GA7N400 Pro (not Pro2) problem - advice requested

Discussion in 'Gigabyte' started by Eddie B., Dec 30, 2004.

  1. Eddie B.

    Eddie B. Guest

    I would appreciate suggestions about a problem I am having.

    The PC is based around a GA7N400 Pro mainboard with an Athlon XP2700 cpu. It
    has been used for about 2 years. Now, it sometimes won't boot (not
    displaying anything on the screen at all), or when booted, will crash some
    time later, usually when simply idling (i.e. not actually accepting key
    strokes or mouse input). When it crashes, it keeps the cpu cooling fan (and
    chipset fan, and case fans) running. After a crash, it definitely won't
    reboot, but "sulks" for a few hours or a day or so!

    I suspected originally that it was a video card problem, especially as its
    cooler was choked with dust, but the cleaned-up Ti4600 (4X) card works fine
    in another PC, and the problem PC exhibits the same (no boot) behaviour with
    a different card. I have put the hard drive into a different PC as a
    "slave", and run a virus check and other diagnostics on it. The problem PC
    won't display the pre-boot screen without a hdd present either. (i.e. I
    think I have eliminated hdd and video card as the root of the problem. Am I
    right to eliminate the psu, on the grounds that it keeps the fans spinning
    after a crash?

    It may be my imagination, but the problem seems to have occurred after a
    Linksys 54g wireless network card was installed - although taking it out
    hasn't cured the problem.

    It seems to me that the problem must lie either with the mainboard or the
    cpu. Can anyone suggest how I might resolve which it is, please (and why
    that would give rise to the symptoms experienced)? I'm reluctant to
    dismantle a working PC to provide a spare cpu or mainboard, so the obvious
    solution (try the cpu on a different mainboard, try a different mainboard
    with the XP2700) has to be a last resort.



    Complete spec:

    GA7N400 Pro mainboard
    Athlon XP2700 (333)
    512Mb generic RAM (1 stick)
    hdd IBM/Hitachi 120 Gb
    PNY GF Ti4600 (4X)
    LiteOn DVD CDRW combo
    400W psu
    Windows XP Pro
    Creative SB Live Platinum (with the front panel etc)
    Linksys 54g network card
    Eddie B., Dec 30, 2004
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  2. Eddie B.

    jpsga Guest

    Since the BIOS will generally peep at a bad AGP or memory, I wonder about
    the main BIOS chip.

    Can you boot from the other BIOS chip?

    jpsga, Dec 31, 2004
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  3. Eddie B.

    Eddie B. Guest

    Thanks for the advice. I'll have a go at that when I've finished backing up
    the stuff from the hdd.

    Eddie B., Dec 31, 2004
  4. Eddie B.

    HammerToe Guest

    1. I don't think you can conclusively eliminate the Power Supply
    simply because the fans keep running (different/different power
    demands on PS from CPU and MB). Try another PS.

    2. I doubt VERY much it's the CPU. They TEND to go 'all-or-nothing'..

    3. Eliminate the PS, Video card and *Memory* by trying different parts
    if possible. (At least TRY unseating and reseating the memory if you
    don't have extra and/or try diff. DIMM slots.

    4. Make sure you try safest BIOS settings.

    5. Try getting to a DOS prompt with just the MEM, Video Card and
    Floppy installed. NO HD.

    6. If NONE of the above helps, then I suspect you have a MB that's
    gone bad... Prob. capacitors drying out with age/falling out of spec.

    Good Luck. Please post your results.
    HammerToe, Jan 1, 2005
  5. Eddie B.

    Eddie B. Guest

    Initial results:

    Well, it isn't the power supply. I bought another, and installed it. The
    system won't power up, although the psu, cpu and case fans spin up. I was
    seduced into believing it was a psu problem, because the previous psu was a
    Q-TEC (!) - the gold 400W - and the consensus appears to be that Q-TEC psu's
    are dud. I'm having a trawl round for another cpu to try, or another m/b.

    Shall I go for an alternative m/b because cpus tend to go 'all-or-nothing',
    and this went gradually? Or just because I can get a m/b cheaper than a cpu?
    Eddie B., Jan 7, 2005
  6. Eddie B.

    HammerToe Guest

    Here's a possible suggestion:

    Why don't you consider taking the MB, CPU,Memory and Video Card OUT of
    your PC and taking it down to some shop/store that SPECIALIZES in
    selling/installing parts/catering to real 'enthusists'.

    You can them explain your problem to them and advise that that you
    will be interested in buying whatever replacement parts you might need
    to get things up and running again and (maybe) that you suspect the MB
    (if you do/that's your best guess).

    I'm pretty sure that 'they' might/probably WOULD be happy to diagnose
    the problem for you, especiallly if ALL the parts are out as they are
    generally set up to EASILY TEST YOUR COMPONENTS in a 'breadboard'
    fashion, and they gerenally/often have extra parts (CPUs, Memory,
    etc.) right on hand for such swaps, ESPECIALLY if they know/you
    promise that you're going to buy whatever youn need to get running

    Anyway, THAT's what I would do, unless I happened to have extra MBs,
    etc. around for testing/to find the problem bt 'process of
    elimination'. You can spend a lot of TIME AND MONEY and wind up buying
    parts you don't NEED (if you guess wrong) otherwise and wind up
    spending MORE in the end.

    Good Luck.
    HammerToe, Jan 7, 2005
  7. Eddie B.

    Eddie B. Guest

    Final results:

    The machine has gone into a terminal sulk, and nothing will restart it.

    I eventually weakened, and swapped a cpu from another computer. The
    motherboard (the only remaining part) is dead. Then I swapped the cpu from
    the dead computer into the transplant donor. Aha! the cpu is dead also! My
    mainboard and cpu had a suicide pact.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    Eddie B.
    Eddie B., Jan 8, 2005
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