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When I do my first POST - what diagnostics can I run ???

Last response: in Systems
August 17, 2006 3:00:34 PM

Hi guys,

I should be ready to push to power button this weekend (depending on when my parts arrive), and need some help in this area. I've never built a PC before.

Once I power it up and go into the bios (assuming it gets there without a hitch), what do I need to check first to see that everything is running ok (before I install the OS)? I'll have no software at that time - just the Asus P5W DH standard bios.

Question 2 - what does it say on the screen assuming no hardware installation issues and everything is running ok (ie. like no C:\ found or something?). At that point then can I go ahead and install my OS directly from a DVD drive boot up?

Thanks for the help. Sorry for the dumb questions if they seem ridiculous.

I hope it posts first time round. I wouldnt know where to start if it didnt.

More about : post diagnostics run

August 17, 2006 3:07:05 PM

Look at your manual ;)  there's a bit in the P5W DH Deluxe manual called powering up for the first time, or something like that - just look in the index and you should find it easily.

Hope everything goes fine for you :D  unfortunatly for me it hasn't - hard-drive problems but hopefully i'll have solved my problems soon
August 17, 2006 3:12:13 PM

I did read the manual. It talked about setting the BIOS and configuring it. I was thinking more in the line of checking CPU temp, voltages etc. If there is anything that sticks out from the outset that I can identify that I need to fix before spending a few hours in the OS, then its best to figure it out upfront before spending time burning up the system!
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August 17, 2006 3:16:42 PM

Ah ok - i see what you mean. Well do what i'm doing right this minute (i'm on my laptop next to my new comp).

Go into the BIOS, once in htere move along using the arrow keys to the power section, under that section cycle down to the 'hardware monitor' section then press enter. In that you'll be able to see stuff like mobo temp, CPU temp, CPU fan speed, VCORE voltage, different rail voltages etc
August 17, 2006 3:19:47 PM

Thats helps a lot. Does it identify an abnormality if there is one? How would I know that a CPU temp of 60C+ is dangerous if I havent been reading these useful postes online!

Thanks man.
August 17, 2006 3:25:04 PM

And again a quick question - when I do power it up, what am I supposed to see. Will it run checks on the system? Assuming everything is ok, does it just end in "no c:\ found" or something like that?

If I dont get to that point, then I know I need to go to the bios and start playing around. These questions probably seem rediculous, but I am new to this.

August 17, 2006 3:26:48 PM

Tbh i'm not too sure, seeing as it's not registering that i have any hard-drives but for me when i turn it on you wait a few seconds, then a screen comes up with a sort of Asus Motherboard logo and at the bottom it tells you to press DEL (delete) to enter the BIOS so that is what i have done so far
August 17, 2006 3:29:23 PM

Ok cool. I'll see what I can bring up. What I'm worried about is that I dont have another PC to test the parts. If my HD is nuked, I wont know it, and I wont know which component is cause the trouble. Not sure what I will do at that stage. Any idea how to identify the exact component causing the trouble if you dont have another PC to install it into.
August 17, 2006 3:31:29 PM

Basically if you POST then you should enter bios immediately to change the boot device order to CDRom as first

Enter OS disk

Exit and save changes

You can run memtest86 if you like but there aren't all that many other things you can do before you install an OS.
August 17, 2006 3:33:49 PM

Cool. So I just change the CD to 1st boot device, then start up again and move forward to install the OS. Easy enough!
August 17, 2006 3:35:53 PM

If there is a hardware prob, will it allow me to go into the bios, or do I need to solve that before being able to go in?

IE. if my HD doesnt work, booting from my OS disk will do no good cause the OS cant find a drive to install on. Does it red flag that on startup before going into the bios? Thanks.
August 17, 2006 3:40:51 PM

That really helps. Thanks. Makes sense. So all I've got to hope for is the "no OS found" text, and I am A for AWAY!

Connecting RAM and Vid-Card are self explanatory. My plan:
-connect DVD to IDE1 and power it up with molex
-connect HD to SATA one and use modular SATA power cable
-install CPU and HSF and just pray that works.
-go through the maze of connecting the LED and P180 fans.

Thats it! Any other tips? Will this result in spontaneous combustion?
August 17, 2006 3:44:21 PM

Another question (I really appreciate the help):
-I am waiting on my E6600 and have everything else. Can I go ahead and install everything, and then just pop in the CPU last? I know you're supposed to do it the other way around, but I get home late in the evenings, and would like to use the time I have now to set it up? Will it be too difficult to do it this way around?

Is it a definate no no, or can it be done?
August 17, 2006 3:50:21 PM

The HSF seems to just pop onto the CPU, so no screws or anything like that. I think i will go ahead and do that. Wish my luck! Thanks guys!

Oh yes, on CPU installation, anything to note bumblebee13? (or anyone else who has this setup). Any probs encountered? (thermal paste, CPU contact, the fan clicking in, pins etc.)
August 17, 2006 3:56:45 PM

If you can get into bios that means that you have passed the POST process... Power On Self Test.

Once in bios the first screen you see should list all the hard drives and optical drives on your system. hint: to speed up POST to can set all the others to "none" instead of auto.

Each bios is different but there is no point in going past bios to a screen that says "no OS found" as all the important tests are completed before you can even enter bios.

Just follow the steps I have listed in my original post and you're fine... leave your bios at default (except boot priority) until you are finished with your OS installation.

