Defective Motherboard | Defected RAM | BIOS Problem?

Reported Defect: No video no beep codes sounds dead system unit

Computer Name / Owner : Bobo Pague
Date fixed: August 23, 2009
Place: Barangay Taclobo, Dumaguete City
Unit: ATX

Computer Description:

Motherboard: ASUS
Processor: Intel ® Celeron ® 1.80 Ghz
RAM: 1 Gb
Operating System: Win XP SP2




Checked By: Andrew Dahilan - 09058538259



Interview Report:

The owner said just one day it turned off and then really gone dead. The system was sent to two respected Computer Servicing Shops in Dumaguete and both shops said the motherboard is defective or dead.


Observations:

>No Display
>No Beep code
>PSU and CPU Fans Spinning
>Numlock don’t lit on startup


Troubleshooting Proper:

>Since the system was already passed down to me, I assumed its peripherals had been checked thoroughly. So I removed all the peripherals and tested each to verify “their” findings.

>First, I removed ALL removable components and turned on the system then observed the total functioning.

>Then, after which, the CMOS Battery was inserted and turned the system on. Still observing, the result was the same as the first approach.

>The CPU was then placed back in its socket and retested by turning it on. No beep codes, and display.

>The RAM was then tested next, yet still ..no life.

> Power supply was then suspected to cause the problem. PSU was then removed and opened to see if there are blown components (look for blown capacitors) but we found the PSU in good condition.

>Going back to see if it’s a RAM related problem, we inserted a known good RAM. But then again, still no display and beep codes. Changing the slot placement of the RAM and tested each attempt, still there was no sign of “life”.

>It could be the processor that is dead or perhaps really the BIOS or RAM. Confusion begins to pile up. So I rechecked each major component back again and to which I should be starting with the Motherboard.

>Reviving the Motherboard back to life (if is it dead or it could be) is an impossible task. A cell phone techie told me that you really can’t fix its board, but instead it is just to be “heated-up” using some hot air equipment. So I guess it should work the same as the motherboard (technically they are both computers). Instead of using the hot-air equipment used by the cell phone technicians, we borrowed and used Carla’s hair blower (the beautician downstairs of our center). We then removed the components from the motherboard and the motherboard itself from the system casing and checked the motherboard for cracks or other visible and possible defects. Then the heating and blowing process continued using Carla’s equipment. After heating the motherboard and its components, we re-installed the board and its components back to the system case for testing.

>Inserting back the CPU, CMOS battery, and RAM to the board, ALAS! There was a display on POST! But it just lasted for about 4 seconds and the system shuts down. At least there was a sign of life. ?

>Still confused, re-checking the major the components back for the third time and the attempt seemed to be doomed for failure. The motherboard is the last to blame for this stubbornness of the problem. But in the contrary, why were it able to show us the POST? Think. ?

>BIOS loads its information to the memory during POST right? Let’s check the memory.

>I have reseated the RAM to the other slots but it seems the only functioning slot was the first slot we tested where the POST was temporary seen. So I cleaned the slot by running a thin flat screw driver unto its slot and brushed it up (use a contact cleaner, the method used here is barbaric!). After which, the system was up and running and was able to enter the BIOS setup!

>I tested the HDD if it is running but unfortunately the BIOS cannot detect it. We used another good HDD and that’s it!

>Win XP Sp2 was then installed on that hard disk and some utilities and applications.

>The system was brought to its good state after being observed for 1 week (it is still kicking to this day as I write this report). Well I told the system unit’s owner for what problems were found and what peripherals to buy…and guess what, the system was given to me. I now own the system. ?


Trouble(s) found / Defective components

>RAM is found defective
>DIMM slots were flaky and tarnished
>HDD is found defective
>Motherboard was possibly defective



Remedy:

>Heated-up the motherboard (Motherboard is suspected to cause the problem)


>Cleaned the DIMM slots and replace the RAM

>Replaced the Hard Disk and installed and Operating System and other applications and utilities.


Summary:

Check all major components first (RAM, Video Adapter [if present], CMOS Battery, CPU, Jumper Settings [use manual], and then the Motherboard. Use isolation method for troubleshooting. The possible defects of the fixed system were: poorly seated CPU, tarnished or non-conducting connector edges possibly because of humidity (DIMM slots), defective motherboard component(s), and incorrect BIOS settings.


Keywords: dead system unit no video no beep codes sounds

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