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So I guess I broke my mobo...

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December 26, 2012 2:42:17 AM

I have an H50 mounted to my graphics card which makes getting a second card into the secondary PCI-E slot difficult. I thought I could squeeze it in there, though, if nothing else just for test purposes to see if the proposed setup provided any performance increases.

Getting the second card in the proper slot required a little pushing to get the H50 mounted on the first card out of the way. Any by "pushing" I don't mean particularly hard. I just mean that both cards were sitting askew because of the amount of space the H50 was taking up. Much to my surprise, both cards worked flawlessly and I spent a good amount of time running benchmarks in different configurations. However, at one point I did notice the Asus audio manager pop up and say that either something had been plugged in or had been unplugged (don't remember). I dismissed it at the time and moved on.

I have since removed the card and put everything back to normal only to find that...my sound doesn't work anymore. The PC does not register any speakers as being plugged in at all (headphones don't work either). I cannot enable any speakers in the "Sound" menu. If I plug headphones into the front panel, the Asus audio manager and/or computer recognizes that something has happened and does a handful of different unhelpful things repeatedly, but none of those things result in sound being produced. When headphones are inserted into the front panel, the audio manager cycles between thinking that I've plugged something into the front mic input, front headphones input, or rear line-out almost randomly. It then tries to refresh the audio devices list and to display what appears to be a speaker configuration window. Unfortunately that window instantly closes, reverts back to the main menu, and a "you have just unplugged a device" tooltip appears above the system tray. Plugging in and unplugging the main Line Out from the back of the board does nothing, and the option to enable "Speakers - High Definition Audio Driver" in the Windows "Playback" menu is grayed out; it does not recognizing anything as being plugged in at all.

When headphones are plugged into the front panel, a tooltip will occasionally pop up every now and then stating that "Windows can now playback audio from this device" with a picture of a microphone. :heink:  To which my response is, no. No it cannot.

Any idea what I broke and/or if there's any possible way to fix it. I just got this board...kind can't believe I managed to break it. I've never messed up a build like this before... :(  :(  :( 

More about : guess broke mobo

a b V Motherboard
a b U Graphics card
December 26, 2012 5:35:11 AM

I doubt that you broke it. have you administered the usual first aid like cleaning out the drivers using driver sweeper and then reinstalling the drivers?
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December 26, 2012 7:07:12 AM

satyamdubey said:
I doubt that you broke it. have you administered the usual first aid like cleaning out the drivers using driver sweeper and then reinstalling the drivers?


Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I've done just about all I can think to do in that area. I went to the Uninstall Programs menu in the Control Panel and uninstalled the driver. I then replaced it with the appropriate driver from the Asus website. When that didn't work, I tried clicking on the appropriate device in the Device Manager, uninstalling the device from there, and reinstalling the driver. When that too failed, I tried disabling audio in BIOS, booting into Windows to let the OS see a "blank slate", if you will, then re-enabling audio in BIOS and booting into Windows again. That also didn't work.

I tried wiggling various components on the mobo (mainly the PCI-E slots since that's what I was working with when things went south) to see if there was a loose connection somewhere. That also produced no results.

I was even desperate enough to hunt down the audio processing chip on the mobo and gently poke it with my finger to see if it had been dislodged or damaged. :whistle:  (Not proud of that last test there... :lol:  ) Naturally, that did nothing. I inspected it visually and it looks absolutely fine. I also checked for gashes in the PCB where maybe the card slipped and damaged some component. Everything looks fine. I'm quickly running out of ideas...

Maybe my...I wouldn't say "forcing"...how about "stern placement"...of the graphics cards into less-than-ideal positions in their respective PCI-E slots slightly dislodged the connector thus damaging some of the PCI-E lanes? Only problem with that theory is that A) I don't know if the onboard audio travels via PCI lanes, and B) if any PCI lanes were damaged enough to prevent audio devices from functioning, wouldn't such a problem manifest itself orders of magnitude more in video card performance? Such is not the case. Both video cards work 100% fine.
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a b V Motherboard
a b U Graphics card
December 26, 2012 7:23:51 AM

do you have an Intel cpu?
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December 26, 2012 7:25:30 AM

Yep. Brand new i7 3770k.

It overclocks like garbage, but that's a rant for another forum section...
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a b V Motherboard
December 26, 2012 7:29:03 AM

jazzmac251 said:
Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I've done just about all I can think to do in that area. I went to the Uninstall Programs menu in the Control Panel and uninstalled the driver. I then replaced it with the appropriate driver from the Asus website. When that didn't work, I tried clicking on the appropriate device in the Device Manager, uninstalling the device from there, and reinstalling the driver. When that too failed, I tried disabling audio in BIOS, booting into Windows to let the OS see a "blank slate", if you will, then re-enabling audio in BIOS and booting into Windows again. That also didn't work.

