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Question Tips for troubleshooting malfunctioning GPU

Stg-Flame

Platinum Member
Mar 10, 2007
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My buddy finally got his first gaming rig a few months ago with mostly donated parts from myself and another friend and he called me today and said his PC will turn on but there is no picture and the GPU fans/LEDs aren't working. I ran him through the usual of making sure everything is seated and plugged in properly and had him check to see if there were any scorch marks anywhere and he says it's all good. The only thing I can think of next is to try his GPU in my PC but I'm curious if there's anything else we can try first. I'm currently out of town at work and won't be able to do anything for a few days.

The only problem I foresee is his card is a Radeon card and I've never dealt with Radeon cards in the past. I'm not even sure if his card will work in my machine to be honest so I'm hoping someone here who is a lot more knowledgeable than me on this subject has some input. I have mobile service in some areas but not everywhere so I'll try to check back here when I can.

I should probably note that he was playing Tarkov this morning before work and when he got home he said everything turned on except his GPU. He also has the PC sitting on the carpeted floor which I've told him he needs to get it on a table somewhere. Also it's not overclocked. Everything in his PC is stock.
 

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
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Have him try turning on the PC with minimal components. Does the screen show with CPU/RAM? Hope he has a known working card or an integrated GPU. Then when it works add storage, GPU, onboard USB, and so on. Maybe just one stick of memory at the start.

Are you also saying the system worked and recently it stopped working?
 
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Leeea

Senior member
Apr 3, 2020
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What is the model number of his mainboard?

Did he remember to plug in the extra 8-pin power to the GPU?

Is it giving a beep code? Mainboard LED code? Does he have the speaker plugged in to hear the beep code? Does it give a beep code with the GPU removed? (it should if a speaker is hooked up) Most mainboards require case speaker to be attached to the speaker header on the mainboard to beep. If the case did not included a speaker, something like this may be needed: https://smile.amazon.com/Cylewet-Mainboard-Computer-Internal-Speaker/dp/B01MR1A4NV


His GPU will work fine in your PC, you do not need to install drivers or anything. You just are testing boot.
 
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Stg-Flame

Platinum Member
Mar 10, 2007
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Have him try turning on the PC with minimal components. Does the screen show with CPU/RAM? Hope he has a known working card or an integrated GPU. Then when it works add storage, GPU, onboard USB, and so on. Maybe just one stick of memory at the start.

Are you also saying the system worked and recently it stopped working?
This was my second idea, but he has no other video ports on his motherboard. I figured if he could get it to post through the onboard chipset, then he could troubleshoot some things from there, but according to the picture he sent me (couldn't remember off the top of my head), he has no other VGA, HDMI, or DVI ports.

What is the model number of his mainboard?
I asked but he never got back to me on that.
Did he remember to plug in the extra 8-pin power to the GPU?
According to the pictures he sent me, everything is plugged in properly.
Is it giving a beep code? Mainboard LED code? Does he have the speaker plugged in to hear the beep code? Does it give a beep code with the GPU removed? (it should if a speaker is hooked up) Most mainboards require case speaker to be attached to the speaker header on the mainboard to beep.
I asked this as well and he said there's no LEDs flashing and he didn't hear any beeps. He only has a cheap headset and said there were no beeps, but I didn't have him try to boot with the GPU removed.
His GPU will work fine in your PC, you do not need to install drivers or anything. You just are testing boot.
This is what I figured but I wasn't entirely sure since I've never used Radeon cards and I couldn't remember if they were compatible. It's been a while since I built my PC and I'm currently running in the field doing 20 hour rotational shifts, so I was a little tired when I first posted.

I appreciate all the help. He says he's going to go grab one of my spare GPUs from my house tonight and try it in his rig to determine if it's the motherboard or his card. Considering his card is only a few months old, I'm thinking it should still be under warranty so my last option is to have him send it back and get it replaced. It sucks, but as I told him, it's not uncommon for computer hardware to just up and die.
 

Leeea

Senior member
Apr 3, 2020
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699
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I asked this as well and he said there's no LEDs flashing and he didn't hear any beeps. He only has a cheap headset and said there were no beeps, but I didn't have him try to boot with the GPU removed.
not going to get beeps on a headset

He will need to add one of those internal buzzers I linked to in my earlier post. Odds are his new case did not have a built in speaker for that. They connect to the mainboard internal speaker jumpers. It has been this way since the late 1970s. All mainboards will have that jumper.

