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Help Pleaseeeeeeee Big jump forward

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by sapper, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. sapper

    sapper
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    Please Help.

    I have ordered and assembled the following components into what will become a home Theatre/Media Box!

    Item: A7N8X-E Deluxe SKTA NVNorce2ST ATX 8xAGP Giga LAN, SATA, Firewire, 6 channel Audio, USB2 Dual chan. DDR +WiFi slot (up to DDR400)

    Item: Crucial 512 DDR400 PC3200 CL=3 Memory Module

    Item: Liteon 16x48 IDE DVD-ROM Drive - Retail Box

    Item: Antec Sonata Midi Tower in Piano Black Trupower 380W PSU - 9 Drive Bays

    Item: Sapphire Radeon 9600 AGP X8 256MB DDR DVI TV-Out Retail Box

    Item: AMD Athlon XP2500 333FSB 512 L2 Cache Barton Retail Boxed Inc Heatsink & Fan with 3year Warranty

    Item: Maxtor Diamondmax 80gb SATA 150 7200rpm 8mb Cache - Retail Boxed

    An existing TEAC 24X CDRW CDROM-recorder thingy

    I have assembled them as per the manufacturers instructions (as far as I can tell) and switched on the power.

    The good news is that the Power is getting to the motherboard and the on/off switch.

    However on switching on (booting) not much seems to happen, there is nothing coming on the screen, and no activity in the ROM Drives. The Top ROM is set as master (i.e. the jumper in the master location) and connected to the end of the CDROM Ribbon, whilst the other ROM drive is set to Slave (i.e. jumper in slave position and connected to connection in the middle of the ribbon). I have also tried various combinations.

    However the system appears dead, totally! No sign of the BIOS or any activity to install the BIOS CD!

    Can any one give me any advice on what I should do next? Do I need to install an IDR hard drive or can I make do with a SATA Drive?

    I am giving up for the day, but any advice would be appreciated.

    Adrian
     
  2. <<ERROR>>

    <<ERROR>>
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    I can't give you a proper diagnosis without seeing the thing, but a small (ha! look at the size of it...) checklist comes to mind:

    1 = check the position of the RAM in your motherboard - some motherboards need it to be in slot 0. Remove and re-plug it even if it is in the right slot - the connection may not be right. Also, the RAM might be bad - is there another machine to test it in?

    2 = remove and re-plug the graphics card and the monitor cable, in case they're not in properly. The graphics card may be bad also - try and test it in another machine.

    3 = check that the fan is seated properly and has it's power cable connected to the right plug (some motherboards have CPU fan protection where they will refuse to start if no fan is detected)

    4 = Try removing all the drives and testing that - it will not impair the ability to boot up (but on the same note, it should not hinder it). I have never used a SATA motherboard, but it should boot up with no IDE drives. Test it with an existing one if you want, though (but NEVER let Windows boot - it will cause major screwage with the existing config)

    5 = check the jumpers on the motherboard - especially the CMOS reset one (it must not be set to clear). There might be some necessary jumper config that you missed.

    Finally, I notice that you didn't mention a floppy drive. I can't think of any logical reason why no floppy drive would cause problems with a PC, but add one and see what happens. Again - there is no reason why an absent floppy drive should hold a PC back.

    Does the board have any kind of diagnostic LEDs? (like most MSI boards) They would narrow your problem down somewhat. Does it beep at all?

    If none of these work, then I don't know what the problem is. You have been very thorough in describing your system specs and I can't see any obvious incompatibilities.

    It could be that you got a duff motherboard. It happens once in a (long) while, but it is not very common. It could also be static electricity damage to the components - touch the case before installing things, never touch the contacts and don't shuffle around on carpets (static buildup).
     
  3. The Dude

    The Dude
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    Hi sapper

    If you're not getting a Bios POST when trying to startup it's a problem very early in the boot cycle, drives,etc will not likely be a factor.

    Check and re-seat RAM as <Error> says

    remove CPU, check for bent/damaged pins..

    reseat CPU and make sure the locking lever is fully down
    (dont force it, you may have the CPU the wrong way round.. look at the pins and you'll see the 'corner missing'.. line this up accordingly with the socket )


    There's a power LED on your motherboard.. this should be green when the PSU is switched on and plugged in.. ?
    This would suggest the board is OK if so..

    does the cpu fan spin up when you press the power button?

