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Failed CPU?

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July 29, 2011 12:24:00 PM

I have a homebuild Phenom II X4 840 in a Gigabyte 890GPA-UH3 mobo. I have an 80GB SSD with the OS and a 1TB HDD for user files. 8GB of Kingston RAM. I was using the onboard video, not overclocking, and generally using the system lightly. I noticed the system was not powering on, the LED was on but no picture would appear. I thought this was d/t messing with the sleep/hibernate settings. It then shut off abruptly a couple of times during use but didn't have the time to troubleshoot things (ie I'm an idiot) at that time. One day not long ago I hit the power button and the LED came on for about 2 seconds then went off. The computer didn't even have time to post. Here is what I have done since that time:

I of course checked all connections several times. I did notice that components (eg. USB hub) had power, lights on, etc.... No post.
I put my i3 550 CPU/mobo in the case with a different PSU to get files off of the dead machine and this all worked. So the case and HDs seem to check out.
I had a small PSU in the system so I replaced it with a 500W PSU. Should be plenty as this system ran for 9 months on a 300W PSU.... Same problem, no post.
I replaced the mobo with an ASUS M4A88T-V EVO, was careful to seat the CPU appropriately, etc.... Same problem, no post.
I have a light on the mobo showing power getting to the board. When I hit the power button it kicks on for about a second, just long enough to turn the CPU fan about one rotation then kicks off.

Is there any possible problem that I could have or anything else to troubleshoot before I get a different CPU? Any suggestions (other than pointing out how stupid I am, I have covered that above) would be appreciated.

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July 29, 2011 2:11:48 PM

If this was my PC i'd try the following things...

...check that the tag/tongue of the backing plate has not accidently wound up lodged into the top of the USB ports of the mobo. This can sometimes happen when boards are changed over...I know that this can cause your symptoms.

Failing that take the entire pc to pieces and reinstall. Start by refitting the cpu and fan then the ram and carefully insert the board before starting to hook up the power.

Once power is connected check the pc with only CPU/RAM and Video installed. If all is well you should get BIOS boot.

While you have the board out of the case I'd also short the CMOS jumper to reset the board to default.

hope some of these ideas are of help to you...good luck!!
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July 29, 2011 2:12:27 PM

myko14 said:
I have a homebuild Phenom II X4 840 in a Gigabyte 890GPA-UH3 mobo. I have an 80GB SSD with the OS and a 1TB HDD for user files. 8GB of Kingston RAM. I was using the onboard video, not overclocking, and generally using the system lightly. I noticed the system was not powering on, the LED was on but no picture would appear. I thought this was d/t messing with the sleep/hibernate settings. It then shut off abruptly a couple of times during use but didn't have the time to troubleshoot things (ie I'm an idiot) at that time. One day not long ago I hit the power button and the LED came on for about 2 seconds then went off. The computer didn't even have time to post. Here is what I have done since that time:

I of course checked all connections several times. I did notice that components (eg. USB hub) had power, lights on, etc.... No post.
I put my i3 550 CPU/mobo in the case with a different PSU to get files off of the dead machine and this all worked. So the case and HDs seem to check out.
I had a small PSU in the system so I replaced it with a 500W PSU. Should be plenty as this system ran for 9 months on a 300W PSU.... Same problem, no post.
I replaced the mobo with an ASUS M4A88T-V EVO, was careful to seat the CPU appropriately, etc.... Same problem, no post.
I have a light on the mobo showing power getting to the board. When I hit the power button it kicks on for about a second, just long enough to turn the CPU fan about one rotation then kicks off.

Is there any possible problem that I could have or anything else to troubleshoot before I get a different CPU? Any suggestions (other than pointing out how stupid I am, I have covered that above) would be appreciated.

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July 29, 2011 2:32:29 PM

I don't have a backing plate for either of the mobos so I don't think the ports are causing the problem.
I have reassembled the PC a couple of times. When I changed the mobo and RAM out it should have corrected any bad connections there. I will try resetting the new board CMOS but that would unlikely be the solution given I have tried 2 boards.
All I have been trying to power up with is the RAM and HD to see if I get a post or to boot. Sadly it won't stay powered up long enough to post at all.
Anyone had a problem like this that was (or more importantly was NOT) due to a fried CPU? Thanks.
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July 29, 2011 2:41:36 PM

Reset Cmos then try post with most stuff disconnected???
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July 29, 2011 11:06:12 PM

If you're getting power on and then off...your fan is not mounted on the CPU correctly. If the CPU was blown your board would be beeping at you. Again, do yourself a big favour. Remove your hard drive and reassemble your pc and carfully mount CPU/fan and RAM then only power up these items after you put in the power switch wire of course. It's the only way to trouble shoot your problem. If no boot from there then you know it has to be one of those three components. Resetting the mobo makes sure that your onboard video is set back to default and all hard drive settings are set back to IDE compat. Basically its a safe mode boot for the BIOS.
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July 30, 2011 1:53:09 AM

So I reset the CMOS and got the computer to stay on and post! I didn't reset the CPU a third time as I know it was in right last time. But, I am officially an idiot as I really didn't think about the jumper and when I installed the second mobo I didn't think it would need reset, too. How can the CPU cause this to happen on two different boards?

Anyway, now I have to figure out why I don't have a picture. Everything seems be running but I didn't get a signal through the DVI or HDMI. Is there anything I need to know about getting everything back to normal after CMOS reset?
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July 30, 2011 3:14:03 AM

Nevermind.

So it does stay on but it doesn't post. I was so excited that I had motion and a HDD spinning that I was certain that it had posted but on numerous reattempts it doesn't make a single beep. That is why it isn't detecting the monitor. The mobo lights, fans, case LED, everything seems to work but no post. Now that I have two boards I am tempted to go back to the first if I have to reseat the CPU anyway. Any other suggestions before I go to the trouble again?

