Possible Dead Motherboard or CPU

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View

Had a blue screen crash last night while browsing.  At the top it
said something along the lines of "system shutting down to avoid
hardware damage..." before shutting off.  Unfortunately I was
unable to read more since it was only displayed for a few

Now, on powering up the machine will not go into post.  All the
fans turn on, the power light turns on, the sound card + LAN
lights turn on, the hard drives are spinning, so everything seems
to be getting power.  But there is no signal to the monitor and
there is no hard drive activity.  When I press the power button,
everything powers up for a few seconds, powers off for about a
second, then powers on again and then does nothing.  The lights
are on but nobody is home.

I've checked over the connections and tried resetting the bios by
unplugging and pulling the battery for about 10 minutes.  No

The system is home built and about 3 years old so the motherboard
and cpu are out of warranty.  The last hardware upgrade I made
was the video card 6+ months ago and there haven't been any major
software changes since then other than a few games installed.  So
there haven't been any changes to the system lately.

I'm guessing I'll need to replace the motherboard or CPU.  Any
way I can determine which?  I don't have another CPU to drop in
so I can't check that way.

Motherboard is Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R revision 1.1.
CPU is Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600.

Thanks for your time.


Re: Possible Dead Motherboard or CPU

On 9/20/2010 11:26 AM, smithdoerr wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

The motherboard and CPU carry a 3 year warranty, so if "about" =
"slightly less than," you should still be covered.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

It might just be a bad power supply, or a bad video card jamming up the

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I would take the system down to a minimum state.  Pull the board from
the case and set it up on a non-conducting service.  Up on a short box
is good in case you have to plug in an expansion card.

Inspect the motherboard for domed, vented or otherwise abnormal
capacitors, or other signs of scorching or damage.  While no one is
looking, give it a sniff to see if you can smell anything burnt.  Do not
lick the motherboard.

Get a known good power supply if you can, make sure the CPU is properly
set with the appropriate amount of fresh thermal paste.

Put known good memory into the machine.  If you don't have any of that,
just put one of your modules in at a time.  It seems unlikely that *all*
of your memory has gone bad at the same instant.

Insert a known good video card.  The only other device that should be
connected to the motherboard is a power supply.  Also, plug the power
supply into a hard drive, but don't cable the drive to the motherboard.

Fire the board up by momentarily shorting the power pins on your board.
  It's in the F_PANEL block near the SATA and IDE ports.  The block is
detailed below, where the numbers represent pins.  Pins 06 and 08 are
the power switch:

    REAR PANEL   [ 02  04  06  08  --  --  14  16  18  20 ]
<= PORTS ARE    [                                        ]
    THIS WAY     [ 01  03  05  07  09  --  --  --  --  -- ]

At this point, if you cannot get your system to POST, it's a fair
conclusion that your motherboard or your CPU is toast, and it's probably
the motherboard.

If you can hook up a speaker to the motherboard, you can try starting
your system with *no* memory.  If you get some warning beeps, you can
presume that your CPU is working, and it's the motherboard.  If you
still don't get anything, you're entitled to a hearty WTF.

Re: Possible Dead Motherboard or CPU

Quoted text here. Click to load it

You're right.  For some reason I was thinking they were just one
year warranty.  So checking my invoice history at newegg.com I
see that I purchased them on [drumroll please] 9-4-2007.
Sometimes you just have to laugh.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanks for the suggestions.  So here's what I did:  Unfortunately
I don't have another power supply and graphics card to test it
but I do have some older slower ram that used to be in the system
so I tried it with one of those sticks.  No post.

Removed everything and inspected the motherboard for visible
damage.  Didn't see anything.

Reinstalled CPU and heatsink and connected a speaker from an old
case.  Powered on.  No beeps.  Installed ram.  No beeps.  Removed
ram and installed graphics card.  No beeps.  Installed ram and
graphics card.  No beeps.  Reconnected drives and sound card.  No
beeps, and still no post.

After reading Paul's post and checking the feedback at newegg I
think it's probably the motherboard.  I've been thinking about
replacing the motherboard some time in the future so I can have
more ram so perhaps I'll just have to do it a little sooner than


Re: Possible Dead Motherboard or CPU

smithdoerr wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it


Check the customer reviews under the "Feedback" tab.

   "2/17/2008 9:56:02 PM    "Rebooting Cycle (3 sec.) after 6 months"

    After 6 months it started the rebooting cycle mentioned so often here.
    3 seconds on/off. This was after unplugging it over night. I was able
    to get it to boot by removing one stick of memory (Corsair Dominator
    2X1024 DDR2 1066 PC2 8500). After it "recovers" I can soft power it
    on/off with no problem and unplug it for a short period of time to
    replace the memory. I increased the memory voltage to +0.3 to see
    if that helps.

    DDR2 and 1066 is a bad combination."

Give that a try. Try just one stick of RAM and see if POST starts.


Re: Possible Dead Motherboard or CPU

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Tried an old stick of DDR2 800 that used to be in the system.
Still no post (or warning beeps).  Judging by some of the
feedback I guess I'm lucky it lasted for 3 years of daily use.


Re: Possible Dead Motherboard or CPU

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I have virtually the same situation - GA-P35-S3G, same CPU. I've ordered a
replacement (similar) motherboard (as I can't get the same one).

Out of curiosity, was your BIOS battery flat? Mine was (although replacing
it doesn't seem to have helped). I can get into my BIOS if I have all but
one memory module removed, is that the same with yours? Although I must
admit that if it doesn't beep at you with all memory out (which I think
you've said in one of your replies) then I think you are looking at
replacing the motherboard.
 Brian Cryer

Re: Possible Dead Motherboard or CPU

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Yeah, I tried it with just one old memory stick that used to be
in the machine before I upgraded the ram (so I know it works) but
still no post or beeps.  I tried it with pretty much every
hardware combo and no beeps so I'll be shopping on newegg later

Out of curriosity, does anyone know if you have a functional
motherboard *without* the CPU installed will you get warning


Re: Possible Dead Motherboard or CPU

On 9/21/2010 9:07 AM, smithdoerr wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

My understanding is that you cannot get the beeps without the CPU.  The
BIOS contains rudimentary code, but you have to have something to
actually execute it.

Re: Possible Dead Motherboard or CPU

Quoted text here. Click to load it


Just an update for anyone who's interested, it was indeed the motherboard
that was dead (thanks to all who helped me diagnose the problem!).  I needed
a motherboard that was socket 775 and DDR3 with built in raid controller so
my choices on a new board were limited but I found one I'm happy with.
Everything is working again with no lost data.



Site Timeline