connection from the power to the motherboard, probably loosened when I transported the PC between cities. I just disconnected and reconnected and all was fixed.
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May 3, 2011 3:42:07 AM

Best answer selected by itomeshi.
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