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Rig will not post after a bad storm. Any ideas?

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April 11, 2011 4:42:55 PM


I built my computer about a month and a half ago. The build went fine with no problems. The computer was working until this Saturday 4/9/11.

Part 1: The Storm

This past Saturday there was a pretty serious electrical storm. My computer is plugged in along with my TV, router, and modem to a very old power surge protected power strip. I do not know if the power surge protection is in working order. I weathered the massive storm and attempted to turn on my computer…

Part 2: The beeping

Once I pushed the power button to my rig it gave a post code that I had never heard before.

1. Long Beep
2. pause
3. 3 Short beeps
4. pause
5. 8-12 very short beeps.
(From what I can tell this a memory failure post code)

I kept turning the computer on and off in an attempt to record the post code.

Part 3: The silence.

After about 5 times turning the computer on and off it stopped making the post code. The computer would not post at all. All the fans would turn on and run. The HDD would spin. Everything would appear to be normal but no image on the monitor and no post.

Part 4: The RAM

I called my friend and told him about the problem. He said 9 times out of 10 it’s the RAM. My ram is two sticks two gigs.

I have four slots on my MOBO. The mem was originally in slot 1 and 2.

1. Took RAM out of slot one = would not power up (no fan spinning)
2. Returned RAM to slot one and removed ram from slot 2 = would not power up.
3. Returned RAM to slot one and two = would not power up.
4. Put RAM in slot three and four = computer turned on but no post.
5. Took RAM out of slot four = turned on but no post
6. Returned RAM to slot four and removed from slot three = turned on but no post.
7. Took RAM out of slots three and four (no ram in comp) = turned on but no post

Currently the ram is in slot three and four.

Part 5: The video card.

Because no image was displaying I thought “perhaps the video card is f’d”
I removed the GPU. The computer once again turned on but would not post.

Part 6: CMOS

Per the MOBO manual I removed the CMOS battery for 5 seconds and returned it. The computer would turn on but still not post. I then took the jumper and moved it to the reset position for 5 seconds then returned it. The computer would turn on but still not post.

My Rig:
PSU: Antec 650 green.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU: AMD Phenom II x 4 955
MOBO: Asrock 770 extreme 3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MEM: A-DATA XPG Gaming Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU: Sapphire 5870

Theories:

1. Its probably not the RAM
a. I took the RAM to my friends house and plugged both sticks into his computer. The computer posted with no problems.
b. I think the MEM is fine.
2. The storm could have fried something.
a. The MOBO could be fried from the electrical storm but I do not see any scorching on any of the cards or RAM.
b. The other components that were plugged into the power strip seem to be fine.
c. My router was messing up a little bit (turning itself on and off) on Saturday night but it is no longer doing that and is working.
3. Could be the MOBO
a. Because I got no response with the CMOS changes I may need to replace the MOBO.
4. Could be the PSU
a. Have not tested the PSU yet. Maybe this is the problem?
5. Could be the CPU
a. Have not removed the heat sink to look at the CPU yet.
6. Could be the HDD?
a. Probably not: why would the HDD cause the rig not to post?


If anyone has any ideas as to what I should do next. Please let me know.
April 11, 2011 4:45:40 PM

Quite a list of possibilities eh? I suspect it may be a problem with one or more of the components..perhaps the mobo or the psu? The computer was plugged in during the storm right? and what kind of power surge are you using? something may have shorted
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April 11, 2011 4:45:43 PM

Just found this in the "Preform these steps before you post" post.

"Silence indicates that the RAM is shorting out the PSU (very rare)."

Because I am not getting a post is it possible this is happening?
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April 11, 2011 4:47:22 PM

Yes the computer was plugged in during the storm.

The power surge is a very old power strip that has surge protection. Its one of the ones that you are requried to have in a dorm room so the place will not burn down.
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April 11, 2011 9:47:01 PM

damn..alright...it may very well be the ram...do you have other stick you can use? The storm may have damaged something, or more than one thing..right now it seems like the ram may be the culprit..try t/s and removing a few components to see if you get a response...or, get a different set of ram for t/s
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April 11, 2011 10:00:03 PM

Something very similar happened to a friend of mine and it turned out being his motherboard. See if you can go to your friend's house (the one who let you test your RAM in his rig), plug his PSU into your mobo, and test with your mem and his. That should reveal what's at fault.
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April 11, 2011 10:09:40 PM

yeah..i suspected the motherboard as well..i think it's the psu, or motherboard personally..but, you wanna try everything right? report back when you can OP
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April 11, 2011 10:12:46 PM

asantesoul said:
damn..alright...it may very well be the ram...do you have other stick you can use? The storm may have damaged something, or more than one thing..right now it seems like the ram may be the culprit..try t/s and removing a few components to see if you get a response...or, get a different set of ram for t/s


I took the RAM out and brought it to a freinds house and plugged it into his computer. The RAM works fine in his computer.

Currently the computer does not have any ram or GPU in it. The computer still powers on and does not give me a post code.

anything else I should remove?
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April 11, 2011 10:14:55 PM

PudgyChicken said:
Something very similar happened to a friend of mine and it turned out being his motherboard. See if you can go to your friend's house (the one who let you test your RAM in his rig), plug his PSU into your mobo, and test with your mem and his. That should reveal what's at fault.



Sounds like a plan I will get in touch with him and report back.
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April 11, 2011 11:31:35 PM

flatbaler87 said:
Currently the computer does not have any ram or GPU in it. The computer still powers on and does not give me a post code.


First, define the BIOS manufacturer. I am assuming Phoenix. But I don't have any Phoenix error codes that match your numbers. Closest codes are memory relevant. If that second assumption is true, about one half of your computer is suspect.

Fact that memory works in another computer is the only other useful fact. List of suspects can cause a memory failure are not most suspects on your list.

First item that can cause numerous strange failures - power system voltages. Best checked before changing anything. Not just a power supply. Using a digital multimeter on a 20 VDC setting. And when computer is powered. Measure voltages on any one purple, green, red, orange, and yellow wire from PSU where it connects to the motherboard. Report each three digit number.

Fans and disks can spin. LEDs glow. And still those voltages can be completely defective. Cause strange BIOS errors. Get those numbers to actually know something more and to not have answers based only in speculation.
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