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- Reasons NOT to reject a motherboard on preliminary inspection
- Broken or missing memory slot attachment arms are no reason to reject a board as long as the board passes all the other tests.
- Missing PS2 ports as long as there are USB ports available.
- Missing on-board sound (resolved with PCI based sound cards).
- Missing LAN ports (resolved with PCI based LAN cards).
- Missing on-board video (resolved by PCI, PCI-e, or AGP slots on the motherboard).
- Missing PCI slots - as long as there are PS2 or USB, video, and sound ports on the board.
- Broken or damaged Northbridge, Southbridge, or SUPERIO chip heatsinks can be replaced as can any on-board fans.
- Power Up Troubleshooting
Beep codes during power on step: Power down the motherboard. The beeping normally means either:
- You have the wrong speed memory installed. Power down the motherboard, choose the next slowest speed memory card, and reboot. This usually fixes the beeping problem.
- You have the wrong processor speed, FSB speed, L2 cache size cpu installed. Refer to the user manual for the motherboard for the correct speed processor. If no user manual is available try a processor with a slower FSB speed or smaller L2 cache.
- Make 2 or 3 attempts at fixing the beeping problem before deciding to recycle the motherboard.
- The heatsink fan powers up, but I get no video.
- You'll know if you have video because most monitors have an LED lit power button that changes color (usually green) when the motherboard senses a video sync signal. This could be due to many issues:
- The onboard video isn't working. Either use an external video card in the video card slot or use a PCI based video card and reboot.
- The motherboard doesn't like the video card you are using. Change out the video card - twice. It COULD be something other than a video card causing the problem.
- Wrong speed memory. Use only memory that has been pretested by Advanced Testing.
- Wrong/bad processor. Use only processors that have been pretested by Advanced Testing.
- Check for blown caps - again.
- Help getting into BIOS
- Check to see if the CLRCMOS jumper is in the correct position. Normally, this means pins 1&2 are jumpered, but this is manufacturer dependant. A jumper in the wrong position will sometimes prohibit the motherboard from booting.
- Look at the motherboard...is there an open 4 pin Molex connector? You forgot to plug in the +12v.connector, dummy ! Turn off the power supply, plug it in, and try again.
- The button on the monitor turns green and I get writing on the screen.
- Congratulations ! You have a successful boot. The next trick is to intercept the booting process so you can configure the BIOS.
- Once the initial black and white screen appears on the monitor look for and indication of what key sequence to enter to get into the BIOS configuration area.
- This key sequence USUALLY involves hitting the DEL, F1, F10, or F12 key.
- If NO indication appears on the screen about which key to enter, start entering the above keys as soon as you get a green light indication from the monitor.
- Motherboards GENERALLY have a standardized layout as follows:
- I. Lower left quadrant contains the CPU socket, CPU heatsink, the 12 volt power connector (4 pin Molex), and all the external connectors.
- II. Upper left quadrant contains the memory slots, main power connector, floppy connector, and may have one to two IDE connectors.
- III. Upper right quadrant contains SATA connectors, SOUTHBRIDGE chip, RAID connector (if any), front panel header, USB header(s).
- IV. Lower right quadrant contains AGP/PCIe video slots, PCI slots, button battery (this can actually be in this quadrant or the upper right), PCI extender slot, and audio header.