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Motherboard issue.

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First post, by Baoran

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I got a GA-5AX motherboard for free today from local recycling center. It does not seem to work though. CPU warms up, but nothing on screen and I am getting beeps from speaker that might be memory related beeps if beep information I found online and I get same beeps no matter what ram module I put on the motherboard.

Anyone has any idea what I could try or should I just take it back to be recycled?

Reply 1 of 26, by Robin4

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Check if the PCB isnt bent, that could loose some solder joint due stress.

Look for scratches, if traces arent damaged.

~ At least it can do black and white~

Reply 2 of 26, by Baoran

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I have tried. Motherboard is very straight and clean. I have not noticed any bloated caps personally either. Here are some pictures I just took while trying to get something out of it.

GA-5AX-1.jpg
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GA-5AX-2.jpg
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GA-5AX-3.jpg
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Reply 3 of 26, by sf78

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I'm sure you've tried with a different GPU too? I had one mobo that for some reason didn't like all the cards I tried. And I'm sure you've checked that the heat sink notch is the right way around on top of the CPU?

Reply 4 of 26, by Baoran

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sf78 wrote on 2020-11-28, 13:41:

I'm sure you've tried with a different GPU too? I had one mobo that for some reason didn't like all the cards I tried. And I'm sure you've checked that the heat sink notch is the right way around on top of the CPU?

I have tried that Geforce 2 MX card in the picture and a Basic trident ISA card so far.

Reply 5 of 26, by dionb

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Which CPU are you using?
And exactly which beeps (how many)?

But looking at that (very good, sharp) pic there's something that might explain memory problems: it looks like one of the pins of the L2 cache chip is bent or broken:

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Reply 7 of 26, by computerguy08

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Baoran wrote on 2020-11-28, 12:52:

CPU warms up, but nothing on screen and I am getting beeps from speaker that might be memory related beeps if beep information I found online and I get same beeps no matter what ram module I put on the motherboard.

You need to be more specific about the beep pattern. Are you sure it's memory related ?
It could also be a video detection error. Did you try a PCI video card ?

Obviously, if you get beeps, the board is not completely dead, the CPU executes at least some code from the ROM.
A POST card would also be helpful in this case, it lets you easily identify where the issue is.

Looking for a motherboard? You can find it in Ultimate Hardware 2019: http://www.win3x.org/uh19/motherboard/search
Join our UH19 Discord server here: https://discord.gg/HWWH7hsk2p

Reply 8 of 26, by Baoran

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dionb wrote on 2020-11-28, 14:30:
Which CPU are you using? And exactly which beeps (how many)? […]
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Which CPU are you using?
And exactly which beeps (how many)?

But looking at that (very good, sharp) pic there's something that might explain memory problems: it looks like one of the pins of the L2 cache chip is bent or broken:
cache_pin.png

The Beep is single repeating long beep that repeats forever.
When I took couple more pictures of the cache chip from different angle, I didn't see anything like in that picture.

GA-5AX-5.jpg
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GA-5AX-4.jpg
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Here is the cpu:

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Reply 9 of 26, by Baoran

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Nexxen wrote on 2020-11-28, 15:36:

Check if all the legs of all components are solid soldered to their pads.

It could be a bad bios too; and lower right corner of pic there's is a trace looking broken.

Could you post pics of the back?

Here is picture from back of the motherboard

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Reply 10 of 26, by Baoran

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computerguy08 wrote on 2020-11-28, 16:40:
You need to be more specific about the beep pattern. Are you sure it's memory related ? It could also be a video detection erro […]
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Baoran wrote on 2020-11-28, 12:52:

CPU warms up, but nothing on screen and I am getting beeps from speaker that might be memory related beeps if beep information I found online and I get same beeps no matter what ram module I put on the motherboard.

You need to be more specific about the beep pattern. Are you sure it's memory related ?
It could also be a video detection error. Did you try a PCI video card ?

Obviously, if you get beeps, the board is not completely dead, the CPU executes at least some code from the ROM.
A POST card would also be helpful in this case, it lets you easily identify where the issue is.

I tried voodoo 3 pci card now and no changes in beeps. Here is a recording of the beeps

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Reply 12 of 26, by Nemo1985

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Baoran wrote on 2020-11-28, 18:11:

I tried voodoo 3 pci card now and no changes in beeps. Here is a recording of the beeps

Voice 001.m4a

It seems the memory error beep, did you try other dimm modules and\or use another slot?

Reply 13 of 26, by Baoran

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Nemo1985 wrote on 2020-11-28, 18:52:
Baoran wrote on 2020-11-28, 18:11:

I tried voodoo 3 pci card now and no changes in beeps. Here is a recording of the beeps

Voice 001.m4a

It seems the memory error beep, did you try other dimm modules and\or use another slot?

I tried the same module in all 3 slots and nothing changed.

... but then I changed to a different module that is 128MB module. I don't know if it is because motherboard does not support that large modules but now I am getting different beeps with that. First when I turn on the computer it gives 1 long beep and 2 short beeps. After that is a small pause and then it starts giving high pitched short beeps that continue forever.

I did try one of those post code cards before but I didn't get anything out of it when it was just making those long beeps, but with these new beeps I am getting something. It is 4 digit card and it shows "0d0c" during the first beeps and it shows "410d" when it is repeating those short beeps forever. Unfortunately I don't know what these codes mean. The list of codes that the card came with is completely in Chinese.

Reply 14 of 26, by Baoran

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Picture from award codes of the diagnostic card manual if someone understands.

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Reply 15 of 26, by Nemo1985

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from the manual of the debug card:
1 long 2 short: Video error, Cannot initialize Screen to display any information
0D: Read CMOS location 14h to find out type of video in use or Detect and initialize video adapter
OC: Detect type of keyboard controller and set num lock status.
41: initialize floppy disk drive controller and any drives.

Reply 16 of 26, by computerguy08

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The POST card should indicate BIOS specific codes. Also, I would only take account of the first two digits of the card, because these indicate the last code.
In this case, it's an Award PnP BIOS; the codes at http://www.bioscentral.com/postcodes/awardbios.htm point to:

0D - Program some of chipset's value; Measure the CPU for display, initialize the video

Now that you found a working memory config, you should try swapping video cards again, see if it goes further.

Looking for a motherboard? You can find it in Ultimate Hardware 2019: http://www.win3x.org/uh19/motherboard/search
Join our UH19 Discord server here: https://discord.gg/HWWH7hsk2p

Reply 17 of 26, by chrismeyer6

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Have you tried clearing the CMOS setting by using the jumper it pulling the battery? I'd also make sure the bios battery isn't dead I've had numerous birds not post or have weird issues if the batteries were low or dead/missing.

Reply 18 of 26, by Horun

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I would try with a known good Intel Pentium 100, 133 or 166 non-MMX just to rule out BIOS cpu detection and some VRM issues.

Hate posting a reply and have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor. 🤣 Second computer a 286 12Mhz with real IDE drive ! After that came 386, 486, Pentium, P.Pro and everything after....

Reply 19 of 26, by Baoran

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Only had this one to try it with Crooked text on a cpu. and that didn't change the beeps.
I have removed the battery as well.
I tried all 3 video cards again and no changes there either.

I am starting to think it is very likely this motherboard can't be fixed.