Problems Building Athlon 2500+ Machine


A

Andrew Johnston

I just built an Athlon 2500+ machine (w/ an MSI K7N2 Delta-L MoBo), the
third PC I've built and the first in a couple years, and after putting it
all together and hooking it up to the monitor, I turned on the power...and
the fans and drives spun up for two seconds before the machine powered
itself off without going into POST and displaying the BIOS. I'm a little
scared that maybe I damaged the processor when attaching the fat + heatsink
(it's a retail CPU, so we're talking about the ones that came in the
package). Is this what would happen under those circumstances? What would
y'all advise in terms of troubleshooting steps?

Thanks,

Andrew
 
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S

Shep©

I just built an Athlon 2500+ machine (w/ an MSI K7N2 Delta-L MoBo), the
third PC I've built and the first in a couple years, and after putting it
all together and hooking it up to the monitor, I turned on the power...and
the fans and drives spun up for two seconds before the machine powered
itself off without going into POST and displaying the BIOS. I'm a little
scared that maybe I damaged the processor when attaching the fat + heatsink
(it's a retail CPU, so we're talking about the ones that came in the
package). Is this what would happen under those circumstances? What would
y'all advise in terms of troubleshooting steps?

Thanks,

Andrew
Does the HSF need to be on a defined header on the board?
Is the HS the correct way round to the CPU well lip?
Does the BIOS contain a thermal overload shutdown option?



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A

Andrew Johnston

Does the HSF need to be on a defined header on the board?
Is the HS the correct way round to the CPU well lip?
Does the BIOS contain a thermal overload shutdown option?
The HSF is on the correct header, and the BIOS contains a thermal overload
shutdown option, yes. I *think* the HS is correctly oriented relative to
the CPU well lip. The AMD manual was incredibly vague about orienting the
heatsink. It said the "long" side of the bracket should be clipped onto the
lip side of the CPU, but both brackets are the same length and in fact the
HS bracket bears little resemblance to the one in the manual photo. One
bracket clip is *thicker* than the other, and that's the one that's clipped
onto the lip side of the CPU well.
 
A

Andrew Johnston

The HSF is on the correct header, and the BIOS contains a thermal
overload shutdown option, yes. I *think* the HS is correctly oriented
relative to the CPU well lip. The AMD manual was incredibly vague
about orienting the heatsink. It said the "long" side of the bracket
should be clipped onto the lip side of the CPU, but both brackets are
the same length and in fact the HS bracket bears little resemblance to
the one in the manual photo. One bracket clip is *thicker* than the
other, and that's the one that's clipped onto the lip side of the CPU
well.
I stand corrected: the thicker side of the bracket is clipped onto the non-
lip edge of the CPU, with the fan cable pointing downwards toward the video
card and the bottom of the case. I've tried to remove the HS so I can
reattach it in the opposite direction to see if that's the problem, but
it's very securely fastened and I'm really scared of hurting the processor.
 
S

Shep©

I stand corrected: the thicker side of the bracket is clipped onto the non-
lip edge of the CPU, with the fan cable pointing downwards toward the video
card and the bottom of the case. I've tried to remove the HS so I can
reattach it in the opposite direction to see if that's the problem, but
it's very securely fastened and I'm really scared of hurting the processor.
It has to be orientated correctly so that the HS lays flat on the
raised core.If it's tight I use a couple of screwdrivers very
carefully to put pressure on the retaining clip and then a small one
to move the locking arm away.Very carefully!!
The underside of the HS has a cutaway lip on my XP1800 which has to
match to the raised lip on the CPU well.



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A

Andrew Johnston

It has to be orientated correctly so that the HS lays flat on the
raised core.If it's tight I use a couple of screwdrivers very
carefully to put pressure on the retaining clip and then a small one
to move the locking arm away.Very carefully!!
The underside of the HS has a cutaway lip on my XP1800 which has to
match to the raised lip on the CPU well.

Well, I took off the heatsink and discovered that, indeed, it was oriented
the wrong way. I'm very annoyed that (a) the manual was so vague about what
was meant by the "long side of the bracket" and (b) that it's so apparently
easy to destroy the CPU while applying the fan/heatsink. I almost wonder if
companies like AMD make it that way on purpose (and require so much
physical force to attach the heatsink) to increase the "macho" factor in
building one's own computer and make it seem more like a task for none but
the truly hardcore.

Anyway, everything now powers up and stays powered up, but it still doesn't
POST or display the BIOS on the monitor. I really, really hope I didn't
damage the processor while removing/reinstalling the fan and heatsink...
 
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S

Shep©

Well, I took off the heatsink and discovered that, indeed, it was oriented
the wrong way. I'm very annoyed that (a) the manual was so vague about what
was meant by the "long side of the bracket" and (b) that it's so apparently
easy to destroy the CPU while applying the fan/heatsink. I almost wonder if
companies like AMD make it that way on purpose (and require so much
physical force to attach the heatsink) to increase the "macho" factor in
building one's own computer and make it seem more like a task for none but
the truly hardcore.

