Overclock.net › Forums › AMD › AMD - General › Before I buy parts... (troubleshooting AM2+ rig)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Before I buy parts... (troubleshooting AM2+ rig)

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone! I'm trying to make sure I'm about to make the right choice here. I just got an older HP A6720F machine from a friend, he was complaining that it doesn't want to start up most of the time so I grabbed it to see what I could do. Well, first thing I noticed was it was PACKED with dust. It was so thick it had turned to dirt clods and was making it so the CPU fan couldn't spin and the PSU was all plugged up as well (pics below).

I did attempt to start the machine before I did anything, and what it does is POST-loop between 2 and 20 times before it finally POSTs and then tries to boot windows. It never makes it to windows, the screen just turns black and it stops loading. He said there is nothing important on there so that isn't a concern right now. After verifying this problem, I tore it apart to clean it out. It took HOURS. I ended up having to rip the CPU out of the socket because I couldn't pry the heatsink off, then flipping it over and using a sharp knife to separate the two. The thermal paste was like cement.

Anyways, after I decided it was clean enough, I put it all back together and the problem persists, it will turn on and off a varying amount of times and them eventually make it to windows vista loading bar before the screen goes out.

Things I have tried:
-Unplugging all drives
-New PSU (my spare)
-test stick of DDR2 I keep for troubleshooting in all 4 DIMM slots
-CMOS reset
-Unplugging all 974 accessories HP plugged into it at the factory (USB, Firewire, card readers, Wifi, etc)

Nothing has any effect AT ALL on the problem, so it has to be the board or CPU. I read about this model and it seems like a lot of people had to replace the board. I found this ASRock board that has good reviews that will accept both his 1066 DDR2 and AM2+ Phenom 9550 (must be mATX), which I believe is faster than anything AMD in the sub-$50 price range of allowable repairs. Is this a good choice? I can't see how anything else could be the problem.

Thanks in advance!

Also, pics of the dirt, not the worst I've seen but it was pretty bad.

WP_20130108_002_zps288f2999.jpg
WP_20130108_004_zps8c9db1ba.jpg
post #2 of 16
You could disable pretty much everything within the BIOS to see if a faulty component on the board is causing the POST problems.

You've tried the main things, can you boot from USB?

The things caked in dust, hopefully the CPU hasn't been running hot for a long period of time, last thing you want is to buy a new board and find out the chip has totalled.

Either way that Asrock is quite low end, the memory channel voltage phase is shared for DDR2 and DDR3 RAM, so it's easy to bust. The VRMs on it are low, so heat and running that Phenom high loads would be dangerous for it. The capacitors and board itself is probably prone to getting damaged from voltage spikes (cheap power supplies).

I'd probably spend the same amount or slightly more for either a AM2 DD2 based system or AM3 and buy some DDR3 RAM.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeo01 View Post

You could disable pretty much everything within the BIOS to see if a faulty component on the board is causing the POST problems.

You've tried the main things, can you boot from USB?

The things caked in dust, hopefully the CPU hasn't been running hot for a long period of time, last thing you want is to buy a new board and find out the chip has totalled.

Either way that Asrock is quite low end, the memory channel voltage phase is shared for DDR2 and DDR3 RAM, so it's easy to bust. The VRMs on it are low, so heat and running that Phenom high loads would be dangerous for it. The capacitors and board itself is probably prone to getting damaged from voltage spikes (cheap power supplies).

I'd probably spend the same amount or slightly more for either a AM2 DD2 based system or AM3 and buy some DDR3 RAM.

There is nothing to disable in the BIOS, its locked down so tight it doesn't even have hardware monitoring. The only thing you can see is if the hard drive is connected and the date/time.

I was worried about the chip but I have to pick one of the other. As far as the board, it is low end. The budget is $50. This isn't a gaming rig, it doesn't even have a graphics card. Its used for internet only and loading itunes songs onto an ipod. It is a 95W chip not a 140W so I hope it will be ok.

When you say DDR3, does this board no support DDR3 with the AM2+ chip? I know I have had socket 775 boards that supported DDR3, I was planning to put 4GB of extra DDR3 1333 I have in the closet on there if everything else works.
post #4 of 16
Oh, OEMs locked everything, that's a pain tongue.gif

As for the motherboard and chip, I know it isn't a gaming rig or sorts, but AMD chips work differently to Intel in terms of power usage. What may be worrying is that Asrock board is so low end the power phases may not handle the 95W very well. It has 2+1 VRM phase, one is used to power both the DDR2 and DDR3 channel. The chipset may not handle the chip well either. What I am getting at is heat and pressure on the system.

