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John73
14th March 2013, 06:37 PM
Put my Mame machine together a week ago and all was working fine.

Turned it on tonight, and nothing - no audible beeps on start up, no video.

So I unplug everything and still nothing. Take out the RAM and re-seat it, nothing.

Several tries of unplugging/re-plugging video cable, keyboard encoder (KeyWiz), USB keyboard nothing.

Then for some reason it starts working, get the standard everything is fine "Beep" code. Finally get windows up and going.

Now it won't start again. I'll either get:

1. Nothing. All the fans (CPU & Power Supply) are running, but no beep codes from the BIOS
2. 3 long beeps followed by about 5 secs of silence, then the 3 long beeps again over and over
or
3. The Fans all start up, then they stop, then they start up again.

I thought maybe it was something to do with the power switch which is hooked up to a button on the CP, so I removed that I used a different power switch with no difference.

I also noticed when shutting down Windows when I did get it working - Windows goes through the standard shutting down procedure, monitor goes off and then the system starts up again.

It's a Gigabyte GA-41M Motherboard, I'm using onboard everything, so no added cards at all.

I searched for the beep codes but no real help from anything I found, the Gigabyte manual doesn't even list the codes and the reference I found to Gigabyte motherboard beep codes doesn't mention what I'm hearing.

This has got me completely baffled. Any ideas?

loki4101
14th March 2013, 07:11 PM
Is it possible to "quickly" try another PSU, that's where I would start

John73
14th March 2013, 08:47 PM
Is it possible to "quickly" try another PSU, that's where I would start

That's a thought. I've only just put this PSU in the Mame machine and possibly I've stretch wires or something, maybe broken a wire which is connecting/disconnecting. I've got another machine which I'm pretty sure is the same PSU so I might butcher that machine tomorrow night if I can't work out what the hell is going on.

20+ years of working with PC's and in the last month I've had the two of the weirdest problems I've ever seen, 1st with a laptop and now with a desktop..... bloody computers GRRRR

Should also try to get a better look at the start up screen when it does fire up and see if it lists which BIOS the MB is using - could probably also try and spot the BIOS chip on the MB I guess and then maybe I'll have more luck chasing up with the 3 long beeps means for this board. Still the 3 different scenario's when I hit the power button has me :headbuttwall::headbuttwall::headbuttwall:

The Pinny Parlour
14th March 2013, 10:36 PM
Put a different CPU in it, if it still plays up, I'm sorry; the mainboard is likely toasted.

John73
15th March 2013, 06:48 AM
Put a different CPU in it, if it still plays up, I'm sorry; the mainboard is likely toasted.

In my experience, CPU's are either dead or they are not - wouldn't explain why I got the machine working for a period and then it stopped. I could be wrong, but I don't think I've ever seen a dead CPU let alone a CPU which works some times and not others.

Don't have a spare CPU laying around unfortunately otherwise I would try this.

I'll do the power supply tonight, failing that, I'll just take my other PC apart and put that inside the Mame cabinet.

I thought it could have possibly been an overheating issue, but there is plenty of room inside the cabinet plus a fan blowing air out the back. It's only a base model PC, nothing that should be getting super hot and the CPU isn't being overclocked or anything like that.

Thanks for the suggestions.

The Pinny Parlour
15th March 2013, 08:26 AM
In my experience, CPU's are either dead or they are not - wouldn't explain why I got the machine working for a period and then it stopped. I could be wrong, but I don't think I've ever seen a dead CPU let alone a CPU which works some times and not others.

Cool; I'd agree with you in this partly as well. In my experience I have seen this issue you describe on occasions, and it is a flaky/faulty CPU, and/or mainboard. (BTW as you probably know; faulty CPU's are rare, and seem to the the most reliable component in PCs).


Don't have a spare CPU laying around unfortunately otherwise I would try this.
Bummer


I'll do the power supply tonight, failing that, I'll just take my other PC apart and put that inside the Mame cabinet.
Worth a shot, to be sure.


I thought it could have possibly been an overheating issue, but there is plenty of room inside the cabinet plus a fan blowing air out the back. It's only a base model PC, nothing that should be getting super hot and the CPU isn't being overclocked or anything like that.
Long shot, but you seem smart enough for it to be not an over-heating issue.

Thanks for the suggestions.
You're welcome. :)

stuzza
15th March 2013, 08:47 AM
3 Beeps on an intel motherboard is normally RAM, (or possibly PSU or mainboard - in that order). Not sure on your Gigabyte board though. If you have spare RAM and PSU I would swap those out. You can also use memtest to boot off a CD and test your ram.

Intermittent faults like that are a pain in the arse aren't they!

Brad
15th March 2013, 09:06 AM
I with the rest of the guys. It's almost certainly a bad motherboard John. If it was an AMD I probably have a spare CPU (got a box of them) you could try but I don't have any Intel stuff.

Brad

John73
15th March 2013, 01:21 PM
Cheers for all the advice.

The fans/MB starting up, shutting down etc. makes me hopefully think something weird is going on with the PSU. I noticed it also do it a couple of times when I was opening/closing the CP on the machine - thought maybe a wire wasn't insulated properly and was triggering the the soft power switch.

Anyway, nearly positive I've got a spare PSU at home and pretty sure my old machine has suitable RAM since this MB takes two different types of RAM so I'll try both of those.