    I run an almost identical system so it's not a compatability problem,

    Crucial RAM is usually very very reliable, highly unlikely that it's bad RAM..

    As <Error> says, if you can test RAM, CPU in another PC then do it.
    I'd be expecting to find the problem lies with the CPU personally..

    Asus boards usually come 'ready to go' so it's doubtful you'll have to change any jumpers etc.

    no floppy is definitely not a problem with you board, i'm running the same one with no floppy drive, same RAM, same CPU

    If the Board LED is green, and the CPU fan spins up, it could well be the AGP card.. or the monitor..

    I have to ask... " is the monitor switched on and plugged into the PC "

    <sorry>
     
  4. The Dude

    The Dude
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    weird.. thought I'd already posted this...

    If the mainboard looks OK send me a PM and i'll see what i can do for you, I've got drawers full of bits you can test with....
     
  5. sapper

    sapper
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    Hi Error and Dide, thanks for your comments.

    To make my ealier posting clearer...

    The Motherboard LED is on, as is the CPU cooling fan.

    As far as i can gather, I have connected the internal speaker to themotherbaord, and there are no bells, whistles that you normally assocaite with start up.

    The RAM is in slott A1, though I will re check, as I will check the CPU etc. The CPU fitted like a drem into its socket as did the CPU fan.

    Anyway, later on today I shall strip and reassemble the motherboard.

    Again thank youfor your comments so far.

    Adrian

    *wishing he had bought a off the shelf system! *
     
  6. groovyclam

    groovyclam
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    Adrian - attach a speaker to the green middle audio out of the three vertical audio connectors to the right of the rear input/output panel of the A7N8X-E Deluxe.

    Make sure the speaker is receiving power from something other than the motherboard.

    ASUS use human voice warning/error messages on boot up which you can hear through this port.

    If the fans are spinning then I would think you will hear one of the warnings on boot telling you what the mobo thinks is wrong.
     
  7. GrahamC

    GrahamC
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    Go into the bios an check things in there. If I remember the sata is not active by default just pata also check the stop if an error ocurs setting. If you have it set on stop at any error and you have an error early the bootup will stall. Falling all the sugestings posted here I'd take out the battery and re-insert then go into the bios and load defaults. :thumbsup:

    Good luck.
     
  8. sapper

    sapper
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    Okay guys... :lease:

    Than you all for your paitience in this matter.

    I have re read the manual and as far as my limited experience/knowledge goes I have not made a boo boo :rtfm:

    I have restripped the mother baord and re assembled everything...

    The CPU looks fine and seems to be seated correctly.

    The RAM is in Socket A1

    Power LED on the motherboard is illuminating, as are the fron LED's (both the drive and Power LED. (The hard drive led seems to be on permanently)

    The CPU fan is also running. I have connected the PSU fan to a couple of fan connections but no difference

    I have only installed the one CDRW (the old TEAC) that i knew did work, connected to the end connector on the ribbon cable, and the jumper located in the master location (is this correct?) Swapping the IDE connection on the motherbaord does not appear to make any difference.

    The SATA drive is connected to RAID0, there does not appear to be another location to connect it.

    An extenal speaker system (with its own power) is connected to the lime green audio connection (same colour as the 3.5 mm jack).

    Up on booting up, there are still no obvious beeps, whistles, sounds etc. The CDROM drive does not seem to respond to the eject button, nor is there any flickering of the led when you press the eject button(which occurs on the drives on the PC that is working. There are no human voices from the speaker either upon booting.

    Basically either the MB,RAM or CPU are not playing ball.

    What is the next stop in the problem finding strategy? I could exchange the RAM with this working PC, but I am loathe to try and swap the CPU's. REmoving the CPU cooling fan on the new MB was a pain in the a***!

    However it is an option.

    I guess I will have to though. Would this asus MB work with an 1900XP CPU? what about removing the heat sinks, the thermal material etc??

    Adrian
     
  9. The Dude

    The Dude
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    Hi sapper,

    That board should be fine with a XP1900, RAM not an issue either..

