VOGONS


Asus P4P800 Deluxe won't post

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First post, by kaputnik

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Discussed my retro rigs in another thread, and got the suggestion to build a Northwood one. Had nothing better to do yesterday, so brought up my old Asus P4P800 Deluxe mobo from the cellar to build something around just for the hell of it. Good way to get the hangover from saturday night out of the mind and kill some time at least 😁

However, the damned thing won't even post. The standby LED lights up when I power on the PSU, and everything looks fine, but when starting the computer, the CPU fan only spins for a fraction of a second, and then dies. When trying to start it again, nothing at all happens until I power cycle it, and give everything time to discharge until the standby LED goes out, before powering it up again.

When I think about it, I have some faint memory of the mobo dieing on me without explanation, and getting my next computer due to it. However, got no idea at all why I would have kept a broken mobo all these years? It's just not like me.

Tried with two different PSU:s, another CPU, other RAM sticks (CPU and RAM verified compatible with the mobo), a few different GPU:s (both AGP and PCI), just in case I remembered what happened all those yeara ago wrong. At this point I'm certain it's something with the mobo. For the record, I did the testing with the mobo out of the case on a non-conductive surface, both with one and two RAM sticks, and nothing else but PSU, CPU, GPU, and a PC speaker connected. The CMOS battery had been removed before stowing away the mobo, fitted a fresh one before beginning. Oh, and I did not forget the 12V CPU power connector 😀

Tried to connect a PCI post card. Unsurprisingly it never shows any error code on the display, but the +3.3V, +5V, +12V and -12V indication LEDs lights up immediately when starting, as they should. Everything but the 3.3V LED goes out once the computer dies again, this should also be in its order.

As an experiment I unseated the BIOS chip. The computer behaves exactly the same way without it. Beginning to think it's some protection circuit either in the PSU's or on the mobo that cuts out the power, very early in the process.

Noticed that the motherboard is slightly warped, and that both the north and south bridges are quite large BGA packages. Tried to boot the computer while pushing them down, to temporarily reconnect any solders the mechanical stress might have broken. Tried to loosen the retaining clips for the CPU heat sink, and also pushing the CPU down. No difference.

The PSU I used back in the days was the one included with the Cheiftec Dragon case. It's known to be of quite low quality and suffer from bad caps, not impossible that fried the mobo.

All caps looks good. Doesn't necessarily mean they are good of course, but there's nothing obvious to the eye at least. Found no visible signs of mechanical damage, excessive heat generation, corrosion, shorts, etc either. The environment in the cellar where I stored it never goes below 10 deg C even in the winter, and it's not damp or anything like that.

I'm out of ideas, besides desoldering all the caps to check ESR and capacitances. My recollection of the mobo just dieing without explanation smells bad caps miles away, but still wanna check if you guys have any suggestions of other things to try before doing that.

Reply 2 of 55, by ODwilly

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Do not want to be discouraging but often times using a power supply with bad caps for a long time can kill components on the motherboard. My old P4S Dragon Ultra 478 motherboard randomly works when it wants to, will pass benchmarks and play games then just refuse to post with beep codes just when I think it is stable. It had a Fuhjyuu filled Antec 380watt psu powering it for 10 years before I recapped the mobo.

Main pc: AsRock x370 Killer SLI a/c, Ryzen 5 2600, 1tb WD black nvme ssd, 24g ddr4 2400 @2933mhz, rx 480 8gb reference card, 2tb Hitachi Deskstar.
Retro PC: Soyo P4S Dragon, 3gb ddr 266, 120gb Maxtor, Geforce Fx 5950 Ultra, SB Live! 5.1

Reply 3 of 55, by kaputnik

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gdjacobs wrote:

Are the caps original?

Yep, they are. Bought the mobo brand new early 2003 - remember having to wait a few weeks for the 2.8GHz HT Northwood to be released before building the computer. Haven't recapped the board before.

