Question about MSI K8N Neo3 Motherboard

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I have a MSI K8N Neo3 MB with AMD 64 2800+ C. IPU; (1) PC-3200 256Mb and (1) 512Mb DIMM's; ATI video card. The unit has not changed in past 3 years and has worked fine. Now it just will not power down without pulling out the power cord. Windows is NOT a factor here (it goes through normal shutdown). The monitor shuts off but fans do not turn off. I have tried stripping the unit down to just the MB, CPU and one piece of RAM with same results. Tried new power supply - same. Checked on/off switch - no short. Tried different video card - same. I've checked the BIOS many, many times including a complete reset. Put in new battery. I pulled the CPU and checked all pins, sprayed contact cleaner on everything. Any suggestions???

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I don't know your experience level so if I'm to basic please don't take offense and if I not basic enough don't hesitate to ask for clarification. I've split this up into 3 parts; hardware, software and security.
First you should quit unplugging your computer to shut it off. If you don't have hardware problems already unplugging you computer while it's running is a good way to cause them.
Other than a physical problem with the CPU or motherboard you seem to have ruled out almost everything. If you haven't tried it yet try holding down your power button until the power supply shuts down (usually 10-30 seconds). If this doesn't work given what you've already tried you probably have a damaged CPU or motherboard or an incompatable power supply (any ATX supply should shut down).
If this does shut down your system your problem is more likely software related. There are several possibilities (all can cause the system to not turn off);
1) corrupted system files
2) corrupted system settings
3) malware (spyware, viruses, data miners, ect...)
4) hacked system (there are numerous possibilities here)
a) to get an idea if you've been hacked open system info in control panel, if your RAM is showing considerably less than what you have installed that's a strong sign you've been hacked.

I would recommend doing a new install of Windows, not a reinstall. Your problem could be corrupt settings and Windows may import your old setting with a reinstall. If you have a spare hard drive I'd do the install on it, this will allow you to save your data while you determine for certain if the problem is hardware or software related. If this doesn't solve your problem then your problem is (again) most likely hardware. If you determine it's hardware, you need either spare parts or expensive testers to determine your exact problem.
If a new install on another drive solves your problems you need to consider items 3 and 4 above. A new O.S. install should solve the problem for now but you need to consider your security options. You'll need a firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware. You should also set the password on your CMOS/BIOS. If you can use accounts with your version of Windows set up a (supervisor) maintenance account and a (limited) user account. Use passwords on these accounts, use the user account unless your actually doing system maintenance that requires superviser access, this will help limit the ability for others to make changes to your system.
Your passwords for your CMOS/BIOS and supervisors should be strong, at least 14 characters with upper and lower case letters and numbers if your system will allow it included special characters. Write these down and store them in a safe place, the only persons you should tell your passwords should be "me, myself and I".

Posted on Jun 04, 2010

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