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PSU kills bios!?



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 29th 03, 10:18 PM
Michael
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Posts: n/a
Default PSU kills bios!?

I've have some weird problems with my computer:

A couple of weeks ago my computer wouldn't start up. (black screen, no
beeps, no keyboard lights, but sound of fans and harddrives). After turning
it off/on a couple of times, it worked. This problem reoccured a couple of
times but suddenly I can't get it to start up at all.

I removed everything so only the motherboard (Asus A7V-E, Socket A, KT133),
PSU (300W), RAM (256 MB sdram), video card + monitor and one hd was left.
The pc-speaker and power switch was still connected. When I turn on the psu
and hit the power-switch the fans starts spinning and the hd starts. No
beeps, no video signal.

I then removed everything one by one, but still no beeps (the pc-speaker has
been tested and does work) or any change in reaction from mobo when
power-on. Even removing the mobo battery and/or the cpu doesn't change a
thing (if hd is connected it still powers-up) I have checked the voltages
from the psu after I turned on the power and the mobo gets 3.3V, +5V, -5V,
+12V, -12V and "Power good"(5V) from psu as described in the mobo manual.

My conclusion: the bios is dead and that's why I doesn't get any error-beeps
or video signal - the "power on self test" (POST) does not occur.

I then bought the cheapest compatible mobo I could find (ECS K7S5A Pro),
which could replace my Asus. Now the computer booted but it rebooted when
Win XP tried to start. I tried to change a couple of things in bios setup
and even tried to reset bios, both by taking out the battery and by using
the bios reset jumper. No change - Win XP still wouldn't start. In the
process of rebooting and trying to get the computer to work, it suddenly
wouldn't boot at all!

Exactly the same problem as befo the bios is dead (I assume that is the
problem)

I don't think the CPU (AMD Athlon 1000MHz) is the problem, because it worked
in the beginning with the new ESC mobo.

But why does my bios die when using two different mobos? Could it be my PSU
that (after some time) kills the bios??

I guess I have to buy a third mobo and a new PSU and then if everything
works, I have to try if I can kill the bios again with my old PSU.

Please write if you have any ideas of how I can solve this!!!

--
Regards
Michael Stoltenborg


  #2  
Old September 30th 03, 12:05 AM
kony
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Mon, 29 Sep 2003 23:18:12 +0200, "Michael"
wrote:

I've have some weird problems with my computer:

A couple of weeks ago my computer wouldn't start up. (black screen, no
beeps, no keyboard lights, but sound of fans and harddrives). After turning
it off/on a couple of times, it worked. This problem reoccured a couple of
times but suddenly I can't get it to start up at all.

I removed everything so only the motherboard (Asus A7V-E, Socket A, KT133),
PSU (300W), RAM (256 MB sdram), video card + monitor and one hd was left.
The pc-speaker and power switch was still connected. When I turn on the psu
and hit the power-switch the fans starts spinning and the hd starts. No
beeps, no video signal.

I then removed everything one by one, but still no beeps (the pc-speaker has
been tested and does work) or any change in reaction from mobo when
power-on. Even removing the mobo battery and/or the cpu doesn't change a
thing (if hd is connected it still powers-up) I have checked the voltages
from the psu after I turned on the power and the mobo gets 3.3V, +5V, -5V,
+12V, -12V and "Power good"(5V) from psu as described in the mobo manual.


Power supply failure can introduce power instability that while still
giving a reasonable voltage reading.

My conclusion: the bios is dead and that's why I doesn't get any error-beeps
or video signal - the "power on self test" (POST) does not occur.


Very unlikely. Of all the failure modes the BIOS isn't a common one,
and not likely here either. Probably motherboard or power supply,
though any component with a problem could prevent the POST.


I then bought the cheapest compatible mobo I could find (ECS K7S5A Pro),
which could replace my Asus. Now the computer booted but it rebooted when
Win XP tried to start. I tried to change a couple of things in bios setup
and even tried to reset bios, both by taking out the battery and by using
the bios reset jumper. No change - Win XP still wouldn't start. In the
process of rebooting and trying to get the computer to work, it suddenly
wouldn't boot at all!


What exactly do you mean? It won't POST at all?
I suspect the power supply.


Exactly the same problem as befo the bios is dead (I assume that is the
problem)


Again, not likely. You are jumping to a conclusion not supported by
evidence. The easiest way to check the BIOS chip would be to remove
it (if possible) and try reading it in another (device). The odds of
the problem being the BIOS chip are so slight that I don't feel it's
even worth checking or considering at this point.

