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New Motherboard - Still No Display Or HDD Activity. *URGENT*

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March 14, 2012 8:01:24 PM


Specification


Motherboard

Gigabyte - G41MT- S2PT

CPU

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600

Ram

Corsair 2 x 2GB 1333GHz

GPU

Nvidia Geforce 8800 Ultra

PSU

Alpine 750w

HDD

Maxtor 450 GB



Hello,

I'm hoping someone will be able to finally help me solve this annoying and obscure problem I've been having.

This is a fairly long winded problem but please bear with me.

Approximately one month ago my computer started getting very sluggish, I could no longer watch HD video without the CPU load going to one hundred percent, making the video practically unwatchable. To begin with I thought it was related to Flash Player so I re installed it to no avail, I then tried a new browser and it was still the same result. I then downloaded Coretemp and checked my CPU temperature, It was running at an alarming 90 degrees celsius. I then immediately restarted the computer and checked the tempreture in the BIOS to make sure it wasn't the program, even in the BIOS at idle it was running at 75 degrees and rising rapidly. I then opened the case because it was obviously a heatsink cooling issue, I found that two pins from the heatsink had become unattached from the board so the heatsink was making practically no contact with the CPU. I proceeded to install the heatsink fully into the board and restarted the computer, the computer got as far as the Windows loading screen and restarted. The second time the computer got as far as the welcome screen and restarted.

I then purchased a replacement heatsink because I thought that the stock Intel one I was originally using was defective, I purchased a screw/bracket system heatsink to ensure I didn't incur any further problems with fastening it to the board. I installed the heatsink and then started the computer, I was met with no display of any kind and the GPU was spinning at full speed, after a further five to ten seconds the computer restarted itself and it continued to do this in a cycle until I manually switched it off via the PSU.

Concerned that the CPU may have become defective due to it overheating, I tried it in a friends computer. The computer booted with no problems and I left it running for approximately thirty minutes to make sure, no problems.

I then replaced the GPU with a spare which I knew worked, no change.

I then installed a spare PSU, no change.

I then removed the motherboard from the case, left only one stick of Ram, removed the GPU and connected the display into the on-board video, no change.

At a last ditch attempt I removed the CMOS battery and re-installed it in the morning, I then started the computer and the fans span for about 1/2 a second and stopped. It kept doing this every time after.

I was then absolutely sure that the motherboard was dead so I ordered a replacement, I ordered the exact same model so that it wouldn't conflict with the OS.

I installed the motherboard and started the computer, it booted into Windows and I checked the CPU temp which was at a cool 34 degrees, I naturally thought the problem was solved. The computer was running very fast but after browsing the Internet for approximately ten minutes the OS froze.

I then switched the computer off at the PSU and restarted it, it was doing the same thing as before!, no display or apparent hard drive activity however this time round it hasn't been restarting itself.

I have tried it numerous times since and on one occasion it booted into windows and I restarted it and it started doing the same thing and the other time it got to the OS loading screen and the screen went black.

Other than that it is giving me no display once again and the HDD seems to have no activity.


I am literally stumped, I have been to College where I studied I.T Engineering so I have had experience with a range of technical problems but on this occasion I am dumbfounded. I really don't see how after replacing the motherboard which was the defective component it can work perfectly for ten minutes and then display with the same problem again.


Any help will be surely appreciated.

Thank You.

March 14, 2012 8:19:05 PM

soooo, you didnt cycle the ram sticks through the boot process to see if you had defective sticks?
a b V Motherboard
March 14, 2012 8:28:42 PM

Agree with other poster that you should have explored RAM more fully. Try running with a different single stick.

Also, though you did try the CPU on another PC and it ran 30 minutes it is still possible the CPU is failing after some period of time - it ran well for sometime on your new MOBO too, right? Just a thought. I don't often expect a CPU to go bad but since you are running out of ideas and since we know that CPU ran a long time with improper cooling you might want to look into that
Related resources
March 14, 2012 8:35:29 PM

TO- guavasauce

Yes, I removed each stick and started it up and it did the same thing.

The couple of times it did start up it recognized the ram sticks as Dual Chanel so they must be OK.
March 14, 2012 8:40:39 PM

TO - notherdude

Yes, It worked fine the first time I put the new MOBO in. After about 10 mins the OS just froze up.

I've never seen a CPU work at intervals though, although I suppose it is a possibility.

I have heard that if you use screws that are too big they can short out the motherboard, is this a possibility?. It might explain why it starts occasionally at random points, I do use motherboard risers though.
a b V Motherboard
March 14, 2012 9:25:44 PM

Any chance your software is bad? Maybe the OS image on your hard disk got a little wacked while you were running the CPU at high temp (bit error rates do go up with temp and there is far from complete parity checking/ECC in a modern consumer PC).

