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Bug when booting up first DIY PC

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August 15, 2006 12:58:46 PM

Hardware: Core 2 Duo E6700, OCZ 2 GB DDR2 PC6400, BFG 7900 GTX, Intel D975XBXLKR Rev.304 (C2D compatible), WD caviar sata 160gb, Antec SLK-3700-BQE Case, Enermax 450W PSU, LG 16x DVD Burner

When I fire up the system, every thing sounds fine, all fans are spinning( except a case fan, it only has a power cable and will never spin..), I mouse the mouve until the screen comes to life, only to show me some white/gray stripes and symbols on a black background.

I heard no beeps and the system did not reboot within the 5 minutes it was on. Really, if it wasn't for the screen, I wouldn't imagine there would be a problem.

Before you ask, yes the 7900 GTX has a 2x3 pin connector and I've plugged it in.

My display is a 19 inch LCD from Westinghouse and it ^plugs in via an adapter because it only has a VGA cable. Switching screens to a 17 inch CRT didn't help. I tried the "Auto" button on the LCD and it didnt change anything( went black for 1-2 secs)

Help would be greatly appreciated.

More about : bug booting diy

August 15, 2006 1:13:33 PM

First thing.

Need the exact model of PSU as the Enermax site doesn't even show a 450 watt PSU product offerred by them.
August 15, 2006 1:24:24 PM

Try re-seating the video card.
Related resources
August 15, 2006 1:25:03 PM

EG465-P-VE and it's 460W
August 15, 2006 1:26:09 PM

Ok i'll put it out and then back in...
August 15, 2006 1:30:24 PM

Break it down to the minimum components needed to POST; cpu, 1 stick of memory, and GPU with necessary powers connections. Make sure everything is seated properly and clear the CMOS. Try it out...if not, switch memory slots and/or memory sticks. If not, take the mobo out of the case and locate it on a non-conductive surface and do the above again. If none of that works, could be booty memory or a bad cpu.

I've had this happen and one time it was bad memory and another time is was the mobo shorting out to the case. To rememdy the mobo shorting to the case, I put thos little cardboard washers between the stand off and the mobo.

Good luck!
August 15, 2006 1:53:49 PM

While that PSU is a bit second class when compared to the rest of your components, according to its specs, it does provife serviceable power to energize your rig and even the single 12v rail provides good amperage.

My initial suspects would be the videocard itself, your memory or the northbridge (since all memory and PCIe functions go through it).

I'd first follow chunkymosters advice and break the machine down to it's barest components. I'd reseat the northbridge heatsink/fan and maybe use artic ceramique (as arctic silver has some conductivity to it). I'd also run memtest on the memory to see if you have any bad modules. Also, is there any way you could test the videocard in another machine?

I had something similar to this happen to me with an XFX 7900 GTX Extreme and had to RMA it because it turned out to be faulty video memory.

When you boot up the computer, are all the screens fine? Does this happen only after you seemingly come out of a screen saver or from "sleep mode"?
August 15, 2006 2:09:35 PM

No way to test it, maybe a shop? Before asking for a RMA, is it a good idea to call BFG, or they'll be useless to help?

Is there a way I can be certain which component is the faulty one?

And the distortion comes right from the first screen ( white stripes / black background )

I'll take a 10 minutes and try the barest components right away, I'm back in my workshop.

What's memtest?
August 15, 2006 2:23:18 PM

Well, as far as BFG (or any other videocard maker for that matter) - you'll get better technical support from here lol. Actually, it is a neccasry step in an RMA process. First, though, see if you fall under the sellers waranty. Usually, online retailers (or whoever you bought it from) will require that you send back EVERYTHING the product came with - original box, parts, manuals, etc. If you don't have them then you will have to go to the manufacturer for an RMA and they typically will only want the videocard and nothing else (and they will make you go through their technical support first).

However, we are getting a bit ahead of ourselves as this is, ultimately, a last resort option.

What you are experiencing is EXACTLY what I was going through with my XFX card. The end culprit in this case was bad video memory. But, to save you the trouble of going through an RMA process and in trying to nail down if the card is the cause there are some things you could do. A clue that it may be the videocard is that you are recieving the same issues upon just turning on your computer. When you first boot up your computer, the video meerly needs the simplest of resources to produce the POST screen and the drivers for the actual card aren't loaded yet. Yet, you are getting bad video fromt he moment that your computer is started - not good. But, we are still left with three original suspects as all three are used upon initial bootup - the videocard, northbridge and ram.

First, at this point I think it would be important that you find a way to test he card on another machine. If a different machine (that you KNOW was working before) displays the same symptoms then you've found your problem - the card. However, if it is ok in the other machine then that, at least, reduces initial suspects to your ram or northbridge.

Right now, though, I'd find a way to test the cidecard in another machine.
August 15, 2006 2:38:19 PM

Yeah I tried the barest components and it doesn't seem to work either, makes the same thing, so basically the hard drive not the bad guy. How can I be certain it's not the CPU ? I trust your expertise but I'd just like to know.

Would you mind going on MSN or something ? I'm checking this every minute lol.