Thanks again for all of the good suggestions thus far.
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July 30, 2011 3:43:08 AM

..ok apears from what you write that everything works other than you are not getting an image on the screen. If there are no beeps then you can assume all is ok with the hardware on the mobo.

The CMOS reset should have made the DVI output on the mainboard as default. Since your monitor works with the other mainboard it would appear that the issue is then between the DVI output and the monitor....maybe the monitor cable.

Try swapping the cable/monitor from another pc and see if you get a picture. It could be that the Video is outputing a resolution not supported by that model of monitor.

Failing that see if you can get hold of a stand alone video card. The system should detect the install and default the card.

I am also a bit worried that you have left your HDD connected before trouble shooting the system boot because you OS could have been badly corrupted by your fiddling with the system and itself not booting...not the first time i'd have seen black screen on OS initiallisation....please remove it until you have an image/BIOS post.
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July 30, 2011 3:49:43 AM

...if you have been changing motherboards with the HDD attached ...then no wonder you have no image, because you will have mangled the video drivers as they probably are not the same on each board....probably a whole host of other hardware drivers as well....again I urge to remove the HDD while you troubleshoot this issue...
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July 30, 2011 4:08:09 AM

...another thought has occured to me...and I do hope I am wrong about this....because you have no backing plate installed there mayhave been excessive bending of the DVI ouput plug and broken the solder on the mainboard, especially if you have been swapping componets for some time. That would explain that the GPU is good, but the transmission of the image is impossible throught that adaptor in which case you will need a third party GPU.
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July 30, 2011 12:25:40 PM

I hope you are wrong about a couple of those things too. I must have given the wrong impression. I only hooked up the HDD and monitor when I started it after it would stay running.

Even then, it shouldn't have required different drivers as both boards have the same Radeon 4250. Regardless, I don't think it is a problem with the onboard video as the system can't detect the monitor if it won't post.
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July 30, 2011 12:49:13 PM

I just hooked the monitor to my laptop w/ the same HDMI cord I was using and the monitor and cable work fine. I had also tried using a DVI and DVI to HDMI cable with the system yesterday when I was trying to get it to post.

I tried again this morning just for kicks. I only have the mobo connected to the PSU, the monitor, the fans, and the front panel. The chassis fan, CPU fan, and mobo lights all run but it never makes a beep and never brings the monitor out of standby.
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July 30, 2011 2:41:45 PM

Here are a couple of more suggestions/ideas....

...ok if everything seems to be working it probably is........I think you are up to trying a third party graphics card and try to by-pass the onboard video. You might need to explore the possibility that the connector is damaged in some way.

...still worth trying another monitor on the new system, preferably an older 4:3 aspect ratio one.

.....RAM configuration if not all slots are filled. Make sure fastest mem stick is used in slot 0 if mixed modules are used.

......there is no point adding the HDD if you can't post in BIOS, all it can do is complicate the overall picture. Unless the mobos are exactly identical the chance of driver corruption remains very high. It's also high if you connect and reconnect the same mobo because you invariably interupt the boot sequences. Power on/power off is well known for doing this.
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August 1, 2011 10:48:35 AM

Still can't post. No sound, no images, no BIOS. if the system truly isn't posting then isn't it true that it won't send images to any screen and it won't pull data from any drive as it isn't aware of any hardware connected? My understanding is that posting is how the mobo and CPU identify these peripheral components. So unless the beeping sounds when you hit the power button aren't the only signs of a system posting I don't think the problem lies outside of the PSU, mobo, CPU, or memory?
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August 1, 2011 11:34:01 AM

...that's precisely what you are testing....the mobo/CPU/RAM/PSU.

The system has a certain number of beeps should either the of these components be not working...the PSU excepted of course. You do not want to be hearing beeps, but the mobo manual...if you don't have one go to the manufacturer website and download it, will identify the audible sounds for each of the three components.

Unfortunately I can only advise on the symptoms you describe as I can't physically see what is or is not happening. From your description the system appears to be working in that you have lights, no beeps and the CPU fan running.

Any one of the three items CPU/RAM/MOBO will cause the BIOS not to POST, but you will definitely get an image and be able to enter the BIOS screen from having only these items hooked up. You need to find out which one is preventing the system from posting the BIOS. Until you have that fixed there just ain't no point at hooking anything else up to the system.

Do you have only these three things hooked up at the moment....and the monitor attached?

Have you tried a different monitor/graphic card?

The reason I said take the HDD off is not for any other reason than to not risk further corruption of the files and should the system get past post quickly the screen can remain black simply because the OS is not booting.

Please carry out the diagnostic as described and post back only when you have fully completed all the tests outlined or we will be going around in circles in ever decreasing radius. There will be a reason why you can not see BIOS POST, if you keep at it you will find the offending part. You can also test the RAM with the other MOBO, but you have already said that one boots and if you used the same memory then the memory would appear in the clear, at least where POST is concerned, but again if you are using mixed module, and again you have not said yay or neigh to that, then either use just one or make sure that the fastest/single module one is in slot 0.

Next POST please point note which of the things you have tried.
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August 2, 2011 2:27:53 PM

Sounds like the CPU if you swapped the motherboards. Try a friends first?
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August 5, 2011 10:35:26 AM

New CPU is on the way. I updated from the XII 840 to the XII 955 so I am excited about that. I also have enough extra parts to build another computer to use for some type of central storage so that my desktop doesn't have to be on or have WOL (I never found a configuration that worked well) to stream media to my other routers and TVs. Silver lining, I guess. I'll let you know how the new CPU works.
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August 10, 2011 11:09:06 AM

So, it was a failed CPU. Got this machine up and running last week. Thanks for your help guys.
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