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SOLVED: Mobo won't post/beep - splash screen shows artifacts

Last response: in Motherboards
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September 21, 2011 4:25:10 PM

Hi all:

My new and newly-built system won't beep or POST. It displays weird graphical artifacts on the bottom third of the splash screen (scrolling colorful vertical lines), then hangs, then restarts itself in an endless loop. Is this a sign of a dead motherboard?

Here's the system:
Gigabyte GA-H67N-USB3-B3 rev 1.0, F4 BIOS
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500)
Intel Core i3 2125 (I am using the integrated graphics)
Crucial SSD
Lite-on SATA DVD
APEX MI-008 Mini-ITX case with 250w PSU

It took a fair bit of force to get the CPU installed, but I gather that is pretty normal for socket 1155. I have tried installing just one stick of memory in each of the two memory slots with no luck. Should I just return the mobo for a replacement?
a c 121 V Motherboard
September 21, 2011 4:33:50 PM

That is an issue with the IGU, contact gigabyte for an RMA.
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September 21, 2011 5:54:58 PM

I'm a bit of a noob--by IGU do you mean the integrated graphics on the mobo chipset? Is that what displays the splash screen? If not, then couldn't this be a problem with the 2125 CPU (which itself has integrated graphics)? And could I test this by plugging in a separate graphics card?
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a c 121 V Motherboard
September 21, 2011 6:20:22 PM

no problem.

The IGU is the integrated Graphics Unit. Which is a chip that uses processor time, as well as memory from the RAM to act as a graphics card. it is not only going to display the splash screen, but anything at all that comes up on your monitor. Since it won't even display the splash screen properly, this rules out driver issues, and since it is an IGU instead of a dedicated GPU (Graphics processing unit) it rules out a lot of troubleshooting steps.

If you have an extra GPU laying around, I would absolutely suggest dropping that onto the board and seeing what happens. Although, most people with dedicated GPU's don't use the IGU since the dedicated card is by far more powerful.
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a c 216 V Motherboard
September 21, 2011 7:43:41 PM

I know GIGABYTE has a GA-H61N-USB3 (rev. 1.0) but not the model that you've specified.

The iGPU (i.e. Intel HD Graphics 3000 integrated Graphics Processing Unit) resides on the Intel Core i3-2125 CPU's die, not on the Intel H61 Express Chipset.

Which of the three video ports are you using?

What splash screen are you talking about? BIOS POST (i.e. Power On Self Test) screen?

Are the memory modules properly seated in the memory slots? Try booting with one memory module at a time.

Try a breadboard test (i.e. test with the motherboard outside of the case).
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September 21, 2011 8:50:56 PM

Thanks for the explanation itzdanielp. Of course, it only sparks more questions from this noob:

1. Can we really be sure that the problem is NOT with the CPU? If the IGU is using processor time, then couldn't a faulty CPU be causing my problem?

2. When exactly do the integrated graphics on the 2125 CPU "take over" from the integrated graphics on the mobo? If the handoff happens right away on power-up, why would the motherboard IGU have anything to do with the problem?

Because I don't know these answers, I can't see what we learn from sticking a video card into the machine. If it still doesn't POST, the problem could still be mobo or CPU, right? And if it does POST, I'm still up the creek because I don't want to use a video card in this (tiny) machine.

Also, I bought all this stuff from newegg and I'm trying to figure out what exactly I need to return. Mobo? CPU? Or should I ask for both?
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September 21, 2011 9:01:48 PM

ko888 said:
I know GIGABYTE has a GA-H61N-USB3 (rev. 1.0) but not the model that you've specified.


Sorry--I forgot a digit. It's an GA-H67N-USB3. I've corrected my opening post.

ko888 said:
The iGPU (i.e. Intel HD Graphics 3000 integrated Graphics Processing Unit) resides on the Intel Core i3-2125 CPU's die, not on the Intel H61 Express Chipset.


So if I understand you right, my graphical problems can be coming from (must be coming from?) from the CPU, not the mobo?

ko888 said:
Which of the three video ports are you using?


I'm using the d-sub port. What I would call the old-style VGA port.

ko888 said:
What splash screen are you talking about? BIOS POST (i.e. Power On Self Test) screen?


I think it's what you'd call the BIOS post screen. Big colorful "GIGABYTE" logo, looks like the box the mobo came in.

ko888 said:
Are the memory modules properly seated in the memory slots? Try booting with one memory module at a time.


I have tried this--each stick one at a time, and in each slot.

ko888 said:
Try a breadboard test (i.e. test with the motherboard outside of the case).


Will do. Thanks for your help.
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a c 216 V Motherboard
September 21, 2011 9:57:14 PM

Can you even enter the BIOS Setup by repeatedly pressing the <Delete> key as soon as something appears on the screen?
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September 21, 2011 10:00:27 PM

ko888 said:
Can you even enter the BIOS Setup by repeatedly pressing the <Delete> key as soon as something appears on the screen?


No--all that does is stop the weird artifact-lines from scrolling across the screen. After about a minute (whether or not I press any key), the machine reboots and then hangs again in the same way.

In case it helps, I should have said that the fans do start up, that all the LED phase lights are lit (indicating maximum CPU loading, I gather), and that the H67N heatsink gets quite warm during the brief time I let the machine run.
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a c 216 V Motherboard
September 21, 2011 10:07:43 PM

If you had can borrow a discrete graphics card from another PC or from a friend and plug it into the PCIE x16 slot it may be of some help in determining where the problem is occurring.
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September 21, 2011 10:15:34 PM

I have a bunch lying around and will try one tonight and report back. Thanks again. What would people like me do without forums like this?
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a c 216 V Motherboard
September 21, 2011 10:19:39 PM

The Default settings in the BIOS, in regards to graphics, makes the POST look for the discrete graphics card first and if it doesn't find one it will use the iGPU.
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September 22, 2011 1:17:36 AM

SOLVED. Perhaps this should have been obvious to me? I unplugged the SATA SSD and DVD drives and rebooted. Voila: POST went fine (though no beeps?) and I went past the splash page to a screen that said "AHCI is currently set to IDE mode. Do you want to switch to AHCI?" At first I just turned the machine off to do some diagnostics--sure enough, plugging the SSD in was causing the problem.

Anyway, I booted again without the SSD, switched the BIOS settings to AHCI by answering the question with a "yes," then plugged the SSD in and...it worked.

So the answer is that for this board (at least with the F4 BIOS) and my particular SSD brand (Crucial), I had to boot first without any drives attached, switch the bios over to AHCI, and only then plug in the SSD.
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October 8, 2011 6:37:25 AM

Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!! I got exactly same issue!!!! I thought it was a defect mobo. after i unplug the sata drives. it works fine. and I can go into bios to do all these settings!

sns26 said:
SOLVED. Perhaps this should have been obvious to me? I unplugged the SATA SSD and DVD drives and rebooted. Voila: POST went fine (though no beeps?) and I went past the splash page to a screen that said "AHCI is currently set to IDE mode. Do you want to switch to AHCI?" At first I just turned the machine off to do some diagnostics--sure enough, plugging the SSD in was causing the problem.

Anyway, I booted again without the SSD, switched the BIOS settings to AHCI by answering the question with a "yes," then plugged the SSD in and...it worked.

So the answer is that for this board (at least with the F4 BIOS) and my particular SSD brand (Crucial), I had to boot first without any drives attached, switch the bios over to AHCI, and only then plug in the SSD.

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!