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Odd problem with HTPC

Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:59 pm

Hiya folks. I'm typically a lurker, and very seldom a poster, but I've been a member for a pretty long time, and have built more than my fair share of computers for the past 10 years or so. Anyway, I have a fairly newish HTPC build that recently developed a rather peculiar problem. It has an AMD A8-3850 APU, i.e. the previous generation Llano units, coupled with an Asus motherboard and 4GB of RAM and a 500W Seasonic power supply. Today it decided to stop displaying anything, even the initial POST diagnostic information. I found this very odd since the hard drive seemed to be doing its usual thing and loading up the OS. Upon deeper inspection, I found that the HDMI as well as the DVI did not work, but the VGA worked perfectly. I suspect that it's either the motherboard or the CPU that has developed problems, probably the motherboard as CPUs are seldom the culprit. Either that, or there's some odd setting somewhere that has disabled digital output. What do you guys think?
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Re: Odd problem with HTPC

Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:10 am

Probably motherboard because the A8 is outputting in digital first and then converting to analogue as an extra process further down the pipe - some kind of DAC. If the analalogue VGA works I would make an educated guess that the "digital bit" before the DAC in the A8 is also fine.

  1. If it is a setting, clearing the CMOS will reset to how it was when you first built it.
  2. Have you tried re-seating the processor in the socket. Unlikely, I know.
  3. Likewise, unscrew the motherboard, make sure nothing the IO shield for the ports is aligned nicely in case something's not earthing, check for a loose screw that is causing a grounding fault, and then put it back together.

Lastly, have you tested other screens with this HTPC. Are you positive that it's the HTPC at fault and not the digital inputs of your existing screen that have died?
Failing all that (and barring anyone else thinking of something I've missed) it's time to start the RMA process if it's still under warranty. If the warranty's out decide on a cheap HD7750/GTX650 or replace the board.
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