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Question

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.

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All Answers

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Answer
First
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.

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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.

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Answer
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.

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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.

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