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post #1 of 26 Old 03-06-2012, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
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So...I've been loving this thing for the past 4 months, then one morning I wake up and its dead. It flat out will not boot - period. When I press the power button, the case fans spin up for ~2 seconds then it shuts back down for ~4 seconds. This cycle repeats itself indefinitely until I unplug it or switch off the power supply. I've tried disconnecting everything except the power supply from the motherboard (which of course has RAM and processor in it). No change - the same infinite cycle. Nothing is ever displayed on the monitor, it never even gets close to a POST.

Nothing has ever been changed and its been plugged into a UPS 100% of the time.

Anyone have any suggestions? Unfortunately, I do not have any spare parts to swap in and out.

Specs:

CPU: INTEL CORE I3 2100 3.1GHz
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 (rev 1.0)
PowerSupply: ANTEC BP550 PLUS RT
RAM: 4Gx2 GSKILL F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
Drives: Crucial 64 GB SSD + SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 HD204UI 2TB + Seagate BarracudaGreen 2TB (2 of these)

I thought I was buying a rock-solid, tried & true build. As I read more about the problem I'm having, I think this issue is relatively common for this GIGABYTE board.

I welcome all suggestions. Failing that, I welcome advice for a motherboard that lasts a little longer than 4 months.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 26 Old 03-06-2012, 08:46 PM
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Damn. That sucks.

My first thought would be to try a different (known working) PSU to try to rule that out.

Otherwise I have been very happy with ASRock and ASUS lately.
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post #3 of 26 Old 03-06-2012, 08:58 PM
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Last time I saw that behavior I thought it was the power supply but it turned out to be the motherboard. Yours is in warranty, check with Gigabyte.

It would be nice if you could check out the power supply first though.
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post #4 of 26 Old 03-06-2012, 09:08 PM
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If the unit is cycling I'm honestly more inclined to say it's the motherboard. Run down to bestbuy, buy a cheapo power supply and shove it in. If everything boots, just return it and warranty your current power supply. Otherwise it's most likely your motherboard.

Gigabyte is a great company...but nobody is flawless. Things can break for no reason. It's not a bad thing...just remember that.
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post #5 of 26 Old 03-06-2012, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hungryhermit View Post

So...I've been loving this thing for the past 4 months, then one morning I wake up and its dead. It flat out will not boot - period. When I press the power button, the case fans spin up for ~2 seconds then it shuts back down for ~4 seconds. This cycle repeats itself indefinitely until I unplug it or switch off the power supply. I've tried disconnecting everything except the power supply from the motherboard (which of course has RAM and processor in it). No change - the same infinite cycle. Nothing is ever displayed on the monitor, it never even gets close to a POST.

Nothing has ever been changed and its been plugged into a UPS 100% of the time.

Anyone have any suggestions? Unfortunately, I do not have any spare parts to swap in and out.

Specs:

CPU: INTEL CORE I3 2100 3.1GHz
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 (rev 1.0)
PowerSupply: ANTEC BP550 PLUS RT
RAM: 4Gx2 GSKILL F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
Drives: Crucial 64 GB SSD + SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 HD204UI 2TB + Seagate BarracudaGreen 2TB (2 of these)

I thought I was buying a rock-solid, tried & true build. As I read more about the problem I'm having, I think this issue is relatively common for this GIGABYTE board.

I welcome all suggestions. Failing that, I welcome advice for a motherboard that lasts a little longer than 4 months.

Thanks!

Electronics usually fail quickly or last a long time. Gigabyte is a good company and will warranty it for you.
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post #6 of 26 Old 03-06-2012, 09:18 PM
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Try taking out the RAM. My friends PC died on him this weekend and we tried taking everything out prior to the RAM and nothing worked. Finally took all the RAM out and the mobo beeped indicating it recognized something was wrong. Put all the RAM back in and it kept on not working. Started taking individual sticks out and it finally booted. Turns out it was a bad slot for the RAM and it wouldn't boot while a stick was in it. Can't remember the brand name but it was a smaller company, never go cheap.
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post #7 of 26 Old 03-06-2012, 09:25 PM
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that mobo is known for that issue, [ GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 continuous boot loop ], some indicate problems have been resolved, some have not, ymmv.

google it.
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post #8 of 26 Old 03-07-2012, 05:14 AM
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I had a similar problem a few months back. One morning, my HTPC just would not boot. This was an older ASUS AMD mobo with an Athlon X2. Tried everything, but I think what happened was the PSU failed, spiked the motherboard (taking that out as well), killed the BD-ROM drive and Xonar audio card in the process.

