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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkasaurusmex View Post
    edit: wait, so if you revert to original CMOS settings, plug into onboard VGA out you still get nothing?
    I'm reading it as that - the mobo is dead even with the card removed.

    One possibility is that the bios isn't reverting to the onboard graphics tho - we need to test the mobo to see what's happening with that.

    What I'd do is remove EVERYTHING from the mobo (memory, other cards, SATA/IDE cables, USB/FP Audio headers - just leave the power connector, power switch header and cpu fan header on and try starting it - you'll know if it works because the CPU fan will spin - and you'll get POST beeps (or not) if you have the speaker

    If not, we're looking at either

    1 - your PSU has failed - this might have been why the old card didn't work and the new one has just pushed it off the cliff. The oNLY way to check this is stick another PSU in there

    2 - your mobo has blown. This COULD be caused by the last card - or this card - or the PSU or it could just be a fluke. If another PSU won't make it boot (as naked as possible as above) then that's where we've arrived...

    Bad shit, basically - but it's a "one component at a time" rebuild until you find what stops it working.
    Last edited by trjp; 07-11-2012 at 08:54 PM.

  2. #42
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    Mobo is Gigabyte Z77-DS3H.

    You know, this whole thing is a joke. I was assuming it wasn't POSTing at all, but then remembered that the case doesn't seem to have an internal speaker unless I'm being stupid. The bunch with all the other gubbins (HDDLED and all that) doesn't have speakers connectors, which I've never seen before - so actually, it's a shit to diagnose. This is getting increasingly complex!

    I was afraid it might well be a dead motherboard, but I can't see how unless it was the GPU. The annoying thing was, I got the GPU at the same time as the Mobo, and RMAd it, but can't do that with the mobo now.. I'll need to see if there's a warranty etc, or.. if ebuyer admitted the card was faulty, perhaps they'll accept the mobo was damaged by it..?

    I'll have to try to take everything off, sure. I'd already done that with the drives and most other bits. No other cards on it. The PSU seems ok, because the GPU fan spun up ok, as do both internal case fans and the CPU fan.

    Bad shit indeed. My poor fucking wallet, huh! I decided to stretch to a GTX670 in the first place, and now it looks like I might have to fork another 100+ more to get sorted if I have to replace it. Assuming it hasn't buggered anything else..?

    Seriously :(

  3. #43
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    These days mobos tend to have either an onboard buzzer/speaker or a header to attach a little one - I've not seen a case with a speaker for a while!?

    Only way to diagnose the Mobo as faulty is trial and error - stripping the PC down and seeing what, if anything, works.

    Think laterally too - do USB items power-up/charge - do other PCI devices power-up/fans run - do headphones plugged into the sound out (back pref.) produce POST beeps etc. etc.

    There may also be a way of resetting the BIOS on the board itself - this can sometimes dig you out of a BIOS-related issue such as it not switching back to onboard graphics for some reason - the manual (at the manuf. website) will tell you that.

    The safe money would be on the mobo being damaged by the first GPU but - did it work without that GPU after you RMA'd it? That makes it harder to argue, if so.

    I'd not rule-out the PSU either - faulty PSUs can cause allsorts of issues even tho fans spin and PCs even startup and appear to work sometimes...

  4. #44
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    It's all a load of wank. Grr..

    It's been 5 years since I put a system I cared about together so maybe I'm just out of date (as I increasingly am all round). I'm going to have to bite the bullet when I get a moment - the problem is I don't have many and I suppose I shouildn't leave any action I could take too long.

    No sound from back soundports. Keyboard does come on and go through light flashes (PS2 connector though).. seem to recall the [usb] mouse does too.

    Have tried BIOS reset via battery removal and shorting across two jumper pins (both methods outlined in mobo book). No joy.

    I have another old gpu but it doesn't fit, and the new gpu doesn't fit on this machine, so I can't even combine parts to check individual components. It's a sort of perfect storm.

    The motherboard hasn't been touched since the other GPU was taken out - it was shut down with all working, and my intention was to leave it completely as in my mind it was 'working' at last contact, if that makes sense - all ready to go for the new card. Will have to find a way to check the PSU seperately I suppose.

    Super annoyed,

  5. #45
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sparkasaurusmex's Avatar
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    do you have another monitor?

  6. #46
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    and you can always test it with a cheap PSU - even if the PSU is a bit low-powered (as you're not going to put the GPU in anyway)

    I have a crappy 400W (yeah right) here I use for testing -it will make a system boot (or not) and has proven about 20 PSUs to be failures over the last year alone.

  7. #47
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    I had the same "perfect storm" of a failed PC build a few years ago, and swore I would never do another one.

    In that case, the problem turned out to be the PSU.

  8. #48
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    I can't understate how easily a PSU fault can drive you around the twist - PSU problems can cause anything from random freezes/devices disappearing/graphical artifacts right through to the odd BSOD and upto a system which simply doesn't work in some configurations (and eventually in ANY combination).

