Friday, August 2, 2013

[Article] ASRock Z68 Extreme4 board died!

Remember I was telling that there were some minor issues with the motherboard? It seems that they really were clues to what was to become. Last night, I diagnosed my motherboard as dead. 

Let me explain what happened. 

Yesterday I came back from work and used the PC for a little while. Then I went out with my wife. The PC was working fine till then. I pushed the power button and left the house. I didn't wait for it to turn off completely. For some reason, it takes quite a bit of time to shutdown. When I came back home, I felt something was not right. The PC was powered up. The display was off. I turned the display on, but it didn't come alive. There was no signal. But the PC was powered up as the power LED and fans were running. I pressed the reset button. Nothing. I pressed the power button. Nothing. I pressed and held the power button. Nothing. So I pulled the plug from the wall and plugged it back. The PC turned ON alright. I could go into the desktop. And then, all of a sudden, the PC turned OFF. This happened few times. Even when I had the "Automatically Restart" at System Failure option unchecked, it still didn't give a BSOD. Just power off. Not even a restart. 

I wasn't sure what the cause was. First I thought it was a BIOS issue. So I cleared CMOS using the button on the back panel. It didn't do anything good. Gradually the PC became unable to POST as well. At first, the onboard power button and the reset button lit up and the LCD poster also showed some numbers - numbers that don't sound like an issue - but gradually they too started to not work. Some times when I pressed the Clear CMOS button, it would start and power off even when I was in the UEFI. So, it was definitely not a software issue.

So I little by little started to isolate the issue. First I removed the video card and plugged the display to the iGPU. No change. Then I removed the audio card. No change. Then I removed the RAM sticks, only keeping one stick in. No change. Then I could only think of two culprits. The PSU or the motherboard. I didn't think the CPU would suddenly die.

A friend of mine had upgraded his PSU a while back and I went and brought his old PSU to check if my PSU wasn't the culprit. When I plugged it, still the PC wouldn't power up. The effects were a bit different to my Corsair PSU though. With his PSU, the PC would power up, then power down, then power up, then power down...it goes forever. I hope his PSU wasn't not working after all.
 
With all that's happened, I think the motherboard is dead. It's not cool, because the warranty for the board expired only a month ago. ASRock gives only 2 year warranty for this Z68 Extreme4 board. 

It was funny though. I was sitting on the fence in dilemma, not sure whether to upgrade to Haswell or not. I had read a lot of motherboard reviews, overclocking reviews and even how to delid the damn CPU. (I even found a cheap vice and CoolLaboraty Liquid Pro paste to put in between the die and the IHS on Amazon!!!)

It seems I'm gonna upgrade to Haswell after all.
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