Emachines Motherboard Failure Loss Of Onboard Video No Startup T3410 Desktop PC

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A friend's Emachine T3410 began displaying incorrect/odd colors and then the
video output stopped. He didn't mention the "funny colors" to me, only that
it had happened, and that now there was no video.

After substituting a known good PSU in the machine (with the HDD and DVD
disconnected), I've concluded that the onboard CPU supply is bad or another
mainboard fault, and that the (maybe 4.5 year old) machine should be
replaced.
I did advise my friend that a new m-bd and CPU combo could be bought for
about $60, so it's up to him.

I checked the HDD with a USB external case, and it appears to be fine.
It's possible that the RAM may be damaged, but it's only one DIMM (DDR 400
512M).

I bought a new (unused) FIC m-bd kit (included new CPU and CPU cooler) of
the same model number/type, and installed it along with a known good PSU and
a new 512MB DIMM.

This was a fairly expensive repair for a not-so-great PC, but the friend
wasn't forced to buy, then learn a new system.. for the time being, anyway.

The system started and operated for about an hour, so it was shut off, and
the old 512MB DIMM was installed and the system restarted. All Seemed to be
fine, so the DIMM was left in, making the physical memory a whopping 1GB.

I noticed that the new m-bd didn't start up immediately when the AC power
cord was connected, which the existing m-bd had done (which should've been
seen as a clue, but I didn't know the normal operation of the machine).

(previous steps, previously written)
Visual inspection revealed a very clean m-bd, CPU fan/heatsink, and no signs
of electrolytic capacitor electrolyte leakage, staining or swelling/bulged
tops. No visible signs of any overheating or discoloration anywhere.

I did try another known-good LCD monitor, and have researched the video
symptoms, where I found numerous other similar problems for the same model
and changing screen colors before loss of video (video integrated into
motherboard).
Those problems and solution were dated several years ago, so many of these
FIC K8MC51G have probably died and been replaced by now.

The solutions I found were all similar.. problem corrected by installing a
separate video card and entering BIOS setup to disable the onboard video.

I admit stupidity and lack of experience in this situation, as I've always
built my machines in the past, and never used an integrated motherboard
(until my present store-bought machine).

I read the Emachine FIC K8MC51G motherboard's specs, and they show the video
specs as:
On board Controller Embedded in nVidia C51G / Add on interface 1x PCIe by
16.
http://www.fic.com.tw/product/motherboard/AMD/K8MC51G.aspx

I took this to mean that the PCI-E x16 slot was intended (best choice?) for
video upgrading, so I bought a video card that matched the specs, $10 on
eBay, not from this website, but it shows the details.
http://www.cwc-group.com/td128e.html

MSI ATI Radeon X600 Pro PCI-Express Video Card (other than only DirectX 9,
as good as a newer card), essentially the same specs as the onboard video,
it was just chosen for replacement, not intended to be a great improvement
upgrade.
Of course, installing the new video card didn't correct the problem.

The m-bd electrolytic caps had no visible defects, but I didn't remove the
board to check ESR readings.. but now I suspect that some are bad, after R&R
of the PSU.

The other slots that are available on the uATX FIC K8MC51G MB are 1 PCIe x1
slot and 1 PCI (a second PCI is occupied by 56k modem card, but not
utilized).

I would just recommend replacing the machine with another new one, except
for one reason.. this is the friend's first PC, and he has become somewhat
comfortable with using it (XP home edition x32).
He doesn't use his PC frequently, or for long durations, so he's not really
an experienced PC user.

I know there are numerous solutions to putting his XP OS and saved data into
another machine, but I was hoping to revive the existing machine so he could
find a deal on a better machine and ease into the new machine at his
leisure. That may seem a bit far-fetched or unrealistic.. but then I've
never had a machine just die, forcing me to adjust to a new one (lucky boy,
I am).

Another alternative would be to try to buy a new exact replacement FIC
motherboard, which would then reside in a case with an older PSU, so that
isn't the ultimate solution, either.

--
Cheers,
WB
.............



Re: Emachines Motherboard Failure Loss Of Onboard Video No Startup T3410 Desktop PC


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Hey WB -

if it were mine, before giving up on it (either the old or the new
board) I'd try loading the
both the chipset driver and the vga driver packages that they have on
the Emachines support site, from the dates listed, they're both much
newer than the MB - if you already tried that, nevermind...

Good luck,

Mike

Re: Emachines Motherboard Failure Loss Of Onboard Video No Startup T3410 Desktop PC
I wouldn't think these steps would be possible with the failed m-bd since
there was no POST or video output, or access to BIOS setup.

The new board is operating as it should, but I didn't check to see if the
drivers and BIOS are the newest versions shown on the Emachine support site.
The BIOS version shows up briefly after/during POST on older machines, but I
didn't look for it after the new board was installed.

The old CPU or the m-bd have failed, most likely.. and if I were willing to
throw more money into it, I could first replace some electrolytic caps that
have suspiciously high ESR (small 100uF several of 'em, and a couple of
others), or buy a new CPU.

The larger value caps for the CPU voltages appear to be connected in
parallel, so the in-circuit ESR readings aren't reliable. Desoldering them
for testing isn't a big deal, but the board is old and wasn't a high grade
board when new.

--
Cheers,
WB
.............


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Re: Emachines Motherboard Failure Loss Of Onboard Video No Startup T3410 Desktop PC


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With no POST then there's not much you can do - it may not make sense
to spend anymore time on the old
board, but I wonder , if you have one of those IR thermometers, if you
can find any caps that are suspiciously warm when the power is applied
to it.

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I had a fairly reliable Emachines system for several years, but, after
developing bulging caps over a period of months it finally just
refused to start up one day - I hadn't any experience changing out
caps at that time,
kinda wish I'd held onto it, once I'd had a few successes reviving a
few things with new capacitors.

Mike

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