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Old 09-12-2010, 06:56 AM
Basil Chupin
 
Default Any suggestions, please? -UPDATE - BUT JOY

On 10/09/2010 00:02, Basil Chupin wrote:
> This morning (many hours ago now) I booted up my system, had some
> upgrades to 10.04.1 done (almost all to do with Firefox) and then,
> suddenly the monitor screen went black, went into "sleep" mode - and
> there were no responses from the keyboard or the mouse.
>
> Rebooting achieved nothing.
>
> While all the fans in the system (7 of them, including the CPU fan) plus
> the HDs were working/spinning, the system would not boot, and there were
> no beep(s) from the mobo to indicate what was wrong.
>
> My conclusion was that some part of the mobo was dead.
>
> But what?
>
> Could anyone please offer suggestions as to what I could check to see
> which part of the mobo has 'died'?
>
[PRUNED]

Well, I have followed everyone's advice - except for one from Dotan -
and after "stripping" the mobo and testing and then "populating' it
again and testing I have found that:

1. the 12V and 5V outputs from the Antec PSU are spot on with their
voltages;

2. the mobo is getting the 12V, from the additional socket, without
which the system will not boot;

3. the mobo is getting power because the graphic card is getting the
power from the mobo and not from any Molex connector (like my normal
card does);

4. the LED for the RAM is lit when the power is on so there again there
is power to the mobo (?by way of the ~2.5V rail);

5. all the fans (7) are spinning and both the HDs are running - one of
the older ones is even trying to read something (I can hear the heads
moving by using a simple "stethoscope");

6. all the capacitors look as if they were manufactured yesterday;

7. to keep Cybe R. happy I put in a brand new, shiny, untouched by human
hands until now, CMOS battery

but there is no beep when the system is started :-( .

The only suggestion by Dotan I did not attempt is to remove the RAM and
'fiddle' with it. Getting at it with all the (heavy) cables from the
Antec PSU is mind-boggling :-( . (When I build a system I put everything
together first and then as the last item I install the Antec PSU.) Also,
as I mentioned in another post, the POST should alert me if there was a
problem with RAM....and...

...the same should also happen if there was a problem with the mobo or
the CPU......

So....after all this does anyone have a brainwave as where to look at next?

The CPU?

The BIOS? If the CMOS battery was dead, how would this affect the BIOS?
With a new battery shouldn't the BIOS come alive at its default values
(or like any nVRAM it can only be written to for so many times before it
dies?).

All you peoples who do refurbishments and such, what is your gut
feeling, based on experience, as to what could be wrong? :-) .

Thanks again for earlier responses.

BC

--
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:39 AM
Christopher Chan
 
Default Any suggestions, please? -UPDATE - BUT JOY

> All you peoples who do refurbishments and such, what is your gut
> feeling, based on experience, as to what could be wrong? :-) .
>

Sounds like a fried BIOS maybe? Does this Gigabyte board of yours come
with dual BIOS chips or something?

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Old 09-12-2010, 08:57 AM
Dotan Cohen
 
Default Any suggestions, please? -UPDATE - BUT JOY

On Sun, Sep 12, 2010 at 10:39, Christopher Chan
<christopher.chan@bradbury.edu.hk> wrote:
>
>> All you peoples who do refurbishments and such, what is your gut
>> feeling, based on experience, as to what could be wrong? :-) .
>>
>
> Sounds like a fried BIOS maybe? Does this Gigabyte board of yours come
> with dual BIOS chips or something?
>

I agree with this. If it were memory at this point, you'd probably get
the morse-code beeps telling you such.

Are you sure that the PCspeaker is connected properly and operational?
Are you sure that the processor is properly seated in the motherboard?

When I've fried the BIOS during a bad update (Windows crash! ha!) a
reboot did nothing, nothing at all. It was a total brick. I think that
was an ASUS board, it was a while ago.

--
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http://what-is-what.com

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Old 09-12-2010, 09:30 AM
David Fletcher
 
Default Any suggestions, please? -UPDATE - BUT JOY

On Sunday 12 September 2010 07:56:48 Basil Chupin wrote:
>
> Well, I have followed everyone's advice - except for one from Dotan -
> and after "stripping" the mobo and testing and then "populating' it
> again and testing I have found that:
>
> 1. the 12V and 5V outputs from the Antec PSU are spot on with their
> voltages;
>
> 2. the mobo is getting the 12V, from the additional socket, without
> which the system will not boot;
>
> 3. the mobo is getting power because the graphic card is getting the
> power from the mobo and not from any Molex connector (like my normal
> card does);
>
> 4. the LED for the RAM is lit when the power is on so there again there
> is power to the mobo (?by way of the ~2.5V rail);
>
> 5. all the fans (7) are spinning and both the HDs are running - one of
> the older ones is even trying to read something (I can hear the heads
> moving by using a simple "stethoscope");
>

I've lost track of much of this thread, but this sounds exactly like the fault
I've seen before - the signal for the motherboard to boot not working. This
is picked up by the ATX PSU tester.

Is it still the original PSU or has it been swapped?