If you have any problems, take the motherboard out of the computer and put it on a non conductive surface (card board box is ok). Use only CPU, video card and ONE (1) stick of ram and try again. you don't need a hdd to POST.
August 17, 2006 4:01:00 PM

That's great. Helps a lot. A noob questions about POST. Once you've "posted", does it save that info and then not post again until some HW is changed? Does it post eveytime you turn on your PC?

Thanks guys! This is turning out to be so much fun.
August 17, 2006 4:04:49 PM

What are some of the most common issues that dont allow you to pass the POST test? I remember from back in the days I couldnt never work out "jumpers". I know things have changed since.

Assuming no HW probs, what are some of the most common issues?
August 17, 2006 4:09:07 PM

Basically if you POST then you should enter bios immediately to change the boot device order to CDRom as first

Enter OS disk

Exit and save changes

You can run memtest86 if you like but there aren't all that many other things you can do before you install an OS.

Sunday: Topic - Can't install windows. :D 
August 17, 2006 4:11:00 PM

Basically if you POST then you should enter bios immediately to change the boot device order to CDRom as first

Enter OS disk

Exit and save changes

You can run memtest86 if you like but there aren't all that many other things you can do before you install an OS.

Sunday: Topic - Can't install windows. :D 

Ya I can see that coming too.... but that's why we're here.
August 17, 2006 4:16:04 PM

I saw in the manual they had a beep coding table to help you get through that. I am worried about one thing - I probably wont have my Viewsonic VX922 until Wednesday, so will be using a CRT with the DVI converter. I've read about some people having problems with this - thinking they are not posting, except that the DVI converter is stuffed up. I suppose the beeps would tell me different right? If I dont hear multiple beeps, then its just the CRT setup that doesnt work, but that I posted! Hope it all works out and that my apartment doesnt go up in flames. AHAHHAHAHA.
August 17, 2006 4:18:22 PM

Oh com'on dont make too much fun of me! This is supposed to be educational for all. Remember the days when you guys were setting up your first rig. I've nerve racking man. 1000s of USDs spent on equipment. If you mess it up cause of ignorance, you want to jump off a building!
August 17, 2006 4:20:59 PM

When I pushed my first power on button...nothing! Forgot to turn on the PSU switch! Second try...Voila!!! :D 
August 17, 2006 4:21:15 PM

You might want to set the time and date in the BIOS. Not so much for the OS load but when you do updates it gets really pissy when you try to install something before it was written.
August 17, 2006 4:21:36 PM

Call it beginner's luck!
August 17, 2006 4:22:13 PM

I know what you're saying, it is nerve racking when building your first PC but it's really not that hard.

You have to remember that for every person that comes on THG for help there are 10 guys out there that built one with no problems whatsoever.

Take your time, double check all the connections (including power) and then let it rip... chances are even if you did something wrong you aren't going to blow anything up.

If you are worried, make a checklist and cross off every connection as you make it.
August 17, 2006 4:26:33 PM

Yeah. And you can't log on here if your time and date haven't been tweaked.
August 17, 2006 4:26:40 PM

Good idea. I'll let you guys know how things work out. Thanks for your help.
August 17, 2006 5:22:07 PM

If you have access to a computer w/internet, try burning (ISO format!!!) a copy of MemTest86+ to a CD ROM.
When you first boot into the Bio's change your boot priority to CD ROM, then put the MemTest86+ CD into the drive and restart the computer. MemTest86+ will automatically boot and start testing your Ram and to a lesser extent your CPU.
This is a good memory diagnostics for OCers or anyone concerned about their RAM. But it’s also a good first check of your system w/o having windows in the way.
August 17, 2006 5:49:26 PM

To re-iterate what has been said before...

Do not change anything else in your bios until you load the OS.

Be advised that the Auto Discovery process for the Hard Drives/optical drives can be clunky at times.

As said before on first boot you should enter the bios and see your HD and Optical drive. They both should be present. If your board has both a primary and secondary SATA controller (many do) try to add your HDD (physical cable) to the primary controller.

Also avoid the temptation to say YES to the quick boot option (in bios) for at least the first few weeks.. This option when set bypasses the more stringent POST tests and boots quicker because of this... You really want those tests for the first few weeks to be able to notice any issues.... It is easier to notice infant mortality issues during this period if you are monitoring closely...
August 17, 2006 6:52:05 PM

I have a terrible feeling in my stomach. Have you guys read this post? Am I totally screwed? I have the EXACT SAME RIG! Has anyone else had these issues? Is it just a once off thing? What do I do now? Oh com'on, this isnt a good way to start.

The thread:

My rig:

Please advise:
1) How will I know if I am having the RAM prob?
2) What can I do to fix it?
August 17, 2006 6:55:58 PM

Well that may be a problem, there are known issues with OCZ DDR2 ram and Asus motherboards.... I'm surprised no one pointed this out to you when you asked for your build review.
August 17, 2006 6:57:51 PM

When you say some issues, do you mean it might work, or am I stuffed?
August 17, 2006 7:00:20 PM

I think the newest bios update fixes it but since you can't POST without ram how to update the motherboard bios is an issue. All you can do is try it out and see if it works... if it doesn't you may have to RMA them and get some Corsair or Mushkin...
August 17, 2006 7:25:30 PM

What a depressing start.