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Noob installation... piece by piece.

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January 10, 2006 11:13:03 PM

First build and, like others, I've saved my pennies and am now looking for some advice. First, here are the specs:

Thermaltake Tsunami VA3000BWA
ASUS A8N-SLI Premium mobo
AMD Athlon X2 4200+
EVGA 7800GT 256-P2-N517
Antec 550W PSU
Corsair Value 512x2
Seagate Barracuda 250GB HD

All of the above along with the case fans, LEDs, etc. have been physically installed and wired (hopefully) correctly. I read somewhere though that you should install piece by piece, firing the system each time to check your work. I still have a SB Audigy 2 sound card and some salvaged parts from my last computer (DVD/CDRW combo, floppy, and zip...) to install but thought I'd run this by you guys first and get your opinions. Is the step by step install a good way to go? If so, what's your recommended order and what am I looking for upon each power-up?

Great forums... any help is greatly appreciated!
January 10, 2006 11:25:30 PM

No that would not be correct. Install everything the more you leave out the more window edits the registry = bad. If windows xp detects to many new items you will have to reinstall the OS. Besides you need the CD drive to install window. Just follow the motherboard guide so you dont miss any connections. Leave the lights for last so they dont interfer with the installation.
January 10, 2006 11:34:33 PM

Point taken. Next step will be tearing apart this old thing to finish up the new one. Thanks for the quick reply!
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January 11, 2006 12:44:46 AM

Looks like my first build which I just finished. I was debaiting on that processor as well but went with the 4000+ San Diego. Reason was the performance. Figured I would upgrade the processor to dual core when more software would take advantage of it.

As for the build it is straight forward. Follow mother board manual and case. The pins for the case firewire and sound jack are a bit of a pain because they are individual and in tight spots but doable. Good luck.

Thermaltake Tsunami
Athlon 64 4000+ San Diego
Asus A8N-SLI Premium
CORSAIR XMS TWINX2048-3200C2PRO
EVGA GEForce 7800GT CO
Seasonic S12 600w SLI
WD Caviar SE 160GB 7200 SATA
NEC Black IDE/ATAPI DVD Burner
January 11, 2006 1:38:47 AM

Thanks for the encouragement. I've already installed the case firewire, ear, and mic connections with much difficulty as you said. It took a long search through various forums to finally find the proper mother board configuration for those bad boys. I think I finally got it with:

BLINE_OUT L & R - Ear L & R and...
Line out L & R - Return L & R

Do you recall your pairings?
January 11, 2006 2:19:42 AM

Also, I just received my OEM MS Windows Home Edition CD. There is a notice on the package stating, "Don't use Volume License media to install the initial operating system on your new PC." Is this a problem? There is also a line that reads, "Do build new PCs preinstalled with genuine OEM Operating System Software." What gives?

Please forgive a noob's ignorance...
January 11, 2006 11:53:36 PM

just noticed that I answered your audio pin question on another item so check your posts. Might be too late but just saw it. I wouldn't worry about the wording on the software. It is because it is an OEM version.
January 12, 2006 1:00:31 PM

Thanks again h2o. I'm sure your response to my other post is where I got the pin configuration. Rereading my post, however, I still may have reversed it even given your advice. Would this be enough to keep my system from POSTing though?
January 12, 2006 10:18:02 PM

No having incorrect pin placement would just prevent the speaker from working. If your problem is that when you boot you keep getting put back into the bios menu then it may be the same thing that was driving me nuts. Go to the BOOT menu item in bios select it then the first item you will see is "Case Open Warning" it will show enabled. Select it and change it to disabled. This warning is preventing the bootup from finishing because it has encountered this error.

Keep it disabled. I think something might be wrong with the manual on this one too. Because by disabling it and then going back later and setting it back to enable you are supposed to clear the error. But its not working. I'll let you know if I figure it out.

Also if you are still getting the big asus logo you might want to disable that one too. You will be able to see more information and choices during bootup. That item is in the BOOT menu as well, I think second to last. Full screen logo --> Disable.

Good Luck!
January 12, 2006 11:42:17 PM

Unfortunately, that's not the error. I haven't been able to get the system to POST. Power on, LEDs light, fans spin... no beep, blank screen.

Still working on that one.
January 13, 2006 1:30:24 AM

:(  Oh so we aren't there yet. Well start with the big things. Memory you should have 1 stick in each of the Blue dimm sockets. Also Video card should be in the Blue PCI socket. You have the additional power plugged into to the card as well.

Plug your speaker into the green jack on the back of the computer to see if you get any vocal post messages.

David
January 13, 2006 2:04:06 AM

Did you fully read your manual.. everything, what each connectors are doing and if they are necessary for proper posting, like the small 4 wire square atx 12 connector?
January 13, 2006 11:41:54 AM

I have done all of that I believe, and thanks everyone... I've replaced the two memory sticks into about every configuration possible. As this is my first build, I followed the manual religiously. In places, it wasn't very helpful. The 4 pin ATX connector would be one of those. I actually read about that here and searched on my PSU for the proper plug but couldn't find it until last night. I found a lone 8 pin connector that turned out to be two attached 4 pin connectors both with the same wires. One of the two had exactly the same pin shape as the ATX connector in question and no red wires. Connecting that did not solve the problem (though I'll admit I got my hopes up again). All it did do was nullify my ability to press and hold the case power button to shut down. Now, any press of the case power button immediately shuts down, even if held.

