Did my motherboard or CPU die?

By Matt_forever ·
I built my own computer from scratch last January of 2012. It worked great up until now. My motherboard is Biostar A880G+ and CPU is AMD Atholan II (Rana). From day one of building my computer, the onboard audio output had problems that there was no sound but loud hissing noise. I believe, the output port had problem. I was able to reroute sound through my video card HDMI output. So, I didn't care. It was fine all this time until last few weeks. Something died in the computer and I am trying to figure out what died. I have tried all the tricks and tips posted online and still I can't figure out if my motherboard or CPU that died.

This is what is happening. Whenever I click on the power button on and keep it pushed down, the computer starts up - case fans start running, cpu fan starts running, system power light is on. However, just as quickly as they came on, the system kills itself or turns off in 1 to 2 seconds - everything stops working - with me STILL pushing the system power button down. When I let go of the power switch from ON position, the system does exactly the same as explained above - everything comes on and quickly shuts off again. OH, BY THE WAY THERE IS NO BEEPS SOUNDS OF ANY KIND. I have on board beeping speaker. As far as I can remember it always beeped at boot time. Now, it doesn't.

Plus, I also noticed that the longer I don't turn on the system, the longer it stays on. So, I simply didn't do anything with the system for about a week. Then, I decided to see if I can fix the problem. When I turned on the system, it stayed on little longer and I thought it fixed itself, but within 5 seconds it quickly turned off itself.

As many have suggested online, I have removed any audio card, video card, RAM, connection to the hardrive, connection to the CD/DVD ROM. The only thing that was connected to my power supply was motherboard and CPU. When I turned the system on, it did exactly the same as described above and NO BEEPS at all. So, I am now down to either CPU or the Motherboard. What do you think?

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All Answers

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Have you tried...

by cmiller5400 In reply to Did my motherboard or CPU ...

Have you tried another power supply? It could be bad causing the issues you describe...

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Reponse To Answer

by Matt_forever In reply to Have you tried...

I think that's my next step. Hopefully, it won't damage my desktop power supply.

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My best guess is

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Did my motherboard or CPU ...

A No Name Power Supply instead of working like a good one just knocks down the input voltages and passes all the spikes through to the internals.

Start off by unplugging the power plead and pressing the Power Button to discharge the capacitors in the Power Supply. Then plug the power lead back in and see if it starts now even to making some sort of noise.

If that doesn't do anything I would hazard a guess that the Biostar M'Board has taken a large Spike which has degraded components beyond their operating tolerance and at the same time fried the CPU.

From my experience when any AMD System stops both the M'Board and CPU have been destroyed, from my observations the M'Boards do not have anywhere near enough capacitance on them and pass any Over-voltages through to the CPU degrading it any the M'Board along the way. Eventually after enough Power Spikes the things just stop working.

If you want to continue with AMD CPU's I suggest using Power Supplies from places like Antec who make a very good filtering Power Supply instead of the cheaper No Name or non-filtering Power Supplies that are commonly sold.


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More testings

by Matt_forever In reply to Did my motherboard or CPU ...

Well, I did more test on the system after I came home from work and it shed more information or hints if you want to call it that.

OH Smeg I know what you mean when you say power supply. I've had bad experiences before with other power supplies. However, the one I am running on this system is a ENERMAX NAXN ENP450AST 450W ATX12V Power Supply. People had a lot positive and professional reviews on this PSU.

Anyways, this evening while messing around with the system, I accidentally out of frustration played with motherboard connecters by testing one connection at a time on the Mobo. I disconnected the 4 pin CPU connector and left the 8 pin connector hooked to the Mobo and turned on the system. This time, my computer system turned ON and stayed ON!!!. However, there was no BEEPS. When I hooked the 4 PIN CPU connector to the motherboard, the system doesn't stay on and acted exactly as I described in my original post. Does this mean my PSU is bad or CPU is fried or MoBo is fried also? I think CPU is fried or dead.

I closely looked at the CPU itself and it doesn't seem to show a sign of being fried or damaged. I wish I can post a picture but don't know how to post images on TechRepublic.com.

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Reponse To Answer

by Charles Bundy In reply to More testings

By unplugging the 4pin molex you removed aux power to CPU regulators. Hence there is no brain to perform POST or other system checks. This is assuming "power on" means LED lit and PS fan kept running. In this case you are basically running the PS standalone by shorting pin 15 & 16 on the 24 pin connector.

Based on the behavior I'd almost say the CPU is doing it's job during pre-POST and there is some sort of regulator problem with the MB or the PSU voltages.

Hope this helps!

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OK I'm not really sure what you mean by

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Did my motherboard or CPU ...

