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Old August 20, 2008, 08:41 AM
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Default A8N-e dead?

Hi,
Upon having my 7900 GT KO SC replaced by a 8800 GTS 320 by EVGA, I attempted to install my new video card.

When trying to make it fit, I found out that the A8N-E was not designed to accommodate such a giant video card as the cooler ends up sharing about an inch of space with my aftermarket blue Zalman chipset heatsink. Even if I didn't have this heatsink, I don't think such a new long double-slot card would fit. I tried removing the heatsink to see where the card ends up and it's just impossible to fit unless I completely remove the chipset heatsink or fan. Of course, that would be unhealthy for the chipset.

Saddened by this turn of events, I put back the old 6600GT I was using while waiting for my RMA. When I pressed the power button, I saw all the fans starting to turn, the video card and MB LED turn on, the harddrives turn but no post! No signal gets to the screen and the coputer doesn't start! I checked the 6600 GT in another computer at work and it works so it is not the culprit. I have also disconnected and reconnected every cable and memory module. This system was fully working and stable before attempting to install the 8800 GTS.

Could I've damaged my MB while changing video cards? I've done that like 20 times in the last 3 years to clean the system.

Does anyone have any idea what could have happened and what should I do to test the system?

here are my system's specs:

MB: Asus A8N-e
Processor: Opteron 175 with Scythe ninja 2
PS: Fortron FSP blue storm 500 W
HD: 2 Seagate .7s 160 GB
Memory: OCZ premier PC3200 1GB 2X512 MB 2.5-3-3-7 and OCZ value PC3200 1GB 2X512 MB CL 4-4-4-8
Case: Antec P180
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Old August 20, 2008, 10:00 AM
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have you had your ram out while working on it? if you have, try swapping your number 2 ram to your number 1 slot and your number 1 to the number 2 slot. i dont have any technical reason for suggesting this, but i've seen that kind of thing happen with almost every pair of ram ive ever had...
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Old August 20, 2008, 10:06 AM
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Those boards, if I remember correctly, had very delicate Northbridges. It's possible you damaged it or chipped a corner when removing it's heatsink and the NB is vital to the system... Hope it wasn't that. Otherwise, try popped out the CMOS battery/ resetting the CMOS and see how well that works.
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Old August 20, 2008, 10:31 AM
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I own an Asus A8N-E and the removal of the motherboard heatsink can be easily damaged. I hope you didn't throw out the black rubber square with a chipset cutout. The black rubber square with a cutout prevents the components around the chipset from getting damaged by electrical short.

If the motherboard works, I suggest that you replace the motherboard chipset fan with the Titan TTC-CUV1AB(DIY) because it has three different size clips. I measured the distance between the mounting holes to be about 52 mm across. The height of the fan is only 12 mm and your 8800 GTX should fit.

Paphman910

Last edited by paphman910; August 20, 2008 at 10:46 AM. Reason: Additional information
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Old August 20, 2008, 11:10 AM
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Thank you all for your answers.

When I was trying to fit the 8800 GTS, I think that the chipset heatsink moved. The thermal paste must have been all dried out. BTW, I have the Blue Zalman Silent Northbridge Heatsink ZM-NB47J :



I'll try removing the Chipset heatsink completely tonight to see if the chipset was damaged. I hope it's possible, I always had some problems when working with the push pins.

I can also try the RAM swap but I already used that trick 2 years ago when my system was unstable. I doubt it would work again as I risk returning in the unstable configuration. Those boards are really sensitive ...
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Old August 21, 2008, 05:33 AM
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Well, yesterday I unplugged everything again and tried various RAM configuration and the board still won't post.

I tried to see the chipset's state but it doesn't look that damaged. There may be a small scratch in a corner of the black "rubber-like" plate (it can't be rubber, must be composite material) but that's it.

At this point, I am dumbfounded. I may try to find another a8n-e to replace this one.
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Old August 21, 2008, 05:44 AM
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24hrs clear cmos

then try booting with 1 stick of ram, cpu and vga card only.

you could also try to pop out the cpu while the 24hrs clear cmos and put it back in it be4 booting
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Old August 21, 2008, 06:56 AM
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I'll try it since I don't have any idea left but I fail too see how this would fix the problem.

Everything was in order before I tried switching video cards. If anything went wrong, it must be related to the PCI-express connector or the chipset or I micro-damaged the PCB and I can't see it. The BIOS settings were not changed since I last upgraded my CPU in January 2007 and they were rock solid.

Maybe it's like in windows XP: when something goes wrong, you restart and everything is back to normal ...
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Old August 21, 2008, 09:55 AM
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If your system is turning on but no screen then I think your pcie express slot may have a short. Also you should use a 10X magnifiying glass to see if the pins in the pcie express slot is damaged.

Paphman910
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Old August 21, 2008, 10:03 AM
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Great idea! I have access to lots of equipment at work (I work in a micro/nanofabrication lab). I'll try to see if can spot a damaged pin this weekend.

Thank you again everyone for your advice.
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