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Old 01-15-2018, 06:00 AM   #1
NTkiller7000
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Default dead Gigabyte GA 5-smm no POST no power

Hey guys, I need some advice, I'm trying to resurrect this old socket 7 mobo to build a Windows 95 / MSDOS game machine, and the board seems to be in a zombie state. Here's what it does: I started with putting a Pentium MMX 200MHz CPU in it, setting CPU voltage, clock multiplier, and FSB to stock values (old mobo, this stuff is set by DIP switches ). I put 128MB of RAM in it, hooked a monitor into the integrated VGA port, and applied power, and nothing. Well, almost nothing. The CPU, NB, and SB are generating heat, but the fans get no power, and the front panel lights do not come on. This is SO WEIRD! I swapped the CPU for an AMD K6 233MHz and reset the DIP switches, same result. I went through several sticks of RAM too. I checked all the jumpers, hooked up a beep speaker to see if I could get some beep codes, nothing. I even tried a PCI graphics card to see if it was alive, nothing. I don't think it's the PSU, since it works with other motherboards. Upon visual inspection, the only thing that might be the cause is some light, white corrosion in the SB / BIOS ROM area, possibly from a leaking coin cell. No bad caps or burned parts. I've never seen anything like this, is my mobo dead? Or will the zombie live again? Thanks!
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Old 01-16-2018, 08:33 AM   #2
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Default Re: dead Gigabyte GA 5-smm no POST no power

UPDATE: I washed the mobo with dilute vinegar and baking soda to remove the corrosion, didn't help. Anyone familiar with these old boards, and their quirks? Thanks.
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Old 01-16-2018, 01:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: dead Gigabyte GA 5-smm no POST no power

Maybe a corroded track?
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Old 01-19-2018, 07:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: dead Gigabyte GA 5-smm no POST no power

This mainboard does not worth repairing, because it probably has got multiple faults since it is too old. If you really need such a mainboard, find a healthy Pentium4 mainboard which is probably free or too cheap.
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Old 01-19-2018, 04:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: dead Gigabyte GA 5-smm no POST no power

Quote:
Originally Posted by NTkiller7000 View Post
Hey guys, I need some advice, I'm trying to resurrect this old socket 7 mobo to build a Windows 95 / MSDOS game machine, and the board seems to be in a zombie state. I went through several sticks of RAM too. I checked all the jumpers, hooked up a beep speaker to see if I could get some beep codes, nothing. I even tried a PCI graphics card to see if it was alive, nothing.
Back in 2002, I saw a socket 7 motherboard dead like a fly, too! (I think it was an Elpin?) Do caps on socket 7 motherboards usually go bad without visual signs??? It apparently suddenly died! And that kind of issue, except for with a reversed IDE cable or the like, LOL, wasn't as common in the late-1990s as with motherboards in the 2000s, especially ones for AMD processors, IIRC.

(Except with socket 462, if not bad caps, usually because the core got crushed but you can still expect LEDs and fans... No bleep codes=usually a damaged processor!)

(And Intel, with a bad socket pin, especially socket 775, socket 771 and later...)
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Old 01-20-2018, 08:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: dead Gigabyte GA 5-smm no POST no power

Honestly you've probably already tried everything I'd recommend. I happen to have one of these old boards and I had a similar issue with a bad stick of ram, but if you've already tried multiple sticks of RAM that should rule out that issue. Incorrectly set DIP switches and jumpers are also a common issue on old boards like these, but it sounds like you already checked that as well. If you haven't already it might be worth wile to try cleaning the RAM slots and any PCI/ISA slots you are populating with a cue-tip and alcohol or contact cleaner (the same for the contacts on the sticks/cards as well). Also note this board uses CHOYO which are known for being problematic and failing without bulging so bad caps is a possibility.


If the battery leaked on the board causing corrosion it is also possible it may have caused some damage.

