TechSpot

Off the wall Hardware problem

By PyroBob
Oct 30, 2005
  1. To the admin: I posted this here because I think my mobo is the fault, but if I'm in err, please feel free to move the post.

    I searched around for some time trying to figure out whats wrong, but I am out of ideas.

    Asus A7N8X
    3000+ w/ 200 FS bus
    1g Corsaid XMS 2-3-2-6 matched run in parallel
    Asus Geforce FX 5900 Ultra
    Netgear NG311T Wireless card
    one 15g IDE drive running only Windows XP pro
    2x120g Serial ATA run in striped raid
    BIOS and all drivers are at the newest versions.

    Several months ago my aunt asked me too help remove stuff from an old computer, so I pulled out the drive, and attached to mine to remove everything. At the time, I didn't have virus software installed, and after about a week, I realized something was wrong, found the problem and deleted the virus. Since then, though, I have had some major wierd hardware issues.

    In the Bios, I can not set my CPU speed to anything over what it defaults to when I use the reset jumper. If I change the settings to aggressive, or raise the bus from 100 to 200 (where it should be), then when it boots again I get wierd dancing squigglies all over the screen. I can see through them that Windows is still booting fine, but it's all a colored mess.

    When I am in windows, I get strange beeping sounds, that cause my computer to freeze for about 2-4 seconds, while some major "think" sounds come from the processor, then a slight click, then everything works again. These happen more frequently when running a game, and happen constantly when trying to run something like 3DMark, and happen whenever I try to use the mouse wheel in Internet Explorer (but not in Netscape, which is what I usually use).

    Just happened again, man thats driving me nuts.

    So, now even as I typed this, it seems to me that something is wrong with either my mobo, my cpu, or my vid card. Unfortunately, I have just moved, and don't know anyone, nor have the funds to procure test subjects to rule any of these out.

    So...has anybody heard of this, or have any suggestions...not looking for a miracle cure, just a direction to keep looking in, until I can try swapping out some parts.
     
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Some piece might have come 'unstuck' during your moving.
    Switch PC off and disconnect the powercord. Open the PC, take out all the cards and memory-sticks and reinsert them. Check all cables from powersupply to drives and motherboard and from drives to motherboard. Check that the cooler is still properly fitted onto the CPU. Check that all fans are dust-free and turning when you power on.

    If still problems, try re-installing the mouse- and video-drivers.
     
  3. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    AND the Classic......

    PSU. You mentioned everything but what power and manuf. your PSU is.
    When things age.....they die! You should probably have at least 450Watts, the more the better. Your 12V should have 26Amps or more and +5V should have 40Amps or more. The red lines are indicative of bad connection either at mobo or on the video connector to monitor, or an under powered video card.

    Good luck.
     
  4. PyroBob

    PyroBob TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey guys, thanks for putting in your two cents.

    Started this morning by taking the computer out to the bar, and dissambeling it semi-completely, and "hosed" everything out. Unfortunately, the problem still existed, however that was definitely a neccessity anyway...it was gross in there. I reinstalled the vid drivers to nVidia's 81.85 drivers. The mouse is a USB mouse, so I reinstalled the USB drivers as well, but still no help there.

    I guess I had never thought of that as the culprit. It is an Antec 550W (or 560, somewhere in there...you would think I would have looked when I had the case apart not 5 minutes ago, but I forgot).

    Is there a way to test the current output at these plugs? I do have a Fluke, I'm just not sure how to measure across these connectors without hurting anything. Also, what power level should be going to the vid card's extra cable? If my PSU is working fine, I'd hate to short it by doing something less than intelligent.


    Thanks again guys.

    [ON EDIT]: PS: Where I'm from in the US, Guiness is a food group...They tell me the stuff over there is 100x better than what we get here too...I'm Jealous!
     
  5. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Hmm, well with an Antec 550W you're probably ok. If you had a 0.1 ohm resistor (50Watt) you could put the Fluke multimeter across it and measure the voltage across the resistor while it's connected across the hot and ground pin of any connector. You could use the voltmeter to find the 5V and 12V lines first. V=IXR, so a reading of 2.6Volts would be 26amps for example.

    It sounds like you might have to flash your BIOS. I forgot you have it running a 100MHz (FSB), surely that must have some effect on video refresh rates or something. Viruses can infect BIOS too. Also try reinstalling your SATA drivers, I'm not aware of a CPU making "thinking" noises, those noises would come from the HDD. Have you done a defrag lately?

    Cheers,
     
  6. PyroBob

    PyroBob TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I did run a defrag and disk scan on both drives about a week ago (the problems have gone on for a couple months now), as well as running Maxtor's Powermax program on the C: drive.

