Question Need to RMA MSI Motherboard

Palador

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Apr 7, 2014
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Greetings, everyone.
In this thread: https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/msi-b350-pc-mate-wont-post.3350276/ I explained about the issue I was having with my computer was left with the impression that it was probably the fault of the motherboard.
I went to the MSI website and got a web ticket to ask about the problem, but when I told them about the issue and what I did, they basically told me that they don't think it's from there end.
I told them that from my tests it seems like the CPU and RAM are probably not at fault, and they agreed with me, but then said that I should send all the parts back to to the reseller (in this case Amazon) for testing.
I asked them if I can just RMA the board and they can check it, but they haven't responded.
I'm not sure if I'm going about this wrong (I've never RMAed anything before), but are they supposed to approve my request and send me an RMA ticket or something?
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
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IMO, the person helping you in that thread doesn't always give the best, or even accurate, advice. I would highly recommend that you FIRST bench test the motherboard, before trying to proceed with any kind of return or RMA.

 
Greetings, everyone.
In this thread: https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/msi-b350-pc-mate-wont-post.3350276/ I explained about the issue I was having with my computer was left with the impression that it was probably the fault of the motherboard.
I went to the MSI website and got a web ticket to ask about the problem, but when I told them about the issue and what I did, they basically told me that they don't think it's from there end.
I told them that from my tests it seems like the CPU and RAM are probably not at fault, and they agreed with me, but then said that I should send all the parts back to to the reseller (in this case Amazon) for testing.
I asked them if I can just RMA the board and they can check it, but they haven't responded.
I'm not sure if I'm going about this wrong (I've never RMAed anything before), but are they supposed to approve my request and send me an RMA ticket or something?
First: look at DarkBreeze's post and check things his way.

Second: I think all the tech support person is doing is asking you to return the board to Amazon for replacement under their return policy. If it's no longer covered under that and Amazon refuses to provide relief then maybe if you let them know they should help you under the mfr. warranty. I'd sure expect them to, at least.

Most larger retailers, in order to get the discounts they do from manufacturers and distributors, agree to handle the first level of customer complaints by handling exchanges on their end.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
If those parts were purchased in June, which is what the other thread indicates, then Amazon is not going to do anything for you unless it's through a manufacturer they have an express contract with to handle ALL returns and warranties, and they don't have that with MSI. So RMA through the manufacturer is your only alternative if you need to do that.

It's worth a try though. I've seen Amazon take care of some things that were clearly outside their purview, but did it anyway.
 

Palador

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Thanks for the help, everyone. I tried the bench testing, but it came up with the same results as before.
Because the Ryzen 3 1200 doesn't have integrated graphics, I had to have the GPU in.
When I turn it on with the jumpers, the lights come on and the fans spin. The EZ debug light shines for the CPU and stays on throughout. None of the other debug lights shine at all whether I have GPU or RAM plugged in or not. The GPU LED above the CPU shines dimly, but I'm not sure if that's normal or not.
I checked the motherboard and CPU, but see no signs of leaking capacitors, burnt areas, or bent pins.
There are a few scratches where the screws for the standoffs are, but I would imagine that is to be expected.
By the way, as far as the standoffs are concerned, all nine screw holes in the ATX motherboard are supposed to have one right? What I read in the guide confused me a little, because I don't see many other holes that one could fit attach a standoff to apart from those nine.
My motherboard didn't come with any, but I'm not sure if that's normal or not.

I guess before I RMA it, it is good to know a bit more certainly if the mobo is at fault.
I got the mobo, RAM, and CPU altogether from Amazon and they are all on the same receipt.

Oh, and I'd like to add that I kind turn on the computer with the jumpers, but I can't turn it off by the same method. It just doesn't do anything, so I need to turn it off by switching off the PSU.
 
Yes, all mounting holes should have a screw and stand-off and you know it's a mounting hole if it has a ring of solder-plated copper around the hole to help with grounding. But missing just one wouldn't normally raise symptoms as you describe.

Also, sometimes a motherboard mfr. will skimp on the number of mounting holes so it's possible all 9 aren't present.

Stand offs don't usually come with motherboards but with cases. Also, some cases don't have stand-offs but a raised portion of the mounting tray that contacts the bottom of the board at the mounting hole.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Missing one makes the board unstable, but doesn't generally cause problems. Having one in the WRONG place, will usually short the board out if you are not lucky AND if the extra standoff happens to be under the motherboard. This can happen EASILY because different form factors use standoffs in different places. ATX might be the standard, but it is not the only form factor out there so these case often support the standoff pattern for mini ITX, micro ATX, ATX, EATX and/or in some cases users might have been originally using a prebuilt system with a proprietary motherboard that has it's own proprietary standoff mounting pattern.

