Troubleshooting a castoff PC

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Old 10-23-06, 10:16 AM
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Troubleshooting a castoff PC

A few weeks ago I picked up a castoff desktop, thinking I would scavenge parts out of it (I want to build a parts PC). I starting digging around and found it still had a P4 2.4 MHz chip, RAM, video card, DVD burner, CD drive still on board.

So my tiny little lizard brain starts thinking, can I salvage the chip? Hoping for the best I put a hard drive in the machine and- nothing. A little LED on the motherboard lit up but other than that, no fans, no sounds from the power supply, nothing. I couldn't even get continuity on the main power switch.

Any ideas for a way to test this chip? I don't have a socket 478 computer on hand, or else I'd swap it into that. It would be quite a score to find the chip is useable.
 
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Old 10-23-06, 10:24 AM
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First try a known good PSU and stick or two of RAM.
 
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Old 10-23-06, 07:20 PM
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Power supply

I swapped in a new power supply and got the same results: no activity. I volt metered the new and the old power supply and got the same readings on the same terminals. I don't know that the RAM left in the machine is any good, but could that cause the boot to fail? Wouldn't it drive an error message, rather than total system failure?

Thanks for your note!
 
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Old 10-24-06, 08:12 AM
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If the power supply isn't even turning on (and you know that it works), then there is most likely a problem with the motherboard. Make sure all the cables are connected correctly, and make sure the power switch on the front of the computer is connected correctly to the motherboard. Even if there was no hard drive, memory, etc., the fans should at least come on when you turn it on.
 
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Old 10-24-06, 08:52 AM
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Thanks, kchinth

That does seem to decribe the problem.

My thinking now is to get a motherboard and begin construction of the new PC, then swap this chip in. If it doesn't work then I'll get a replacement chip.

Now, to display my ignorance: the current motherboard is marked mPGA478b near the chip socket. At the online retailers I've only seen chips for socket 478. Is there some fine distinction between "478" and "478B" that I'm missing? Do I need to find a "478B" motherboard to use this CPU?
 
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Old 10-24-06, 11:54 AM
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478b

The only problem i can think of between the two is your clock performace. your old chip will fit in the socket. but I have to ask why? I personally running dual amd 4200+. have an old 2.8ghz chip that is just collting dust.
 
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Old 10-24-06, 01:05 PM
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Sounds like a very cool computer

I am behind the times enough that I wasn't even aware of dual core processors (outside of servers) until very recently. David, are you using this PC for gaming? Or renting it to NASA on the weekends?!

The opposite end of the spectrum is letting the kids run Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine software, which doesn't take as much muscle. That's my goal for this PC, which is why I don't mind being a couple chip generations back.

Hmmm... I want a chip... you have one collecting dust... shall we PM to discuss a sale?
 
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Old 10-24-06, 01:11 PM
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yeah thats fine with me if you pay shipping have to lookup the pinsetup. but no I dont game but bought a new computer and the newest pcs come with dual chips and vista or vista ready gotta keep uup eith the times lol
pm me ok
 
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Old 10-24-06, 01:25 PM
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Done!

I've sent the PM.
 
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Old 10-25-06, 01:27 AM
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It doesn't depend on the socket, it depends on the chip. There's only one Socket-478 & the different CPUs available for it are the folowing
P4 : 100 mhz FSB / 256kb of L2 cache
P4B : 100/133 mhz FSB / 512kb of L2 cache
P4C : 200mhz FSB / 512kb of L2 cache
P4E : 200mhz FSB / 1024kb of L2 cache

one just runs at a different bus speed, so if you put an e in a motherboard with a b socket, it will only run at the b specs.

Any decent computer shop could test your chip for you.
On ebay they sell for $80=$100 all the time, cheaper if you pay attention.
 
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Old 10-25-06, 07:47 AM
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Good info

Thanks, Tae! Very useful info.
 
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