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Biostar TA790GXBE board has stopped powering up

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#1
doveman

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I've had my Biostar TA790GXBE on the bench for a while but got round to ziptie-ing the fan to it yesterday and put it in the case but now it doesn't power up. When I switch the PSU on I see the board LEDs flicker on briefly, which is what they've always done so obviously power is getting to the board, in part at least. I've taken it back out of the case now and it still won't power on.

The thing is, the board has power/reset buttons built onto it and the power one stopped working some time ago but as I could still power it with the switch attached to the front panel header block I wasn't too bothered. So perhaps there's a problem in that area that's spread to the header block as well now? Could it be a dry joint? I guess I could try and fix it myself if so, but if I'm lilkely to send it back for repair I can't mess with it myself. I bought it on 3 June 2010 though so I doubt it's still in warranty.

It's a real pain because I was planning to send this PC to my brother for his birthday in 3-4 weeks. He's got the box for the motherboard, so if I have to send it for repair I'll have to get him to post that to me before I can send it off and then who knows how long it will be before I get it back. I thought I could buy another motherboard if it's possible to get one that's more or less the same (i.e. 790GX chipset) so that I won't have to reinstall Windows 7 x86 from scratch and then sell the repaired Biostar board when I get it back. If I'm going to do that I need to make sure that it has much the same features/connectors, etc although I guess I could switch to a DDR3 board and sell the DDR2 RAM.

So if I can't fix it myself, any suggestions for a cheap (i.e <£50) replacement board that will be compatible enough not to require re-installing Win7?


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#2
jaclaz

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Try powering it with the ATX PS_ON connected to ground:
http://www.techpower...ticles/other/22
http://www.arcade-em...k/hardware.html

(it may well be a defective power supply)

jaclaz

#3
doveman

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Try powering it with the ATX PS_ON connected to ground:
http://www.techpower...ticles/other/22
http://www.arcade-em...k/hardware.html

(it may well be a defective power supply)

jaclaz


Unlikely I think and I did test it that way just a few days ago but yeah I should double-check that, thanks.

#4
jaclaz

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Unlikely I think and I did test it that way just a few days ago but yeah I should double-check that, thanks.

Also, try it with no hard disks/devices connected, I have seen more than one PSU - due to components aging - having not enough "juice" to boot a system with (say) two hard disks connected but capable of powering it up with just one disk or no disk connected.

jaclaz

#5
doveman

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I was actually testing without any drives connected. I've just tested the PSU and that powers on fine.

EDIT: Should mention that I did try powering it up by WOL yesterday (which I confirmed was working from standby a week or two ago) and that didn't work either, so it might not just be the on-board power button and header that's faulty. That just seems like the obvious candidate considering that the button stopped working a while ago.

Edited by doveman, 04 August 2012 - 09:46 AM.


#6
doveman

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OK, I've tested the PSU on my MSI board and that works fine. I've also tested with another power switch on the motherboard, which I buzzed out to confirm it's joining the two points on the back of the board, so the problem's obviously upstream from that. The onboard buttons don't seem to be connecting the two points, so either both buttons are faulty or there's a fault in that area of the board.

Not looking forward to the next step, which is to strip my Gigabyte board out the case, remove the CPU heatsink and CPU and test this CPU and RAM to be sure it's the board that's faulty.

#7
jaclaz

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Not looking forward to the next step, which is to strip my Gigabyte board out the case, remove the CPU heatsink and CPU and test this CPU and RAM to be sure it's the board that's faulty.

Well, before that, just remove the RAM and any card that you may have on it and try booting.
It should beep....

jaclaz

#8
doveman

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Not looking forward to the next step, which is to strip my Gigabyte board out the case, remove the CPU heatsink and CPU and test this CPU and RAM to be sure it's the board that's faulty.

Well, before that, just remove the RAM and any card that you may have on it and try booting.
It should beep....

jaclaz


OK, I'll try that but I don't have any cards in it anyway and I'll have to cut the ziptied fan off the CPU heatsink to remove the RAM. I still strongly suspect the problem's in the corner where the buttons/header are (or some other part of the power-on circuitry, I'm not sure if that's all located in that corner) so I don't expect it to beep though.

#9
doveman

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Actually I don't think this board even has a speaker/beeper so it can't beep but I tried it without the RAM and it didn't do anything different (I might have expected the LEDs to stay on or the fan to spin if it was the RAM stopping it booting). I've tested the RAM in my other PC and that's fine. I'm going to test the CPU in my Dad's PC as he's only got the stock heatsink so it will be a lot easier to swap them over than on my boards, which have massive heatsinks bolted to custom backplates and so will require removing the board from the case to remove the heatsink and swap over the CPU.

