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Dead motherboard, is there anything I can do?

Last response: in Motherboards
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April 14, 2011 7:48:01 PM

Hello everyone!

I have a dead motherboard, and I'm currently broke, so I'd like to try to repair it rather than replace it, if it's possible.
It won't post or beep or display.

The setup:
Custom built machine
Dual core Intel LGA 775 CPU (e series, I forget the number, but it's 1.86GHz/core at factory settings)
ASUS P5n32-E SLI
Paired 1GB sticks of OCZ DDR2 RAM, I forget the model number. I think they were 800 MHz and recommended 2.2V.
EVGA 8800 GTS
Antec P180 case
Antec Earthwatts PSU (I think 350 or 450 Watts, again forget the model number)

The motherboard, which is the malfunctioning part, is well out of warranty.

This was the setup last it worked, which was probably a little over a year ago.
I have another machine that I use primarily now, but I'd really like to get this one working.
I plugged the machine in a few months ago, it didn't work, I couldn't figure out why after a small amount of troubleshooting, and at the time wasn't keen on messing with it. Now I'd like to try to get it working again.

How I know the motherboard is dead:
I took this thing completely apart, took the heatsinks off the motherboard, and cleaned it as best I could with CO2 and rubbing alcohol on paper towels. I re-applied thermal compound (that's probably 3 or 4 years old, but I've never been told Arctic Silver goes bad with age). The machine still won't boot.
So I took the CPU out, and tested it in a working LGA775 board. No issues.
I tested the RAM and the PSU and the video card in this machine, and tried about three different (working) video cards in the bad machine, and various sticks of corsair DDR2 RAM. I reset the CMOS using the jumper, and took the CMOS battery and power out for a good ten minutes after that failed. Still nothing.

Right now, it's sitting on a cardboard box, with nothing hooked up except the CPU, memory, case speaker, and video card. I have been starting it by connecting the power pins using a flathead. When it comes on, the CPU fan and (if applicable) video card fan spin, but it does not beep, not even without RAM in the board. The monitor light stops flashing and turns solid yellow, but provides no prompt about invalid display format or anything.

I have looked over this board, specifically
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-ste...
and
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/264823-31-progess-tro...
And all links the original post therein provides.

I have also looked at baking the board, as I've had success with doing that to video cards in the past. I found a post explaining why that was a bad idea, and sadly agreed. It's too bad the fix couldn't be that easy.

One last history note:
The board used to have trouble booting from time to time for no apparent reason. If I loosened the screws and gave it some "breathing room" from where it was mounted on the case, it would typically boot fine. Up until now it ALWAYS booted fine when breadboarded.

Any help or guidelines, posts links etc. would be appreciated.

More about : dead motherboard

a b V Motherboard
April 14, 2011 8:13:21 PM

I've always felt troubleshooting to the component level on a circuit board was a waste of time. If its the mobo, and I have no reason to suspect otherwise from what you've said, then it should be fairly easy to find a cheap LGA 775 board that can get you up and running again. I see some at newegg for around $50.
I don't recommend messing with that board anymore, although since its non-functional it might be fun to play with. It sounds like it was a troublesome board before it died so I don't see why you'd want to get a crappy board working again. My two cents.
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April 15, 2011 1:17:14 AM

As did I, and cheap is good, but I'd rather see if I can get the board I've got working. As you said, it's already dead, so it's not like I'm ruining components.

And it really wasn't a crappy board. I guess it would just get a short sometimes when it got too close to the case. That could have been from the way I had it mounted, or something protruding on the case where it shouldn't have been and me not noticing. Either way, it ran like a champ when it didn't have that problem.
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a b V Motherboard
April 15, 2011 1:45:12 AM

It will cost more to fix the board than to buy a new one.
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!