blues, despair and agony on me...please help!

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by freightgod, Mar 13, 2003.

  1. freightgod

    freightgod Confused and Bewildered

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    Guys and gals, I am at my wits end and could really use some diagnostic advice. This is going to be a long story but I want to be detailed because there's got to be an answer in here somewhere.

    First, let me state that I've assembled at least a dozen systems over the years without any problems, so while I'm no professional, I should have the hang of this by now.

    Recently I fried my motherboard when it got hung up during a bios update (read this post thoroughly for that story).

    So I ordered a new motherboard, the kt4ultra and a second 512mb stick of ddr sdram to match the one I had. The new board had a 8xAGP slot so I made sure my Nvidia Gforce2 was compatible.

    I installed the motherboard and all boards, drives, etc. in the case -- after plopping in my Athlon XP 1900 in the board, complete with cooling fan -- and fired her up; the cpu cooling fan made a quarter turn, then -- nothing. I had a beer and tried firing up about a dozen more times. Nothing. I couldn't figure out what was happening. I thought perhaps I had a power supply problem (! beer !) and so I strung together my old toasted motherboard, memory chips (or chip; I can't remember if I put both in or not) video card, power supply -- all the basics except for the cpu cooling fan (! beer !) turned on the power and lo! a puff of smoke appeared hovering above my Athlon XP 1900. I quickly put down my beer (!) and yanked the power cord out of the socket but obviously the damage was done.

    diagnostic question #1: did I at this point damage the memory or video card?

    OK, so I figure at this point I've got a good power supply but have been unlucky enough to receive a dud motherboard. No more beer, I am too depressed alreadly; I sleep fitfully.

    So the next day at work, I order another motherboard and a new Athlon XP 2100.

    But when I get home, it occurs to me that I may have shorted out my motherboard the night before by screwing it down at the wrong points; I reinstall the motherboard and find that I'm right; the night before I had put screws willy-nilly into every hole I could find instead of the six designated; since I've got brass stand-offs, I was grounding the motherboard and that's why it wouldn't power up properly. Now the cpu cooling fan would power up fine but the drives wouldn't spin up and no video; of course at this point I was testing with a dead cpu so I didn't expect much; I was simply relieved that I thought I knew what my initial problem was.

    diagnostic question #2: did I damage my memory or video card the night before when I was shorting out my motherboard?

    Beer. Sleep. The next day.

    Yay! New motherboard arrives, new processor arrives, I carefully install it in case, install video card, memory chips, hard drives and even strap on the cpu cooling fan. I fire it up and I've got fans spinning all over the place but no beeps from bios and no video. I try a different power supply - same result. Hard drives were getting power (they have led's on them) but only briefly; led's go dark after a few seconds.

    This is a brand new motherboard, brand new processor. I know the power supply is good. I am at my wits end. If the video card alone was bad then I suspect the bios would have loaded normally anyway, so now I suspect I have somehow killed my memory chips. I think I'll next-day-air in the cheapest stick of ddr i can find so I can eliminate that possibility, then move on to the video card. ANY IDEAS? I am at the end of my rope! Any advice and/or words of hope would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. This all sounds VERY FAMILIAR. Almost the exact same thing happened to me.

    How i solved it?........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................(and I do not mean to upset ANYONE here!)........................................................................................................................................................................................................


    Intel.

    The AMD chips run very hot, and if you don't put the stupid gel in EXACTLY the right place...Poof!...Dead cpu!

    My whole experience has put me off amd for life. I will never buy anything other than intel now, as I have nerver had a pentium (or 2*, 3* or 486) blow on me!

    I hope you can sort this out, mine may not be the ideal solution, but it worked for me. Good luck.

    H@cher
     
  3. GoNz0

    GoNz0 NTFS Stoner

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    a dead video card can stop a system POSTing, just like a knackerd modem can.

    sorry to hear you grounded the wrong parts :(
     
  4. freightgod

    freightgod Confused and Bewildered

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    Thanks, Whiteboy, but no thanks :)
     
  5. xsivforce

    xsivforce Prodigal Son Folding Team

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    If you can get into the bios, knock the agp down to 2x and see if it will boot.


    BTW, why would you name a thread after a "Hee Haw" song? Damn thing is stuck in my head now. :huh:
     
  6. freightgod

    freightgod Confused and Bewildered

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    ...deep, dark depression setting in on me....

    bios doesn't load up at all so i can't adjust anything without seeing what i'm adjusting

    gonzo, i didn't know bios wouldn't load without video; question is, would i have killed my video card at any point in my narrative?
     
  7. XPletive

    XPletive bbbb-ring...

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    Kinda sounds like bad memory to me...

    Dumb question, but I thought I'd ask....
    Does your new motherboard have an onboard video
    option that you could hook into temporarily?
     
