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 Post subject: Help my system won't boot - CPU or Mobo?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:04 pm 
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I put together a system about 20 months ago (described here http://www.hd-plex.com/forum/showthread.php?t=105). My system has a Zotac H67 ITX mobo and an Intel i3-2100 CPU in a fanless HD-Plex H3 case.

A little while ago I noticed that my system seemed dead - I see no video whatsoever not even the BIOS stuff when booting. Upon further investigation the mobo is getting power as two green LEDs in the corner of the mobo come on and the status lights flash on the LAN RJ-45 port.

I tried taking the battery out and pushing the CMOS clear button, I also moved the CMOS jumper. I tried both the HDMI and DVI video ports.

I can't remember if I set a static IP or I am using DHCP but I don't think I see this PC on my LAN. In Windows Explorer under Network I don't see the PC listed and in the LAN inventory on my router I don't seem to see this PC.

Anyone have any advice on what to do. There are two green LEDs on the mobo and they are both lit when the system is powered on. The blue LED that is part of the case/IR system comes on when the system is powered on.

I have tried using a different power supply and I have also tried both the DVI and HDMI video outputs. I can't really use a separate video card since the heatpipes block the PCIe slot on the mobo unless I was to just do that temporarily. But then that makes the mobo somewhat useless to me.

Anyone have any other ideas on how to troubleshoot? Am I stuck with buying a CPU or a mobo and seeing if that solves the problem? Any ideas? Do computer shops let you return a CPU or mobo?

So am I better off building another system and just replace whatever the one bad component happens to be and end up with two systems for the price of one new system plus the approximately $100 that it will cost to replace the bad CPU or mobo, whichever one it happens to be?

For a replacement CPU any comments on a G2130? According to this thread the G2130 seems roughly comparable to my original i3-2100 and it is only about CAD$92.

Also any suggestions on using a temporary heatsink while testing? Is there any way to fashion a quick and dirty HS rather than connecting the whole block and pipes of my H# case?


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 Post subject: Re: Help my system won't boot - CPU or Mobo?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:32 am 
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wayner,

troubleshooting is always a pain in the ass, however, the very first step, according to me, it's to pull the combo out of the case and do some very basic tests.

Since many years ago I've learnt that any somewhat "serious" system builder should have some spare parts always available for testing his rigs: mainly a trusted and powerful PSU, a trusted and basic videocard, a basic memory stick from a very reputable brand, a stock fanned heatsink.

If you should have all these parts (at least the PSU, the videocard and the heatsink, in your situation), pull the system out of the case, put it on a not conductive surface, swap all those above quoted parts, and eventually try to power on your mobo/cpu combo (a screwdriver can help, if your mobo shouldn't have any direct switch to do so), without any storage device attached: IMHO, just if it won't boot so, then you can think about replacing the PSU, the mobo or whatsoever other part.

Hope this helps a bit, and good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Help my system won't boot - CPU or Mobo?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:25 am 
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Can't see it being a CPU issue. CPUs just don't break of their own accord very much at all. The motherboard is the most likely failure if something has actually failed. I'm assuming you've already tried things like completely dismantling the system and reassembling and also trying to pull the BIOS battery and go from defaults again. Both of these approaches have worked for me in the past.

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 Post subject: Re: Help my system won't boot - CPU or Mobo?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:08 am 
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Thanks for the suggestions folks - I have tried a different power supply with no luck. With regard to a heatsink -this is a fanless case which uses a block with heatpipes to transfer heat to the case. But even if the heatsink isn't working properly that shouldn't prevent the BIOS post screen, should it? The CPU isn't going to overheat immediately, is it? Especially when it is an i3-2100 that doesn't use a ton of power at the best of times.


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 Post subject: Re: Help my system won't boot - CPU or Mobo?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:05 am 
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wayner wrote:
Thanks for the suggestions folks - I have tried a different power supply with no luck.


AFAIK it's not enough: you have to pull the combo out of that box at first.


wayner wrote:
With regard to a heatsink


wayner, I didn't do any speculation on causes: I suggested you to use a spare stock heatsink just because I know your case (and so I know that out of the box the combo need a CPU heatsink).

IMO/IME you can't trustworthy check your rig without doing it in a controllated environment: if you don't have the mentioned spare parts, and if you're not a casual builder, I would suggest to buy them, regardless of your current problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Help my system won't boot - CPU or Mobo?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:24 pm 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
if you don't have the mentioned spare parts, and if you're not a casual builder, I would suggest to buy them, regardless of your current problem.
Thanks, that is good advice. The problem is that the required spare parts can change all the time. I do have some spare old mobos and CPUs but the problem is that they are not LGA1155.


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 Post subject: Re: Help my system won't boot - CPU or Mobo?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:50 pm 
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wayner wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
if you don't have the mentioned spare parts, and if you're not a casual builder, I would suggest to buy them, regardless of your current problem.
Thanks, that is good advice. The problem is that the required spare parts can change all the time. I do have some spare old mobos and CPUs but the problem is that they are not LGA1155.

Probably I was not clear: I meant just those spare parts I have explicitly mentioned (PSU, CPU heatsink, videocard, ram stick).

About mobo/cpu, it obvioulsy may be useful to have some spares, and in case IMHO a spare basic cpu should be enough (currently I have a spare 775, a Core 2 Duo 6300, a spare AM3, an Athlon II X4 940, a spare 1155, a Celeron G530, and I've spent less than 80 euros for all these three chips): but I think it's not mandatory to have them in order to know whether or not there's an hardware fail but, in case, just to know which is the hw issue (and I think you're still right before the first step, now).

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