Are the CPUs dead or are the motherboards ?

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Are the CPUs dead or are the motherboards ?

Postby Elia1995 » 2016-6-12 @ 11:09

Hi, recently I got my hands on two motherboards that I've loved when I was a kid.
One straight out of probably my first ever PC: an Abit NF7 with a Socket A AMD Athlon XP (I presume, the text is quite off, but it's an Athlon for sure), and another motherboard which is an Asus (as always, the model is written NOWHERE, but it's an Asus because it's written very clearly on an heatsink on the mobo) with an Intel Pentium 4, I don't know yet which socket, but it's smaller than other processors I own and it is written Pentium 4 on it.

The problem I have with these two is that none of them turn on... the Abit NF7 doesn't have any LED to verify if the PSU gives it enough power, while the Pentium 4 Asus motherboard has a LED which always stays on, but it doesn't start.

I tried to "jump start" them with the classic screwdriver trick, but nope, they're both dead... now I don't know whether are the processors to be dead or the motherboards, seeing that the Asus has this LED that turns on when I give it power, I think it's the Pentium 4 CPU which is dead, but I don't know how to tell.

Is there some testing I can do to verify if the processors are still working or they're dead ? And no, I don't have any other Socket A motherboard or Pentium 4 to test them on something else... what do you think ?

I wish I can restore at least one of them, because they're the last two motherboards I have with an AGP slot...

I'll provide some photos as soon as I can.
Currently assembled vintage computers I own: 11

Most important ones:
A "modded" Olivetti M4 434 S (currently broken).
An Epson El Plus 386DX running MS-DOS 6.22 (currently broken).
Celeron Coppermine 1.10GHz on an M754LMRTP motherboard
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Re: Are the CPUs dead or are the motherboards ?

Postby dr_st » 2016-6-12 @ 11:40

CPUs almost never die. 99% that it's the board.

Even when the CPU is dead, or without a CPU at all, the board should start. You should notice that other components (fans, hard drives, optical drives, if any) are getting power. Eventually the board would beep on you.

If you get none of that, then either the boards are both electrically dead (meaning some very fundamental component in the power circuitry is shot), or it's the PSU.
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Re: Are the CPUs dead or are the motherboards ?

Postby Imperious » 2016-6-12 @ 11:51

Just last week I had this problem with my Asus P4P800dlx.

It required about 3 times to reseat the cpu and has worked perfectly since. I suspect the cpu connectors in the socket get oxidised over
the years and need to have a few attempts to get the electrical juice flowing properly. Mine hadn't been turned on for about 6 years.

Please post photos just in case anyone picks up something that isn't right and could be causing the problem.

Make sure You have the 4 pin atx connector installed where required, definitely the P4 motherboard will have one.
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Re: Are the CPUs dead or are the motherboards ?

Postby Elia1995 » 2016-6-12 @ 16:41

Yeah, I plugged in the 4 pin ATX connector properly and all the other stuff.
About the Pentium 4 motherboard, what's weird is that the LED that indicates it has power turns on and stays on as long as I keep on the PSU, it just doesn't start on whatever pin to turn it on (damn oldschool motherboards that don't have built-in power buttons... I never understood WHY... I'm glad my current MSI Z97 Gaming 7 has one)

As soon as I go there, I'll take some photos of each motherboard and in great detail, I'll also take a photo of the processors (above and their pins below), hopefully with my reflex's macro feature.
Currently assembled vintage computers I own: 11

Most important ones:
A "modded" Olivetti M4 434 S (currently broken).
An Epson El Plus 386DX running MS-DOS 6.22 (currently broken).
Celeron Coppermine 1.10GHz on an M754LMRTP motherboard
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Re: Are the CPUs dead or are the motherboards ?

Postby dr_st » 2016-6-13 @ 04:10

That LED simply indicates that there is power on the +5V Standby rail. It tells nothing about the other rails of the PSU or anything else about the general state of the board.
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Re: Are the CPUs dead or are the motherboards ?