I don't think the CPU (AMD Athlon 1000MHz) is the problem, because it worked
in the beginning with the new ESC mobo.

But why does my bios die when using two different mobos? Could it be my PSU
that (after some time) kills the bios??


Not likely. It might kill the REST of the motherboard, but most
likely it's just the power supply that died, your first motherboard is
probably fine. Due to variations in motherboard design and power
usage, a failing, borderline power supply might not work at all on one
board then barely work on another... since your power supply had
apparently, recently reached this borderline state which prompted the
replacement motherboard, it's even more likely.

I guess I have to buy a third mobo and a new PSU and then if everything
works, I have to try if I can kill the bios again with my old PSU.

Please write if you have any ideas of how I can solve this!!!


I would try to get my hands on another power supply.. borrow one if
you can. It's quite possible that the first motherboard works fine
still, that you don't need the new one and might see if it can be
returned.

You never mentioned the make/model of power supply.


Dave
  #3  
Old September 30th 03, 06:47 AM
Michael
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Power supply failure can introduce power instability that while still
giving a reasonable voltage reading.

My conclusion: the bios is dead and that's why I doesn't get any

error-beeps
or video signal - the "power on self test" (POST) does not occur.


Very unlikely. Of all the failure modes the BIOS isn't a common one,
and not likely here either. Probably motherboard or power supply,
though any component with a problem could prevent the POST.


But even if it is not the bios that is the problem, it still seems like
something permanent is broken on the motherboards. The new mobo worked in
the beginning and now is has the exact same problem as the old one.

I would try to get my hands on another power supply.. borrow one if
you can. It's quite possible that the first motherboard works fine
still, that you don't need the new one and might see if it can be
returned.


I will try to borrow a psu tonight and try both mobos. The new motherboard
can be returned within 14 days so that is not a problem.

You never mentioned the make/model of power supply.


It's a Silent Systems Q-Tech 300W ATX, almost 2 years old.

--
Michael


  #4  
Old September 30th 03, 03:59 PM
do_not_spam_me
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

"Michael" wrote in message ...

A couple of weeks ago my computer wouldn't start up. (black screen,
no beeps, no keyboard lights, but sound of fans and harddrives).
After turning it off/on a couple of times, it worked. This problem
reoccured a couple of times but suddenly I can't get it to start up
at all.


I have checked the voltages from the psu after I turned on the
power and the mobo gets 3.3V, +5V, -5V, +12V


My conclusion: the bios is dead


I then bought the cheapest compatible mobo I could find (ECS K7S5A
Pro), which could replace my Asus. Now the computer booted but it
rebooted when Win XP tried to start.
In the process of rebooting and trying to get the computer to work,
it suddenly wouldn't boot at all!

Exactly the same problem as befo the bios is dead (I assume that
is the problem)

I don't think the CPU (AMD Athlon 1000MHz) is the problem, because
it worked in the beginning with the new ESC mobo.


I can understand 1 BIOS failing but 2? Unlikely. And with many
motherboards the keyboard lights will blink even without a valid BIOS
or even without a CPU installed. You need to look at what changed and
what didn't change with the two motherboards: CPU, memory, keyboard,
power supply, and you. The first three things didn't burn up with the
Asus so I doubt they burned up with the ECS. It's possible that you
damaged both motherboards with static in the process of trying to get
them to work, but I somehow doubt that, too. And if you have a
halfway decent 300W power supply (large OEM, like Delta, Astec,
Newton, or quality brand, like Antec, Fortron/Sparkle and not absolute
garbage, like Deer, Q-Tec, Achieve, or A+GPB) it should be good
enough, unless it's developed a fault, such as a burnt resistor or
worn electrolytic capacitor.

Just how did you measure the voltages? They have to be checked with
an accurate meter (about any digtal meter) and under realistic load
(working motherboard will do).
  #5  
Old September 30th 03, 05:10 PM
Michael
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Just how did you measure the voltages? They have to be checked with
an accurate meter (about any digtal meter) and under realistic load
(working motherboard will do).


I used a digital multimeter to detect the voltages at the 16 (i power pins
on the back of the motherboard when the mobo was turned on (only cpu
connected). But I guess the psu still could be unstable even if the voltages
seems to be ok, as someone else has mentioned.

