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What happened to my PC??

Last response: in CPUs
March 22, 2001 7:33:25 AM


Whilst I've read many posts over the last year, this is my first participation, and unfortunately it's a problem.

Before I start, please no flames or Intel vs. AMD arguments (Amdmeltdown, fugger, et al please take heed).

Last night, whilst working on PC Anywhere (i.e., no heavy load), my PC screen went blank and started rebooting for no apparent reason. It failed to reboot (got as far as the Highpoint controller looking for drives and blanked again).

Since then, it has failed to either send a signal to the monitor, or give me a beep from the onboard speaker. When I try to boot, the drives & fans all start, and the power & IDE activity lights come on on the front, but that's it.

I've tried it with only the CPU, MB, RAM & AGP card to no avail, so definitely not a drive or other card. The PC will then not turn off with the power switch (though this turns it on initially), and I have to pull the power from the back to restart. Sometimes the PC will do nothing at all, especially if the HD is connected to the Highpoint controller, and not the KT133 chipset. I think the board is screwed, but I think it could instead be the CPU, or (less likely) a partial failure in the PSU. I have trouble believing the CPU fried because it was largely idle, and the room was colder than normal last night (it's been snowing in Britain, and my window was open a bit).

I also doubt the modem was the cause (spike down the line) though I was online at the time, as it only dropped the line once 2 seconds after the PC died (which is the normal lag time for it to spot a PC crash).

I'm trying to borrow a new CPU & PSU from a friend to test, but any thoughts/help from you guys would be great.


Abit KT7-RAID (non -A version) with latest BIOS (U)
Duron 700 @ 900
unknown case with 250W PSU
Asus 7100 Geforce2MX card
256MB Infineon PC133
Maxtor 15GB HD
generic 40X CD-Rom
SB Live 5.1
Multitech ZDXV 56K ext. modem

More about : happened

March 22, 2001 7:56:09 AM

Just to add,

The PC has been running fine for 6 months now, and it wasn't knocked in anyway (so no 'the heatsink fell off' possibility)

March 22, 2001 8:16:52 AM

I'm not sure, but try clocking the cpu back to its original speed.
If there are more than one memory modules, remove all but one.
Try loading bios defaults(?)

That should get the system back to the safest possible setting perhaps.

<i><b><font color=red>"2 is not equal to 3, not even for large values of 2"</font color=red></b></i>
Related resources
March 22, 2001 8:22:07 AM

Unfortunately, cannot get any kind of display, or even into the BIOS. Thought if I did the half-dozen on & offs it would default to 600Mhz with all defaults (as the Abit manual says) but it just does nothing.

Also, the RAM is a single DIMM, as I know first- & third-hand that the KT133 is picky with RAM.
a b à CPUs
March 22, 2001 8:50:33 AM

Drop your ram out and then your VGA and check the correct amount of beeps come from your MB, if not your MB could have givrn up the ghost, if you have any other parts around IE old VGA cards or try swapping them and seeing if it boots, check all of the fans are running and let us know the results....

Good Luck


Opinions are like arseholes .... everybody’s got one.... :smile:
March 22, 2001 9:08:38 AM

Thanks to both you guys. A friend is building a Duron system with the KT7A at the moment, and he's going to lend me his bits to test with tonight. I'll let you know how painful to my wallet it turns out to be,



The things that come to those who wait may be the things left by those who got there first
March 22, 2001 2:20:11 PM

it happens all the time it's called "Spontaneous AMD chip combustion". it's rather nasty for oc'rs and few readily admit to it.

lets hope this not the case.

"Amd cpu...Gone in 2 secs flat, it truly is a fast chip!"
March 22, 2001 3:11:06 PM

Did someone just fart?

It must be AMDMeltdown Talking out of his ass again!

<i><b><font color=red>"2 is not equal to 3, not even for large values of 2"</font color=red></b></i>
a b à CPUs
March 22, 2001 3:44:47 PM

if you tried with only Mem , MB, CPU and VGA then try

Take out VGA and keep only 1 mem

Check if it beeps.. if it doesn't beeps it must be the board...

If it doesn't beep it could be the CPU.
March 22, 2001 4:16:15 PM

I've seen several instances of VIA chipset motherboards doing things like this. It's the consensus of a few friends of mine and I that VIA has somehow managed to really frag AGP.

If you have one, try a PCI video card.

This may not be what is causing your problem, but the symptoms are extremely similar. And you are using a VIA chipset motherboard, so that in itself invites all sorts of possible bugs.

