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system will not boot--black screen

Discussion in 'PC hardware help' started by mmo3, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. mmo3

    mmo3 Member

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    System will not boot—black screen

    System:

    Cpu Pentium D 3.2 GHz
    Motherboard GA 945PL-S3
    Memory DDR2 667 1GB generic
    HDD Seagate 250 G SATA
    DVD Pioneer 112D
    Video card Diamond Stealth64 2001 series using PCI slot
    Shaw case with power supply unit rating 550W---bad choice I know….

    If anyone can help.

    Trying to put a system together. Initially the computer will boot to BIOS screen awaiting installation of OS. However on the 3rd or 4th boot there was a continuous short beeps which I stupidly ignored but it stopped on rebooting.

    I started the winXP installation and at the end of the hard disc formatting the screen just went black. I have not had anything on screen since. On rebooting with the above configuration , there is no beep sound or anything on screen. I do not even get the BIOS screen. The cpu fan fires up and I can hear an occasional clicking on the working of the hard disc drive.

    On booting with just bare system ie CPU and motherboard ( No memory, HDD , DVD or video card) the long continuous short beeps returns. Is this normal???? The Gigabyte hand book states this type of beep means “power error”. But would you expect this type of beeping with just the bare system anyway??

    I have cleared CMOS both by taking out the motherboard battery for 30minutes and also put a jumper across the “clear cmos” pins.

    You might wonder why I am using such an old video card. I thought I can get the system up and running then save for a more contemporary card.

    I have a gut feeling I have fried either the motherboard or the cpu or both but cannot work out which . I blame it all to my poor choice of power supply ie the Shaw case.
    The fact that the system beeps when booted bare (cpu and motherboard) suggest to me that the motherboard is still intact?? Is this a correct assumption??

    If anyone can help it would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Indochine

    Indochine Regular member

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    What makes you think the PSU was a bad idea? (You may well be right but I am interested in what made you think so)

    550 Watts seems enough for that setup, although cheap PSUs which come with cases often carry very optimistic power ratings on their labels.

    Are the beeps long or short? Continuous long beeps can mean memory error, and continuous short beeps can mean "replace the power supply".

    I see you had no memory installed. You need memory to get a boot.

    To get any meaningful results, a minimal "bare" setup needs at least the CPU and one stick of memory. A display card connected to a monitor is handy too.

    My own feeling is that you should try the setup I just described, and think about the power supply. If you get a success, add HDD and then DVD. At this stage you could try an OS install.

    If adding the DVD drive, with its high current demand on spinup, causes shutdowns and general flakiness, begin to suspect the PSU.

    Until you have some RAM in there, you ain't going nowhere.

    Getting beeps suggest to me that the CPU is OK and that the motherboard is not yet ready for the junk box.

     
  3. janrocks

    janrocks Guest

    When the computer makes those funny sound via the system speaker, it's not doing it because it wants to be heard. The computer is trying to talk to the operator/technician and tell them what's wrong. In testing computer components on and off for the last three to four years, I find that almost all motherboards adhere to the IBM BIOS standard beep codes... I think a few OEM's have developed their own or use Phoenix or AMI beep codes, but for the most part motherboard manufacturers uses the IBM based ones because they are grandfathered in.


    Beep Code: Description of Problem:

    No Beeps... Short, No power, Bad CPU/MB, Loose Peripherals
    One Beep... Everything is normal and Computer POSTed fine
    Two Beeps... POST/CMOS Error
    One Long Beep, One Short Beep... Motherboard Problem
    One Long Beep, Two Short Beeps... Video Problem
    One Long Beep, Three Short Beeps... Video Problem
    Three Long Beeps... Keyboard Error
    Repeated Long Beeps... Memory Error
    Continuous Hi-Lo Beeps... CPU Overheating

    So as you can see, if your computer doesn't start up and starts beeping away like a mime you can start the process of figuring out what is wrong by stopping for a second and listening. From a single beep which tells you everything is okay, to three long beeps which indicate a keyboard error to the siren like Hi-Lo beeps that tell you the CPU is overheating - listening to your computer is good!

