My Folding computer is down for a while

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My Folding computer is down for a while

Postby MrCraigCraig » Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:26 pm

My Folding computer is down for a while.

I've got a Black Screen (no video output) and will need to diagnose & determine the feasibility of replacing a video card versus replacing the CPU/Motherboard/RAM with something newer and with on-board video.

Currently....
AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Socket 754 CPU set for 2.0 Gigahertz
ASUS K8N motherboard
1024 megabytes of RAM
BFG GeForce5500 AGP video card
Western Digital 160 gigabyte Hard Drive
500 watt power supply

At the moment, I'm leaning towards using a PCI video card to replace the AGP video card because a PCI video card should be compatible with older, current and future motherboards.

I'll try to keep y'all posted.

Sincerely,
MrCraigCraig
I tried using a "Point of View Gun", but my aim was lousy. ;-)

ASUS K8N, AMD Sempron 3100+(1.8ghz), 1gb RAM, eVGA 5500FX 256mb AGP, two WD120gb SATA drives in RAID 0 (striping), 450w power supply.

Fold well, so that others may prosper.
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Postby Karlsweldt » Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:05 pm

Good luck, hope you get back on line soon!
But with the older PCI video card, there will be no "GPU" class of processing for WUs.. only the main CPU with any SMP features.
There are some 'standard' PCI video cards with up to 128 Mb of memory.. but the PCI bus is only 33 Mhz.. which restricts data flow.
That BFG 5500 is rather dated. Saw some NEW 512MB ATI Radeon x1650 PRO AGP 8X video cards listed on eBay for less than 80 bucks! Some nice nVidia cards, too!
F@H.. to solve mankind's maladies.. in our lifetimes!
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Postby MrCraigCraig » Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:05 pm

Tonight I tried diagnosing the system. (Earlier, I forgot to mention the O.S. is Windows XP.)

1) Opened the side cover of the case.
2) Looked inside for anything 'obvious'. Found nothing obvious.
3) Case side cover still removed, attempted to boot up the system. To my surprise it booted up with video. After a few minutes, I powered down the system.
4) Installed case cover.
5) Placed computer back in its' place on my desk and attempted to boot-up. The systems' fans (CPU, PSU, Case Fan) powered on, but no video output. The monitor remained black. Turned off power by switching off a power-strip switch.
6) Thought to myself, "Hunh?"
7) Re-opened case cover. Switched power-strip switch to 'on' and pressed the case power-switch. Observed fans spinning for CPU, PSU, Case fan and Video Card fan. Computer did not POST in an observable manner (still no video output).
8 ) Powered the system off by switching off the PSU switch.
9) Checked cable connections for system components. Found no observable problems.
10) Switched on the PSU switch and attempted to boot the system by pressing the case power switch. After a few attempts (PSU switch off/on and then press the case power switch), the system booted up with video output.
11) I ran the system for a few minutes and used an ASUS utility program to monitor cpu & motherboard temperatures. They measured between 114 - 118 Fahrenheit and 93 - 95 Fahrenheit respectively. Ambient room temperature is in the high 70's Fahrenheit.
12) I noticed the Windows Update Icon in my taskbar tray. Long story short, the system was up & running for the duration of the Windows XP Service Pack 3 update installation and re-boot.

13) After rebooting, I shut-down the computer with the 'shut-down' command.
14) Further attempts to power-up the system resulted in a black monitor screen (no video output). The CPU, PSU, Case and Video-card fans were observed to be spinning normally.
15) System did not power off when the case power-switch was pressed. The PSU or power-strip switches needed to be switched off to turn off the electrical power supplied to the system. This phenomena was repeatable.

Based on tonights experience, I'm wondering about some things...

- Is the 4+ year old CMOS battery a possible culprit?
- Is the equally old 500 watt power supply on the way out?
- Is the motherboard becoming flaky?
- Is the video card flaky?

I welcome your thoughts.

