[sclug] OT: hardware issue

Darren Davison darren at davisononline.org
Thu Jan 10 13:10:27 UTC 2008

sorry this is not linux specific, but I know there are some highly clued
up individuals here that may be able to advise on this.

My main desktop machine at home appeared to freeze up a few days ago
with no video output (at all).  Freezes happen occasionally on this
ubuntu box so I hard powered off and back on.  I got no apparant output
from the box and the monitor remained in sleep mode.

All the fans in the machine were on, as was the motherboard light, but
no evidence of a POST from the mobo - no beep and no BIOS loading (with
no video output, it's hard to tell though).

First assumption was a knacked mobo.  So I changed it for a new one of
the same model.  Got exactly the same response when powering on.

Next assumption was the gfx card.  So I changed that too.  Again - same
response when powering on.

So I started to do stuff at random since I was a bit lost at this point
and with no better way to diagnose it, had little to lose.
Interestingly, I found that if I took the gfx card out, the machine
appeared to boot normally (after some warning beeps, probably about no
video/mouse/keyboard) but the hard drives were in play and they made all
the right noises.  Sure enough I could ping it and then login via ssh.

About a minute later, it seemed to freeze again and pings were lost so I
powered off.  Now it won't repeat that one off boot even with the gfx
card still out of it.

The only thing I can think of now is some fault with the PSU - supplying
incorrect voltage/power, or a dodgy power cable from the PSU to the
board.  Am I likely to be in the ballpark?  I just can't think of
anything logical that explains all of the above symptoms and I'm getting
a bit hacked off at replacing expensive components without better
confidence that it's likely to fix it.

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