See:
The PC speaker is used during power-on self-test (POST) sequence to indicate errors during the boot process. Since it is active before the graphics card, it can be used to communicate "beep codes" related to problems that prevent the much more complex initialization of the graphics card to take place. For example, the Video BIOS usually cannot activate a graphics card unless working RAM is present in the system, while beeping the speaker is possible with just ROM and the CPU registers. Usually, different error codes will be signaled by specific beeping patterns, such as e.g. "one beep; pause; three beeps; pause; repeat".
Have him spend the $6* and stop trying to do it blindfolded**. Keep the extras for the next time you need to deal with a boot problem.

*you can even find cheaper ones on ebay. The multipacks are nice though, because if no sound is heard at all a 2nd one from the pack be be tried to verify the speaker itself is functioning. (no sound at all usually means dead or incorrectly connected mainboard or cpu)
**the blind way is to keep swapping parts until something works, but that does not necessary fix core problem

According to the pictures he sent me, everything is plugged in properly.
Does his mainboard have an extra power cable? (usually a 2nd four pin connector near the CPU or PCI slots)
 
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Stg-Flame

Platinum Member
Mar 10, 2007
2,974
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Well, I had a wild hunch and had him send me pictures of the card itself and there's scorch marks on the rear of the card by one of the air intake slots. The metal is black and the circuit board has black lines on parts of it so it looks like the card got fried somehow.

He won't have to buy that PC speaker because I checked some of my older cases and one of my older Rosewill cases came with an external volt meter and an external speaker (specifically for this purpose). I won't be able to test it until I get home but if everything works, I'll just give him those. Though the more pressing question now is how did his card get fried. He says there wasn't a power surge and he shut the computer down like normal (though the start menu).
 
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Leeea

Senior member
Apr 3, 2020
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Well, I had a wild hunch and had him send me pictures of the card itself and there's scorch marks on the rear of the card by one of the air intake slots.
RIP

Though the more pressing question now is how did his card get fried.
Defective power supply?

As cheaper power supplys age out the volts begin to drop, the amps begin to climb, and crispy critter is inevitable. It is the amps that make heat and burn things, not the volts.

On brand name high quality units, they have monitoring circuitry that completely cuts the power to the computer when the volts go out of spec. These can safely be used when they get old. Typically advertised as having Heavy duty protections, including OVP, UVP, OCP, OPP, SCP, and OTP
page 21 here: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supplies-101,4193-21.html

Check the power supply spec sheet*. If does not specifically advertise UVP (under volt protection) and OCP (over current protection) that is what happened.


*all high quality units have their spec sheets online for all eternity. If you cannot find the spec sheet, it is a low quality unit.
 
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killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
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not going to get beeps on a headset

He will need to add one of those internal buzzers I linked to in my earlier post. Odds are his new case did not have a built in speaker for that. They connect to the mainboard internal speaker jumpers. It has been this way since the late 1970s. All mainboards will have that jumper.

See:


Have him spend the $6* and stop trying to do it blindfolded**. Keep the extras for the next time you need to deal with a boot problem.

*you can even find cheaper ones on ebay. The multipacks are nice though, because if no sound is heard at all a 2nd one from the pack be be tried to verify the speaker itself is functioning. (no sound at all usually means dead or incorrectly connected mainboard or cpu)
**the blind way is to keep swapping parts until something works, but that does not necessary fix core problem


Does his mainboard have an extra power cable? (usually a 2nd four pin connector near the CPU or PCI slots)
huh motherboards dont beep since the 1970's? guess i need some sleep because i swear ive never had a pc that didnt beep and i only wire the power button. /super confused but just worked 6x16 hour shifts so maybe im dreaming.
 

Leeea

Senior member
Apr 3, 2020
611
699
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huh motherboards dont beep since the 1970's? guess i need some sleep because i swear ive never had a pc that didnt beep and i only wire the power button. /super confused but just worked 6x16 hour shifts so maybe im dreaming.
they all beep, but to the speaker header. Most of the cases back in the day included it as one of the wired jumpers.
 
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