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How to tell if Motherboard or Processor is bad


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Briasa's Avatar
Briasa Briasa is offline
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02-Feb-2006, 12:29 PM #1
How to tell if Motherboard or Processor is bad
My husband was messing with my computer and now it isn't working.
He was trying to put it into a new dell xps case.

It is a dell xps with this motherboard
http://support.dell.com/support/edoc...ov.htm#1106656
and a intel 478 2.8 processor

When I turn the power on it seems to be running but the power light is amber and none of the lights on the back (abcd) are on.
The fans run
the hard drive is spinning
he tested the video card in his computer and it works
the monitor is fine
there is a light lit on the motherboard
It doesn't have a fan on the processor (I have seen that a defective fan is a problem sometimes)
He put everything back into the old case and it still did the same thing
Also tried different RAM


My husband who builds his own computers believes that it is the motherboard or the processor. Now he wants to buy a new processor first and go from there. I would like to find out if there is any way to test these without buying them first. I don't know a whole lot about these thing but I figure that there has to be some way to do this.

Thank you for any help
pugmug's Avatar
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02-Feb-2006, 12:40 PM #2
I would say it is not the processor or the motherboard. Tell him to start over with a clean hard drive, one stick of ram,vid card and cd rom. If it boots reinstall the operating system and go from there adding other parts back 1 at a time and see how it goes. Post back and let us know. ps. why is he changing from one Dell case to another Dell case?

Last edited by pugmug; 02-Feb-2006 at 12:48 PM..
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Briasa Briasa is offline
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02-Feb-2006, 12:55 PM #3
I forgot to add that I have 2 hard drives and we tried both. He did do the starting with bare bones and adding. Sorry I should have just put that instead of trying to remember everything he did. I will have him try his hard drive though just in case. His processor isn't intel so we can't do that.

When I got my XPS my SIL dropped it and it did a real number on the plastic parts of the case. It looked like crap and he didn't like it. Dell doesn't sell the parts or new cases. We got one on ebay.

Thank you!
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02-Feb-2006, 12:57 PM #4
Are they the exact same cases?
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02-Feb-2006, 01:04 PM #5
Dell has special parts,os install if oem and driver install disk.Start with a clean hard drive with nothing on it and have your Dell disk ready. If the case is not the same you may have problems with the pin outs.
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Briasa Briasa is offline
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02-Feb-2006, 01:43 PM #6
LOL, husbands new hard drive just came in. It is a 250/WD 7200 SATA2 16MB WD2500KS I think he owes me.

The case was almost the same. We had to get one special connector. It was supposed to be the same and the seller is no longer an ebay seller . But we also put everything back in the old case and it did the same thing.

I will have dh try what you suggest when he gets up, he works nights.

Thank you and I will let you know what happens
pugmug's Avatar
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02-Feb-2006, 02:21 PM #7
Oh, by the way as we are talking Dell's, you know anyone that needs a excellent condition Dell 4550? PM me if so and thank's,lol.
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03-Feb-2006, 09:45 AM #8
Sorry I haven't gotten back to post. I was just looking into my xps case yesterday after I posted and I saw some brown colored stuff on some of the capacitors. I talked to dh and he called a friend and then decided to go ahead and order the motherboard.



I had thought they looked a bit funny the day before, but as I said I don't know much about computers. So after dh ordered I did some searching and found this. My computer isn't one listed, it is a 875P according to my dell account info.

http://www.intel.com/cd/channel/rese...tes/193414.htm



This is the second motherboard in this computer since I got it 2.5 years ago. The first one had the mouse port go bad.

Thanks and I will let you know if the new motherboard solves the problem.
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03-Feb-2006, 03:16 PM #9
I just had a MB fail with the bad caps, it's a pretty common issue. Several years ago, a huge number of defective caps got into the supply chain, and many motherboards are now failing in the exact same manner.
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