No Display, Continuous Short Beeps , All Fans Spin, No Keyboard Response on a P4GE-MX Motherboard

Troubleshooting this P4GE-MX motherboard is not as easy as one may think. I have encountered a lot of computer troubleshooting similar to the problem of having no display, continuous short beeps and with all the fans spinning. But as guided with the knowledge of beep code errors, continuous short beeps leads us to say that there is something wrong with the system board. Of course, we can't directly jump into conclusion that the motherboard is defective. I have taken detailed observation and verification before making such conclusion. See the text below how I did the troubleshooting procedure for this computer problem.

Date Fixed : September 26, 2010

Problem : No Display, Continuous Short Beeps , All Fans Spin, No Keyboard Response on a P4GE-MX Motherboard

Owner : City Livelihood and Home Industries Development Office
Motherboard : ASUS P4GE-MX, P4 2.4 Ghz
Operating System : XP / Ubuntu

Technician : Drokz


- No Installation CD


- All Fans spin
- No Display
- Continuous Short Beeps
- Keyboard will does not lit


*****Please turn off the AVR and unplug the power cord if you'll replace or test any peripheral in your computer system unit*****

- Before the troubleshooting was started, I asked a couple of questions to the students who has used and observed the behavior of the computer before it totally broke. So here are the following observations as said by the students.

Question :
- "What happened before the computer completely shuts down and never give a display again?"

Answers :
- "It keeps on freezing."
- "It won't restart if the restart button is pressed"

Question :
- "Did it only occur once?"

Answer :
- "It did a couple of times as we power it back. But on our fifth or sixth attempt trying to turn off (turning off the AVR) and turn on the system back again, it did not give any display but the fans still spin."

It must be noted that it freezes upon operation and could not be restarted using the restart button. We can speculate that the operating system is least to blame for this trouble. So there are six things to check for this problem. And we need to isolate each of our suspected troubles to screen off mistakes in troubleshooting.

Suspected troubles in the order of priority to check :

- Video Card (improper seating and fan speed)
- Power Supply
- Hard Disk Drive
- Operating System
- Motherboard

- Please remember that we will be doing "Isolation Method" of troubleshooting. We will be testing each peripheral one after the other so be careful with power. Always turn off the AVR and unplug the power cord each time you swap a peripheral.

- Since there is an integrated vga port, we can use it instead of the video card. Upon removing and checking the video card for physical defects, we found none. So we proceeded with the checking by using the integrated vga port and turned on the system. But still there was no display but continuous short beeps. We also inserted the removed video card to the other computer system and found out that it just worked fine.

- Video defect has been eliminated. It's time to check the RAM. We simply swapped the existing RAm with a known good RAM from a running system unit. We also used one slot after the other and still got no display but continuously gives out the repeating short beeps again.

- RAM defect suspicion was also eliminated. Since stubborn computer problems like this is attributed by a defective Power Supply Unit (PSU), so the system's PSU MUST be checked. And as it was checked using a multimeter, the power output were ok. Not contented, I opened the PSU to see if there are blown or burnt capacitors on its board but has seen none. So I decided to swap it with a known good PSU then powered on the system. Again, there was no display but a continuous short beep.

- Suspicion on the PSU was again eliminated. So I switch my attention (a little attention) to the Hard Disk Drive and the Operating System. To check two things that are relative in one time. I decided to remove the Hard Drive immediately from the system unit then powered on the system unit. Again, there was no display but a constant repeating short beeps. It seems the solution will go no further. I have suspected the bios to have crashed. All of its peripheral just works fine. I even swapped the processor but still has no difference or changes.

- So I search for the documentation for Pheonix BIOS and found tons of documentation about the matter. The dreaded constant repeating short beep was an indication of a failed BIOS and the only way to fix it is to hot-swap. There was no way to flash it because there was no display and hot-swapping was the only solution. I cannot afford to hot-swap it with the other working system unit because it might end out having two computers broken and the training center had only 4 working computers. Too bad I can't perform such hot-swapping for the computer. But anyway, the computer didn't go to waste, it is now used by students to practice assembly and disassembly of the system unit.

- Problem not solved or was limited to solving it


- It is good to note and check the beep errors given by a failing system unit. Just like a repeating short beep that indicates a BIOS problem. The troubleshooting should have not taken long enough to spot the cause of the problem. It is also noteworthy to check documentations on the CMOS manufacturer to confirm or verify your suspicions.

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