PC Hardware forum


Failure to get to Power On Self Test

by mathfogie / March 2, 2016 2:28 PM PST

I have an old system that I keep around because of its flexible configuration. It has SATA and IDE connectors, PCI-E and PCI slots, and easily accessible spare bays.
Today I turned it on, for the first time in a long time, perhaps two years. Nothing happened. No invitation to enter BIOS. I swapped monitors; I swapped cables. I used the digital port on the graphics card. No change. After a while, the system turns itself off. I changed the battery; no change. I tried booting from a floppy and from my ultimate boot CD. No change. System has MSI K9N4 SLI-F MB with Athlon 64 X2 2.1GHz. All 4 memory slots are filled, DDR2 PC6400 1 GB each. Four fans work: CPU, case, power supply, and a tiny one on the MB.
I did not find any others. I disconnected everything and still no beeps from POST. What can I check to make some progress on this problem? Or, what could be causing the problem.?

Later, I discovered the CPU heat sink was loose. I'm almost sure I would have noticed it earlier so I'm pretty sure I bumped the lever while unhooking one of the disks. It will take a while for me to get the goo for proper heat transfer from CPU to sink. With the heat sink off, the auto shutoff takes about 30 seconds. Before, it seemed longer and variable, but I had not measured it.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Failure to get to Power On Self Test
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Failure to get to Power On Self Test
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
by Bob__B / March 3, 2016 8:07 AM PST

Do not power it up until you replace the thermal paste and secure the hsf.

That goes for all hsf's.

If your still having a problem make it smaller.
Unplug stuff until you get down to psu/mobo/cpu+hsf/speaker....no ram.
If it does not squall for lack of ram your down to 3 parts.

Collapse -
Paste ordered. Will update soon.
by mathfogie / March 3, 2016 8:53 AM PST
In reply to: First

Thanks. I have paste on order and will update as soon as I can. I was going to remove the video card next. It and the memory are all that are left.

Collapse -
Now I got beeps
by mathfogie / March 5, 2016 1:49 PM PST

I got the thermal paste, cleaned off the old stuff with isopropyl alcohol, and then wiped both surfaces with a hopefully lint free medical prep pad, before using a drop of paste and reapplying the heat sink and fan. I think I did it ok, but it is my first use of the paste. My infrared thermometer reads 73-89 F at various parts of the heat sink. I removed the video card and memory, and even pulled the disk cables at the MB end. Now I get beeps. It sounds like one long and five short. I understand different BIOSs have different beep codes, but I can not find out what my BIOS is. It is an MSI MB so I would expect MSI BIOS, but the beeps don't seem to match the MSI pattern. I'll start adding one component at a time and see if anything changes. Any more suggestions eagerly accepted.

Collapse -
You said the memory has been removed
by Steven Haninger / March 6, 2016 1:17 PM PST
In reply to: Now I got beeps

That will generate beeps all by itself. So will removal of the video card. I don't see where you put these back in and tried again. Replace just the minimum amount of RAM which is usually two modules either side by side (beginning with slot 0) or could be in two of the same color. Also plug in the video card. You did say at one point that it powered on but off later. This usually indicates a PS or load issue. It could also shut down if overheating. Worst case is that the CPU got fried as some of those AMDs had a life expectancy of seconds if they couldn't dissipate heat.

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Help, my PC with Windows 10 won't shut down properly

Since upgrading to Windows 10 my computer won't shut down properly. I use the menu button shutdown and the screen goes blank, but the system does not fully shut down. The only way to get it to shut down is to hold the physical power button down till it shuts down. Any suggestions?