Impossible processor mystery

By Sumsaris
Mar 10, 2005
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  1. Alright, for all you Sherlocks out there, I'll try to be as brief as possible and to the point. My system is a packard bell imedia 6820 with athlon 1800 cpu along with the rest of the standard below par PB equipment circa 2001. My story evolved in three phases.

    A - Two days ago when I attempted a boot, the computer began to emit a continuous non-stop series of clicks (about 3 per sec) and proceeded no further. Processor and PS fans turned, but no Bios beep, no boot. Local comp service told me my original Fortron power supply was dead and sold me a generic Topelite replacement (which i later learned I'd paid more than double its value).

    B - Installed Topelite and everything worked fine: boot, hard disk, fans, no clicking.

    Here's where it gets complicated.

    C - Indignant over the fact I got ripped off over the generic PS and having since researched the issue, I returned the Topelite and went to a PC City outlet to pick up a rather top of the line HiPer PS (which actually cost less than the generic model). Yet upon installation, lo and behold, my first boot attempt returned....nothing whatsoever. The PS fan turned just fine, but the PCU fan spun up for just a second and then silence. Not even a single tired click. The store took back the unit, and upon testing the motherboard claimed the processor was dead.

    Disappointed and somewhat angry I returned home and did the green/black short test on the Fortron motherboard connector and it showed the PS to be seemingly working fine, WITHOUT the clicking noise. Upon reconnecting the power pack and listening more closely I then realized that the clicking was actually coming from the motherboard somewhere in the vicinity of the processor.

    My questions then are threefold:

    1 - Is my original power supply still functional after all, and my local comp store was just attempting to doubly rip me off?

    2 - Is my processor really dead, and if so why did it work with the generic power supply and not the quality one?

    3 - What was/is that clicking noise?

    Two possibly relevant side issues:

    i - Before getting the computer to boot from with the generic PS I had no success until I found that the RAM card had become dislodged. Upon reseating it, the boot proceeded nominally.
    ii - Before stage B above I discovered a small dense pile about 1/8 inch thick of what looked nearly like fine metal shavings to one side of the base of the cpu/heat sink unit. Thinking nothing much of it, I airbrushed it away along with other standard dust that had accumulated over the past few years.

    Any help from you amateur detectives out there would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    1) Try the Fortron PSU in another PC. Check the CPU-fan, might be near dead. Or connect it to another fan-post on the mobo, if the BIOS will allow that.
    Store is definitely a ripper-offer.

    2) Reseat CPU, memory, all cards. Check all cables for drives etc.
    Check that cooler is mounted properly. Check the Northbridge fan or heatsink, must be properly mounted. Check graphics card fan (if any). Clean dust off all fans, including PSU (careful when you open it, high voltage!). Blow out all open PCI-slotes etc.

    3) Clicking would come from something being UNDERpowered, I think. Like a fan not getting enough juice.
  3. Secondgunman

    Secondgunman Newcomer, in training Posts: 192

    What a mess.

    You seem to have a real muddle there.
    1> It sounds like the CPU fan is off kilt replace it and the heatsink.
    2> Your PS maybe about to go aswell get the model of the PS that worked go to another store and buy it there and for newer computer home techs I tell them to use local stores over online stores, as this way you can ask them questions about the parts and it is a better way to shop as a newer computer hobbie tech.
    3> Clean your Tower NOLESS then evry 6 Months ( I spot clean mine every week)
    4> It maynot be your CPU that is going as a CPU itself will normaly go fast... I would be more inclined to blame a power supply over anything els (A power supply can go and take months to die) causing you to replace laods of parts in the system before it will be noticed on any test you can do without a $20000.oo toy that there are only about 300 of in the world.

    Power supplys and Floppy drives have the hardest lives out of all your computer parts. the other thing is keep your computer standing in the way that it was built to stand turning a tower on it's side can be bad for your GPU just as turning a desktop on its side can be bad for your CPU fan. If you have a O.B. GPU some towers can be used on their side but I would still not do this.
  4. Sumsaris

    Sumsaris Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    thanks for your responses. I've put the problem on the backburner and bought a new motherboard the installation of which will probably provoke a whole new set of inquiries on this forum. all the best.
  5. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,120

    Not sure if it's relevent but on some systems, the power supply pin-outs are different. I know this to be the case on some older Gateways, they used proprietary pin-outs on the power supply. We found this out the hard way after blowing up 2 standard power supplies on it. Stupid OEMs.

    I wonder if the "generic" power supply was in fact one that is supposed to work with the PB mobo? Or if the new one you bought was different in like respect?

    Just goes to show you, tis better to build your own box.
    Good luck with the new motherboard.
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