Hi, I decided to get my old broken P4 motherboard and CPU out to see if I could get them to work again, with no luck after hours of tinkering.
Anyways, to start off, a little history of the problem, which makes it quite an unusual problem: About 6-10 months ago, I was running fine with my nice, stable computer. Then, I got KOTOR 2, which was the most unstable game I've ever played. Since the game froze the entire PC up about every hour, I had to hit the reset button about 4+ times per day for around 2 weeks, until I made it through the game. Though it may have been a mere coincidence, after I finished the game, my PC started randomly freezing up and restarting, only once in a while at first, then it happened more and more frequently. One day, my PC didn't POST at all, so I spent the day swapping hardware. Somehow, the computer seemed to start working on its own again, and I was able to use it for a while longer. After several of those episodes over the span of probably about a month, the PC stopped working again, and I did the usual swapping of parts, etc. I reseated the CPU, and it worked until my finger decided to dive into the CPU fan and break a few fins off, causing massive vibration, and the screen to go blank. I swapped the fan out, and tried it again. It may have worked for a day or so, but that's about it. I was never able to get a boot with any screen or beeps for more than a minute past that point. I concluded it was the motherboard, and almost ordered a new one, but decided to simply swap motherboards/CPU's out for an AMD, which, using all of the same hardware (except for the CPU of coarse), I have been running a stable system for a while, with occasional unusual problems that I'm sure are the HDD's fault.
About a month ago, I decided to test the P4 motherboard/CPU again on a bench, with a different GPU and different RAM, and it gave POST. I threw the motherboard/CPU back in the box for later, hoping it would work next time I had more time to test it.
Today, I tested the motherboard with the same exact setup, but this time inside a case--nothing, so I thought it could be a problem with being inside the case, so I put it on a bench to test again. Nothing. I switched RAM positions, reset the bios, blew the thing out, reseated the CPU several times, and couldn't get anything, no beeps or anything but the fan.
I suspect it to be the motherboard rather than the CPU because of the unreliable possibility that it will boot next time I try it. With CPU's, it either works, or it doesn't, right? However, I tested the CPU in a dell PC before the last time I got a successful test (2.8 GHz Celeron), which I couldn't get the max CPU specs for, and the CPU didn't work. Also, my GPU fan hasn't been working for some time, and found out that the reason was that the fan literally had cracked, most likely from heat. (It was discolored, and there is almost no way anything could have jabbed at the angle that would have been required to physically cracked it)
There are two possible scenarios that I imagine could have happened: 1. While playing KOTOR one of the first times, the GPU heated up quite a bit, and because the fan was slowed due to dust jamming it up, the heat caused it to warp and crack, and the fan completely stopped. This complete halt of airflow over the GPU made the GPU overheat, and freeze the PC, requiring a reset. After the massive amount of resets the PC had to bear, the motherboard, as well as the HDD became unstable, and slightly defective.
2. A subtle power surge caused several parts of the PC to become damaged, most obviously the motherboard. Over time, the defects became more problematic.
Other issues that I've seen with the hardware that survived: Random PC freezing/restarts every so often, which seem to be caused by the HDD GPU absolutely refuses to over-clock at all. If I attempt to, either the drivers crash, or FPS drop 10+ fps, rather than increasing/remaining the same.
I don't know if anyone can help at all based on the info I've given. It is quite confusing to me, which is why I brought things here as a last resort. Basically, I ultimately want to know if the issue is the motherboards fault or the CPU's fault. Each are expensive for my budget, and getting both would be almost like buying a whole new used PC with similar specs.
Former Network Admin and Former Forum Admin
25th July 2005
Is there any way you can test the cpu, and gpu in another system ? Also I noticed this in your sig
OS - Windows 3.1
Seriously look to update this asap. Your running 3.1 on a system far beyond what 3.1 was designed to do in terms of things like power managment and so on.
I would die without GF
15th March 2006
While turning power on and off does strain hardware, resetting the thing a load of times won't kill anything unless it's already on it's way out. Yeah you reset it a lot in a short space of time but that's nothing compared to how much abuse most computers get during their lifetime.
To me it sounds like the mobo is buggered. There doesn't even need to be a justifiable reason (such as a power surge) for it, sometimes it just happens. Sorry.
23rd October 2007
Power Surge taking out a motherboard?? Almost unheard of, seriously, PSUs have SOO much protection in them they destroy themselves before other hardware. Ever blown 1000W PSU and wondered where all that electricity goes? Back into the socket blowing the circuit breaker, replace the PSU and your system is fine. It is highly unlikely a power surge or blown power supply damaged the motherboard or internal components.
Gettin' hardware chilly
16th June 2004
Surges blow motherboards. I've had surges blow motherboards, video cards, ram, and hard drives. In theory they should have a bunch of protection, but thats not always the case. Also, OP have you made sure that the board is compatible with a 2.8ghz celeron? If not try a slower cpu in there to make sure that its the board 100%.
goody10;4864026Is there any way you can test the cpu, and gpu in another system ? Also I noticed this in your sig Seriously look to update this asap. Your running 3.1 on a system far beyond what 3.1 was designed to do in terms of things like power managment and so on.[/QUOTE] Uhh, 3.1 is more of a joke. I doubt it could take the specs my system has. I've got XP Pro. Also, I can test everything in another system except for the CPU, which BTW is a 3.0 Ghz P4 Hyper Threading CPU. I tested it in a Dell running with a 2.8 GHz Celeron CPU, but it didn't work. I can't use that to confirm that the CPU is bad though, because I don't know if the motherboard even supports anything above 2.8 Ghz.
[QUOTE=kow_ciller;4864242]Surges blow motherboards. I've had surges blow motherboards, video cards, ram, and hard drives. In theory they should have a bunch of protection, but thats not always the case. Also, OP have you made sure that the board is compatible with a 2.8ghz celeron? If not try a slower cpu in there to make sure that its the board 100%.
I tested the 3.0 Ghz problematic CPU in a board that may only support up to 2.8 Ghz, so that test really didn't give much info.
To clarify, I know all of the hardware that was running in the fried rig works, but I have no way to test the CPU, and I don't want to possibly fry the 2.8 Ghz CPU by testing it in the problematic motherboard. Also, the bad motherboard is a Soyo Dragon 2.
Gettin' hardware chilly
16th June 2004
Man, those soyo dragon boards were sweet. Is it one of the white PCB ones?
Here's a link to a review of the motherboard, along with a small pic: Sharky Extreme - Pentium 4 Motherboard Roundup
Looking at the many features of the board that I completely overlooked when I built the system 3 years ago makes me mad. I didn't go dual channel RAM, I didn't go SATA, I bought a low-end GPU, and I didn't even know what over-clocking was... Ah well, live, learn, and grow to avoid the same mistakes.
I would die without GF
15th March 2006
Pffffft, abit IC7 Max 3 ftw. :D
Bs|Archaon;4865050Pffffft, abit IC7 Max 3 ftw. :D
Abit IC7 Max 3? Is that a motherboard or something? :confused:
Edit: I looked it up, and it is a pretty sick motherboard. Looks expensive...
Edit2: Lol, when I went to submit my edit the last time, instead of saying "Save," it said "Vote Now." Kinda funny.