    I owned a PSU tester once-upon-a-time but they're not really much cop- it's just easier to test your PC with another PSU or that PSU in another PC.

    Mind you - I did have one case where I diagnosed a dodgy PSU and it transpired that the mobo was damaging the PSU and not the other way around. We only realised this when no less than three PSUs had been trashed (all worked AOK before they went into the system and were dodgy once they've been in there a few days).

  9. #49
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sparkasaurusmex's Avatar
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    I'm actually running with a "dodgy" or perhaps maxed out PSU. I do get complete freezes on occasion, but generally everything works fine. I'm probably right at its capacity. I know it's the PSU that causes me these freezes. It's interesting that it doesn't always have problems. (makes a huge difference with USB devices plugged in)

  10. #50
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    Worth repeating that a failing/overloaded/overheating PSU is really asking for your system to be damaged - you really should replace that ASAP

    PSUs lose effectiveness over time too - generally speaking, you expect to lose 10% a year, tho cheaper ones often go faster than that (so a 3-year-old 'honest' 500W is really 350W and a 2-year-old 'never heard of the brand' 400W is probably 250W on a good day)

    When PSUs fail they usually, literally, 'let go'. I've seen sparks which lit a whole room - I've seen sparks travel through a case - I've seen the backplate of a PSU "glowing" in the darkness (good clue it's going to fail there!) and, obviously, there's a major risk that this - or more specifically the sudden removal/application/removal/application of current - will cook everything it's attached to.

    I melted an HDD last week - 'may' already have been faulty but it was attached to a portable HDD connection kit I've had for a while and the PSU for that has been 'moody' for a while. When I flipped the HDD over to check it's connections, a little flame popped-out from under the board and there was this little puff of smoke which, to me, said "this is why I'm dead" :)

  11. #51
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    Latest update for me...

    Ebuyer said they'll take the motherboard back, or that they probably will, given that it may have been messed up by the GPU itself (ergo not my fault). They sent me this request:

    "Before we can accept your board back we need you to send us pictures of the motherboard. We need a clear picture of the CPU socket taken directly from above so we can verify the alignment of the pins"

    Any advice on what I need to do with the CPU? I'm thinking I'm going to have to get some new thermal paste when I eventually get actually working parts to try again with.. If that ever happens. in principle, it could still be the PSU OR the new GPU and I wouldn't have a sensible way to know. Annoying as fuck.

  12. #52
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    Yeah, this is the worst-case scenario of building your own PC.

    Y'know what I would do? Order a new motherboard (and some thermal paste) and when it arrives, throw the CPU into it and see what happens. If everything works you RMA the first mobo, confident that it's at fault. If it DOESN'T work, you DSR the 2nd motherboard, put the paste/cpu to one side and replace everything else :)

    Note: you'll need to treat the mobo with kid gloves - it has to go back 'mint' but that shouldn't be a big issue as all you're connecting is the cpu/mobo/1 DIMM/power supply/monitor to test it.

    I assume you've tried your existing kit with another PSU already - gotta be worth a try as it's not hard to nick a PSU from a PC for 20 mins to give it a whirl (4 screws)...

    Better than testing your PSU on another system as you don't want to spike someone else's P&J
    Last edited by trjp; 13-11-2012 at 11:17 PM.

  13. #53
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    UPDATE!

    OK.. I was going to swap PSUs and then realised that the CPU fan on my old (this one) plus the old style case meant it would have been a real trial to get it out of the case, even.. so before I did that, I tried (I had found) a different (but broken) GPU card in the thing. Turns out that despite certainly restarting itself a few times and having hard resets done plenty over the last couple of weeks, it actually still works.. The BIOS recognised it had been reset, so I plugged the HD back in and lo, it booted Windows 7 no problemo! I took the opportunity to check different MOBO slots and both 6 pin leads (that the 670 requires) while I was there, and all seems to be fine.

    The only conclusion I can really come to is that the MOBO is fine, the memory still reads as fine (inlcuding a W7 check), The processor is recognised fine with all 4 cores, and that the PSU is probably fine too.. the 8800GT, while broken, still spins up and so on, no problem, even if the hardware side isn't working.. so while it only needs 105 watts, the GTX670 only ever wants 170, so it should still have caused some issues had it been the PSU. That's including HDD powered, whereas the screen was black with the GTX670 even with nothing else powered bar the MOBO and CPU.

    SO - in short, am I right in thinking it must either be that this GPU - the replacement (and 30 more) than the originally buggered one - is probably also buggered? Or at least that there must be some fundamental conflict with that chipset? I have no clue from here, but I feel like I'm going to have to assume the MOBO is fine but the GPU will again need to go back!!

  14. #54
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    Let me get this clear - you put another GPU into your (possibly broken) PC and it works OK now?

    I thought you'd tried the PC without a GPU at all - did that not worth either??

    This means that the entire problem is that BOTH cards you've had prevent your PC from booting somehow?