8 pin connector hooked to the MBoard

The M'Board Picture that I looked at on the Biostar Web Site only has a 4 Pin Supplementary Power Connector so I'm not sure what the 8 Pin Connector you mentioned above is. The M'Board should have a 24 Pin ATX Connector and a 4 pin Supplementary Connector as Power Connectors.

However what you can do is also disconnect any Case/CPU Fans you have connected as they might be pulling the 12 V Rail down, and either change the BIOS Battery Clear Jumper or drop out the BIOS Battery but if you drop the battery out make sure that you first unplug the Power Lead. ATX Power Supplies always have the 5 V Rail energized so if the battery falls onto the M'Board it's going to cause a short circuit and damage it. Something could have scrambled the BIOS and it needs clearing. Unfortunately without a Power Supply Tester there is no way of knowing if the voltage rails are actually working. All the fans running show is that the 12 V Rail has enough power to run a fan or a couple of fans it in no way says that the other Voltage Rails have any power or current that will run the system.

You have 3 main Voltage Rails the 12 V DC Rail which powers most of the motors like HDD, Optical Drive and Fans, The 5 V DC Rail which powers the Logic Circuits and the 3 V DC Rail which powers the CPU and so on. Some Video Cards have an Auxiliary Power Connector located on them and this needs to be connected otherwise the Video Card will pull too much Current from the M'Board overheating the Copper Tracks and generally not do any good.

Without a PS Tester you only have the option of trying another Power Supply and see if that makes any difference. If the CPU has taken a hit from something the damage is internal and most times there is no external signs of injury so just looking at the CPU itself isn't really any real test.

However saying that if you look at the M'Board and pay particular attention to the Electrolytic Capacitors they look like little tin cans on their end and check to see if any are bludging or leaking. If they are the M'Board needs replacing and since it's so new it should be covered Under Guarantee. The Sound never working is always a worry as it shows that there is something wrong going on and with these Complicated Electronics you really want everything working properly even if you are not using it.

So to try to whip some semblance of sense into the above remove everything but the CPU from the M'Board and try again. If that doesn't do anything, clear the BIOS and finally try another power supply.

Warning here however if the M'BOARD is toast it could very easily take your Test Power Supply out and destroy it so I always suggest using a Known Good Power Supply and testing it again after you have tested your system if it doesn't work. That way you can see if the M'Board has trashed the Power Supply and I always suggest using a cheap one to do tests like that. After all you don't want to burn up a $300.00 PS just to make sure that the M'Board is toast and has reached Silicon Heaven.


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Oh I meant 24 pin ...

by Matt_forever In reply to Did my motherboard or CPU ...

Opps! I meant 24 pin connector and 4 pin connector. Sometime your mind flies light speed before your fingers especially when you are trying to fix your problem. True, it could still be my power supply. I will have to find a way to get another PSU tonight. I have a personal desktop and I hate to mess it up trying to test the parts on the faulty system. As for as PSUs go, last night I checked my personal computer PSU and it is Antec 350W. I've been running that computer since 2004. It never crashed or burned even hottest days of the summer. It still has original parts, although I have been upgrading and adding additional hardware. For all that, I only have one case fan not like 4 fans on this faulty system. I've overload that home computer whenever I am using it - 3D games, playing HD 1080p movie files, running multiple heavy duty applications at the same time, etc. And the funny thing is my home computer and the computer I built aren't much different at all except for the power supply and motherboard differences - both have AMD processor, same memory size and both have PCI express video cards.

Anyways, I will get back to you with more information today or tomorrow after testing your suggestions.

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Reponse To Answer

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Oh I meant 24 pin ...

Antec PS's are the best I've ever used and I did have one protect the Computer when a tree fell during a storm and brought the High Voltage Transmission Lines into contact with the Mains Voltage Distribution Lines below them That was 11KV coming into contact and feeding the neighbourhood over the 240 V Lines. Sure I had to replace the PS but that was all and it was the only thing that survived that incident in that neighbourhood. Sure the PS was toast but it did what it was designed to do protect the computers internals and it's not something that I expected.

I use a PS Tester from Antec to do routine tests on all PS's as it covers voltage & Current on all Voltage Rails and is an excellent cheap tool.

http://www.antec .com/product.php?id=705143&pid=61
remember to remove the space from between antec and the .com for a working link.

OH and incidently those Antec 350 W PS's produce the same power as most other 850W supplies do and they can do it 100% of the time where as the others can only do it for short bursts and then have to cool down before they can pump out the power again. If you want to know if you have a Great Power Supply pick it up and feel the weight. If it's not as heavy as a Antec it's not worth having. Simple easy test and it's very accurate.


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Reponse To Answer

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Oh I meant 24 pin ...

Try this link it may not be such a issue

http://www.antec .com/pdf/manuals/DigitalPSUTester_Instruction_EN.pdf
remember remove the space from between antec and the .com

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