Dave

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Old 09-12-2010, 04:17 PM
Li Li
 
Default Any suggestions, please? -UPDATE - BUT JOY

On Sun, 2010-09-12 at 10:57 +0200, Dotan Cohen wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 12, 2010 at 10:39, Christopher Chan
> <christopher.chan@bradbury.edu.hk> wrote:
> >
> >> All you peoples who do refurbishments and such, what is your gut
> >> feeling, based on experience, as to what could be wrong? :-) .
> >>
> >
> > Sounds like a fried BIOS maybe? Does this Gigabyte board of yours come
> > with dual BIOS chips or something?
> >
Basil: have you tried pushing (quite hard) on any socketed ICs?
Sometimes they creep out of their sockets due to alternate warming and
cooling. I've fixed many supposedly dead devices in my time by just
pushing things back in place or by removing and re-inserting chips and
modules (thus cleaning the contacts).

At this point I would remove the motherboard and power supply entirely
from the case. Taking proper static precautions (important in your dry
climate -- best to do this barefoot in room with no carpet on a clean
wood table), remove all the memory and re-insert it after cleaning the
contacts carefully with the rubber end of a pencil. Hook up the speaker
and PSU and briefly short the two pins where the power switch connects
with your pocket knife. Any beeps? Now try it with the video card and a
monitor. This simplifies things and eliminates the chance that
something has worked itself under the motherboard and is shorting things
out. You're working with low voltages here, so this isn't in the least
dangerous.

Readings of voltage levels with consumer-grade meters don't really tell
you much. In this case it is the available current you really care
about; if not enough the power-hungry CPU isn't going to start ticking.

I don't recall ever seeing a failed BIOS chip since the very early days
when they came on EPROMS. Always a first time though. Good luck!


--
Lilly
godbless --everyone --no-exceptions
Linux 2.6.35-20-generic Ubuntu maverick (development branch), Gnome
2.31.90



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Old 09-12-2010, 11:16 PM
Christopher Chan
 
Default Any suggestions, please? -UPDATE - BUT JOY

On Monday, September 13, 2010 12:17 AM, Li Li wrote:
> On Sun, 2010-09-12 at 10:57 +0200, Dotan Cohen wrote:
>> On Sun, Sep 12, 2010 at 10:39, Christopher Chan
>> <christopher.chan@bradbury.edu.hk> wrote:
>>>
>>>> All you peoples who do refurbishments and such, what is your gut
>>>> feeling, based on experience, as to what could be wrong? :-) .
>>>>
>>>
>>> Sounds like a fried BIOS maybe? Does this Gigabyte board of yours come
>>> with dual BIOS chips or something?
>>>
> Basil: have you tried pushing (quite hard) on any socketed ICs?
> Sometimes they creep out of their sockets due to alternate warming and
> cooling. I've fixed many supposedly dead devices in my time by just
> pushing things back in place or by removing and re-inserting chips and
> modules (thus cleaning the contacts).

!!!

I thought you were supposed to douse the chip with a bit of alcohol and
then set fire to it to resolder the contacts!

/me prepares to open dead netbook to push bios chip back in.

>
> At this point I would remove the motherboard and power supply entirely
> from the case. Taking proper static precautions (important in your dry
> climate -- best to do this barefoot in room with no carpet on a clean
> wood table), remove all the memory and re-insert it after cleaning the
> contacts carefully with the rubber end of a pencil. Hook up the speaker
> and PSU and briefly short the two pins where the power switch connects
> with your pocket knife. Any beeps? Now try it with the video card and a
> monitor. This simplifies things and eliminates the chance that
> something has worked itself under the motherboard and is shorting things
> out. You're working with low voltages here, so this isn't in the least
> dangerous.
>
> Readings of voltage levels with consumer-grade meters don't really tell
> you much. In this case it is the available current you really care
> about; if not enough the power-hungry CPU isn't going to start ticking.

+1

Always check how much current is being pushed on the different power
rails and make sure you have plenty of headroom on each power rail when
you buy a power supply.

>
> I don't recall ever seeing a failed BIOS chip since the very early days
> when they came on EPROMS. Always a first time though. Good luck!
>
>

Well, there must be a reason for motherboard manufacturers to start
sticking two or even three bios chips on their boards. Uber hot discrete
graphics + uber space heating cpu (okay, okay, that was years ago but
still) + enclosed space where the case is placed are probably factors...

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Old 09-12-2010, 11:59 PM
Liam Proven
 
Default Any suggestions, please? -UPDATE - BUT JOY

On 13 September 2010 00:16, Christopher Chan
<christopher.chan@bradbury.edu.hk> wrote:

> I thought you were supposed to douse the chip with a bit of alcohol and
> then set fire to it to resolder the contacts!

I have heard of some solutions for faulty BGA soldering, but not that
one. It seems a little extreme. Baking in an oven or directed air from
a paint-stripping hot-air gun, yes. Fire, probably not a good idea.

> Well, there must be a reason for motherboard manufacturers to start
> sticking two or even three bios chips on their boards. Uber hot discrete
> graphics + uber space heating cpu (okay, okay, that was years ago but
> still) + enclosed space where the case is placed are probably factors...

