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  1. #1
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    My computer died and won't restart

    I have a home-built microATX rig I use for my office. The MoBo is an ASRock 960GM/U3S3 FX 95W Socket AM3+ AMD 760G + SB710 2 x SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with integrated video, and the CPU is an AMD FX-6300 Vishera 6-Core 3.5 GHz (4.1 GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 95W Desktop Processor, installed in an APEVIA X-QPACK2-NW-BK/500 MicroATX Desktop Computer Case, which came with a 500W power supply.

    Last week the unit died (went dark), and the PSU had a "burnt" smell. I replaced the PSU with a Thermaltake 430W unit, which should be powerful enough, and reconnected all the connections (I believe). On testing the old PSU with an Antec tester, it was, indeed, gone to the great beyond.

    I powered up the unit, and all fans work (including the CPU fan), and temps read out on the front panel display. However, I'm not getting any output to the monitor, nor indication of HD activity or POST beep. I PRESUME if the HDs were at fault or not being accessed, I'd still get a BIOS display or the proprietary startup screen, but no such luck. I checked the new PSU with the Antec tester and all rails are greenlighted. I'm unclear if this indicates a problem with the MoBo or with the CPU - remember, the original problem was simply a blown PSU.

    I'd appreciate any suggestions as to what to do next. I'm at the point of disassembling the computer and reassembling it from scratch, in case I've missed a connection somehow, but this would be futile if a component (MoBo or CPU) were faulty. I have NOT moved any jumpers, headers, etc., only the 24-pin MoBo power plug, 4-pin ATX power plug and the (damn) 4-pin power plugs.

    Any & all help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    Zig

  2. #2
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    I suspect the power supply took the mobo with it to silicon heaven.
    I wouldn't trust anything on the mobo after a blow up and you need to test all the peripherals on another system before putting them back in with a new mobo.

    I see you can still get that mobo so if the disks are OK you may be able to just fire it up.
    Do you have backup software that performs a bare metal restore? If so you can recover your system, otherwise you may have to re-install if you change the mobo type.

    cheers, Paul

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  4. #3
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    Paul,

    Thanks very much for your input; I'm going to wait a few days before jumping to a new MoBo, to see if other options are suggested (though I doubt many have as much experience as you). One thing that rankles me is the idea of paying $120 for a $60 MoBo. Since my system is backed up with EaseUS 4.002, which DOES offer "restore to dissimilar hardware," I wonder if I'd be better off going with the GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-USB3 (rev. 6.0) AM3+ AMD 760G + SB710 USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard, for about $50-60. It doesn't have SATA 6GB/s, but I'm not really a power user. ?Might the build quality be better? I realize I'm probably setting myself up for a phone call to Windows Activation, but they've been reasonable in the past. Awaiting your thoughts.

    Thanks again,
    Zig

  5. #4
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zig View Post
    ...I'm not getting any output to the monitor, nor indication of HD activity or POST beep...
    You could try resetting the BIOS/UEFI (I have seen this problem w/ many PCs, especially after mains power surges). Use the following steps to load the backup copy of the BIOS/UEFI:

    1. Unplug the mains power cord from the power supply unit (leave the cord disconnected during steps 2. through 4.).

    2. Remove the CMOS battery from the motherboard.

    3. Use a suitable screwdriver (or some other suitable metal object) to short out the +/- contacts in the CMOS battery holder.

    4. While the +/- contacts are shorted, press and release the PCs power-on switch 8 to 10 times (uses residual power stored in the motherboard's capacitors to force the motherboard to load the backup copy of the BIOS/UEFI and resets the CMOS settings to defaults).

    5. Refit the CMOS battery and plug the mains power cord back in to the power supply unit.

    6. Power on.

    If you now have video, you will need to adjust the BIOS/UEFI settings (date, etc.). If you do not have video, then the motherboard is probably dead.

    Note: this procedure relies on residual power stored in the motherboard's capacitors, so it is important to perform each step as quickly as possible especially after removing the mains power lead and the CMOS battery.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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    AMD FX8120 (8-core @ 3.1GHz) CPU, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-D3 motherboard, 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1866MHz RAM, ATI-AMD Radeon HD6770 PCI-E VGA, 480GB Kingston SSD, 2TB Seagate SATA3.0 HDD, ASUS DVD/RW.