Installing a standard ATX board in such a system, even if a few of the standoffs line up, might result in the aforementioned standoffs in the wrong place as well. You'd be surprised what happens, so yes, it's ALWAYS a good idea to check that there are no installed standoffs in the wrong place. In fact, some cases might even come with, or you might buy the case used and they are already installed by the previous owner for a different form factor, and then "poof".

There are any number of reasons why you would want to double check for this, even if it doesn't seem likely, because we see this happen ALL the time with less experienced builders.

Not all cases come with the additional or different standoff patterns, so yours may or may not have them. Some cases ONLY support ATX and micro ATX patterns, in which case it wouldn't be a problem UNLESS you were trying to install a different form factor motherboard in that case that was not either of those form factors.

As to the RMA. MSI is a company that I have no inclination to recommend to users because I've personally seen a track record of too frequent of failures on their motherboards, both on my own bench and here on Tom's, on both entry level and mid tiered boards. Their high end boards are usually pretty good, but they are also usually more expensive than some other boards by other brands. When it comes to RMA and warranty support, I have always had to fight with them to get anything done. Graphics cards are a different story. Those seem to usually be pretty good and for some reason I've not heard of many users having difficulty in getting warranty authorizations and replacement on those. Just motherboards.

Keep after them. In fact, it might be worth going to the MSI forums, contacting one of the moderators and explaining that you are having difficulty with the RMA process and that support has been little help to you despite having done the work already (With some help from your friends here) to determine that LIKELY the motherboard is to blame. If that fails to pan out, contact support again and ask to have your ticket elevated to a higher level.
 

Palador

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I didn't have any stand-off pins in wrong areas. In fact, I only have seven stand-offs, but I installed all of the harder-fitting wires and stuff (like the 24-pin one for powering the mobo) before mounting it in the case, so I don't think there's any real chance of bending because of too much pressure, etc.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
I wasn't trying to indicate that I thought THAT was your problem, I was only outlining the potential for A problem with standoffs, in general.

Of FAR more importance, was this:

As to the RMA. MSI is a company that I have no inclination to recommend to users because I've personally seen a track record of too frequent of failures on their motherboards, both on my own bench and here on Tom's, on both entry level and mid tiered boards. Their high end boards are usually pretty good, but they are also usually more expensive than some other boards by other brands. When it comes to RMA and warranty support, I have always had to fight with them to get anything done. Graphics cards are a different story. Those seem to usually be pretty good and for some reason I've not heard of many users having difficulty in getting warranty authorizations and replacement on those. Just motherboards.

Keep after them. In fact, it might be worth going to the MSI forums, contacting one of the moderators and explaining that you are having difficulty with the RMA process and that support has been little help to you despite having done the work already (With some help from your friends here) to determine that LIKELY the motherboard is to blame. If that fails to pan out, contact support again and ask to have your ticket elevated to a higher level.
 

Palador

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Yes. I understand.
Thank you, again.
I guess I'll contact Amazon.
MSI wrote back at last to tell me once again to contact the reseller.

A question about Amazon, though. My brother bought this board for me. Would he have to be the one to contact Amazon, or can I do that? The board is registered in my name and he sent me the receipt for it as well.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
IDK why MSI is telling you to contact Amazon, unless MSI is suddenly having all their sellers process warranty returns for them, but if that board is more than three months old I'm fairly sure Amazon is going to tell you to contact MSI. So do what MSI recommends but if something doesn't happen in the process fairly quickly, I'd get back to MSI and say you want it handled and none of this go here or there.

If the product is registered in your name with MSI and you have a copy of the reciept, that is ALL that should be necessary to prove legitimate purchase rights.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
I'd just go to Amazon and open a live chat with an agent. That's the fastest way to get things done. Hopefully they get back to you by email in a timely manner though. If you don't hear back within 24 hours, I'd open a live support chat with them.
 

Palador

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I'd just go to Amazon and open a live chat with an agent. That's the fastest way to get things done. Hopefully they get back to you by email in a timely manner though. If you don't hear back within 24 hours, I'd open a live support chat with them.
Thanks, Darkbreeze. Sorry for the late reply.
They responded right away, but basically said that my brother would have to be the one to contact them because it was bought from his Amazon account, so he did so (thought it took him a while because he's been very busy lately), and Amazon replied that they would give him a full refund on the Motherboard ($65) when he sends it back to them. They also said that the shipping would be free, but I suppose that would only apply to within-US shipping (I'm not in the US right now).
$65 unfortunately isn't enough at present to get a decent replacement mobo.

Should I be pretty confident that the problem is from the motherboard though, or do you think it's a safer option to ask if I can send the three parts (mobo, CPU, and RAM) back together?

PS: If I can get a full refund on the RAM, that would be great, as it's half the price now. :D
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Obviously, without having the hardware in front of me, I can't make that determination with any certainty. As I said, indications are that it SEEMS to be the motherboard, but I can't tell you that for sure.

As for the rest, that's a call you have to make.
 

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