Can someone help me identify if my MB is broken?

  Rickvn 10:33 19 Oct 2007

Hi all. I'm not sure how to identify where my fault lies. Last night I turned on my pc (which was working fine the night before) and on the screen I got a black background with a white box with RGB and the message "No input is being received". The bios checks and diagnostics you usually see when you boot did not show either. At this point to whole boot procedure hangs.

I swapped monitors with my other pc and the monitor is fine. I then took my graphics card out of the working pc and installed it in the faulty one.....nothing.....just the "No input....." message.
I also tried booting of an old hard disk that I have lying around just to see what it would show. Same thing happened.

Could the AGP slot on the MB be fried and is there a way to confirm it?

Its an old PcChips M848 MB and I have a Sapphire (9550 I think) 8X graphics card.

I'd like to know if I need to replace the MB.

Thanks....any help greatly appreciated.

  norman47 10:54 19 Oct 2007

You will need to go through a process of elimination.

On the non working machine disconnect everything that you don't need to post the machine. So

Unplug the IDE cables from the motherboard.

Take out the graphics card if the motherboard has on board graphics but leave it in if the motherboard does not have onboard graphics.

just use one stick of ram.

disconnect the keyboard and mouse and any other device plugged in to the machine apart from the monitor cable.

take out any pci cards that are in the motherboard.

So you are booting with just one stick of ram, graphics, cpu with HS+f.

  norman47 10:59 19 Oct 2007

Have you tried switching psu's over?

  crosstrainer 11:11 19 Oct 2007

The PSU to me...Can you try another power supply?

  DieSse 11:37 19 Oct 2007

Could be motherboard - could be RAM - Could be processor - could be PSU - could be bad connection (inc processor and/or RAM) - could be something else.

I've had all the above cause these symptoms at one time or another.

normam47 has given you the best plan of attack. At the end of the day a technician will use a process of elimination (including by substitution) - one thing at a time, so that you'll be sure what it is when you solve it.

Unless you have (expensive) specialised test equipment (most techs don't) - there's no other way.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 12:03 19 Oct 2007

Do you hear a string of beeps? Healthy PCs should beep once or twice when they are turned on and pass their Power On Self Test (POST) routine. While different BIOS manufacturers use different beep codes to identify failures, a repeating string of beeps (three or nine in a row) is a common indicator of video card failure.
To start troubleshooting the video adapter, check if it's is properly seated. This is an in-the-box check, so make sure you unplug the power cable to the system first. You can usually spot a poorly seated video adapter, especially AGP adapters, as more of the contact edge of the card is out of the socket towards the front of the case than the back. This doesn't apply to motherboards with built-in video. Whether or not the video adapter appears to be seated properly, reseat it. Remove the video adapter hold-down screw, remove the adapter, then reseat it in the slot, pushing down evenly. Be careful that putting the hold-down screw back in doesn't lever the front edge of the video adapter (the end away from the screw) up a fraction of an inch out of the slot, because that's all it takes.
If reseating the card doesn't clear up the beeps, it's either video adapter failure or RAM on the motherboard. You can power down and try reseating the RAM at this point, without going all the way through the motherboard diagnostics. There used to be beep codes for all sorts of component failures, but most of those components have long since been integrated into the motherboard and can't be replaced if they fail.
Does the system get as far as showing the BIOS screen and locking up? By BIOS screen, we're talking about the text information or brand-name graphics that appear on the screen in the initial boot stages. A system that freezes up at this point is rarely suffering from a video failure, though a conflict between the video card and another installed adapter is still possible.
Did you install any new adapters immediately before the video card problem appeared? With the power disconnected, remove any other adapters, one at a time, and then reconnect power and attempt to reboot after each removal. Locking up on the BIOS screen is often due to an adapter conflict, but if removing the other adapters doesn't solve the problem, proceed to Motherboard, CPU and RAM Failure.
Do you get a live screen, or at least move past the BIOS screen, with all the other adapters removed? If so, the problem is either a bad adapter preventing proper operation of the bus or an adapter conflicting with the video card. In either case, you can reinstall the adapters one at a time, powering up after each one, troubleshooting the problem by process of elimination. Don't forget to unplug the system each time before taking any action inside the case.
If the motherboard is a new upgrade, try the video adapter in another system before trashing it, since it could be a simple incompatibility. If installing a new video adapter doesn't solve your "dead screen" problem, it's probably a motherboard related problem, even though you got to this point without any beep codes. Proceed to Motherboard, CPU and RAM Failure.

  Rickvn 12:27 19 Oct 2007

Hi all. Thanks for all the advise.

I have tried taking out everything except the graphics card. (LAN, sound and all the rest are onboard and I unplugged them all).

There are no beeps whatever when I boot.....absolutely silent. I also tried another graphics card then replaced the original so I am sure it is properly seated.

The graphics card does not have dedicated power.....gets it through the AGP slot so I don't think the PSU is to blame as all the rest is OK (hard disk is running, lights all flashing, etc) and the fan on the graphics card is spinning.

Does that tell anyone anything else I need to do. I have probably umped the gun but I have bought a new MB anyway. Hoping it will be delivered tomorrow.

Thanks again everyone.

  norman47 12:36 19 Oct 2007

" (hard disk is running, lights all flashing, etc) and the fan on the graphics card is spinning. "

that doesn't totally rule out the PSU, you don't have to have total failure of a PSU for it not to powerup a system. It would have been worthwhile to swap the psu from your good system to problem one, just to rule out that possability and save the neccesaty of buying a new motherboard.

The odds are probably in your favour that it is the motherboard but you still have the uncertainty of faulty memory, the psu, cpu damage or loose connections.

We'll keep our fingers crossed that it's the board.:)

  DieSse 12:46 19 Oct 2007

Take out Processor - refit - wiggle the locking lever up and down a few times (carefully) with the processor in place (this cleans the contacts.)

Try one stick of RAM at a time, if you've got two.


Try a different stick of RAM.

Try a different graphics card.

I will say that I found this sort of problem the motherboard more often than not - but all the other problems once in a while.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:40 19 Oct 2007

If you aren't using the default CMOS settings, try restoring them all at this point. You can usually restore these from a major CMOS menu item like "Restore Default Settings" or "BIOS Default Settings." The default settings usually put everything on auto detect and use the recommended timing for the RAM. If you cannot see the BIOS screen then use the motherboard jumper or remove the CMOS battery for a few minutes.

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