Sterling's Tech Questions

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by Sterling, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Sterling
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    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    Okay, since I always have a lot of issues I troubleshoot, I guess I'm going to make a central thread. There's a few troublesome computers here in the shop from time to time, and if I've hit a wall, I'll post (lol) here.

    Right now, I have a customer built computer in the shop. Unfortunately, it will not boot, and it definitely doesn't post. I've eliminated the usual suspects. The power supply is sufficient, and works properly. The motherboard is brand new, and correctly installed with no erroneous contact shorts. The video card, while it is unknown good, has been replaced with a known good card. Still no output.

    I pulled the Athlon II (I think it's quad core) processor to check for obvious issues (bent or missing pins, incorrect installation, etc). It was incorrectly installed when I inspected it (no bent pins). The locking lever had been thrown before the processor had been installed. A simple re-seat was all that was required. I don't know if that itself caused damage, but it's installed correctly now and no change.

    This is the motherboard. This is his video card. This is the memory.

    The mobo reviews say that the board does have issues with RAM. Unfortunately, I'm having trouble accessing the QVL from ASUS, plus I'm not getting any beep codes.

    Let me know if you guys need any more info.
     
  2. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Honk!

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    I forgot
    Do the fans spin up at all?

    Do you have any AM3+ CPUs lying around you could test in the motherboard? It's possible incorrectly seating the CPU could cause the motherboard to fail. If you don't have any CPUs around, how about another motherboard to test the CPU?
     
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  3. Sterling
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    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    Yeah, fans spin up normally.
     
  4. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Honk!

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    I forgot
    I assume you've tried booting without the RAM to test if any beep codes sound? If not, try it. If no beep codes sound, then it would be the motherboard that's the problem.
     
  5. Sterling
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    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    Yeah, I haven't done that yet. This would be the second mobo too.

    EDIT: No beeps, but then again, it doesn't have an integrated speaker, so the speaker might be bad.

    EDIT2: Can't tell if it's the speaker or not, and I don't have another one to test. Better figure out which computer i can shut off right quick.

    EDIT3: Speaker is bad, but it can still produce sound in another computer with the RAM out. Must be the motherboard again.
     
  6. Sterling
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    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    I just now saw this addendum. Unfortunately, I do not have any compatible motherboards lying about, nor do I have any compatible processors I can test in the socket. Here's a tad more information. The way the processor was seated, the customer had thrown the locking lever before inserting the CPU. It never made proper contact for sure, and he had attached the heat sink afterward. I think it's the CPU. The heat sink could have put the processor under physical stress, causing it to fail. I should have pulled the processor before the customer RMA'd the motherboard, because it could have been damaged when the customer installed the hardware on that one too.

    This wouldalso prevent it from POSTing. My manager told me that the mobo had also been incorrectly installed, so at this point the problem could be with both of these components.
     
  7. gman666

    gman666 Cubicle Expert

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    Did the customer change any bios settings? Try clearing the cmos on the board. Is the cpu fan connected to the board properly? Has the customer been able to boot the system at any time?
     
  8. Sterling
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    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    Nope, did nothing, yes, nope, nor have we been able to get it to boot ourselves. The customer has also visited another repair shop before us. They kept the machine for over three months and ended up breaking his power button (which they ordered a new one, and never installed it). I guess these people could have also ruined something as well.
     
  9. gman666

    gman666 Cubicle Expert

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    Hmm I'm guessing the faulty cpu install was part of the problem. Other than that it could be a DOA motherboard. I guess I'm just restating what you've covered. The customer is just unlucky.
     
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  10. Sterling
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    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    Very unlucky, though reading the reviews for the mobo, there's quite a few people who have gotten DOA hardware.

    EDIT: Oh, and the last power supply was faulty and giving out improper voltages, despite everything spinning up properly.
     
  11. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    Sounds familiar... kinda like a PC I dealt with a year back (nearly everything had died in it, and by replacing each piece step by step I discovered only the RAM was good - PSU, CPU, mobo, graphics and HDD had all died within a month of purchase).
    Write-off?
     
  12. Sterling
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    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    Something new happened today.

    Had a custom desktop computer come last Saturday. The customer wanted to have 8.1 Installed on it, so I put it on the bench this morning to get it started. No video. Okay, doesn't bother me that much. The KVM I had it hooked up to has a very finicky video habit, so I tried it again. Still nothing. Tried a different cord. Nope. Switched it over to DVI and still nope.

    By this time, I'm getting frustrated. The only way I have to cut the power is the on-off switch, and the power supply, and I have a bad case of diarrhea. My morning is not going well.

    So, I lay off the computer for a few moments and move to another one. After finishing up another service, I head back to this other piece of shit, and guess what? Now the little bastard won't even turn on. The piece of shit has literally died on the bench. Power supply is still good. It isn't the power cable. No bulging capacitors on the motherboard... what the actual fuck?

    Any ideas? I really don't want to have to tell the customer his machine kicked the bucket while in my care. My boss might just kill me, or worse.
     
  13. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    Reset CMOS. Sometimes faulty BIOS can do what you are describing.
     
  14. Sterling
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    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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  15. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    Simplest way to reset CMOS is simply pull out the battery and wait for 15 minutes.

    While it is out, check the battery to see if it is dead.
     
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  16. Sterling
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    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    Alright, I'll give that a shot.

    EDIT: Nope, that didn't help. :/
     
  17. Celice

    Celice GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    It's starting to sound like there should be some generic host machine where you can plug in the different parts and if something's died on you or not D: Sorry man, but at least you had the first experience of no video. At worst, it's always possible the customer brought in a messed up machine under the Win 8.1 excuse to see if they could manage something outta the business :/
     
  18. Sterling
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    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    I really hope that isn't the case. I don't want to have to deal with crap like that this week. >.> I'm all alone in the shop, and the pressure is starting to get to me.

    The shop I work at is really small. I wish I had a adaptable host machine, I really do. Plus, I'm exceptionally inexperienced, and don't yet have my tech balls.
     
  19. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    The last time I saw a desktop "die on the bench", the only thing that got it to power up again was a strip down to the basic parts (MoBo, CPU, 1 stick of RAM, nothing else) to see if it turns on again. If it does, then add parts bit by bit until it stops working.

    Turned out the USB was shorting out the southbridge if that makes any sense to you. All I know is that the intuitive approach ended up trying some weird mojo that somehow got the damned thing working again.
     
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  20. Sterling
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    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    Okay, I'll give it a shot. The guy says it wasn't even POSTing when he brought it in, but I could have sworn I heard a beep. Anyway, it seems like the best solution will be for me to get it at least running again (if possible, and just tell him to build a new one for Windows 8). I think he conveniently forgot to tell me that it was malfunctioning in order to avoid our diagnostic fee, so I won't be spending too much more time on it.