Sincerely,
MrCraigCraig
I tried using a "Point of View Gun", but my aim was lousy. ;-)

ASUS K8N, AMD Sempron 3100+(1.8ghz), 1gb RAM, eVGA 5500FX 256mb AGP, two WD120gb SATA drives in RAID 0 (striping), 450w power supply.

Fold well, so that others may prosper.
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Postby steve6787 » Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:56 am

Dont happen to have another power supply laying around to test with?
Phenom II X6 1055T @ 2.8GHz
Dual Boot Win7x64/Bodhi
8 GB RAM
Radeon HD 3450
60GB Vertex 2 SSD (For OS's)/750GB for Data
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Postby MrCraigCraig » Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:53 am

steve6787 wrote:Dont happen to have another power supply laying around to test with?


My available power supplies are currently installed in other systems or are below the minimum acceptable wattage rating for the system.

I'd need one that is in the 450w - 500w rating category.


Edited to add helpful links...
Troubleshooting Tips for Cases and Power Supplies
http://www.directron.com/cas.html
Notes on the Troubleshooting and Repair of Small Switchmode Power Supplies
http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/smpsfaq.htm
I tried using a "Point of View Gun", but my aim was lousy. ;-)

ASUS K8N, AMD Sempron 3100+(1.8ghz), 1gb RAM, eVGA 5500FX 256mb AGP, two WD120gb SATA drives in RAID 0 (striping), 450w power supply.

Fold well, so that others may prosper.
MrCraigCraig
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Posts: 887
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 9:33 pm
Location: NH

Postby evasive » Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:23 am

We hate rut, but we fear change.
********************************
System error, strike any user to continue...
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Postby MrCraigCraig » Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:52 am

evasive wrote:bad caps?


I've not observed any bad capacitors on the motherboard.

I'm not comfortable opening up a power supply. If the trouble symptoms do point towards a PSU, then I'll replace it.

A similar system (listed in my signature) had its' PSU replaced about a month ago. That power supply provided ample evidence it was on its' way out by failing to spin the cooling fan sufficiently. A 350w PSU was replaced with one rated for 450 watts. I changed my signature recently to reflect this change.
I tried using a "Point of View Gun", but my aim was lousy. ;-)

ASUS K8N, AMD Sempron 3100+(1.8ghz), 1gb RAM, eVGA 5500FX 256mb AGP, two WD120gb SATA drives in RAID 0 (striping), 450w power supply.

Fold well, so that others may prosper.
MrCraigCraig
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Posts: 887
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 9:33 pm
Location: NH

Postby MrCraigCraig » Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:45 pm

To those who were betting on the "power supply", you've won your bet.

Today I bicycled to a CircuitCity Store and purchased an Antec Basiq 500w PSU. (The round-trip distance was 6.54 miles. Price was $49.99 U.S.)

The Antec Basiq 500 replaced a Mad Dog MD-500SCPS power supply.

My Folding system is currently working on an Amber Core WU.

To those who've helped me trouble-shoot this situation I say, "Thank you".

Sincerely,
MrCraigCraig
I tried using a "Point of View Gun", but my aim was lousy. ;-)

ASUS K8N, AMD Sempron 3100+(1.8ghz), 1gb RAM, eVGA 5500FX 256mb AGP, two WD120gb SATA drives in RAID 0 (striping), 450w power supply.

Fold well, so that others may prosper.
MrCraigCraig
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Posts: 887
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 9:33 pm
Location: NH

Postby Karlsweldt » Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:00 am

Good to hear!
A digital multimeter is a very handy accessory for anyone.. even the "handyman" that doesn't do much around the home.
Very easy to measure voltages on the ATX power plug, when powered up. If the ranges are off by more than 2%, then the PSU is bad. Yes, they too can suffer from the 'bad caps' syndrome!
About the BIOS battery: If it hasn't been changed in more than 3 years, it is nearing the end of its life. If your date/time wander, then that is the first sign. Ignore that early warning, and the CMOS memory can loose its BIOS settings when the machine is off power.
F@H.. to solve mankind's maladies.. in our lifetimes!
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