ODwilly wrote:

Do not want to be discouraging but often times using a power supply with bad caps for a long time can kill components on the motherboard. My old P4S Dragon Ultra 478 motherboard randomly works when it wants to, will pass benchmarks and play games then just refuse to post with beep codes just when I think it is stable. It had a Fuhjyuu filled Antec 380watt psu powering it for 10 years before I recapped the mobo.

Of course I realize it might be beyond repairs, but gotta try at least, right? 😀

Reply 4 of 55, by Skyscraper

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Asus Socket-478 boards not posting is a common issue.

Its mostly memory related but often who knows related... In many cases the board starts working again if you just forget about it now and try again in a month or two. You can try different memory modules, I would use a double sided 512MB PC3200 module that can accept CL2, CL2.5 and CL3.

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Reply 5 of 55, by ODwilly

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^+1

Main pc: AsRock x370 Killer SLI a/c, Ryzen 5 2600, 1tb WD black nvme ssd, 24g ddr4 2400 @2933mhz, rx 480 8gb reference card, 2tb Hitachi Deskstar.
Retro PC: Soyo P4S Dragon, 3gb ddr 266, 120gb Maxtor, Geforce Fx 5950 Ultra, SB Live! 5.1

Reply 6 of 55, by Errius

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I had one of these die on me recently as well. I haven't had time to test it but the problem sounds similar.

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Reply 7 of 55, by kaputnik

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Skyscraper wrote:

Asus Socket-478 boards not posting is a common issue.

Its mostly memory related but often who knows related... In many cases the board starts working again if you just forget about it now and try again in a month or two. You can try different memory modules, I would use a double sided 512MB PC3200 module that can accept CL2, CL2.5 and CL3.

Okay, I'll test with a few more memory sticks just in case, it's easily done. If that doesn't work, I'll ESR check the caps - can be done without desoldering - and if nothing turns up, I'll just leave the board alone for a month or so with the CMOS battery in before desoldering the caps, unless someone comes up with something else worth trying 😀

Reply 8 of 55, by Imperious

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Hmmm, sounds a bit like what happens if the Bios jumper has been left in the short position for wiping the bios contents, but that is unlikely.

I have the same motherboard, used it for 5 years ending up with P4P800SE bios flashed into it with a Pentium M chip and Asus 479 adaptor, it never let
me down once. I had two Gskill 1G Cas2 sticks in it, but originally two Corsair 512m Cas 2.

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Reply 9 of 55, by stuvize

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Was it really stored in a cellar? I have had quite a few motherboards that were left in damp locations not post or have odd behavior but worked fine after a week or so in a warm dry location, also agree that bad caps in the power supply may have damaged components I believe that is what killed my D875PBZ and 6800GT they both died in 6 months of each other opened up the cheap Echo Star PSU to find several leaking caps

Last edited by stuvize on 2016-01-18, 11:44. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 10 of 55, by Tetrium

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You mention you took it out of the cellar? Often the climate there is cold and perhaps also a bit damp.

What you could do (as has been suggested earlier in this thread) is to leave the board somewhere in your house and let it acclimatize for a while (you can do a month, perhaps the warping will also get less, but one can't be sure of that). If you decide to leave it to acclimatize then I'd personally prefer to let it acclimatize without anything installed (so no CPU, no HSF and no RAM, you can keep the BIOS chip in if you want 😜) and put it somewhere dry, perhaps inside a closet on a cardboard motherboard box or something.

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Reply 11 of 55, by kaputnik

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Imperious wrote:

Hmmm, sounds a bit like what happens if the Bios jumper has been left in the short position for wiping the bios contents, but that is unlikely.

I have the same motherboard, used it for 5 years ending up with P4P800SE bios flashed into it with a Pentium M chip and Asus 479 adaptor, it never let
me down once. I had two Gskill 1G Cas2 sticks in it, but originally two Corsair 512m Cas 2.

Well, I did store it without a CMOS battery. It's not unlikely that pulling out the reset jumper just breaks the battery circuit, and that removing the battery does exactly the same thing from an electrical point of view.