Postby Jorpho » 2016-6-13 @ 04:40

Elia1995 wrote:I tried to "jump start" them with the classic screwdriver trick, but nope, they're both dead...
Are you sure you're using the right "trick" ? Different motherboards may put the required pins in different positions. Also, your screwdriver could conceivably be electrically insulated.
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Re: Are the CPUs dead or are the motherboards ?

Postby Elia1995 » 2016-6-13 @ 07:42

Yeah, I tried every possible combination of pins and that screwdriver worked fine to jump start all other motherboards I've tried so far.

I'll try to rip a power button off an old chassis...
Currently assembled vintage computers I own: 11

Most important ones:
A "modded" Olivetti M4 434 S (currently broken).
An Epson El Plus 386DX running MS-DOS 6.22 (currently broken).
Celeron Coppermine 1.10GHz on an M754LMRTP motherboard
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Re: Are the CPUs dead or are the motherboards ?

Postby stamasd » 2016-6-13 @ 12:47

Did you try jumpering non-adjacent pins on the connector block? I have come across more than one motherboard in the past (Dell FTW) where the pins for the power switch were not next to each other.
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Re: Are the CPUs dead or are the motherboards ?

Postby Elia1995 » 2016-6-13 @ 14:00

That one I didn't try yet, actually, great idea !!!
Currently assembled vintage computers I own: 11

Most important ones:
A "modded" Olivetti M4 434 S (currently broken).
An Epson El Plus 386DX running MS-DOS 6.22 (currently broken).
Celeron Coppermine 1.10GHz on an M754LMRTP motherboard
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Re: Are the CPUs dead or are the motherboards ?

Postby Jepael » 2016-6-13 @ 20:46

Just to verify your power button pins : http://www.manualslib.com/manual/601858/Abit-Nf7.html?page=19#manual

Also, if the motherboard battery is low (not completely dead, just too low), it is possible that the RTC crystal has stopped ticking and won't start even if 5VSB is available from PSU. I've run into a motherboard that needs a ticking clock to operate so it won't poll the soft power button.

So, remove all the power from PSU mains switch and wait for the 5VSB to fade away. Remove the motherboard battery (measure it if necessary) and preferably put in a new one, or just give it 5VSB from PSU without battery. Then try the front panel power button, with screwdriver or real button.
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Re: Are the CPUs dead or are the motherboards ?

Postby Elia1995 » 2016-6-13 @ 21:04

Since I have another spare CMOS battery, I'll try swapping it in the Abit NF7 mobo.
Currently assembled vintage computers I own: 11

Most important ones:
A "modded" Olivetti M4 434 S (currently broken).
An Epson El Plus 386DX running MS-DOS 6.22 (currently broken).
Celeron Coppermine 1.10GHz on an M754LMRTP motherboard
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Re: Are the CPUs dead or are the motherboards ?

Postby Elia1995 » 2016-6-14 @ 12:28

Small update:
The Abit NF7 now turns on after I changed the CMOS battery.
On the first try I heard an unpleasant BANG, but it "works" or at least it turns and stays on.
But I don't get any video, I tried with a Matrox graphics card and now with an nVidia AGP card but with neither I get video… help
Currently assembled vintage computers I own: 11

Most important ones:
A "modded" Olivetti M4 434 S (currently broken).
An Epson El Plus 386DX running MS-DOS 6.22 (currently broken).
Celeron Coppermine 1.10GHz on an M754LMRTP motherboard
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Re: Are the CPUs dead or are the motherboards ?

Postby Snayperskaya » 2016-6-14 @ 19:28

I'd do a fully recap on any ABIT motherboard before using. They are known for using bad caps on almost all models.

Also, try cleaning the whole board with a brush and isopropyl alcohol (99%+). Old batteries should be removed too.
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Re: Are the CPUs dead or are the motherboards ?