I tried wiggling various components on the mobo (mainly the PCI-E slots since that's what I was working with when things went south) to see if there was a loose connection somewhere. That also produced no results.

I was even desperate enough to hunt down the audio processing chip on the mobo and gently poke it with my finger to see if it had been dislodged or damaged. :whistle:  (Not proud of that last test there... :lol:  ) Naturally, that did nothing. I inspected it visually and it looks absolutely fine. I also checked for gashes in the PCB where maybe the card slipped and damaged some component. Everything looks fine. I'm quickly running out of ideas...

Maybe my...I wouldn't say "forcing"...how about "stern placement"...of the graphics cards into less-than-ideal positions in their respective PCI-E slots slightly dislodged the connector thus damaging some of the PCI-E lanes? Only problem with that theory is that A) I don't know if the onboard audio travels via PCI lanes, and B) if any PCI lanes were damaged enough to prevent audio devices from functioning, wouldn't such a problem manifest itself orders of magnitude more in video card performance? Such is not the case. Both video cards work 100% fine.


PCIe lanes has nothing to do with onboard processing units ( like your audio chip ) unless you plug in a pci card whose voltages are abnormally unmanagable by your system's PSU.....but then also not only your audio will be damaged but also your other ICs. try uninstalling the driver again from device manager , reboot and wait to see that if the systen is detecting a audio device.at this point if you select to automatically install drivers the pc will do so without a driver disc...as the driver data are saved in the temporary backup of your pc. Do not do this.Try installing a different driver (new/old version does not matter ...just should be a different COMPATIBLE ONE ) from internet or any other sources. Install and reboot. If this does not help it is clear hardware defect.....good luck !
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a b V Motherboard
a b U Graphics card
December 26, 2012 7:32:14 AM

then here's something you can try. if you perform an IPDT run, it will tell you what components are connected to the PCIE bus, I think it does mention audio device on pcie slot on mine but cant remember exactly and cant test either as my system is bricked right now.
Another thing i would suggest is hard resetting your BIOS through and then checking again if the audio driver issue gets resolved. In this case uninstall the driver before resetting BIOS.
lastly you can go the system restore route and see if that gets your audio working
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December 26, 2012 7:58:04 AM

Ah those are good suggestions!

The only reason I didn't go the System Restore route is that, AFAIK, I didn't make any meaningful changes to the system as a whole. So, I don't exactly know what (or when) I would be restoring TO and for what reason. Same thing with resetting BIOS.

I tried what Speed94 suggested above. The only odd thing that happened was that after the reboot during the uninstall process, the OS apparently automatically used its own driver. Even though I uninstalled the device from the device manager, it was like it never happened. I went ahead and installed a different version of the driver (Beta this time) but nothing changed.

It seems like whatever is controlling the audio output device is no longer functioning. In the Sound/Playback meny, all of the various audio output options are there, but they're all gray/disabled and cannot be tested or selected as default. They all say "Not plugged in".

I don't know if this is related, but I'm also apparently no longer able to switch to my second monitor, which is connected to the same output as my main computer screen (iGPU). The main screen is connected via DVI and works, the secondary screen is connected via HDMI and does not. The OS also says the secondary screen is not plugged in. I'm sensing a pattern here...

Hmph...it's looking like RMA time...
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December 26, 2012 8:20:23 AM

Reset BIOS. No second monitor, no sound. Something has got to be fried...

What's funny is that I had essentially the same problem with my H100i the other day. I plugged a second Corsair Link cable into the water block, was feeding it through the case to meet the fan cables on the other side, and suddenly the PC rebooted unexpectedly. After that, Corsair Link never again recognized that ANY fans were even plugged into the block at all - wouldn't even spin them up. No readings, no control, nothing at all. That can't be related, though, because the fan control that Link does is firmware-based and located inside the CPU cooler block itself. Thus, it should be completely independent of the rest of the system.

It is oddly similar to the current issues at hand though.
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December 26, 2012 12:18:26 PM

that happened in my old mobo too, I can't fix it , I just bought a sound card instead :( 
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a b V Motherboard
a b U Graphics card
December 26, 2012 12:40:56 PM

reinstall fresh os then install sound driver given in cd not use latest drivers downloaded from website.if works all fine.if not worked apply for warenty.if they dont accept warenty.buy a usb speaker it has inbuild sound card.the sound card driver comes with usb speakers.so no need to buy sound card.
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December 27, 2012 9:06:52 PM

So I RMA'd the board and bought a new P8Z77-V Pro from a local retailer. This time I bought the Thunderbolt version...mainly because that's all they had available.

