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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 13th August, 2003, 04:25 PM
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8RDA3+ Problems

Got a weird problem here . . . I’ve built dozens of systems and troubleshot several hundred systems and I’ve never come across anything remotely like this:

My new 8RDA3+ Rev2 won’t shutdown/start correctly. When I power down my systems, the fans will oscillate ever couple of seconds—the fans (and mobo POST LED) will start up then spin down, as if the power is fluctuating between on and off. If I unplug the power cord and plug it back in, the same thing happens and I’m unable to start system. After ulling out the power cord and replugging many times, the problem disappears and I’m able to restart. But as soon as I power down the problem occurs again.

I’ve tested the power supply (400w PC Power and Cooling) and it’s fine. PC Power and Cooling said that due to advanced power protection built into their PS’s, they’re sensitive to any power fluctuations or anomalies. They also mentioned that Radeon 9700 Pro cards (which is in this system) have power problem/glitch. I yanked the Radeon and the problem persisted as long as I had most of my other components hooked up.

There seems to be a power threshold problem here. If I have all my heard drives and optical drives plugged in, the problem occurs. But when I unplug a couple of HDs or optical drives the problem ceases. I’ve tried installing the mobo in another system and the same thing happens.

Very odd.

Also, the serial ports don’t seem to work. Win XP recognizes the ports, says there functioning, etc., but no device hooked up to them is seen by the system.

A bad board?

I’ve noticed in various posts/forums that others have experienced power and booting problems with this board. I’m wondering if we’ve got a primary design/engineering flaw here?

Any ideas?
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Last edited by Angstromm; 13th August, 2003 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 13th August, 2003, 04:48 PM
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Funny you should mention that problem...

A friend of mine came to me with a similar problem on his Rev 2. After completing a WinXP installation, he rebooted the computer and after it POST it would just shut off. When he presses the power button, everything comes on for about 5 secs then shuts off. Funny thing is that his fans are still spinning He unplugged the computer and plugged it back and press the power button and it would boot up fine....but once he reboots the problem occurs again. We took out drives and peripherals until we were left with the bare essentials (MB, memory, CPU, and Video)....imagine my horror when we booted without a HD and once we restarted the computer (pressing the reset button) the problem would occur.

PSU is fine...tried my PSU and it did the same thing....

Seems like a bad board...and possible design/engineering flaw...
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Old 14th August, 2003, 01:03 AM
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perhaps a dumb suggestion ..

Hi ,

You can slap me around the place for asking this ..but have u attached the 12v 4 pin power cable also to the mobo ?

Just a thought..
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Old 14th August, 2003, 07:27 AM
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No, I'm glad you asked. Actually, the answer is no, I didn't connect to that. Maybe I misunderstood the manual, but I thought it said something about remote power on/off. I don't understand what that is really. Been a long time since I built systems and I'm not up to speed.

So, what is that extra ATX, 4-pin connecter for, anyway, and does it HAVE to be connected in order for the board to function correctly?

Thanks guys,

jim
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Old 14th August, 2003, 01:28 PM
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I don't think it's a neccessity, but it supplies the CPU directly if I remember correctly. It works alongside the normal ATX connector, and in theory would supply more stable voltages to the CPU. If you've got the 4-pin connector, use it. If you haven't, then seriously consider getting a new PSU.

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Old 14th August, 2003, 03:13 PM
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The CPU Vregs draw power from the 4 pin line so if you have'nt connected this then don't be surprised that you are experiencing wierd things and I seem to remember on of the techs here even going as far as saying that this could be detrimental to the well being of the board and its components ?
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Old 14th August, 2003, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angstromm
There seems to be a power threshold problem here. If I have all my heard drives and optical drives plugged in, the problem occurs. But when I unplug a couple of HDs or optical drives the problem ceases.
This does smell suspiciously like an issue with the 12V line. The motherboard you have uses the 12V line to power the processor. It also happens that HDDs and such present the heaviest load on the 12V line when you first power them up.