    In your first example it's a memory error.. the motherboard will continue to make this noise until you install some ram. One stick at a time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2007
  4. mmo3

    mmo3 Member

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    Thankyou very much to Indochine and Janrocks for replying and helping me out. Your advise given has been most helpful.

    On inserting that single stick of RAM , depressingly that black screen persisted. However i managed to get a second stick of 1G ram and replaced the original one and the system booted!!! PHEW!!!! I really did think that this 2 day old motherboard and CPU was destined for the bin.

    If i could impose again on you both again with another query. I had a quick check of the cmos and found the operating temperature of the CPU flactuating between 85 to 95C. i was not sure if this was normal operating temperature and i quickly turned the system off to confirm with you. There is no specifications listed of the ideal operating temperature of the CPU in the little booklet that comes with the device.
    I did remove the CPU fan from the CPU when i was having all that problem with the system to look for possible ""scorched marks" of a fried CPU. Indoing so i removed the thermal paste that came with the fan but i did replace the thermal paste with some i bought. Perhaps i did not put enough.... i did not want excessive paste oozing down into the crevice between the cpu and the craddle it sits on.

    As to Indochine's query to my opinion to Shaw psu, the only reason why i thought they were a bad choice was from the numerous forum sites i have visited, there seemed to be a dim view of this brand out there. If i knew about this perception out there prior to my purchase i certainly would have considered an alternate brand. But as it turned out it is not the psu.

    Thankyou once again for your help.
     
  5. Indochine

    Indochine Regular member

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    85 to 95 Celsius is way too hot for any CPU. It is good that you turned it off quickly. You're sure it was Celsius? 95 Fahreheit would be OK. (That's 35 C)

    Was the fan fitted and turning?

    The spec says that the max cover temp should be for a 3.2 GHz Pentium D Model 940 is 68.6 degrees C. This will be a bit lower than the temperature reported by the internal thermal diode.

    Your ordinary running temps should be WAY under 60 and ideally under 50. Even at 100% CPU usage you don't want to be going over 55 or so.

    If you renew the paste you should clean off all traces of the old paste with a soft cloth moistened isopropyl alcohol.

    It is normal for a newly installed CPU/Heatsink combination to run a little hot as the heatsink compound "bakes in". After 10 minutes or so the temp should be coming down.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2007
  6. Blackjax

    Blackjax Regular member

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    Indochine is right be sure your heatsink is properly seated on the cpu, poorly seated HS will cause your cpu to heat way up.
    Might I add if you do remove the original thermal paste be careful not to scratch the surface of the heatsink. This can cause you cpu to heat up too. Suggestion for thermal paste would be artic silver 5 or AS ceramic and use a platic scraper or credit card to remove old paste.
     
  7. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    As far as I know, the shutdown temperature of CPUs like that is 80 Celsius or so, but it may be different for Pentium Ds. What you're looking for is stability, if the number keeps climbing, turn it off and check the cooling. If it starts at say 75, and slowly climbs to 85 and stays there, it must be fahrenheit.
     
  8. mmo3

    mmo3 Member

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    Thankyou very much to Indochine , Blackjax and Sammorris for their helpful suggestions.

    In the cmos, the temperature of the cpu starts at 50C and slowly increases and hovers around 80C( over 5 minutes). The cpu fan speed is around 2500.

    As i stated before, with my naive curiosity to view if there was any "burnt marks" on a possible damaged cpu when i earlier had all that trouble with the machine booting, i had to break to thermal pad seal that came originally at the base of the cpu fan.

    I attempted to clean off all the old thermal paste with cotton bud soaked in isopropyl alcohol 640ml/litre concentration. This is with the cpu sitting in the motherboard socket. I applied a new bead
    ( one drop of water size) of Artic silver 5 paste. Despite doing this the temperature is still peaks at aroud 82C and hovers around 78 to 80C. Immediately after warm rebooting the machine it would start at 82C and then while watching it on the cmos window, the temperature will gradually fall ( over 5 minutes) to around 79C. if i would to apply a slight firm pressure on the top of the cpu fan to enhance the contact of the copper base of the fan to the cpu, the temperature can fall about 4C to about 76C. However from what i have been informed by your kind suggestions that this is probably still too hot as an idling temperature.