To go back to the subject, I just switch over from AGP to PCI-X so there's no way around the house to test it. Can I go to a local PC shop and ask to test it ? The guy will probably charge me but I think it's worth it.

EDIT: OK, so I contacted a local PC shop about trying the GPU in another machine and they say it's possible tomorrow morning and it costs 40-50$/hr, well, it might just take 10 minutes so it's not to bad, at least I'll be able to know if the GPU is faulty.
August 15, 2006 3:20:30 PM

Here's what BFG has to say..

Q. My display becomes distorted after installing my new BFG card, why?

A. A graphics card has a power connector, please make sure a power cable from you system power supply is plugged into it. A power supply not meeting the minimum requirements can also cause this. Please check the packaging or the product page at <http://www.bfgtech.com/&gt; for power supply requirements for your card.

In regards to the answer, yes I'm plugged and yes my PSU is big enough (460W)

Q. What is causing vertical lines and/or pixellation?

A. Please visit or check with your motherboard manufacturer for the latest BIOS and chipset drivers. If this does not fix the problem contact BFG Tech Support @ 1-866-234-3499

How can I do that when I don't see a freakin thing?
August 15, 2006 4:47:07 PM

lol

You want to know somehting funny?

When I was having the same issue with my XFX 7900 GTX Extreme - telling them that the video was corrupted from bootup - they first told me to go to a website and download a demo and run it and let them know how the card responded.

I was in such disbelief and I let them know how stupid those instructions were to someone who couldn't see his screen because the video was corrupted.


Tell them you can't do anything because you can't see the screen since it is corrupted from bootup.

Then talk about their mom or some distant relative for suggesting that you do something when you can't see the screen.
August 15, 2006 5:04:03 PM

Tomorrow morning I'll go to the shop and the result:

1) The video card is defective in the other setup

I just call BFG for another card and a RMA, how long does it take?

2) It works in the other system

What the hell is the problem then?
August 15, 2006 6:09:23 PM

1) Going through the RMA process usually take no more than 2 weeks fromt he time that they recieve the card. It goes through testing and, upon discovering that the card is truly defective, will issue and ship a replacement out.

2) If it works in another system then that, at the very least, elminates once possible issue. The next thing would be to test the ram using memtest and switching out modules. It may be that a module is bad. Testing out different slots and stick configurations will determine this. If this does not prove successful then test the ram with memtest in another machine. I know this sounds like alot of work but it does eliminate things.

If you are still left with issues and the above parts check out fine then we move to the PSU and the motherboard.....
August 15, 2006 8:02:51 PM

How do you use Memtest when there is nothing on the screen?

Is it still possible at this point that all my hardware is not defective? Or there is one?
August 15, 2006 8:23:50 PM

Well, the idea was to first test each module in different slots to see if that corrects your display issue. If you were successful then, I'd run memtest just to be safe. Otherwise, you'd have to test the modules in a different computer.

Something is defective.

You are getting corrupted video from the start so something has to be affecting that. For purposes of anything you do, I hope you aren't overclocking any components.
August 15, 2006 8:50:38 PM

Every single piece of hardware in there is new, except for the PSU, the sound card and the DVD burner...

I never did anything with this setup, I assembled it yesterday after my CPU finally arrived... So nothing's overclocked but the BFG, but it's factory overclocked, like all ttheir cards..

There's no possible way that the memory could be set in a way that it would work, as the video card ??? (which I'll see tomorrow morning, I'll give you news)

Could the PSU be the one giving troubles? Maybe 460W is not enough, I dunno.
August 15, 2006 9:13:19 PM

Quote:
Yeah I tried the barest components and it doesn't seem to work either, makes the same thing, so basically the hard drive not the bad guy....

You took the MB and PS out of the case to do your "barest components" test, right? An important part of the test is to have it out in the open, not in the case.
August 15, 2006 9:15:07 PM

My XFX 7900 GTX Extreme was factory overclocked as well. It lasted me 2 days before it took a hike. This is a problem that quite a few factory overclocked cards have had so it would not be too surprising if that is, ultimately, the problem.

Your PSU is alright. Well, I should say that, by it's specs, it should provide enough power. Your components, as a whole, do not come that close tot he wattage it provides so you're fine in that area. Also, even though you only have a single 12v rail, it has 33amps so that isn't the problem. As for whether it is defective or not, you'll have to test it out in another system to see.

You've got two sticks of memory right? Try them in single channel mode, in different slots. 1 stick at a time
August 15, 2006 9:17:26 PM

I was using the PSU in my old system so I would be very surprised if it was defective...

Yeah I'll try the RAM tonight but the only problem is that its literally a pain in the ass everytime I move a stick, because the 7900 GTX is such a behemoth that its standing over the RAM's little lever

Now that I'm thinking about it, when I got the video card out of the box, I saw that one of the little fins of the heatsink ( gpu's) was bent and touching the one next to it. It's so small that I didn't try to force it too much, it didn't want to move.
August 16, 2006 4:12:47 PM

The videocard doesn't in another setup either...I'll be asking for a RMA. Thanks phreejak for helping!
August 16, 2006 4:17:21 PM

cool

I mean, sorry that it turned out to be your videocard but at least you know what the problem was now.

Glad to help
!