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SYstem will not POST.

By hypermikem ยท 21 replies
Mar 15, 2003
  1. I've just tried putting together my first system. A Shuttle Ak-32A with an Athlon 2000XP. I put it together today, taking precaution to protect against static and the whole 9 yards. After mounting all my drives and Power supply, I went ahead and mounted the MB, and connected everything up. I had to also put a heatsink & fan on the CPU. Everything seemed to go smoothly, and it started the first time and went directly into CMOS, I went ahead and changed the system time and looked at whether or not it detected my drives which it did. It saw both my CD-RW and my new Maxtor 400G7200. I did go ahead and check several settings and then exitted because I wanted to get start formatting and installing an operating system. For some reason when I went to reboot, it will no longer POST! The floppy light stays on solid, and there seems to be no power at all to the CD-RW. No HD light. I get the CPU fan starting and the power supply fans come on, but the soft reboot button does not work, and to reset I must pull the plug. I tried resetting the coms via jumper, but no dice. Same symtoms as I described. Everything seems to be hoohed up right, and the add on fans fire up and so does the light inside the case. So I'm quite sure there is power running through the MB. I don't understand why it went into cmos before, but now it just hangs and won't post. I am running my 64mb radeon Video card, if that helps. I can't help but to think that it might be a bad MB. I got it from tiger direct and I don't have long before I can return it for exchange! Help. How can I tell if it's the MB, or the CPU. SOmething is not right here.:confused:
  2. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    if the floppy drive light is staying on all the time then the cable is probably on wrong. at least that is why I have seen them stay on all the time. you might want to check that cable and if that doesnt solve the problem take out everything but the cpu from the mobo and put it all back in making sure it is all seated properly.

    do you have the hard drive and the CDRW on seperate cables?
    and do you have another CD rom device in the system? if you do make sure that the drives are set up properly master/slave. even if you have only one CDRW and no other drives make sure that if it is on it's own cable that it is set to master.
  3. hypermikem

    hypermikem TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I 've taken it apart and back together again a few times already. The cables can only go one way because of these little notches. There is only one cd-rw, and it is set to master. It seems to have no power whatsoever. How can I tell if it is the MB or the processor? It POSTed a few times successfully, and then nothing! I saw that my drives were dectected, and I even was able to see the type of processor nad the temp. at which it was running as well as the RPM of the two fans. I'm quite confident the connections are right, as per the manual of this MB. I've been working on it for hours now and am at a loss. I don't know what to check anymore. I don't understand what could have happened. It has power to the fans and the floppy, but something is causing POST to hang. Would a bad processor cause this symptom?
  4. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    I have faced this problem before with my old took me more that 5 tries to ensure the cable was connected in a correct way.

    Another problem may be cpu problem, i faced a similar prob earlier on when building my current system. After days of troubleshooting, i came to reliase that my cpu was damaged and dead.
  5. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    disconnect the floppy and the CDRW as well as anything else not absolutely needed. ( like a modem or sound card) if it posts then start adding the devices back one by one to see which one might be causing the problem. ( if it is a device problem )
  6. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    You should clear the CMOS memory (a jumper on your mobo).
  7. hypermikem

    hypermikem TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry bro, I thought I said I did that.

    I did try resetting the CMOS jumper several times. How hot is a CPU supposed to run to be in the "normal" range? I did notice that the CPU core temp. was at 44 degrees celceus and 114 fareheit. Is that too hot? The heat sink mounting seemed to go good. Sheesh, I though this would be a piece of cake, and now it's turning out to be a friggin nightmare. If I can't find the problem, then I will have to start jumping through all those tigerdirect hoops, only to have them tell me that it was probabaly something that I did, so I'm stuck with it! I can see it all unfolding already. FUnny thing is I have taken my older 500mhz system apart down to the processor many times and put it back together without so much as a hiccup. Did I just get a crap MB? I'll try everything again, but I don't think it will do much except frustrate me further. Thing is I don't have much time to figure it out, or else Tigerdirect will not accept the exchange. Damn!:blackeye:
  8. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    You're right! You are in a difficult situation.:eek:

    Unfortunately there are many things that can be wrong, and your CPU could be fried. I have some suggestions.

    1. Make sure that your memory modules are seated correctly.
    2. Remove ALL PCI cards etc. as we only need the Video card for the moment.
    3. Disconnect ALL ide/floppy devices, as you don't need these to POST. We just need to see if we can access the bios again.

