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Author Topic: Mobo Mystery  (Read 7027 times)

tinjaw

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Mobo Mystery
« on: March 17, 2008, 06:47:53 PM »
I have a Asus A7V8X-X motherboard that is acting down right odd. I spent two days building a Windows 2003 Server with RAID. All was just fine. I unpluged it from the office and moved it downstairs into the basement. When I turned it on I got beeps and it won't finish post.

It is an Award BIOS.

When I power on it starts up just fine. It gets to the point in the POST just after it has autodetected the HDDs.

At this point I get three short beeps. Then I get 4 short beeps and the 4 short beeps continues until I shut down power. When the 4 beeps start repeating the video also starts flashing on and off at about 1 Hz.

I have stripped it down to just Mobo + CPU + 1 DIMM + video card.

This is the same with three identical CPUs. Two different video cards. Three different sticks of RAM.

CPU fan is fine. PSU fan is fine.

I used a PSU tester and all voltages are to spec and steady.

I cannot find *anything* on the Net about such a thing as this.

Any ideas?

lanux128

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Re: Mobo Mystery
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2008, 09:21:06 PM »
might be heat-related problem, do you have a heater unit in your basement? btw, take a look at this page, it may help you decipher the beep codes.

mouser

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Re: Mobo Mystery
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2008, 09:30:24 PM »
yeah first step is figuring out what the beep codes mean.

tinjaw

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Re: Mobo Mystery
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2008, 06:56:48 AM »
That's just it. According to the internet there is no such beep code. That is why it is such a Mystery.

As for heat, yeah, that was what I originally thought was the problem, but an hour in a cold room didn't fix it. Nor did sitting overnight in the cold room. That's when I started to swap out parts and the problem persisted.

f0dder

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Re: Mobo Mystery
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2008, 07:11:40 AM »
Tried putting a PCI (as opposed to AGP and PCI-e) video card in it? Might be the AGP or primary PCI-e slot (depending on what the board uses, too lazy to look it up) that's somewhat damaged?
- carpe noctem

tinjaw

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Re: Mobo Mystery
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2008, 07:14:20 AM »
It is an old board. I had a PCI video card in it. I already tried it with a known good AGP video card. Problem remained.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Mobo Mystery
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2008, 10:12:07 AM »
Could it be a damaged fan connector on the mobo forcing the BIOS to think there is a fan problem?

Lashiec

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Re: Mobo Mystery
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2008, 10:22:57 AM »
Hmmm, it's amazing how little information Award provides on its own BIOS. Might this help? I guess that since Phoenix bought Award, this could be of some help as well.

A quick Google search seems to confirm you're not alone... :huh:

tinjaw

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Re: Mobo Mystery
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2008, 01:13:30 PM »
Could it be a damaged fan connector on the mobo forcing the BIOS to think there is a fan problem?

I am able to get into the bios setup if I attempt to do so before it gets to the point of auto detecting the HDDs. When I do that I can get to the health screen. The CPU and case fans are both registering and are producing expected RPMs in real time. So, I don't think that is the problem.

tinjaw

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Re: Mobo Mystery
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2008, 01:22:48 PM »
Hmmm, it's amazing how little information Award provides on its own BIOS. Might this help? I guess that since Phoenix bought Award, this could be of some help as well.

A quick Google search seems to confirm you're not alone... :huh:

Bios Central was one of the sites I have bookmarked for just such occasions as this, but I am unable to find anything about this odd beep code on that site. It isn't even in the "proper" format according to references I have checked. Remember, I get three short beeps once and then it begins repeating four short beeps. I would expect to do three short then four short and stop or repeat the whole pattern of three short - four short - three short - four short - etc. IOW I would expect XY or XY XY XY XY but not X Y Y Y Y.

And there are a lot of hits, but nothing I can find that has the same beep code as I am getting.

So far, the only logical conclusion is that the motherboard itself has gone bad and it is reporting an undocumented diagnostic code. IOW I am SOL.

Lashiec

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Re: Mobo Mystery
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2008, 08:19:37 PM »
Perhaps it's time to either send an e-mail to the Phoenix support team or open a thread in the Asus support forums... although... wait, this thread in Techspot seems to have a possible solution (or maybe you already checked it and couldn't solve the problem anyway).

EDIT: Little rewriting
« Last Edit: March 18, 2008, 08:39:04 PM by Lashiec »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Mobo Mystery
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2008, 08:29:59 PM »
Interesting thread - and a simple solution lets hope it helps ;)

If you don't want to read pages of stuff just check all the connections on the system panel connector - make sure all the leads jump the correct pins and that they are all the right way round.

tinjaw

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Re: Mobo Mystery
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2008, 08:59:38 PM »
* tinjaw heads off to post on Asus forums

Target

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Re: Mobo Mystery
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2008, 09:17:32 PM »
at the risk of asking an obvious question, have you tried booting just the bare board (ie no CPU, memory, video, or drives)? 

if you still get the same post error it would seem (to me, at least) to indicate the board

if you don't, then add peripherals till you do (and you'll be closer to the source of the problem)

you might also try flashing the bios (from a floppy or USB key)

Target

tinjaw

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Re: Mobo Mystery
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2008, 09:24:06 PM »
Not a dumb question, but I have tried that. Removing the video card results in the proper beep code (1 long - 3 short). Removing the memory results in the proper beep code (1 long repeating). I can't remember what it did when I removed the CPU and tried turning it on.

