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First boot problem - Can't get into BIOS; Power LED blinking

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May 2, 2007 3:56:35 AM

Hi,

I just finished putting together my new system, but I ran into a problem. I turned the system on and everything seems to be running fine. Vid card, CPU fan, and case fan are all working. LAN led in the back is also on.

I can't get into bios.

The monitor says "(Biostar wallpaper) Press [DEL] to ENTER SETUP" ..and when I hit the DEL key, nothing happens. I was using my Microsoft 4000 keyboard at first, then switched to a regular Dell PS/2 keyboard and nothing happens. I tried switching the ram sticks and no luck. The Power LED light is always blinking.

Also, the LED lights on the PS/2 Dell keyboard all light up at first for about half a second, then turn off.

I have this motherboard: Biostar 945P-A7A (8.0) LGA 775
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
.. with a Core2Duo E4300.

Did the mobo crap out on me? Any ideas?


Thanks,
Jeff
May 2, 2007 5:10:10 AM

I take it the board is posting? (Beep) Did you plug in the 4 pin CPU power plug next to the big plug?
May 2, 2007 6:00:15 AM

No, I don't hear any beeps. Well, maybe because I didn't install the board speaker, if that's what it was. And yes, I did plug that 4-pin next to the 20 pin.
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May 2, 2007 3:39:21 PM

Check your memory.!!

I had the exact same problem , same symptoms 3 weeks ago..

I even took the MB back and ordered the 'correct' one..

It turned out to be one bad stick of memory..

try each one seperately and see if one of them lets you past the BIOS screen.

Still frickin waiting on OCZ to ship me some new ram.. :evil: 
May 2, 2007 3:56:34 PM

I had this same symptom also, but with an AMD setup.

We thought it was a bad / flaky power supply. Power light blinking is how an ATX power supply tells you it has a problem of some kind. It can even indicate a short. Your PSU has enough juice to run that rig, right?

What it ended up being was the processor was not compatible with the board without a BIOS update (Nforce 4 boards don't like Brisbane Athlon 64 X2's)

Checking RAM is also a good idea. Try the build outside of the case on cardboard / something non-conductive with 1 stick of RAM, CPU and heatsink, video, and PSU.
May 2, 2007 4:38:53 PM

the fact that you've seen the "Press [DEL] to ENTER SETUP" message means the system has "post'ed", all the keyboard lights coming on then turning off means that the mobo has performed the "keyboard present" check.

Did you power off before swapping the keyboards? Are you using PS2 keyboard and mouse? Is it possible that you have the PS2 keyboard plugged into the PS2 mouse port?

Blinking power led usually indicates that the system is in standby mode...unless the system reset button is stuck or defective. Have you rechecked your case power button connections to the mobo?

I suggest taking the mobo out of the case and starting it up, this would eliminate case problems.
May 2, 2007 8:48:24 PM

Quote:
Check your memory.!!

I had the exact same problem , same symptoms 3 weeks ago..

I even took the MB back and ordered the 'correct' one..

It turned out to be one bad stick of memory..

try each one seperately and see if one of them lets you past the BIOS screen.

Still frickin waiting on OCZ to ship me some new ram.. :evil: 


I've tried switching the memory sticks back and forth. No difference. It doesn't matter which slot I put one it, right? But ya, no luck.
May 2, 2007 8:53:20 PM

Quote:
I had this same symptom also, but with an AMD setup.

We thought it was a bad / flaky power supply. Power light blinking is how an ATX power supply tells you it has a problem of some kind. It can even indicate a short. Your PSU has enough juice to run that rig, right?

What it ended up being was the processor was not compatible with the board without a BIOS update (Nforce 4 boards don't like Brisbane Athlon 64 X2's)

Checking RAM is also a good idea. Try the build outside of the case on cardboard / something non-conductive with 1 stick of RAM, CPU and heatsink, video, and PSU.


I'm only using the PSU that come with my case.. it's a Raidmax 450w.. I know, I know. I wanted to save as much as I can. But I'm only running a C2D e4300 with stock heatsink, 1x120mm case fan, and a 7600gt.

