No image on monitor after new power supply

By rdblatch
Mar 20, 2010
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  1. All, I have had a home built HTPC for 5 years. My specs are as follows:

    1. ASUS A8N-E Mobo

    2. AMD Athlon 3800+ CPU

    3. 2 Samsung 200GB HDs

    4. 256 NVIDIA 9600 Graphics Card

    About a week ago, I was watching TV and everything all of the sudden went blank. I went down to the basement to check on the HTPC and found that it was completely dead. No power. Nothing would turn on with the power button. I remembered that a few months ago, the power supply fan stopped running and took some manual effort to get it running again. I assumed that the fan had stopped and the power supply overheated. Problem is, the case I own has a proprietary power supply.

    So, I ordered a new case and new power supply (500W). I transferred all of my cards, Hard drives, DVD drives, etc. I turn the machine on. All of the fans spin (case, chipset, CPU). The LEDs turn on to show Hard Drive activity.and something briefly appears on the monitor saying something along the lines of "boot drive failure" (not sure of the actual text or what it means).

    I restarted the machine and now I see nothing onscreen (not even the boot drive failure message). Again, everything turns on. It appears that something should be happening on screen, but I get nothing. The speaker beeps once........not sure what that means.

    I've tried the following:

    1) Connected via VGA,

    2) connected via DVI-->VGA,

    3) connected via HDMI

    - None of these worked.

    I also tried switching out the video card to an older card that worked fine when I pulled it out of the HTPC about 6 months ago. Tried a new monitor.

    Nothing shows up onscreen at all.

    Also, not sure it's relevant, but the USB ports don't appear to be working. I added a wireless USB keyboard/mouse. It has an LED that does not turn on when I plug it in? Perhaps because I haven't gotten passed the initial boot up?

    Is it a video card issue? Hard Drive issue? Mobo issue? CPU issue? I would have thought that at least the opening screen and bios would appear on the screen.

    Is it possible that I missed a connection somewhere on the mobo? Which one might cause this?

    I'm at a complete loss here and I feel like I've tried everything. Please help. Thanks.
  2. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,699   +586

    You say the board beeps once. One short beep I think would indicate a DRAM (or more likely its controller) malfunction. You could possibly try to start the system with one RAM stick and try successive memory slots, then alternate with the second stick, but if the board is emitting one short beep then the prognosis is not good.
    One long beep would indicate a successful POST (i.e. a normal system start)
  3. rdblatch

    rdblatch Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks DivideByZero. Well, it's one beep. Not really sure if it's long or short. How short is short? It's probably .5 seconds or so.

    I will try one memory stick at a time. However, I was able to get the image to display after seating and reseating the video card about 50 times. Now it works consistently. However, I keep getting a message that "Disk Read Error Occurred Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete"

    I've tried moving the SATA cable to different ports. Switching them from one HDD to the next. It's booted up once. When it was booted up, it only showed one drive. Said I would need to format the other. I tried to format and it said windows could not format the drive.

    Does this sound like a hardware or software issue? Perhaps one or both of my hard drives fried along with the power supply?



    Ugh.......maybe it's time for a whole new machine.
  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,699   +586

    Will the board POST consistantly now?
    If so then I'd probably look at clearing CMOS just to make sure the board is running at default settings. Your board manual should have the procedure, but if it doesn't or the manual is AWOL then I'd disconnect all harddrives except for the one that has your OS on it for the time being (preferably connected to SATA 1 plug)
    Then:
    Remove power from the system.
    Hit the power button to discharge the capacitors.
    Move the CCMOS jumper to the clear position (or lightly bridge the header pins with a flat bladed screwdriver or similar)
    Remove the battery from the motherboard.
    Do something else for an hour.
    Replace the battery.
    Place the jumper back in the normal position if jumper block is used.
    Restore power and boot up immediately into BIOS (hopefully)
    Select "Load Optimized Defaults" and set the recommended voltage for your RAM
    Save & exit (F 10).
    On reboot, go directly into BIOS and set the recommended timings for your RAM and any other options you'd like to set (i.e. boot order, etc.).

    If all that goes according to plan but you still can't boot from the harddrive then you may be able to do a repair install of the OS. I'd cross that bridge once I'd got to it.
    Good luck.
  5. rdblatch

    rdblatch Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks Dividebyzero,

    I followed your instructions, I am now getting a "Boot disk failure, insert setup disk and press enter". I haven't yet tried reinstalling from the disk...that's next. Last night, I was able to log all the way twice. Only problem was that I could only see my files on one of the HDDs. I tried the format the other one and I got an error. I can no longer log all the way in.

    Do you expect that the problem is hardware related? Software related? Or both?

    This system is about 5 years old. Do I need to replace HDDs, mobo or both?

    Thanks again.
  6. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,699   +586

    Are you able to get to the Windows desktop ?
    If so then it sounds like you may have a corrupted harddrive. You could possibly try to repair XP . It could be that the harddrive sectors got damaged/corrupted when the PSU died. Harddrives are very susceptible to voltage changes, in which case installing XP to new drive would probably be the best option and then afterward attempt to recover your files off the other drives.
  7. rdblatch

    rdblatch Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Yes, I was able to get to the Windows desktop a few time (Windows 7). Not working anymore with either drive. I'm not too concerned with many of the old files. Is my best bet to get a new HDD? Do you suspect any other issues? Thanks,
  8. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,699   +586

    If the board will POST successfully without a harddrive attached (i.e. you can get into the BIOS) then check the BIOS to see if both drives are detected there. If they are I would probably buy another harddrive and reinstall WIn7. If the current drives are not detected then you are probably looking at SATA/IDE controller problems depending on what ports the drives are plugged into, in which case you could try plugging the drives into alternate SATA/IDE sockets-although from personal experience, a PSU failure usually takes down the controller rather than an individual port.
    Are your USB ports still non-functional ? If so, is USB enabled in the BIOS. If the answers are Yes and Yes then it might be time for a system upgrade!
  9. rdblatch

    rdblatch Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks.
    I connected both drives and checked the BIOS. They both show up.

    I reinstalled Windows 7 on what appears to be the "good" drive. It seemed to work and it boots up consistently. I can see a directory called "Windows.old" or something like that. It appears to have all of my old files. However, Windows can't find the "bad" drive. I think it's probably fried. I ran a disk check and it fixed a few errors/bad sectors on the "good" drive.

    Storage is so cheap right now, I think I'll be adding a 1TB drive for about $100. I'll use the "good" drive (200GB) as backup.

    Thanks for all of your help!!
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