Author Topic: Motherboard no longer posting, is it the capacitors?  (Read 2512 times)

Guses

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Motherboard no longer posting, is it the capacitors?
« on: May 23, 2015, 08:09:49 AM »
I have an Unraid server that holds our important information as well as our media collection.

The server is running on a circa 2006 K9N sli platinum motherboard (AMD processor). The server is connected to an UPS and has been running fine 24/7 for the last several years.

Out of the blue, it won't even post anymore, there is just nothing on the screen except a blinky underscore. The fans still work and I hear the HDD spinning when I start the computer (PSU seems to be fine).

Upon inspection, it *looks* (I am no expert) like 2 of the capacitors on the motherboard might have gone bad (bulging tops). See attached picture for details.

Am I SOL? Is there something else I should investigate before thrashing the system?




Thegoblinchief

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Re: Motherboard no longer posting, is it the capacitors?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2015, 10:05:59 AM »
Others may have better answers - getting any error beeps via the motherboard speaker?

Have you tried unplugging and reseating every cable?

Guses

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Re: Motherboard no longer posting, is it the capacitors?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2015, 10:21:38 AM »
Ya, no beeps. It's not posting or doing anything really.

I reseated the memory and tried different slots too. 

Syonyk

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Re: Motherboard no longer posting, is it the capacitors?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2015, 11:11:38 AM »
Those caps are definitely bulging and no good.  The rest are probably varying degrees of shot as well.

However, for a 9 year old system, unless you're seriously good with a soldering iron and have a lot of spare caps around, it's not worth recapping the board.  Just buy a cheap replacement system on Craigslist, swap the drives over, and call it good.  10 years for a consumer mainboard is doing just fine, especially for "late capacitor plague" era boards.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

grantmeaname

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Re: Motherboard no longer posting, is it the capacitors?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2015, 11:13:46 AM »
Damn, syonyk knows things too and was quicker on the draw.

Looks like the caps to me, and it's about the right age to be a victim of the capacitor plague. You could replace them but since the computer is a billion years old it might not be worth it. What kind of server is it? Could a craigslist special/raspberry pi replace it?

Guses

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Re: Motherboard no longer posting, is it the capacitors?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2015, 11:51:39 AM »
Thanks grant and syonyk. I would say that I am between mediocre and passable at soldering. I might try to replace the caps as an experiment to see if this would revive the board. Does the symptom sound as it might be the bad caps?

The beauty of an Unraid server is that it is near ubiquitous in what you can run it on. I can just replace the board and continue on with limited configuration issues. I was using this computer as a file server with integrated data mirroring and as DVR as well.

Since I was planning on virtualizing the server this summer, I already have spare parts on hand to proceed with a change. I am hoping that virtualization will allow me to retire computers from our fleet and replace them with clients instead. Also, I was having issues with the capture card drivers on the unix based system.

Syonyk

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Re: Motherboard no longer posting, is it the capacitors?
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2015, 12:29:06 PM »
Thanks grant and syonyk. I would say that I am between mediocre and passable at soldering. I might try to replace the caps as an experiment to see if this would revive the board. Does the symptom sound as it might be the bad caps?

It's possible.  It's also possible it's something else.  You're not going to make anything worse by replacing the capacitors, though it's not going to be a particularly effective use of your time as compared to just buying a 3-4 year old board/proc/RAM combo and using that.