8RGA+ motherboard problem, please help!

Discussion in 'Epox' started by hotister, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. hotister

    hotister Guest

    Dear all:

    My PC with Epox 8RGA+ motherboard has been working just fine until
    recently for some reason, after a hot day of weather (maybe), the
    motherboard simply won't post. Now I'm getting some LED code (on the
    motherboard) C1h (Detect Memory) or C3h (Expand compressed BIOS code to
    DRAM), sometimes 29h (*). Sometimes if I turn off the switching power
    supply for a while and if I got lucky, I "might" get the motherboard to
    post, but it's not consistent and usually it simply won't post. The
    monitor was tested ok, the switching power supply was also tested OK (I
    think). I'm wondering what could be the reason? I have took out all the
    PCI cards that attached to the motherboard. Although this computer is a
    bit old (bought in 2002), but I was using all quality products
    (switching power supply: Enermax 365Watt), memory is Corsair 512MB x2
    (CMS512-3500C2PT, rated at 433Mhz), and retail AMD CPU (AMD Athlon XP
    3200+ with factory cooling fan). From your experience, does this sound
    like a memory problem, CPU problem, or motherboard problem?? I don't
    have any spare AMD CPU or memory to switch for testing. What would be
    your suggestion for trouble shooting?? Many many thanks!
     
    hotister, Jul 25, 2006
    #1
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  2. hotister

    Chris Hill Guest

    How was the power supply tested okay? I'd still try a different one
    since that is one of the easiest things to test. If that isn't it,
    look at the capacitors on the mainboard. They are the small round
    can-shaped things. If any are bulging or leaking you need a
    mainboard.
     
    Chris Hill, Jul 25, 2006
    #2
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  3. hotister

    hotister Guest

    Hi Chris, thanks so much of your help.

    I did not really test the switching power supply, as I did see the fan
    was turning and the motherboard was able to POST from time to time, so
    I just thought that it might be OK. After your kind reminder, I just
    replaced the switching power supply from another working computer of
    mine, and after turn on the power, I got a red message on the screen:

    DON'T TURN OFF OR RESET YOUR SYSTEM. PLEASE WAIT!

    I waited for about 3-4 minutes but nothing happened, as I have to get
    back to my office so I didn't continue to wait, but I didn't dare to
    turn off the PC power too (so I just turned off the monitor power), so
    later after I go home, we will see... hopefully it is the switching
    power supply problem.. :)

    Thanks again for your help and if anyone knows what the above message
    really mean (or what caused it), please let me know, thanks!!
     
    hotister, Jul 25, 2006
    #3
  4. hotister

    hotister Guest

    by the way, here is what I have found on the Internet (I used
    alltheweb.com instead of google.com, as google didn't come up with
    anything!)

    http://forums.pcper.com/printthread.php?t=231717

    I'm going to give this a try and report here again
     
    hotister, Jul 25, 2006
    #4
  5. hotister

    hotister Guest

    OK, I really tried another switching power supply (a tested working
    one), still the same, no post.. after I read the online article, I was
    thinking that maybe it's the memory, I have ordered new motherboard and
    CPU and will test it out..
     
    hotister, Jul 26, 2006
    #5
  6. hotister

    dave Guest

    Chris already told you that it is likely the capacitors.

    DaveL
     
    dave, Jul 26, 2006
    #6
  7. hotister

    hotister Guest

    Thanks for everyone's help, I really appreciate that.

    Right now I have narrowed the problem to be either the Motherboard, or
    the CPU. As I don't have any other spare socket A CPU or motherboard
    for testing, I wonder if there is any way that I could figure out
    whether it is truly the motherboard (the capacitor maybe?) or the CPU
    simply got fried?? I didn't overclock the CPU though, but I did notice
    that the CPU cooling fan was really dusty so the cooling fan might have
    had given the CPU enough cooling. Does anyone has any suggestion to
    further testing this? Thanks!
     
    hotister, Aug 1, 2006
    #7
  8. hotister

    Graham W Guest

    Have you looked at the capacitors on the m/b? If any are leaking or
    leaning
    over then that'll be your problem. See: www.badcaps.com for more info on
    this.

    Perhaps re-iterate your symptoms as well as saying if you see the counter
    running up to 'FF' (It starts there, you see, then wraps round to '00')
    and
    then counts up the rest of the codes.

    Can a friend test you CPU in his machine?
     
    Graham W, Aug 1, 2006
    #8
  9. hotister

    hotister Guest

    Graham, thanks so much for your help! Too bad that all my friends are
    using Intel chips so I can't really test it out with my CPU, The LED
    code on the motherboard used to be able to run up to say C2 or C3, but
    now it's always displaying FF.. does this also indicate that I might
    have a bad cap?? The badcaps.com is really a nice site, thanks so much
    for the help!
     
    hotister, Aug 2, 2006
    #9
  10. hotister

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, Hotister.

    When Graham checks in, he'll probably explain that the LED should read FF
    twice: once at the very beginning when you power on and again at the very
    end of the boot process, signifying a successful boot - at least as far as
    the BIOS is concerned. It's not responsible for failures or hangups after
    this point. If it never progresses from the initial FF, you've got a
    problem.

    Chris, Dave and Graham have already suggested you check the capacitors.
    What did you find when you did that?

    RC
    --
    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX

    Microsoft Windows MVP
    (currently running Windows Mail 7 in Vista x64 Build 5472)
     
    R. C. White, Aug 2, 2006
    #10
  11. hotister

    dave Guest

    dave, Aug 2, 2006
    #11
  12. hotister

    whchuang Guest

    Yeah, you guys are right. I got two bad caps on the motherboard. :(

    So I guess I could either sell my working (I guess) AMD Athlon XP 3000+
    CPU, or I could get another socket A motherboard, which solution would
    you guys recommend?? If I'm getting another socket A motherboard, which
    brand/model of mobo should I get that would probably have less chance
    of getting this kind of bad caps problem again?? Many many thanks! :)
     
    whchuang, Aug 2, 2006
    #12
  13. hotister

    Graham W Guest

    Well, bare in mind that at the beginning of July AMD reduced the prices
    of lots of CPUs so your current one is worth very little currently.
    Therefore if
    you were satisfied with the performance of the current kit send the
    m/board
    to Badcaps for refurbishment or, if you have the skills or a colleague
    has,
    order a kit and DIY. Remember it is a multilayer board and you mustn't
    damage any of the through-holes; it isn't a simple solderering job!

    If you call it a day, you'll find that your memory likely won't be
    suitable for
    a new system or the video card as well as the drives.

    Let us know what you decide. I had the opportunity to buy a whole
    re-furbed
    board and did it by swapping them.
     
    Graham W, Aug 2, 2006
    #13
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