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Dead Computer (again lol)

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
So my rig has died yet again.

Quick background: 6 months ago I started getting random shutdowns every once and awhile, and occassionally my UPS would make the beeping sound meaning it's running off the battery. About 3 months ago, this culminated in my motherboard not posting. I replaced the dead ASUS M2N32 with this Biostar TForce 560, re-overclocked, and all was well. Also, I replaced the failing UPS with a new surge protector.

Then 2 days ago I get another random restart. After the reboot, firefox started acting weird, occassionally crashing on me. Firefox flipped out this morning and wouldn't even load, so I restarted through Windows. After the restart, everything was completely locked up so I shutdown manually using the case's power button. After that, it tried to load Windows and failed, restarting itself. After that, nothing. Computer won't even post. There is no beep, my monitor power light stays orange and the screen black. Complete FAIL.

I'm guessing my PSU is the cause of this, and that it's been failing for months and fried my old ASUS mobo and now my new Biostar. Would you all agree? I should also point out that my 7900GT is at stock settings and has been artifacting recently in CS Source and Civ4, the only two games I currently play. But a bad vid card wouldn't take out the board with it, would it?

Since my mobo is likely dead, and the PSU now responsible for a double homicide, I'm thinking about getting a new PSU, a DS3L and an E8400 and converting to the dark side. But I'm less than thrilled about the $400 this will set me back. Sigh. Any ideas are more than welcome, I'd love to spare this rig and definitely don't want to leave whatever is killing my rigs an unsolved mystery and potentially at large to destroy anything new I buy.

EDIT: Fans spin, LEDs turn on, and I have cleared the CMOS both on the ASUS and Biostar.
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White Whale
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post #2 of 13
i would check your ram before replacing everything. I had the same problems and my ram was shot then a week later my mobo went too so yea it might be that but check the ram first. Don't buy all new stuff if you don't have to. Unless of course you want to.
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post #3 of 13
IMO it sounds like the PSU, I deal with this issue almost daily with emachines that have the same issues as you are decribing(powers up, fans run, power to board but no post). For some reason the PSU they use in them ends up overvolting after time and takes out the board and psu
    
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yea, I figured it's probably the PSU or the RAM, but why would replacing the mobo 3 months ago have temporarily fixed the problem? Seems like something fried my ASUS, and now probably my Biostar, and I don't think RAM can do that. Definitely worth a try though, I'll swap in my roommate's DDR2 when I get home.
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post #5 of 13
Could be motherboard goners, but like JerseyDubbin said, check the memory, but I would believe you have done so.

Other than that, I really cannot think of any other issues that would cause this. You could also be pointing out to the CPU, but it is really hard to say, if you have not test another power supply.
    
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post #6 of 13
Interesting. Having lived in and around Washington, D.C., I can tell you that the electric system there is terrible but that shouldn't matter if you're on a surge protector and an ANTEC. I wouldn't necessarily spend $600 replacing a Windsor just because you have power issues, though, it's perfectly adequate for all current practical purposes (and this from a guy who has never owned an AMD chip).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128052 - this motherboard strongly appears to be a DS3L for AMD people.

I don't think a video card should take out a motherboard like that when it goes; much more likely that the video card's problems are a symptom rather than the cause. Which in turn means you are very probably correct that the source of the trouble is that PSU.

Some ANTEC PSUs are good, some aren't. The Earthwatts 500w is a good midrange PSU. Made by seasonic.
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post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yea, it seems like the only thing I can diagnose for sure is two failed motherboards. I find it unlikely that they both would die on their own, and in the same manner (random restarts --> Windows failing to load --> no post, all within a matter of minutes). So if the PSU needs replacing, and so does the motherboard since it's been fried, might as well spend a little extra and get an Intel platform that will stay relevant long after this X2 4200+ from May 2006 that refuses to stay stable past 2.7GHz

Unfortunately the True Power series were not made by Seasonic and do not carry the 3 year warranty
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White Whale
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post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by durch View Post
Yea, it seems like the only thing I can diagnose for sure is two failed motherboards. I find it unlikely that they both would die on their own, and in the same manner (random restarts --> Windows failing to load --> no post, all within a matter of minutes). So if the PSU needs replacing, and so does the motherboard since it's been fried, might as well spend a little extra and get an Intel platform that will stay relevant long after this X2 4200+ from May 2006 that refuses to stay stable past 2.7GHz

Unfortunately the True Power series were not made by Seasonic and do not carry the 3 year warranty
Durch, do you have a multimeter available so you can test the voltages of the PSU? Have you tested with another PSU to see if the problem still persists? Just in case if you do not know, here is a guide that explains on how to check the voltages of a PSU using a multimeter: http://www.clunk.org.uk/forums/guide...ing-guide.html

Good luck
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post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, there's plenty of volt meters in the labs at school, but it's been awhile since I've taken circuit theory, I'd probably need one of my EE friends to give me a hand haha. I'm definitely not walking for 15 minutes to campus lugging my full atx case lol, can I do this by bringing in just the PSU? And also, what do the results tell me?

I'm finding it hard to put the blame anywhere but the PSU. I can't imagine how any other part could take the motherboard with it. A slow painful death of over volting seems to make sense to me too, since replacing my ASUS mobo had my system working fine for several months and now another board failure.

I've decided to replace the PSU, board and CPU for about $210 with an Abit P35, Intel E2180 and Corsair 550VX (I know, traitor). I'm also giving serious thought to upgrading to 2x2GB DDR2 1000 G.Skill and Vista 64-bit, for a total of $320, then waiting until I get a game that my 7900GT can't play before I upgrade the card. Although if the artifacts are any sign, the PSU might have been slowly destroying my 7900GT too and it's life may be running out. Grrrrr.

I'll be selling my 4200+ for real cheap and my memory as well. Hopefully I can get about $50-60 back from this disaster.
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post #10 of 13
1. Just testing the PS solo don't take into account the heat and load a system causes and that is usually where the issues is.
2. You may still find a weak rail with a solo test!
3. The Pin outs... see page 36
http://www.formfactors.org/developer...public_br2.pdf
    
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