    The RAM transplant would be my next suggestion to try and work out where the problem lies. Give this a go and see what happens.

    If this doesn't make a difference, as least you've ruled out the RAM and can go back to your new stuff.

    Then, If you're careful, (and you're happy doing it) you'll be able to remove the old CPU and heatsink and pop them straight into the new system, dont worry too much about thermal compound, as you'll only be running the 1900 for a few mins max anyway.. as long as the heatsink and fan are attached you'll be OK. ( the heatsink should easily come away from the Old cpu as soon as you release the holding clip using a screwdriver)

    See if this makes a difference, if it doesn't, you've ruled out the processor.

    The HDD light doesn't sound too clever.. I don't use SATA so you'll need somebody else to confirm this, but if it was an EIDE drive that constant light would suggest that the cable is either the wrong way round ( try reverse one end?) or there is a problem with the mboard controller..

    Give these a try first and se what you get..

    Next step would be to try a different VGA adapter, any old PCi adapter will do for testing, whatever you can get your hands on..
     
  10. groovyclam

    groovyclam
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    Adrian - I have a A7N8XE-Deluxe

    You can boot it without any CDROMs or hard drives attached and you will get to a position where it checks itself out ( you see guff on screen ) and then it attempts to boot whereupon you get a spoken error ( via the lime green port ) "No IDE Hard Drive detected"

    I suggest only testing with:

    A7N8XE-Deluxe
    CPU + heatsink + fan
    memory
    graphics card
    keyboard
    powered speaker hanging off the vertical middle lime green audio out

    To see if you can get to the situation I describe in the first paragraph whereupon you can start adding harddrives, CD's etc.

    Strip the system back to the minimum I describe above.

    Check the CPU_FSB jumper is set to pins 1 & 2 for a 333 CPU ( your Athlon XP2500 333 ) as per page 2-15 of your green user guide for the A7N8X-E

    Strip the ram back to one strip of memory placed in DIMM_A1 socket

    Check jumper CLRTC1 is set to pin 1 & 2 as per page 2-17 of the manual

    Check your SATA enable jumper ( SATA_EN1 ) is set to pins 1 & 2 ( Although this will not matter until you add the drive ) as per page 2-17 of the manual

    Now try a boot.

    If you get fan activity but nothing on screen I would first try a different graphics card if you have one that you know works.

    If you still get nothing I would move the ram into each of the two other slots in turn.

    If you still get nothing I would try another ram strip - try that in each slot.

    If you still get nothing then we are left with a mobo or CPU problem and I'm not really clued up enough to suggest a way of finding which is at fault.

    If you get to the mobo or cpu problem then I would first try a cleardown of the mobo BIOS settings in CMOS as described on page 2-17 of your manual to get back to a default BIOS setup.

    If you do get visual stuff on screen - then press DEL to get into the BIOS and enable the ASUS POST Reporter ( the warning speech messages ) this should be enabled anyway but maybe yours is off for some reason. Save the change and carry on with the boot tests.



    Another important thing I have just remembered is that the ASUS will not boot out of the box unless a floppy drive is detected. You need to go into the BIOS and either explicitly tell it no floppy is installed or tell it to boot past the error message that no floppy is detected.

    This is still a side-issue because it does not prevent you seeing the boot process on screen upto the no-floppy fail message and does not prevent entry into the BIOS to get past this little hurdle.
     
  11. sapper

    sapper
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    :eek: Sitrep as at 14:40 hours 060604 :rolleyes:


    Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. As a result of which, and in particular groovyclam’s, I stripped my motherboard/PC and reassembled into a bare bones system, in particular checking the jumper settings etc.

    Switched the PC on, and well absolutely nothing. No Text, no voices, no beeps. Just the CPU fan and M-board LED on….

    So back to Trouble finding:

    Graphics Card:

    Replaced the graphics card on the Old PC with the new one. PC booted up fine and dandy. Inserted old graphics card into new PC, still dead as a morgue. Result: New graphic card is spotty dog.


    RAM


    Inserted new RAM into old PC and booted up. Boot process stopped in Bios as PC recognised the presence of new RAM. However I did not continue. Inserted old RAM (both 256 modules) into the new motherboard, but there was still no change. Result: NEW RAM probably stripy cat (i.e. okay).

