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Computer is completely dead

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February 25, 2012 6:28:50 PM

i bought a Systemax prebuilt with no OS a couple years ago and its been perfect...till now. I left it running and laid down for a few hours and woke up and it was off...but the num lock light was on on the keyboard. I hit the power on button and nothing...so i thought it was the psu. I bought a new psu 500watt and still nothing. to make a long story short I followed every step in the "perform these steps" found here http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-ste... and still nothing so im guessing the motherboard and i ran across this article (might have been on this forum but im not sure where i found it) http://hardwarelogic.com/articles.php?id=5418&asesessid... i did this (jumped the green to the black wire) and the puter kicked on and the fans started spinning but as soon as i took the jumper off it shut off. 2nd time i left the jumper on for about 3 seconds and took it off and it turned back off. Not sure if the puter should have stayed on or not but this is the most its done since it went dead. So do u guys think its motherboard???...should the puter have stayed on after jumping??? Thanks for any help that i get. If its the motherboard, I plan on getting the same board and just switching the processor over to it unless u guys think the processor is dead too??? I hope not thou...thanks

Specs
this is the exact puter i bought from tiger direct...i copied it from my purchase history from tiger direct
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

only things ive changed from the above link is
1. now has new 500 watt CoolerMaster psu (this was installed cause i thought the old one burnt up (350 watt) 2 days ago...and the old one was fine i guess)

2. 6 months ago i put in a Trendnet teg-pcitxr h/w 3.1r 10/100/1000 ethernet card

3. a year ago i installed a 2nd HDD for storage Hitachi 40 gig

4. 6 months ago changed from usb keyboard to standard keyboard

and thats all thats been changed on it...nothing was plugged into usb's other than optical mouse at the time
February 25, 2012 10:44:20 PM

If it is the motherboard, then its a cheap fix. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <-- $48 with shipping.

Just be sure to double check that the case is compatible with a new motherboard, as some manufactures used to/still make cases that will only work with their MBs.

It sounds as if the motherboard is bad. Another option is that the power switch on the case is bad, but I don't see how that would leave the computer on yet the screen off.

The CPU is not likely to be bad, those go out very rarely. Like, really really really rare.
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February 25, 2012 11:44:17 PM

Work systematically through our standard checklist and troubleshooting thread:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...
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.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...

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.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/262730-31-breadboardi...

Breadboard with just motherboard, CPU & HSF, case speaker, and PSU. Breadboard with just motherboard, CPU & HSF, case speaker, and PSU. At this point, if you do not have a system (internal case) speaker, you really need one.


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, LED's, or fan activity:

Check for line power at the PSU input. Extension cords, power strips, and power cords do fail.

If you have power and no beeps, suspect components in likely order are PSU, motherboard, and CPU.

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.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FWXgQSokF4&feature=yout...

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.
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February 26, 2012 12:27:46 AM

well i didnt just 'read over' the trouble shooting thread...i actually did everything on the list....i paperclipped both the old and new power supplies and used a volt meter to read all voltages. I had the entire computer stripped to nothing other than the 24 pin psu connection and the 4 pin 12 volt cpu connection. I had all switches removed from the board and use the screwdriver tip to short the 'power on' pins on the board and i got nothing. Only thing that made this do anything was jumping the green wire to the ground on the power supply while the 24 pin and 4 pin were connected to the board and then it didnt stay on long enough to do a POST but it did kick on all the fans on the board and that was it. No video card is on it cause it has on-board video which i cant disconnect.
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February 26, 2012 12:37:31 AM

You will never know whats the problem without extreme trouble shooting... Listen.

I built a custom gaming computer and all the parts are working , so I first thought it was the power supply , I exchanged the 300W with a 500W , no difference. I did all basic trouble shooting that is needed.

So I asked my dad to help me, this is what we did. First we tested the motherboard if it had any grounding problems and that was it. We unscrewd the motherboard entirely and plugged in the only basic needs for booting.. which is 1 Ram card , power supply and additional cords.

