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- Another CPU vs mobo failure question
June 28, 2010, 8:19 pm
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This seems to be a somewhat frequent question, but it's a hard one to
Family computer has a Gigabyte GA-945GCM-S2 motherboard (w/ Core 2 Duo
processor). It runs XP and is on 24x7.
It had a blank screen the other day, I assumed it was just locked up so
the reset button. The unit appeared to reboot, but nothing ever
came up on the
screen - no BIOS image/messages or beeps at all.
When I power on, all the fans start and I hear the HDs spin up;
to be in order. However, there is never a video image.
I swapped monitors and
tried a PCI video card - all produce the same
result - nothing.
I bought a new mobo - MSI G41M4-F LGA 775 Intel G41 and dropped it in
_with_the_old_Core_2_Duo_. Exact same results. I also tested the PSU
with a $25
tester from newegg, and all the measurements are right at
spec. I do have
another PSU on order that I'll try when it arrives just
I've pulled all the RAM out as well as any remaining peripherals, and
changes the symptoms.
It seems that unless my PSU really is faulty but tested OK, it has to
just wanted to check and see if anyone has any other thoughts or
before I drop $200 on a new chip (or two, since i'll have
all the spares to
build another PC).
Re: Another CPU vs mobo failure question
The motherboard has several revisions, so to be precise, it would be
best to look at the CPU Support chart for the revision you've bought.
The chart doesn't seem to support FSB1333 processors, and perhaps might not
like 45nm processors either.
Which raises the next question. You describe the processor as Core 2 Duo.
Which one is it ? E4500 ?
Based on your testing progress to date, I'm thinking the processor
is fried. It could be a failure of the motherboard fried it, or it
could be the particular pairing of processor (45nm) with mobo. 45nm
processors can't take more than 1.4V long term for example. Perhaps
something happened to overvolt the core voltage or PLL voltage
on the processor, and that cooked it. As far as I know, the 65nm
processors could take a bit more.
You can do a "beep" test on the new motherboard. With the processor
and heatsink/fan installed, test with no RAM sticks installed. If the
computer case speaker is connected to the PANEL header, you may hear a
beep code. If the speaker beeps, the processor could be good. If the
speaker is completely silent, and you're absolutely sure the
speaker and cabling are correctly connected, it could be the
processor. Even so, with a new motherboard, it could be the new
motherboard is bad. So there will be some testing ahead.
Before buying a new processor, you can check the charts for
your new motherboard. It doesn't seem to have as many restrictions
as your old one.
Also, the Intel processor has a warranty. Since an E4500 was
introduced Q3 2007, three years would be good to about Q3 2010,
so you might be able to return that processor for a replacement.
(The whole song and dance... Pack a lunch and be patient...
If you meet the pre-requisites, the whole procedure should
be relatively straight forward. Especially since you've
made no comments about overclocking, and I'm not sure the
original motherboard even supported that.)
You could test the new motherboard, with the cheapest
processor you can find. Or have a shop test your
new motherboard for you. This one, for example, is $41.
If a shop wants a lot of money for a quick test, then the
$41 might be cheaper. If you were to send the new motherboard
back, the shipping charges and time wasted could amount to
the same thing.
Just don't stick any more processors in the old motherboard.
Processors don't die, except for good reasons. (In the lab
I used to work in, we never ever had a processor die on us.
They're that good. Testing and quality control is a lot better
than some other kinds of ICs.) That old motherboard should be
marked in some way (tie a toe tag to it), stating it is suspected of
killing processors, so that no one sticks another processor in it.
The old motherboard may have had a warranty as well, but
it may not be worth pursuing. It all depends on the
terms of the warranty, and the shipping costs. The warranty
terms on my current motherboard, measure from "date of manufacture",
rather than my processor being covered from "date of purchase".
My motherboard, when purchased, had sat in a warehouse for
1.5 years. So my actual warranty period is only 1.5 years more