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 Post subject: CPU / Motherboard diagnostic Software
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:52 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:28 am
Posts: 7
I was wondering if there’s any bootable software I can use to troubleshoot problems with a motherboard and CPU. Short story is that my computer won’t boot into Windows, so I need software that I can burn onto a bootable CD. Here’s the long story:

I have an AMD Phenom II x2 550 Black Edition, which is a dual core that has pretty high success rates of being able to unlock the 3rd and 4th cores. I tried to unlock the other two cores, and that’s when the problem started. Upon reboot it wouldn’t even get to the BIOS splash screen to let me set it back. I would boot it up, and just get a black screen. I pulled the CMOS battery and unplugged the power, hoping it would lose it’s settings and revert to default BIOS setup. It worked, and I made it past the BIOS splash screen, but then I started getting a GRUB error 17. Everything I found says this is a problem when the Linux bootloader. Problem is, I have 2 hard drives in my computer, and NEITHER ONE has EVER had Linux installed on it. Ever. I spent some time trying to fix it, but decided I didn’t have anything I was worried about losing on the PC, so I just reinstalled Windows 7. I got Windows installed and working.

Then I rebooted, and it wouldn’t come back up. I reinstalled again, and this time it seemed to take. I used it the rest of Sunday, and on Monday without issue. I come home yesterday and try to start my PC, and not it just freezes at the “Starting Windows”. At this point, I feel like there has to be a hardware problem. 3 separate Windows installs have gone bad.


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 Post subject: Re: CPU / Motherboard diagnostic Software
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:25 pm 
Clawhammer
Clawhammer

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 4530
First, to get this out of the system: If you are going to do a mod to your hardware that has the potential to destroy it, you should be prepared to replace said hardware at any time. If you are not prepared for that, you should never do that mod.

That said, I would suggest this (it's not free anyway...), but since this could be a hardware problem, you're out of luck. If the desktop processor world is the same as the microcontroller world, then I would think there's some hardware like JTAG to test it. But I seriously doubt that this is just available willy nilly, not to mention JTAG hardware tends to cost an arm and a leg. This would be the same for the motherboard.

Basically the only solution here is to replace one or the other or both.


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 Post subject: Re: CPU / Motherboard diagnostic Software
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:09 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:28 am
Posts: 7
I understand that I'm more than likely not going to get this working again because it's a hardware problem. Also, I was and still am fully aware of the risk that comes with tinkering like this, though you seem to assume I wasn't. My concern is more trying to find out WHAT the bad component is, so that I know which one to replace. I've already ordered a replacement CPU, because I'm thinking that's probably the problem. But in case it's not, it'd be nice to have a piece of software to point me in the right direction.

That said, I'll check out 7byte. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: CPU / Motherboard diagnostic Software
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:38 am 
[Team Member]
[Team Member]

Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2004 4:31 am
Posts: 11002
Location: Home Sweet Home
Run two basic diagnostics on your system to start.

Memtest86+

http://majorgeeks.com/MemTest_d350.html

Go to your hard drives site and get the diagnostic software for it and run both the quick test and long test.

Go into the bios and check the voltages...3 volt...5volt and 12 volt lines. Each should be with in 5 % of the nominal voltage, if they are not you may have a bad psu.

Nasty


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 Post subject: Re: CPU / Motherboard diagnostic Software
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:41 pm 
Coppermine
Coppermine
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Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:17 pm
Posts: 684
Location: Phoenix, AZ
If you got GRUB messages then you got a Linux bootloader on your boot HDD and likely is the (a) problem.

How it got there either something you did or something malevolent.

Either way the cure is to wipe the zero sector and repair it. Not for the faint of heart. Backup the drive image first, then pull the 2nd drive temporarily. Reinstalling Win7 won't cut it...you must destroy all partitions and reform them or nuke zero sector which Seatools (DOS) will do. Wouldn't be much of a boot loader if loading an OS touched it now would it.

As for testing PCU and MB an excellent request. Unfortunately nobody really has any testing apps for them. That is really inexcusable IMHO for the CPU and GPU makers.

As for test apps:
memtest86 (not memtest86+) is the only 64bit app around for testing RAM.

Seatools for DOS is a good HDD testing app.

Windows own Device Manager, MSINFO32 (see components>problem devices) and dxdiag are useful testing apps...there are some others for network testing, process monitoring, etc....

Try an External build, tear it down to a minimal functioning system, lay the main board (helps if speaker connected to front header or embedded on MB for beep codes; or if any diagnostic LEDs, LCD are present) on a piece of plain brown cardboard or other non-conducting surface with only a Keyboard, one stick of RAM, CPU, HSF, PSU and monitor to rule out shorts as well as bad components. [Temporarily use onboard graphics if available otherwise use your video card.] Switch RAM stick and slot location. Add one component back at a time. This will rule out components and maybe rule in the defective part. If you have any known working parts that can temporarily substitute this is a good time to try them one at a time.

stress testers:
MSI Kombuster = GPU
Heaven = GPU (DirX11)
Prime95 = CPU
LinX = CPU
Memtest86 = RAM
OCCT = CPU + GPU (PSU load test)
AvP Benchmark (GPU, DirX11)
Furmark = GPU (OpenGL)
Tessmark = GPU (OpenGL)

Just be careful with the OCCT one as it will kill a cheap PSU pretty quick and ... [maybe] the rest of [the] PC when it goes. You are better off just researching the make/model of the PSU than actually testing it.

In addition to 7byte (who also have a burnin app) mentioned by another responder,
http://www.passmark.com/products/bit.htm

BTW, I am not suggesting you use any of the above except Seatools. Waste of time IMHO. Just answering your question.

You can pretty much load whatever you want onto UBCDWin following their directions up to the 9.5Gb limitation of a DL DVD+R.

I strongly suspect it is not a hardware issue but a bootloader issue. Free beyond a bit of time. Quite provable by booting up an Ubuntu LiveCD and playing around. Bet there are no problems which means either a HDD [Seatools helps rule that out; actually Ubuntu's Disk Manager has a nice tester too.] or OS problem (in this case bootloader).

Please list all your hardware for more specific help. [List specific make and model number for every component in system and attached to system and don't forget the case. If this PC is from a major PC builder, list the make, full model and complete model number too. List BIOS version too. Don't forget any parts you upgraded or are trying to install. Links are greatly appreciated as they remove part ambiguity and why should we have to look them up? Be sure to include the full OS version and bit and service pack installed.]


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 Post subject: Re: CPU / Motherboard diagnostic Software
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:14 am 
[Team Member]
[Team Member]

Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2004 4:31 am
Posts: 11002
Location: Home Sweet Home
Follow these instructions and it will fix the GRUB boot problem:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392

Nasty


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