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Mboard or PSU problem?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by PlasmaEye, Apr 11, 2004.

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  1. PlasmaEye

    PlasmaEye Thread Starter

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    This post may be long, but I've been having this problem for almost a year.

    Last July I decided to upgrade my computer. So I got a Soyo KT400 Dragon Ultra Platinum Edition Motherboard, an ATI Radeon 9700 Pro, a AMD Athlon XP 2500+ Barton Core, and 1 GB (1 512MB stick and 2 256MB sticks) of Ultra RAM, plus a new case and some nice case fans. All this was powered by a 400W PSU, if I remember correctly.

    All was fine and dandy until late August when I went to a LAN party. When I booted up, after all of the BIOS checks and the RAID utility check, it gave me an Exception error while trying to boot to Windows XP Pro.

    Not knowing what to do, I wiped my harddrive and did a fresh install of Windows XP Pro. This didn't solve my problem but I did find a temporary solution to the Exception errors; if I unplugged my PSU for 3-5 minutes it would boot fine.

    Then in December, at yet another LAN party, my PSU took a crap. So I bought a new PowMax 500W Aluminum PSU, thinking my board needed more wattage. At about the same time, BF 1942 started to freeze after about 5 minutes of gameplay, but BF was the only game that did this.

    Then in January, I went to another LAN party. My friend, seeing that I was still using the Soyo Hardware monitoring software, suggested I use VCool instead. BOOM!! In one fell swoop my bestest best friend in the whole wide world inadvertently fixed all of my problems; no more freezing games, no more exception errors, and I could finally restart my computer withougt worrying.

    About 2 weeks ago, I decided to switch around my case fans and left the computer unplugged for about 10 minutes, and when it booted up, it gave me an Exception error! I thought I was through this already. So I tried different settings on my board. But this made it worse, it wouldn't even boot into BIOS anymore unless I shut it down for a good 10 minutes.

    Finally fed up with this crap from my board, I asked one of my more computer savvy friends to come over and diagnose the problem. Since the Exception error gave an address, my friend and I suspected the RAM. So, we ran a memory test on the RAM on my board, all of the sticks failed. Then we tried testing on a different board that was exactly the same, they all failed. So we tested them again on a different brand of board and they all passed.

    Seeing the results from the tests, we assumed that the problem was the RAM controller on the board. So, eventhough I was kinda low on cash (although my tax rebate was coming), I bought a new Gigabyte GA-7N400 Pro2 nForce2 chipset board.

    Thinking this was the end to all of my problems, I hooked everything into this new board, turned it on and ... it didn't work. :mad: The fans only turned on for a split second but the power LED and RAM LED stayed on. I can still hold down the Power button for 5 seconds and the LEDs will go off.

    Since the power comes on for only a split second, I tried the board with a different PSU. One of my friends had a extra 300W PSU sitting around, so I tried that. The board turned on and booted. I set the BIOS up, and tried to boot Windows, but it gave me a BSOD (Windows XP style) saying it had to stop to keep from damaging the computer. Thinking that the Windows problem would be solved with a bigger PSU, I ignored it for the moment.

    Now I tested the 500W (the PSU that didn't work on the Gigabyte board) on a different board, and it worked. So, I am left with a riddle; the 500W won't work on this board but will work on the other board, and the 300W will work on this board and the other board.

    If any of you guys have any comments, I would love to hear them. I am all out of ideas, and I am going to try to send the 500W PSU back to the manufacturer to see if I can get a replacement, and see if that works.

    P.S. Thanks for reading this god-awful long post. :cool:
     
  2. PlasmaEye

    PlasmaEye Thread Starter

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  3. griffinspc

    griffinspc

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    Just from a first reading it seems very much like a short. I'd start with the vid card. Remove it and run any on board vid and drivers or scrounge a card from a friend to test. It's not the slots or AGP vs. PCI obviously since you changed boards so the card itself may be the culprit.
     