Edit: Tried booting it with the jumper in the reset position just to see if there was any difference, it's not like I have a lot to lose. The standby LED comes on nicely, but the fan won't even start for that fraction of a second when trying to boot it.

stuvize wrote:

Was it really stored in a cellar? I have had quite a few motherboards that were left in damp locations not post or have odd behavior but worked fine after a week or so in a warm dry location, also agree that bad caps in the power supply may have damaged components I believe that is what killed my D875PBZ and 6800GT they both died in 6 months of each other opened up the cheap Echo Star PSU to find several leaking caps

Tetrium wrote:

You mention you took it out of the cellar? Often the climate there is cold and perhaps also a bit damp.

What you could do (as has been suggested earlier in this thread) is to leave the board somewhere in your house and let it acclimatize for a while (you can do a month, perhaps the warping will also get less, but one can't be sure of that). If you decide to leave it to acclimatize then I'd personally prefer to let it acclimatize without anything installed (so no CPU, no HSF and no RAM, you can keep the BIOS chip in if you want 😜) and put it somewhere dry, perhaps inside a closet on a cardboard motherboard box or something.

Well, it never gets that cold down there, and it's definitely not damp. Even the other day when it was -19 degrees C outside, you could go down there in T-shirt and shorts without freezing your ass off 😁

If it comes to that, I'll try storing the card together with some silica gel in an ESD bag for a while. I''ll put it all in the cupboard above the fridge.

Too bad the original PSU was thrown away ages ago, might have been an idea to open it up and check its condition otherwise.

Reply 12 of 55, by Tetrium

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kaputnik wrote:

Well, I did store it without a CMOS battery. It's not unlikely that pulling out the reset jumper just breaks the battery circuit, and that removing the battery does exactly the same thing from an electrical point of view.

Edit: Tried booting it with the jumper in the reset position just to see if there was any difference, it's not like I have a lot to lose. The standby LED comes on nicely, but the fan won't even start for that fraction of a second when trying to boot it.

I did that with my old A7V333 once. Instant magic smoke 😢

edit: Ow wait, I used the CLEAR CMOS jumper (it was an oversight and hadn't been intentional, but I lamented it's death for quite a few years 😊

kaputnik wrote:

Well, it never gets that cold down there, and it's definitely not damp. Even the other day when it was -19 degrees C outside, you could go down there in T-shirt and shorts without freezing your ass off 😁

If it comes to that, I'll try storing the card together with some silica gel in an ESD bag for a while. I''ll put it all in the cupboard above the fridge.

Too bad the original PSU was thrown away ages ago, might have been an idea to open it up and check its condition otherwise.

The thing is, you mentioned the board was warped. Having it laid on a (flat!) piece of cardboard without any other components installed might straighten this out.

I once took a mobo out of storage (was some kind of A64) and I had stored it with it's CPU and HSF installed for a long time. The board had warped into a slight "S" shape, so instead of powering it up like that, I removed the HSF and CPU and put it back into storage for about a month or so, I think it did actually work after that and the board wasn't as warped when I powered it on.

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Reply 13 of 55, by kaputnik

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Tetrium wrote:
I did that with my old A7V333 once. Instant magic smoke :depressed: […]
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kaputnik wrote:

Well, I did store it without a CMOS battery. It's not unlikely that pulling out the reset jumper just breaks the battery circuit, and that removing the battery does exactly the same thing from an electrical point of view.

Edit: Tried booting it with the jumper in the reset position just to see if there was any difference, it's not like I have a lot to lose. The standby LED comes on nicely, but the fan won't even start for that fraction of a second when trying to boot it.

I did that with my old A7V333 once. Instant magic smoke 😢

edit: Ow wait, I used the CLEAR CMOS jumper (it was an oversight and hadn't been intentional, but I lamented it's death for quite a few years 😊

kaputnik wrote:

Well, it never gets that cold down there, and it's definitely not damp. Even the other day when it was -19 degrees C outside, you could go down there in T-shirt and shorts without freezing your ass off 😁

If it comes to that, I'll try storing the card together with some silica gel in an ESD bag for a while. I''ll put it all in the cupboard above the fridge.

Too bad the original PSU was thrown away ages ago, might have been an idea to open it up and check its condition otherwise.

