TechSpot

2 Blown Motherboards, is it the PS or the case?

By miso_ohio
Sep 1, 2005
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. I am by no means an expert at this but I have built quite a few computers and have never had a problem like this. A neighbor came to me with a dieing E-Machine, my first thought was power supply. So after swapping power supplies, cpu, ram etc I believe I narrowed it down to the motherboard. After looking around I found a direct replacement for it (FIC-AU31) but it cost over $140. Then I found something that he liked on egghead a biostar M7NCG 400 for a god price (he wanted a decent built in vieo card on a micro atx board).

    I ordered one up and installed in the E-Machine case, installed ram, the cpu, ram and jumpers for the power switch. Plugged in the PS and hit the button, it acted like it wanted to work but I could not get any video, I powered it off. I tried to start it again and no dice, I unplugged and plugged it back in and the power kicked on immediately but then the cpu fan started flucuating around, no video at all.

    No problem I sent it back to egghead and they sent me another one, I have gotten bad motherboard through the mail before, it does not happen a lot but it does happen. I get the new one and this time set it up on the foam pad with just the CPU, ram, power switch and power supply and it appeared to want to boot like it should, I saw the bios and everything. Then I proceeded to install it into the case with the same set up, like I said I have done this a bunch before I was very careful not to shock anything. I plugged it in and it started doing the same same thing the first motherboard was doing. I removed it from the case and tried the original setup again and still nothing.

    I was wondering if anybody has seen a Power Supply do this before or could it be something else. I hate to think that it may of blown 2 motherboards up and I do not know if egghead will give me another one. I feel really stupid not noticing this before, I did test out the ram and cpu in another machine but I did not have a maching that did not use the 4 pin power adapter as well so that and the case are the only things I truely did not test. I was just wondering if anybody has experinced this before, I do have better power supply's laying around that I could throw in there the next time, but then I am still afraid the case may be the root cause all though I cannot figure out how it could be?

    Sorry for the long report I just like to give as much info as possible in these situations, I am not normally confused by something like I am right now. The original system is an E-Machine T2825 with 2800+ Athlon XP and 512 mb of cheap ram, I have swapped this out with better stuff and no luck. Thanks in advance for any insight, I will feel a lot better trying to replace this motherboard if I know for sure what the real culprit is here.

    By the way outsanding site and forum, I just stumbled across this. I will try and keep an eye on this site and help anybody else out as much as I can. I am by all means an expert but I do get to play with a lot of neat things through my job.
     
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 8,165

    You are still using the same old crappy E-machine PSU. Try another PSU with the mobo outside the case.
    Check the stand-offs to mount the mobo on. Do they all match a mounting hole in the mobo, is there one that 'shorts' because there is NO hole?
     
  3. miso_ohio

    miso_ohio TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    No the mounts match excactly so that cannot be the problem, besides if it was a simple short you would think the motherboard would start working again as soon as I removed it and tried to operate it on the foam pad. This person was trying to get out of this as cheaply as possible, I am catching the costs of shipping on the motherboard for them I just expect them to pay for the motherboard. I know the E-Machine PS is junk but I have never had a PS that would completely fry a motherboard before after 30 seconds. I have a slightly better PS sitting around I will try on the next motherboard if Egghead will replace this one if it is indeed junk now. Egghead is just a little slow on thier RMA's, I am just trying to be a good neighbor.
     
  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    well the probability of two motherboards being bad is pretty low. I would tend to think the power supply is bad.
     
  5. miso_ohio

    miso_ohio TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    Thanks I just needed a second opinion, my only other thought was the case or possible the switch but since that does not put off any voltage I was leaning towards the PS. Thanks for the the advice it was just a new problem to me, never seen a PS do this before, normally they work or they don't, never seen them chew up MD before that quickly.
     
  6. gulfcoast

    gulfcoast TS Rookie

    I have the answer for you!

