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PSU or motherboard failure?

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August 23, 2011 4:20:59 PM

I had my old home-built system die on my last week. Specs are as follows:
AMD2 2.4 (overclocked to 2.6) ghz dualcore CPU
MSI K9N SLI Platinum motherboard
Corsair DDR2 1GBx4 RAM
nVidia Geforce 8800 GTS graphics card
400 watt PSU came with the case

At first, the motherboard beeped at me (one long, then several short ones) when I tried to boot although occassionally it wouldn't beep at all. Doing the regular troubleshooting, I removed one hardware piece a time and tried to boot to see if the beep continued. It stopped after I removed the CPU that looked very bad with pins belt all over the place. So I decided it was most likely the CPU causing issues as I was unable to find any direct information about the beeps and what error they were actually pointing to. Since the motherboard did beep I assumed it worked properly. I ordered an AM3 3.0 ghz dualcore CPU and put it in the socket but now nothing happens. Everything seems to gain power (I also ordered a new fan), but I get no POST screen. The motherboard doesn't beep as it used to either when shooting up fine and I tried to remove both graphics card and RAM to see if the motherboard at least detected these as faulty/missing and would thus beep, indicating it is working properly. However, it does not.

This leaves me with 2 options left - faulty motherboard or PSU unable to provide with enough power. The thing is, I did experience this when overclocking my old CPU above 2.6 ghz. The system became unstable and would thus not boot properly at all. A CMOS reset solved the issue just fine since it would return the CPU to its basic setting where the system was stable and the PSU could supply it with sufficient power. Since my new CPU far exceeds this safe point of 2.6 ghz, how do I know it is the PSU unable to supply with enough power to my system? I read in some other thread you can get something called a multimeter, but I have honestly no clue what it is (in Swedish, I am Swedish), and even the basic descriptions of how to test your PSU outside the case makes me confused (paper clips?!). Now, I am not sure I can afford to send in my computer for basic maintenance and it is quite old as it was built in late in 2008 so I have no warranty left. Another huge problem is that I cannot afford to build a new system (how I wish I could).

So, thus asking for advice and what to do.
August 23, 2011 5:07:02 PM

Well, I read that AM3 CPUs are backwards compatible with AM2, and AM2 CPUs seem to no longer be sold so I had no choice really. Either way, if it was not designed to run an AM3 CPU, I am quite sure my mobo would notify me on this giving off some kind of sound that something is missing or faulty (in this case the CPU).
Related resources
a c 717 V Motherboard
August 23, 2011 5:18:33 PM

Welcome to Tom's Forum! :) 

As I recall the AMD Athlon 64 X2 has the pins in the CPU itself, and if those pins are bent you can attempt to straighten with a jeweler's tweezers; otherwise carbon burnt or simply broke render the CPU non functional.

1st digit refers to BIOS maker as A = AMI, W = AWARD, and P = PHOENIX. Your MSI uses AMI BIOS. See -> http://www.bioscentral.com/beepcodes/amibeep.htm#
Beeps:
1 long, 2 short = Failure in video system
1 long, 3 short = Memory test failure
1 long, 8 short = Display test failure

You need to count the "several short ones" to know what problem(s).
August 23, 2011 5:26:52 PM

Pretty sure it is the last one, as it beeped so much I actually lost count when I did try to count. Easily closer to 6 if memory serves. However, with the new CPU it won't beep at all now. Everything powers up but beyond that nothing happens.
a c 717 V Motherboard
August 23, 2011 5:53:31 PM

Pull the Geforce 8800 GTS and see/listen if it boots. Otherwise sure a PSU can cause boot failures. I assume the 6-pin & 8-pin are connected to the GPU.

Further, a 400W with what you've listed is really too small especially if it's old (electrolytic capacitor aging). As a PSU gets old it loses some potential wattage, and if there's not enough power then you get all sorts of oddball behavior including 'beeps', sudden power loss, etc.

See -> http://www.thermaltake.outervision.com/Power enter your info, as I did, and calculate yourself. Don't forget to add 30%~40% Capacitor Aging and add for any OC. IMO - you need a 500W PSU.
August 23, 2011 6:08:23 PM

I tried to pull the graphics card and same deal which I found odd. Checking the MSI support site for my motherboard it says my motherboard is not AM3 ready (it is enlisted as N/A).

Basically, to explain my computer performance up until now, it was very smooth the first two years or so when the system was new. I also used a weaker CPU at 2 ghz but same graphics card. However, for about the past 6 months I started experience issues. The first happened after I decided to install Win 7 instead of Vista and I got some harddrive issues (basically, the harddrive somehow magically downgraded its size and into a different model but I can't find my actual specs anymore of the HDD so I can't confirm whether I had this smaller size model to begin with, but I don't remember it being this small) but beside that it ran pretty smoothly. Then I got the pop-up to upgrade 7 to SP1 but the installation failed due some error. After that the computer would sometimes occassionally freeze, it booted horribly slow after I logged into Windows and after even randomly shutting down.

I was using it normally and shut it down and after I booted this happened. I guess I should get a new PSU too, but at least I would love to know if I must also change motherboard, and into what in that case. I am on a very strict budget.

Would it be beneficial for me in terms of economy to leave my computer on maintenance and let them change these parts for me? I don't feel I possess the knowledge and skill to do it myself.
August 23, 2011 6:41:04 PM

Another question - are DDR2 RAM compatible in DDR3 sockets? I can't seem to find any good information about this, since I realized it would be hard for me to find an AM2 motherboard within a reasonable price range that supports AM3.
a c 717 V Motherboard
August 23, 2011 6:56:44 PM

Q - What exact CPU do you have? IF it's not on this list then, no it won't work or work properly -> http://www.msi.com/product/mb/K9N-SLI-Platinum.html#?di... ; also the correct BIOS must be used.

