|Motherboards Have a motherboard question? Ask it here|
Hardware Diagnostics-Motherboard, CPU,RAM pt2
Does the system power right up, give a happy beep or two, then freeze on the BIOS screen? This can occur on an all text screen, during or after memory count, while checking for drives, or the feared "Verifying DMI Data Pool." The problem is very likely due to a conflict, most like between the adapters but also possibly between incompatible drives sharing a bus.
Strip the system down to bare-bones, just a power supply, motherboard, minimum RAM, CPU and heat sink, and video adapter. If the system no longer freezes when it's stripped down, but complains about the lack of a boot device, proceed to Conflict Resolution.
Try swapping the RAM around, reordering the banks if you have more than one bank of RAM installed, or moving the only module installed to a neighboring slot. If this doesn't cure the freeze-up, and you have some suitable known good RAM from another system, try it. If the RAM currently installed doesn't meet the motherboard manufacturer specs, you shouldn't be using it; even if it seemed to work until this point. Improperly selected RAM can be the cause of problems ranging from no-boot to intermittent lock-ups. Is the RAM seated correctly and in the proper quantities (i.e., number of modules, addition of continuity modules, or CRIMMs, if you are using RIMMs). Also make sure that the system didn't use tinned (silver color) contacts against gold contacts, or the dissimilar metals will cause corrosion over time due to a constant electrical current when the power is off. Replacing RAM at this point isn't a guaranteed proposition, but it's a good item to eliminate. Don't toss out the RAM you remove because you may find out later that it's actually good.
If you aren't using the default CMOS settings, try restoring them all at this point. You can usually restore these from a major CMOS menu item like "Restore Default Settings" or "BIOS Default Settings." The default settings usually put everything on autodetect and use the recommended timing for the RAM. This means if you're overclocking, stop it, at least until you get the system running again. It doesn't matter whether or not overclocking the exact same CPU or RAM in a friend's system worked without a hitch, you're exceeding the manufacturers recommendations so it's a gamble.
An overheating will cause the system to quickly lock up. Remove the existing heat sink and fan, make sure that the fan is working properly AND that the geometry of the bottom of the heat sink will bring it in full contact with the exposed CPU die or the top of the CPU package. See my illustrated guide for how to replace a CPU. Apply an approved thermal grease or thermal tape before reinstalling the heat sink. Don't put on too much thermal grease or you'll just make a mess. The thermal media is only there to fill the microscopic gaps between the die surface and the heat sink. Don't improvise your thermal material, go to a computer or electronics store and buy some. Installing heat sinks can be frustrating, but this isn't a "bash away at it" process. You can damage the CPU if you start cracking the heat sink against it in an attempt to get the heasink to sit right. Be patient, study the mechanical connections, make sure you aren't hitting some poorly placed component on the motherboard and check that your heat sink isn't so oversized it just won't fit on the particular motherboard.
Make sure the fan on that heat sink spins up the second that power comes on. If it doesn't, despite being connected to the correct power point (see the motherboard manual), replace it with a new active heat sink unit. Make sure the bottom surface of the new unit will make full contact with the exposed CPU die or the top of the CPU package. The only problem with replacing an active heat sink is it may be too late for your CPU. CPUs have an unfortunate tendency to damage themselves when they overheat. Some CPUs can go into thermal runaway and destroy themselves in a matter of seconds without proper cooling.
R.I.P My Brother, J.M.S
USAF 1Lt, Computer/Network Tech
Air Force Security Forces
CPU: Intel Core i7-965 Extreme Edition 3.9GHz
motherboard: Intel X58
|Thread Tools||Search this Thread|