I have just filled out the webform for tech support from Asustek. I'll let you know what they reply. The auto reply claims a 48-hour turnaround.

Thanks for all the help. I suspect my ultimate answer will be, "It's dead, Jim". Oh joy. Time to built the server from scratch all over again.  :(

cranioscopical

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Re: Mobo Mystery
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2008, 09:12:25 PM »
I have just filled out the webform for tech support from Asustek. I'll let you know what they reply. The auto reply claims a 48-hour turnaround.

So what did happen?

lanux128

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Re: Mobo Mystery
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2008, 10:09:55 PM »
let me guess, Asustek reneged on their 48 hour response and tinjaw decided to get a new mainboard, instead. :)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Mobo Mystery
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2008, 04:43:06 AM »
Not a dumb question, but I have tried that. Removing the video card results in the proper beep code (1 long - 3 short). Removing the memory results in the proper beep code (1 long repeating). I can't remember what it did when I removed the CPU and tried turning it on.

I have just filled out the webform for tech support from Asustek. I'll let you know what they reply. The auto reply claims a 48-hour turnaround.

Thanks for all the help. I suspect my ultimate answer will be, "It's dead, Jim". Oh joy. Time to built the server from scratch all over again.  :(

If it is dead have a look for the same mobo / CPU on eBay - you can often pick up these things dirt cheap and if it works you won't have to rebuild your system after it is up and running.

f0dder

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Re: Mobo Mystery
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2008, 10:31:37 AM »
* f0dder beats ASUS around with a big thorny stick.

My testbox (P5K-VM board) started giving "chassis intrusion detected!" messages (and system lock...) at random during boots, about a week ago... this required a CMOS clear (removing the battery etc.) in order to get the system running again. Then, Thursday night, something started smelling funny, and the CPU fan stopped dead. Ugh. Furthermore, the BIOS hardware monitor showed the 12v power running at 0.6V, not good. CPUfan works fine on another board, and PSU works fine in another box, so my assumption is that the board is fried.

Turns out that the company I bought the board in has gone bankrupt - it has done a "Phoenix" trick so it still exists (now owned by another company, though, I think) which is nice and all... except the "new" shop won't handle RMA on products bought before the resurrection. Bummer.

To make matters worse, it seems ASUS only handles RMA on their notebooks, and that all other products have to be RMA'ed through the reseller you bought the product from. I even called their .dk branch, but that was one of those automated phone systems, which ended up saying "visit http://support.asus.com" - great.

Pretty displeased, I am. On the way to the dark side with aaaaanger, I am. Not feeling like spending $150 on a new board when the old one should be handled by warranty, I am. Contemplating sneaky trickery, I am.
- carpe noctem

Carol Haynes

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Re: Mobo Mystery
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2008, 11:02:06 AM »
ASUS guarantee is 3 years on mobos and it is with ASUS not the reseller. They may prefer you to use the reseller network but if the reseller is gone they still have a contract with you the buyer.

If you can't get any joy from ASUS dk try contacting their main office direct (preferably by telephone). If you still don't get any joy try asking another local reseller to submit the RMA on your behalf.

If all else fails go to your local trading standards office and get them to negotiate on your behalf.

I have to confess when I had an ASUS board ho duff on me they told me (in the UK) they had an 8 week turnaround on mobos which is ridiculous and totally unacceptible. I am not proud of what I did but I simply bought a new mobo from a reseller and returned the old one as faulty for a refund! Didn't bother them and sorted out my issue instantly. Of course if the mobo is no longer in production or the version number has bumped this may not work!

f0dder

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Re: Mobo Mystery
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2008, 11:30:22 AM »
I am not proud of what I did but I simply bought a new mobo from a reseller and returned the old one as faulty for a refund! Didn't bother them and sorted out my issue instantly. Of course if the mobo is no longer in production or the version number has bumped this may not work!
This is exactly the kind of trickery I'm planning. I need the new motherboard "yesterday" (can't really do development on "The ProjectTM", which we need to demo for BlackHat), so mailing the old motherboard to ASUS (probably intl. office) and waiting for turnaround is just a no-go.

The ASUS website says they only do RMAs for notebooks, the RMA page is seveeeerely broken (fscked up javascript et cetera), I couldn't find a contact email, and I don't feel like calling intl. office probably just to get another automated phone system.

Oh, did I mention that the voice on phone system for ASUS.dk sounded like a Swede or German trying his best to read some not-so-grammatically-correct Danish from a cue-card? Broooooooken, I tell you.

So... Monday, trickery will be applied. The shop has P5K-VMs on store, so it should work. Rather than refunding I think I'll keep both boards, it's valuable having a spare board lying around.
- carpe noctem

Carol Haynes

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Re: Mobo Mystery
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2008, 12:18:50 PM »
Actually come to think of it I did opt for a replacement rather than a refund and so ended up with two (now two systems 'cos I had enough spare parts lying around to build a second machine apart from a cheap CPU)