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System won't boot, tried the troubleshooting guide

Last response: in Systems
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May 17, 2013 8:45:05 AM

The problem:
When I hit the power button, the fans spin for an instant and then stop. The power button doesn't do anything after the first try, until you turn the psu off and back on again. Hey, that sounds like the cpu power connector! I triple-checked it, tried another modular cable, tried to rotate it 180 just in case (it doesn't go in that way).

The system:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XT9L

The background:
It's been a while since I put a computer together (6 years or more). I'm not a complete newbie, I've built a few systems for myself and a bunch for a job I had in college (but those were all identical).

When I put everything together, the only thing that seemed suspect was that the video card had a rattle. I turned it around until a screw fell out. Not sure what that means just yet, I decided to get the system going with onboard video.

I stripped it down to just motherboard, cpu, heatsink, psu (no ram). I took it out of the case and laid it on a box to rule out case shorts. I removed usb, audio, etc. The only connections plugged in are the 24 pin motherboard connection, the 8-pin cpu power connection, and the cpu heatsink fan. This motherboard has attached power/reset buttons for easy troubleshooting, so I can try turning it on with the front panel connections removed. Same result.

There is no speaker on the motherboard or in the case, so I ordered one. In the meantime, I held the connections to a piezo speaker I had to the leads on the motherboard and tried to start, it gave a beep that trailed off when the fans stopped, I guess that's just either a long or constant beep interrupted by the power winding down after the failed start. I'll feel better with a "real" speaker plugged in but it's what I have for now.

The system acts the same with the cpu power connection plugged in or unplugged, but I dont know if that implicates one component over another (i.e. I guess it could mean psu isn't sending enough power, could mean cpu doesn't work regardless of whether it's plugged in, could mean motherboard isn't connecting power to cpu, or it could mean something else entirely).

I removed and inspected the cpu and stock heatsink. They look undamaged, and the thermal paste on the stock heatsink spread out nicely. The socket does not appear damaged, no wonky looking pins.

I held the probes of a multimeter against the contacts in the cpu power connector and got a reading during the instant the computer is on, so it's at least connected and sending some power. I'm planning to test all the voltages later tonight to (mostly) rule out bad a psu.

SO, having said all that, these are my questions: If the voltages are good on the psu, how do I tell if anything else is wrong with it? If I narrow it to the cpu or motherboard, how do you tell which is the issue?


The suspects:
Intel Core i7-3770K
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH
EVGA SuperNOVA NEX650G GOLD

Full list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XT9L

I did my homework, now I hope you can help! Thanks in advance!!

Best solution

May 17, 2013 8:52:13 AM

little too much to read.......... is there a part in there where it says you tried another power supply?

and are you using a heat sink on the processor and is there thermal paste on it?
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May 17, 2013 8:54:32 AM

swifty_morgan said:
little too much to read.......... is there a part in there where it says you tried another power supply?


Sorry, just trying to be thorough. I don't have another power supply to try, do you think it's worth picking one up?
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May 17, 2013 8:55:23 AM

Try with one dimm.also look at the mb rev sticker for the bios. If it to low the mb won't post. I would also try another ps to full out bad power.
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May 17, 2013 8:55:51 AM

Did you try it breadboarded with the RAM in? It won't start without the RAM.
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May 17, 2013 9:11:47 AM

smorizio said:
Try with one dimm.also look at the mb rev sticker for the bios. If it to low the mb won't
post. I would also try another ps to full out bad power.


It says "Rev 1.0" on it, that's the hardware revision though, right? Is bios version indicated on there?

Tried with one dimm in the first slot. Same. Tried another one to rule out bad ram, same.

I don't have another psu to try but I'm thinking of getting one ...
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May 17, 2013 9:13:44 AM

chugot9218 said:
Did you try it breadboarded with the RAM in? It won't start without the RAM.


Yeah, I wanted to hear the three beeps at least. I think that's when I realized there was no speaker :o 
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May 18, 2013 3:56:48 AM

swifty_morgan said:
little too much to read.......... is there a part in there where it says you tried another power supply?

and are you using a heat sink on the processor and is there thermal paste on it?


I picked up a power supply from best buy to test and it came right up. Guess I'll be RMAing the EVGA.

Thanks!
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