    Hi,
    I own a computer company in Pensacola. I have had this problem twice now with the same client. He bought two of these T2825 Emachines. I replaced the power supply and motherboard in the first T2825 back in Feb. 2005. The second T2825 did the same thing this week. It would sometimes come on, sometimes would not. I install a new MSI motherboard (MS-7061). It worked for a few days. Then the same thing started happening. It would turn on, sometimes it would not. Finally, it would not turn on at all. I tested all of the hardware. The new MSI motherboard I just installed went bad. The power supply was now finally bad too! So, what it comes down too is that the Power Supply in this T2825 goes bad and takes out the motherboard with it. I have seen it twice with the same client! So, if you have one of these Emachines, and it still works, REPLACE the power supply ASAP. Otherwise, you will be replacing a motherboard and a power supply. Hope this helps!! -Shaun
     
  7. gulfcoast

    gulfcoast TS Rookie

    Forgot to add, INSTALL 80mm FAN

    Hi,

    I forgot one other important note! Since emachines doesn't install a rear 80mm Fan, I highly suggest installing one! Keeps the machines much cooler. Not sure why Emachines would save the extra $3 by not installing one. Hmm.. that's probably because they knew it would only break just after the warranty. We must thank everyone at Emachine for their quality of parts and the fact they use a 250watt power supply and were too cheap to install a $3 dollar fan! Thanks!
     
  8. miso_ohio

    miso_ohio TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    Helped greatly, I got the third motherboard in and out in a 350 Watt motherboard I had laying around and it is up and running smoothly. I had already insatlled the additional fan from some other spare parts. The biggest PIA was activating XP on a Emachine with a new Motherboard.

    In the past when I had Power Supply's go they either stopped working or they really blew up and stank pretty bad. I guess that is what was confusing me here, thanks for the help.
     
  9. MirrorMan

    MirrorMan TS Rookie

    Which new PS?

    I'm having the same problem with a new Biostar mobo in a T2825, and I suspect it's the PS. Which new PS did you use? Thanks for your help!
     
  10. pswine1

    pswine1 TS Rookie

    I am having the exact same problem. I have fried three mobo which were about $100 a piece. After reading the responses it appears that it is the power supply. Can you send me the egghead price and model # for their mobo?

    Thanks!
     
  11. miso_ohio

    miso_ohio TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    PsWine

    The motherboard was here http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813138234 for $60.99 plus $1.99 shipping. It was one of the few micro atx's that would fit in the emachine that had nforce video. This board also just uses a single power plug so no need to upgrade if you do not have the newer dual power plug PS.

    If you are using an Emachine you may need to get a back plate since this board does not come with one. You will need the IOSHIELD-5 like plate from CensusPC, here is a link http://www.censuspc.com/product.php?productid=48&cat=0&page=1 so you can see it.

    MirrorMan:

    As for power supply, I know I will probably get crucified for this but I just used a generic $20-30 power supply I had laying around that I buy at a local compter store (not a chain). I know they are not the top of the line, but I have been using them for years and have never had any problems. I think these where called Permier or something like that.

    This guy was on a low budget and I was doing him a favor so I kept it as cheap as possible for him, he really only surfs a few sites and plays a few online video games.
     
     
  12. pswine1

    pswine1 TS Rookie

    MirrorMan thank you for the response on this an yes it is an eMachine. I wish I had know it was the power supply earlier before frying three other mobos. I will get one and a new pwr supply asap. :cool:

    PsWine
     
  13. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    Yes. This can and does happen. Just because you short a circuit doesn't mean it won't work any longer. Many areas of a motherboard are low voltage/amperage and will not cause any (immediate) permanant damage when shorted.
     
  14. oakdad

    oakdad TS Rookie

    eMachines T2825 mb replaced

    miso_ohio,

    Has this mb replacement been successful to the present date? I have a T2825 with this problem as well. Has been setting unused for several months now.

    I am a noob when it comes ot replacing mb, but I learn fast and am not afraid to deal with tech stuff.

    After you replace the mb, what steps do you have to take to get the machine up and running again? Is this a question that you can even answer without other info?

    I will wait to hear from you or someone else.

    oakdad

     
  15. miso_ohio

    miso_ohio TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    Yes that E-Machine is still up and running. The motherboard in my post was the same chipset as the original computer, that makes things a lot easier. If not you have to delete all of the motherboard hardware before the swap (including sound and so on) otherwise you will get a blue screen while booting.

