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Weekend estate auction purchase .. no video .. what I've done

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August 23, 2010 3:23:32 PM

Hi,
Not new to the forums .. just forgot my password from 10 years ago on both ID's. Built my last machine in '01 .. OK, here's what we have. At a local auction over the weekend were several computers. I knew I'd score them cheap as the area is a retirement area and very non-computer. First computer came up, an old homebuilt 1.8 P4 .. went for $5, 2nd up was a new Gateway FX laptop, nice and it went for $300, 3rd up was a killer Gateway FX6801-1 (i7-950, 9Gb ddr3 1Gb video card and a 1Tb HD). Came with a Dell 2209wa .. I opened the bid for $100, a lady in a wheel chair went $125, I came right back at $150 ... and the room was silent !!! Auctioneer dropped the hammer and I had to go right to the rest room and clean up not believing that I bought that for a buck and a half !! (works fine)
Now the problem machine. Next up was a newer homebuilt. Quick look-at before the auction (nothing was plugged in.. it's a real auction) and I could see a newer Asus MB with piping cooled bridges, huge CPU cooling fan with copper piping, big video card and 3 hard drives .. it also came with a Dell 2209wa. Long story, short .. bought it for $100. Hooked it up and she boots but no video. So I did the following. Reset the video card, confirmed all jumpers and voltage settings .. still no video on boot. I then cleared the CMOS and nothing .. next shot I tried tapping the video card when booting and BANG .. video. I went right to bios to rest time and date and check settings .. it's a 2.6 FX-60 AMD 64, 300Gb 15k Seagate, 150Gb 10k WD and a 74Gb 10k WD. Set everything and went to reboot and ... again .. no video ...
I have no way to test the video card (it's an MSI NX6800GT) .. should I just buy a $30 card on eBay for testing .. I know this could also be a mother board problem .. Any test flow chart or similar that would help me get to the problem? Or have I pretty much covered the basics and I need to get a known good card? No, I am not taking the the card from the FX6801 as it wouldn't fit .. but sitting here thinking, I could try the MSI card in the FX machine .. any thoughts on how I should proceed? .. Thank you for your time .. Frank, .. in the Arizona desert
a b B Homebuilt system
August 23, 2010 3:57:06 PM

Could be the card, could be the pcie socket,
is there anothe pcie slot to try before getting another card?
but yup, a known good card will help identify if its the card or not
*Edit, you sure your monitor cables good as well I assume? :) 
Moto
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August 23, 2010 4:09:44 PM

I tried both PCI-E sockets and also tried both monitors / cables .. I know the monitors are fine / working. Also tried DVI outs 1 and 2 on the card .. I need to go and haul some water in before the tank runs dry and will get back on testing later today. Always something to do when living in the desert.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 23, 2010 4:37:42 PM

Looking like the card imo, try that one in the other machine, see how it goes :) 
Moto
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August 24, 2010 1:44:12 AM

Moto .. thank you for the replies and help. I put the card into the Gateway FX machine and she works perfectly so it's not the video card .. The motherboard is an Asus A8N32-SLI deluxe. Any known issues with this board?? I was going to strip the unit down to the CPU and just reaasemble and keep my fingers crossed that I find something (doubtful as it looks like a competent and careful build) or that the bad connection cures itself in resetting all the components.
Any suggestions or is that the next step? Keep in mind that when playing with it I did get her to give me video once (out of 20 tries) and that was when tapping on the video card .. knowing it's not the card then it has to be the MB as the CPU wouldn't cause no video .. I'm assuming she'd boot and say "no CPU found" or something similar .. I'm thinking it has to be the motherboard or the power supply .. I have a DVOM so I'll check all the readings on the PS and get back to you.
Thank you again .... Frank
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 24, 2010 6:23:40 AM

Hi Frank, good to hear the cards good,
but it does point to the possibility of the mobo being faulty, maybe a cracked connection line near the pcie that joins when you tap it? check the psu out and assuming its good, try gently pushing on/moving the gfx card to see if it posts image,other than that I think its the Mobo in some way
I dont know of any inherent faults with those boards but a google should get you a few forums to scan over,
I'm sorry I cant be anymore useful I'm quite new to building and picking up and learning all the time
but I'll keep trying to get you sorted man :) 
Moto
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August 24, 2010 9:10:16 PM

OK .. stripped it down and inspected everything, cleaned with 91% alcohol the board, CPU pins, etc. Blew it all off dry, reset and inspected the BIOS chip, Tested the PS outputs with a DVOM and checked case ground... assembled and tried her with one stick of memory, CPU and nothing else hooked up .. boots but no video .. has to be a bad motherboard but just for chits and giggles I went on eBay and ordered a new BIOS chip. I don't know if a bad / corrupt bios chip can cause no video but for $11 it's worth a shot.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 25, 2010 6:33:24 AM

Fingers crossed for ye man, if that works, Groovy, if not, new mobo shopping? :) 
Moto
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!