Question about MSI K8N Neo4-F Motherboard

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ESD Hi again. Wow I hate to be so much trouble but you may have seen my two previous posts on here. This has something to do with the tip on this particular model of  motherboard which you can scroll down on the main page of this model to see and also with the first problem I posted. I have sent my m/b back to the manufacturer and they say nothing is wrong with it. Yet I still have the same problem I described previously which is my compter will shutoff randomly and then gets stuck on the first screen and I can't do anything including getting into the bios or starting in safe mode. Now I have fixed this by just fidling and messing around but there seems to be no pattern to  fixing it and it only happens when I move my computer. Now I have also noticed that it happens when I try to switch keyboards and mice. I was using a query keyboard and then switched to a Logitech G15 gaming keyboard which is a USB 2.0 input plug. This has happened multiple times when I try to switch keyboards like I said and I'm wondering if it has something to do with ESD. There is something mentioned about it in the manual but not in detail and the tip on the mainpage says something about it but really doesn't make any sense to me. Could some one help me with this or clarify what the person who posted the tip and the manual is trying to say? I'm at my wits end and I know its the m/b, video card, processor/heatsink. The only thing I've haven't had tested is my hard drive and I don't believe that is what is causing it. I have cleared the bios multiple times. Thanx all P.S. If you think you can help but need more info please feel free to ask I really have very little I can think that would be the problem anymore so all suggestions are welcome.

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  • Theo Linnemann
    Theo Linnemann Jan 20, 2008

    Thank you all so much. I believe I have figured out the solution though and it was not any of the ones you suggested but never the less I appreciate the time and effort you put into helping me and gave you all perfect ratings. The actual problem I believe to be is that the metal plate covering the ports on the back of the mother board was touching some of the USB plugs when I would start the computer up. I believe some how this small touch shorted out the m/b and then caused it not to start properly. To answer some questions though the BIOS was upgraded recently when I sent the m/b back to MSI but this had happened before that. Also yes I do use thermal paste and actually heat was the first issue I dealt with so I was fairly sure it wasn't that. I actually had my power supply tested and it was good but just in case I also tried a new one that I borrowed from the geek squad at best buy. I also tried some good RAM there too. Also yes I live in an old house and bad wiring was something I thought of but in case I bought a surge protector and all incoming power is regulated now.

    Once again thank you all for your help. I have had to use an old laptop with a pentium 2 for the past three months so you can see how it's nice to have my rig back.

    Sincerely, ZeroCool



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What the tip and the manual are referring to is taking steps to avoid ESD (Electro Static Discharge). The manual wants you to disconnect all power before handling anything on the m/b or even the board itself. The tip is reccomending that you handle the board only by the usb or printer ports as these have grounded RF sheilds on them. The problem I have with both of these suggestions is that they don't go far enough. If you do what they say then NOTHING is grounded and the chances for an ESD event are much greater. If you really want to avoid ESD then you should wear a ground strap that is tied to a grounded chassis or even connects directly to the ground prong of an electrical outlet whenever you're working on the inside of the machine. When the machine is plugged in, it is grounded by the power cord ground.

Your problem sounds more like an issue with +5v standby voltage to the PS/2 and USB ports. This is used to either turn on or wake up a system in sleep mode with keyboard/mouse events. I would disable it if you can but from skimming through the manual I didn't see a specific jumper for this. Check your BIOS settings for entries that have to do with S1 or S3 wake up events and make sure they are disabled.

Another possibility is the +5v rail of your power supply isn't very stable. I know you had it checked but power supplies can very flaky when it comes to ambient temperature and some problems only turn up when under a heavy load.

It could also be a memory issue but memory issues can be caused by an unstable power source.

Finally check the ground on your electrical outlet. As strange as it sounds I have seen plenty of outlets where the ground lug wasn't connected to anything, particularly in older homes. In terms of home safety this is fine as long as that circuit is protected by a GFI but in computer terms it's a disaster looking for a time to happen.

Posted on Jan 18, 2008

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From what u say i believe u\re problem is the power supply (or even the power source of u\re house...fluctuations on it ...).

If u can measure u're power supply params. do so (without anything connected to it, forced in on mode ...(short between the green and a black wire )) !

If not, than try to remove everything from the case, including the power supply, and connect them is such a way that there is no connection between them, other than the needed wires ..(so to be able to exclude a short between them ... ). If this will keep u;re system stable, then u'll have to isolate the components between them in the case .....

But before all this u might try a BIOS upgrade or downgrade, this could also cause big problems if the BIOS soft. is not properly made, or has incompatibilities issues with some of u're components...

Although it may not be u're hard drive, they can also cause problems (rarely), so if u can test it, do so !

Posted on Jan 18, 2008

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It looks like you really have tried everything so bare with me if I say something you already tried.
If you mentionned all the components of your systems, I calculated that you need a 400W power supply (your system only consume about 330W but you need headroom so 400W is about right) Make sure your power supply is good, I'm saying that because I had the exact same problem with one of my motherboards and it was the power supply that looked OK but was indeed bad. If your components are starving for power or the voltages are unstable it will reboot.
ESD stands for Electrostatic discharge and would have happened when manipulating your components, if you were not grounded (best way to ground yourself is to leave the plug in the PSU but turn OFF your PSU at the power switch behind the power supply, that way your case will still be grounded) The fact that you did mention that your motherboard was tested OK and so was your processor is puzzling.
An other thing that may seems obvious but I'll ask anyways, did you put thermal paste on the processor and made sure the heatsink is seated right? Check in your BIOS all the health data, voltages, temperature and fan speed. Make sure all your voltages are within range ~3% for good stability.
An other thing is your graphics card could bring your whole system down, it happens. It usually is power supply related but I wish you had a basic graphics card to plug in to test your system stability.
This is just my 2 cents, I know most people will not answer you because they are scared you will bring their rating down, but hey, most of the time I get bad rating even if i answer right on the money so I don't care anymore. Let me know what happens, I'd be curious to know what the problem was.

Alex J.

Posted on Jan 18, 2008

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