Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

I broke my PC! Help, anyone?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
June 1, 2004 9:57:20 PM

An apology first: Sorry for posting here, but no one really reads any other forums anyway :redface:

I have not had any hardware failures or system crashes in a very long time (at least two years). The only exception was when one of my hard drives died three months ago. This problem was obvious - loud, clicking noises and POST reporting inaccessible hard drive - so replacing the hard drive fixed the problem. My current system never crashed before. It never malfunctioned in any way except for the above hard drive incident. Therefore, I am a bit confused about what happened yesterday. It is something "new" (to me at least).

I was playing Knights of the Old republic. Everything was fine. Smooth gameplay, crash-free as always. No artifacts or weird graphics, no strange noises. No suspicious symptoms whatsoever.

Then, when I got tired of having fun I saved/exited the game and went into my display properties to check some settings. At this point the system froze before I even got to change any settings.. I figured it was a memory and/or page file issue since I was running the game for a good 5-6 hours straight. I thought Windows would recover. I gave it several minutes and when it became clear that it was indeed a lock-up I rebooted via power switch since Ctrl+Alt+Del did nothing - the system was frozen solid.

I thought that the problem was caused by overclocking the GPU (nV 5700U) and if this were indeed the case, during reboot you can press and hold Ctrl with nV cards to restore default clock speeds. I Tried this but the PC will not even POST.

Here are the symptoms:

1. On Failed POST motherboard does not produce ANY beeps at all.
2. The monitor is blank/black and its LED stays yellow indicating no video signal as if the PC power is off.
3. PSU fan works fine.
4. Power LED is ON.
5. Optical drives spin and blink fine.
6. Hard drive LED is ON but steady (no blinking), there is no audible hard drive activity.
7. CPU, GPU and case fans work fine.
8. Motherboard lights and NIC light are on.

The system was overclocked via software: FSB, AGP and PCI bus were all overclocked about 18%. My first suspicion was that I broke either the CPU or the video card. But there were no symptoms of any kind - no lock-ups, no instability of any kind, no artifacts...

Still, I have tried a few things:

1. Unplugged and reseated the IDE cables.
2. Replaced the CPU with the one that I know works fine.
3. Replaced the video card with the one that I know works fine.
4. Disconnected/reconnected the peripherals.

Nothing changed.

I have just read a bunch of things on POST troubleshooting just in case. <A HREF="http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000607.htm" target="_new">THIS</A>, for example. And <A HREF="http://www.computerhope.com/beep.htm#01" target="_new">THIS</A>.

It appears that I am having a case of "irregular POST beep code" - no beep at all. At this point I am thinking that maybe I killed my AGP or PCI bus. How can this be verified? Unfortunately, I have no way of testing my memory (PC-800 RDRAM).

Any ideas/suggestions? Thanks!

<font color=green>"The creative powers of English morphology are pathetic compared to what we find in other languages." (Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct)</font color=green> :cool:

More about : broke

June 1, 2004 10:24:36 PM

The first thing i test is ram...

It looks like ram too, so you can't get any RDRAM?
Buy a stick of RDRAM from a local retailer that has return policy, I know RDRAMs are still around, they're just overpriced.

And are you sure your computer wasn't overheating in any way? all heatsinks properly seated?

<A HREF="http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/myrig.php?do=view..." target="_new">My PC</A>
June 2, 2004 12:13:27 AM

Could this be the black screen syndrom of the nforce board?

Athlon 2700xp+ (oc: 3200xp+ with 200fsb)
Radeon 9800pro (oc: 410/360
1024mb pc3200 (5-3-3-2)
Asus A7N8X-X
Related resources
June 2, 2004 2:59:34 AM

Quote:
It looks like ram too

I have Award BIOS. RAM problems are supposed to generate beeps but I get no beeps of any kind. Why do you think it is RAM? Any particular reason?

Buying replacement RIMMs is kinda tough for me because they need to be installed in pairs so this RAM test could cost me like $200+. I would do it if I planned to stick with RDRAM but I am planning to build a DDR system...

