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I have an issue slightly similar to this one posted here, http://superuser.com/questions/127016/troubleshooting-monitor-never-turns-on-system-fans-running-dvd-rom-does-not-op

My configuration is as follows:

  • EPOX 9NPA+ Ultra motherboard
  • AMD Athlon 64 CPU
  • Corsair 2 x 1GB PC3200 DDR RAM
  • 1 DVD RW drive and 1 CD ROM Drive
  • SATA 250 GB Hard drive
  • 400W Power supply
  • EVGA 256MB graphics card

I have had this configuration for about four years. Last month, I started having issues in starting the machine. It wouldn't start when I press the ON button in the front of the case. So I used to pull out the power cord and plug it back in and then switch on in the front, and it used to work fine. And then one fine day, when I plugged in the power cord at the back, even without switching on the power-on button at the front, I saw that the fan at the back was running. So I opened the system. Then I could see that all the fans inside were running.

I replaced the power supply. No luck there. Then I replaced the CMOS battery. Again nothing improved. When I turn on the machine, I get a short beep. Even when I removed all the cards and memory, I still get one short beep. The beep code doesn't change whether there are memory sticks/graphic card in the board.

Any idea how to proceed on this? Anything else could be checked? I want to confirm if this is a motherboard failure, before proceeding to replace it.

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Does the motherboard have an LED or numeric error code readout? If you see this, you might be able to discern a motherboard POST/error code to help you find the issue. My first guess would have been power supply, but you already said you replaced that. –  BBlake May 6 '10 at 18:48
    
The motherboard has an numeric error code that shows 'FF'. This too doesn't change if I remove any cards or memory sticks. It ALWAYS shows FF as soon as I turn on the system. –  Gopal May 6 '10 at 19:03
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1 Answer

up vote 0 down vote accepted

For the EPOX 9NPA+ Ultra, the BIOS is specified as Award/Phoenix BIOS v6.0.

According to the article, one beep means a faulty memory refresh circuit.

So it really looks like a motherboard failure, but I remark still that only a qualified repairman with hands-on access can really analyze such a problem correctly.

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The article says "Award BIOSs only have one beep code: One long beep, followed by two short beeps, indicates that the BIOS is unable to initialize the video screen". Did you refer to Table A (for AMI BIOS) ? –  Gopal May 6 '10 at 19:05
    
@Gopal: One beep for many types of BIOS means RAM problems. It's unclear from your text whether this only happens when you take the RAM out, which is then quite clear why, or whether it's happening all the time. In the latter case, the machine is sick. You can either start swapping components, which a repairman would have lying around, until you find the problem, or you buy a new computer. –  harrymc May 6 '10 at 20:11
    
@harrymc: sorry for not being clear. I edited it now. The short beep happens all the time. So I guess there's some issue with the board itself :( –  Gopal May 6 '10 at 21:37
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