One of my friends came up with an idea, that it could be an evil virus that
has infected both my bios's. Is that possible?? I mean a virus that makes my
computer unable to boot? It would explain that the computer works for some
time before it suddenly stops working (it worked fine for 1 year with the
asus board, and I was able to boot with the new motherboard for about an
hour)

--
Michael


  #6  
Old September 30th 03, 08:29 PM
Arge
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Hi Michael

I had the same problem (actually twice), and it was the video card. I am
using a PNY TI-4200. They replaced it once and just sent the replacement
back yesterday.

Bob
"Michael" wrote in message
...
I've have some weird problems with my computer:

A couple of weeks ago my computer wouldn't start up. (black screen, no
beeps, no keyboard lights, but sound of fans and harddrives). After

turning
it off/on a couple of times, it worked. This problem reoccured a couple of
times but suddenly I can't get it to start up at all.

I removed everything so only the motherboard (Asus A7V-E, Socket A,

KT133),
PSU (300W), RAM (256 MB sdram), video card + monitor and one hd was left.
The pc-speaker and power switch was still connected. When I turn on the

psu
and hit the power-switch the fans starts spinning and the hd starts. No
beeps, no video signal.

I then removed everything one by one, but still no beeps (the pc-speaker

has
been tested and does work) or any change in reaction from mobo when
power-on. Even removing the mobo battery and/or the cpu doesn't change a
thing (if hd is connected it still powers-up) I have checked the voltages
from the psu after I turned on the power and the mobo gets 3.3V, +5V, -5V,
+12V, -12V and "Power good"(5V) from psu as described in the mobo manual.

My conclusion: the bios is dead and that's why I doesn't get any

error-beeps
or video signal - the "power on self test" (POST) does not occur.

I then bought the cheapest compatible mobo I could find (ECS K7S5A Pro),
which could replace my Asus. Now the computer booted but it rebooted when
Win XP tried to start. I tried to change a couple of things in bios setup
and even tried to reset bios, both by taking out the battery and by using
the bios reset jumper. No change - Win XP still wouldn't start. In the
process of rebooting and trying to get the computer to work, it suddenly
wouldn't boot at all!

Exactly the same problem as befo the bios is dead (I assume that is the
problem)

I don't think the CPU (AMD Athlon 1000MHz) is the problem, because it

worked
in the beginning with the new ESC mobo.

But why does my bios die when using two different mobos? Could it be my

PSU
that (after some time) kills the bios??

I guess I have to buy a third mobo and a new PSU and then if everything
works, I have to try if I can kill the bios again with my old PSU.

Please write if you have any ideas of how I can solve this!!!

--
Regards
Michael Stoltenborg




  #7  
Old October 1st 03, 06:41 AM
kony
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 18:10:31 +0200, "Michael"
wrote:

Just how did you measure the voltages? They have to be checked with
an accurate meter (about any digtal meter) and under realistic load
(working motherboard will do).


I used a digital multimeter to detect the voltages at the 16 (i power pins
on the back of the motherboard when the mobo was turned on (only cpu
connected). But I guess the psu still could be unstable even if the voltages
seems to be ok, as someone else has mentioned.

One of my friends came up with an idea, that it could be an evil virus that
has infected both my bios's. Is that possible?? I mean a virus that makes my
computer unable to boot? It would explain that the computer works for some
time before it suddenly stops working (it worked fine for 1 year with the
asus board, and I was able to boot with the new motherboard for about an
hour)


Evil viri?

Odds are it isn't the BIOS, by any method. Now of course you could be
the first person to ever have this happen, or a wicked wife that
slides around on the carpet and zaps your stuff, but I would focus on
the most likely problems first, uhh, unless you CATCH the wife doing
it ;-)
  #8  
Old October 1st 03, 06:44 AM
kony
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 07:47:19 +0200, "Michael"
wrote:

Power supply failure can introduce power instability that while still
giving a reasonable voltage reading.

My conclusion: the bios is dead and that's why I doesn't get any

error-beeps
or video signal - the "power on self test" (POST) does not occur.


Very unlikely. Of all the failure modes the BIOS isn't a common one,
and not likely here either. Probably motherboard or power supply,
though any component with a problem could prevent the POST.


But even if it is not the bios that is the problem, it still seems like
something permanent is broken on the motherboards. The new mobo worked in
the beginning and now is has the exact same problem as the old one.


