Computer crashes completely, but no signs and no BSOD

By JBauerisGod ยท 38 replies
Feb 28, 2009
  1. JBauerisGod

    JBauerisGod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Okay, got the thermal compound, the electronics cleaner and I have removed the heatsink. The finest sandpaper I could find was 400 grit. If I'm careful that shouldn't be too bad, right? I went to Lowes and all they had was 320 grit.
  2. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    OK, make sure you install the CPU, heat sink and fan as well as the RAM (in that order) with the motherboard outside of the case.

    You want to remove the fan from the heat sink, and clean it the best you can, be careful when you screw the fan back on, tighten the screws a lilbit and go on to the next X.

    Beofre you put the fan on, clean the heat sink the best you can, wipe the old paste and then use some Contact Cleaner till it is clean, with a drop or 2 of water on the bottom of the heat sink, sand the surface, since it is 400 Grit, do it gently, spray Contact Cleaner again and clean it good, leave the CPU in the old motherboard socket and wipe the old past off of it, then use the Contact Cleaner to clean it good, no sandpaper on the CPU.

    Now you can move the CPU to it's new home and install it, then do the heat sink and fan, again do this before putting the motherboard in.

    Install the RAM, once in, take it out and re-insert it, I do this there times to make sure it is in, with new motherboards.

    Check the standoffs and make sure they match the wholes with the motherboard, this is a good chance to clean the case.

    Push out the OLD I/O shield at the back and place the new one in, make sure all tabs that block the ports at the back are bent up, allowing full access to the rear panel ports.

    Before you put the mobo in, try and boot it up outside of the case for a test run, adjust the tightness of the heat sink fan, till it is running good, not wanting to warp it while screwing it down.

    If all goes well, connect the rest of the components, check the mobo site for any BIOS update before attempting to install XP, forgot if we are going to do a Repair install or fresh.

    Let us know.

    EDIT: when you put the cpu in the new mobo, push down on it gently before closing the lever, wipe your finger prints before applying the paste
  3. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    Part 2, application of thermal paste.

    squeeze small amount of paste on the die, and use the tube itself if you want to spread it around, you want a thin layer covering the die, best practice is to create a line of paste and using something like a credit card, I use film paper and going up and down then left to right, too much paste is not good you just need a thin layer.

    Inspect around the die for paste leaks and clean if found, orient the heat sink above the CPU before putting it down on the CPU, best is to do it in one shot, more you move it around or OFF and ON is not that good.

    Forgot to mention, use the same technique putting the clamps back on, cover the motherboard in case the screw driver slips, we don't want to scratch the motherboard.
  4. JBauerisGod

    JBauerisGod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Installed everything and it does the exact same thing. *sigh* The fans come on and everything, but it doesn't POST at all. No beeping on this one either. Do I have to have the correct front panel connector hooked up to hear the beeping or does the mobo make the sounds without the need for anything to be hooked up? I have noticed that the floppy disk light remains lit the entire time. Does that signify anything? I don't believe it was lit on the old mobo.

    Unless I'm just missing something obvious in the new hookup, could the constant shutdowns have damaged the CPU or gfx card?

    This is incredibly frustrating. I already blew $70 on a PSU and now possibly another 80ish on the mobo.
  5. Taff

    Taff TS Rookie Posts: 38


    I've seen this happen when the floppy drive power connector is badly connected - it will stop it booting. Check the power connector!


  6. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    The floppy drive data cable connected incorrectly will have the light remain ON, failed drives at times prevent POST as well.

    What motherboard did you get, make and model please.

    Did you try to POST outside of the case with only the CPU, heat sink fan, video card, RAM and keyboard before assembling the tower?

    Give us the motherboard make and model first.
  7. JBauerisGod

    JBauerisGod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I had the floppy cable incorrectly connected and that would be why the light remained on. On correction, the system still did not POST. I reseated the RAM as well.

    The mobo is a Foxconn Winfast NF4K8MC. I know, not the best, but I didn't feel like going through Paypal and Ebay and waiting upwards of two or three weeks to get the board. No, I did not try to POST outside (my mistake). I'll gladly disassemble it if so needed.

    I inspected my old mobo and didn't see anything wrong with it other than the five bulging capacitors right around the CPU. They weren't leaking ridiculously bad like the ones on the Wikipedia article, but they did have visible holes in them.

