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Dead Mobo??

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Stoney, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. Stoney

    Stoney Megabyte Poster

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    I've been asked to look at a pc for someone at work and I think it's pretty shagged (that is my technical diagnosis!).

    Basically when the pc powers on nothing happens except the fans start up and then the CPU fan goes really fast and sounds like there's a tornado in the rooom!

    There's no POST beeps from the mobo and no indication of anything working except the fans. I think I can hear the hard disk click as though it has started spinning but there's too much noise from the fans.

    I can't see any LED's light up on the motherboard and the fact that there's no beeps makes me think the mobo may be dead. I also suspect that there may be a utility on the mobo that regulates the cpu fan speed and due to the mobo being dead the fan is receiving maximum voltage, hence the crazy speeds it's getting up to.

    There's also no output from the graphics card although it looks like it is getting power.

    I can't think of anything else to test before giving the chap the good news, so was just wondering if any of you guys could suggest any tests or anything to investigate??

    The system is a Dell Dimension 8400 if that helps?

    Thanks
     
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  2. NightWalker

    NightWalker Gigabyte Poster

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    I had a PC with similar symptoms once, turned out to be the power supply. Have you got another power supply you can test the machine with?
     
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  3. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Sounds like its knackered, if there are supposed to be LEDs on the mobo to indicate power then imo its either the mobo or the PSU is failing.

    Have you tested the PSU?
     
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  4. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    We've hundred's of these at work and the description very much matches a dead motherboard. To be honest if it's still under warranty they change the motherboard.
     
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  5. asje1

    asje1 Byte Poster

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    Ditto... Although im very much a new to the game. We had one at work last week.. as explained fans worked, no LED's... we switched MOBO and it worked.
     
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  6. Stoney

    Stoney Megabyte Poster

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    Hi guys, thanks for the feedback :thumbleft

    Nightwalker: No, not got a spare PSU unfortunately.

    GBL: No I haven't tested the PSU. I don't have a spare but I have a got a voltage meter I could check to see what's coming out of it. I'll give that a bash tomorrow.

    Onosoki: I'll check about the warranty. I have a feeling it may be out of warranty which is why i've been asked to take a look.

    If it is the mobo and the system's out of warranty, does anyone know if you can actually buy Dell components like replacement motherboards, or will they only supply them if you send the system away to Dell land?
     
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  7. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    You could maybe have a look on ebay, but I think it one of those where you either send it to Dell and pay lots of money or you get an engineer to come with one for lots of money.
     
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  8. Stoney

    Stoney Megabyte Poster

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    Right I've found one on ebay. I don't really want to go down the ebay route if it can be avoided, but all the other companies that claim to have the motherboard I may need don't have the mobo in stock!

    I'll test the PSU tonight and if that's hunky dory then i'll discuss with my colleague the options. It may even work out cheaper to buy a new case and an ATX board that supports the current hardware rather than send it off to Dellville! :blink
     
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  9. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    This is why an extended warranty with Dell is worth it's weight in gold. We buy a lot of Dell equipment here and we always make sure we get a 3yr warranty or in some cases a 5yr one. Dell's can be very cheap to buy (one of the reasons we get them) but the parts can be uber expensive if you arn't covered under warranty.

    I have gone down the ebay shop route before now, when dealing with a business that had out of warranty Dell's. They had a habit of blowing their PSU's and Dell wanted £115 ex vat for new supplies. I managed to get reconditioned ones for £30 instead.

    Dell should be able to supply you with the part, but expect a hefty price tag to go with it. As far as I am aware they won't insist that you send them the PC etc.. I certainly haven't had that happen to me before. Normally their motherboards are Dell's own, ie they are a special shape and only their own board will fit in that case. I'd be suprised if you could even get one from a non Dell source (other than used parts from Ebay).
     
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  10. Stoney

    Stoney Megabyte Poster

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    Thanks Modey,

    I haven't actually spoken to Dell myself but have been having a look on their website. I couldn't find the motherboard I needed but it may be worth giving them a call.

    I totally agree with the warranty, this is a prime example of where saving a few quid on not buying the warranty turns out to bite you in the arse later on!

    The mobo I have found is a reconditioned one going for just under £50, and the company will accept returns if the unit is faulty and you've followed their RMA procedure. So this may be a possible solution.
     
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  11. JonGlory

    JonGlory Byte Poster

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    Phone dell and get the part number (or post the service tag, imay be able to get the part number for you), go here http://www.servicesource.co.uk/ or give them a call. they will most likely have the board, they are cheaper than dell out of warranty quotes by a mile.
     
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  12. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    The parts are nowhere near as expensive as the warranty. Had my parents gotten the extended warranty, their sub-$600 computers would have turned into $900 computers. For that price, they could have gotten three computers (with 20" monitors!) for the price of two! :ohmy

    I certainly recommend getting extended warranty for convenience sake, or if you don't have someone knowledgeable to replace components... but if you do, it's usually far cheaper to just take whatever the minimum warranty is.

    Put it this way... on average, if it were cheaper to get the warranty than replace parts, Dell wouldn't make a profit on selling warranties.
     
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  13. Stoney

    Stoney Megabyte Poster

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    Well i've had a revelation with this problem!

    After doing some research (talking to my brother) it turns out that Dell have 4 LED's (ABCD) on the back of their systems which are colour coded in the event of an error. So I booted up the fooked pc, noted the LED configuration and had a look see in the manual to find out what it meant.

    The diagnostics suggested that the problem is with the graphics card. ooooooh I hear you say!

    So i whipped the GPU out and turned it on and the thing booted up, well it sounded like it was booting up cos it doesn't have onboard graphics and I didn't have a PCI-Express GPU to put in the system, but the four little LED's were all green which means 'i'm a happy pc!'.

    I borrowed a PCI-Express GPU from work and put in the faulty machine and it boots up fine, with graphics and all. It looks like the original graphics card had died and the system wouldn't boot to save itself from further damage.

    I can't find the exact same card, but the nearest I can get with the same spec (if not a bit better) is £39.99 inc VAT, which is a damn sight cheaper than the £115 + VAT and delivery I was quoted for a new motherboard from Dell!

    I'm just waiting for the new card to arrive and the pc should be as good as new!

    Job done! :biggrin
     
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  14. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Sounds cool, good job on finding the problem :)
     
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  15. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Good troubleshooting!
     
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