I believe it is more to do with faulty BIOS flashing rather than
actual mechanical failures.


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Tel: +44 20-8685-0498 • Cell: +44 7939-087884 • Fax: + 44 870-9151419
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Old 09-13-2010, 12:54 AM
Christopher Chan
 
Default Any suggestions, please? -UPDATE - BUT JOY

On Monday, September 13, 2010 07:59 AM, Liam Proven wrote:
> On 13 September 2010 00:16, Christopher Chan
> <christopher.chan@bradbury.edu.hk> wrote:
>
>> I thought you were supposed to douse the chip with a bit of alcohol and
>> then set fire to it to resolder the contacts!
>
> I have heard of some solutions for faulty BGA soldering, but not that
> one. It seems a little extreme. Baking in an oven or directed air from
> a paint-stripping hot-air gun, yes. Fire, probably not a good idea.

Never done it myself. Apparently there are even videos of people
performing this jury-rig due to lack of tools like the hot-air gun you
mentioned. Baking in an oven...interesting.


>
>> Well, there must be a reason for motherboard manufacturers to start
>> sticking two or even three bios chips on their boards. Uber hot discrete
>> graphics + uber space heating cpu (okay, okay, that was years ago but
>> still) + enclosed space where the case is placed are probably factors...
>
> I believe it is more to do with faulty BIOS flashing rather than
> actual mechanical failures.
>
>

Basil, own up, You bricked your motherboard on a botched BIOS flash
upgrade did you not?

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Old 09-14-2010, 03:51 AM
Vic Main
 
Default Any suggestions, please? -UPDATE - BUT JOY

At 09:17 AM 09/12/10, you wrote:
>On Sun, 2010-09-12 at 10:57 +0200, Dotan Cohen wrote:
> > On Sun, Sep 12, 2010 at 10:39, Christopher Chan
> > <christopher.chan@bradbury.edu.hk> wrote:
> > >
> > >> All you peoples who do refurbishments and such, what is your gut
> > >> feeling, based on experience, as to what could be wrong? :-) .
> > >>
> > >
> > > Sounds like a fried BIOS maybe? Does this Gigabyte board of yours come
> > > with dual BIOS chips or something?
> > >
>Basil: have you tried pushing (quite hard) on any socketed ICs?
>Sometimes they creep out of their sockets due to alternate warming and
>cooling. I've fixed many supposedly dead devices in my time by just
>pushing things back in place or by removing and re-inserting chips and
>modules (thus cleaning the contacts).
>
>At this point I would remove the motherboard and power supply entirely
>from the case. Taking proper static precautions (important in your dry
>climate -- best to do this barefoot in room with no carpet on a clean
>wood table), remove all the memory and re-insert it after cleaning the
>contacts carefully with the rubber end of a pencil. Hook up the speaker
>and PSU and briefly short the two pins where the power switch connects
>with your pocket knife. Any beeps? Now try it with the video card and a
>monitor. This simplifies things and eliminates the chance that
>something has worked itself under the motherboard and is shorting things
>out. You're working with low voltages here, so this isn't in the least
>dangerous.
>
>Readings of voltage levels with consumer-grade meters don't really tell
>you much. In this case it is the available current you really care
>about; if not enough the power-hungry CPU isn't going to start ticking.
>
>I don't recall ever seeing a failed BIOS chip since the very early days
>when they came on EPROMS. Always a first time though. Good luck!
>
>
>--
>Lilly
>godbless --everyone --no-exceptions


In my Humble opinion, after over 50 years of repairing electronic
devices, 38 years at a large TV station, 5 years for Philips, etc.
Lily is correct, a large percentage of "electronic" problems are
actually physical. Bad connections, grounds not made, bad sockets, etc.
The first thing I would do would be do get the computer down to the
barest configuration possible. No graphics card, no IDE card, etc.
Actually unplugging and re-inserting every connector and chip
possible, including the RAM cards. Molex connectors aren't particularly good,
especially the larger version. The newer 1mm spacing connectors are very good.

Anyways that's my 2 cents, or is it sense?? ;-) Eh?

Vic


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Old 09-14-2010, 03:57 AM
Christopher Chan
 
Default Any suggestions, please? -UPDATE - BUT JOY

> In my Humble opinion, after over 50 years of repairing electronic
> devices, 38 years at a large TV station, 5 years for Philips, etc.
> Lily is correct, a large percentage of "electronic" problems are
> actually physical. Bad connections, grounds not made, bad sockets, etc.
> The first thing I would do would be do get the computer down to the
> barest configuration possible. No graphics card, no IDE card, etc.
> Actually unplugging and re-inserting every connector and chip
> possible, including the RAM cards. Molex connectors aren't particularly good,
> especially the larger version. The newer 1mm spacing connectors are very good.
>
> Anyways that's my 2 cents, or is it sense?? ;-) Eh?
>

/me stares into space as he wonders how many phones, boards and other
stuff could have been simply fixed by some judicious pushing of chips.

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