New motherboard & hard drive no luck

Ugh. So i am fixing a computer for someone but i am stumped, I got a new hard drive, motherboard, processor, and even tried two power supplies. So here’s the issue. It took 4 attempts to get this to boot, interchanging multiple parts. I finally did, it installed vista no problem, and even rebooted several times. I transferred it to another case and now it won’t even turn on. I hooked up all the cables and switches according to the manual, but nothing. I tried swapping PSU’s, no luck. I then moved it back to old case and SAME THING! whats going on??

Welcome to the forum. Can you give us the specs. for this computer you are having problems with?

PCChips M848A
Athlon XP
1 gb Ram
Ati Radeon 250mb 9550 AGP
Thermaltake 430W
New Western Digital 250gb
Secondary Maxtor 160gb (dying)
Everything is IDE.
Windows Vista 32bit

All cables have been double-checked, even tested on my other system. Both hard drives show up in MY Computer. S.M.A.R.T says the secondary is dying, hence the new HD. Video Card works great, new drivers installed into vista. as soon as i put it in the other case it wouldn’t even turn the monitor on. I put it back to the old one, and same thing. What am i missing here?

PCChips [/QUOTE]

I can’t recall hearing of anyone producing lower quality motherboards than PC Chips!

As far as I understand, the only parts that have changed since it died are the case (which shouldn’t matter unless it shorts something out or causing unusually yucky stresses, both of which are unlikely), the powersupply, and the disk. Consider just how much PCChips mobos suck, I’d say it is quite likely it is the one that failed (they don’t even tend to work particularly well when first installed even). Still, here are things to try:
I very much doubt the PSU isn’t powerful enough - 430W is probably AT LEAST twice what you need and should also have enough power on the different rails. I haven’t researched Thermaltake at all so I’ve no idea who makes them or if they’re good. That said, some PSUs refuse to start if the load is too low but I don’t think that is what is happening here.

1)Remove everything but the motherboard, the CPU, the memory, the front panel connectors and the graphics card and try turning it on. If it works at this point, the fault is either with the motherboard or one of the parts you’ve removed. Try reconnecting them one at a time (and this is where I add that the power cord should be out whenever you remove or install non-hot swap hardware so that I won’t have to risk getting sued :slight_smile: ). When the system fails to turn on again, you’ve probably found the faulty part. Try it on another computer - if it works there, it probably is the motherboard.

2)Next remove the graphics card. If it appears to start (i.e., fans spinning) and you get beeps from the speaker, the graphics card (or possibly) the motherboard is bad. Test the card in another computer.

3)Remove the memory as well. Same as above, check if it starts, and then beeps. If it does, you either have bad memory or a bad motherboard.

Unless you’ve removed the heat sink/fan assembly at some point, it is unlikely that the CPU is bad.

Just to annoy people, different companies have different beep codes for various faults. It should say in the motherboards manual which beeps correspond to which failure.

You didn’t mention what the old parts where, does the old motherboard work with the same CPU? What model is it?

Thanks for the response.

So i have tried your methods of step by step. my results are as follows…

The computer comes on (at least to bios, sometimes farther) when everything is installed (including hard drive).

there is one beep usually (a good sign i hear) and no error messages. the hard drive is brand new and works great in multiple computers. ditto for the graphics card.

the CPU was x-ferred from the old motherboard, (which was identicle m484a pcchips, but seems to work fine as i FULLY installed vista and once i moved it into the new case i can’t get it past the bios screen (usually the monitor won’t come on). i moved it back to the old case, and same problems.

i tried 3 different PSU’s all above 500 watts, so that isnt an issue.

any ideas?

my current issue is that it still just hangs at the bios screen or goes to windows and reboots in a loop.

Hmm… it is rather worrying that it varies exactly how it fails during bootup and that it fails before it tries to load the OS. Sounds like there is a pretty good chance at least one compont is dead. That generation of AMD CPUs where rather fragile, if you’re unlucky, you might have damaged it when you moved it, which would be a shame since it was the best consumer X86 CPU on the market back then.
One thing I forgot to mention is that you could try to clear CMOS. I thought I should grab the manual from PCChips website but it seems down - which indicates it runs on their own hardware. On most systems, you will have a jumper somewhere on the motherboard marked “CMOS” “BIOS Setup” or something similar. Usually, it is enough to either move the jumper if there are more than two pins, in some cases you add a jumper - shorting it with something metal should probably be enough (obviously with the power cord out!). Again, some manufacturers think that’s far too simple, but it should say in the motherboards manual anyway.
Next step is to try swapping parts in those cases where you have multiple compatible ones, for instance the two motherboards, again keeping in mind how fragile the CPU is.
I wouldn’t be surprised if both PCChips motherboards are bad - do you have any other socket A motherboards?

i have no other socket A motherboards around (who does?).

as i stated, there isnt much left to test… the hard drive is ok, and SMART says ok also, and video card is working fine. i will clear the CMOS and update this as soon as i can. How would i have been able to install Vista and reboot, and use the computer for 4 hours if the motherboard or CPU were bad? that’s what i don’t get. ok be back with an update soon… thanks again for all your help so far!

First make real sure all you connectione are correct. Some of the manuals are not real clear on the ID of the connections. If I have this right you have already tried a new power supply and the system does nothing. If you are sure the power supply is good and the connectons are correct it looks like the problem is in the board. If you get nothing when trying to startup given all the checks you have made the only thing left is the board. Believe it or not I’ve seen new motherboards fail on startup or shortly after startup. Even had a cousin woh ran one for a few months and then it locked up. He tried to reboot but the system just shut down and he got nothing on trying to restart, it happens. If the board is new contact you vender and he will asssist you in getting a new one. Like I said, it happens.

Rebooting in loop usually points toward bad or in-compatible ram
or cpu overheating.

Unless you’ve removed the heat sink/fan assembly at some point, it is unlikely that the CPU is bad.

May not be bad but may need a new coating of thermal compound if it’s old.The Thermal Paste will go bad.

Unplug and replug everything to recheck all connections. Recently I had a socket A Abit system fail to start because the floppy drive power plug was plugged in incorrectly. It may not be something that simple, but it can cause failure to start if that is the issue.