But I tried removing RAM to see if there would be any beeps. No beeps :o (

Can a motherboard that worked perfectly for over two years suddenly just die without showing any strange symptoms first? (The mobo is ASUS P4T-E)

<font color=green>"The creative powers of English morphology are pathetic compared to what we find in other languages." (Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct)</font color=green> :cool:
June 2, 2004 3:04:29 AM

The motherboard could die if there was a power surge, I've had my graphics card and only my graphics card get blow up with a power surge. Really wierd!


Does your keyboard num cpas and scroll lock turn on?
a b U Graphics card
June 2, 2004 3:19:18 AM

You could have had your new hard drive die, try removing the data AND power cables from the drives and see if your computer POST.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
June 2, 2004 1:14:11 PM

Quote:
Does your keyboard num cpas and scroll lock turn on?

Hmm... This is a Microsoft Multimedia keyboard with F-Lock key which enables extra functions for the Function keys. When the power is turned on the keyboard lights blink normally. After POST fails, however, the F-lock still works, but Num Lock and Scroll Lock don’t light up no matter how many times I press them.

Quote:
You could have had your new hard drive die, try removing the data AND power cables from the drives and see if your computer POST.

I removed both hard drives and installed a working one. Symptoms did not change in any way. Still no POST and no beeps.

<font color=green>"The creative powers of English morphology are pathetic compared to what we find in other languages." (Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct)</font color=green> :cool:
June 2, 2004 2:58:54 PM

Hmmm... my vote's for a dead mobo.

Try swapping a PSU from another machine for $hits and giggles, though.

________________
<b>Radeon <font color=red>9700 PRO</b></font color=red> <i>(o/c 329/337)</i>
<b>AthlonXP <font color=red>~2750+</b></font color=red> <i>(2400+ @ 2208 Mhz)</i>
<b>3dMark03: <font color=red>4,876</b>
June 2, 2004 3:52:19 PM

Quote:
Hmmm... my vote's for a dead mobo.

Yeah. I am leaning towards this too.

I am gonna tell you something funny. Believe it or not, it is true. In the mid-90s I used to own a small company in the business of building custom PCs. We even shipped overseas. Many hundreds of machines were built. . . I currently work as a sysadmin in a huge college with 16000 students and over 5000 PCs. In addition, I have been building/fixing my own and my friends’ PCs for some 14 years now. . .

<font color=red>Here comes the unbelievable part</font color=red>: In all this time I saw only ONE dead motherboard in a Gateway at work. Seen dead hard drives, faulty memory, incompatible components, you name it. But basically NEVER have I seen a dead motherboard . . . until this happened to my PC at home. Some of the older PCs on my home network are 5-7+ years old, like P-III 500MHz machines and they still work perfectly fine.

I was hoping to salvage this ASUS P4T-E because it IS an awesome board despite of its respectable age. I am really sad that it seems impossible. Tried to buy another one, but none of the major e-tailers I would trust with my credit cards stock these mobos. Even ASUS does not list it in its product line anymore! :mad: 

<font color=green>Can anyone suggest a reputable on-line vendor (like newegg.com or amazon.com) with good shipping/return policies? I will look for a P4T-E there.</font color=green>

Why do I bother? Well, because my PC is pretty strong even by today’s standards it is a shame to throw it out. It is an RDRAM-based system so replacing the mobo would mean new RAM not to mention the OS and apps reinstall – too much unnecessary expense and headache since I am about to build a new DDR/nV6800U machine in the near future.


<font color=green>"The creative powers of English morphology are pathetic compared to what we find in other languages." (Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct)</font color=green> :cool:
June 2, 2004 4:20:16 PM

I've seen 2 dead mobos: one was a killed by a power supply that shorted, the other died of old age... a friend's ancient K6-2 motherboard that died last year.

________________
<b>Radeon <font color=red>9700 PRO</b></font color=red> <i>(o/c 329/337)</i>
<b>AthlonXP <font color=red>~2750+</b></font color=red> <i>(2400+ @ 2208 Mhz)</i>
<b>3dMark03: <font color=red>4,876</b>
a b U Graphics card
June 2, 2004 10:09:34 PM

So you DIDN'T try it with NO hard drive, CD-ROM, or floppy attached?