Had to replace pretty much everything except the 2 hard disks and discreet GPU, which were fine.
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post #9 of 26 Old 03-07-2012, 05:32 AM
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Lots of folks having issues with that board.
You have probably already seen this but in case you haven't...
http://www.overclock.net/t/1034724/g...ycling-problem

Post back once you get it resolved one way or the other. I would like to see how you fare.
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post #10 of 26 Old 03-07-2012, 06:39 AM
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I had the Same issue on an ASUS board Enermax PSU.
The PSU was failing.
swiched it out and i was off and running.

Start with the easy stuff first.

THERE IS NO NORSICAN, THERE IS ONLY ZUUL
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post #11 of 26 Old 03-07-2012, 06:51 AM
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I had a similar issue and it was my ram. Have you tried one stick at a time? Or different ram if you have it.
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post #12 of 26 Old 03-07-2012, 06:57 AM
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Whenever I have had this issue in the past then it has alwyas been the motherboard.

Usually if I have experienced power supply problems, far less happens. The fast case fans are spinning points me to the motherboard.

Unfortunately there is no guarentee unless you have other spare parts to swap out

I know your pain i went through 3 rmas on my last motherboard (ASUS) they each died within a few months.

Good luck

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post #13 of 26 Old 03-07-2012, 07:18 AM
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Yea, I think its your motherboard as well. An RMA may take some time, so you may want to consider buying the same motherboard on ebay; there are plenty listed. Then, you can sell the replacement board when it arrives or keep it as a spare.

HTPC Enthusiast
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post #14 of 26 Old 03-07-2012, 08:00 AM
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Don't ever buy a Gigabyte Motherboard. All of them do the power cycling thing when BIOS gets corrupted. Even though most of them came with dual BIOS, that didn't help at all. I have an old Gigabyte 755 mobo, it craps out like that frequently. Send back for a warranty replacement and the new one does the same thing shortly. Went out and bought an ASUS mobo and the machine has been stable ever since.
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post #15 of 26 Old 03-07-2012, 08:51 AM
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As you've been told...that problem is usually the mobo.
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post #16 of 26 Old 03-07-2012, 08:52 AM
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check the kanuter valve!

THERE IS NO NORSICAN, THERE IS ONLY ZUUL
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post #17 of 26 Old 03-07-2012, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post

Don't ever buy a Gigabyte Motherboard. All of them do the power cycling thing when BIOS gets corrupted. Even though most of them came with dual BIOS, that didn't help at all. I have an old Gigabyte 755 mobo, it craps out like that frequently. Send back for a warranty replacement and the new one does the same thing shortly. Went out and bought an ASUS mobo and the machine has been stable ever since.

I have had good luck with Gigabyte mobos, but it was the Asus that had dried up caps.

If I were to generalize, Abit has been the most stable and longest lasting mobo, so far. But, I can't generalize based on my 2 experiences. One Abit board is a Pentium II board with the slot, instead of socket, circa 1995. It is being used as a 24/7 server, and it just works.

The other is a socket 462 board circa 1999, and it is the back up to the server with the mirror image. It is not used 24/7, but rather once a week to back up the server.

Again, if I were to generalize, Zotac is the worst. I have a board that has been replaced 5 times already, under thelifetime warranty, and the ones keep dieing. I am waiting for Zotac to run out of the replacement boards, so that they offer me a cash refund... ha ha ha

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #18 of 26 Old 03-07-2012, 09:13 AM
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post #19 of 26 Old 03-07-2012, 10:01 AM
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Have you tried clearing CMOS (resetting bios)? Especially if you had anything overclocked (weather it be on purpose or maybe using an automatic setting like some of the turbo modes and such), RAM timings manually tightened up, anything undervolted, etc?