After messing around with the new motherboard for a while, I got the courage to try sliding in the additional graphics card. I took off the H50's pump cover which makes it a bit less freakishly tall. This time I was able to slide it in without much effort. The pump doesnt make contact with the second card at all. the hoses do touch, but not enough to cause any problems. However, while sliding the secondary card into the PCIE slot, there was a loud "POP" that went through the speakers. Not good. The system was powered down during the installation process, so I can't be blamed for doing a hot-swap. I don't think it was static electricity either since I'm quite sure I was touching the case ATM and the card itself was touching the side of the case throughout the installation process.

Regardless, I'm right back where I started!! Unbelievable! There is one difference, though, that gives me a bit of hope.

In addition to producing no sound, the previous board no longer registered anything as plugged into the any audio I/O ports at all, and the "speakers" option in Sound/Playback was grayed out for good. When I plugged in speakers or headphones, the OS would have fits of ALMOST recognizing that something was plugged in, but nothing productive ever came of it.

With this board I'm simply not getting sound. Thankfully the OS still does recognizes when things are being plugged/unplugged, correctly identifies those things and what port they are being plugged into, and all the normal playback devices are still available in the Sound/Playback menu. I can even test the Speakers and the little grey decibel meter on the side jumps up and down showing that audio is being produced. Hardware-wise everything seems to be ok, at least at some level. The only problem is that I'm getting no sound from my speakers, nor am I getting sound from the front headphones port.

Any thoughts on how to fix this and what went wrong? At this point it seems like a software issue. If it is a hardware issue, there I'm done with Asus. It should not be this easy to break a motherboard...
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December 27, 2012 11:40:58 PM

Talked to Asus tech support. The guy I spoke with said, "sounds like you shorted something." How do you short something with the system turned off? He then implied that I should have installed my graphics card with the system completely unplugged. Do people do that? I have never done that and never had a problem save for THIS card in THIS configuration with THIS board...

He also said it could have been static...but apparently I only generate a static discharge when I'm trying to install THIS card in the SECONDARY PCIE slot. I guess all the cooler mounting and graphics card modding (to my primary card. Mounted a spare H50 to it and it works fantastically) I've been doing the past few days is somehow immune to ESD... Also, since this is the second time this has happened, I guess I generate ESD EXTREMELY RELIABLY.

I'd bet there's something up with the secondary GPU that is causing this to happen. That doesn't make sense, though, because, as the Asus guy said, the chips on the board have their own means of throughput to the processor; they don't use the PCIE lanes. So...how exactly is my audio chip reliably exploding when I try to install a second GPU?

I hate computer problems that just don't make any sense.
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a b V Motherboard
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2012 9:44:09 AM

jazzmac251 said:

He also said it could have been static...but apparently I only generate a static discharge when I'm trying to install THIS card in the SECONDARY PCIE slot. I guess all the cooler mounting and graphics card modding (to my primary card. Mounted a spare H50 to it and it works fantastically) I've been doing the past few days is somehow immune to ESD... Also, since this is the second time this has happened, I guess I generate ESD EXTREMELY RELIABLY.

there was static in your speakers...there always is. ideally, just powering down the system does not ensure zero static. you should power down all peripherals connected to the system as well and then press the power button which will discharge the static. Since the POP sounded from the speaker, i am sure theres no harm done to the board itself and if anything shorted it could be the speakers themselves (have you tested them with other device like your phone maybe?

you are not a reliable soutce of static unless you sit on a plastic chair wearing woolens on a dry day..lol

here is something that i would also try. i'll first place the gpu's in the static free plastic bags they come in. move the entire assembly to a new wall socket. plug in the devices, then without powering anything up press the power button and discharge any static and then start up the system (with both gpu's)

i seriously dont think your audio chip can explode
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December 28, 2012 4:48:55 PM

Ok, so I've isolated the problem by reinserting the graphics card into the second PCIE slot. This is defect in Asus P8 motherboards, I'm sure of it.

On the rear end of the second PCIE slot, there's a group of resisters/capacitors near the very edge of the PCB. If any of those components are touched by anything conductive, like the metal end of a graphics card, it will completely ruin your onboard audio system. This is completely absurd. It's next to impossible not to touch these components with a graphics card given their location. If you insert the card even slightly askew, you will ruin the audio processor on your board.

Doing this little experiment has completely destroyed the board's audio processing capabilities. My speakers now make this awful screeching noise, and the board/OS is constantly thinking that something is being plugged/unplugged from every audio port.

Ridiculous.
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December 28, 2012 5:19:38 PM

What a story lol.. I just read everything and now I will never buy an Asus mobo (not that I ever bought an Asus mobo) :p 

I suggest you try ASRock?
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