I noted "AMD2 2.4 (overclocked to 2.6) ghz dualcore CPU", but then I just noticed "I ordered an AM3 3.0 ghz dualcore CPU and put it in the socket..." So no, there's no AM3 support for your MOBO; the problem is the CPU - I overlooked your statement.

Athlon X2 Brisbane ADH5050IAA5DO 5050e 200 2.60 1M N/A G2 45 7250v1B.zip
Athlon X2 Brisbane ADO5000IAA5DO 5000+ 200 2.60 1M N/A G2 65 7250v1A.zip
Athlon X2 Brisbane ADO5000IAA5DS 5000+ 200 2.60 1M N/A G2 65 7250v1A.zip
Athlon X2 Brisbane ADO5000IAA5DU 5000+ 200 2.60 1M N/A G2 65 7250v1B.zip

AM2+/AM3 CPU can be installed on the AM2+ MOBO (BIOS), but AM2+ CPU can not be installed on the AM3 MOBO.
August 23, 2011 7:04:13 PM

It's called AM3 Athlon II X2 250. I did upgrade my motherboard to the latest drivers before the crash.

So asking again since it seems you missed it the first time, but can I put DDR2 into DDR3 sockets? Because in that case it would be easier for me to change motherboard to AM3 support and upgrade the PSU to 500 watt, otherwise I must find a motherboard with AM3 and DDR2 support which I think would be harder.
August 24, 2011 1:46:04 PM

Hi,
I have another question. I decided to buy a new motherboard that's AM2+ meaning it should be AM3 ready, which one would you suggest for a stationary computer mostly meant for gaming? I am looking at prices to compare but very few of them I am looking at are very specific in their details or gotten any reviews. The price range should be around 50 euro, give or take some, with decent performance given it's an old model.
August 24, 2011 1:47:29 PM

I mean that the motherboards are not very specified in their details.
a c 717 V Motherboard
August 24, 2011 2:25:42 PM

I probably would look at an AM3 MOBO instead of an AM2+; yes the AM3 requires DDR3 RAM.

Selection of AM3 MOBO's that support your CPU; side-by-side selection - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|13-131-668^13-131-668-TS%2C13-131-654^13-131-654-TS%2C13-157-195^13-157-195-TS%2C13-131-672^13-131-672-TS%2C13-130-295^13-130-295-TS

Support for ADX250OCK23GQ ; verify your CPU.
M4A78LT-M - http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM3/M4A78LTM/#CPUS
M4A88TD-M/USB3 - http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM3/M4A88TDMUSB3/#...
M4A88T-V EVO/USB3 - http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM3/M4A88TV_EVOUSB...
770 EXTREME3 - http://www.asrock.com/mb/cpu.asp?Model=770%20Extreme3
880GM-E41 - http://us.msi.com/product/mb/880GM-E41.html#?div=CPUSup...

AM2+ MOBO supporting your CPU and DDR2 RAM.

In 'my' region the USA there (is) only (1) AM2+ MOBO listed as new, in your area there may be more. It's critical to verify your CPU is supported.

Foxconn A74ML-K - http://www.foxconnsupport.com/cpusupportlist.aspx?type=...
** Foxconn's servers are down so I don't know IF your CPU is supported or not. **
August 24, 2011 3:13:48 PM

I cannot afford to buy new RAM so that's out of the question for me. It must be an AM2+ motherboard.
a c 717 V Motherboard
August 24, 2011 5:25:37 PM

Problem, I'm in the USA and have no idea whatsoever what's available in Europe or the UK if that's your region.

IF you post one or two links where you online shop I'd be more than happy to double-check CPU support. Also, you could buy used equipment.
August 25, 2011 1:50:38 PM

The problem is, I don't even know where to shop... I was thinking to checking with a local store to see if they could mount the stuff for me, but they seem to lack the type of motherboard I need. I am not sure if I am going to order from the internet or buy from this store instead.
a c 717 V Motherboard
August 25, 2011 2:17:56 PM

What Country are you located in? - let's start there...
August 25, 2011 4:48:03 PM

Sweden.
August 25, 2011 5:15:47 PM

That's still AM3 though, I need an AM2+. As I said, I CANNOT afford to buy new RAM.
August 25, 2011 5:16:24 PM

Ah nevermind, it seems that one does support DDR2? I thought they weren't compatible?
August 25, 2011 5:19:58 PM

This lack of editing posts is annoying, but anyway, seeing that one got x2 DDR2 and x2 DDR3 and I got 1gbx4 DDR2, how would that work out?
a c 717 V Motherboard
August 25, 2011 5:33:51 PM

LeaT said:
This lack of editing posts is annoying, but anyway, seeing that one got x2 DDR2 and x2 DDR3 and I got 1gbx4 DDR2, how would that work out?

Buy a used MOBO 'some place' in Sweden i.e. local PC shop.

Above is the ONLY DDR2 AMD MOBO I could find new. Choice 1 use 2x1GB of DDR2, Choice 2 find/buy a used 4xDDR2 AMD MOBO, Choice 3 buy a DDR3 AMD AM3 MOBO. And that supports your CPU.

Best I can do for you. :??: 
August 25, 2011 5:35:53 PM

Anyway thanks for all the help so far jaquith, you've been invaluable in helping me out :) 
!