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Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by trouble, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. trouble

    trouble Guest

    I recently shoehorned an AMD 4870 card (a gift) into a machine with an ASUS
    P5KE mobo and a 450 watt Cooler Master Power supply (Intel Quad core
    processor, 4 gb RAM, too many drives).
    I know: not enough power.
    Well it worked for a while.
    Now I get to the final posting screen, checking NVRAM, and then just a
    blinking cursor. There is no case speaker for beeps.
    Methinks it is the power supply and not the RAM. Going down to one stick
    makes no difference.
    As I do not have another larger power supply hanging around to swap in, nor
    the ability to check the voltages, do those who know think it a safe bet
    that a new 600 watt PSU should fix things?
    trouble, Oct 5, 2008
    #1
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  2. trouble

    Paul Guest

    trouble wrote:
    > I recently shoehorned an AMD 4870 card (a gift) into a machine with an
    > ASUS P5KE mobo and a 450 watt Cooler Master Power supply (Intel Quad
    > core processor, 4 gb RAM, too many drives).
    > I know: not enough power.
    > Well it worked for a while.
    > Now I get to the final posting screen, checking NVRAM, and then just a
    > blinking cursor. There is no case speaker for beeps.
    > Methinks it is the power supply and not the RAM. Going down to one stick
    > makes no difference.
    > As I do not have another larger power supply hanging around to swap in,
    > nor the ability to check the voltages, do those who know think it a safe
    > bet that a new 600 watt PSU should fix things?
    >
    >


    HD 4870 is listed as 130W here. 130W/12V = 10.83A

    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/zotac-gfgtx280amp_5.html

    Four disk drives would be 2.4A from +12V.
    A CDROM drive would be 1.5A from +12V, but only with media present.
    Cooling fans might draw 0.5A from +12V.
    Total 12V1 is 15.23A

    A typical quad core might be 105W. 105W/12V * (1/0.90) = 9.72A total for 12V2

    Total power = 12*(15.23+9.72) + 50W (mobo/RAM) +
    4x5W (drives, 5V load) + 7.5W (CD, 5V load) + 10W (standby rail)

    = 336.9W

    On paper, the 450W might be enough - it just depends on the 12V1
    current rating. The above power numbers are maximums, and at
    POST, the currents will be a lot lower than the ones listed. The
    only way to get those numbers, might be in a gaming situation,
    with a game that can run all four cores flat out. And that
    isn't likely to happen.

    Hard drives draw more current, for the first 10 seconds, and
    modern drives draw 2.5A each during that period. Once the
    platters are spinning, the current drops back to the 0.6A or so
    level. If the media hasn't finished spinning up, when the cursor
    starts to blink, it could be related to spinup current.

    I'd start by removing some hardware, and seeing if you can
    get past the blinking cursor thing. It could be a RAM
    problem, or a single bad drive, or media still present
    in your USB card reader etc.

    Since you can see the cursor, that means the processor is
    working, and enough RAM works for the BIOS to start running.

    Paul
    Paul, Oct 5, 2008
    #2
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  3. trouble

    trouble Guest

    I managed to use a second power supply and a second video card and the same
    problem happens.
    Unfortunately I do not have access to other RAM modules or another mobo to
    find what the problem is.
    trouble, Oct 5, 2008
    #3
  4. trouble

    Paul Guest

    trouble wrote:
    > I managed to use a second power supply and a second video card and the
    > same problem happens.
    > Unfortunately I do not have access to other RAM modules or another mobo
    > to find what the problem is.


    Disconnect any drives that aren't absolutely necessary.
    *Make sure* there are no USB sticks, USB card readers or the like,
    with media in them. Like leaving a camera memory plugged into your
    card reader.

    If all drives were disconnected, then you'd think you'd get past the
    point of complaints from the BIOS, and eventually
    the BIOS would tell you there is no boot system.

    With all storage except the floppy disconnected, try a DOS boot
    floppy.

    With only a CDROM connected, try booting your Windows installer CD,
    or a Linux LiveCD if you happen to have one available (Knoppix
    or Ubuntu are examples). Those distros don't need a hard drive
    to boot.

    I'm not getting the feeling that you've trimmed a lot of
    hardware from the configuration yet.

    It is probably something other than power, because with the
    4870 replaced with something else, that is half the potential
    power right there.

    I'd still concentrate on storage for the moment, and unplugging
    stuff. Keep track of what ports they were plugged into, in
    case that is important to your config. (Some boards have
    separate RAID controllers and the like.) Maybe a bad
    drive is holding the system hostage.

    You can also try clearing the CMOS. There is usually a jumper
    on the motherboard for that. The usual procedure, is to
    disconnect the AC power from the wall, before using the
    jumper. After clearing the CMOS, the system time should be
    reset, and you'll have to reenter any custom BIOS settings.
    Not that handy, if you don't happen to remember what you
    changed.

    Paul
    Paul, Oct 6, 2008
    #4
  5. trouble

    trouble Guest

    Thanks for your suggestions.
    I have tried all that you suggest but the system still stops at a blinking
    cursor.
    I have reset the bios and the optical drive is set as the first boot-up
    drive but I do not get the option to boot from a CD.
    I think it is the motherboard, which never worked exactly properly to begin
    with (the IDE port never functioned).
    trouble, Oct 6, 2008
    #5
  6. trouble

    Paul Guest

    trouble wrote:
    > Thanks for your suggestions.
    > I have tried all that you suggest but the system still stops at a
    > blinking cursor.
    > I have reset the bios and the optical drive is set as the first boot-up
    > drive but I do not get the option to boot from a CD.
    > I think it is the motherboard, which never worked exactly properly to
    > begin with (the IDE port never functioned).


    Asus boards have a warranty, if you get tired of trying
    other stuff.

    http://helpdesk.asus.com/logon.asp?URL=/Default.asp

    When it gets to that point, I would have expected it to have tried
    to boot from something.

    If you start it with no keyboard connected, is there
    an error message on the screen to that effect ?
    Any error conditions, after the RAM and video are working,
    should result in a message on the screen, as at that point
    the user is expected to be able to see the screen. I'd try
    with various trivial things like that disconnected, to
    see if the responses are "normal" to such a thing.

    Remember that PS/2 is not a "hot plug" connector, so if
    testing with the keyboard connected or not connected, it should
    stay in that state, until you've powered off again. Failure
    to do so, can blow the PS/2 port. Of which, there is only
    one on that motherboard.

    A PCI Port 80 POST card would be another tool you could
    use, but one of those only makes sense if you happen to
    have access to one for free. Considering the price, versus
    the amount of information they provide, they don't really
    make a lot of sense to purchase at a time like this. But
    you never know - one day a POST card is going to pay
    for itself - it is bound to happen at least once
    (I'm still waiting).

    The concept is sound, because we used to use the POST card
    concept in hardware design back in the mid 80's. We dumped
    progress codes to a hex display, so we could tell what our
    hardware was doing. It works a lot better, if you can design
    the codes yourself :) We used to sprinkle codes through
    our firmware. The display was removable, so the customers
    didn't get to see it on their hardware.

    Paul
    Paul, Oct 6, 2008
    #6
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