We don't know yet that the motherboards have any problem whatsoever,
at least not from the testing you've told us about. Both boards could
be working 100% but the power supply is bad. That is most likely
since the 2nd board is brand-new but not DOA. However, certainly the
worst-case scenario would be that the power supply is killing boards,
but again I don't think it's the BIOS that's being killed.

Consider that perhaps the new board used different voltage rails for
some functions, or simply that it's got fresh capacitors and a
slightly better operation due to that... If the old board had
progressed from working to not working, solely because the power
supply was degrading gradually, then this new board BARELY worked when
you first tried it, but as the power supply further degrades even the
new board won't work... you could easily have two good motherboards
there, only a bad power supply.

I would try to get my hands on another power supply.. borrow one if
you can. It's quite possible that the first motherboard works fine
still, that you don't need the new one and might see if it can be
returned.


I will try to borrow a psu tonight and try both mobos. The new motherboard
can be returned within 14 days so that is not a problem.


While you have the old power supply removed, after it's sat for an
hour, open it up, inspect it, particularly the capacitors around the
output wiring harness and the diodes, resistors.

Also if it has a sleeve-bearing fan, now might be a good time to oil
it (if you hadn't done so already, and if the power supply isn't the
problem.).



You never mentioned the make/model of power supply.


It's a Silent Systems Q-Tech 300W ATX, almost 2 years old.


It's a mid-to-low end power supply, so if it really ran silent, that
is that it had low-airflow, it's probably dead because of that.
There's no free lunch when it comes to silence, 2 years is a
reasonable lifespan for a power supply that ran too hot. For a silent
power supply to be good it has to have oversized heatsinks and be
built to a similar design as higher-wattage power supplies, so it's
essentially running far under capacity.

If possible you might also try underclocking the system, see if that
helps. Along the same line of thought (reducing power usage), keep
the system stripped down to minimal, essential parts, and swap in a
different video card if the current card is high-performance.
Minimal parts would include CPU, 1 memory module, CPU fan, video
card.... nothing else is needed to test post. Then progressively add
back parts, like keyboard, mouse, and one drive (HDD) to run windows
testing IF it works underclocked.

If I were guessing though, I'd guess it's a capacitor in the power
supply.


Dave


  #9  
Old October 1st 03, 06:53 AM
Michael
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I had the same problem (actually twice), and it was the video card. I am
using a PNY TI-4200. They replaced it once and just sent the replacement
back yesterday.


I've tried with two video-cards on both the motherboards and it didn't help


But thanks anyway...

--
m


  #10  
Old October 1st 03, 07:02 AM
Michael
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

We don't know yet that the motherboards have any problem whatsoever,
at least not from the testing you've told us about. Both boards could
be working 100% but the power supply is bad. That is most likely
since the 2nd board is brand-new but not DOA. However, certainly the
worst-case scenario would be that the power supply is killing boards,
but again I don't think it's the BIOS that's being killed.


Now, I have tried with a power supply from another computer and still same
(or none) results. The setup was again motherboard with CPU (always with
fan), one RAM block, video card (tried two different), one harddrive.

Consider that perhaps the new board used different voltage rails for
some functions, or simply that it's got fresh capacitors and a
slightly better operation due to that... If the old board had
progressed from working to not working, solely because the power
supply was degrading gradually, then this new board BARELY worked when
you first tried it, but as the power supply further degrades even the
new board won't work... you could easily have two good motherboards
there, only a bad power supply.


Well, it still seems like something is wrong with the motherboards, but
maybe caused by the bad power supply in the first case. Today I'm returning
my new motherboard and will hopefulle get another new one. I will then
borrow a power supply and see if I can everything to run.

It's a Silent Systems Q-Tech 300W ATX, almost 2 years old.

It's a mid-to-low end power supply, so if it really ran silent, that
is that it had low-airflow, it's probably dead because of that.
There's no free lunch when it comes to silence, 2 years is a
reasonable lifespan for a power supply that ran too hot. For a silent
power supply to be good it has to have oversized heatsinks and be
built to a similar design as higher-wattage power supplies, so it's
essentially running far under capacity.


Hmm. I thought it was ok, because it was twice as expensive as a normal
cheap one. If it is the power supply, which is causing these problems, then
I guess I have to invest in a new one. Any good suggestions?? (not too
expensive, I would rather live with some noise at my current economical
situation).

--
M


 




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