9 Replies Latest reply on Nov 10, 2010 9:24 AM by Cpt.Dogfruit

    Computer Won't Start - Options?

    whunter31

      A little over 1 year ago I built my computer which was working perfectly until Saturday morning. On Saturday I returned to my desk to find the computer was frozen and the screen black. I figured that probably the computer went into 'sleep-mode' and attempted to re-wake the computer; however I could not get it to respond. After a while, I performed a cold-boot whereby the computer powered on but the screen remained black. The monitor power light remained amber, which I understand indicates that it is not receiving data. The hard drive indicator light went on for a couple of seconds and then stopped. All of the appropriate indicator lights were on and the fans were running, but the computer seemed to be 'stuck in place'. Unfortunately the computer did not provide any beep codes to provide a direction and with a dark-screen, I am unable to determine what could be going wrong.

       

      The following is a summary of my existing configuration below:

      • Motherboard - Intel Desktop Board DX38BT ATX - iX38 - LGA775 Socket
      • CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 Quad-Core Processor, 2.66 GHz, 12M L2 Cache, 1333MHz FSB
      • CPU Cooling - Zalman CNPS9700LED Cooling Fan
      • Memory - 4 x - Corsair XM3 DDR3 (CM3X1024, XMS3 - 1333)
      • Power Supply - Corsair TX750W PSU
      • Hard Drive - WD 500 GB SATA2
      • Video Board - EVGA e-GeForce 9800 GX2 Video Card
      • Audio Board- Asus Xonar D2 Audio Card
      • AA - D85848-503
      • OS - Windows 7

       

      I completed the following steps to identify the problem:

      • Swapped the monitor for known working monitor. The new monitor remained black with the power button staying amber (receiving no data).
      • Removed non-essential hardware from the computer (Audio Board and TV tuner card).
      • Reseated all internal components except the CPU. Checked all cabling and looked for shorts.
      • Cleared the CMOS - Since I couldn't get access to the BIOS screen to reset, I reset the BIOS by removing the jumper on mother-board and restarted the machine. This did not resolve the issue. I have since replaced the BIOS configuration jumper back into the 'normal' position.
      • Tested the power supply unit with a multi-meter. All power-supply lines were working and the voltages were well within tolerances.
      • Replaced the video board with new video board.
      • Purchased and installed (in the PCI bus connector 1 slot) a Power-On Self Test card. The Post card returns a code of 4C from a cold-boot. In reviewing the error code for the DX38BT motherboard, the Intel website says that all codes between 40 and 4F are 'Reserved for future use".

       

      As you can see, I am running out of options here and I would appreciate any advice or insight that anyone could provide.

       

      Thank you in advance for your help.

       

      Bill Hunter

        • 1. Re: Computer Won't Start - Options?
          Gize

          About all I can suggest is to pull all the sticks of RAM out and turn on the PC.  If you get 3 beeps (no memory), your problem likely lies with one or more sticks of your RAM.

           

          If you still are sitting at a black screen with no beeps, I'd pull the CPU and reseat it.

           

          If it still doesn't work, I'd pull the mainboard out of the chassis and start it up on a static free material (cardboard/wood etc.).  With the video card in place of course.

           

          If it still doesn't show any signs of life after that, check the capacitors on the mainboard for any that look puffy.  Puffy caps = bad news.

           

          As a last resort you could try doing a BIOS recovery, but i don't think it will do you any good if the POST process is freezing at 4C.

          • 2. Re: Computer Won't Start - Options?
            whunter31

            Gize,

             

            Thank you for your advice.  In line with your suggestion, I pulled the memory sticks out of the machine and it did respond with three long beeps.  Additionally, I completed a little research yesterday.  It turns out that the Corsair memory sticks suggested by the people at Microcenter a year ago,  run at 1.60 volts and the motherboard supposedly only supports 1.50 volts.  In your experience, would you think that operating with a difference of 1/10th of a volt could have contributed to destroying the memory sticks?

             

            Thanks for your help.