Anyway, everything now powers up and stays powered up, but it still doesn't
POST or display the BIOS on the monitor. I really, really hope I didn't
damage the processor while removing/reinstalling the fan and heatsink...
It's possible that you blew the CPU :(
Aynway.Try this.
Pull the power cord out and find and use the clear CMOS jumper.You
cannot clear the CMOS on ATX powered systems with power to the board
as there's a residual current applied across the CMOS battery.
If you have blown the CPU then it was like that when you found it ;-)
"Bart Simpson" :D



--
Free Windows/PC help,
http://www.geocities.com/sheppola/trouble.html
It's a G not a J in gmx for email
Free songs download,
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/8/nomessiahsmusic.htm
 
A

Andrew Johnston

It's possible that you blew the CPU :(
Aynway.Try this.
Pull the power cord out and find and use the clear CMOS jumper.You
cannot clear the CMOS on ATX powered systems with power to the board
as there's a residual current applied across the CMOS battery.
If you have blown the CPU then it was like that when you found it ;-)
"Bart Simpson" :D
I'll give that a shot, In the meantime, I installed the D-bracket to see if
the diagnostic LEDs on it could provide me with any help. They sailed
through the CPU initialization phase and got hung up upon reaching the
sequence for "initializing floppy drive controller". I don't have a floppy
drive in the machine. I don't see how the absence of one could be screwing
things up, but I suppose anything's possible.
 
W

w

You said this is your first system for a while. Is this your first Athlon
XP/P4 system? Did you plug in both power connectors to the Mobo? It's a
common mistake for DIYers building their first AXP/P4 machine.
 
A

Andrew Johnston

w said:
You said this is your first system for a while. Is this your first
Athlon XP/P4 system? Did you plug in both power connectors to the
Mobo? It's a common mistake for DIYers building their first AXP/P4
machine.
Both connectors are plugged in, I made sure to do that.

I'm using a new ATI video card, and its manual says I need to install
special drivers before installing the card on a mobo with a non-Intel
chipset. Of course, these drivers can't be installed first when one is
building a machine from scratch..it's a classic chicken/egg situation. I'm
going to yank the video card out of the machine I'm using to post this
message and see if that will allow me to reach the seeing-the-BIOS-onscreen
stage.
 
S

Shep©

I'll give that a shot, In the meantime, I installed the D-bracket to see if
the diagnostic LEDs on it could provide me with any help. They sailed
through the CPU initialization phase and got hung up upon reaching the
sequence for "initializing floppy drive controller". I don't have a floppy
drive in the machine. I don't see how the absence of one could be screwing
things up, but I suppose anything's possible.
If the BIOS is set to set the floppy drive on boot it may not P.O.S.T.



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http://www.geocities.com/sheppola/trouble.html
It's a G not a J in gmx for email
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http://www.soundclick.com/bands/8/nomessiahsmusic.htm
 
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S

Shep©

Both connectors are plugged in, I made sure to do that.

I'm using a new ATI video card, and its manual says I need to install
special drivers before installing the card on a mobo with a non-Intel
chipset. Of course, these drivers can't be installed first when one is
building a machine from scratch..it's a classic chicken/egg situation. I'm
going to yank the video card out of the machine I'm using to post this
message and see if that will allow me to reach the seeing-the-BIOS-onscreen
stage.
If the BIOS is set to seek the floppy drive on boot it may not
P.O.S.T.



--
Free Windows/PC help,
http://www.geocities.com/sheppola/trouble.html
It's a G not a J in gmx for email
Free songs download,
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/8/nomessiahsmusic.htm
 
W

w

did you try this - take everything out of the case except MB, CPU, RAM,
video card and power supply, see if it boots up, then add things back in one
by one.
 
A

Andrew Johnston

If the BIOS is set to set the floppy drive on boot it may not P.O.S.T.
I'm in business--once I swapped my new video card for an old one, the
machine POSTed and I was able to set the BIOS to not look for a floppy
drive. Everything is working beautifully now and it's clear I didn't
destroy my processor. Thanks to everyone for their help!

Now if only I could find my missing XP install key...
 
S

Shep©

I'm in business--once I swapped my new video card for an old one, the
machine POSTed and I was able to set the BIOS to not look for a floppy
drive. Everything is working beautifully now and it's clear I didn't
destroy my processor. Thanks to everyone for their help!

Now if only I could find my missing XP install key...
Glad you have got going.I keep some basic 2/4/8 meg S3 AGP and PCI
cards around for setting up systems as I know they'll get me going :D



--
Free Windows/PC help,
http://www.geocities.com/sheppola/trouble.html
It's a G not a J in gmx for email
Free songs download,
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/8/nomessiahsmusic.htm
 
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W

W7TI

I almost wonder if
companies like AMD make it that way on purpose (and require so much
physical force to attach the heatsink) to increase the "macho" factor in
building one's own computer and make it seem more like a task for none but
the truly hardcore.
_________________________________________________________

Geez, and I thought *I* was paranoid. OF COURSE AMD designs their parts
so the customers can wreck them easily. How else would they ever
survive?

Lighten up, Andrew. They're not really out to ravish your wallet. If
you have to apply a LOT of force to attach the heatsink, it's because
they want a LOT of force holding it in place.

A company like AMD is not out to scam you out of every penny. They're
not Enron.

BT
 
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