Aside from the so-so caps and lack of AGP slot this a decent board capability wise for a MATX board of its era if you are building a retro system since it is
MATX form factor (AT was still common when this board was new), has 3 PCI and 2 ISA slots, 3 RAM slots and supports AMD K6-2/K6-III (I have a K6-2 500MHZ in mine and 512 MB RAM) CPUs in addition to Pentiums and the original K6, but as Caspian noted unless you are going to run Windows-98 or earlier on it and old software/games that won't run on newer hardware, you'd be better off picking up one of the many P4 era (or even Core2Duo these days) boards that are going for next to nothing these days.
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Old 01-20-2018, 08:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: dead Gigabyte GA 5-smm no POST no power

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmill89 View Post
(I have a K6-2 500MHZ in mine and 512 MB RAM)
My K6-2 would boot Windows 98 SE fine at 500 Mhz, but couldn't do 500 MHz without it crashing when running a game, LOL. Even just moving the menu selector fast with the mouse, on one of the Harvest Moon 64 menus, would make it crash, LOL. Even 450 Mhz, the rated frequency, was trouble sometimes. Apparently, without changing the cooling, I would apparently sometimes have to underclock it, LOL. But, I never underclocked it.
It sometimes was insanely unstable where I can't complete Windows 98 installation without errors or it looks fine, but then Windows Explorer always seems to be corrupted, ends with the error message that explorer.exe crashed, repeatedly and thus I felt like I had to throw it away, because I was a cooling noob and even at stock, it would act like it was overclocked heavily!
I'm 99 percent positive that my bedroom being extra warm, was the cause of it being insanely unstable...

The error message was this generic one:

Explorer

This program performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.
If the problem persists, please contact the program vendor. (or similar)

>>Details

EXPLORER.EXE has caused blah blah blah (or similar)


----------------------------------------------------------

There was also an error message like that, with a toasted Athlon T-bird at Tom's Hardware, right around the time it started smoking, LOL.
The pop-up appeared after a folk took the heatsink off when a game was running, IIRC, LOL.

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Old 01-20-2018, 08:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: dead Gigabyte GA 5-smm no POST no power

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJARRRPCGP View Post
My K6-2 would boot Windows 98 SE fine at 500 Mhz, but couldn't do 500 MHz without it crashing when running a game, LOL. Even just moving the menu selector fast with the mouse, would make it crash, LOL. Even 450 Mhz, the rated frequency, was trouble sometimes. Apparently, without changing the cooling, I would have to underclock it, LOL.
If you look at the 3rd pic attached to my post I have a cooler rated for an Athlon XP 3000+ (since socket 7, 370 and A all used the same coolers) on it and haven't had any issues running at full speed, but I could see how heat would be an issue with those tiny little 40mm coolers common on socket 7 rigs.
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Old 01-20-2018, 09:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: dead Gigabyte GA 5-smm no POST no power

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmill89 View Post
If you look at the 3rd pic attached to my post I have a cooler rated for an Athlon XP 3000+ (since socket 7, 370 and A all used the same coolers) on it and haven't had any issues running at full speed, but I could see how heat would be an issue with those tiny little 40mm coolers common on socket 7 rigs.
Haha, that would kick my little socket 7 heatsink's ass! It was a cheap one from Radio Shack, LOL. I now wished that I had a bigger heatsink on my K6-2, like that...

The errors when installing Windows 98, was 99 percent, because the (oil, IIRC) forced hot air furnace, or the York heat pump kicked on... (The York air con & heat pump combo was installed in 1996, IIRC)

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Old 01-22-2018, 03:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: dead Gigabyte GA 5-smm no POST no power

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Originally Posted by caspian View Post
This mainboard does not worth repairing, because it probably has got multiple faults since it is too old. If you really need such a mainboard, find a healthy Pentium4 mainboard which is probably free or too cheap.
I've got a P4 retro build already, but it has ac'97 audio, which makes DOS gaming impossible (at least if you want sound). That build works great, (for windows games, that is) Intel DH55TC, P4 HT 2.8GHz, GeForce fx 5200, 2GB RAM, triple booted with Windows 98, XP, and Lubuntu 17.04. Can play the mess out of Quake 3. With a CRT monitor too!. Only thing not quite correct is the logitech trackball, but I can't stand mice for FPS games. Anyway, sounds to me like this board might be a write-off, right? at least I have 2 (i think) good socket 7 CPUs, should another socket 7 board waft my way I guess I'll stick with another project, which is reviving a 27" CRT TV so I can RGB-mod it! Thanks for the help folks!
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Old 01-28-2018, 10:53 PM   #11
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Default Re: dead Gigabyte GA 5-smm no POST no power

Quote:
Originally Posted by NTkiller7000 View Post
UPDATE: I washed the mobo with dilute vinegar and baking soda to remove the corrosion, didn't help. Anyone familiar with these old boards, and their quirks? Thanks.
Don't use vinegar or any kind of acid solution on electronics. Not sure about baking soda, but it's probably okay.

