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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Computer from scratch

    I ordered all the components for a new pc for a colleague. He wanted to put it together. The day after putting it together, he calls me and says it does not work.

    "You did read and follow the instructions?", I say.

    "Yes, exactly.", he says.

    I pick up the assembled parts and take them home. First thing, I pull the processor and heat sink. I find the top of the processor coated with the thermal compound despite the fact that the heat sink came with thermal tape already applied. There is a lot of thermal compound...enough to ooze over the top of the processor and down the side, although does not seem to be enough to get into the processor pins.

    I removed the processor and heat sink. Heat sink comes away with absolutely no adhesion to the processor...thermal tape is coated with the white thermal compound between the sink and the tape, and between the tape and the processor. Cleaned up as best I could with a Q-Tip the excess thermal compound. Reinstalled the processor and heat sink, checked the jumper settings (cleared the bios jumper), checked all cables, cdrom jumpers, hard drive jumpers, restarted, and there is no screen display but the hard drive has this "access" type sound....like the heads are attempting to read, but there is nothing there. Click, Click, Click.

    The system specs of the components are...
    Soyo - SY-P4IS2 motherboard
    P4 1.8, 400FSB, 478 pin
    256m PC133 ram
    WD ATA100 60gig HD

    I have ordered a replacement processor due to a guess that the processor has overheated due the improper installation. Does anyone have any ideas as to whether this is a good guess as to the problem, or might there be another solutiong?

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Computer from scratch

    From what I understand, the system didn't even POST. Correct? I doubt that the processor overheated, although it's certainly possible. That amount of heatsink goo makes me cringe thinking about it. Of course, the concept of that goo is not explained many places and for your future sanity lighter fluid works wonders for removing that crap. I always ditch that overused piece of bubblegum (read: heatsink tape) that comes with a processor/heatsink because it's very ineffective, and then put a teeny little dollop on the core of the processor.

    It would be interesting to know what happened when your colleague first fired it up. Did it complete a successful POST then? Did it do the same thing? I have a sneaking suspicion that you're not being told everything.

    The hard drive clickity-clicking makes me wonder if it isn't that part of the computer that is hosed. Can you find a known working hard drive and plug it in to see what happens? In my experience, hard drives are more prone to failure simply because of the moving parts that they contain.

    HTH - let us know hey?
    -Mark

  3. #3
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    Re: Computer from scratch

    I had a sneaking suspicion that I was not being told everything too. As far as the concept of the goo goes, the instructions do indicate that you should not use the goo if the heatsink already has the tape. With the amount of goo, I could not even tell if the protective cover on the thermal tape had been removed or not.

    The system will do nothing. No video display. Nothing except the incessant hard drive access attempts.

    If I pull the hard drive from my computer I am using now, would there be any kinks/areas that might cause me problems? This hard drive contains much of my LIFE, and I certainly do not want to damage it! It seems to work good!!!

  4. #4
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    Re: Computer from scratch

    One other thing Mark that might be applicable, when I received the PC back, there was no jumper pin for the bios settings. The shunt pin to either clear the bios or retain the settings was not there...simply three prongs with no jump. Had to put a spare in place of the orgininal. Could this somehow have caused the motherboard to quit functioning?

  5. #5
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Computer from scratch

    <hr>I had a sneaking suspicion that I was not being told everything too<hr>
    Yeah, that's a holdover from the days when I was a tech support person. You always wondered, especially when the stories were wild. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> The tape does the job, I suppose, since the object is really to fill in any gaps between the CPU core and the heatsink, creating as smooth a surface as possible. I know in my early days of tinkering with electronics that I was guilty of the same.

    I can't promise you that the hard drive in your PC will not suffer damage, but it's extremely unlikely. The only way that I could even foresee it getting damaged is if a lightning strile hits nearby and fries the whole computer while you're working on it, and if that happens putting your hair out will probably be more important. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> Poke about and see if anyone has an old 1GB drive floating about. I know that I have at least three or four that aren't doing anything but taking up space on my bench but it's a little hard to upload one to the Lounge!!
    -Mark

  6. #6
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    Re: Computer from scratch

    Thanks Mark, I think I have an old 2.1 gig from a leftover eMachines somewhere in the garage. I do not think it is UDMA capable, but I might try it anyway. Thanks.