I also plugged in the video card to a lone PCI E cord with no splits from the PSU. Formerly I'd had it attached to one with split MOLEX jacks. No change. The fan on the GPU is running though, as is the fan on the CPU. This AM, getting desperate, I intended to plug a MOLEX into the EZ Plug on the mobo as well, though this setup is supposed to only be necessary for twin GPUs or 20 pin PSUs. At this point it might be worth a try.

Both the front and rear case fans need a little nudge to spin.

I've also realized that my old system's RAM is not of the same configuration as the new, so I can't swap them out to test my new sticks. I'm starting to lean towards being concerned that one or more of the parts I've received (Newegg) is faulty, but which one(s)?

Trying to keep my chin up... thanks for all the continued help gang.
January 13, 2006 11:52:44 AM

If all power is connected and the computer is not starting, then take the motherboard out of the case and try to start it.. Maybe a grounding issue
January 13, 2006 12:24:10 PM

System is powering on... mobo, case fans & LEDs, PSU fan, CPU fan, GPU fan... just not POSTing.
January 13, 2006 1:47:03 PM

Monitor plugged in :) 
January 13, 2006 1:51:43 PM

Yup.
January 13, 2006 4:42:54 PM

I am assuming you have not installed windows.




1. do you have the 24pin connector plugged in (all 24 need to be filled).

2. the 4 pin cpu power at the top of the motherboard needs to be connected.

3. the 4pin molex connector shouldnt be conneted unless you are running sli.

4. in the bios disable integrated audio if you are using the sound blaster card, and unplug the front panel connectors from the motherboard if you are using the audigy card as this will not work.

5. if you have a SATA drive plug it into SATA1 port.

6. in bios change your boot order to boot from cd/dvd to boot first. this way the setup process will take place.
January 13, 2006 4:54:57 PM

No POST, no Windows.

24 pin connector is connected... will remove and reseat.

4 pin ATX connector is connected.

4 pin MOLEX ("EZ Plug") not connected.

No POST, no BIOS.

SATA HD and Audigy sound card have been pulled while trying to establish POST.

Also, I read a post on another forum regarding a possible audio problem that I intend to tinker with tonight in hopes of tapping into the vocal POST messages through headphones. In past attempts I've heard nothing but am hoping this was due to an audio problem. We'll see.

Please keep the ideas coming and thanks very much to all.
January 13, 2006 5:04:41 PM

I would try what Pat suggested.
Pull the motherboard and set on top on something NON conductive. Plug everything in and see if you get a post.
If you do the system is grounding some where and may try plastic standoffs.

Also make sure your video card is in the top slot.
January 13, 2006 5:15:48 PM

Vid card is in the top slot. Tonight (or tomorrow) I'll strip the whole thing down and reconfigure on cardboard as Pat mentioned. It'll actually be nice to work "outside the box" as it were... Thanks guys. I'll be back in a day or two , if not before, with news and (hopefully no) more questions.
January 13, 2006 5:49:46 PM

Yes I would recommend breaking install down to a few components as suggested. Using the the mobo with the PSU and GPU only on a the cardboard MOBO box, is a good way to go. Also, if you board has a header for PC speaker, install a legacy PC speaker to get the POST beeps.
January 13, 2006 5:58:53 PM

I tried plugging in a 3-piece speaker system I have from the old computer as well as using headphones... no beeps yet.
January 13, 2006 6:42:13 PM

Have you isolated the MOBO from the case?
January 13, 2006 6:46:15 PM

That's my next step... pull it all out and try it outside the case stripped to bare bones.
January 13, 2006 11:22:29 PM

Just a thought on the grounding issue. In the hardware with the case I think you had 8 or 9 Brass standoff screws these need to be screwed into the case in the proper holes that line up with the holes on the board. If one is not in the correct place you could be grounding out. Make sure you seated the board on the centering pin. The one that was already installed on the case. Then the standoff pins should line up correctly with the holes on the board and then screw the board down.
January 14, 2006 12:50:33 AM

Got that h2o... took me awhile to figure it out though, being the noob I am. It's not mentioned anywhere in the manuals that I saw. Anyway, I'll be pulling it and reinstalling it again.

Thanks.
January 15, 2006 1:08:03 PM

The good news... I am UP & RUNNING!

The bad... I'm not sure how I did it.

Stripped the entire computer to bare bones, laid out on cardboard and wired together. Ended up removing EVERYTHING from the mobo but still couldn't hear any sounds. THEN... epiphany... realized I hadn't replaced the jumper on the front panel audio controls on the mobo. Replaced the jumper and voila, there's a female voice screaming "No CPU" in my ear! I replaced each piece one by one listening to the POST reporter errors each time until I could boot to the BIOS screen. Replaced it all in the case, added a couple of extras and installed the OS. And here I am now.

Can't thank all you guys enough for getting me through the first steps of my build. Thanks very much.
January 15, 2006 2:36:00 PM

Great News! Now enjoy it.
!