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
June 3, 2004 1:30:01 AM

Quote:
you DIDN'T try it with NO hard drive

I did. Well, not exactly. What I did was I pulled all IDE cables out of the controllers on the mobo. Does this qualify or it is actually necessary to disconnect the power supply too? I will try this now, eerr.. just in case.

<font color=green>"The creative powers of English morphology are pathetic compared to what we find in other languages." (Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct)</font color=green> :cool:
June 3, 2004 1:45:56 AM

Okay. I did it. In fact, I went beyond that. I pulled out or <font color=red>completely</font color=red> disconnected everything. The only things left in the system are:

- a good CPU with HS and fan from another PC
- a good video card from another PC
- memory
- PSU connected to the motherboard
- keyboard

Should POST and take me to BIOS. Right?

Nothing happens, still won’t POST. Nor there are any beep signals.

<font color=green>"The creative powers of English morphology are pathetic compared to what we find in other languages." (Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct)</font color=green> :cool:
a b U Graphics card
June 3, 2004 4:34:59 AM

Well, it sounds like a comunication problem between the board and CPU then! I was just making sure!

What you really need now is a spare board and CPU so you can test those parts separately.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
June 3, 2004 12:41:31 PM

Quote:
What you really need now is a spare board and CPU so you can test those parts separately.

The CPU I used to test POST was a working CPU from another PC. It must be the motherboard that died then.

I think I will be getting a new motherboard, memory, case and PSU after all. Please take a look at <A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam..." target="_new">this post</A> I made in the Motherboards and Chipsets forum. I could use some advice. Many thanks in advance.

<font color=green>"The creative powers of English morphology are pathetic compared to what we find in other languages." (Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct)</font color=green> :cool:
June 3, 2004 1:33:42 PM

Have you tried resetting the CMOS? Just a thought.

---
Epox 8RDA+ V1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
Summer's here! so ease off the overclock...
XP1700+ @166x12 (~2Ghz), 1.475 Vcore
2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL 2-2-2-4
Sapphire 9800Pro 400/730
June 3, 2004 1:47:32 PM

Quote:
Have you tried resetting the CMOS?


Yes, I have. Not sure if I did it properly though. I pulled out the CMOS battery and put it back in after a few seconds. Not sure if waiting a few minutes is really necessary. Is it?

<font color=green>"The creative powers of English morphology are pathetic compared to what we find in other languages." (Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct)</font color=green> :cool:
June 3, 2004 3:51:26 PM

The most 'sure' technique is to:
1)Remove external power (unplug PC)
2)Remove CMOS Battery
3)move CLR_CMOS jumper over to the CLR position
4)wait a couple of minutes
5)Move jumper back
6)replace battery
7)etc...

In theory, just moving the jumper should be sufficient, but it isn't always the case. It's usually right next to the battery.

As for how long to wait, I usually give it a minute or so, but I have no idea what the best length of time is. :eek: 

---
Epox 8RDA+ V1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
Summer's here! so ease off the overclock...
XP1700+ @166x12 (~2Ghz), 1.475 Vcore
2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL 2-2-2-4
Sapphire 9800Pro 400/730
June 3, 2004 4:33:04 PM

Cool. Thanks. I will try this. I know where my CLR jumper is. :smile:

<font color=green>"The creative powers of English morphology are pathetic compared to what we find in other languages." (Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct)</font color=green> :cool:
June 3, 2004 7:16:34 PM

I think for proper voltage discharge, engineers recommend something like 15 minutes when pulling the CMOS battery. Of course I don't have the time or patience for that, so I wait 3 minutes at most. Always does the trick. As far as your problem, I believe it may also be your PSU. It is more likely to fail than your mobo, especially with bad home wiring. Have you tried another PSU?

--------------------------
Seriously, Mac owns. :wink:
June 3, 2004 11:14:17 PM

Okay. Clearing CMOS did not help. Gonna try a new PSU.

<font color=green>"The creative powers of English morphology are pathetic compared to what we find in other languages." (Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct)</font color=green> :cool:
!