System Crash, cpu problem.

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System Crash, cpu problem.

Postby Gdiddy » Thu Oct 12, 2006 4:20 pm

About a week ago my system had a fatal error with the full on blue screen and memory dump. I restarted and it would not boot, and I could not enter system BIOS, nothing but blackness, actually it wont even communicate with my monitor. Whats really strange is that over my speakers in a low bit voice my motherboard says "System failed CPU test," over and over agian. I turned the computer off all night then tried again this morning, still same problem. I have not changed any hardware in this machine for about 3 months now, no new programs, or downloads.

The motherboard is about 5 years old, and ASUS P4P800 deluxe, and the processor is an Intel pentium 4 (2.8 GHz).

I cleaned my system and checked the all connections. During power up, all the lights, fans, and drives have power. The processor fan is running, but I have to admit that my heatsync was so full of lint that the cooling was less than adequate.

I purchased an Intel pentium 4 (3.0 GHz) processor and installed it. It didnt fix the problem. I brought my system over to a friends place, and installed his intel p4, socket 478, 2.4 GHz processor and it didnt fix the problem.

Each time I installed a processor I ensured the thermal gel was properly applied to the processors, I check the installation of the processor and the heat sync. Before starting the system I cleared the Cmos battery every time.

I called Asus tech support but they only want me to send the board in for testing.

I am now wondering if I purchased the correct cpu. Although my gut tells me the motherboard is the problem. In which case I have a few things to consider. Can someone suggest a next step?
Thanks,
Gdiddy

Entire System
CPU = Intel Pentium 4 2.4C Northwood 2.4GHz Socket 478 Processor
MOTHERBOARD = ASUS P4P800 Deluxe Socket 478 Intel 865PE ATX Intel
RAM = Kingston ValueRAM 2x512MB (1024MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 333 (PC 2700)
HEATSINK = Intel cpu factory heat sync and fan
OS = XP
POWER SUPPLY = Turbolink 420W
VIDEO CARD = ATI A-I-W 9000 PRO 64M Radeon 9000PRO 64MB DDR AGP 2X/4X
CASE = APEVIA (ASPIRE) X-Alien ATXA7AW-BK/420
HDD= Maxtor 250gb, Western digital 80gb
DVD= Plextor PX-116A DVD/R, Sony Dobule layer DVD R/RW
Last edited by Gdiddy on Sun Oct 15, 2006 7:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby evasive » Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:41 pm

http://www.badcaps.net for starters. Sounds exactly like that issue and the board is old enough...
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Postby Karlsweldt » Fri Oct 13, 2006 3:27 pm

And if the BIOS battery has not been changed in the past 3 years, do so now. After changing the battery, do the CLRCMOS routine.. then reset your prefs in the BIOS pages. The average life of the BIOS battery is around 3~4 years. When its voltage falls below a certain point, then the CMOS memory will not retain the settings you desire. And the real-time clock may not function, which the mobo relies on.
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Postby Gdiddy » Sat Oct 14, 2006 10:37 am

evasive wrote:http://www.badcaps.net for starters. Sounds exactly like that issue and the board is old enough...


I checked all the caps, and they look good, they are actually some of the cleanest parts of my mobo. No degredation at the base, bulging at the top, or leaking electrolytes.

I forgot to mention in the first post that I do NOT get any beeps from my mobo, when starting up.

Is it possible that the new p4 3.0 GHz processor I ordered is not compatable with my board? Should I assume the problem is with my Mobo?
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Postby profofpcs » Sat Oct 14, 2006 1:33 pm

kingston value ram...............id start there. Asus boards are VERY picky in regards to ram. see if you can borrow some ram and try it.
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Postby Karlsweldt » Sun Oct 15, 2006 4:16 am

