I have a problem that has stumped me so far, hoping you could help. I have a desktop that I built in 2007 that until recently has functioned perfectly fine. About 3 months ago I tried to do a Windows 8 consumer release install on it, and that didn't go so well. So I reinstalled Windows 7 on it, and discovered the problem. I've had other stuff going on so I haven't taken care of it yet, at least in part because I am at a total loss.
The power supply functions near as I can tell, and the motherboard appears to work (all LED's active). The power supply fans, the case fans, the processor fan, and the GPU fan all work. I have two HDD's and I can feel both vibrate slightly, indicating that they are active. The GPU connects to the monitor by DVI, and if the monitor is in standby it doesn't autodetect a signal and turn on. If the monitor is off, it doesn't detect a signal and turn on. If I turn the monitor on, it shuts itself off. The GPU card has two ports, neither produce a response. The monitor itself does work, as I can use a HDMI to DVI cable to connect my laptop to the monitor with great success. If it were a hard disk failure, I would expect to at least have the monitor detect the motherboard and show me the bios and what not.
When I was first troubleshooting the problem I remember that I did successfully get it to turn on (one time only) by swapping the two sticks of ram to the other pair of slots on the motherboard. It worked fine until I shut it off, but it would not turn back on. I have tried that method again, to no success.
My setup is a little outdated, relevant specs as follows:
AMD Athlon X2 4200
2X1GB PC2 6400
MSI nVidia 7900GT
Any insight into what happened here would be appreciated. There is no integrated graphics on my ASUS motherboard, so how can I distinguish if the problem is the motherboard or the graphics card? Would it be something else altogether? I also noticed that when I leave the power on now, the DVD drive makes a click followed by a "ramp up" noise every five seconds or so. This is a sound I associate with the computer turning on. Does this indicate some kind of looping power cycle?
Have you tried your system with a different monitor?
Have you tried yet to reset the BIOS?
I have reset and cleared the CMOS on the motherboard, to no effect. I haven't tried a different monitor, primarily because I don't have a second one, but also because I know the monitor I have works as it functions properly with my laptop.
Try running with just one stick in, and then just the other. One or both of them may have gone bad. Its a good place to start, and its relatively cheap to get some replacement ram.
I did as you suggested, to no effect. I also had a single GB stick of compatible memory available, tried that as well, to no effect.
When I first built the system I had 1x1GB because that is what I could afford. I later upgraded with the 2X1GB pair, but as the motherboard requires matched pairs only I couldn't use all three sticks in a 3x1GB setup. That extra module has been in a static proof bag since then, but the system didn't respond any differently when I tried that module alone.
if yes, I'd try to pull out the GPU and try to post with the on-board one.
Unfortunately it does not. I wish I had a backup GPU to test. I feel like it is a likely candidate for the failure point.
I believe ASUS's rationale at the time was that the onboard GPU is pointless when users will only replace it with a powerful dedicated GPU at system-build. I believe that point has been made moot, now that the Intel CPU's have integrated graphics processing built in. Back in 2007 it mattered.