             

            Bill

            • 3. Re: Computer Won't Start - Options?
              Cpt.Dogfruit

              Hi,

              i would test each mem module individually in each slot, or in another computer if possible or some othe rmemory in your board. and i would do a BIOS recovery jsut in case, it can't hurt, but i have seen it fix some randome issues. you may be lucky and not have to get new memory.Uoo

               

              Hope this helps.

              • 4. Re: Computer Won't Start - Options?
                Gize

                It's possible.  I don't have enough experience with that particular board, or Intel's extreme boards in general to offer an accurate opinion.  While the newest of the extreme series (DX58SO) may be picky about its RAM voltages, I do believe yours should be able handle 1/10 of a volt and more.

                 

                I would venture a guess that it's not more than one or two problematic pieces.  Like the previous poster said, try each stick individually for POST.

                 

                Message was edited by: Gize

                • 5. Re: Computer Won't Start - Options?
                  whunter31

                  Thank you Gize and Cpt.Dogfruit for your insight and suggestions.  In line with your recommendations, I individually seated each memory stick in the slot closest to the CPU and unfortunately the computer returned a post-code of 4C for all four memory-sticks.  I removed the mainboard from the chassis and attempted to start it on a static-free surface and again... 4C. I reseated the CPU - 4C.  None of the capacitors appear mis-shapen.  The most baffling part of my dilemma is that Intel Tech Support confirms that the computer shouldn't return a 4C post-code at all, as 4C is "reserved for future use".  So, I'm kind-of at a loss of where to go next.  I suspect I will need to purchase replacement components and see what works. Thankfully, Intel agreed to replace the motherboard at no charge, however MicroCenter wouldn't even return my phone calls once they knew that I was calling to ask them to back-up the components that they inappropriately recommended.  I am concerned that if I put the same memory sticks/CPU into the new motherboard, the possibly damaged memory sticks or CPU could fry the new motherboard.  By chance, is there any other mechanism/strategy for testing the memory sticks prior to placing them in the new motherboard?  If I could confirm that they were bad, I at least would know not to put them into the motherboard.  Also, am I possibly missing a step here/would you have any other thoughts or recommendations as to what to do from here?   Thanks you both for your excellent advice and I hope that you may be able to provide further insight into a direction.

                   

                  Thanks again.

                   

                  Bill Hunter

                  • 6. Re: Computer Won't Start - Options?
                    Nico

                    obsolete, sorry

                    • 7. Re: Computer Won't Start - Options?
                      Gize

                      All I can suggest is to try a "Vendor Self Tested Memory" or "3rd Party Tested Memory" stick from the support page of that board:  http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/dx38bt/sb/CS-028330.htm

                       

                      Like you, I'd feel better knowing what part was actually at fault.  While memory isn't exactly cheap right now, testing your old board with one of those memory sticks should tell you right away whether or not the old memory is to blame.  Even if you could get your hands on another stick of DDR3 that's meets the DX38BT's spec, then that would be worth a shot as well.

                       

                      I'm hesitant to blame the processor, because I've had so few go bad on me--but, anything is possible.

                       

                      I'm sure there are memory testers around, but the only way I test them is by powering them up in a motherboard.  At work, I have the luxury of trying different motherboards to root out compatibility problems.  In your case you don't, so as for another method of testing them without a different motherboard/PC, I can't think of one.

                       

                      I don't think you're missing any steps, you've been really thorough.  My only other thought would be power supply, but you tested that.

                      • 8. Re: Computer Won't Start - Options?

                        I am in Booting Problem .My Intel Dextop Board D865GSA .When ever I push start button green signal comes and motherboard indictor indicates light but suddenly green signal disappers and computer shut down .Trying repeatedly then computer starts,after starting no problems found it runs hours togather.What is the solution ?pls help

                        • 9. Re: Computer Won't Start - Options?
                          Cpt.Dogfruit

                          Hi,

                           

                          It is possible that higher rated voltage ram could damage teh motherboard...but it also possible that the motherboard if teh ram can cope will run it at a lower voltage.

                          There is no way that i know of to test wthe ram without in a system. Ands in your case as most the way to figre what is teh faulty component is by cross testing other components! let us know how you get on!