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The worst that could happen on Christmas

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Last response: in Opinions and Experiences
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December 27, 2004 10:02:56 AM

Hello,

Let me please explain my problem.

Some two weeks ago I assembled a pc as a Christmas present for my son.
(see specs below).
Everything went fine and the sytem ran smoothly for about 12 h in which time I set up the bios and installed the os (windows XP pro).
After this the system went back in the box till this morning,(25 Dec.)
Everything went fine again and booted up nicely. Then I plugged in an external freecom HD on the front USB. Windows recognises hardware and says raedy to use.
I open the files on this drive to copy some programs onto the internal HD.
This seems to take a long time and no copying window shows up either.
I try copy and paste again, and again nothing seems to happen.
Then I type ctrl/alt/del to see whats happening in the taskmanager.
At this moment the system is not responding anymore and the screen is frozen.
I then chose to reboot the system, which it doesn't do anymore since than.

I keep getting a black screen that says "no signal".
I hear no beeps at all on startup.
I do hear the HD and drives wissh though.
The screen is ok.
I changed the videocard and still same.
I took out and put back the memory and videocard several times.
I tried with only one memory module and I tried them in different slots.
I took out battery and reset CMOS.
I tried complete barebones boot.
I took out the CPU and put it back.
I checked all jumper settings and they are all default.
I checked all wire conections.
There are no items that seem to be exceptionally hot.
(Two weeks ago the CPU temp stayed around 38 celcius the whole time).
All of the above to no avail.

Can you imagine the disappointment of my son when his eagerly awaited present didn,t work.
Is there anyone here who can help me solve this, or at least identify wich item to replace if necesary?

A desperate father.
Many thanks

FVC

PS I know a few things about pc's but do consider myself a novice at assembling them.


System specs:

Sumvision <b>Optical Mouse</b> PS2 - Black
52X LG <b>CD-ROM Drive</b>
<b>HD</b> 120GB Maxtor DiamondMAX+9 133/7200 (partioned in 2 pieces 7 and 112 GB)
<b>Memory</b> Kingston 1GB DDR PC3200 400MHz Non-ECC CL3 (3-3-3) 184pin DIMM's (Kit of 2 x 512mb)
<b>Mobo</b> Asus P4P800SE S478 I865pe ATX Sound GLAN USB 2.0 FSB800 SATA100
<b>Video card</b> Asus Fx5200 V9520 Magic T/P AGPx8 128MB DDR TV-Out
<b>PCU</b> Intel Celeron® D 335 2.8GHz SKT478 FSB533 256kb Cache
Kingcase Black PS2 Multimedia <b>Keyboard</b>
<b>ATX case</b> Raidmax Cobra 822 Wb 400w Case

More about : worst happen christmas

December 27, 2004 11:58:01 AM

Sounds like something with the USB driver bugged out. Did you have current chipset drivers updated?
Then sysem might have corrupted when shutting down improperly, could be why you can't boot know.

Can you boot to BIOS menu?
You might have to repair or reinstall OS.

Good luck.

<pre><font color=red>°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°`°¤o \\// o¤°`°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°
And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
December 27, 2004 12:38:51 PM

Hi thanks for the quick reply.

I did not update any drivers yet at that point.I was actually going to install some software to connect to the internet to do just that.
I can't get into bios at all.
I get black screen with "no signal"

Cheers
FVC


<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by frankyvc on 12/27/04 09:40 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
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December 27, 2004 2:48:19 PM

Make sure you don't have a short then.
Make sure all connectors a plugged in, and reseat all components.

<pre><font color=red>°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°`°¤o \\// o¤°`°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°
And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
December 28, 2004 3:01:46 PM

I tried a barebones boot on cardboard and also tried another PSU, all to no avail.
Any more suggestions?

Thanks
FVC
December 28, 2004 3:10:46 PM

Damn, you got it bad, could be the ram or the motherboard. Do you have some other ram to try?

<pre><font color=red>°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°`°¤o \\// o¤°`°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°
And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
December 28, 2004 5:11:33 PM

No the other system I use has SDRAM, so I suppose I can't test that.
I start thinking about returning the mobo, memory and CPU together as I have no means of testing them.

FVC
December 28, 2004 7:40:40 PM

I would have said your video card died. You say you tried a different card in the machine. but the question is: is the second card good?

What experience tells me is that either the external HD took out part of the power supply or it ate your mobo. Both are hard to test if you don't have spares and both (of course) are bad things to have happen. Let's also assume that everything in there is under warranty.

Since you say you get whirring from the internal hard drive, I would have to say the power supply is at least partly functional. It sure adds up to a bad mobo, since you've tested everything else, but an error message that says "No signal" on boot means that the motherboard is good and that it can't get a signal out of the video card. I wish there were some way you could get yourself a brand new AGP 8X video card and try it in the machine.

Oh, and I sure wouldn't let that external HD anywhere near the system. If it blew things up once, it could easily do the same again. You didn't mention where you got that and whether or not it was new. I'd be interested to hear where that thing came into the picture.

<font color=green>****</font color=green> Never Assume <font color=red>ANYTHING</font color=red> <font color=green>****</font color=green>

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by peartree on 12/28/04 04:46 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
December 29, 2004 3:46:46 PM

I tried with a working PSU which I took from a working PC and the result is the same.
I also put the videocard in the working pc and it works perfect.
All the parts are new except the external "Freecom" HD which I bought 1.5 years ago.

In the meantime I connected this HD up to the working pc, and tried copying something on it. It wotked at first, but them suddenly aborted.
In trying to access it again I couldn't see the content any more.(it still gives x GB free and y GB used)
Something must be wrong here.
Now here is a theory:
In the new case the front USB connection wires had a 4 in 1 connector and a seperate gnd connector, making five in total.I did not connect this fifth wire, as I thought there was already a gnd amongst the 4 normal connectors.
(I actually remember thinking, "I look into that later as everything is working now").
Ofcourse I never used these front USB's on the day of the original assembly.
On Christmas day I said "lets see if the front USB works", and the rest is history.
Could this be the reason for the external HD zapping this pc and not the older one(were all the gnd connections are properly connected)

Hope that rings a bell.

Cheers

FVC
December 29, 2004 5:41:51 PM

Unfortunately, it certainly could be the reason. It sounds more and more like you fried part of the motherboard. In the future, please remember that the manufacturers don't put unneeded parts on anything they make. They are NOT that generous. If it's there, it's needed. In your case, that fifth wire was what is called a "case ground" and it's there because the USB plugs can't handle large amounts of current. If there's any kind of surge when you plug in a high-current device (like a hard drive with its motor), then that current is going to go somewhere. If you don't connect the ground, then it goes through the motherboard- oops!

You may even have TWO bad systems, now. Well, live and learn. That's about all anyone can say in this situation. Sorry. If you want to take the chance of killing a third system, you could take the external HD out of its case and see if it works right as an internal drive.

<font color=green>****</font color=green> Never Assume <font color=red>ANYTHING</font color=red> <font color=green>****</font color=green>
December 29, 2004 6:35:01 PM

Yep, you just solved the mystery...

<pre><font color=red>°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°`°¤o \\// o¤°`°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°
And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
!