Bad Axe Rev. 304
Core 2 E6600 @ 3GHZ (all voltages default, set fsb strap to 1333)
2 74GB Raptor's
2 320GB Seagate 7200.10's
2x 1GB Patriot Extreme DDR2 800 4-4-4-12 2.2v (@ 667 4-4-4-12 1.8v)
Zalman 9500 w/ AS5
EVGA 7600GT KO
Thermaltake TWV 500W PSU (W0057RU-01) <revised edition
3 12v rails (12a, 20a, & 14a)-total of 380w or 32 amps on combined 12v rails
OK, here's the deal. This is my first build and its been working flawlessly running XP Pro (x86) & Vista Ultimate (x64) until now. I usually leave my system running 24/7 and one morning i came to find the system turned off. Thought it was odd, and upon turning it back on the system will not post (no beep codes either) and it seems as if it goes through a constant reboot cycle (the optical drives check for discs about every 5 secs). Otherwise everything powers up as normal...HDD's fans, floppy, etc.
I then proceeded to troubleshoot the problem. First I checked each ram stick seperately. Nothing. Then, I took both sticks out, and I got a 'no memory beep code', (which hopefully means the CPU is still working).
Also, the system is running through a Tripp-Lite line-interactive 1000VA UPS. Tested the memory using the latest memtest 86+ 1.7 (or 1.65, don't remember) and it through errors on a couple tests (regardless of voltage or timings even as rated) but I ignored them because the system ran perfectly.
However, now I'm stumped as for what to try/replace first. I was thinking about buying a cheap ram stick to see if its a ram problem, but just in case it is not, what should I do/troubleshoot afterwards?
Thanks in advance for any advice
EDIT: already tried clearing the CMOS jumper/removing the battery/etc
You don't need hdds and dvd-rws to get to the bios. All you need is mobo, psu, cpu, 1 stick ram, and gfx card(unless you have an onboard). Now try starting up with that basic system. If it still doesn't work try changing each part and testing with a different working one, like an old P4/old gfx/different psu. And if needed as a last measure try a different motherboard, you should be able to get a cheap core2 able mobo on newegg(like $50 or something) just to test.
Then since you should still have warranties, send whatever is broken back.
WIth just a basic setup (no hdd, floppy, dvd-rw's) it still does the same thing. That is, any RAM configuration (1 stick, 2 sticks, different dimms) and it won't post at all. Just keeps doing this weird 'pre-post reboot' every 5 secs. But with no ram in, I get 3 short beeps which is the proper no RAM signal from the Mobo.
Problem is, I don't have any old spare parts to test with (at least any that are compatible with this new rig).
What do ya think I should test out first? Basically I'm trying to fix/replace the bad parts while spending the least amount of money for testing.
Why not go to your local specialty shop for testing? They generally have the tools to test most components, plus enough stock to see if its really the problem. Odds are they have a few sticks of DDR2, some open-box motherboards, a few S775 processors, etc. Good luck!
You are going to have to do a barebones setup and test each component. This will read a lot harder than it actually is. The initial procedure takes only around 10-15 minutes. The follow on troubleshooting may take a lot longer though. Also, please do not skip steps. Do everything in order and as listed or your troubleshooting will be flawed.
Caution: Please remember that turning a PC off does not mean there is no power going through it. Modern systems maintain a trickle of power to keep the standby functions running. You either have to turn off the switch on the Power Supply Unit (PSU) itself or unplug the system from the wall. Unplugging is best. If the green LED on the mobo is lighted you have power to the board. Make sure it is out before proceeding. Also, be aware of static. Make sure you wear an ESD strap or discharge yourself on a steel part of the case before touching anything inside.
First, unplug the PC from the wall and then push the power switch for a second to discharge any "leftover" electricity and then open up the case. Disconnect all the drives (floppy, CDROM, DVD etc.)from the motherboard (mobo) and also disconnect your Hard Drive(s) from the mobo. Do not leave the hard drives connected, the system will boot into BIOS just fine with no hard drive attached. Unplug the power from all those drives you disconnected from the mobo and remember to disconnect the front panel firewire and/or USB ports. If you have a PS2 keybard and mouse, use them instead of the USB models.
Next, remove all the RAM, except for one stick, from the mobo. Some mobos are very picky about where the RAM needs to be placed so make sure the one stick of RAM is in the correct slot as per your manual. On the A8N SLI Deluxe this slot is the third one (B1) as you move away from the CPU.
If you're SLI then remove the second video card. Remember to set the SLI Selector Card to single. Unplug the EZ plug molex from the board.
Now you are stripped down to a barebones system. The PSU, the mobo itself, 1 stick of RAM, the CPU/HSF and one video card. Reset your CMOS/BIOS while the system is stripped down, unplugged and open. You do this by removing the battery and then moving the jumper near the battery around. On the A8N SLI Deluxe there is a set of three pins, with two covered by a jumper, right next to the battery. After removing the battery, you move the jumper from pins 1&2 to pins 2&3 and let it set for a few seconds, then reset the jumper back to pins 1&2 and replace the battery. BIOS will be back to default settings after doing this.
Now, check that everything is seated correctly, RAM, video card and its power plug if applicable and the 3 pin CPU HSF power plug. Check that both 4 pin (P4 Power)and 24 pin power is connected and secure. Now plug the PSU back into the wall and turn it on. The green LED on the mobo should be lighted. If the LED is lighted then turn the PC on. Hopefully she boots right back into BIOS.
If you get back into BIOS you can start troubleshooting by turning the PC off, unplugging it and reconnecting peripherals one at a time. The idea here is to connect and reboot, until something hangs your system up. This, presumably, is the bad piece of gear. Start with the optical drive and floppy drive, then the hard drive with the OS on it and finally the second video card if applicable.
If you cant get into BIOS then you know it is either the PSU, the RAM, the CPU, the mobo itself or the video card. Change out each of these until you get into BIOS. I would start at the PSU as it is usually the guilty party in a situation like this and is also easy to change in and out (you are down to just 2 plugs, now, remember). Next up would be the video card and/or RAM and if still no luck then things get hard as you now have to consider either the CPU or the mobo.