Whenever a mobo setup causes problems, go to the "bare-bones" stage to establish a working point. The mobo and CPU have to be viable to create a working mode. With no memory or device cards or data ribbons, only the CPU with its HS and fan, and the keyboard plus a system speaker. Of course, the PSU is needed. If the system is good, you will hear several long beeps. Adding memory will change the beep code to a long plus several short, indicating video memory problems.. unless there is on-board video that is active. The keyboard lights will flash once or twice on power-up, and again about 5~7 seconds later as the POST routine works its course. If no second flash, then a critical error was found, and the process halts. If you get no error beeps when memory is added, or unusual ones, then you know where to begin parts swapping to find a compatible item.
Check the Asus site.. they have a chart of preferred memory types for their mobos.. same as with other brands.
Here's a brief list of memory types and their speed ratings.

PC1600 DDR DIMM..DDR200@100 Mhz, bus speed 200 Mhz
PC2100 DDR DIMM..DDR266@133 Mhz, bus speed 266 Mhz
PC2400 DDR DIMM..DDR300@150 Mhz, bus speed 300 Mhz
PC2700 DDR DIMM..DDR333@166 Mhz, bus speed 333 Mhz
PC3000 DDR DIMM..DDR366@183 Mhz, bus speed 366 Mhz
PC3200 DDR DIMM..DDR400@200 Mhz, bus speed 400 Mhz
PC3500 DDR DIMM..DDR433@216 Mhz, bus speed 433 Mhz
PC3700 DDR DIMM..DDR466@233 Mhz, bus speed 466 Mhz
PC4000 DDR DIMM..DDR500@250 Mhz, bus speed 500 Mhz
PC4300 DDR DIMM..DDR533@266 Mhz, bus speed 533 Mhz

Avoid use of the 'value' class of memory, unless the bus speed is exact.. or the modules are of the next higher speed range. The memory is rated for its maximum bus speed, and cannot properly page the memory at higher speeds. Even super-premium memory has its speed limit.
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Postby Gdiddy » Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:42 am

I took the entire system to its basic structure leaving only the Power supply, motherboard, and CPU. Still the same problem.

Is this assumption correct:
Most likely its a mobo problem?
Possibly a CPU problem? (read first post)
Least likely a PSU problem?
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Postby evasive » Mon Oct 16, 2006 2:17 pm

Got a PSU and CPU to test with? Or another board to test your PSU and CPU with?
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Postby Karlsweldt » Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:01 am

If the mobo chipsets cannot recognize the true setting of the CPU, then the mobo will not activate. If the bus speed is slower, but the core voltages are within range, the CPU should operate.. but if the core voltage cannot be set properly, then no operation.
So it is now to individual parts testing. The original CPU can be tested in a known-good compatible system, to find the health of that part. Setting up the original system with just the CPU, HS and memory with the original PSU.. check the PSGOOD lead for voltage level. Use a decent digital multimeter. It should be at almost +5 volts, the same as the +5 volt source. If the level is too low, then the controller chipset will not turn on the system clocks, due to the possibility that the PSU has not stabilized. Test the PSU on another system, to see if the same results occur.
A tool known as a POST diagnostics card is handy to have in such cases.. they display a two-character readout of the system bus activity.. and any character set that hangs denotes where to start sleuthing. They are not all that expensive, ranging in price from around $40.00 USD to over $200.00 USD.. the more expensive having built-in diagnostics tests.
This link http://www.esupport.com/promos/cipepromo.cfm offers a decent POST card in association with the Checkit Portable Edition diagnostics program.. and is a good deal.
Don't give in yet on it. Could be a simple solution, and will be remembered next time the problem happens.
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Postby Gdiddy » Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:12 pm

I stripped the system down to the PSU, Mobo, and a new CPU. It didnt work, so I swaped out the PSU and CPU and tested the system again, but it still didnt work. So I now know the source of the problem is the Mobo, what exactly I am not too sure, so my plan is to buy a new Mobo and processor to install on my current system. In the meantime I am going to RMA my board to ASUS and hopefully they will send me back another one; maybe I end up with two systems as a result. Either way thanks for the advise folks, ive learned a lot from this endevor.
G
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