-Got your money for nothing, and your chips for free.
-I want my, I want my, I want my AMD.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by slvr_phoenix on 03/22/01 01:19 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
March 22, 2001 6:05:02 PM

I've got an old Matrox Mystique card I can chuck into it, and tomorrow I'll be trying a friend's PSU on my system, and my Duron in his MB, though it does appear that the MB has gone tits up.

Unfortunately, I'll have to buy a new board 'coz will only replace it once Abit themselves have had a look (4-6 weeks!), and I need my machine by the weekend.

As an afterthought, considering that you can get a 46GB IBM Deskstar for very few £££, do any of you actually use the RAID on your MBs? I never have, and I think I'll get a KT7A instead of a KT7-RAID (funds are tight, so KT7A-RAID is a no-go), as I would like to use the 133(266) bus if I can, and I can't see myself forking out to get 90GB of HD. I mean, what the hell would I do with 90GB!

Thanks for the posts (except Amdmeltdown - read my 1st post), I'll let you know.

March 22, 2001 6:20:38 PM

Whatever solves it, I hope you get your system back up. With any luck it'll be something simple. :) 

As for RAID, I don't use it ... yet. Currently my primary home system is just an old Celeron 500 with misc. parts thrown in from other dead systems to flesh it out. That said, I'm sure you can see my operating budget. :) 

However, my future plans for a system (that I'm saving up for) definitely include RAID for data integrity. It will be really nice to have a system that can have a hard drive failure and yet I don't lose anything. :) 

-I no longer talk to stupid people. They just aren't worth taking the time to talk to. :tongue:
March 22, 2001 9:59:05 PM

Buy more AMD!

March 22, 2001 11:08:06 PM

Yet another useful post by the worthless fugger.
March 22, 2001 11:42:48 PM

Do you ever offer good advise or are you just stupid? Try posting something helpful for once...Dork

Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and most of them stink
March 23, 2001 12:36:40 AM for turning the system off...what happens if you hold the power button down for five seconds? On Abit boards, the hardware defaults to only powering off after a 4-second hold-down on the power button (any briefer contact just puts the system in standby/suspend/whatever), although the BIOS will switch this over to its own setting once it's done with POST.

I've actually seen this exact failure pattern happen a lot on Abit motherboards--two BH6 boards and a ZM6 (not my boards; I work on a lot of other people's systems). Typically it's preceded by a period of a few days/weeks when the system blue-screens frequently. Maybe I'll get flamed for this, but I just plain don't trust Abit boards...

As someone else has suggested, take out the video card but leave the speaker connected, and see what happens. The BIOS should generate a beep code (typically a long beep, followed by three short beeps) when this happens. If it doesn't, then your system isn't even POSTing.

I seriously doubt it's the CPU. In my experience, whenever this has happened with an Abit board, it's never been the CPU. It's also been my experience that the rest of the system components survive just fine when an Abit mobo fails.

<A HREF="" target="_new">;/A>
March 23, 2001 8:03:13 AM

Kelledin - thanks for this. I was getting BSODs, but it's only your mention that reminded me of them. Any idea what actually caused the failure? It's been inside my PC for 6 months untouched, so it's a bit long in the tooth to be suffering from static @ installation.


March 23, 2001 8:36:39 AM

have you tried reseting the bios? Just in case you don't know what mean take the jumper on the CMOS jumpers (3 pins, jumper on 2) and put the jumper to the other side and back again. Good luck.

<b><A HREF="" target="_new">How fast is your PC</A></b>
March 23, 2001 9:16:10 AM

I have the KT7-raid board, and 2 IBM 75gxp 45 gig drives, and I have never had an issue(cept the heatsink clip broke on the socket, but that was my fault), as for the 90 gigs of space, I find I am doing alot more FULL installs, the baldurs gate install is 2 gigs full, and I would have never used up 2 gigs on my old WD16 gig.
as for raid, I have noticed an improvement since I started using 0, the defrags are blazing and the programs load a hell of a lot faster. however once everythings loaded you cease to notice any improvement. Worth the 20 bucks as long as you already planned on 2 harddrives IMO.

"Friends don't let friends buy Pentiums"
a b à CPUs
March 23, 2001 12:34:45 PM

The last time I had your symptoms, it turned out to be the power supply gone bad. I put a new one in, and everything was fine again.

a b à CPUs
March 23, 2001 8:32:59 PM

I had a similar problem..

Here's what i would suggest... Reset the bios, either using the jumper way or by taking out the CMOS battery (the little button battery) and leaving it for 30mins, then put it back in and try again... if it doesn't boot then you know it's not the BIOS.

