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Motherboards and Memory

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December 31, 2010 8:49:06 AM

My sister's monitor displays "no signal" when she boots up. She has an eMachine converted to Win XP Professional. When the problem began you could get it to work if you booted in BIOS and hit F10. Then that became less and less effective over time. The monitor is not in question. We have tried other known working monitors also just to be sure. Same results. Her monitor plugs in onboard as she has no graphics card. I pulled my graphics card (ATI Radeon) from my computer and installed it in hers with the same results. I tried it in all three PCI slots. Nothing. Then I did it all over again with a brand new graphics card I had just bought (nVidia GE Force). Nothing. One of her friends looked at her computer and said it was the power supply. I went out, bought a new one, installed it and...you guessed it, nothing. I am thinking it's the motherboard, CPU, or hard drive. Is there a way for me to test this? She's using my second computer and I'm leaving for LA in a month and I would really like to take both my computers with me. Pease help!! Not even the discovery of Penicillin was this important.

More about : motherboards memory

a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 31, 2010 12:38:13 PM

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.

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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October 6, 2011 8:17:12 PM

vmc1 said:
My sister's monitor displays "no signal" when she boots up. She has an eMachine converted to Win XP Professional. When the problem began you could get it to work if you booted in BIOS and hit F10. Then that became less and less effective over time. The monitor is not in question. We have tried other known working monitors also just to be sure. Same results. Her monitor plugs in onboard as she has no graphics card. I pulled my graphics card (ATI Radeon) from my computer and installed it in hers with the same results. I tried it in all three PCI slots. Nothing. Then I did it all over again with a brand new graphics card I had just bought (nVidia GE Force). Nothing. One of her friends looked at her computer and said it was the power supply. I went out, bought a new one, installed it and...you guessed it, nothing. I am thinking it's the motherboard, CPU, or hard drive. Is there a way for me to test this? She's using my second computer and I'm leaving for LA in a month and I would really like to take both my computers with me. Pease help!! Not even the discovery of Penicillin was this important.






I would first make sure that the video port in BIOS is ENABLED. Boot into BIOS Setup, if you can. If that is set to Disabled, Enable it and it should work fine. I'm not sure of the BIOS on eMachines but they all do the same thing in different ways. Hope this helps.
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