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  1. #1
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    System will not start

    I am working on a system with a 500 MHZ Celeron processor, 96 MB RAM, a 6.4 GB hard drive. When I turn on the power, the CD Drive light comes on but then nothing more happens. No POST beep - no beeps at all. The POWER light is on. The system just "sits there". Could the mother board be dead? I have checked all the connections and they seem fine. Where do I start?

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: System will not start

    It could be. Remove everything except for one stick of memory and the video card, and see if you can get it to boot there. Any POST messages that you see would be helpful, if you're seeing any at all - and also double check to make sure that all connections are firmly seated on the board as well.

    Also, if that doesn't work, try swapping memory slots to see if one of the DIMM slots is bad. If you have an alternate video card to test with, or if it's a PCI card (as opposed to AGP, which has only one possible slot) try moving it to see if you get a response.
    -Mark

  3. #3
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    Re: System will not start

    I had the same problem on a dell system a while back. After beating my head against the problem for hours, I came to find out that the hard drive was causing the failure.

    First of all, disconnect ALL POWER to the system and let it sit for a good 30 seconds. This *might* untrip whatever's causing the problem, at least, we hope so... <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    Next, (if that didn't work...) make sure that your monitor is properly connected, etc, then try disconnecting the cables to all the drives. (power cables can remain attached, just remove the connectors that attach the drives to the motherboard. )

    Any number of things can be causing a short in the system, after disconnecting all drives, try removing the keyboard connector, floppy drive, etc. until you get some reaction from the box. If all this fails, I would suspect the motherboard, but see about trying different components in a system of the same type, if possible.

    Aside from this, your guess is as good as mine. It's hard to diagnose the problem without getting into the electronics of the motherboard. You might consider taking the box into a professional to see if they can root out the cause of the problem.

    HTH
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  4. #4
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    Re: System will not start

    Hi Mark,
    Removed everything except the video card (which is an AGP) and one memory stick. Alternated the memory stick through the 3 slots. All to no avail. I get no messages, no beeps, nothing. As I recall, this system had a problem with its RAM memory. The guy who owns it tried to put in an extra 64 MB but the system would not recognize it. Finally, a repair shop was able to get the second stick recognized but said one of the slots was defective.

    The mother board is a ECS Slot 1 Socket 370 model P6BAT-A+. How much would a replacement cost and where would I find one. Keep in mind that the processor is a Celeron 500 MHZ.

    The friend who owns this has had problems from day one.

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    Re: System will not start

    Hi Kel,
    Tried everything you suggested to no avail. Also tried Mark's suggestions - again no success. I would not be opposed to getting a replacement motherboard if it was not too expensive. The current board is an ECS Slot 1 Socket 370, model PCBAT-A+.

    The only experience I have with mother boards is removing one from my DELL and installing a replacement DELL sent to me. The instructions were very precise. But, as I said, I would be willing to give it a try. Can you direct me to some sites with good directions?

    Thanks for your help.

  6. #6
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    Re: System will not start

    Replacing the motherboard isn't as hard as one might think, the only concern is to make sure you ground yourself out before touching anything.

    As far as a replacement goes, sounds to me like you really need to find a good used hardware outlet. A solid used place should be able to provide you all the parts you need for all the systems you work on. I can't say I have any good sources, but call around, even long distance if you have to. A quick search for the model you specified yeilded very little results, but I did see one on eBid going for
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  7. #7
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    Re: System will not start

    I do not recommend used motherboards. www.directron.com, www.accessmicro.com both have good prices. You should also check out TomsHardware.com and do a price search.

  8. #8
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    Re: System will not start

    Of course, there are huge benefits for buying new hardware, but if you can get a somewhat decent warranty on a used board to cheaply fix a problem.. why not? <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    Personally, I don't have the <img src=/S/money.gif border=0 alt=money width=17 height=15> to fork over for a new board, so I'd go the used route. In most cases, the motherboard is fine, but may have been discarded due to other problems with the system. If the parts dealer is reputable, he has checked over everything to make sure the new Mobo won't fry your components when you put it in. Even new boards are risky in that respect, you never know when a joint broke loose shorting out the entire thing before you put it in.

    An important note here though, if you're not comfortable replacing a motherboard on your own, Don't Do It. Take it to a professional. That way when they turn it on and fry your entire system, they're liable. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
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  9. #9
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    Re: System will not start

    Try clearing the BIOS. You know, move that jumper on the motherboard. It should be marked and is usually near the battery or the BIOS chip. It's worked for me in the past. Good luck.

  10. #10
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    Re: System will not start

    I agree with Kent re: directron.com. It has some good pricing and an all around good site. I have used them a number of times and recommend them. They also have a spot where you can download specific instructions such as installing a motherboard or HD, etc, if you feel you need them.
    Good luck,
    Bob
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  11. #11
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    Re: System will not start

    Just a quick update - I obtained a used replacement motherboard (from one of our contributors at Woody's who sent me a private message offering a used board for a reasonable price.) In any event, it arrived today - I pulled the old one out and installed the new one. All is working just fine. The AGP video card I had would not work in the replacement board but I had an extra PCI video card which works fine. I also had to install a sound card as the replacement board did not have an onboard card. But the good news is that the system is up and running. Thanks to everyone for their help.

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