Motherboard is fried ?

By gwheel
Jan 30, 2006
  1. Hello

    A friend at work wanted me to look at his computer. He said the hard drive crashed so he bought a new one and it would not work. So I got the computer and opened it up and everything looked ok. When the power goes to the computer you can hear a little whisper from the power supply and that is all. No lights or chirps or anything.

    I thought maybe the power supply was gone so I went and got a 450 watt power supply (there was a 400 watt in the system). This produced the same result. It did nothing.

    It is an GFXCEL PC133 motherboard with 2 sticks of 128 MEG ram. The original hard drive was a 10 gig caviar and he replaced it with an 80 gig WD SATA hard drive.

    I think it is either the motherboard that is gone or it is the power off and on switch that is gone.

    Could it be something a little easier to fix ?

    He said the hard drive was making a lot of weird noises before everything stopped.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.
  2. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    to test for the power switch shot the pins on the motherboard for the power switch connector with the system pluged in.If it turns on the switch is the problem if not it could be the mainboard. After checking the power switch if the system still doesn't statr pull all expansion cards a stort in any of them could cause the computer not to start to protect it self.Disconnect all drives for the same reason and see if it boots to BIOS.If none of that works It is probably the board but before replaceing the board replace the battery on the motherboard.If it still doesn't work after all that the motherboard is the culprit and needs to be replaced but it might not be the only problem sience matherboards can take down other components when they die.
  3. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115


    search the other threads on this forum and you will find some people had the same or similar questions.. but to help you off i will try and summerise the troubleshooting steps for you.

    1. signs of life?(lights, fans, sounds, monitor image).. guessed you might have done that already..
    2. observe the components: see any physical damages ie burns, leaky capacitors (look for the info finding them somewhere in these forums) unusual markings.. also smell for unusual smells especialy burning type
    3. go back to basics (vga, mobo, sound, cpu) and/or disconnect/reconnect components one by one untill you think you've narrowed it down
    3b. when dealing with mobos there tends to be a seating problem especialy with the ram or other vital components.. check if they are pluged in correctly (you may have knocked something installing the HDD..)
    4. swap parts with another pc to see what parts have failed (if possible)
    5. i'm thinking of this step.. oh yeh.. post us your results. :D

    good luck! :)
  4. gwheel

    gwheel TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I did try to just install the power supply to the motherboard to see if the fan from the power supply would come on.

    There is no power.

    I will try to jump the power switch. Do you just use a straight piece of wire and make a continuous loop between the two pin sockets for the power to make it work (like you would for a car to test a circuit) ?

    At least trying that is free.

    There is no burnt smell or soot and no sign of life.
  5. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    ^^^ refers to the pins that your power button is connected to.. usualy located at the front-bottom (pc case orientation) corner of the mobo.. 2 pins that says pwr+ pwr- or something similar (trace it from the cable).. you should see it have writing on it with rst, hdd, led, next to it...
    btw have you tried step 3 yet?

    usualy the best way (and the easiest) is to just grab the psu and lay it next to another pc that you know is working open up the case and just plug it in.. dont have to screw it in 'cause you;re just testing it
  6. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    All you need is short the pins long enough for the mainboard to detect a connection no circuict is needed.a paper clip or wire will work fine.
  7. gwheel

    gwheel TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for all of the help.

    I did everything as suggested. I removed all cables from the motherboard and tried to run it with the bare minimum of hardware. I also jumped the power off and on button (and replaced the battery on the MOBO).

    The end result was the same. The fan on the power supply will not even come on.

    No blips, no lights, not a peep.

    So I told my friend to just buy used p3 for 80.00 or so, put his new hard drive in that and I will buy the case and other components off of him for 40 bucks.

    I just happen to have a p4 mobo with a 1.6 intel chip that i was meaning to build into a pc one day. I think that day is coming soon.

    It is always nice to find a forum where the people know their stuff and are helpful.

    Thanks again.

  8. SteMacD

    SteMacD TS Rookie

    I'm suffering from the exact same problem at the moment. No signs of life at all when the power button is pushed. Tried a replacement Power Supply but had the same result. Will try ordering a new mobo this week and give that a go :(
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