The thing is, you mentioned the board was warped. Having it laid on a (flat!) piece of cardboard without any other components installed might straighten this out.

I once took a mobo out of storage (was some kind of A64) and I had stored it with it's CPU and HSF installed for a long time. The board had warped into a slight "S" shape, so instead of powering it up like that, I removed the HSF and CPU and put it back into storage for about a month or so, I think it did actually work after that and the board wasn't as warped when I powered it on.

Stored it lying flat in its original box, with only a CPU installed, and nothing heavy on top. Also, I'd say the temperature down there is more stable than in a regular apartment or house. In the summer it rarely goes above say 22 dec C, and in the winter seldom below 15 dec C. Got a pretty good idea of the temperature span, both storing and brewing my own beer down there 😀 That warping must simply have been there since the mobo was in use.

Could of course try to screw it down flat to a piece of plywood, or perhaps even better the mobo mounting plate from some case, put it in the warm cupboard above the fridge for a few weeks, and see if it helps to reverse the warping. As mentioned, it's not like there's a lot to lose at this point. If I had any common sense at all I'd just throw it away and be done with it, but now it's become a sport 😁

Reply 14 of 55, by Gamecollector

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Well, most common reasons are (for P4P800 SE):
1) RAM slots corrosion. Try to clear them with metal ruler and use only 1 DIMM with different slots.
2) Bad caps.
3) 5V/5VSB jumpers corrosion. Yes, several MBs not started because of 5VSB (PS/2 keyboard mostly).
4) Dead northbridge. Fatal.

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Reply 15 of 55, by Tetrium

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Gamecollector wrote:
Well, most common reasons are (for P4P800 SE): 1) RAM slots corrosion. Try to clear them with metal ruler and use only 1 DIMM wi […]
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Well, most common reasons are (for P4P800 SE):
1) RAM slots corrosion. Try to clear them with metal ruler and use only 1 DIMM with different slots.
2) Bad caps.
3) 5V/5VSB jumpers corrosion. Yes, several MBs not started because of 5VSB (PS/2 keyboard mostly).
4) Dead northbridge. Fatal.

Didn't these boards also have some fatal flaw with their front USB implementation?
I doubt this is of any relevance here, but might as well mention it since one can never know.

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Reply 16 of 55, by kaputnik

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Gamecollector wrote:
Well, most common reasons are (for P4P800 SE): 1) RAM slots corrosion. Try to clear them with metal ruler and use only 1 DIMM wi […]
Show full quote

Well, most common reasons are (for P4P800 SE):
1) RAM slots corrosion. Try to clear them with metal ruler and use only 1 DIMM with different slots.
2) Bad caps.
3) 5V/5VSB jumpers corrosion. Yes, several MBs not started because of 5VSB (PS/2 keyboard mostly).
4) Dead northbridge. Fatal.

Cleaned the RAM slots with a piece of thin lint free cloth wrapped around the edge of a credit card and some contact cleaner. Moved the PS/2 power source selection jumper and all other jumpers I could find up and down their respective pinheaders hoping to rub off any oxides etc. The pin headers seems to be in mint condition though, I believe they are gold plated.

No luck. Good ideas though 😀

Will do some ESR testing on the caps later tonight.

----

Tetrium wrote:

Didn't these boards also have some fatal flaw with their front USB implementation?
I doubt this is of any relevance here, but might as well mention it since one can never know.

I believe I never had anything connected to those headers, due to the simple fact that at least the midi tower version of the Chieftec Dragon case I had didn't have any front ports 😀

Reply 17 of 55, by dr_st

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You can connect speakers/headphones to the line-out (green jack) of the onboard audio device, and see if the speech POST reporter says anything interesting... Although even if it does, I'm skeptical if it's going to be easy to fix. 🙁

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Reply 19 of 55, by PCBONEZ

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ASDS - Asus Sudden Death Syndrome.
.
IIRC many of those boards came with Nichicon HM and/or HN series caps out of the defective production runs.
Also Asus liked OST brand and Chemicon KZG & KZJ, all of which have high failure rates and often fail with no visible signs.
.

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