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  7. #5
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    Coochin,

    That's certainly worth a try before buying a new MoBo. I have a jumper setting that will "clear CMOS" - for some reason it's called the "clear CMOS jumper" - won't that accomplish the same thing??

    Thanks,
    Zig
    Last edited by Zig; 2015-12-13 at 19:38.

  8. #6
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zig View Post
    ...I have a jumper setting that will "clear CMOS" - for some reason it's called the "clear CMOS jumper" - won't that accomplish the same thing??...
    AFAIK the "clear CMOS" jumper resets the BIOS/UEFI settings to defaults but doesn't necessarily force loading the backup copy of the BIOS/UEFI. I have had a number of cases when using the "clear CMOS" jumper didn't help but the procedure in my #4 post did.

    Certainly would make sense to try the "clear CMOS" jumper first.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
    AMD FX8120 (8-core @ 3.1GHz) CPU, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-D3 motherboard, 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1866MHz RAM, ATI-AMD Radeon HD6770 PCI-E VGA, 480GB Kingston SSD, 2TB Seagate SATA3.0 HDD, ASUS DVD/RW.

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  10. #7
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    However the specs for that MB does not seem to have a backup BIOS!
    Useful info though!
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  11. #8
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    I would also disconnect everything except for one memory board and the video card. It wouldn't hurt to double check the power connections as well.

    Jerry

  12. #9
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    It wouldn't hurt to use a better PSU either.

  13. #10
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    Well, I tried the jumper reset, but no go. The power needs calculate out to under 300W, so I doubt the 430W PSU is the issue. Will try with one RAM stick, then the other, soon (video is integrated). I've quadruple-checked all the connections - I presume the important ones are the 24-pin MoBo power, the 4-pin ATX power and the CPU fan power, and these are all fine. Any further suggestions appreciated.

    Zig

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    If you try it with both RAM sticks removed you should get some sort of memory error - either beeps or flashing lights, but if you don't then that usually points to a goosed mobo.

    You may also want to check to see if any of the capacitor cans have swollen tops which is a sign of their failure.

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    Sadly, it could be the CPU instead of or as well as the mobo. I had one recently where the CPU died after stress. You might have to make an intuitive guess about which to replace first. Presumably you've unplugged all peripherals - HDD etc. Good luck!

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    Sadly, it could be the CPU instead of or as well as the mobo.
    That was the main reason I started this thread; the majority seem to favor the MoBo. HDD are NOT unplugged - do others think they should be??
    Capacitors were checked first thing, and none are obviously swollen, though some are a little "fuller" than others.
    Sudo's idea about running with no memory is interesting.
    Still trying to figure this thing out, but will have to pull the trigger on a new MoBo, I'm afraid.

    Zig

  17. #14
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    Disconnect all peripherals except the monitor and take all the memory out. If you still get nothing it's mobo / CPU - I would replace both because you can't independently test the CPU without endangering the new mobo.

    cheers, Paul

  18. #15
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    A good basic trouble shooting scheme takes everything off the MB that isn't needed and start from that. In my many years I've only seen one bad CPU and that resulted in very aggressive overclocking. Not saying it doesn't happen but not the first thing I'd look at. The PSU is always almost the first thing that takes a hit and for good reason as it can work as a fuse less the spike comes in via USB or Ethernet. Usually easy to replace and not as expensive as other parts. If you have a video card you might try that in place of the built-in video. So all but one stick of memory, CPU, PSU, keyboard, and mouse connected and see if you get any display at all. Forget HDs or any other component. Just looking for signs of life right now. If you get any then start adding memory, HDs, and so on. If not you have a guess to make, CPU or MB, maybe both? Then it's a matter of guessing short of having a compatible MB you can test the CPU in. Can you even boot into the BIOS setup screen? If I had to guess from past experiences I'd guess the MB but also realize the CPU could be toast as well. Was this after a storm, were there any electrical surges, power losses?

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