Our problem was a SCREW! Belive it or not but when we took it out the case the motherboard worked and everything booted...

A screw was either deflecting the board and causing a issue or just plain old messed up. After placing the motherboard back into the case and unscrewing just that one screw , BAM it loaded up and booted..

What i'm trying to say is Troubleshoot everything you possibly can especially the screws and try the motherboard with a power supply without the case.

Good luck sir!
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February 26, 2012 12:54:26 AM

I went through similar episode with a core2 duo LGA775 p35 Giga-Byte mobo.... tried PSU, RAM, mobo.... it was the cpu - go figure - I thought they never went bad.
-Bruce
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February 26, 2012 1:09:51 AM

My old gaming machine went down on me last year after years of faithful service and exhibited identical symptoms: Ran nearly 24/7 for years and was found dead one day and wouldn't boot or even stay powered on for more than about a second.
I replaced the power supply and then stripped the system down to the bare minimum to no avail. I started closely examining the board and quickly located several bulged capacitors near the PCIe slots. The motherboard was not getting stable power and was shutting down before trying to start.

I don't know if the CPU was dead, too, but the GPU and hard drive checked out fine and have been recycled into other machines. I sourced a set of replacement capacitors for the board but finally came to the realization that an AM2 board just isn't really worth that much effort, even with a 3GHz dual core Athlon64.
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February 26, 2012 1:24:03 PM

well while i have this thing still breadboarded and the only thing hooked to it is the 24 pin connection and the 4 pin 12v connection to the cpu and the cpu fan itself which works (no memory installed, no hard drives or optical drives, no cards at all, no mouse or keyboard, no off and on or reset switches) i was wondering if i removed the cpu and tried to start it with the jumper on the green wire and the ground if itll even try to come on without the cpu installed. I dont want to buy a board and switch the cpu over if the cpu could be at fault also. Thanks
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February 26, 2012 2:10:05 PM

You won't hurt anything if you power up the motherboard without a CPU but there's no guarantee it will tell you anything useful. Some boards won't stay powered up without a CPU installed, some will. Unless you know the expected behavior of your board in this condition, if it stays dead you haven't learned anything useful.
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February 26, 2012 4:15:00 PM

phyco126 said:
If it is the motherboard, then its a cheap fix. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <-- $48 with shipping.

Just be sure to double check that the case is compatible with a new motherboard, as some manufactures used to/still make cases that will only work with their MBs.

It sounds as if the motherboard is bad. Another option is that the power switch on the case is bad, but I don't see how that would leave the computer on yet the screen off.

The CPU is not likely to be bad, those go out very rarely. Like, really really really rare.




i checked MSI's website and they have a warranty on the board if its stamped January2010 or later....Mine is stamped November 2009...go figure...lol

ill probably order the msi 7529 again but i havent found anything on the net suggesting this is an ongoing problem with this board so ill take it as a one time problem.

The puter has been flawless for 2 years with no problems what-so-ever...just kinda strange to have this happen out of the blue especially since it was just sitting idle and the lights didnt go off in the house or something like that...so who knows...thanks for the help
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February 26, 2012 4:19:18 PM

well i just ordered another mobo for it and see what happens from there....hopefully the processor isnt shot too. Since i have it breadboarded with just the power supply and heatsink/processor fan and i still cant get the least bit of life out of it (no hint of any fans turning or anything) i guess ill take my chances with a mobo...thanks everyone for the suggestions :hello: 
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February 26, 2012 6:37:53 PM

Sure. Just please keep up updated with how the new motherboard goes!
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March 1, 2012 8:51:41 AM

Well the new board arrived and I swapped the CPU and heatsink over and it works like nothing ever went wrong so I guess it was the board after all. Still would have liked to know what went wrong but it's all good now. New psu and new board with 3 year warranty should keep things going for a while. Thanks guys for all the help
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March 1, 2012 11:57:34 PM

Yup. Though sometimes things just go wrong. Capacitors blow, transistors fry, etc...
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