    CPU:


    After some fiddling around was able to insert new CPU into existing PC. PC booted up, and the BIOS recognised the new CPU. Accepted changes and was able to start Windows XP and login. Result: Whilst I did not carry out the reciprocal experiment I would conclude that the new CPU is Chequered Zebra (i.e. working!)

    Conclusions:

    1. The Old PC is up and fully functional as I would not be able to post this update. (however, the PC has frozen several times whilst attempting to type this into the forum! Overcame the hurdle by typing into word and cut & pasted!!) :confused:

    2. The new Asus Motherboard is suspect. Whilst I did not carry out a perfect RAM check, the fact that the new motherboard does not even make a beep upon boot up suggests this is at fault. Also, the hard drive is on permanently if the IDE ribbon is connected.

    However, before I get intouch with the retailer, I would value any further comments/assistance.

    Are there any other tests that I should carry out? :confused: :confused:

    Yours curiously

    Adrian
     
  12. The Dude

    The Dude
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    I'm getting lost now....


    Is the new PC running then, or new bits on old motherboard ?


    Your troubleshooting suggests all the new bits work in your old PC, am i reading that right?


    Need someone with SATA to answer the drive light for you, don't have any experience unfortunately...
     
  13. sapper

    sapper
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    due to numerous reasons this PC is not yet finished.

    I received a new mboard, but still the same probs. :lease:

    Some one in IT at work said that youcan buy motherboards complete with processorand memory, already tested.

    If this is the case, does anyone know any suppliers or ahve any links. As yet Ihave not found any thing on the net.

    Adrian :lease:
     
  14. Kramer

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    Komplett do kits but I'm unsure whether they're pre-assembled & tested.

    Savastore too IIRC.

    :smoke:
     
  15. RobsterD

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  16. NaTT

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    a couple thoughts that spring to mind from my experiences, but no where near as complete as other responses so I'm going for the shoot from the hip and see if i get lucky approach.

    It's an ATX board. Have you plugged in both power lines. I've forgotten that once.

    It's a SATA drive so you need to goto the bios settings and tell it to boot first from HD AND in more advanced settings tell it which HD to boot from (someone else mentioned this I think). I have to do this everytime I reset my CMOS from overclocking because by default it's set to go to a PATA drive not SATA.
     
  17. james.miller

    james.miller
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    you dont need both for it to boot.

    Also, the only thing you need for it to post is the cpu. I got a little confused about all the different advice given thsu far, so il just start from scratch for my own sake lol.

    unplug everything except the cpu. make usre the jumpers are set correctly according to the manual and power up the system. if there is no beep at all, it's the motherboard.

    Personally, you should have chosen an ABIT NF7-S over any asus.
     
  18. sapper

    sapper
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    Latest Update
    Right.

    I have removed the motherboard from the case, and reconnected it up to the power etc. However following the trouble shooting guide, the motherbaord had CPU/fan and RAM. No drives of anythimg was connected, but the video card was inserted into relevant slot, and a speaker lead connected to the m-board speaker terminal.

    Switched on power...

    Fans came on as did the motherbaord indicator LED. :D

    Swicted on and behond...

    A beeb was emmited from the system, and the display came on and halted after the lack of a floppy. this I wil have to rectify later but... :clap: :clap:

    However the Asus verbal faults did not come from the motherbaord.... oops that may becasue it halted after not finding a floppy drive, I need to resolve that via the Bio then.

    Anyway the problem/Issue![/SIZE]

    Obviously a standoff is causing some short on the motherboard when its in the case and secure. Does anyone have any ideals on how to rectify this.

    Obviously I will need to try and locate the offending standoff(s) and remove or insulate.

    Is there an easy way to do this? Mt plan is to remove all apart from the four coner stand offs together with the centre one and see what happens.

    Or should I just reast the mother board onto the standoffs and then apply power and see what happens?

    any suggestions most help ful.

    One final query is that my other (working PC) is an AMD athlon 19ooXP prcessor on an asus mboard that I purchased from MESH about two years ago. What is the likely hood of this PC supporting an AMD2500XP processor and fan?

    If it does, what settings on the BIOs would I need to change?
    Yours curiosuly?

    Adrian
     

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