Mobo burnt out - is PSU to blame??

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Mobo burnt out - is PSU to blame??

Postby WessexUnderwater » Sun Nov 10, 2002 4:49 pm

Hi,
Think I've just had a motherboard blow on me - hence am trying to get up to speed quickly to work out how to fix it and what the cause might be.

It happened yesterday. I have a 1.2Ghz Athlon in a mobo that came with the PC. I believe it used a VIA chipset but I could be wrong. I was doing lots of different types of music processing simultaneously - ripping playing and analysing tracks for mixing all at once. The screen just died, flashing an LED which indicates there is no signal present. I checked the screen worked with my laptop - no problem.

I booted the system with nothing attached - no disks, cards (including AGP), normally it didn't beep. The fan came on, which was powered through the mobo so I guess there was power to the mobo. Once or twice it did beep - each time I tried just putting an AGP card in (my original and a borrowed one) to see if there was at least some bios messages, but nothing.

I suspect overheating - although I'm the first to admit I'm a bit out of my depth. It did seem to have a lot of dust blocking up the heatsink - is this likely to cause a fatality? Secondly I have a gorgeous new silent Zalman PSU - which I love - is this likely to be the cause? Seems like its those you love that cause you the most pain!

Next installment is likely to be which board do I replace it with and how do I choose a case to fit - I don't want to lose the Zalman PSU. If anyone can refer me to an up-to-date faq about this it would be cool.

Cheers all
WessexUnderwater
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Postby EvLwMn » Sun Nov 10, 2002 6:59 pm

Welcome to the board!!

Your problem could be any number of things. You said you tried another AGP card - are you sure the other one is good? Another thing is that the AGP port died. Have you tried a PCI VGA card? If there was a lot of dust in the heatsink it's entirely possible you could have fried the chip. Is it possible to try another Athlon in there? Did the screen die or did it shut itself down? Will it turn on at all or does it turn on but show nothing on the screen? Also you might want to check the voltages on the PSU just to be sure everything is correct there. And yes - you may have a fried motherboard. Also, try to reset the CMOS - pull the battery out for a while or clear it with the jumpers.

Otherwise we will need more information: what motherboard, RAM, VGA card, etc. in order to be of more help.

Good luck 8)
"You can't go to Windows Update and get a patch for stupidity." - Kevin Mitnick
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Postby WessexUnderwater » Mon Nov 11, 2002 1:32 am

Thanks for helping.

I'll try to identify the board tonight tonight. The replacement AGP card was out of the box - hence untested previously. I'll also try your suggestion about taking out the battery.

I don't have an alternative processor or PCI card to hand unfortunately - might be able to borrow in a few days. Similarly, I'm not really equipped to check the voltages out - would I be able to get the gear to do this cheaply?

The screen just acted as if the computer had suddenly switched off. It worked again immediately when I plugged my laptop in.

If the AGP card or port was broke, wouldn't the BIOS would spot it every time and start beeping? It only beeps about 10% of the time.

I've had 2 x 256 Mb PC 100 SDRAM, an MSI GeForce 2 MX 400 AGP card, an Audigy card with External breakout box, an unbranded PCI Ethernet card. The disk is a 60 Gb IBM deskstar. The PSU is a 300W Zalman.
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Postby EvLwMn » Mon Nov 11, 2002 1:54 am

Well first off - ANYTHING is possible with a computer. They are finnicky beasts. Also, AGP cards are known to be bad or weak out of the box.

You should be able to buy a multimeter pretty cheaply but I don't know how much. The last one I bought was $12 but that was many years ago.

I've heard of mobos not beeping AT ALL when there's not even an AGP card in them (with no on board video.)

You might want to try it with only one stick of RAM - then if that don't work take that one out and try the other one. Maybe one of your RAM sticks went bad.

I don't know anything about that brand of PSU - but it's entirely possible that's the problem too. You'll have to go by the process of elimination. Fun huh?

Also a suggestion - can you try YOUR processor in another board? That might help narrow it down as well.

Well - good luck to you and let us know what that board is. :wink:
"You can't go to Windows Update and get a patch for stupidity." - Kevin Mitnick
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