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Socket A Woe's

Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:49 pm
by KGB
Recently I purchased a Socket A motherboard to get back into some gaming. The components were relatively cheap to get.

The motherboard is an Asus A7V880 VIA KT880 chipset, 2 x 512MB DDR TWINMos M2-G9J16A-MK Modules and an Athlon XP-Mobile Processor: AXMH 2400FQQ4C 512K Barton core 45Watts CPU.

I used the geforce 4 and power supply from my IBM to power on the system. Everything is in order, system lights up when the power supply is plugged in, however when it is turned on, case fans spin, power supply fan spin, cpu fan spins, though the pc will not boot nor show anything on the monitor screen. The system Speaker is also placed onto the pinout and NO BEEP codes are heard. If I shut down and remove all memory modules and power on, the speaker has a continuous beep. (FYI its a AMIBIOS)

This is a stripped down, pre-build configuration. CPU+Memory+Graphics+Power Supply, however nothing shows up on screen nor any sound. ALL connections are triple checked, heatsink is placed properly, cpu fan is plugged in. The PC will not boot. Am I missing something? Any help would be great. Thanks for looking. :(

Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:01 pm
by Nohr
Is the clear CMOS jumper in the correct position? Try running it all outside of a case and with without the led/usb/etc connections.

Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:12 pm
by KGB
Nohr, it already is outside of the case and resting on the anti static bag. The 4 major components are installed and power switch and speaker are placed in. I cleared the cmos for at least 5 minutes and put it back into the default position, even removed the battery and reinserted it.

The power supply is fine because I tested the IBM with it again (and other pc's for that matter), the memory modules function because I tested it my friends house and it counted all of them. The geforce 4 works in the IBM and other pc's as well. Finally, the cpu and motherboard are the two main possibilities of malfunction (my friend has an intel i875 motherboard so I tested the memory, not the Athlon :( )

The power supply is also rated at 320 watts so it should be enough no? Would a motherboard function even though it could be messed up? (cuz my GA-5AX cache is corrupt yet worK :P ) I hope so, cuz the Athlon XP-Mobile is rare and is supposedly a good overclocker. I just want to RMA the board though, until I can get the cpu tested.

Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:24 pm
by Nohr
320W should be fine for that machine but quality is far more important than quantity with power supplies. But if it's working on another machine I doubt that's the problem.

Bad motherboards can do some strange things. It looks like it's the most likely culprit. I'd try fiddling around with it some more before sending it back. Boot without a vid card, try only one stick of RAM in different slots, just something to try to get a response. Never know, might help, computers can be finicky. :P

Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:34 pm
by KGB
I've been fiddling with it all day. err.. the motherboard I mean :P

The only time I get any beep message is when the memory is removed. When the cpu is removed exclusively, there are no beep codes, when the
graphics card is removed there is no code either. I really dont want to lose sleep over this, but its aching my brain. I called and mailed Asus and they emailed me a list of instructions to do and results are also the same :(

Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:42 pm
by Nohr
Unless someone else has some brilliant ideas it sounds like you get to RMA a bum motherboard. Waiting to get a new computer built sucks. :cry:

Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 1:18 am
by Jim
Only things I can think of that you may not have tried are: 1) Change the mobo battery; 2) Try a PCI video card. Have had similar problems solved that way.

Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 7:16 am
by KachiWachi
Get it off the anti-static bag!

Anti-static bags are you *might* be creating some sort of high resistance short...causing the no-boot situation.

Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 1:13 pm
by KGB
Well I just got it confirmed, the motherboard is busted. The technician was baffled but, he checked out my CPU and memory and it worked on different systems, and tested the motherboard with other components and it still did not boot. :(

Thanks for the recommendations guys (Kachi, it was on the box no static bag and, I tested it on all types of plains. Jim thanks for the PCI gfx card idea, I had forgot I had one. Also for the replacement of the battery, though it still didn't work thanks for the tip.)

Another question, when I RMA the board to ASUS, do I send EVERYTHING back or just the board in the static bag and box? I want to keep the components, what is the policy? And how long does it take? I've never RMA'd something before, does it take long?

Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:35 pm
by Nohr
I assume they'd just want the motherboard itself but they should give you detailed instructions when you get your RMA #.

I've never had to RMA something to Asus before. I'd expect it to take 2-4 weeks to get a replacement.

Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 7:13 pm
by tazwegion
DOA motherboard... and it was new? so much for Quality Assurance programs within ASUStek! :P

Hope everything goes well for you KGB! I am a little curious why you opted for the VIA KT880 chipset over nVidia's nForce2 Ultra400 offering? :?

Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 7:38 pm
by KGB
Taz, honestly it looks brand spanking new, but it was bought last spring. I had gone to the middle-east for 8 months after I purchased (you can also infer why I haven't posted much even though I joined 3 years ago) and left it in storage until i came back. The day I got it, it booted, all components were the same, so something must have happened while I was gone (I replaced the battery jim 'member ;) ).

At the time KT880 supported NATIVE serial ata on the K7 platform, and I've had good experience VIA boards in the past (P3 days) NForce/2 boards were still very expensive at the time, I got the board for $60 the cpu for $75 and the memory for $85. It was a bargain, of course there was much more then I bargained for. If you have had read X-Bits labs review on it, you'd realize they were impressed by it as well, it can be viewed here ... 880_2.html

Which brings me to another question, I have no Hard Drive for it, after it gets RMA'd. I was thinking of going for a Serial Ata II (NCQ & 3.0 data rate) Do you recommend a drive? I use Seagate and WD mainly, is a S-TA 300GB Seagate Barracuda V @ $140 good? .47 cent per gigabyte?

Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 7:57 pm
by tazwegion
I must admit I have no experience with SATA II drives, but I'm very pleased with my 80Gb SATA Seagate Barracuda (8M buffer) and would recomend same :D

< $0.50 per Gigabyte does sound awfully tempting ;)

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:28 pm
by KGB
Good News, I got the motherboard back today. Booted up wit AXP2400+ and GF4 and 512mb ram. Everything seems to be in order. There was also an invoice in the box which, stated the cause of the error was the Power Mosfets. They seem new and looks to have been replaced on the board. If I HAD known it was a power isssue, I would have replaced them myself with a solder iron.