asus no boot with pci-express, yes with pci

By Row1
Sep 7, 2005
  1. I have just built a system.
    It won't boot up when my new pci-express card is installed per instructions; I get POST beep code for video problem.

    I pulled that card out and put my older pci card in a regualr pci slot, and system booted fine.

    I want the pci-express card in this system.
    What am I doing wrong? Is my pci-express card bad?

    mb= asus a8n-sli
    cpu= amd 3800 x2
    case= antec 430watt
    ram=kingston 512
    hd=seagate 300mb sata
    dvd=nec 3540 dvdr/w
    floppy = maddog floppy
    video card=Powercolor R37L-SC3D Radeon X300 SE 256MB HyperMemory(tm)* PCI Express 128MB VRAM Video Card w/TV-Out & DVI

    When comp boots [with normal pci], everything works [all of ram is recognized, dvd works, hdd works, etc., all fans on].

    This mb is supposed to run pci-express: it actually is made to run 2 pci-express together, but also is supposed to run with one. I have tried the pci-expres card in both the slot indicated for solo pci-express card, and the slot that should be taken by 2nd pci-express card.

    Thanks in advance!!
  2. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    How is your sli selector set? It should be set for single card.
    I'd guess you have either a bad card, or a bad pci-e slot.
    Does the card need an external power connection, like a molex or pci-e power plug?

    Btw: Why do you have a sli board, but only have one video card(and a weak one at that), and it's an ati(which can't do sli)? That doesn't seem to add up IMHO.
  3. Row1

    Row1 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 326   +13

    set up per instructions

    yes, pci-express selector card was set to single card.

    the mb has a molex connection near vid card(s) for video. I have power plugged into this. Pci-express fan came on, so at least enough power is coming through to power fan. the antec case and power supply are meant to handle this type of video setup - i don't think my one card is exceeding its built-in ability to handle two more powerful cards.

    How can I test the pci-express card - will a local computer place test it for me? do they charge for that?

    --why single card/doesn't add up? -because I wanted to spend $50 and get this thing working, then once I had gotten the whole thing working, upgrade to two decent cards in the future when pci-express prices drop a bit. Double the price of a decent card and you end up paying twice the price of a single decent card: several hundred dollars versus $50. I can "get back" the $50 by waiting for a card to drop $25 in price, or offer a $25 rebate, and get two at that time in the future.

    Also -as my experience shows - if I had two cards in this new system and was getting post video error message, I would have twice as many possible problems to consider: is one slot bad? is one card bad? is mb bad? etc.

    I definitely want to maximize this mb's abilities: will do in the future, once it is running.

    you could also ask:why not 64bit windows? why not 4mb ram? why no overclocking? one thnig at a time -- I will find ways later to complicate my life even more.

    thanks for the info! but still looking for more - hopefully someone else has solved this problem...
  4. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    I understand. I hope I didn't come across as seeming to imply anything bad, just I thought it seemed odd, but yeah, good idea, it'd be harder to troubleshoot a sli setup vs a single card, and prices are always dropping, so it seems.

    I think I'd have a pc store test the card, they might charge you a little, or they might just do it free hoping you'll come back, depends on the shop. If the card works, then you must have a bad board(at least I can't think of anything else it could be).

    Hope you get it fixed.
  5. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    You do not need the molex connector plugged into the mobo. That is for dual card setups only. Go ahead and unplug that. Does your card require power plugged into it directly? Many cards do but I don't think yours has that requirement as the PCIe slot puts out 75 watts which should be enough for that unit. Is the monitor connected correctly. Make sure it is plugged into the correct port with appropriate connector.

    Have you tried to boot with a barebones system? If you aren't sure how to do that I'll PM you a decent guideline to follow.
  6. Row1

    Row1 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 326   +13

    chipset compat. problem?

    I am wondering now if the prob is simply video chipset - I thought if card was pci-e interface, it should work - but it is radeon not nvidia chipset, while mb specifies nvidia chipset. so i want to get a pci-e vid card with nvidia chipset.

    does this sound right? thanks for all of the input so far!

    --merc14 thanks for the power info - the vid card does not have to get plugged in directly; i can try unplugging that one power connector and see what happens. i plan to eventually get the two cards going, though. I have pretty much done the protocol outlined in your private message.

    --vnf4 no problems on your comments - now you can kind of see my thinking on this project.
  7. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    I think that you are misunderstanding the terms you are using. There is a chipset on the A8N called an NForce-4 chipset. It is the basic communications portal for your entire system. It runs SLI and assigne IRQ's etc. It isn't replaceable and, unless broken, isn't the problem. You Radeon card has its own processor on it called the GPU. It communicates with the CPU through the NF4 chipset via the PCIe socket it is plugged into.

    Now, you may have a problem with the PCIe socket itself. You can only test for this by installing a known good video card in there. The NF4 chipset seems to be working as everything, but your video card, is running fine and your PCI card can display video without an issue.

    The other possible problem is the video card itself. You need to plug it into a known good system and boot up with it. If the card is fine then I would guess you have a bad PCIe socket. You'd have to RMA the board in that case.

    PS: If you skipped any steps in that troubleshooting guide then you may have missed the problem.
  8. YellowC4S

    YellowC4S TS Rookie Posts: 107

    jumper settings on MOBO?
  9. Row1

    Row1 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 326   +13

    what jumpers?

    this mb doesn't have a lot of jumpers. which ones might be involved? i cleared cmos with the cmos jumpers. plus i have looked through the entire manual more than once.

    i have suspected some bios setting - now that i at least have video with normal pci card, and can get into bios, is there some setting i could change to direct mb to use pci-e card in pci-e slot?

    oh, i have not yet tried disconnnecting the video card power connection - too busy with other things yesterady after work.
  10. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    Under advanced settings you can select the PCIe as display first unit. That wouldn't be the cause of your problem though. The mobo will select through till it fins the video card. here is a link to 200 pages of A8N SLI related stuff as well as BIOS Settings
  11. Row1

    Row1 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 326   +13

    gonna rma vid card-

    i had a friend help out - we could not get pci-e vid card to work. i have gotten rma number, and have ordered another pci-e card.
    bios selection did not help the prob.
  12. Row1

    Row1 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 326   +13

    new card working - sort of

    I got another pci-e vid card. The computer will start to boot with it. But, around the time it gets through BIOS, then is about to boot WinXP Pro, monitor goes blank. Hard drive still gets read for a while, so I think Win is still booting up, but just can't be seen.

    I had regular pci card, in pci slot, set as first video card to boot, and also plugged in the pci-e card in pci-e slot. Everything booted fine. Also, Windows detected new vid card and I got to load drivers for pci-e card. This went fine. When I set BIOS to boot the pci-e first (and took out regular pci), I had the boot problem.

    So I think the first vid card was not good- its going back RMA. Now I just need to find out how to get this pci-e card running. If anyone Merc14 or anyone knows specifically what my prob is now, let me know.
  13. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    After you have removed the PCI card I would reset the CMOS/BIOS as per the guidelines I sent before. Then redo the BIOS settings and see how it works. Let me know if that doesn't work.
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