Maybe download a bootable diagnostic and see if it can run cleanly. Maybe a fresh install of windows if you have a free drive.

P.s. your temps are now good, however at one point you said "I proceeded to install the heatsink fully into the board and restarted the computer," This doesn't work. Once the thermal pad/thermal compound breaks away you need to clean it off. throw away old pad, use a new one or something like artic silver.
March 14, 2012 9:31:42 PM

tsnor said:
Any chance your software is bad? Maybe the OS image on your hard disk got a little wacked while you were running the CPU at high temp (bit error rates do go up with temp and there is far from complete parity checking/ECC in a modern consumer PC).

Maybe download a bootable diagnostic and see if it can run cleanly. Maybe a fresh install of windows if you have a free drive.

P.s. your temps are now good, however at one point you said "I proceeded to install the heatsink fully into the board and restarted the computer," This doesn't work. Once the thermal pad/thermal compound breaks away you need to clean it off. throw away old pad, use a new one or something like artic silver.



It's not the HDD because I removed it and it still didn't show a display or anything.

I replaced the heatsink before I got the new board and used artic silver when I installed it to the new board, It booted the first time and showed a temp of 34 degrees and then froze.
a b V Motherboard
March 14, 2012 10:00:25 PM

"It's not the HDD because I removed it and it still didn't show a display or anything. "

Guess that rules out the windows SW being glitched.

Suggest you pull back to newMB, processor and PSU and see if it consistently posts. Tcase for E6600 is 60c, so with "checked my CPU temperature, It was running at an alarming 90 degrees celsius. " you were in the range where the system should ahve been thermal throttling. If the BIOS was set not to honor thermal throttle then the CPU could have been hurt. http://ark.intel.com/products/27250/Intel-Core2-Duo-Pro...

Also, I might try another shot with that alternate PSU you have before buying another CPU.

EDIT: more stuff if you like reading.

"In the event of a catastrophic cooling failure, the processor will automatically shut
down when the silicon temperature has exceeded the TCC activation temperature by
approximately 20 to 25 °C. At this point the system bus signal THERMTRIP# goes
active and power must be removed from the processor. THERMTRIP# activation is
independent of processor activity and does not generate any bus cycles. Refer to the
processor datasheet for more information about THERMTRIP#.
The temperature where the THERMTRIP# signal goes active is individually calibrated
during manufacturing and once configuration can not be changed."

The bios should listen for THERMTRIP# and shutdown the processor. 25C over 60C would be less than the 90C you saw.

source. http://download.intel.com/design/processor/designex/317... section 4.2.8
a b V Motherboard
March 14, 2012 10:13:34 PM

Second thoughts: once you get things working you'll have (maybe) a quad core2 3ghz processor.

If you can RMA the new MB or swap for another, now might be a great time to move to a nice I3-2120 or I5 on sandy-bridge MB....

(The work you've done already shows you know how to build and debug EVERY part of a new build)
March 14, 2012 11:56:24 PM

tsnor said:
Second thoughts: once you get things working you'll have (maybe) a quad core2 3ghz processor.

If you can RMA the new MB or swap for another, now might be a great time to move to a nice I3-2120 or I5 on sandy-bridge MB....

(The work you've done already shows you know how to build and debug EVERY part of a new build)


Thanks for all the replies tsnor.

I will make a few more attempts to get the computer to boot, if I still can't the CPU must be the culprit.

I have never seen a faulty CPU work at intervals though, I have worked with a few faulty ones in the past and in all cases they failed to work at all.

I will defiantly try the alternative PSU as well.

In relation to the upgrade, I am already planning to do so. I am a counter strike source user and also do music production so my current spec has been more than enough. I am now planning to play Battlefield 3 so I will obviously need to upgrade to an up to date system.

The system I am planning on is below, give me your thoughts.

Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD5

CPU - Intel i5 2500k 3.3 GHz

Ram - 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1066 Dual Channel

GPU - Sapphire HD 7950 OC

PSU - Corsair 800W GS Series

HDD - WD Caviar Green 2 TB - 600 MBps

Optical Drives - Pioneer BDR-206DBK - Blu-Ray Writer - 40x

Sound Card - Asus Xonar DX


This will be used for Gaming and watching Blu-ray movies movies both at 1080p.

If there's anything you think I can add or change please tell me.


Thanks.
a b V Motherboard
March 15, 2012 12:00:35 AM

Another idea; i know you tested with another known-good PSU but is there any chance in the rush of testing that you might have missed plugging in the aux cpu line or some other oversight? It might be worth checking with another psu again if there was any chance of that.
March 15, 2012 12:11:29 AM

notherdude said:
Another idea; i know you tested with another known-good PSU but is there any chance in the rush of testing that you might have missed plugging in the aux cpu line or some other oversight? It might be worth checking with another psu again if there was any chance of that.