Failing that, I'll just have to replace everything. The MB is over 1 year old but less than 2, so unless warranty has changed in the last 10 years since I quit the I.T. game then it should probably be still under warranty. Pretty sure MB's used to have 2 years on them.

Guess I'm lucky this has happened now, I finally got around to fixing this thing up as I'm trading it for a tiling job that was done at my place a couple of weeks ago, I'd feel like a right prick if I had have given the machine to the guy and it started playing up within a week of him having it :lol

Worst case is I could put the old machine back in, but it was so old and slow that it makes me cry to even use it :lol and then there are the issues of finding correct drivers for a 10+ year old MB and various add on cards.

Guy with a Pinball
15th March 2013, 04:06 PM
I don't know anything about MAME setups but have 25+ years experience with PCs and agree with the others the PSU, RAM, peripherals, MB and CPU (in that order) are the most likely culprits for such failures. By chance is there any peripherals connected via USB? Often a faulting USB connection can cause a surge/short which causes the MB to lock out and not fire up. As soon as the power is disconnected (& memory flushed), the MB forgets the previous failure state and tries to start up again (sometimes successfully). Solution is make sure all USB peripherals are disconnected to see if it starts up.

:)

John73
15th March 2013, 05:02 PM
I don't know anything about MAME setups but have 25+ years experience with PCs and agree with the others the PSU, RAM, peripherals, MB and CPU (in that order) are the most likely culprits for such failures. By chance is there any peripherals connected via USB? Often a faulting USB connection can cause a surge/short which causes the MB to lock out and not fire up. As soon as the power is disconnected (& memory flushed), the MB forgets the previous failure state and tries to start up again (sometimes successfully). Solution is make sure all USB peripherals are disconnected to see if it starts up.

:)

At present there is nothing at all plugged in to the board. The only things I did have was a wireless USB Keyboard / Mouse stick and the KeyWiz plugged into the PS/2 Keyboard connector. The MB has onboard video & sound, so there are no other cards plugged in to any of the available slots.

Just gave it another shot - and nothing :(

Tried with & without RAM
Removed HDD from both Sata & Power with no result
Tried with & without monitor connected

The power supply makes the tell tale little "clicking" noise when you plug the power cable into it which is a sign that it's at least working (the fan works in the power supply which it wouldn't if it was dead) - guess if the PSU isn't putting out the right voltage for some reason it could be the culprit.

I'll get the other PSU tonight and hopefully give it a go. I should be getting POST beeps when there is no memory or if it was a memory error, I'm beginning to suspect that it is a faulty MB. I can't see how on earth the CPU could have got hot enough to fry itself, so that is a long shot IMO. And if the CPU has died of other causes, then it's the first CPU I've ever had die on me since I never muck around with overclocking CPUs.

Will try the other PSU tonight and report what happens, my gut feeling is that it won't make any difference.

EDIT: And since I can't get anything on screen, the info I found online suggests this MB is using an Award BIOS. Searched online and no help with the beep codes that I was getting.

casperthefriendly
15th March 2013, 05:24 PM
Maybe try removing the KeyWiz from the PS/2 connector - some motherboards are funny about having a keyboard attached at boot? :unsure

John73
15th March 2013, 07:23 PM
Maybe try removing the KeyWiz from the PS/2 connector - some motherboards are funny about having a keyboard attached at boot? :unsure

Yeah already tried that.... you name it, I've tried it :lol

Got the all the spare PC parts from the oldies house, think I'm too stuffed to bother trying anything further tonight.... I'll have a vodka and a think about it :)

retrogamer
16th March 2013, 08:25 AM
I would assume the MB is kaput mate....I have 2 Gigabyte MBs stacked on a shelf right in front of me that both do/did exactly the same as you are describing. I tried swapping out RAM, PSU, CPU with all of them and no dice!

My condolences and sorry for you loss...:cry

:D

John73
16th March 2013, 08:39 AM
I would assume the MB is kaput mate....I have 2 Gigabyte MBs stacked on a shelf right in front of me that both do/did exactly the same as you are describing. I tried swapping out RAM, PSU, CPU with all of them and no dice!

My condolences and sorry for you loss...:cry

:D

Thank you for your kind words. I'm gonna get some breakfast shortly and try the PSU, if it's not it, then I'll find a nice tree out the back of my townhouse where I can bury the MB and put up a nice cross.

I was never a big fan of Gigabyte in the early days and always swore by and used AOpen (Acer) gear, but they are a massive brand these days, maybe I'll steer clear of them in the future - this board is probably less than 2 years old (need to find receipt) and has had less than 50hrs of use, not real happy if it is dead :(

John73
16th March 2013, 01:12 PM
Finally got my fat can off the couch and plugged in the PC I was fixing a couple of weeks ago - it worked!!!! for about 5 mins, move the machine and plugged it in again and it won't work :realmad:

Setup PC No. 3 that was my mum's old PC in the Mame machine and finally something works :rolleyes Need to load some drivers and software so that I can stream video but I think I've finally got something working.... 5 hour until the DK comp starts, hopefully I'll have something up and going in time.... if I stop watching tv. Still haven't sorted out what was wrong with the original machine, the PSU works with the newly swapped in MB so that wasn't the issue, can only be one of two things now - a dead MB or a dead CPU. Time to find the receipt and see if it's under warranty.

Surprisingly Windows 7 hasn't had a spit (yet) that I'm running it on totally different hardware, thought I might have to re-install it - doesn't seem to be the case so far.