How can I tell if either my mobo or CPU is dead (or both).

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Bob Smith, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. Bob Smith

    Bob Smith Guest

    Hello, I have a ASUS P5P800 LGA775 865PE MOBO
    and an Intel LGA775 Hyper-Threading Technology CPU. Right now it
    doesn't boot up, but the mobo seems active, i.e. when I press the
    power button the periphs connected start up but that's it. I don't get
    any "beep". The last message I got before it went down was something
    about a bad BIOS error


    I was wondering if there are some simple test a layman (like
    me) can do to find out which Hardware is dead. Or if there is any way
    to fix the BIOS. The other option is to take it to a computer repair
    shop ($$$) just to find out what is wrong with it and probably more
    ($$$) to fix it (even though it is, by today's technology, "out
    dated").

    TIA
    Bob Smith, Sep 5, 2010
    #1
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  2. Bob Smith

    Paul Guest

    Bob Smith wrote:
    > Hello, I have a ASUS P5P800 LGA775 865PE MOBO
    > and an Intel LGA775 Hyper-Threading Technology CPU. Right now it
    > doesn't boot up, but the mobo seems active, i.e. when I press the
    > power button the periphs connected start up but that's it. I don't get
    > any "beep". The last message I got before it went down was something
    > about a bad BIOS error
    >
    >
    > I was wondering if there are some simple test a layman (like
    > me) can do to find out which Hardware is dead. Or if there is any way
    > to fix the BIOS. The other option is to take it to a computer repair
    > shop ($$$) just to find out what is wrong with it and probably more
    > ($$$) to fix it (even though it is, by today's technology, "out
    > dated").
    >
    > TIA


    Your first step, would be to record, as best you can, the *exact*
    error message you saw, then Google it. The objective of doing that, is
    to see if you can get yourself a "root cause" to work with.
    Perhaps the error referred to an "NVRAM error" or the like ?

    One potential issue with your motherboard, is it has an ICH5 Southbridge.
    That is the large chip, without a heatsink, to the right of your
    AGP slot, and below the DIMMs. It doesn't have a heatsink, because it
    doesn't need one. That chip can fail, due to electrostatic discharge.
    The chip goes into latchup, and a burn mark can appear on the surface
    of the chip. When the chip burns, it won't POST any more (your symptoms).
    If the chip burns internally, with no external damage, in that case
    all USB ports stop responding, but the computer will still start.
    You can add back USB2 functionality in that case, by installing a PCI
    USB2 card, to replace the non-functional USB ports. In Device Manager,
    you would continue to see USB entries for the Southbridge - the problem
    is, the ports no longer have power at the I/O level, which is why no
    USB device plugged into a motherboard port, can work. The burned
    power connection is inside the ICH5. But if the ICH5 power connection
    stays intact, that is when the surface of the IC package is damaged.
    The silicon chip gets so hot, due to latchup, it burns a hole in the
    top surface of the packaging. And the chip is ruined at that point.
    The Southbridge is key to getting the system to start, so burning
    is the end of things. (Asus has soldered a new one to a motherboard
    under warranty, so it can be fixed. It was never clear, whether
    Intel was paying for this problem, or whether there were any hidden
    warranties or not. It is doubtful, Intel ever made any revisions
    of the chip, with that problem fixed.)

    http://www.overclockers.ru/images/lab/2004/10/28/p5p800-b.jpg

    One of the first burned ones... This one won't be POSTing any more :-(

    http://onfinite.com/libraries/179057/2ea.jpg

    Intel never admitted a problem. Only Gigabyte mentioned it on their website.

    http://tw2005.giga-byte.com/Motherboard/Support/FAQ/FAQ_456.htm

    *******

    If the BIOS flash chip had failed, you can get a new one. Your chip is
    a 32 pin PLCC, with a white paper label affixed to it. You can see
    a picture of a 32 PLCC chip on this page. Your one is in a socket for
    easy replacement. You need to peel the label off the chip, clean any
    adhesive residue with GooGone, then read the part number off it. Badflash
    should be able to send you a new chip, programmed with whatever file
    you specify from the Asus site.

    http://www.badflash.com/findbios.htm

    I would not to that, just yet.

    *******

    The only test cases we've got for you, are as follows:

    1) Remove RAM, remove video card, remove PCI cards, with the power off.
    Disconnect hard drives if you want.

    2) Now you've got processor, heatsink/fan, motherboard. Leave the computer
    case speaker connected to the PANEL header. Turn on the system. If
    your CPU was able to read the BIOS chip, it would send a "beep error pattern"
    to the computer case speaker (announcing a RAM error). If that works,
    your system is not completely dead.

    3) If there were no beeps at all in (2), it is either CPU or motherboard.
    Suspect motherboard first, as CPUs don't fail very often. You can either
    borrow a CPU and test the motherboard at this point. Or borrow a motherboard
    and test using the CPU recovered from your system. This is where your
    local computer shop has an advantage, as they probably have junk lying
    around to do "swap tests".

    You're in luck, in the sense that your processor is LGA775, so you
    have more options available to you, when replacing the motherboard.

    I'm surprised these are still for sale. This is an LGA775 motherboard,
    good for processors up to FSB1066 (FSB1333 processors would be a waste
    in a system like this). It has an AGP slot (its best video slot). It
    takes DDR or DDR2 RAM (but not both at the same time). It has legacy ports.
    It has PCI slots. I had one, but replaced it not because it failed, but
    because when I plugged in a WinTV card (BT878 based), the disk transfer
    rate would slow down. As long as you're not using a WinTV PCI card, this
    motherboard is fine at stock settings. (The BIOS design isn't the best,
    and I suspect the Intel legal department is partly to blame. EIST was
    disabled, lord knows why.)

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157115

    CPU support chart.

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/cpu.asp?Model=4CoreDual-SATA2 R2.0

    Good luck,
    Paul
    Paul, Sep 5, 2010
    #2
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  3. Bob Smith

    Bob F Guest

    Bob Smith wrote:
    > Hello, I have a ASUS P5P800 LGA775 865PE MOBO
    > and an Intel LGA775 Hyper-Threading Technology CPU. Right now it
    > doesn't boot up, but the mobo seems active, i.e. when I press the
    > power button the periphs connected start up but that's it. I don't get
    > any "beep". The last message I got before it went down was something
    > about a bad BIOS error
    >
    >
    > I was wondering if there are some simple test a layman (like
    > me) can do to find out which Hardware is dead. Or if there is any way
    > to fix the BIOS. The other option is to take it to a computer repair
    > shop ($$$) just to find out what is wrong with it and probably more
    > ($$$) to fix it (even though it is, by today's technology, "out
    > dated").


    First thing - check the battery. I had one system that wouldn't do anything that
    was fixed by replacing the battery and doing a bios reset to default.
    Bob F, Sep 6, 2010
    #3
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