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Computer from scratch

    Why take a chance at all? Every time I build a machine from scratch, I always do the first POST without any hard drive in the system. Initially, all you want to do is make the MB boot up so you can check the BIOS and know that the thing is booting OK (I still use an old Win98 created, somewhat customized, "DOS" boot disk). You can at least be sure then that the MB and video are working.

  8. #8
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    Re: Computer from scratch

    Tried that Al, no luck. I cannot get the bios to even come up. Cannot get it to read anything in the floppy drive either. For this reason, I thought the processor might not be working....or maybe the motherboard.

    I guess it happens, but I have built 6 pcs with parts from the same company, and so far have never gotten a processor or motherboard that was defective.

  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Computer from scratch

    If I were flipping a coin to choose either processor or motherboard, I'd bet on the motherboard being bad! You know what they say - stuff happens! One of my favorite Intel motherboards that I've used a total of 15 times (SE440BX2), 13 at work and two at home, I had one bad one "out of the box," and one more fail on an attempted BIOS upgrade. Luckily for me, the e-commerce vendor replaced them, no sweat and I didn't even have to wrestle with Intel. Hope YOU have that good luck.

  10. #10
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    Re: Computer from scratch

    Thanks Al...I already ordered another P1.8, so I guess I will wait to see if it works, if not, the vendor has already committed to replacing whichever piece is bad. If it is the motherboard, I'll just keep the spare cpu for the next PC. This is the first Pentium I have done, all the others have been AMD without a hitch! Not that it necessarily means anything.

    My colleague is waiting to hear that he has ruined a perfectly good P4 1.8! Think I will give him the run around for a little while...tell him that when he put the goop all over the processor, it overheated and shorted out the motherboard too. This ought to be good for lots of mileage!

  11. #11
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Computer from scratch

    It could have (the missing jumper). I can't answer it for certain, because each motherboard is different....my last (before the current) didn't even have jumpers, it had solder points that were a pain in the butt to use. My current board requires the jumper to be present. There are a whole host of things that could cause this problem though, from a reversed lead (say from the front panel) on down.

    I did some checking into this on Soyo's website, but came up only with the following:

    The system power-up, no video, no beeping sound heard, but I can hear the CPU fan working.
    <img src=/w3timages/blueline.gif width=33% height=2>
    1. <LI>clear CMOS battery. (JP5 connector, see Quick start guide for more info on how to clear the CMOS)
      <LI>check all the jumper settings on the M/B. (if the M/B have any)
      <LI>check if the CPU is ok by using another CPU (check the Quick start guide for CPU supported or jumper settings on the M/[img]/forums/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img]
      <LI>check if the power supply is ok, should be at least 250 watts
      <LI>make sure the CPU fan is connected to CPUFAN1 connector (for K7 M/B only)
      <LI>remove the M/B from the case and test the system. The M/B might be shorted to the case.
    -Mark

  12. #12
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    Re: Computer from scratch

    Thanks Mark, tried all of the above, with the exception of swapping the CPU (until it arrives). There is another jumper on the board which I can find no documentation about, JP4. It has two points, but the connector is only on one point and the other side of the connector is hanging into empty space. I was a bit leery of jumping the points until I was sure what the purpose of the JP4 is. Any ideas?

  13. #13
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    Re: Computer from scratch

    Are you getting any beeping at all?

    Have you tried a different monitor, since you can NOT see any thing, is it working?

    We had a new machine that would NOT display anything until it got ito Windows 2000. We had a old monitor connected to a new ATI 128 super duper card. Once it was connected to a newer monitor, we could then get into the BIOS and etc.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  14. #14
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    Re: Computer from scratch

    There is no beeping at all.

    This MB did not have onboard video, so it has a new PCI card (VisonTek Xtasy).

    Switched monitors with a definite good one and that did not work either.

  15. #15
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    Maybe there is hope

    Called the guy that put the parts in and asked if it ever beeped. Yes it did at first. Turns out that he let a "computer expert friend" look at the pc. Well, the computer expert solved the beeping by putting the wrong RAM in it. I put the PC133 I ordered for it back in and it is beeping (long beeps) again. At least this is a start....

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