I've also already tried switching up the RAM sticks, no luck.
May 2, 2007 8:59:03 PM

Quote:
the fact that you've seen the "Press [DEL] to ENTER SETUP" message means the system has "post'ed", all the keyboard lights coming on then turning off means that the mobo has performed the "keyboard present" check.

Did you power off before swapping the keyboards? Are you using PS2 keyboard and mouse? Is it possible that you have the PS2 keyboard plugged into the PS2 mouse port?

Blinking power led usually indicates that the system is in standby mode...unless the system reset button is stuck or defective. Have you rechecked your case power button connections to the mobo?

I suggest taking the mobo out of the case and starting it up, this would eliminate case problems.


At first, I had a USB keyboard and USB mouse. I then turned off the system and switch to a PS/2 keyboard and USB mouse.. But then I just removed the mouse and only connected the PS/2 keyboard. No luck. And yes, I have the keyboard plugged in in the right port.

I checked the case power buttons and they seem to be connected correctly. I just left the Power SW and the Reset SW connnected.
May 2, 2007 9:38:48 PM

To eliminate the case power button sticking, unplug the power button leads from the motherboard and remember which pins they were connected to. Get a flathead screwdriver and touch it to both of those pins at the same time. Take it off when the machine powers on. (This technique is referred to as 'jump-starting' or 'hot-wiring'.)

I'd really advise building outside the case completely, as this will eliminate any shorts that may be occurring. Unplug all hard drives, cdroms, floppies, etc - as these could be hanging things up.

I'd also go with the USB keyboard. PS2 keyboards can hang systems this way due to the way the keyboard controller is hard-wired into the interrupt controller (This is why computers still beep when you mash the keyboard and push too many keys at once. An artifact left over from the 8086 architecture that is still with us today :roll: ).

After that, I'd say RAM is possibly suspect - does the board officially support it?

If that's not the case, then I'd suspect the video card.

Good Luck
May 2, 2007 9:46:54 PM

Quote:
To eliminate the case power button sticking, unplug the power button leads from the motherboard and remember which pins they were connected to. Get a flathead screwdriver and touch it to both of those pins at the same time. Take it off when the machine powers on. (This technique is referred to as 'jump-starting' or 'hot-wiring'.)

I'd really advise building outside the case completely, as this will eliminate any shorts that may be occurring. Unplug all hard drives, cdroms, floppies, etc - as these could be hanging things up.

I'd also go with the USB keyboard. PS2 keyboards can hang systems this way due to the way the keyboard controller is hard-wired into the interrupt controller (This is why computers still beep when you mash the keyboard and push too many keys at once. An artifact left over from the 8086 architecture that is still with us today :roll: ).

After that, I'd say RAM is possibly suspect - does the board officially support it?

If that's not the case, then I'd suspect the video card.

Good Luck


I'll try this later on tonight. As far as the mobo supporting the RAM, here's the mobo and ram that I have.

Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...


Thanks for all the help guys!
Jeff
May 2, 2007 9:56:44 PM

Quote:
No, I don't hear any beeps. Well, maybe because I didn't install the board speaker, if that's what it was. And yes, I did plug that 4-pin next to the 20 pin.


Just to be clear.. your PSU has a 20-pin motherboard power head. Your motherboard has a 24-pin motherboard power connector. So you have the 20 plugged in to the 24 with 4 empty pins on motherboard. Next to the 24-pin is the 4-pin CPU power connector. You have the 4-pin CPU power head plugged into this, not the remaining 4 pins on the 24-pin motherboard power connector?
May 2, 2007 10:16:27 PM

Quote:
No, I don't hear any beeps. Well, maybe because I didn't install the board speaker, if that's what it was. And yes, I did plug that 4-pin next to the 20 pin.


Just to be clear.. your PSU has a 20-pin motherboard power head. Your motherboard has a 24-pin motherboard power connector. So you have the 20 plugged in to the 24 with 4 empty pins on motherboard. Next to the 24-pin is the 4-pin CPU power connector. You have the 4-pin CPU power head plugged into this, not the remaining 4 pins on the 24-pin motherboard power connector?

Umm, I believe so. I have the 20 + 4 motherboard power head from the PSU connected to the 24-pin motherboard power connected, and I also have the 4-pin CPU power head from the PSU connected to the 4-pin CPU power connector which is right next to the 24-pin mobo connector.

