Help debugging half-dead system

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Twigathy
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 4:15 am
Location: London, UK

Help debugging half-dead system

Post by Twigathy » Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:17 pm

Hi all,

I've currently got a pretty nice Core2Duo system:
  • -Core2Duo E6600
    -Gigabyte P965-S3
    -S3 Virge (Read on to find out why...)
    -Sound Blaster Audigy ZS
    -P180
    -Nexus 4090 (With 20->24 pin adapter)
    -2GB PC5300 memory (Which has gone from £180 to £60 in about 2 months! DOH!)
    -DVD Burner
    -4GB CompactFlash card w/ Ubuntu (root over NFS)
    -Gigabit NIC (@100mbit, because none of my routers do gigabit)
    -No hard drives :-)
...So anyway, this was all working nicely with a passively cooled 7600GT up until a couple of months ago when the machine decided to stop working. Couldn't POST. Sent the motherboard back to komplett, who (eventually) sent it back to me again with a test report reporting all being well.

So I stick the machine back together again, doesn't boot. Doesn't get to the bit where it detects RAM. Spent a few hours fiddling with different combinations of RAM, graphics cards (7300LE, 7600GT) and PCI expansion cards only to find nothing worked. BIOS error codes were seemingly random, from the fairly obvious "No video card" to "Power failure" and "RAM failure", all of which were fairly inconclusive.

I then tried my trusty old PCI S3 ViRGE which worked almost okay - except that the time taken from memory being detected to detecting IDE devices was about 5 minutes(!).

Seeing as GPUs are fairly power hungry beasts, do you think I'd be better off ditching the 4090 and buying a new ATX 2.0 PSU? Why would the system stop working now? Why such a slow POST? How come kompletts testers didn't find anything wrong :(? Note that this PSU has powered an Athlon 64 3000+ with 6 hard drives and a pair of CD drives and a 6600GT previously.

Thanks in advance

Tom C
www.uploadthis.co.uk

Max Slowik
Posts: 524
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2006 7:39 pm
Location: Denver, Colorado USA
Contact:

Post by Max Slowik » Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:45 pm

Have you tried unplugging everything you don't need? Use one stick of RAM, only your primary hard drive (or a liveCD OS, like Ubuntu which only needs a CD-ROM drive to load from, and no hard drive) and every other little gizmo goes.

If you have a PS/2 keyboard and mouse in the closet, use them.

Often, one bit of bad hardware can gum up the works.
Hardware Editor @ www.thetechlounge.com

Twigathy
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 4:15 am
Location: London, UK

Post by Twigathy » Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:50 pm

Yep, tried each stick of RAM individually in all 4 slots with no luck.
Not got any spare hard drives, but loading a ubuntu live CD seems to work fine. Tried just the CD drive and just the CF adapter, seemed to make no difference either.
Don't have any spare mice, but the keyboard is PS2.

Have tried minus sound card, network card (So just CPU, 1 stick of RAM and graphics card) and _still_ got stupidly slow POST.

Not too sure what to do :roll:

<edit> I've found a fair price (£50 or so) for a Seasonic 430W PSU. What do you people think? http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.aspx?sku=323013 </edit>
www.uploadthis.co.uk

peteamer
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Location: 'Sunny' Cornwall U.K.

Post by peteamer » Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:56 pm

There's always Scan as an alternative...


Pete

Max Slowik
Posts: 524
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2006 7:39 pm
Location: Denver, Colorado USA
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Post by Max Slowik » Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:22 pm

Wait, so it works fine from a liveCD when the hard drives are unplugged? Or does it still take a long time for the POST process to finish?

Also, make sure that if you're using IDE/ PATA drives that their jumpers are clear of junk and properly set. Ideally, they should be on "Cable Select" or "CS". If your motherboard has the option, make sure "Cable Select" is enabled.
Hardware Editor @ www.thetechlounge.com

Twigathy
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 4:15 am
Location: London, UK

Solved!

Post by Twigathy » Tue Jul 03, 2007 2:40 am

Annoyingly, I'd left my USB->IDE adapter plugged in which slowed down boot massively. I didn't notice at first because I was pluggin in my mouse which is plugged in to a USB hub that lives behind my desk....and the USB->IDE thing was too.

Thankies for the "Check for widgets" idea :)

I might go post some pics of my rig in the "eyecandy" forum soon.... ;)
www.uploadthis.co.uk

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