computer troubles
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acs236

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I'm way off topic here, but I was hoping someone could help me with a computer problem. Background: I was a computer geek in high school. I'm not saying I'm less of a geek now, but I certainly know less about computers. I still build my own systems though because I like to get particular components and save some money. One of my computers died last night and I can't figure out exactly what the problem is. It's a AMD Thunderbird based system, which has worked flawlessly since I built it a year ago, but yesterday when I turned it on the "on light" and "reset light" lit up, the fans started blowing, but nothing happened, no boot noises at all. I started removing components. When I took out the AGP video card, and tried booting it, the lights didn't change, but I heard the harddrives spin up, and the CD-Rom drive would let me eject whereas before it didn't.

I thought I found the problem, the video card. I replaced it with a spare and the the harddrives spun up, but still no booting, no video at all. I tried removing everything, all the memory, unplug the drives, and it still does the same thing when I power it up. No motherboard beeping whatsoever.

Any idea what the problem could be? fried CPU? bad motherboard?
 
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insanefred

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Perhaps the AGP card isn't in completely? I know these things have to be in the whole way, and they are much more sensitive to this than PCI cards because of an extra row of pins (I think?) Make sure that it's pressed into the socket firmly. If you have an old PCI or ISA card lying about, try those too, to rule out the AGP socket.
HTH
Andrew
 
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grinch

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i would check your hsf and make sure it's firmly mounted on the cpu. if it isn't, your cpu might've burned. but other than that, i'd have to guess that it was the motherboard. probably got fried from static electricity.

one other thing to check (before ordering a new motherboard) is the ram. is it pc133 or ddr? maybe you can try swapping some ram around, and even if you can't do that remount it. take out the ram and put it back in. switch dimm slots. this sometimes helps. i find often that people touch/knock their ram a bit while playing around and it won't boot because it's not seated perfectly. good luck, hope you fix it.

also try swapping power supplies..
 
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flashbak

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Well the first thing to check in your Bios settings, making sure nothing got changed (boot device) etc. If they look correct next thing I'd try would be to reseat all power harnesses and cables. One other thing that's possible is that the boot blocks on the hard disk got corrupted and you no longer have a boot device. However, you can prove this by putting a bootable floppy in the A: drive and seeing if the system will boot. It's certainly a possibility that the CPU/Motherboard have gone south but you should check my suggestions above before assuming either has failed.
 
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acs236

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Thanks for the suggestions.

Insanefred: It might have something to do with the AGP slot, but I don't think it's the card not being seated properly. I did check this. Also, when I pull the card so there is no video card in at all, I get the same result.

Grinch: I think it might be the CPU. As I said, the computer has worked fine, and all of sudden it just stopped, though I suspect it may have been on all night (there may be been a shutdown error that I didn't notice before I left the room). I did take out the ran completely and go the same result. I then put back in one of the chips (the one Atlas Precision chip I had), and still got the same result. I'm hoping its the CPU now.

Flashbak: I don't think it can be anything that high up the change. I don't even get to the bios set up. I get no video whatsoever, the computer doesn't boot at all no matter what. I don't even hear a beep from the motherboard that usually occurs.

Thanks again everyone!
 
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Duncan

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This sounds somewhat similar to a problem I had a couple of weeks ago...

how was your computer for virus detection? I know some are kinda clever these days, and can corrupt your BIOS (as can power surges and the like)...

My computer went like yours after trying to flash my BIOS with a faulty floppy, one of the segments corrupted, and wiped out my bios chip, so when I turned the PC on, I got the fans, and not a lot else... if I reset the CMOS data and then pressed the power button a few times in quick succession, the PC would run the POST, and then... the next screen would be garbled...

Luckily, my mobo manufacturer is near to where I work, so I got a new BIOS chip, and it worked fine again

worth a thought??
 
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acs236

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That horrible thought had crossed my mind, Duncan, but I hope that's not the problem. I remember a couple years back I had to buy another motherboard, because I had no practical way of getting the bios replaced. ABIT is not such a userfriendly company, even though their MB's are.

I don't think it was a virus, I'm fairly well protected, but it could have been a power surge.

I ordered replacement processor, and if that's not it I'll be forced to upgrade.
 
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Duncan

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Quote:

Originally posted by acs236
ABIT is not such a userfriendly company, even though their MB's are.


Drifting off topic slightly, but my mobo is made by ABit, and... they bent over backwards to help me out... I guess its because I called round and saw them in person, instead of speaking to them on the end of a phone...

If you're getting no signs of life from the monitor, and you're also not getting three warning beeps on power up, i'd strongly suggest its more of a BIOS problem than an AGP, or CPU problem... IIRC, the BIOS POST beeps, even if the CPU is trashed... so, no beeps to me at least, means no bios
 
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Duncan

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Hows the situation acs236?

I've had a good day, spent about $400 on my computer... and, now I think its pretty sweet...

Athlon XP 2000+
ABit KT7A motherboard
512mb SDRAM (Yup... I know thats gotta be improved)
GeForce 4 MX440 graphics card
19" Iiyama CRT
SB Live! with daughterboard
30gb Maxtor HD
6 speed DVD + 40 speed CD Roms

I'm hoping its pretty good anyway????
 
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davidcotton

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Quote:

Originally posted by Duncan
Hows the situation acs236?

I've had a good day, spent about $400 on my computer... and, now I think its pretty sweet...

Athlon XP 2000+
ABit KT7A motherboard
512mb SDRAM (Yup... I know thats gotta be improved)
GeForce 4 MX440 graphics card
19" Iiyama CRT
SB Live! with daughterboard
30gb Maxtor HD
6 speed DVD + 40 speed CD Roms

I'm hoping its pretty good anyway????



Only thing I'd change with that set up (don't know much about athlons tbh!) is the graphics card. If it isn't one you've just spent the $$$ on then I would get something like the TI 4200 which is the bargain basement of the ti range which is far superior to the mx range.

www.theoverclockingstore.co.uk
www.overclockers.co.uk

will have the info you need if you want to change it. The g4mx is little more than an updated g2 really. Still if it does what you want it to do then I wouldn't worry!
 
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Duncan

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Unfortunately David, it is

On the bright side though, I can get 30FPS at 1920x1480x32, and I can get 145FPS at 800x600x32, so... its certainly fast enough

I'm always on the quest for more goodies though, so... I'll check out those links you posted... and see what happens

(This card is pretty sweet though, Dual monitor output and S-Video In/Out
)
 
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davidcotton

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Well like I said, if it does what YOU want it to do then don't sweat it.

If your a gamer then the next thing you really ought to get is a ratpad mouse mat from theoverclocking store. Its seriously big for a mat and doesnt shift an inch. Also get a decent mouse if you havnt already.

Oh nice monitor btw lucky git, I've only got the IIyama pro 413 17"
 
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Duncan

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David, I've got the 19" VM Pro 450, connected via BNC


Okay... now my turn, for a 'potential' problem

After buying my Graphics card, and CPU... all seems great apart from one thing, massive amounts of heat... where my System used to run at 35 degrees C it now runs at 55 +/- and the CPU which used to run at +/- 45 degrees C now runs at 75-80!!


I have got the correct CPU fan (XP2100+ compatable) and have got 4 fans in my system... so, is it safe to be running so hot? - it has crashed a couple of times in use... which i'm pretty darned sure is heat related... HELP!!
 
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davidcotton

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