    If this is successful, then try adding devices one at a time, until you can no longer POST, and then get back to us if you need further help.

    As far as I can tell, there are three main things that will give the impression that your system is *completely* dead. Mainboard, cpu, and memory. [assuming that the PSU is OK]

    Let us know how you get on.
  9. hypermikem

    hypermikem TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK, I tried it all again.

    I took out all the cables, and disconnected all power supply cables and removes the modem, and ATA133 PCI card. This left only the HD and the floppy. It's easy enough to hook these up right, as they are notched. Then I hooked up power to them. The soft boot and the other little wires that control the front panel were checked again. SO this is about as bare bones as it gets! It still does not POST. The CPU fan comes on, however the floppy light does not stay on anymore, so maybe that cable might have been on wrong. The thing is, why do the reset and main power switches on the front panel not work? I can power the MB on with the main power switch, but then it will not do anything afterwards. It will not reset the power, nor turn the power off no matter how many times you press them. These are under the control of the mother board right? Seems to me that if these switches do not function, then I can switch cables and power cords all day long like I already did, and it won't make a bit of difference. It seems to me the problem is either with the processor or the mother board, but how can I tell which? I've pretty much eliminated the connections as the source of the problem now, and still nothing.:mad:
  10. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Reseat your memory modules.
    If that doesn't work then its likely that your mainboard is faulty.
    Its very rare to have a faulty cpu, although Athlon cpus are easily damaged when fitting heatsinks as the chip is relatively exposed compared to pentium cpus. You might want to remove the heat sink and take a look.
  11. hypermikem

    hypermikem TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK, I think I've found the culprit!!

    After trying everything else numerous times all the way down to no ide devices connected. I decided to start disassembly to get it ready to ship back for an exchange. When I took my CPU fan off the processor, I noticed some discoloration around the L1 and L2 contacts as well as a couple of other areas. There were also areas that were not discolored! So I am assuming that the discolored(brown) areas are where it fried!! Why would it fry though? I got a CPU fan that is more than capable of cooling that particular CPU(up to XP2800) and mine is a 2000+. There is only one way it can be seated, with the notch lined up with the notch on the motherboard, plus two sides are asymetrical, so mounting the CPU was easy. I grounded myself with a grounding strap and everything!! Now I am affraid it has damaged my motherboard as well. Please advise.:confused: I know that I am supposed to call Tiger and report the CPU as bad, and they gave me the number on the CPU package. I hope they don't try to give me the business and say it was my fault! CPUs sometimes come defective, right? Besides if this was not the case then why so many stickers on the CPU that state that in the event the CPU is bad....etc...etc...etc. I have worked onmany systems before, and have not had this happen to me before, so it was all sort of new to me. I received my A+ and Net+ certification last year and like to think that I am competent to install these things. When fitting the fan on the CPU, I remember thinking to myself,"gosh that went well" because it was on of the easiest I've ever worked with! I just can't see how that damaged it. Sheesh!:dead:
  12. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    If the bios on your mainboard is supposed to auto-configure you cpu (i.e. no jumpers to set), and the CPU shows no physical damage from fitting the heatsink, then its quite possible that a faulty mainboard could fry your CPU by supplying to high a voltage to the chip. Check all fitting and warning instructions supplied with these items, so that you can say that you followed these correctly (i.e. did you use heatsink compound when fitting the heatsink etc.).

    As regards replacements, I think you have a good case for getting both replaced by your supplier. This shouldn't be a problem if both items were purchased from the same supplier, but if you used separate suppliers for each, then you would have to claim for the damaged CPU from the mainboard manufacturer (or supplier - maybe), as quite understandably, the CPU was not supplied defective, but damaged by a defective mainboard.