    In my case it was down when I got it so that was not an option, it booted fine though. After swapping it out it is best to go into safe mode at first. I believe I copied the driver disk onto the harddrive to play it safe and then I went into the hardware manager and deleted all hardware related to a motherboard. Then I rebooted and let the system redetect and install everything just like it was a fresh install.

    Another issue you need to be aware of is that if you are using windows XP it will not work again after this due to licensing (you changed too much hardware, a motherboard is considered a new computer to microsoft). To get around this I went on the microsoft website and re-registered it using the XP license number taped to the back. When they set these systems up they use a generic company OEM license so the one on your computer is still normally good to use for one time only, don't know if this is always the case. This worked for me but if it didn't I was looking at re-installing the operating system probably to 2000 or something without that annoying licensing feature.

    Hope that helps and good luck.
     
  16. oakdad

    oakdad TS Rookie

    Was the foam pad you talked about running the mobo on a special anti-static foam pad?

    Are they readily available at any computer store?
     
  17. miso_ohio

    miso_ohio TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    It was the pad that came with the new motherboard. Normally in the box they have the motherboard laying on an anti-static pad. Some people say you shouldn't use them and some people do.

    I was simply ruling everything else out by having the motherboard laying on the pad, putting on the cpu and the heatsink and fan (very important anymore, never turn it on without one) and some ram and hooking it to a power supply. I have an off and off switch that I use to test but you can stretch the one from your case normally. If all works here you are in good shape.

    Be warned though, in my case and a few others on here, replace the power supply on that computer. It will eat up motherboards. Also if you get the motherboard I suggested in this thread you will also need to get a new back plate for your computer. I gave a link to that, it is only a couple of dollars.

    I do not like swapping a motherboard in and out of a case too much so I normally do this first to see if the motherboard is all right. Then when I put it in the case and the system does not work I can start ruling things out, at least I know the motherboard was good when I took it out of the package. It does not sound major but it is always a peace of mind to me. If you do this and the motherboard is posting, then you put it in the case and it is not posting these are some things to look at:

    1: Are there any screws are anything under the motherboard that may be shorting out. There should never be any metal peices down there except the one you will be screwing your motherboard to. If it does not allign up with a hole remove it.

    2: Heatsink and fan, these are critical anymore and normally your system will not boot at all if it is the slightest bit off. In the olden days you could get a way with posting a computer really quick with neither on the CPU, then we hit a point around the 1 Gig days (I remember my first) where if you so mch as hit the power button you would fry the cpu in about 2 seconds. Now a days the system will normally not turn on at all most of the time.

    3: Ram not in correctly, even if it looks like it is correct reseat it. Motherboards do not always slide in so easily and you could of knocked something loose. Also check your manual, some motherboards want the ram in certain slots depending on what you are using.

    4: Jumpers not set correctly. Check the bios reset jumper, if it is set to reset the motherboard will never work. They always come correct 99.9% of the time but I have seen it where the jumper came in the reset mode directly out of the package. Maybe a refurbished board or something.

    When you first start your motherboard up you want to have the bare essentials on it, all you need it ram, cpu and video to post. Then once you are getting it to post you can start adding things to it like keyboard, mouse, periphials etc. do all of this one at a time, I know it sounds boring but it is a lot less work then putting it all together and it not working. Then you have 1 of one hundred things that could be wrong. The final thing will be getting all of those lights to work correctly, normally it is a lot of trial and error. Read the manual and hope the case has the wires labled. The + and - on the jumpers are important in some cases to getting the lights and so forth to work all right.

    Sorry for the novel and I hope that helps, I have been in the Point of Sale's computer business for a while. First with national food chain and now working directly for a POS company. You get to play with a lot of equipment and a lot of different OS's in that business.
     
  18. oakdad

    oakdad TS Rookie

    Getting a mobo to post?

    When you talk about seeing if the mb will post, what does that mean? Do you connect the monitor to the mobo and see something on there that tells you it is posting? Is the posting process part of what I see when my other computer boots up?

    Sorry for all the questions. I am unfamiliar with some of the terms and procedures having never done this before.

    Thanks for all the good info. :)
     
  19. miso_ohio

    miso_ohio TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    Post is the initial boot up before the hardrive takes over. It is what happens when you first turn on your computer and is basically your bios on the motherboard that controls everything.

