TechSpot

Completely Baffled!

By T_C_
Apr 16, 2007
  1. Hey, I am totally lost on how to solve my problem. I posted this under PSU problems since I do not know what part is causing my problems.

    Hey everyone, new poster, longtime fan of the boards here. I was wondering if someone can answer my question. First off, the specs:
    AMD athlon 64 4200+ 2.2GgHz Socket 939
    Hiper 580W PSU
    Sapphire Radeon X850XT GPU
    ASUS A8N32-SLi Deluxe MoBo
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320Gb SATA HD (fried, not currently using)
    Hitachi Deskstar 320Gb 7200rpm SATA HD (as replacement)
    WD Caviar 80Gb IDE HD
    Corsair XMS Platinum 2Gb 184pin DDR memory

    Okay, here is my problem...When I originally built the computer around August last year, I had some problems that I assumed was a DOA from ASUS. The problem was no video on boot. I RMA'd both the video card and the ASUS Mobo and replaced them with the same models (it worked with the old video card and new MoBo as well). Immediately, I came across a problem with the new MoBo--it would not reset. Whenever I pressed the reset button on the case, it would freeze on the boot screen. In addition, when I turned off the power (from the case button) and turned it on later (leaving the PSU on) it would do the same thing. However, if I turned off the power to the PSU and then back on, it would boot normally. Soon after I figured this out, I had random crash/shutdown problems. I was able to narrow it down to the nVidia ethernet port. However, If I use the other Ethernet port (Marvell Yukon) it works normally so it is not a problem. Now, afetr these headaches, it is beginning to act up again. For some reason, sometimes (and now permanently) when I turn it on, there is no video. I moved the GPU around a bit in the slot, and it worked normally. For a while, I was able to get by with lightly wiggling the GPU in the PCIx16 slot during the boot and it seemed to work. One day, when I was in class, I came back to a frozen screensaver. With the numerous problems I have had before, it came as no surprise. When I booted, it could not find any boot record on the HD and I had to purchase another HD. I nearly lost all my data! From there, it got progressively worse--now it will not boot at all no matter how much jiggling and wiggling you do to the GPU. I decided to try some other things. I unhooked the SATA drive, loaded PCLinuxOS on a spare IDE drive and suddenly the PC started working again. I hooked the SATA drive up again...and no video on boot. So, I hooked up my SATA HD to an external enclosure/power supply, and it worked normally for a while. Now, it keeps getting worse and worse. It will not boot with the IDE nor with the SATA drives on external power (so it would just be powering the fans, MoBo, and GPU). 580W seems more than enough to power these things. I cannot figure out if it is a bad MoBo or a bad PSU, I'd like to find out before I have to spend hundreds, and perhaps before I tear the rest of my hair out over it. I've rebuilt this thing more times than I can count to ensure everything connected and hooked up right.

    Voltage readings from the ASUS diagnostic software is normal. Also, once I get it to work, it used to stay on for however long I kept the computer on for. The last time I got it to work, it loaded Windows normally for about 5 mins, then froze and shut down a few seconds later. I've tried everything I can think of while it still worked, every diagnostic looking for some kind of error and found nothing. Now it is a very expensive and frustrating paperweight!

    I should also add I've reflashed to the most current BIOS and checked some unsuspecting things like my surge protector capacity and room's electricals. The GPU fan normally spins at full speed and then slows after POST, and the Keyboard lights up and blinks (LED). Now, the GPU fan stays full with no video, the monitor detects nothing, but the keyboard still blinks, etc. like a normal boot. I've switched the monitor input/GPU output, etc. with no results. I'm baffled!! I thought it could be the GPU but I replaced it early on when the same problem occurred.

    I do not know if this is MoBo or PSU or GPU or something else! I figure if anyone can help me it'd be someone from these boards :) Thanks!
     
  2. honvetops

    honvetops TS Rookie

    man.....

    It seems you have done your homework here, couple slight possibilities.

    1. Have you / can you look at all your standoffs and make sure they are uniform and inspect your screws on the mobo... stranger things have happened but its slightly possible there may be a weird electrical short racing your mobo.

    2. Loose sata connections are common, are you moving the case around much?

    3. are you monitoring the temps in the case? Have you the stock strips on that cpu or did u use some artic 5 etc.... (and enough) ?
     
  3. T_C_

    T_C_ TS Rookie Topic Starter


    thanks for the quick response!! I've taken the thing completely apart a few times (remounting MoBo) and double checked to make sure there was nothing sitting on the board or wedged between it and the case. As for SATA, I've tried using all 4 ports on the mobo and different cables with the same result. It also has occurred with both SATA drives and now my IDE. I am moving the case quite a bit (I'm in college, so for breaks and stuff), but I can't see any visual damage to any of the ports. Temps seem to be running normal, around 40 deg. celsius. I used a nice glob of thermal gel (cant remember the name) on the CPU heatsink when switching to my 2nd motherboard. Thanks!
     
  4. honvetops

    honvetops TS Rookie

    dumb question

    do you get many power surges in the place where u live? Ever think of running your stuff thru a ups power for a clean power option?

    i got me one of these, it helps*

    www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842101222


    ever seen the movie " gremlins" !!! man, you might have em!!!
     
  5. T_C_

    T_C_ TS Rookie Topic Starter


    I have a surge protector. It's not all fancy schmancy but it will protect against a power surge.

    At this point I'm willing to believe or try anything!
     
  6. JimShady23

    JimShady23 TS Maniac Posts: 373

    Rma

    Sounds like your best bet is just to RMA the board and video card again.

    I know it is a major PIA to send all your stuff back and wait and wait. But it may be your only option.

    Asus is getting bad with sending out bad boards, check that all of their products ( just has to RMA a Asus laptop)

    Out of my last 5 Asus boards I have had to RMA 3. Thats pretty bad. However when you get one that works, watch out, they are great products.

    All the boards I have had problems with have been differnt makes and models for both AMD and Intel.

    I had to RMA my last Intel board twice. First one was DOA and the second would do wierd shutoff and restart spasms.

    I doubt that it is anything on your end, you seem to have a good idea what you are doing and sound like you have the ability to troubleshoot. I think you have covered all bases.
     
  7. T_C_

    T_C_ TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Don't quote me on it but I have heard that nearly 1/2 of all ASUS mobos come DOA from the factory. It certainly is a possibility, but the same exact problem happening twice? It just seems unlikely to me. I could conceivably get a new mobo for the faulty ethernet port but I don't have much time or money (finals are coming up!!). Thanks for the info!!
     
  8. RamenNoodles

    RamenNoodles TS Rookie Posts: 83

    I read about that Asus DOA problem so I opted for a gigabyte instead. The thing is great and I have never had any issues with it at all.
     
  9. JimShady23

    JimShady23 TS Maniac Posts: 373

    Also

    It could be a issue of ram compatibility, although asus boards usually take just about everything most of the time, check the QVL (qualified vendor list) in your manual or on the website for your board. Or your mobo does not like your partticular video card make and model (unlikley but can happen)

    Also, the mobo could have bad voltage output to the PCIE slot/slots

    Also check your memory timings and votage to make sure the mobo isnt setting some funky timings or boosting the voltage.
     
  10. T_C_

    T_C_ TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Welp I just ordered a brand new PSU from Newegg. I figure if it is not the problem, I'll just return it and pay the restocking fee. I suppose I'll do that with parts until I find the problem. Expensive and time-consuming...but damn I am tired of diagnostics haha. thanks for all the advice guys!
     
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...