Is this correct or did I screw things up?
May 2, 2007 10:24:06 PM

NOTE:

I didn't install those copper screw extensions that came with the case which raises the motherboard. They're the screws that you screw the mobo on top of. Maybe this could cause a short somewhere since maybe some components are rubbing/touching the case? :( 
May 2, 2007 10:46:17 PM

Quote:
NOTE:

I didn't install those copper screw extensions that came with the case which raises the motherboard. They're the screws that you screw the mobo on top of. Maybe this could cause a short somewhere since maybe some components are rubbing/touching the case? :( 


Could be.
I always set the MB on the foam pad or box...outside of the case...and connect a speaker/CPU/keyboard and then power it. up.

It should beep or give lcd codes showing you have no system ram/OS/GFX.

If it makes it that far I add the GFX card and 1 stick of ram....enter bios and set the CPU muiltiplier LOWER,and the RAM settings to a more than safe lvl.

After then adding all the parts one at a time I put it into a case and retest...if all is good I then format the HD and install OS/drivers.

One last test and if it is all good then set the correct CPU/RAM settings.

It may sound like extra steps but it is the best way to find any fualty parts befor it is all together in the case.
May 2, 2007 10:52:18 PM

Could be damage to the board shorting on case as no screws to stand on, but you should be OK . Also, may seem simple, but did you check that the CMOS clear jumper is set right ? Some manufacturers have the jumper set to clear while shipping, and you need to shift the jumper yourself. Worth a look.
May 2, 2007 11:33:15 PM

Quote:
Could be damage to the board shorting on case as no screws to stand on, but you should be OK . Also, may seem simple, but did you check that the CMOS clear jumper is set right ? Some manufacturers have the jumper set to clear while shipping, and you need to shift the jumper yourself. Worth a look.


I cleared the CMOS jumper (pin 2-3 closed) and set them back to default (pin 1-2 closed).
May 2, 2007 11:34:56 PM

Quote:


Could be.
I always set the MB on the foam pad or box...outside of the case...and connect a speaker/CPU/keyboard and then power it. up.

It should beep or give lcd codes showing you have no system ram/OS/GFX.

If it makes it that far I add the GFX card and 1 stick of ram....enter bios and set the CPU muiltiplier LOWER,and the RAM settings to a more than safe lvl.

After then adding all the parts one at a time I put it into a case and retest...if all is good I then format the HD and install OS/drivers.

One last test and if it is all good then set the correct CPU/RAM settings.

It may sound like extra steps but it is the best way to find any fualty parts befor it is all together in the case.


What do you mean by speaker? The mobo speaker or real speakers? :) 
May 2, 2007 11:38:31 PM

He means mobo spkr. When powering on you should receive error codes int hte form of beeps. Or non error codes if all is well. If you get a long continuous tone you know you have a problem. What you probably want to hear are one or two short beeps.
May 3, 2007 12:50:34 AM

Quote:
NOTE:

I didn't install those copper screw extensions that came with the case which raises the motherboard. They're the screws that you screw the mobo on top of. Maybe this could cause a short somewhere since maybe some components are rubbing/touching the case? :( 

So the back of your motherboard is touching bare metal? There's your problem..you are shorting traces on the back side of the motherboard.
May 3, 2007 1:20:29 AM

Quote:
...
I didn't install those copper screw extensions that came with the case which raises the motherboard. ...

You definitely need to install the brass standoffs. Install them to match the holes in the MB.
May 3, 2007 2:00:52 AM

Quote:
...
I didn't install those copper screw extensions that came with the case which raises the motherboard. ...

You definitely need to install the brass standoffs. Install them to match the holes in the MB.

Will do when I get home. Thanks.
May 3, 2007 9:02:33 AM

I ran the system outside of the case and it ran fine. So, I installed the brass standoffs and it fixed the issue. :) 

But.. I "hot-wired" or "jump-started" the system after I took it out of the case, and now my power LED is OFF when the system is on, and turns on when the system is OFF. LOL. :lol:  I tried to "hot wire" it again and again and no luck.
May 3, 2007 12:49:18 PM

I'll bet you just plugged the connector into the header on the motherboard in the wrong place. double-check all those connections.

Glad you got it working!! :D 
!