    What you see on your screen before you see the "starting windows" wording during the boot, all that happens before that is coming off of the motherboard and is what is called posting. If you have a little speaker attached the post may give you warning beeps (read the manual) to let you know what is wrong if anything etc.
     
  20. szain

    szain TS Rookie

    i work for a computer repair shop and we repair quite a fe e-machines under manufacturer warranties. We always replace PSU whenever we replace motherboards for whatever reasons. When we order motherboards, emachines send us both a motherboard and a PSU because they know of this problem and its an SOP for us and other repair shops to replace PSU eventhoug it may look like working.
     
  21. mrec3

    mrec3 TS Rookie

    Thanks for the all the info all - much better knowledge than eMachines provided me. My kids' T2825 just died this week. I thought it was the PS and replaced it and have realized it is the motherboard. I am not experienced at replacing one, but much of the info here has given me a good idea on the steps. A couple of questions though:

    Will I have to reinstall XP and all of my applications?
    Can I do this with the Restore disk that came with the machine?

    Thanks, any help is appreciated.
     
  22. miso_ohio

    miso_ohio TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    In XP they want you to relicense the software for every different computer you install it on. That all sounds fair until you get to what defines a new computer, unfortunately a new motherboard is considered a new computer to Micorsoft.

    I guess I see thier point, I probably have not changed my computer case (an old all metal case with slide out sides that I can't seem to find anymore) in a long time all though everything else has changed many times. So yes you will have to re-license the product after changing motherboards if you try and relicense the license that came installed it will not work (OEM license).

    In my case though I tried to relicense I believe online using a different windows key from the XP license that was taped to the computer and was on the XP manual that came with it. This worked in my case since that license had never been activated before, when they stage these systems they use a generic license for your computer not the one they send the codes for. Don't know if this works all the time or not but worked on this Emachine for me.

    You can find the model number on the motherboard in the computer and buy the exact same one. If you replace the motherboard with the exact same one you will have no problems what so ever. Just do a google search on it and you will find it. I forget how much it costs but I seem to remember it was incredible overpriced. If you are not comfortable swapping these things though it may be your best bet. Keep in mind we are dealing with an E-Machine here, you will reach a certain dollar amount where buying a new computer will make much more sense (they are pretty cheap now).

    The restore disk that came witht the computer will only really work on the same motherboard that came with the computer, I mean it will sort of work until you have to install all of the new system drivers and then the XP activation pops up again. Good luck in whatever you do, if you have never done a motherboard before don't be initmidated. Take your time, label everything you can and take lots of notes and draw lots of diagrams of where everything is. It really is not as complicated as it seems.

    By the way the motherboard I had links for in this thread is a decent one. I use to be a strictly Asus or Abit person, but anymore I use Microstar and Biostar all the time. They both give you a lot of bang for the buck and seem to not have anymore or any less problems then the majors. Stay away from motherboards that are truely generic, a lot or times they really suck (i.e PcChips from the 90's was the worst). Microstar's are really nice and have some nice features, Biostars in my mind normally have less bell and whistles but are rock solid and normally give me no problems.

    I had a bad run in with about 300 Microtstar system I put out in the field a while back due to compaciters leaking on them. I was really hating them back then, but snce that time I have discovered it was not just them. I have seen these same leaking compaciters in all sorts of what I thought where better brands. These bad compaciters are still causing problems now years later, the latest outbreak I have noted is with a couple of Dell's most popular computers.
     
  23. Strfish7

    Strfish7 TS Rookie

    I had the same problem with my emachines... PSU fried the motherboard. I'm also a newb at this, so I spent a little extra and ordered the OEM replacement. It came with a new PSU along with a piece of paper that said "use this power supply unit or your warranty is void" in great big letters. Think they figured out their PSUs fry motherboards?
     
  24. oakdad

    oakdad TS Rookie

    Help with BioStar MB for eMachines T2825

    miso_ohio

    I have finally ordered the BioStar MB for the eMachines T2825. Would you mind if I ask you for some guidance when the mobo gets here? :grinthumb
     
  25. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

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