  8. Shamus MacNoob

    Shamus MacNoob Moderator Political User

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    You need some form of video card to be able to see anything at all on the moniter ... dont you have an old pci card laying around?

    Sucks to hear about your misfortune ...


    good luck
     
  9. freightgod

    freightgod Confused and Bewildered

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    ...if it weren't for bad luck i'd have no luck at all...

    Xpletive, no onboard video; good idea, that would have been ideal. never occured to me to buy that feature in a mb.

    Kermit, no PCI card either, but it's worth trying; i'll check at Staples on my lunch break.

    Xpletive, I've got a 256mb stick on the way. If I can't troubleshoot it by way of the vid card tonight then I've got my hopes pinned on the memory being the culprit.
     
  10. freightgod

    freightgod Confused and Bewildered

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    561
    Are all agreed that the problem has to be with either the video card or the memory?
     
  11. xsivforce

    xsivforce Prodigal Son Folding Team

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    Location:
    Texas, USA
    You should be able to pick up a GeForce 2 or similar fairly cheap.
     
  12. freightgod

    freightgod Confused and Bewildered

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    I picked up an ATI RAdeon something or other PCI video card and a stick of memory. Confirm my logic here, please; I have:

    new motherboard

    new processor

    new memory

    new PCI video card

    great power supply, chassis and cpu fan


    Correct me if I'm wrong, ye who know, but this is all I should need to bring me into the bios, right?

    I better buy extra beer tonight.....if this combo doesn't work, then I'm gonna drink myself silly
     
  13. Shamus MacNoob

    Shamus MacNoob Moderator Political User

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    Well without seeing anything on screen he wont be able to go any further ... I keep 3 old pci cards around never know what trouble I will get myself into ...

    My kick these days is to squeeze the life out of this Athlon 1800+ for all its worth ...

    Runs great at 12.5x138=1752mhz thats the same as Athlon 2100+

    tried 140fsb at stock vcore got to desktop but it restarted so I pumped up the vcore from 1.5 to 1.55 and I got a better result but still not right so now next move is to pump up the vcore to 1.6 and keep trying ...I think I might have better luck dropping back to 11.5x ? and trying to get my fsb into the 160 range but will need to keep pumping into the vcore maybe vcore 1.7 or so and fsb at 157x11.5 =1.805ghz as you can see I go looking for trouble ....
     
  14. scriptasylum

    scriptasylum Moderator

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    I wouldn't rule out the PSU quite yet. My kids just had a PS go bad (although it was grossly underpowering their system: rated 300w, but outputs figure to be more like 200w) and it acted like yours. The power light lights up, all the fans spin up and the drives spin up, but no POST (no beeps either). The 3.3v line was dead. If you have a voltmeter, test all the supply voltages if you can.
     
  15. freightgod

    freightgod Confused and Bewildered

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    Good point, I will try to do so, although I'll have to look up how to use a voltmeter :) I got one but never used it

    I have tested with multiple power supplies though, so I doubt that's my problem.

    If all goes well, you'll see a post from me around 6:00 tonight!
     
  16. scriptasylum

    scriptasylum Moderator

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    832
    Location:
    Des Moines,IA
    Using a voltmeter is easy. Just plug in the leads into the proper jacks on the meter (be careful, some meters have a current meter and hooking it to those jacks can damage something.) and select the DC voltage option. The DC setting might have a symbol something like:
    _____
    - - - - -

    Then hook your black/negative lead to the case and the positive lead to the supplies.

    On most PS, the following is the color code for the various outputs:
    red = +5v
    orange = +3.3v
    yellow = +12v
    black = GND
    blue = -12v
    white = -5v

    There are a few other signal wires too, but the above are the main supply voltages. The yellow, red, and orange wires will have multiple wires because of the high currents, but they all go to the same point.

    If you have tried other power supplies, then you are probably right in saying it's not the problem.
     
  17. mbunny

    mbunny Guest

    You can test if your memory is bad by pulling out those 2 sticks.

    All you need to get to BIOS are a Motherboard, Video Card and CPU.

    The rest gets used after posting
     
  18. XP Abuser

    XP Abuser Guest

    i blew my bios one day. cpu and memory went with it for some reason. but looks like video card is capput the bios wont load as the first thing it detects is vid card (has mobo got on board and is it set to onboard)

    but you should never toy with "the chip" (bios) i was reading the post and knew it was gonna end in tears.:blink:
     
  19. freightgod

    freightgod Confused and Bewildered

    Messages:
    561
    Thank you, Lord, I'm baaaaaack!!!!!!

    I haven't diagnosed the problem yet; I'll fill you in later....

    Thank you to all who made suggestions!!!!! I wasn't sure I'd make it through the day, but you came through and kept me hoping.

    Had a heck of a time figuring out this bios...
     
  20. Shamus MacNoob

    Shamus MacNoob Moderator Political User

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    Hey cool let us know what happened !!!

    :)