    The odds of both cards being duff are pretty long - if you return that one and eBuyer find it's duff they may assume you're the now making them duff, in fact - it's a logical conclusion!?

    At this point I'd want to try the GPU in that PC again - pref. with a diff. PSU - or that GPU in your other PC perhaps?

  15. #55
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    Right - after further investigations, it turns out that I could fit this new card into my current system (the previous knackered one was a touch too long, can't imagine there'd be much difference but still). Guess what.. the system boots up as expected, but there is not a bean, nary a flicker of life on the monitor. What else can I now conclude but that the GPU is AGAIN done in? This current system has less power from the PSU but should have been enough, so the fact that I get exactly the same thing from both systems, which both work with my old card, surely leaves me no other conclusion? The reason I don't think the system is breaking the cards is that the old card is perfectly ok swapping between this one and the old one, undamaged any more than it already was.. and I at least got a signal on the previous 'new' card, just couldn't get it working with drivers installed for the hardware. This one I get something different, ie nothing at all, from the off, on both.

    Think it's time to send it back. Maybe third time lucky?

  16. #56
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    Just some questions, because I haven't read through all the thread, just this page.

    1) You're going to attempt a third graphics card? Are you sure this monitor works?
    2) Have you tried the graphics card (any of them) in all the pci slots? I once woke up one morning to turn my pc on only to get nothing showing up on the screen. I put my graphics card into the other pci slot and it worked, I swapped it back to the original and the screen was black again. I had the mobo replaced.
    3)Something tells me if you've tried two graphics cards already, which are working in another system (am I correct?) then it's not the graphics cards, but the mobo or perhaps more specifically the pci slot on the mobo.

    I'd suggest the following if you can, it sounds like you have two systems.
    1) Get the two mobos and PSUs and mark them in your head as MOBO A B and PSU A B. Also get another screen, either a monitor or perhaps a telly with a vga/hdmi port in it you can use and have them as SCREEN A B
    2) Try out different configurations with the graphics card. Try
    MOBO A + PSU A + SCREEN A
    MOBO A + PSU A + SCREEN B
    MOBO A + PSU B + SCREEN A
    MOBO A + PSU B + SCREEN B
    MOBO B + PSU A + SCREEN A
    MOBO B + PSU A + SCREEN B
    MOBO B + PSU B + SCREEN A
    MOBO B + PSU B + SCREEN B

    It's a lot of configurations, but at some point in it you should be able to determine what component it is. I'd also suggest trying the card in all the PCI slots.

    It sounds like you're taking stabbing guesses at what is actually wrong and just assuming the card is at fault.

  17. #57
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    An obvious missing element in this is your monitor - it could easily be the issue here, do you have a TV or anything else you can try this with?

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    An obvious missing element in this is your monitor - it could easily be the issue here, do you have a TV or anything else you can try this with?
    Answer, and latest update..

    Could it honestly be the monitor? I can't understand how it could be. It works all the time with the old machine, and also worked fine, as far as anything worked fine, with GPU #1.

    I ask because I've finally had the time to action some more things, and ebuyer reckon this one was ok - despite it not producing a damn thing on either system. Am I to assume it might still be the PSU, or mobo, or what? This is a seriously problematic build. The system still works seemingly 100% fine when the gpu in this one (that is hardware broken but still displays basics ok mostly) is put into the new system. So.. the monitor does work with this card, in either build, old or new. The install is entirely stable as far as I can tell in the new build. Really a PSU problem, given that it spins everything up ok and should be 650W?

  19. #59
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    The question really isn't "could it be the monitor" anymore than "is it likely to be any other thing" - it could even be the monitor CABLE - or a PSU connector - or the Feng Shui of your room :)

    The ONLY way to debug this stuff is to try each and every possibly combination of things until you've worked out what does and doesn't work.

    The only way we can really help further is with a much clearer picture of what you've tried and what does/doesn't work - basically you need to fill-in something like

    System A (mobo/cpu/memory)
    System B (mobo/cpu/memory)

    PSU A (spec)
    PSU B (spec)

    GPU A (spec)
    GPU B (spec)

    and then

    System A + PSU A + GPU A = works/fails

    When you've done that - you and we will be MUCH clearer where to go next I reckon.

  20. #60
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    I'll fill in that thing in a bit..

    BUT a quick thought - this monitor isn't as new as I thought - but it works flawlessly with this system, so.. you know. It only has a VGA input and needs a VGA to DVI adapter on the new one and the old one alike.. there's no reason for the card to require you tp use HDMI or whatever, is there?

    I still fundamentally struggle with the fact that the card, which I sent back and ebuyer say is fine this time, displays absolutely nothing on either of my systems, either the new one or the old one. I also don't think it can be the mobo or CPU having real issues unless there's a fundamental random problem, because with the [broken but displays without acceleration] card in this one it's fine; boots up to Windows 7 and is stable as anything as far as I can tell. Even this system has a 500W PSU, which should really be enough. So I don't know why it woudln't work on either unless it IS a monitor issue. But how?

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