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Thread: X38 DQ6 Power-On Issue?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default X38 DQ6 Power-On Issue?

    Hi, all --

    I have a problem that I would appreciate your thoughts on for trouble-shooting.

    For the last 6 months, I have been running a GA-X38-DQ6 with an E8400. For essentially the entire time, the E8400 has been OC'd at 4.0 GHz, with the bus at 445 MHz, and the 8GB of Corsair DDR2-800 RAM at 890 MHz (5-5-5-18, if I recall correctly). The system has been absolutely rock-solid the whole time (tested >24hr Prime stable).

    The problem has cropped up in the last week and a half or so, and I'm trying to figure out which element is the source of the problem.

    The problem is that when I press the case power button to turn the machine on, more and more frequently I get no response, or not more than a couple hundred milliseconds worth of panel LED and fan activity.

    Important (? not sure) behaviour to note: _Usually_, after 4-5 case power button presses, the system will come to life, although lately it seems to be taking more button pushes (or put another way, the system is more and more reluctant to start).

    Trouble-shooting to date:

    1. Case power switch confirmed good (reliable continuity when pressed).

    2. Plugged the power supply (Corsair 620W unit) directly into the wall, bypassing the APC uninterruptable power supply -- no change in start-up behavior.

    3. Replaced power supply with an Antec Neo HE 550W power supply (known good; I used it just a couple days before) -- no change in start-up behavior.

    After re-installing the Corsair 620W unit, several case power button presses were required before the system started up (in fact, I thought the system was finally dead!). At this point, I'm not planning on shutting down the system unit I have a better idea of why I'm having this issue.

    My initial thoughts, after the first few diagnostic steps, was that the MB was failing, but I wanted to ask here whether anyone thinks this may be the E8400 dying -- would I get an essentially instantaneous system shutdown following the press of the case power button if the CPU was dying? I don't think so (I'd expect to hear MB diagnostic beeps instead), but thought I'd ask anyway.

    Sorry for the long post! Any further thoughts/suggestions would be most appreciated!

    Last edited by mneblett; 09-23-2008 at 11:16 AM.

  2. #2
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    PCB Island

    Default Re: X38 DQ6 Power-On Issue?

    Thanks, nice details of what you have done always helps!

    Sounds to me right off the bat that either something is "Wearing/breaking" in and you need to just adjust some voltages a bit.

    Or you have one or more Ram modules going bad, this is my first suspicion. Can you please make a Profile for your BIOS settings now so you can keep them easier. On the MAIN page of the BIOS hit F11 for save, F12 later for LOAD. Save your settings you are using now as Stable (or Using/anything just so you will remember) and Then go in and load optimized defaults and shut down.

    Then remove all but one stick of ram in slot one, and run Memtest86+ on each stick, one at a time in slot one. Before loading Memtest to begin testing, go into the BIOS again and set only these things, Stock Ram Speed via Memory Multiplier, Manually set Ram to spec timings, and set Spec Ram voltage. Then reboot back to memtest86+ >>>>
    Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool

    Other then that, which it may not be, let me see what settings you are indeed using for everything >>>

    This is Just a template I use to ask people their settings, pay no attention to the numbers in it, replace with yours

    Robust Graphics Booster___________ [Auto]
    CPU Clock Ratio ____________ [8]
    CPU Host Clock Control_ [Enabled]
    CPU Host Frequency (MHz)__________ [450]
    PCI Express Frequency (Mhz)_______ [100]
    C.I.A. 2__________________________ [Disabled]
    System Memory Multiplier (SPD)____ [2.00]
    DRAM Timing Selectable_______ SPD __ [Manual]

    Performance Enhance = [Standard]

    CAS Latency Time________________ ?
    Dram RAS# to CAS# Delay_________ ?
    Dram RAS# Precharge Delay_______?
    Precharge Delay (tRAS)__________ ?

    ACT to ACT Delay (tRRD)_________ ?
    Rank Write to READ Delay________ ?
    Write to Precharge Delay_________ ?
    Refresh to ACT Delay______________ ?
    Read to Precharge Delay__________ ?
    Static tRead Value_______________ 1-31
    Static tRead Phase Adjust________ 1-31

    CPU/PCIEX Clock Driving Control [800mV]
    CPU Clock Skew Control [normal]
    GMCH Clock Skew Control [Normal]

    System Voltage Control____ [Manual]
    DDR2 OverVoltage Control__ [+0.300V]
    PCI-E OverVoltage Control_ [+0.1V]
    FSB OverVoltage Control___ [+0.1V]
    (G)MCH OverVoltage Control [+0.1V]
    CPU Voltage Control_______ [1.25]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Re: X38 DQ6 Power-On Issue?

    Lsdmeasap -- thanks very much for the reply and suggestions; I only recently have had the opportunity to chase this problem down further.

    I did further diagnostics, including your suggestions (memory testing, etc.). As I was working, a dim memory came back -- I remembered reading somewhere that modern power supplies do not begin to deliver power until the motherboard sends a signal to turn the power supply on.

    Because my system's symptoms (either no, or only milliseconds of, reaction when the case power switch was pushed) were consistent with a power supply not starting in response to a "on" signal from the motherboard, I again swapped in a different power supply, and this time made *double* sure that I had it hooked up correctly, with *all* connections fully seated.

    Well, to make the story shorter, the system started right up, and has continued to reliably start. I don't know what it was that I did wrong the first time I tried the second power supply, but I must have done something, because it didn't fix the issue the first time.

    So, I'm RMA'ing the Corsair HX650. The Corsair tech help guy was great -- listened well, and immediately acknowledged the issue and authorized the RMA. That sort of service, and the near silence of the unit, makes me happy to continue to use the product. I have one of the earliest Corsair units, so I suspect I may have been something of a beta tester; FWIW, the Corsair tech guy said that their power supplies have proven to be very reliable, and the product they get the fewest returns on.

    Anyway -- just wanted to give you closure on the thread.

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    PCB Island

    Default Re: X38 DQ6 Power-On Issue?

    Thanks for posting back!

    Glad to hear you found the problem, Somethings can be hard to tack down for sure! Especially if you do not have tons of spare hardware on hand.

    Glad to see you are up and running now!

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