I've generally found that if the fans move just a fraction before the power fails, it indicates that the PSU doesn't like something. The something is usually the overcurrent protection kicking in on the PSU.
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Old 14th August, 2003, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán
This does smell suspiciously like an issue with the 12V line. The motherboard you have uses the 12V line to power the processor. It also happens that HDDs and such present the heaviest load on the 12V line when you first power them up.

I've generally found that if the fans move just a fraction before the power fails, it indicates that the PSU doesn't like something. The something is usually the overcurrent protection kicking in on the PSU.


First, thanks for all the support . . . very much appreciated.

PC Power & Cooling (makers of my PS) suggested the same thing . . . some kind of overvoltage protection kicking in.

As far as the 12v 4-pin ATX connector goes, anyone aware of a converter/adapter? I’m looking around for such . . . surely someone makes one.

Thanks again,

jim
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Old 14th August, 2003, 04:23 PM
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Update: the connector in question (4-pin 12v) is the same thing as a Pentium4 12VATX Adapter . . . at least the picture I saw on the PC Power & Cooling website would seem to indicate such.

Take a look here . . . sure looks the same. Sheesh.
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Old 14th August, 2003, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angstromm
Update: the connector in question (4-pin 12v) is the same thing as a Pentium4 12VATX Adapter . . . at least the picture I saw on the PC Power & Cooling website would seem to indicate such.

Take a look here . . . sure looks the same. Sheesh.

Yup thats it ..does your PSU have it , or will u need to buy one ? Let us know if connecting it sorts out your issues
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Old 14th August, 2003, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neoprene
Yup thats it ..does your PSU have it , or will u need to buy one ? Let us know if connecting it sorts out your issues

No, my PS doesn't have one so I ordered the adapter. Six bucks, ouch . . . hehe.

There was one other problem: the serial port thing. Win XP recognizes the com ports ok but it refuses to recognize anything connected to them. I made sure the connectors were hooked up correctly but reversed them just to be sure. Did the usual manual attempt at installation without success. Was wondering if anyone has experienced a similar problem with this board.

I’m guessing the board is toast, considering the apparent voltage problem and the serial port problem. Probably time to RMA it.

Thanks again for all the help . . . it’s so great to find quality help so quickly . . .

jim
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Old 28th August, 2003, 04:19 AM
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Update on the weird power-stuttering problem:

I’ve tried THREE 8RDA3+’s, 2 were Rev 2.0, 1 a Rev 1.1 and ALL exhibit the same problem. I was running the exact same configuration on an Epox 8K5A3+ and had no problems whatsoever.

So what’s up with this mobo? Why won’t it shut down properly?

Anyone have any ideas??

Thanks all . . .

jim
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Old 28th August, 2003, 05:29 PM
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ok...

Hi ,

Is this with the p4/5volt line plugged in ? Could it be a BIOS setting ? You`ve mentioned u can boot into windows if u remove drives etc ..how are your voltages in MBM/ USDM if you do ? how about adding one drive at a time and monitoring the voltages each time ? Lastly , do u have another PSU u could try in the system ?

Good luck !
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Old 29th August, 2003, 04:07 AM
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Had a computer doing what you say on startup, was the cpu fan pulling to much current on startup.....

As for comm ports, disable ACPI to cure this problem, you may have to reinstall the OS with ACPI disabled in the bios....
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Old 29th August, 2003, 04:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angstromm
Update on the weird power-stuttering problem:

I’ve tried THREE 8RDA3+’s, 2 were Rev 2.0, 1 a Rev 1.1 and ALL exhibit the same problem. I was running the exact same configuration on an Epox 8K5A3+ and had no problems whatsoever.

So what’s up with this mobo? Why won’t it shut down properly?

Anyone have any ideas??