Haha I've done that a few times, but I made sure I doubled checked it so no.

I suppose it must be the CPU, still seems very strange to me though that it worked on occasions. I've very rarely seen a faulty CPU at all let alone one that works sometimes.

One last thing I can try, I've heard that if you boot the system without the CMOS battery that can work. It's extremely unlikely but anything's possible.

I'm still not fully convinced it is the CPU as it did work for a full half an hour on my friends PC and that was running it extensively.

However going by a process of elimination I'm fresh out of ideas of what it can be.

I do really want to get it running as it would be perfect for my music production and I will use the system I intend to build as listed above for Gaming and Movies.

I'm sure I'll solve it eventually but it is a strange problem.


Thanks.
a b V Motherboard
March 15, 2012 8:00:16 PM

matty21 said:
....
I will make a few more attempts to get the computer to boot, if I still can't the CPU must be the culprit.

I have never seen a faulty CPU work at intervals though... <snip> I will defiantly try the alternative PSU as well. ...snip ...
The system I am planning on is below, give me your thoughts.



Agree that CPU is rarely intermittent. It's much better checked then MB, mem, drive logic, so usually doesn't intermittent fail. puzzling.

Glad you are trying another PSU <again>.

Your build is a monster. I haven't looked at the ivy bridge MB chipsets, maybe someone can say if it makes sense to get one with z75 or z77 instead of the z68 based sandybridge MB to run the 2500K. http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1872/

re sound card: If you are taking digital out (optical or coax) to a receiver to drive speakers or using HDMI then you bypass all the Cirrus Logic D/A converters on the sound card. The MB based sound chip will deliver the bits just fine, so will the sound chip on your HD 7950. If you are driving speakers (or headphones) directly from the sound card then it makes sense to have a discrete sound card with low noise decode, etc.


March 17, 2012 3:12:57 PM

tsnor said:
Agree that CPU is rarely intermittent. It's much better checked then MB, mem, drive logic, so usually doesn't intermittent fail. puzzling.

Glad you are trying another PSU <again>.

Your build is a monster. I haven't looked at the ivy bridge MB chipsets, maybe someone can say if it makes sense to get one with z75 or z77 instead of the z68 based sandybridge MB to run the 2500K. http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1872/

re sound card: If you are taking digital out (optical or coax) to a receiver to drive speakers or using HDMI then you bypass all the Cirrus Logic D/A converters on the sound card. The MB based sound chip will deliver the bits just fine, so will the sound chip on your HD 7950. If you are driving speakers (or headphones) directly from the sound card then it makes sense to have a discrete sound card with low noise decode, etc.


Got some news tsnor,

I tried the alternate PSU and I still got the same result, so I thought maybe I'll remove it from the case and do another barebones boot with just the CPU, GPU and 1 stick of ram etc.

I laid the motherboard on an anti-static mat and switched it on, the fans spun for roughly 2-3 seconds and it restarted. I thought that now I really would need to replace the CPU but it restarted itself and I was met with a display finally, It displayed a checksum error but this is most likely due to me removing the CMOS battery. I opted to load the optimized defaults and it booted into Windows like nothing ever happened. Like I initially suspected, the screws I was using to secure the motherboard to the case were shorting it. I used smaller screws and I haven't had a problem since, I've since then been checking the CPU temperature with Core Temp and it runs at an average of 50 degrees Celsius. I initially thought this was a little high as I've only been using it for browsing the web etc, I loaded Prime95 to see how hot it gets under full load and it reached a peak of 68 degrees after 20 minutes - which seems perfectly acceptable to me. I can't believe something so insignificant can cause so many problems.

In regards to the build, I chose the Asus DX because I plan to connect my Yamaha HS-50 studio monitor's to it for watching movies and I can also use it for occasional mixing because it features Asio drivers for real-time monitoring. In my studio I use a dedicated mixer but I don't really want to install a mixer into this build just for occasional mixing.

I chose the motherboard because I always prefer to use Gigabyte boards because of their reliability and that particular board has been recommended by gamers for it's stable over-clocking, however I will research other brands and chip-sets.


Thanks
a b V Motherboard
March 18, 2012 12:27:27 PM

Excellent. How exactly were the screws causing a short? The whole thing still seems odd to me but I guess the results speak for themselves. I don't suppose this was the problem all along (after correcting the heatsink) because you did say you took the MOBO out of the case and did a barebones test. So what, the first MOBO was bad but the shorting screws got you with the new board? Is it working back in the case now?
a b V Motherboard
March 18, 2012 11:03:17 PM

way to go! I heard of this kind of problem but never seen it. glad you found it.
a c 153 V Motherboard
March 19, 2012 12:28:05 AM

since you used smaller screws the motherboard even screwed in the case could move because size of the scews compare to size of the hole and touch somewhere to give ground,
!