Hopefully the CPU's fine in which case I'll just have to get another board. So I'm hoping if I get another ATI chipset board Windows 7 won't put up too much of a fight and will just install any required drivers. The ATI one's shouldn't need changing/reinstalling and that covers the AHCI driver which tends to be the major source of problems when changing boards I think. The onboard graphics will still be ATI and the onboard sound Realtek, so they'll probably be OK although I might need to reinstall the drivers for both if they're different chipsets.

Are there any other things to be aware of or is there a procedure/guide for doing this or should it be fairly straightforward?

#10
cdob

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I thought I could buy another motherboard if it's possible to get one that's more or less the same (i.e. 790GX chipset) so that I won't have to reinstall Windows 7 x86 from scratch and then sell the repaired Biostar board when I get it back. If I'm going to do that I need to make sure that it has much the same features/connectors, etc although I guess I could switch to a DDR3 board and sell the DDR2 RAM.

Which CPU do you use? Does old CPU support DDR3 RAM?

So I'm hoping if I get another ATI chipset board Windows 7 won't put up too much of a fight and will just install any required drivers. The ATI one's shouldn't need changing/reinstalling and that covers the AHCI driver which tends to be the major source of problems when changing boards I think.

A newer chipset may require newer drivers. Existing AMD drivers may fail at new hardware.

Use default AHCI driver: set service msahci start=0. Use another machine or boot a PE to change setting.
http://support.micro....com/kb/922976/
If old AMD drivers fail at new hardware, disable old AMD drivers too : start=4

The onboard graphics will still be ATI

The grapics controller is inside the CPU nowadays.

#11
doveman

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Which CPU do you use? Does old CPU support DDR3 RAM?


Yeah sure, Athlon II X4 640.

A newer chipset may require newer drivers. Existing AMD drivers may fail at new hardware.

Use default AHCI driver: set service msahci start=0. Use another machine or boot a PE to change setting.
http://support.micro....com/kb/922976/
If old AMD drivers fail at new hardware, disable old AMD drivers too : start=4


Ah, good warning thanks. Which AMD drivers do you mean though (how are they listed in the registry)?

The grapics controller is inside the CPU nowadays.


Not with my Athlon II X4 640 or Phenom II X4 955. I'm not really into all this integrated nonsense (eggs in one basket) ;) Besides, I'm sure the chip must get hotter if it's the CPU and GPU combined, which just makes it harder for me to cool it silently.

#12
cdob

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Which AMD drivers do you mean though

That's the drivers you did add.
I don't know, which drivers are installed at your machine.
Primarily the mass storage drivers. Which mass storage drivers did you add in the past?

Should be sufficient to delete relating *.sys files.

#13
doveman

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Which AMD drivers do you mean though

That's the drivers you did add.
I don't know, which drivers are installed at your machine.
Primarily the mass storage drivers. Which mass storage drivers did you add in the past?

Should be sufficient to delete relating *.sys files.


Ah, you mean the AMD AHCI driver? Yeah, I did install that as part of the SB drivers (just that and the USB filter driver I think) so I'll set that to start=4. Thanks.

#14
doveman

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Hmm, seems rather hard to find a AM3+ board with on-board graphics (there's a few mATX but I need a full ATX like the TA790GXBE). I've found a couple of refurbished TA790GX 128M and TA790GX A3+.

I'll probably get the latter as the former doesn't have the 4+1 Phase VRM and 2 Phase Memory Power, which the latter (and the TA790GXBE) does and suggests better build and (hopefully) longer lasting to me.

#15
cdob

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Ah, you mean the AMD AHCI driver? Yeah, I did install that as part of the SB drivers

Which Windows 7 do you use?
Which AMD AHCI driver did you install?
Did you used amdsata.sys, ahcix64s.sys or another one? Which one?

AM3+ board with on-board graphics ... full ATX

Yes, there are few possibilities
In addition: ASUS M5A88-V EVO and MSI 760GA-P43

longer lasting to me

Cool the mainboard too:
some air flow around capacitors and Southbridge.

#16
doveman

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Which Windows 7 do you use?
Which AMD AHCI driver did you install?
Did you used amdsata.sys, ahcix64s.sys or another one? Which one?


Win7 Ultimate x32. I think I used the ATI 12.6 SB driver install but it might have been an earlier one, I can't recall. Not sure which driver it installed.

Yes, there are few possibilities
In addition: ASUS M5A88-V EVO and MSI 760GA-P43


The Asus has a ridiculously large NB heatsink which would probably clash with my CPU Heatsink though. The MSI doesn't have on-board graphics.

Cool the mainboard too:
some air flow around capacitors and Southbridge.


Yeah, I always make sure there's adequate airflow.

#17
cdob

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Not sure which driver it installed.

Back to basics:
set msahci to start=0. Ignore other recommendations so far.
Try booting and report the result.
Let's continue at given result. Mass storage drivers will be fixed at one way or another.