Postby Elia1995 » 2016-6-14 @ 20:00

I found one of those cylinder-shaped condensers kinda blown from inside, I'll try to change it if I can find a spare one at an hardware store.
Currently assembled vintage computers I own: 11

Most important ones:
A "modded" Olivetti M4 434 S (currently broken).
An Epson El Plus 386DX running MS-DOS 6.22 (currently broken).
Celeron Coppermine 1.10GHz on an M754LMRTP motherboard
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Re: Are the CPUs dead or are the motherboards ?

Postby Elia1995 » 2016-6-14 @ 20:28

Ok, time for the pictures (finally) !!!

I'll have to link them because they're HUGE, thanks to my Canon EOS 550D...

Here's my beloved (well, it was the motherboard of one of my early Windows XP computers) Abit NF7:

Image

Here's the AMD Athlon in its Socket A:

Image

I couldn't tell if that bit above the chip in the middle was dirt or some remainings of the ancient thermal paste it had before I took off the cooler to check what CPU it was.... either way this didn't come off with the alcohol and I took the picture before I cleaned it (notice how much dust was still there).

And here's the Asus Intel Pentium 4 motherboard:

Image

As people below made me notice, it's an Asus P4P800.
Last edited by Elia1995 on 2016-6-15 @ 08:27, edited 4 times in total.
Currently assembled vintage computers I own: 11

Most important ones:
A "modded" Olivetti M4 434 S (currently broken).
An Epson El Plus 386DX running MS-DOS 6.22 (currently broken).
Celeron Coppermine 1.10GHz on an M754LMRTP motherboard
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Re: Are the CPUs dead or are the motherboards ?

Postby Tetrium » 2016-6-15 @ 03:40

Elia1995 wrote:And here's the Asus Intel Pentium 4 motherboard:

Image

I dunno for sure which MODEL it is, but it's certainly an Asus, look how clearly it is written over there !!!

Looks like it's a P4P800 (it's mentioned between the PCI slots :P).
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Re: Are the CPUs dead or are the motherboards ?

Postby Imperious » 2016-6-15 @ 07:10

Thanks for fixing the images :)
Last edited by Imperious on 2016-6-15 @ 08:36, edited 1 time in total.
Atari 2600, TI994a, Vic20, c64, ZX Spectrum 128, Amstrad CPC464, Atari 65XE, Commodore Plus/4, Amiga 500
PC's from XT 8088, 486, Pentium MMX, K6, Athlon, P3, P4, 775, to current Ryzen 2600.
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Re: Are the CPUs dead or are the motherboards ?

Postby dr_st » 2016-6-15 @ 07:26

They are not down; he just used a service that does not allow hot-linking.
Last edited by dr_st on 2016-6-15 @ 08:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are the CPUs dead or are the motherboards ?

Postby Elia1995 » 2016-6-15 @ 08:21

Weird... I've always posted them like that with imgur... hang on, I'll reup them.

Tetrium wrote:Looks like it's a P4P800 (it's mentioned between the PCI slots :P).

Oh damn, I'm blind lol
Currently assembled vintage computers I own: 11

Most important ones:
A "modded" Olivetti M4 434 S (currently broken).
An Epson El Plus 386DX running MS-DOS 6.22 (currently broken).
Celeron Coppermine 1.10GHz on an M754LMRTP motherboard
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Re: Are the CPUs dead or are the motherboards ?

Postby Imperious » 2016-6-15 @ 08:40

Elia1995 wrote:Weird... I've always posted them like that with imgur... hang on, I'll reup them.

Tetrium wrote:Looks like it's a P4P800 (it's mentioned between the PCI slots :P).

Oh damn, I'm blind lol


P4P800 Deluxe to be precise. Exactly the same as mine, except possibly a Rev 1, mines a Rev 2, says so on the motherboard.
Atari 2600, TI994a, Vic20, c64, ZX Spectrum 128, Amstrad CPC464, Atari 65XE, Commodore Plus/4, Amiga 500
PC's from XT 8088, 486, Pentium MMX, K6, Athlon, P3, P4, 775, to current Ryzen 2600.
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