NOTE: Just realised, the Phenom 9550 is the older generation Phenoms, so the IMC on it doesn't support DDR3. So yeah I'd find a board that is specifically AM2+. It'll only work with DDR2 RAM.

What AM2+ boards are available on Amazon? Should be a couple of budget boards for around same price that'll be better with that Phenom.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeo01 View Post

Oh, OEMs locked everything, that's a pain tongue.gif

As for the motherboard and chip, I know it isn't a gaming rig or sorts, but AMD chips work differently to Intel in terms of power usage. What may be worrying is that Asrock board is so low end the power phases may not handle the 95W very well. It has 2+1 VRM phase, one is used to power both the DDR2 and DDR3 channel. The chipset may not handle the chip well either. What I am getting at is heat and pressure on the system.

NOTE: Just realised, the Phenom 9550 is the older generation Phenoms, so the IMC on it doesn't support DDR3. So yeah I'd find a board that is specifically AM2+. It'll only work with DDR2 RAM.

What AM2+ boards are available on Amazon? Should be a couple of budget boards for around same price that'll be better with that Phenom.

Well, I went ahead and ordered it. I literally couldn't find anything that was better reviewed than this one for the price, I guess we'll see what happens. It should be here tomorrow so I'll report back with the results. If anything goes it will be the crappy 300W bestech PSU HP threw in there I think.
post #6 of 16
I too just "inherited" an HP machine and what a PITA it was to bring it back to life. Mine needed a replacement CPU and after I did that it was all trial and error to get the system to boot. It ended up not liking anything I plugged into the rear USB ports until I installed the drivers. (had to plug the mouse and kb into the front USB ports). after i plugged into the front USB ports I pulled the MOBO battery for a few, put it back in and to my surprise i was able to boot off of my Windows disc.
good luck w the new board
Current Rig
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500k ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 xfx 290x Cryovenom Corsair Vengeance 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Intel SSD CPU and GPU in common loop Windows 7 x64 Dell Ultrasharp 24" 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
PC Power and Cooling 610W Coolermaster 690 II Advanced DeathAdder Old Class Notebook 
Audio
X-Fi Titanium 
  hide details  
Reply
Current Rig
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500k ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 xfx 290x Cryovenom Corsair Vengeance 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Intel SSD CPU and GPU in common loop Windows 7 x64 Dell Ultrasharp 24" 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
PC Power and Cooling 610W Coolermaster 690 II Advanced DeathAdder Old Class Notebook 
Audio
X-Fi Titanium 
  hide details  
Reply
post #7 of 16
Should be OK just keep it light and cool. Also remember DDR3 won't work on it. Good luck with the board hopefully it'll go well tongue.gif
post #8 of 16
Also, by your post, that thermal paste like cement might have actually for whatever reason been thermal cement(I've never seen the stuff in person).

how far in does the boot loop happen?
My Rig
(5 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A8-5600k BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85S3 FM2 HD 7560D Integrated GPU Team Vulcan 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 
Hard Drive
TOSHIBA P300 HDWD110XZSTA 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache 
  hide details  
Reply
My Rig
(5 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A8-5600k BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85S3 FM2 HD 7560D Integrated GPU Team Vulcan 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 
Hard Drive
TOSHIBA P300 HDWD110XZSTA 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache 
  hide details  
Reply
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alanim View Post

Also, by your post, that thermal paste like cement might have actually for whatever reason been thermal cement(I've never seen the stuff in person).

how far in does the boot loop happen?

Its literally as it powers on, not a boot loop but a POST loop. You press the button, on... off....on....off....on...off just like that. It will eventually POST and then everything seems OK after that but windows won't load.
post #10 of 16
did some quick research, and its like the others have been saying, am2/am2+ have no ddr3 controller do yea ddr3 is a no go.

try looking for something like a GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H or a ASUS M3N78-VM
that AsRock might work. just add a side facing (fan faces side pannel) cpu cooler

then rip out everything and mod the case interior like a BAU5!!!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: AMD - General
Overclock.net › Forums › AMD › AMD - General › Before I buy parts... (troubleshooting AM2+ rig)