[SOLVED] Troubleshooting motherboard from 2000

May 25, 2019
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Hello all, I happened to find an old motherboard which was used in a computer that used a box monitor. I remember playing hot wheels world race cd game on it when I was a kid. Anyways to the point:

Mobo specs: MSI K7N2
https://www.cnet.com/products/msi-k7n2-motherboard-atx-socket-a-nforce2-spp/

GFX CARD: Leadtek WinFast A180 B T
https://www.cnet.com/products/leadtek-winfast-a180-b-t-graphics-card-gf-mx-4000-64-mb/

PROBLEM:
No video output to my VGA monitor.

THING I'VE TRIED:
Cleared CMOS: Removed the cmos battery and also moved the jumper.
Tried another card which was PCI.
Tried different RAM slots.


Other info: CPU I believe is an AMD Athlon XP, not sure of the model. The Mobo fans startup and I receive USB power after plugging in a USB. I am using VGA. The card slots im using is AGP x8 and PCI. Ram is SpecTek DDR 512mb The monitor works as I've tested on another mobo. The graphic card works on another motherboard. The mobo has no video output which is why i'm using an external card. When I plug in the monitor to the card, the monitor flashes black then returns back to no signal so it knows there is some connection. Both the card and secondary card I've tested both work on the other motherboard. I haven't taken off the cpu or cpu cooler, that will be my last resort. Shall I try a different psu? RAM also works on the other motherboard. I was able to load linux onto the secondary mobo.
I did find a bent capacitor on the board and I bent it back. Could that cause no display?

PICTURES:
View: https://imgur.com/a/XZ3s3Wz


Any suggestions are appreciated!
 
Last edited:

AllanGH

Commendable
Mar 10, 2019
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OK....that PSU supplies 0.8A on the -5VDC output, so that's out of the way. In theory, if it's a new PSU, you should be ok, but I'd still test all of the outputs with a meter before getting into things too much.

If the MB has been sitting around all this time, there is a good chance that the caps are dry, as I mentioned before, which would require replacement of each cap with equivalent replacement units. Another dimension of this is that the MB was manufactured right in the middle of the "Bad Capacitor Plague of the Early 2000's", which reduces your chances of those caps being any good at all.

If it was not stored in an anti-static bag, well, it might also be zapped and unusable, to boot; and the MB video-out being dead would tend to reinforce this as a conclusion.

Just keep that in mind....

If you can, test the CPU in another setting...what, I don't know, if this is the only board that you have that is compatible with it.

You may have to pull the BIOS EPROM/EEPROM and have it checked to see if the code is still intact. There was a time when the programming of those chips would hold for only about 10 to 15 years, at best, because the trapped charges do leak away. I think you can still download the last BIOS version that MSI offered for the board, and there may be an opportunity to re-write the code to the EPROM/EEPROM.

If push comes to shove, you could always get another second-hand: https://www.ebay.com/p/MSI-K7N2-Socket-A-AMD-MS-6570-Motherboard/74077125?thm=3000 but I hardly think it to be worth the cost.
 

AllanGH

Commendable
Mar 10, 2019
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414
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If the PSU you have doesn't provide a -5VDC connection at pin 18 (white wire), you can tap the -12VDC from pin 12 (blue wire), ground from pin 13 (black wire), and run that into a negative 5VDC regulator, with the -5vdc output routed to pin 18, and get it that way.....unless you happen to have a vintage PSU--that still works--laying around.

View: https://imgur.com/a/WwieT0g


Best to use a heat sink on the 7905.....
 
May 25, 2019
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If the PSU you have doesn't provide a -5VDC connection at pin 18 (white wire), you can tap the -12VDC from pin 12 (blue wire), ground from pin 13 (black wire), and run that into a negative 5VDC regulator, with the -5vdc output routed to pin 18, and get it that way.....unless you happen to have a vintage PSU--that still works--laying around.

View: https://imgur.com/a/WwieT0g


Best to use a heat sink on the 7905.....
Thanks for the detailed outline. I'll see what I can do. In fact the PSU I'm using to test this Mobo and my secondary is the one that was used with this Mobo back in the old case. I actually have 2 old psus that I tested and they both work surprisingly after all this time.
 
May 25, 2019
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Last edited:
May 25, 2019
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Thanks for the insight. Yeah if the caps are dead then there is no use trying any further. It's a shame honestly. I was really hoping I'd be able to resurrect something this old but I guess not. Again, I appreciate all the info, I've learned a lot from this!
 

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