    Good Luck!:blush:
  13. hypermikem

    hypermikem TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Yes the AK32A is autoconfigure with no jumpers to set with respect o the CPU. There are no burn marks or scratches from the CPU fan on the Core chip itself. The CPU fan that I bought with the CPU and MB had some compound already on it, you just peel the paper off and mount. There were no warnings that said a special jelly or any other compound needs to be used to mount it....none whatsoever, however for future reference, can this compound be used in conjuction with compound that is already on the heatsink? Anyway, I don't trust the MB anymore, and the CPU is obviously damaged with burn marks all around the core chip, where the L1 and L2 and other contacts are. No pins are bent. Other than the discoloration, there are no obvious signs of anything being wrong, except the leftover compound that is stuck around the edges of the core chip. Maybe that compound with bolster my case if I leave it where it is as opposed to cleaning the core chip of any leftover compound. In any event, I will ask for an exchange for both the MB and the CPU. I hope I get it, cause that's alot of money to be just kissing goodbye like that. Everything else such as the PSU were brand spanking new and work on my celeron system just fine. One other thing, when the MB and CPU were sent to me they were not shrink wrapped, which leads me to believe they were not exactly "brand new". Is this common?:confused:
  14. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Sometimes the supplier will remove any shrink wrap so that they can take a note of a serial numbers and mark the components with their own ID sticker. This stops people from trying to swap faulty items that were purchased elsewhere. It is possible, though very unlikely, that the components were restocked after another customer returned them as unsuitable.

    Oh yeah, and it is OK to add heatsink compound even if a heatsink pad is already fitted.
  15. hypermikem

    hypermikem TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Then it was done correctly according to their own guidlines. The core chip imprint is perfectly centered on the heatsink compund, and in fact has the words on the core chip "burned onto the heatsink". So it was properly aligned. Can I reuse the heatsink if I get some more thermal compound, or should that be returned also?
  16. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Reusing the heatsink is fine!

    Personally, I'd return the heatsink because it is no longer 'as new' due to the burned on imprint - though this won't affect its performance.

    PS: I am about to install Linux, so this is my last post for today.:D :grinthumb
  17. tnred

    tnred TS Rookie

    My puter won't post

    Have you tried clearing the cmos jumper and starting from scratch?
  18. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,724   +377

    Re: My puter won't post

    Your the second person to suggest this after he initially posted that he tried this in the initial post. One thing I have found in the past that removing the CMOS battery for a good length of time sometimes helps. I've never really had faith in the clear jumpers ;)
  19. hypermikem

    hypermikem TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, Yesterday, I got the Exchanges back from Tigerdirect. One thing about that whole process. Make no mistake about it, it was a pain in the AZZ! I had to take a day off from work just to get that all done. I had to call both Shuttle and Tiger product return departments and wait forever on the phone on hold. After you finally get through after about 30-45 minutes on hold, then you get to explain in datail what you did to them. It would seem you must be very carefull what you say, because those guys are trained to listen to anything you say that might void their responsibility. The guy was asking some very specific things. Thank goodness he believed me. After getting an authorization # from Shuttle, the then issued me an RMA. The are very picky about returns. The return process took a couple of weeks, no too bad. Anyhoo, I got the stuff today. So this time, I'm going to have a friend, who owns a computer business, mount the CPU and MB there in his shop. I'll handle the rest from there. That way if anything happens, it's covered. He said he has some good CPU compound, and some non-conductive shims that he likes to use with AMD. Some would preach against this, but I think it should be OK. I emphasized the desire to do everything else but, mount the CPU and MB. That's part of the fun. Damn shame that I had a bad experience with the fist AMD. The intels never gave me any problems. Of course it could've been a defective MB that caused everything, or even me for that matter, in any event, I think I'll do alot more reading before I try mounting another MB, AMD and H-sink. I'll post again when I have it all togther and humming. ;)
  20. thenamesbond

    thenamesbond TS Rookie

    Things like that happen, I had an AMD athlon that blew up , the problem was the heatsink i mounted on in (zalman flower thingy) was too heavy and broke the plastic notch that you clip the heatsink into (without me knowing) The heatsink then (after a few days) slipped away from the cpu and fried the thing in seconds!

    good luck, returns are a royal pain in the ar*e (or a** is your american !)
  21. hypermikem

    hypermikem TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, I have it home now.

    It's working fine so it seems. The CPU temp is at 105 F. They did just what I wanted, which is just mount the HS on the CPU and mount the mother board. It goes into Cmos no problem. Now I'm going to install my components and drivers one by one. I keep seeing the "burn in process" in various forums, is this a necessary step?
  22. thenamesbond

    thenamesbond TS Rookie

    Burn ins are good for suppliers to do, as they will find any weak components or potential problems before the end user gets the computer.

    As you have built your computer a burn-in would put all components under stress and you will be able to see if you have any problems - basically it will bring any problems to your attention NOW, rather than LATER! So its worth doing if all your stuff is under warranty for 30days.

    I never bother personally, I just benchmark a new system so I can then change things to get it working at its optimum.

    Have fun!
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