Power Supply or Motherboard problem or what else!!?

Hi all.

I'd really appreciate some help and suggestions on my problem.

My problem is as follows:

My grandparents have a basic computer that they use the internet, email etc. The system that they had was:

Motherboard: Intel Gigabyte GA-G31M-S2L
Hard Drive: Segate 250GB
RAM: 2 GB (Old - not DDRII)
Dvd burner: LG (not sure of the model number etc)

When I turn on the computer, it will power on for approximately 5-10 seconds and then turn off. I dont see anything on the screen. It's like the computer attempts to boot but then shuts down.

After looking through this forum and speaking to two different computer technicians, I believed that the problem was either the power supply or the motherboard.

As we dont have spare sparts to test, I advised them to take it in to find out the exact problem before proceeding. They didnt accept my advise and wanted to risk buying a new power supply.

Anyway, they go and buy a new power supply. Although it's a brand new power supply, the problem persisted. It is the same problem.

I called up the technician and he said it is probably the motherboard.

My grandparents bought the following:
Motherboard: Intel GA-G41MT-D3P (new Intel fan to put on top)
RAM: 2 GB The technician advised that we had to buy new ram because the new motherboard required DDRII ram and we had the old type of ram.

I installed the components and attempted to turn on the computer........ The same problem. The computer would power on for 5-10 seconds and then power off.

I had already attempted to change the power cable with an old one I had, but the problem persisted. I tried a completely different power socket (in case it was the socket) but same problem.

I tried to start the computer with the disk drive disconnected from the power and motherboard but encountered the same problem.

I have no idea what the problem could be. As the computer has a new motherboard, ram and power supply; the only things that are left are the DVD burner (which i assume couldn't/wouldn't cause the problem) and the hard-drive.

Does anyone have an idea of what the problem could be or what I can try to do to fix the issue. I know dont even know if the motherboard and/or power supply was the problem in the first place!

Thank you in advance for your help. It is greatly appreciated.


4 answers Last reply
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  1. Work systematically through our standard checklist and troubleshooting thread:
    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.
    The following is an expansion of my troubleshooting tips in the breadboarding link in the "Cannot boot" thread.

    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.

    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.

    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.
  2. why dont you hire a new techie?He sounds incompetent.
  3. that "old" motherboard you had WAS DDR2 so you must have had ddr2 http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=2693#ov sounds like the "technician" was lying to you. i would go back to him and tell him that you have learned this and confront him about wasting your money.
  4. iam2thecrowe said:
    that "old" motherboard you had WAS DDR2 so you must have had ddr2 http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=2693#ov sounds like the "technician" was lying to you. i would go back to him and tell him that you have learned this and confront him about wasting your money.

    The "new" motherboard requires DDRIII, maybe a typo on the OP's part and not a lying tech.
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