The MSI doesn't have on-board graphics.

Strange, there is a VGA connector http://media.msi.com...g2_itemId=80588
Granted, neither DVI nor HDMI connector.
http://eu.msi.com/pr...A-P43--FX-.html

#18
doveman

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Back to basics:
set msahci to start=0. Ignore other recommendations so far.
Try booting and report the result.
Let's continue at given result. Mass storage drivers will be fixed at one way or another.


OK, I'll do that (after making a True Image backup of course).

Strange, there is a VGA connector http://media.msi.com...g2_itemId=80588
Granted, neither DVI nor HDMI connector.
http://eu.msi.com/pr...A-P43--FX-.html


Yeah, my mistake. It seems the 760G chipset does have HD3000 onboard http://www.amd.com/u...0g-chipset.aspx

Anyway, I've bought a s/h TA790GX A3+ on ebay for £34 now, so it should be quite straightforward. I'll let you know when I've got it and tested.

#19
doveman

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Well I got the replacement TA790GX A3+ board today and fitted the CPU and 4GB DDR3 my Dad had spare after I upgraded him for his birthday. Still doesn't work!

Seeing as I've tested all the other components, either the CPU's dead or I've been sold a faulty motherboard but I don't think the latter's likely as the seller has 100% feedback.

So I'll just have to strip my Gigabyte system (the worst part is taking the Thermalright SI-128 SE CPU heatsink off) and test the Phenom II X3 720 from that on this new board (and the old one for that matter). At least if the CPU is faulty it's got a lifetime warranty, so I'll just give my brother the Phenom II X3 720 and put the replacement Athlon II X4 640 in my Gigabyte system when I get it back.

#20
doveman

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Man this is doing my head in now. I've put my Phenom II X3 720 in the TA790GX A3+ board I bought and it still doesn't work. Does much the same as the TA790GXBE board did, the leds briefly flicker on when I first try to power it up with the onboard button or the case button (not on subsequent attempts until I power-cycle the PSU) and that's it.

I've put the Athlon II X4 640 in the Gigabyte board and that works fine, so I don't know what's going on unless the TA790GXBE board died and the TA790GX A3+ board I bought is also faulty.

EDIT: Although I'd already tested the PSU on my Gigabyte system with the PSU out of the case, I just tested again (with the X4 640 in the Gigabyte board) with it in the case, just on the off-chance that there was some weird problem making it not work properly when screwed into the case but it worked fine, so it's definitely not that.

EDIT2: Tested the DDR3 in another board and that powers on fine. In fact, that board powers on OK without any RAM installed, so I don't think it can be a RAM problem preventing the Biostar boards powering up.

Edited by doveman, 22 August 2012 - 04:46 AM.


#21
doveman

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OK, so I got the Asrock 880GMH/U3S3.

I've just tested it with only the CPU and RAM and when pressing the power button (connected to the header, there's no on-board buttons) the PSU and CPU fans spin up for a couple of seconds but then spin down again.

It seems like it's tripping out for some reason. I don't think there's any problem with the CPU or RAM as I've been using them on another board, so I wonder if there's an issue with the PSU but I tested that with another board a few weeks ago and that was fine, so I don't really know what's up.

#22
submix8c

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???
I haven't read the whole thread so maybe this was mentioned? The fans will will run full-throttle then "settle down" until needed at higher temperatures. It's called "Smart Fan" and usually you can turn this ON/OFF in the BIOS somewhere.

This is normal (if it has Smart Fan) and a word of warning - I have a "monitor" software installed and it wreaks havoc if you set the Sensors-ID on the wrong Sensor (mine has 3).

Edited by submix8c, 24 September 2012 - 12:50 PM.

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#23
doveman

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No, the PSU and CPU fans are stopping completely after a couple of seconds, so it's powering off.

#24
submix8c

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OK... so what kind of PSU is it (never seen that specified)? If it's not the correct type and/or does not have enough watts on the rails, it may not work. All of the info is sometimes provided on a sticker., otherwise you'll need to get the specs from the manufacturer. Have you "cracked it open" and CAREFULLY thoroughly cleaned it out? Sometimes "bulged" CAPS will function at lower demands but will fail at higher (just like a MoBo).

Edited by submix8c, 24 September 2012 - 01:17 PM.

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#25
doveman

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It's a OCZ StealthXStream 400W. Was working fine with the same system until the original board died.

I did actually have it open recently as I needed to replace the fan which had started making annoying noises intermittently (probably the bearings were going) so I cleaned it out then and didn't notice any bulging caps. I just tested it by shorting PS_ON to GND and it stays on like that but as you say, it may have a fault that's causing it to trip out when it's under load.

I think I'll have to try my Antec PSU from my main system and see if that works with this board.




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