Asus P6T won't post after installation (nor after removal) of PCI-e host card

Hi everyone,

Quickly, I'd like to note that I've scoured the internet (including here) to find a forum/article/tidbit that addressed our particular problem (including the notable sticky here). But none of the information out there seems to be sufficiently similar to our problem.

For my research project at school, my group has access to a computer with the configuration:

Asus P6T motherboard
Intel i7 processor (I believe 2.7 clock speed, not sure how many cores)
GeForce GTX 280 graphics card (a dedicated card is necessary, as the motherboard has no integrated card)
750-W PSU

A few days ago, we installed Magma's PEHIFX1 host card (an x1 PCI-e card) into one of the board's x16 slots. The system booted normally.

As you may know, the PEHIFX1 host card, however, is for use with Magma's PCI expansion chassis. A camera sends its output to a PCI card in the expansion chassis, which then sends its output to our PCI-e host card (in order to make the camera compatible with PCI-e). The camera/chassis/host system works; we've seen it work on another system (but we can't use that system, because we need a better system for our data analysis).

Then in accordance with Magma's instructions, we shut off the PC, connected the PCI-e host card to the expansion chassis, turned on the expansion chassis, and then turned on the computer. At that point, the PC's fans turned on, the PC's lights turned on, the mouse's light turned on, but the monitor failed to display any output. The monitor (analog) just displays "Monitor in power save mode. Activate using PC," but the monitor displays that message even if it's not plugged into the PC.

We turned off the entire system, disconnected the PCI-e host card from the expansion chassis, but the monitor again failed to display any output.

At that point, we removed the PCI-e host card from the motherboard, but again it failed to display output.

Since then, we've powered the computer down, disconnected it from the outlet, and pressed the power button for >1 minute (as we found recommended elsewhere). Again, no dice.

I'd like to emphasize: something about powering on the expansion chassis is what stopped the graphics card from sending its signal to the monitor; we changed nothing in the hardware from before we turned on the chassis (and the computer properly booted and displayed its image on the monitor) to after we turned on the chassis (and the computer failed to display its image).

It seems to me that the answer might be obvious to some of you. If the problem persists after we switch the RAM and after we reset the BIOS, what could be the problem?

Thank you so much for your time,

*bold is just to add emphasis to make the post easier to follow, since I've written quite a bit
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    I must say I am not familiar with that line of Asus motherboards, (or any x58 for that matter) but your problem sound to be coming from the BIOS. Try resetting the BIOS by shutting down the computer, taking out the power outlet cable from the PSU, unplug the motherboard battery and leaving it for an hour. After that enter the BIOS (usually DEL or F2 key). Enter the BIOS and check which is your primary graphics adapter. If it is not your main PCIe slot (where your 280 is) change it. If it is - then something somewhere is wrong. Since you hear no beeps, there is not much we can work with. Sorry I could not be of more help.
  2. Thank you for your thoughts, Schneiky. While I had read that the BIOS could be the issue, it's good for me to know that more experienced people like you believe it's the BIOS. I'm here to narrow down the possible issues, so that we can intelligently explain to our professor what's going on. I'm not certain that we have a speaker on the board, but I'll post here when I know.

    If it is a BIOS problem, what causes that? Should we have updated the BIOS prior to installation of the card? If so, will we be able to install the card once we've manage to boot the system normally and update the BIOS?
  3. I don't believe that an update is necessary. I do think that the motherboard has switched your primary graphics adapter, which would explain the issue of having no signal to the monitor. It is just a wild guess though.
  4. Shneiky said:
    I don't believe that an update is necessary. I do think that the motherboard has switched your primary graphics adapter, which would explain the issue of having no signal to the monitor. It is just a wild guess though.

    To clarify, you mean that the computer may have booted past POST, then to the Windows XP OS, but that the display was output to a different PCI-e slot (a slot to which the graphics card was not connected)? I also suspected that might be the case, since the peripheral devices (keyboard, mouse) are powered despite the absence of the display; from my understanding, peripheral devices don't receive power until near the end of POST--so that the computer seems to have at least entered POST despite the monitor not receiving signal.

    If the motherboard switched the primary graphics adapter, how would we prevent that next time we try to install the card/chassis? And will resetting the BIOS return control to my (true) primary graphics card? You don't need to give me a full technical explanation, but if you could point me in the right direction, I would be happy to read about that.

    Thank you again so much for providing your insight.
  5. Double post (internet issues apparently).
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