  4. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Powmax is not a quality ps; I would use an Antec, Enermax, Enlight, or Coolmax. Here are some instructions for what I call "Problem builds"

    1) Remove EVERYTHING from the case
    2) Set the motherboard on a non conductive surface. The motherboard box is perfect for this. .DO NOT PLACE THE MOTHERBOARD ON THE STATIC BAG! It can acually conduct electricity! We are going to try and assemble a running system outside of the case.
    3) Install the CPU and heat sink.
    4) Install the RAM (only install 1 stick for SDRAM, 2 for RDRAM)
    5) Install the video card
    6) Connect the monitor to the video card.
    7) Connect the power supply to the motherboard.
    8) Connect power to the power supply
    9) Do NOT connect ANYTHING else. Make sure you have the power connector on the CPU fan connected.
    10) Use a small screwdriver to momentarily short the power switch connector on the motherboard.

    If all is well, it should power up and you should get a display. If not, then you most likely have a faulty component. Do this and and post your results, then we will get it all assembled in the case and get this thing running.
     
  5. dustyjay

    dustyjay

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    I will probably get zinged for this but I agree with crjdriver. I say I will probably get zinged because I know there is at least user of this forum who is actually a PowMax fan. I started this computer with a Powmax 400W psu. You may notice that I do not have that PSU anymore. It was a real POS. Get yourself a quality PSU. You are more like to actually get what you pay for that way.
     
  6. griffinspc

    griffinspc

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    But guys;
    In fact if I read the original post right, he/she's tried 3 PSU's already. Buying another isn't likely to solve the problem even if it's the Cadillac of PSU's.

    My suggestion may not work so how about seeing if there's something we can isolate for him/her.

    Really, just a slight scolding meant. :eek: Maybe a full rebuild will do it but it would be easier to pull the vid card first. He/she's already pulled and replaced the mobo, power supply, obviously reseated the CPU and RAM, etc., so I guess I don't see the point.
     
  7. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    This is why. He may have a mounting problem; that is why I suggest pulling everything from the case. Start with a known good ps and just the parts I listed. If it still does not post then he may have a bad board or processor.
     
  8. PlasmaEye

    PlasmaEye Thread Starter

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    I have tried pulling the whole mobo out, and put it on a wooden table and tested it with the PowMax PSU, but it still gave me the "fans turn for only a split second" problem. I did suspect the PowMax for being the problem because the other 300W PSU I tried booted the mobo just fine.

    All I needed was confirmation that the PSU was the problem. Now I can probably sell that PowMax (it still works with other mobos) and get some money to get another PSU. But we'll see.
     
  9. Wet Chicken

    Wet Chicken

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    Is that even possible? :D

    Ok PlasmaEye we're going to get down to the bottom of this. Gigabyte mobos are the best, but they are also VERY finicky. First, is your power supply plugged into the "Power Fan" connector?

    Also, are you using a Logitec keyboard? Yeah I know, sounds funny, but just answer the questions for now ;)

    I doubt if this is a bad board, this is most likely a "Gigabyte thing" :D

    BTW, have you called Gigabyte yet? They have great tech support, just don't use their e-mail system! :p
     
  10. PlasmaEye

    PlasmaEye Thread Starter

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    I also suspect that there was nothing wrong with the PSU, but just that the mobo just did not like it. But I'm glad I didn't throw away $100 buying another crappy mobo.
     
  11. dustyjay

    dustyjay

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    as far as I know the Socket A gigabyte boards do not use the power fan connector. and the fact that your systems boots using a different powersupply it could very well be that the system isnt liking something coming out of the Powmax PSU.
     
  12. Wet Chicken

    Wet Chicken

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    This has nothing to do with the processor, it is a BIOS feature. It tells you if the power supply fan is working correctly.



    I saw this same exact problem with another Gigabyte mobo last week! In the end it turned out to be the keyboard :eek:

    Try holding down the <insert> key when you are powering up and trying to boot...
     
  13. Wet Chicken

    Wet Chicken

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    PlasmaEye that mobo should be in revision two. Do you have revision one or two?
     
  14. Wet Chicken

    Wet Chicken

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    ...also in the BIOS, what is HaltOn set to?
     
  15. Wet Chicken

    Wet Chicken

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    A picture is worth a thousand words :D


    [​IMG]
     
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