    My suspicion is i need to improve the contact and probably need to remove the cpu from the socket and clean it with a firmer index finger pressure rather then cotton tip pressure as is the case as it sits in the motherboard socket. As it is now i can still see a hint of slight discoloration of the previous paste on the cpu plate. To get this off i would need quite a firm pressue of buffing. Do you think this is a good idea?? i obviously do not want to be too rough with it. On the other hand the copper base of the cpu fan looks relatively unmarked and shiny.

    I do not know if that concentration of isopropyl alcohol is adequate ie 640ml/litre. In australia where i am this concentration is used as an antiseptic and is obviously less then 90% concentration.

    The cpu fan seems to straddle the cpu quite snuggly, eventhough there is no mechanism to increase the pressure of contact between the thermal plates except by finger pressure of the top of the fan.

    Thankyou again for all the advise given and as a novice to all this i am open to any further suggestions that you may have.
     
  9. ffg7

    ffg7 Regular member

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    when taking off the heatsink but before removing the paste to clean again, see if the paste is evenly distributed across the top of the cpu & heatsink. when attaching the cpu heatsink fan assembly to the motherboard, are the 4 plastic screws(?) locking in place properly?
     
  10. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    What baffles me is that the temperature is not escalating. It just sits at that specific temperature and only varies very slightly.
     
  11. Indochine

    Indochine Regular member

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    Then the heat is getting removed as fast as it is created. If it was being removed faster, you'd see a falling temperature. if slower, the temp would be rising. You appear to have thermal equilibrium.

    Maybe a reapplication of paste?

    Certainly the stock fan you get if you buy a CPU/heatsink/fan package will run the CPU at the high end of what's acceptable.

    I suppose this is a silly question, but it's definitely Celsius (centigrade) and not Fahrenheit? Although P4Ds do run VERY hot, it seems. The price of performance?

    What is the temperature at your location?

    I found among others this thread when I Googled for "Pentium D running hot"... Generally the impression I get is that 85C is the max you should see, and 50 is OK for idling. If you don't have the case closed, the airflow won't be right...

    http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=34268

    A few things to chew on here... case design and location of PC... number of fans...

    Original query:-

    He must mean degrees F. Answers he got:-

    On the other hand, on another forum, a guy says this

    Plenty of people say things like "I've had my Pentium D up to 100 before now", and "these CPUs run very hot", "they idle at 50" etc so maybe this last guy was worrying about nothing. He has plenty of fans it seems.

    Maybe you should install an OS if you haven't done so, and install the right temp monitoring software, and run some tests...
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2007
  12. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    It's not the price of performance, Core 2 Duos are up to and beyond twice as fast, and produce only half the heat.
     
  13. mmo3

    mmo3 Member

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    Success fellas, i think we have lift off!!!!!

    Booted the machine cold and the temp was 39C. It gradually went up to 49C over 5 minutes and stayed there. Rebooted the machine several times and the temp stayed around the 40's. Windows is being installed as i speak. I hope i have not jinxed myself for celebrating too soon.

    I think what did the trick is that i have spent the last 90minutes polishing the surface of the cpu. On another forum site someone suggested that it was ok to take the cpu out of the socket of the motherboard and positon it on top of a cooking metal foil and sit it on white packing case material that came with the pc case. After that it was just a matter of relentless polishing. I found with the cpu out of the confines of the case, the leverage was improved to exert firm rotatory force to the head of the cotton bud tip. I just kept polishing until i could not see any evidence of previous discoloration of the metal casing from previous paste. In fact even after the discoloration was gone the blackish soiling of the cotton bud tip continued. I presume it must be microscopic deposits of the paste being removed.

    i compared the temperature with and without the case opened , and it did not appeared to make any difference.

    Thankyou very much to to all for their contribution.

    Thankyou Indochine in particularly for going through all that trouble of reseaching the problem on various sites for me. It is much appreciated.

    Windows is still installing in the background... So far so good..
    Fingers crossed....
     
  14. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    Excellent stuff, perhaps you just had a poor quality surface.
     
  15. mmo3

    mmo3 Member

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    Thanks sammorris.
    All went well..
     

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