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Urgent Help Needed Diagnosing Problem

Last response: in Systems
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August 18, 2010 2:55:05 PM

Hi-

I have a computer that I upgraded from an AMD Sempron. I used the following:
*ASRock Wolfdale1333-D667 mATX Motherboard (Socket 775)
*Intel Pentium D 925 (3.0 GHz, Socket 775)
*1 GB (2*512) MB Infineon DDR2 RAM

THe issue: I press the power button, the computer turns on, starts working for a few seconds (Long enough to see the Motherboard screen (Black with White Text), and then the PC just shuts off. I tried two different PSU's (I know one worked), and I can sort of hear a real quiet soft whine (Barely Audible). I can put the old Sempron board back in if Ihave to, but I really want the Dual Core setup to work. Any ideas?
August 18, 2010 3:28:45 PM

Specifically, what speed RAM did you install? That motherboard only accepts DDR2-667/533. If you installed anything else, that could be the problem.

If the RAM you have is supported, then I'd try booting with no other add-ons installed (no graphics card/sound card/discrete NIC, etc...) and just one RAM module installed. Test both modules this way to determine if it's a faulty RAM module.

If both modules work, reinstall them both and reboot. If you are still having issues, then it's probably a faulty motherboard. If the system boots, shut down and one by one, install the add-on cards and reboot until the system fails again.

-Wolf sends
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August 18, 2010 3:51:51 PM

First Off, The RAM is Infineon PC2-4200 (533 MHz). The only add-on card was a PCI Modem. I removed it, tried with both sticks- no luck. I tried then with one stick (I used each stick once in each slot), using every possible RAM combination. No luck. How can I tell if it's the board- it shows me the screen showing the basic specs (Such as RAM, IDE Devices, etc...) Once, I even got to the Windows XP Progress Bar. After every time, though, it seem like it's working fine, and then suddenly, it just shuts off. Any help???
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August 18, 2010 3:55:00 PM

I also tried removing the IDE cable. I got a screen saying to reboot or insert bootable media. I left that screen up, seeing what would happen. It stayed for about 15 seconds, and then the PC shut off.
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August 18, 2010 10:37:20 PM

At this point, I'd probably try uninstalling everything. Make sure there's nothing underneath the motherboard that could be causing a short. Make sure the motherboard is lining up properly with the motherboard tray standoffs. Remove and re-apply thermal paste to the CPU/HSF assembly (making sure not to use too much or too little).

With the time varying between shut downs, it sounds like a heat issue or a faulty power supply (but you already checked that).

The only other thing I can think of to try is booting from a bootable CD.

-Wolf sends
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August 19, 2010 1:11:52 AM

I redid the entire system, and set everything up for the start. And,...The Same Thing Happens. As for heat, after the first "use", the CPU feels slightly warmer than room temperature (Nowhere's Near the Overheating Level). I cannot use a bootable CD- the PC just shuts off (about halfway through the blue Windows XP Loading bar). Any ideas...
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August 19, 2010 1:26:18 AM

You switched motherboards? If you switched motherboards without installing a new harddrive or reinstalling windows that could be a problem. My understanding is that each windows OS is limited to the initial hardware.
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August 19, 2010 3:52:02 AM

I did switch boards and CPU, but the board shuts off no matter what (Processor feels warm to touch, and is recognized in BIOS). I pressed F2 upon startup, and entered the BIOS. I just left the PC at the main BIOS Screen to see what would happen. The PC shut off again. It also shut off when I had unplugged my IDE Cable (The Hard Drive is IDE). I'm assuming that it is the board, but I would like to be sure before I make a warranty return (I would like this machine to work ASAP). Any ideas...

P.S. I also tried resetting the CMOS. The Date/Time were cleared, but the machine still shuts off. Any thoughts...
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August 19, 2010 4:04:18 AM

It sounds like you have an overheating, or shorting problem.

Did you apply the thermal paste correctly when you put in the new CPU? Does the HSF feel loose?

You can remove the motherboard, and place it on a piece of cardboard next to the case. You may want to reapply thermal paste on the CPU, and reseat the CPU/HSF.
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August 19, 2010 4:08:33 AM

brennon7 said:
You switched motherboards? If you switched motherboards without installing a new harddrive or reinstalling windows that could be a problem. My understanding is that each windows OS is limited to the initial hardware.


You can transfer a hard drive from one build to another with a retail OS version. Occasionally you have to do a windows repair to get it booting, if you choose not to do a fresh install. However, OEM windows licenses are tied to the original hardware that they are installed on.
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August 19, 2010 3:10:49 PM

First, the OS is a retail version, so we should be fine there. With the cardboard, the same thing happened. I was able to enter the BIOS before it shut off, and the processor specs did show, and the CPU did feel slightly warm to the touch, so I am assuming that the CPU is fine. The Pentium D 925 is on the support list, so that is fine. I am thinking that my board is dead. It is under warranty. Do you think that I should RMA it??? Thanks for the Help.
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August 19, 2010 3:14:16 PM

First, I would just try cleaning the old thermal grease off, and applying new. The reconnect the HSF, and verify that it's on securely.

Also, check the 24pin main power port. Does it feel loose?
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August 19, 2010 4:32:27 PM

Sorry that I didn't add this to the last post- I used new grease (Regular Grease, Not Arctic Silver, but on a Pentium D, that should work, shouldn't it?). The heatsink is secure- it did take a while, but it is tight. The 24-Pin feels tight (My PSU is the 24-Pin Model, Not the 20-Pin model that is jury-rigged). The 4-Pin CPU Power Connector is tight, and I did check the PSU by using another that I know works. The old power supply was a 380 watt; the new one is 430 Watts. That is plenty of power, isn't it??? Any help would be much appreciated.
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August 19, 2010 5:49:24 PM

Regular grease is a bearing lubricant, isn't it? It will probably work, but not as well as grease designed for CPUs.

It's hard to judge a PSU by it's wattage. Those numbers are often manipulated and unreliable. There are some 500w PSUs, that are more like a 350w PSU. What's more important, is the 12v rail(s). A good PSU will have ~18amps or more on the 12v.
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August 19, 2010 6:59:47 PM

I'm sorry for the confusion- I meant regular thermal CPU grease- just the non-fancy, plain Jane thermal grease. The PSU has Dual- 12V Rails. The first has 18 Amps; The Second has 16 Amps. That is plenty, isn't it??? I'm guessing that it is safe to say that the motherboard is the problem. Any thoughts...
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August 19, 2010 7:23:10 PM

Omegayellow said:
I'm guessing that it is safe to say that the motherboard is the problem. Any thoughts...


It's looking that way.
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August 19, 2010 8:20:21 PM

I'd agree at this point.

-Wolf sends
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!