    Here's a pic to show you:


    The two on the left are bulging whereas the two on the right are fine.
  8. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    Ahh that mobo has no on-board video, not that I like them with on-board video but we could have used it to check.

    I did say this : I'm still not %100.00 sure of the health of the video card and the RAM

    Couple things for you to check:

    Check the reset front panel connector, or the button in front of the case, make sure it is not stuck, better yet, remove all the front panel connectors except the power switch.

    Try and POST with only the CPU, heat sink fan, video card, RAM and a keyboard, nothing else connected, after making sure power supply is connected properly ATX 20/ 24pin as well as the ATX 4 /8pin 12V.

    I'll take a look at the manual and get back to you, but have a service call to go to in a bit, might not be around for a while.

    Need to make sure the standoffs are checked, why I asked to POST outside of the case to be sure before. Now we need to make sure there are no shorts and take few other steps.
  9. JBauerisGod

    JBauerisGod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Disconnected all front panel connectors but the power switch and the problem remains. I disconnected everything but what you mentioned as well.

    I'll now work on removing the mobo from the tower.

    Thanks again for all the help. I really do appreciate it.
  10. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    Before I leave, can you get your hands on a PCI-E or PCI video card and some DDR RAM to test?

    I'm out the door in 15 min

    EDIT: I can only find NF4K8MC-RS and NF4K8MC-ERS nothing with just NF4K8MC
  11. JBauerisGod

    JBauerisGod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Took the mobo out and nothing changed. You would think that it would at least make some kind of beeping noise to tell me what the hell is going on??

    The model number is NF4K8MC-RS. Sorry that I wasn't more specific earlier.

    I think my friend has a PCI video card laying around, but I can't be entirely sure. I'll be sure to ask him tomorrow. Unfortunately the comp I'm using in the mean time only has an AGP gfx card.

    This computer has two 2 sticks of 512mb RAM, but I'm not sure if it's DDR or not. Is there any way to tell?

    It's time for a break anyway. Any more frustration and I may just throw the comp out the window. ;) It's like I'm on a wild goose chase.
  12. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    Assuming the motherboard is not DOA, we have the CPU, RAM, Vid card and the Power supply to worry about, with the RaidMax 420W and it's max output of 13A on the +12V rail, we can put our money on the video card.
    The PS is new, in similar situations I have seen video cards go but not the CPUs or the RAM.

    If your computer has AGP, it is most probably DDR.

    You can download CPU-Z to ID your RAM and more.

    If you want to save the CPU-Z results, go to the last tab (about) and do a registers dump (detailed text output) or HTML dump. Memory and SPD tabs will both give you information on the type of RAM you have.

    In regards to your old mobo, I can live with slight bulging but not leaking or in your case, blown caps, about to erupt.
  13. JBauerisGod

    JBauerisGod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I took the comp over to a friends house to do some part swapping. When I swapped his video card (6600GT as well) into mine, it still didn't POST. Same for RAM as well.

    My video card appeared to be working fine when I put it into his comp. At first the mobo beeped about once every second and didn't POST, so I thought I had possibly found one problem. However, I was also trying to boot with the case still open. Upon closing the case, the system POSTed and Windows loaded. The one stick of RAM that I tested was fine as well.

    So basically, this means that the mobo is DOA or the processor is jacked, correct? I'm very doubtful that the PSU is the problem. Then again, I was almost sure the mobo was going to fix the problems but we can see how that turned out.
  14. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    Well, it does leave the CPU and PS, only 2 items you haven't confirmed working before saying the mobo is bad, but it is a possibility.

    Check all jumpers according to the manual, well, rather Foxconn's folded sheet, even try resetting the CMOS or removing the battery for a few minutes.

    Try your old power supply.

    Contact the supplier before it is too late just to open a ticket for possible DOA, no need to explain everything just that it does not POST, some stores you can get a refund in the first week or so, this might require re-stocking fees and you have to cover shipping, another reason why I try to shop local as much as possible.

    I know it is a lot of work, but you can try connecting the Thermaltake to the system you are using now to check.

    Some computer stores might test your CPU or board for free or charge minimal fee for diagnostics, we charge $30.00 for full system diagnostics and we test every single component.

    There are people on News Groups in my area or Kijiji, that often help each other out by lending parts or testing the components themselves.

    I'll read the thread again to get a better understanding of how we got where we are now.
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