Video Card caused POST Failure

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I recently bought a new EVGA GeForce 6800 AGP x8 graphics card for my
custom built pc.  It was working fine for about a month, then one
morning when I did a hard boot my computer would no longer POST, and I
have no ideas as to why...  There were no hardware changes during that
time which might have caused a conflict.

I have a Gigabyte 81PE1000 Pro motherboard with Award Bios.  500 watt
Ultra(brand) power suply.  1GB (2x512)  DDR RAM, 2 hard drives, 2
optical drives, and running winXP pro sp2 (though I doubt it's a
software problem since it never gets that far).

Things I have tried so far:
-Checking RAM for bad sticks
-Clearing CMOS by removing the battery
-Updating BIOS
-The AGP slot works (I've tested it with an older graphics card which
I'm using temporarily now)
-The video card works (I tested it in another pc, AMD 2200 I believe, I
forget what mb it used).
-Brushing the card connection
-Checking slot for dust

The biggest mystery to me, is why the card was previously working fine,
then all of a sudden stopped working completely.  If it hadn't worked
from the begining I'd just assume some sort of compatibility issue with
the mb, but that obviously isn't the case.   If anyone has any ideas at
all, please help me out - Thanks.

Re: Video Card caused POST Failure

On 24 Dec 2005 13:57:48 -0800, "TechieBear"

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When it comes to POSTing, it's not just a pass-fail scenario
to the extent that there might be a power threshold, that
the power may be getting worse progressively but until it
reaches that threshold, it posts still, but afterwards, only
rarely, one time out of several attempts, and after further
degradation, it won't post anymore at all.

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I'd suspect the Ultra power supply... not too good, probably
was struggling all this time and now it's just degraded to
the point where it's not enough anymore.  If that's the
problem and it degrades further, there may come a time when
it won't get the system posted even with these
older/lower-powered cards in it either.  It's not that your
system "needs" 500W, it's that Ultra is generic junk put
into a pretty casing (sometimes).

Then again, if the PSU is going bad it might be wise to pull
it now rather than risk other parts.  This is of course IF
it is the power supply... would certainly be my first
suspect and a good idea to take voltage readings with a
multimeter.  If it's under warranty you might see if you can
get a replacement sent out, though replacing it with same
thing will tend to leave you in the same situation again
after awhile. If you have another known viable PSU in the
post-350W range it would be good to try it, providing it's a
decent brand you believe can meet it's labeled specs.

Re: Video Card caused POST Failure

I decided to test out your theory on my power supply, and I went out
and bought an "Antec True Power 2.0 430 watt" power supply and hooked
it up.  I initially set it up with no drives added, just my video card,
sound, and network cards.  I encountered the same exact POST failures
with this new power supply so I'm back to having no ideas as to what to
do.  I don't want to buy another graphics card, because I'm worried
that the same problem will just effect the new one as well.  If anyone
out there has any other suggestions or has experienced the same thing
and can tell me how they ended up solving the problem, I'd really
appreciate it.

Re: Video Card caused POST Failure

On 29 Dec 2005 20:45:07 -0800, "TechieBear"

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Ok, but I was trying to suggest seeking replacement or
another PSU you had already, since it seemed you were at an
impasse as to what was next.  So it goes sometimes though,
when one could take a system to a shop that alone tends to
cost as much as buying more parts, an unfortunate situation
when one has no spares around.

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One of the big problems with questionable supplies is not
only that they, themselves may fail, but may be stress on
other components as well.  Ultimately the two more likely
candidates were power and motherboard, and with motherboard
if clearing CMOS doesn't help, seldom is there much
troubleshooting remaining except to check for burst
capacitors or any other visual signs, removing all
"non-essential" (towards POSTing) parts, jumpering down to a
lower bus speed if possible, and if you had a POST card,
inserting that might (or might not) suggest a fault.

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I'm a bit confused in that you wrote that you had tried the
video card in another system (so we know it works) and that
you had tried another video card in THAT system, at which
the system worked as well.  It then follows that the only
time the system has a problem is if the original video card
is still in it, though it had ran like that for a month,

When you pulled battery to clear CMOS, was AC power
unplugged?  That is necessary.

Did you update bios to a newer version or the same version
that had worked successfully previously?  I would not update
to a new bios version when the prior version did work for a
month, as that showed the prior was adequate to run the
system and a newer version only introduces yet another
variable.  Don't know if that's useful at this point or not
but I would try to get the system back to the state it was
in   when the old card worked, as much as possible.

I don't suppose it's possible your new power supply also
lacks the amperage necessary to power your box?  If you have
a multimeter, take voltage readings.  Given the initial
description of being able to still run the board, and card,
but not both, that does suggest a possible power issue.  Be
careful brushing card contacts though, ESD can scramble a
card bios- I presume you did this before trying the card in
another system rather than afterwards.

While it's probably only one fault, stranger things have
happened, you could have more than one.  If the system has
only been cased up for a month, you might also check for
extra standoffs that might've been installed where they
shouldn't be- sometimes it takes awhile, a few thermal
cycles for the standoff to wear through and make a short
depending on what it's touching.   I'd also  look carefully
at all the cards and cables just in case something else was
dislodged while installing the power supply.

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