Next try the video card, if it boots with a PCI card then it's not the board but the card... or possibly the AGP port (but less likely)... I fried my GeForce2 MX a while back but it's ok now, i repaired it..

If you try another CPU and it still doesn't boot, try EVERY part of your friends machine with your CPU (eg, put your CPU and HSF in his machine) if it doesn't boot you've probably crushed the core, that's what i did to mine.. it worked fine without being touched for weeks, 2 or 3 i think, and then i was reformatting my hDD's and it just stopped.. froze.. and it wouldn't boot again, turns out the damn thing was completely cracked around the edges, so have a look and see if you can see any physical damage on the core.

If none of this solves your problem it's the board, get a new one...

Good luck

<b><font color=blue>Note to self: Never buy <i>anything</i> without checking with <font color=red>Tom</font color=red> first...
March 23, 2001 10:03:49 PM

Actaully to be honest my machine does that all the time. My processor does not make a good connection sometimes so it wont do anything. If I press down on the processor and turn the machine back on it works like a champ. Weird but hey, whatever! =)
a b à CPUs
March 23, 2001 11:16:20 PM

Ummmmmmm anyone else see something wrong about this post?

Draenok, your cpu shouldn't be doing that, it's either the CPU or the Mobo... either way, take it back and get new one, that's coverred under warranty...

I really think that's quite strange, what kind of mobo do you have?

<b><font color=blue>Note to self: Never buy <i>anything</i> without checking with <font color=red>Tom</font color=red> first...
March 24, 2001 3:08:09 AM

Unfortunately none of it came with a warranty. It was all second hand from a very nice friend. I do wish though =)
a b à CPUs
March 24, 2001 5:40:42 AM

Well... it's a little strange anyway... i would see what's wrong with it, get it tested!!!

<b><font color=blue>Note to self: Never buy <i>anything</i> without checking with <font color=red>Tom</font color=red> first...
a b à CPUs
March 24, 2001 5:44:36 AM

Everything has warranty on it man

find out where be bought it from and take it to them

i didnt full read these posts but i saw that u said no warranty

u do have it
but just maybe get the bill from him if u can and go back to where he bought it
even pretend to be him give his info and say u lost the bill or something

good luck

-- They have found a way to harness the power of a thunderstorm and expell it with great force!--
March 26, 2001 7:38:34 AM


Tried all the tricks posted above, and it <i> is </i> the mobo that's screwed, so I've ordered a new one (due tomorrow), and now I have to get on Insight's back to do a return under warranty.

Thanks again to all the useful tips. Hopefully this has helped not only myself, but will help someone else who gets unlucky in this way, regardless of what system they are using,


March 28, 2001 8:05:11 AM

Just to Update:

got my KT7A yesterday and installed fine. My Duron 700 is now running @ 933Mhz (7*133), and sweet as a nut. Unfortunately, looks like a spike from the mains took out the motherboard, and my CD-Rom with it. Got to buy a new drive today, as none of my games will run without the CD in (I've spent all afternoon yesterday with a friend trying to fix the drive, but to no avail - it won't detect a CD in the drive, and hence won't spin up. Tried lots of things from the web, so please don't reply on this).

As a word to the wise to you guys out there, whilst it is unlikely, a spike from the mains is something that could fry your PC, and could happen to any of us (except those with a UPS). Considering that in the UK you can buy a 6-gang extension lead with half-decent surge & spike protection from B&Q (DIY chain) for £7, and as we all probably use extension leads/splitters to plug everything in, next time you need an extension lead, buy one with surge & spike protection for your PC, and use the PC one for whatever you need the extra points for. Might just save you some decent money.

Thanks again to all for the help,

March 28, 2001 9:20:23 AM

For all you americans, go to Best Buy and spend the $50 on a good surge protector. If you have friends that work there have them get it for you ($12 or so). I've had it switch the breaker (at my parents place) about 3 times, so that's 3 times it saved my butt. But make sure you get enough Joules of protection. Don't be cheap since it's not worth it, and of all the parts you build a computer with the surge protector will last the longest. My first one lasted 12 years or something ridiculous, but I finally replaced it with a better one since I didn't want to take any chances...

<font color=red>Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.</font color=red>
Pablo Picasso
March 28, 2001 11:53:43 AM

plus the good ones usaaly have a warinty that coveer part that blew when they where pluged in to

i think the on i have know hase something like $5000 coverage if something blows on it