System board or CPU?

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by spinnaker, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. spinnaker

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
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    I have an AMD Athlon 64 CPU / motherboard combo. The mobo is a MSI K8N Neo4. It's dead. I have confirm that is is not the PSU by swapping in a known good PSU.

    Without having a spare Mobo or CPU on hand, is there anyway to determine if it is the CPU or the MOBO that is the problem?
     
  2. MaxSmoke

    Active Member

    Oct 29, 2009
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    There is a range of AMD 64 processors and some will not work with certain mother boards. I would check the version of AMD processor you have and then check the motherboard manufactures website to see if your AMD CPU is compatible.
     
  3. spinnaker

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    Thanks. Yes I know. They were both working together for some time.
     
  4. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Do you get any post code beeps? If it's 100% dead, there may be nothing to salvage.
     
  5. spinnaker

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    That is what I figured. But I thought does not hurt to ask. Maybe there was some trick that I was not aware that would determine the culprit.
     
  6. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    Sometimes, bad or improperly seated memory can cause a mobo to act completely dead.

    Try removing what mem sticks you have in there, and reinserting them, or swapping them out for another set.
     
  7. spinnaker

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    Been through all of that. I'm an old PC tech but always had spares around to swap out.

    I was hoping there was some way to test this thing. I kind of knew tit was not really possible without a detailed schematic but if you don't ask then you won't know for sure.
     
  8. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    If you have an AMD processor, the processor usually has surface mounted components on top, and I have seen where the heatsink compound has gotten to those components (see attached pic) and once cleaned off, it usually powers back up....

    My .02
     
  9. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
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    I understand

    You have a dead mobo
    You have 2 live AMD processors
    You are a (former?) pc tech

    But I don't understand what you are trying to achieve.
     
  10. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    He has 1 Mobo, 1 AMD CPU, and he is trying to figure out which one is not working properly....

    My .02
     
  11. studiot

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    Yeah right, well spotted, I read the swopped psu bit too quickly.
     
  12. spinnaker

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

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    Only one mobo.

    Only one Processor.

    I wanted to know if there was a way to determine which was bad.

    If I had another processor I would just swap it in.
     
  13. spinnaker

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

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    I assume this is the top of your processor? Mine is a complete sheet of metal or maybe ceramic.
     
  14. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
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    Well since this is an electronics forum I could suggest building your own bus activity indicator.

    It need not be as complicated as a 'proper' POST card, since you only want to test for activity and could be done with just LEDs.

    However there are lots of potential reasons for total startup failure from a shorted bus to a shorted USB port or device to a loose connection to memory to dead battery to.....
     
  15. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    K, just a suggestion in case you had one of the ones with out the heat sink metal case over the components....
     
  16. Natakel

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2008
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    In my personal experience working with and building computers - and anecdotal evidence I have seen - 99% of the time it's the motherboard that is bad.

    I've had very few CPU failures, and when I have had one go south it was evident by looking at the CPU - burnt or discolored spots on the chip (or on the on-die heatsink if the CPU has one), or such marks on the underside of the die. Also, if the CPU's cooling fan had failed that can indicate a cooked CPU.

    I assume you have examined the CPU for such marks, and have reseated it to retry the board? Another thing you can try is put the unit in a freezer for a couple of hours (or outside if in a cold climate). Take it out, hook it up, and try to boot up. Sometimes with a "dead" board (depending on the nature of its malfunction) this will bring them back to temporary life . . . and if it does boot then it is almost a sure bet it's the board, not the CPU. A lot of people know to try this with just a bad hard-drive, but I've had it work with motherboards as well.

    Just a thought.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  17. GetDeviceInfo

    Senior Member

    Jun 7, 2009
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    Depending on your electronics knowledge, tools at hand, and your familiarity with the architecture, will determine to what extent one can diagnose the MOBO.

    I would suggest that one first check your default settings, ie clock settings and memory bank configuration. Your next step would be part replacement, ie; cpu, base memory.

    Your last resort would be scoping your clock, reset generation, vector fetch. If your getting into this effort, you've got basic schematics and know your function blocks.
     
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