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Dead Motherboard....maybe....what do you think?

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Well, I haven't been around for awhile, here's why:

My new mobo died after 4 days out of the box and I could use some advice as I'm going to have to figure out what to return to the online company that I purchased it from. Could it be the processor?

I put together a:
MSI P4N SLI mobo with a 3ghz Celeron and 512mb chunk of Geil 667 RAM with a 480 watt Mutant Mods PSU.

After 4 days of operating fine, yesterday I was talking on Skype and my machine went cold, lights out.  :o

Tried rebooting, can hear CPU crunching, fans and lights working, DVD drive blinking, hard drives are humming but monitor remains in sleep mode and there are no POST beeps to be heard. Tried resetting the CMOS, luck. Tried booting a few hours later and the monitor came on and I got into the BIOS so I let it sit like that. After a few minutes it died again. Does this mean anything to anyone?

Would a dead CPU prevent the BIOS from being accessed or is the BIOS able to operate without a CPU?

Would a dead mobo be able to boot again but only for a brief time?

Argh!!!!  :mad:

More sys info:

Motherboard: MSI P4N SLI
BIOS: AMI (version? Don't know...mobo is dead)
CPU: Intel Celeron D 340 2.93Ghz
RAM: Geil 512Mb PC5300 677Mhz DDR2 X1 Slot
GPU: ATI Radion 8Mb PCI (I have no PCIe card at the moment)
PSU: Mutant Mods 480 Watt PSU: +3.3V/30A, +5V/45A, +12V/26A
HDD: 30Gb Quantum Fire Ball IDE Master/120 Gb Maxtor IDE Slave
OS: Windows XP Pro SP2

...all housed in a Lian Li case with mobo risers all in the correct places. No shorts anywhere.

Carol Haynes:
Sounds like an overheating problem to me.

If it comes on after being off and then goes off again in short order it sounds like a thermal problem. Possibly the seating of the heatsink on the CPU should be checked. Try leaving the box open and get a fan to blow cold air into the box - see if it stays up then.

If the mobo was dead it wouldn't be likely to startup at all.

How did you install your CPU ?

Are you overclocking?

Do the memory cards require heatsinks? Are they fitted correctly?

Try stripping down you system to the absolute bare minimum components (graphics card/floppy disc and a boot floppy to DOS/1 mem card etc.)

i sympathize with the frustration you must be facing - my very limited experience putting pcs together is that somethings things work great right from the start, and sometimes you get unlucky and have to struggle with the frustration of trying to figure out what is wrong.

the cause of your problem could really be anything, but the standard approach is the same - you want to replace components one by one and see if you can isolate the problem.

given the description of your problem i'd suspect cpu+memory first.

it could be an overheating thing - make sure the cpu fan is running when you turn the machine on.  remove the memory sticks and put back only on stick - try a different slot.  maybe try with no memory at all and see if you can get the bios to post reliably.

if you have another cpu, try replacing that.  same with graphics card.

no, it's not overheating. It ran fine for 4 days straight, 24 hours a day. When the BIOS was running it was monitoring the CPU temp and it was normal. I also have a very large Thermaltake copper core cooling fan with heat pipes on the CPU, 2 fans in the front of the case cooling my hard drives, another fan on the Northbridge chip, another on the back, on one the top of the case and two within the PSU itself.

It's not overclocked. It's got a Celeron in it and I wouldn't get crazy with a Celeron. The only reason it's a Celeron is because I needed anything to run it until I can afford a decent Pentium chip and a PCIe video card.

The CPU used a socket 775 slot, so it's almost idiot proof. I just aligned it, locked the lever, applied my thermal goo and screwed down my heat sink and massive fan.

The RAM is seated in the proper slot, closest to the processor.

Now the mother board does nothing. No BIOS, nothing. It's not the video card, I'm using that now in this machine. I removed everything and tried getting back into the BIOS. No go. I've been in and out of many machines and have never had this problem. Everything is seated properly, and there are no burn marks or smells. The board powers up nicely and all the fans and drives spin up....just no BIOS, no error beeps. I'm pretty sure the board is dead and I know this happens fairly often...just never to me, until now. :(

Oh well, at least I got this old machine back together in one piece and I have a back up at the ready when I get my new one working again. Maybe I'll even use this as a firewall and virus scanner.

Does anyone know if a BIOS can be accessed on a board with no CPU or RAM? Guess I'll find out soon...

i had a machine that wouldnt post at all until i reseated memory about 10 times -
then it never had a problem again.  so i'm VERY suspicious always of memory, and reseating memory is always first thing i try.


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