Gigabyte boards across the board, for intel models anyways, have behaved like that for many years now...and it's probably by design IMO. Usually it's something above related it doesnt like, and the idea is it resets itself from a potential hang to attempt to restart with basic generic settings so that it will at least start, in case you went to far with a tweak...but in practice it isnt always successfull and gets stuck in an endless boot cycle loop. This is just my guess as a long time gigabyte user based on experience. Push an overclock or something too high and it will happen. If it recovers itself and does boot after a cycle or 2, BIOS is at default values. Sometimes when it does get stuck in an endless loop, you can flip the switch on the PSU (if it has one) or unplug the pc for a min and try again, then it will boot. Every now and then if the machine is tweaked to the max and stable, it will cycle from a cold start, but turning off and turning back on gets it back going. This has been my experience over the years. That said, if a particular model is notorious for that behaviour just because with normal settings, then of course nothing is really going to prevent that other then using different components or an updated firmware to fix the issue I would imagine. Even in that case though, clear the CMOS and see what happens. You might get lucky.
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post #20 of 26 Old 03-07-2012, 10:02 AM
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If you moved the HTPC or accidentally bumped it, some part may come loose. Make sure all parts are secured tightly. One time I didn't push down the ram far enough and it wouldn't boot up.
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post #21 of 26 Old 03-07-2012, 10:20 AM
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Abit is out of business long time ago. I too had a very good experience with Abit Mobos in the past (Pentium 2).

Intel mobos are always rated most stable, though may lack a lot of tweaking features.

The Gigabyte mobo I had is not due to exploding capacitors (every maker experienced that back then) but rather due to some RAM incompatibility that caused part of the BIOS be corrupted. I rarely ever shut down my PC (only put into sleep) but whenever I need to reboot that PC, I always dreaded to do so because of the corrupted BIOS problem causing boot loop.

Recently I bought a Gigabyte GTX550 video card for another PC. After 6 months or so, the card can no longer operate in stock clock speed without freezing. Still waiting for my RMA replacement.

I had it with Gigabyte. Will never buy anything made by them.
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post #22 of 26 Old 03-07-2012, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac25 View Post

that mobo is known for that issue, [ GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 continuous boot loop ], some indicate problems have been resolved, some have not, ymmv.

google it.

Awesome....guess which motherboard I bought a week ago

Not sure if I should just return it for an asus or asrock or keep it? The problem is that I was going to build the pc slowly and just buy a few components at a time. I might not have time to test this mobo until the return policy has ended. (not good planning on my part).

What do you guys think? Return for something else or keep it and just hope these issues are due to some manufacturing defects.

And it also looks like someone had an issue with this board with the CPU I chose (but did not purchase yet).

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2188238

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post #23 of 26 Old 03-08-2012, 02:32 PM
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id get another, 'Intel' boards are hard to beat for dependability, and in the htpc enviroment overclocking is a null, most retail boards are aimed at the overclockers, msi gb asus ect ect, and it doesnt need to be the lattest and greatest to be stable.
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post #24 of 26 Old 03-08-2012, 02:50 PM
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If one person on the entire planet has an issue with a MoBo that doesn't make it a bad board..

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post #25 of 26 Old 03-08-2012, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac25 View Post

id get another, 'Intel' boards are hard to beat for dependability, and in the htpc enviroment overclocking is a null, most retail boards are aimed at the overclockers, msi gb asus ect ect, and it doesnt need to be the lattest and greatest to be stable.

Yup if you see big heat sinks its an overclockers board, also probably means more power consumption
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post #26 of 26 Old 03-08-2012, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all - just wanted to thank everyone for their thoughtful suggestions and let you know how it turned out...

It was the motherboard.

I wish I could say there was a happy ending (and hopefully there still will be) but not quite yet...

I was very frustrated with researching alternative boards online so I just bit the bullet and headed to CompUSA (only game in town) with the intention of buying whatever they had in stock. I looked over their selection and ultimately settled on an Intel DH67BL board. No, its not on any HTPC recommended parts lists, but what the heck - I just want a simple MB. This thing won't be triangulating descent trajectories for NASA spacecraft; it just has to play videos!

Got it home. Took apart the HTPC. Installed the new MB and reassembled everything. Moment of truth.......IT WORKS! Booted like a champ.

I installed the new drivers and all continued to be well. Tied up the loose cables, screwed the case back together, connected it to the TV and..........NOTHING. Black screen. "No input detected."

I won't bore you (more than I already have) with the details.

The short of it is that this board has known issues with its HDMI output. I'm not kidding. There are 50+ page threads dating back a year with people harassing intel to resolve this issue. What are the odds??? I fought with it for a few hours before coming to the conclusion that it wasn't worth it. I imagined a scenario where I found some magical working combination of BIOS + video driver + who knows what that actually got an image on my TV. What then? I have an HTPC tediously held together with "bubble gum and duct tape" that may break again the next time microsoft pushes me a security update. Not what I want.

I've decided to return the Intel MB and simply order another of the "recommended" motherboards for HTPCs (not a GIGABYTE though, many seem to be plagued by the 'boot loop' that started all this). There is no way I can get three lemons in a row! Famous last words....
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