Thanks all . . .

jim
Are you drawing any voltage off of the motherboard headers, have you plugged any high power cpu cooling fans onto the pinout that is marked "FAN 1, FAN 2, or FAN 3" ? If so that could be it. Even though they are marked that way ,any aftermarket cpu cooling fan that supplies a lot of cooling causes problems. Those headers are only rated for .5A , You can get adapters that will connect those 3-wire fans to a 4-wire Molex connector. Some people, including myself, run the 1 wire (signal-usually the yellow one) to the motherboard so we can monitor the R.P.M.'s
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Old 29th August, 2003, 07:01 AM
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Sure is great to get such quality feedback . . . and so fast too!

Neoprene: voltages look good . . . spot-on actually. The problem disappears if I use a cheap PS so I bought a tester and my PS (PC Power & Cooling 400W Silencer) is fine. And yes, I have the p4 line hooked up.

But check this out: If I pull out a bunch of cards and/or drives the problem disappears, as I’ve said; but if I leave everything in and pull just my Radeon 9700 Pro out, poof, problem gone.

I talked with PC Power & Cooling folks and they said:
It sounds like the Radeon is back-feeding 3.3 voltage into the power supply and tripping the overvoltage protection. ATI has published info about this problem somewhere. I'm sorry I don't have the link for it, but I feel sure that ATI would agree with our assessment if you contact them. It seems to happen on end-of-life cards or refurbs.
Well well well. Interesting. But why does this problem only occur when using 8RDA3+’s and not with other mobos?


alabam: actually, my problem isn’t a “startup” problem, really; it’s’ more of a shutdown problem--the computer doesn’t shutdown properly (hence I can’t start it): it hovers in a state between starting and shutting down; the fans, etc., spin up for a second, spin down for a second, etc.


timbob2469: the fan I’m using draws .37A but I tried what you suggested--hooked up to the 4-wire Molex connector--and the problem status didn’t change.

Oh well.

I guess it could be the Radeon, but I’m still puzzled why this problem only happens on the 8RDA3+’s and not on the other mobo’s I’ve tried, Radeon notwithstanding. By the way, when I swap out the Radeon, the problem disappears. I've emailed everybody but god . . . perhaps I'll get some kind answer to this conundrum.

A real puzzler.

Thanks again guys, yr help/suggestions/time is greatly appreciated!

jim
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Old 30th August, 2003, 06:14 AM
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Angstromm , You posted, "The problem disappears if I use a cheap PS" .
Before I got the Antec True Control 550w , I was using an Enlight 420w with no problems , I tested a Powmax 550w that I have (for a different mfg Nforce2 IGP) in the Epox 8RDA+ rev 1.0 , just to see how it performed. It just couldn't match up. I could only go up to 201 FSB where the Enlight would get me to 208 FSB. No other changes. But I didn't like the voltages on my 12v rail I was getting from either. Plus I had a AIW 9000 Pro and a DVD burner on order and didn't want to be producing expensive coasters, Thats why the PSU upgrade. I learned a lot by that test, not all psu's are created . Maybe you need to upgrade your psu?
What kind of psu tester did you buy ? I am not trying to step on your toes, and I am not an Electrical Engineer (very far from it), but did this tester check for voltages from the psu while it was supplying current to the motherboard, ram, cpu, memory, drives, cooling fans, and video card ? I really hope ypu get this sorted out.
1 last question, Do you have ACPI Enabled?
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Old 30th August, 2003, 02:24 PM
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No, the tester doesn’t give readouts on voltage, etc. You unplug all connectors on the PS and plug the tester into the ATX Mobo connector and power it up. I’ve checked the voltages and they are right where they should be.

My PS is top of the line, made by PC Power & Cooling, who's consistently rated the most stable, reliable producer of PS’s, bar none. Their PS's don’t come cheap (mine was about $200), but as you mentioned, a good PS can boost overall system performance and make for a more stable system.

The reason the cheap one worked well on my system is because, most likely, it has poor power protection. The overvoltage protection is kicking in (on my good PS) and that’s what’s making the system shutdown improperly. The question is, where’s the source of the problem?

Thanks again, timbob, your feedback is much appreciated!

Jim/angst
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