    I updated the BIOS to 1008-D, which gave me a headache, because my awdflash locked up. After finally getting it, the reboot said "CMOS Checksum error", and paused, which allowed me to read on the post screen that my 3000+ is running at only 1050 Mhz...:(...After installing all the drivers and new bios, I went into the bios and raised the fsb to 200, to the same catastrophe of garbled lines and shaking colors blocking my view.

    I'll pick up a resistor at Radio Shack today, and try that method, just to rule that out...what should the voltage settings be in the Bios? I've overclocked other chips, but never this one, as it was always enough for me (well, until now)...should the standard bios settings be plenty? Also, with the case off right now, I can hear the vid card fan making a grinding noise...potential issue?

    Thanks again.
     
  7. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    Viruses won't affect anything outside of Windows.. or at least software level problems. There are BIOS viruses, but most of those are designed to destroy a computer, so I don't think this is related.

    "squigglies" or visual artifacts as they are known are typically caused by a failing video card or memory... Or a video card/memory pushed to the limits.

    The beeping sounds are happening during user input? Perhaps when you try to type or use the mouse? The clicking sound can only be produced by a few different items in the computer, the top of which include mechanical components (hard drives, optical drives, fans) and perhaps the monitor.

    I haven't seen all of these symptoms caused by a single source before, but it is possible perhaps you having multiple problems. What a terrible coincidence that would be. :)
     
  8. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Don't worry about the PSU for now (unless you really suspect it) , I was just mentioning it to make sure.

    In your specs you give 3000+, is that the AMD XP 3000+? I'm not sure what the Vcore value is for those CPUs (1.45V???). Basically raising the Vcore by 3.3 to 5% of base value is reasonable. But something must really be wrong with the mobo/CPU/RAM (pick 1 or all) for it not to run at 200FSB. What's your CPU multiplier? Can you reduce it a little and up the FSB?

    Here's a good link about OC AMD64, but alot of the procedures would be the same.
    http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/showthread.php?t=107925
    Skip parts 1 and 2, just pick it up at Part 3.

    Video Fan noise not good, have you cleaned it out lately, dust.
    Hmm BIOS flash crash and the PC lived to tell about it? :eek: Maybe you should try to reinstall and this time hopefully it goes clean.

    Edit: Thks Rick, apparently you were posting while I was typing :)
     
  9. PyroBob

    PyroBob TS Rookie Topic Starter


    The beeping sounds happen spontaneously, and I can't find a pattern that makes them occur...they do occur MORE frequently when using the mouse, or running a program, however I can hear them going even when my computer is in sleep mode at night.

    Right now they are going about every ten seconds and its driving me nuts.

    Im going to try removing my D: drive, and see if thats having trouble...if its not, Ill install XP onto the D: and remove my C: drive (maybe, I think I remember having trouble trying to boot from my SATA drive once before). That could remove a problem caused by a hard drive. As for being multiple problems, it sure looks that way, I was just hoping it wasn't.

    One thing on the beeping is that it doesn't happen during startup, only after XP is loaded (I just realized this). So, maybe testing the drives is a good next step.

    As for the CPU running slow. Yeah, awdflash locked up, but I think it was already finished w/ its task, so I got lucky. My vCore is set at 1.65 (which is the default setting), and I have never changed it. The multipliers are set automatically (optimal or aggresive settings)...before these problems I had been running on aggressive, and the final CPU speed was 2.2Ghz.

    My last Asus mobo (I can't remember the model number) died when I was playing w/ the oc jumpers, so Im a little gunshy anymore about toying around until I know for sure a recipe that works.

    I have to leave for a short trip to Virginia tommorrow, but I will at least try the drive swaps tonight, just to see if it helps with the beeping issue.

    Thanks for the patience guys, bear with me.
     
  10. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    This should never happen. I would suggest returning the board itself (if possible) and get a replacement. If the problem persists, we can troubleshoot from there.

    There's such a variety of problems that I'm certainly inclined to suggest the board above all else.
     
  11. PyroBob

    PyroBob TS Rookie Topic Starter

    That would be a total bummer, since I bought the board over 2 yrs ago (right when it first came out). Blast.

    Well, as for the beeping, I did try the drive swapping. I couldn't load XP onto the sata drive, however when I boot without the serial drives connected, I still get the beeping, but no clicking and thinking noises, and no pausing. I stopped by the computer store to look at a cheap hard drive to try and replace the c:, but they were out of the bottom end cheap-o's.

    Unfortunately, if my mobo has died, its not going to get fixed anytime soon, but I appreciate the advice none the less.
     
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