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  • When All Else Fails - Bench It

    Let's start by looking at the mobo, is it installed in the case? If so make sure all mounting holes that can be used are used (normally six to nine) and have a standoff and screw used, no screwing directly to the case, need a standoff in each, otherwise mobo can short and cause problems (and when you reinstall, make sure the screws are good and snug, don't overly tighten, can crack the mobo.. Since a short is a possibility, lets pull the mobo and place it on a non-conductive surface, preferably on the cardboard, wood, newspaper, etc.

    Check the CPU Cooler, in particular third party coolers and make sure no metal parts are touching metal mobo components like resistors, chipset covers etc. Remove the cooler and if you have the stock cooler get it handy. Then examine the mobo itself, looking particularly for scratches, scorches/burn marks, cut traces, swollen/leaking capacitors or loose components (chips, etc). Pull the CPU and make sure it’s aligned correctly and the notches lined up. Look for thermal compound that may have seeped to the bottom of the CPU. Check the socket and make sure there is no debris/thermal compound/dust or bent/broken pins and clean off the compound from the CPU and cooler, don't want to reuse old, (isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol works well).

    Disconnect any cables for SATA, USB, etc. Just down to the bare mobo. If all looks good reinstall the CPU and attach the CPU cooler (carefully, don't want to overtighten the cooler, which can bend pins in the socket. Next, you should have two power cables going from PSU (Power Supply Unit) to the mobo, a large 20/24 (24 is more common on newer mobos) PIN connector and an 4 or 8 (8 is more common on newer mobos) PIN CPU power cable (and make sure this is the CPU Power connector cable and not a PCI-E connector for a video card - check the connector, I've seen where many have forced a PCI-E connector to the CPU power socket, and ensure it’s installed correctly in the proper orientation (each of these connectors generally always has a clip type protrusion on one side, when inserted it should lock down over the protruding lip that is only on one side or the female connection point on the mobo.

    Add the GPU (graphics/video card) and if power cables are required from the PSU attach it/them (these generally are the same as the mobo power cables with a clip on the male cable from the PSU and a lip on the connections of the GPU card. . Cable it to a monitor and power on the monitor. Pull the CMOS battery (looks like a silver coin) out of the mobo, wait about 15 seconds and reinstall. Before installing any sticks, go ahead and try and power it up, fans should spin and if an on board speaker is there it should beep to let you know it’s trying to start but there is no RAM installed.

    If that goes well, shut down and firmly install 1 stick of DRAM in slot 1, by that I mean by pressing it in the clip or clips on the side of the stick should lock in by themselves, you shouldn't have to click them closed by hand. Plug in PSU power cable and power up. If nothing at this point, may have a bad PSU, CPU or GPU. If another PSU is available or if you can borrow one, try that, no joy try same with GPU or try using on-board video if available. Still no joy, try a different stick of DRAM.

    If all looks okay, shut down and plug in keyboard and mouse. If still OK, power down and add another stick of DRAM....Still okay add a single drive and try powering up. Continue with other devices. If there are any problems anywhere along the line that may well be the problem. When all installed and no problems, add another stick of DRAM, then the third, etc
    --
    Like to thank Essenbe for a couple add ons that I just entered. and additional editorial thanks to Britton for additional suggestions just added

    Additional suggestions welcome and can be added, it's sort of hard to think of that is done as it's more habit for me than thought, I throw (just kidding about throwing it, though at times I want to) it on a table and start running through actions, don't really even think about the steps any more..
    Last edited by Tradesman; 09-02-2012, 03:08 PM. Reason: Edits and additions - part 2


    Pls offer comments on support I provide, HERE, in order to help me do a better job here:

    Tman

  • #2
    Very good!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by RamJam View Post
      Very good!
      Yup, I second that.
      I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that.

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      • #4
        I know it could take a while, but you might want to add something about making sure the CPU being used can handle the RAM being used. As an example many AMD CPU's can't run RAM over 1600 and over, many of the newer locked Intel CPUs have their limits also. An example of this would be most 3770K can handle most any DIMMS while the locked 3770 is limited to about 2200/2400 maximum.

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        • #5
          Good call! Thought about that, but believe there are to many variables. Some people take locked CPUs and push them above and beyond with the BCLK, some CPUs have 'stronger' MCs than others, a persons OC skills play in (like playing with the DRAMs timings) and there are those that buy higher freq and downclock the sticks


          Pls offer comments on support I provide, HERE, in order to help me do a better job here:

          Tman

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          • #6
            Here's a quick way to test a PSU. http://www.sevenforums.com/hardware-...ml#post1688197
            I'm working on a more definitive article and will post when it's done.
            I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that.

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            • #7
              Excellent! Now, how about more, more, more!!!!! Thanks Britton30!


              Pls offer comments on support I provide, HERE, in order to help me do a better job here:

              Tman

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              • #8
                Good PSU tip!

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                • #9
                  Thanks Tman and ramjam!
                  I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The better PSU test.
                    http://www.sevenforums.com/vip/25769...ml#post2130086
                    I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      work smart not hard

                      Hey those are great tips there. I wanted to share my approach which includes many of those steps but not in the same order.

                      When approaching a computer problem, I first target the components that are easiest to work with:
                      1. Hard drive - you can easily initiate a disk scan to hunt for errors
                      2. RAM - if you have an old or unused set of ram sitting around you know works you can swap them in and test. You can also use windows to test your memory for errors as well.
                      3. Video card. Again, if you have an old one that you know works you can swap it in and see what happens.
                      4. Power Supply. I have like 3 of these sitting around and they all work. It is a simple thing to plug one of them in and see if the problem goes away.
                      5. Motherboard. If I've swapped in working components (a known working hard drive, ram, and video card) and removed everything else unnecessary for the basic working of the PC and it's still crashing, then I know it's most likely the motherboard. I leave this for last as it is the biggest pain to test and replace.

                      When my computer began spitting out blue screen crashes constantly, I drilled down through that list. When I put my old working DDR3 ram in, there were no crashes whatsoever. And it has been all day now without a crash. Problem solved! I don't need to know why the RAM is bad (though I have my suspicions) I just need to know which component to replace!

                      Since my gskill ram has a lifetime warranty, I've put in a RMA request.
                      Last edited by dalewb; 06-18-2013, 12:54 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for sharing with the forums, there are so many approaches that different folks use


                        Pls offer comments on support I provide, HERE, in order to help me do a better job here:

                        Tman

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