8RDA+ won't POST

Discussion in 'Epox' started by gbrooksby, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. gbrooksby

    gbrooksby Guest

    I've got an 8RDA+ system that was running fine early today. (It is not
    overclocked, but I'm thinking overclockers may have some insights too,
    hence the cross post.)

    It was left on while people left the room. When they came back a few
    hours later it was dead. Now it won't even POST.

    History: ~3 weeks ago it started giving a message at boot time saying
    the CPU had changed. (It hadn't)
    I swapped in a new CMOS Battery and after a lot of other Windows
    related issues had the machine running fine again, except that it
    would complain that the 80 conductor 2nd-ary IDE Cable was not
    connected. (it was)
    After a while longer, it failed to boot because it didn't detect the
    floppy (which was still connected). I went into the BIOS and told it
    to ignore that error. It booted fine and continued working.

    Now it's dead. A few times I was able to get the power and fans to
    come on but the system would not even get to the BIOS screen. I
    checked the PS with a volt meter and got proper voltages on the
    peripheral connectors (+5v, +12v) The LED error codes would stop at a
    different value each time it froze: 00, FF, C1, CF, 0d. It was very
    random. I would sometime get long beeps. Then I started getting hi-
    lo-hi-lo alternating beeps.

    I disconnected ALL the IDE cables and their power supplies and even
    the MoBo from the PS. Then I reconnected them all and now I don't
    even get power or fans. I can see the NIC lights (yellow and green)
    come on, and I can see the LED briefly flash FF (<0.5sec).

    I'm starting to think the BIOS Chip went south. Any other

    This machine has been a trooper and I'd hate to see it go.

    I'd appreciate any pointers.


    gbrooksby, Jul 2, 2008
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  2. gbrooksby

    David Lee Guest

    wrote in @i76g2000hsf.googlegroups.com:
    You didn't mention the capacitors. Its a common problem for Epox and
    other brands too. They SHOULD'NT be swollen or leaky.

    David Lee, Jul 2, 2008
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  3. gbrooksby

    Paul Guest

    The hi-lo-hi-lo police siren, suggests you should have a look at
    the capacitors near the CPU socket.


    There is a closeup here, of some bad capacitors. The reason the
    ones around the CPU tend to go, is because they are under the
    most stress (high ripple current). Also, look on the PCB, as there
    could be a brown stain, where a liquid leaked and dried up.


    If you don't stop using a motherboard, when the capacitors start
    to go, there can be collateral damage. The MOSFETs or the
    toroidal coils near the caps, can fail as a result of the
    overload caused by failed caps.

    People have managed to fix things like this, but at some
    point, the amount spent on parts or tools, outweighs
    any possible saving. For example, one guy used to charge
    $50 to re-cap a board, but for that price, you might find
    a whole replacement board on Ebay. Some enjoy stuff like
    this, and for them the money is not an issue.

    Paul, Jul 2, 2008
  4. gbrooksby

    gbrooksby Guest

    Thanks for the suggestions. I checked all the electrolytics on the
    board and they all look pristine. No evidence of swelling or

    Other ideas?

    gbrooksby, Jul 2, 2008
  5. gbrooksby

    Paul Guest

    The thing is, your symptoms suggested I/O related problems,
    and the problems don't necessarily all share the same
    voltage. There are regulators on the motherboard, some
    to power the CPU, some for the chipset, one for AGP slot,
    and so on, and something like that could be having a problem.
    Not all the important voltages on the board, show up in the
    hardware monitor BIOS screen.

    About all you can do, is start unplugging stuff, and see if
    you can get any error beeps out of it. That would tell you
    BIOS code is running, the CPU is working, and the chipset
    has power. For example, with no video card or RAM present,
    you should get a beep code. And the beep code should continue
    to repeat.

    If the checksum on the main BIOS code was bad, then the
    BIOS may attempt to access the floppy, looking for a way
    to repair the BIOS. The code to do that, is in the boot
    block in the BIOS.

    And since you have a POST code display, that is an even easier
    way to check for progress. If the display stays at FF, then
    there isn't any processing going on.

    If the display can only show the FF code for a short period,
    I'd be asking what was powering the display. From experience,
    you probably know whether that display has a blanking function,
    and is capable of turning off the LEDs on the display, under
    normal circumstances. Or whether the LEDs on the display,
    would normally be running all the time.

    Paul, Jul 2, 2008
  6. gbrooksby

    gbrooksby Guest

    It may not come as a surprise, but on closer inspection, one of the
    caps is bulging. Looks just like the pictures scattered about the
    net. The question now is fix or replace. It's a 4 year-old board so
    it's a tough call. I'll mull it over.

    Thanks for the help!

    gbrooksby, Jul 3, 2008
  7. gbrooksby

    gbrooksby Guest

    Yes, I found this site. It would appear I can order a complete
    replacement board, but when I tried to do that the site doesn't allow
    the completion of the orders. It throws some MSQL error. I e-mailed
    and asked if the items were in stock and I got a reply saying they
    were. When I e-mailed again about the broken site I got no reply.
    Very frustrating.

    In the mean time, I removed a bunch of capacitors from my existing
    board thinking I would just fix it. In the process it appears I
    severed a trace on the board during removal of one of the caps.
    Assuming I can fix the trace the cost of new caps will be about the
    same as a new board ... if the epoxstore site would work.

    gbrooksby, Jul 10, 2008
  8. gbrooksby

    gdp Guest

    It was a year and a half ago, there were messages in this group about
    credit card information submitted to epoxstore being stolen and used?
    Perhaps they are using paypal now, so less chance of a problem? Caution
    is urged.

    gdp, Jul 11, 2008
  9. gbrooksby

    gbrooksby Guest

    The epox store came back on-line and I was able to order a refurbished
    8RDA+. I installed it tonight but it still won't boot. The boot
    codes it stops at seem random again. 9dh and 6fh come to mind. So at
    this point it shouldn't be the MB. I checked the PS before I pulled
    the MB, so I believe it is ok. I could try a different memory stick.
    Any other suggestions? I guess perhaps the CPU could have died, but I
    have no way to test for that.

    gbrooksby, Jul 26, 2008
  10. gbrooksby

    Paul Guest

    Can you try booting from something else ? Like a Linux LiveCD ?
    Knoppix (knopper.net) or Ubuntu (ubuntu.com) are examples.
    I like Knoppix, due to the text displayed on the screen during
    the CDROM boot process. No hard drive is needed to operate with
    a Linux LiveCD. Either Linux is a 700MB download, and you need
    a burning tool that can handle ISO9660 file format.

    A second possible test, is to get a diagnostic for the hard drive,
    from the hard drive manufacturer's web site. That should be a bootable
    setup, allowing you to test that something other than your existing
    Windows install can boot. It'll also give an opportunity to check
    the hard drive and the I/O path to the hard drive.

    Even memtest86+ from memtest.org, gives a bootable media, although
    the boot sequence doesn't take very long.

    Paul, Jul 26, 2008
  11. gbrooksby

    gbrooksby Guest

    I have a Knoppix LiveCD. The problem in this case however is that the
    machine won't even get to the boot phase. It's hanging in the POST
    before the bios screen is ever even displayed. I've now swapped in a
    new motherboard. I've tested a new RAM stick. I've checked the PS
    voltages at the ATX connector with the machine powered on (all
    voltages seem normal). I'm left to conclude that it's either a bad
    video card that's stalling the boot at random places, or a dead CPU.
    I may find an alternate video card to try. It's not likely that I'll
    find another CPU to try. If it's the CPU it's time for a new system I

    gbrooksby, Jul 26, 2008
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