Generally, it's best to wash boards with dish detergent and warm/warm-hot water, then let the board dry for a few days - preferably under strong sunlight during the day or near a blower or air vent.

As for quirks on old boards...
If you don't have a manual for the motherboard and don't know what RAM and CPUs it supports, stick with the slowest oldest stuff. For RAM, that would be 64 MB modules or smaller.

With SDRAM boards, you will want to make sure you use a good PSU that has a very clean 3.3V rail. AVOID no-name crap PSUs or some PSU that has been sitting in your junk box for many years without use - these could provide dirty power on the 3.3V rail, and that alone could make the board not boot or play nice.

Got DIP switches? Those can be problematic too. In general, mechanical contacts tend to become a big weakpoint after many years. I can't tell you how much vintage audio equipment I have that has switch/contact problems. So if you have some Deoxit cleaner, give those switches a few squirts.

And last but not least - check your caps! Old boards like that are pretty much bound to use crap cap brands. If your board indeed has Choyo caps, don't be surprised at all that it doesn't work - those caps were marginal even when brand new. Unlike wine, caps don't get better with time - especially crap caps.

That said, the fact that you don't get any front panel lights is very weird indeed. Typically, those functions are controlled by the Southbridge and/or LPC Super I/O chip. That lack of those suggests one of these may not be getting power - either due to bad caps making some voltage regulator misbehave or perhaps something else. Unfortunately, there aren't a whole lot of good pictures on the internet of this board, so I can't give you more precise instructions on what to check at this point. If you provide pictures, we may be able to help you troubleshoot it.

P.S. Did you try booting the board with no RAM as well to see if it beeps. If not, try that. This should give you some idea if there is still some life left in it. Also see if you can toggle the keyboard's "Num Lock" key on and off with RAM installed on the board - that's another trick to see if a board tries to boot or gets stuck.

Last edited by momaka; 01-28-2018 at 10:59 PM..
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Old 01-29-2018, 02:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: dead Gigabyte GA 5-smm no POST no power

Quote:
Originally Posted by momaka View Post
P.S. Did you try booting the board with no RAM as well to see if it beeps. If not, try that. This should give you some idea if there is still some life left in it. Also see if you can toggle the keyboard's "Num Lock" key on and off with RAM installed on the board - that's another trick to see if a board tries to boot or gets stuck.
Yup, tried booting the board completely bare +CPU, still no beep codes. In fact, i think that's the first thing I tried. No keyboard connected. My philosophy when trying to start an unknown board is to start with the absolute minimum equipment required to POST, add a keyboard, then go through CMOS setup to give it a quick sanity check (voltages/temps doing okay, set up devices, etc.). I still think it's strange for it to respond to the power button (CPU, NB and SB generating heat) but otherwise does absolute bupkis. The only possibility I haven't tried is a POST card, but I don't have one. Seems like it might be easier to wait for another socket 7 motherboard to turn up, since I got this board from a friend who was trashing out their closet (I did get some other goodies from that pile that worked, so it wasn't a waste of time). I might run into one with a higher end CPU in it. Who knows?
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Old 02-02-2018, 08:54 AM   #13
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Default Re: dead Gigabyte GA 5-smm no POST no power

Then perhaps it's time to post this board on eBay: "slight used, never abused"
In all seriousness, though, it's probably okay if you did post it "for parts or repair", saying that it is not working. You never know when some weirdo is going to buy it (like me ) and try to fix it or tinker with it.

Speaking of which, I did get a socket 7 board recently. Appears to be working, but I haven't thoroughly checked it yet. It does have some crap caps on it, though, so those will need changing for sure. Has a K6 450 MHz currently.

Last edited by momaka; 02-02-2018 at 08:56 AM..
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