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New Build FAILURE

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September 15, 2007 2:10:58 AM

I had just finished putting together a new system the other day. It ran fine for two days then today I shut it down went to start it up again and I get nothing. Everything seems to switch on, but the monitor says there's no signal and the mouse doesn't light up. There's no audio or any type of beeps from the motherboard either. Any ideas on this?

More about : build failure

September 15, 2007 2:55:57 AM

Sorry. At least it's new and you can RMA if you need to. Assuming there is no problem with the monitor (and from what you say it sounds as if the system is not POSTing at all) then this sounds like a basic level problem - mobo, power, ram, video card, and outside chance cpu. You need to narrow it down to which one.

1. Please post your detailed system specs. incl. power supply make and model

2. Follow the mobo manual instructions for re-setting CMOS. if that fails

3. Take out all memory except 1 stick. Try to boot with that stick in different slots. if that fails try another stick same way. If you have any KNOWN GOOD memory from another system try it, if that fails

4. Carefully re-seat video card in slot. If that fails

5. Re-build system out of the case bare bones only - cpu, 1 stick ram, video card, power, monitor. Remove all hard drives, CD/DVD drives, add in cards, usb devices, etc if that fails. Check and double check all power connections: main, cpu, video, cpu fan, While you are at it examine motherboard for any damage such as burn marks or bulging capacitors etc.

5. Try another power supply. Yours may have partially failed.

6. If that fails your mother board is likely defective and you should RMA

It will help if you list your motherboard make/model and RAM make/model. Are you overclocking anything, CPU? RAM?
Some MOBO's may not set the voltages correctly for the RAM. Since you were running OK this is probably not the problem but still, there could be an issue with some BIOS settings vis a vis your CPU or RAM. That we can search with your system specs.
September 15, 2007 3:07:51 AM

Basic Specs:

Intel D975XBX2 Socket 775 Motherboard
700 watt power supply
Pentium Core 2 Quadro 2.4 Ghz
2 gigs OCZ ddr2 800 mhz dual channel ram
250 gig Seagate Serial ATA w/NCQ, 7200/16MB/SATA-3G
EVGA GeForce 8800 GTS 640 mb PCIe w/Dual DVI

It might be relevant to note that this occured after I tried to install a sound card. I had been having some trouble with the on-board audio for this board, which i read was sometimes a problem, so I decided install my old sound blaster audigy 2. It didn't seem to work however. Could this be a part of the issue?

Related resources
September 15, 2007 3:20:55 AM

Another thing that may be worth noting is that the mouse doesn't light up either, although I'm not sure it would if it doesn't post at all.
September 15, 2007 3:21:09 AM

test each part one by one
i am betting its the motherboard
if you were already having problems with some features of the motherboard then chances are it was just a bad board. (not uncommon)
just rma the sucker
September 15, 2007 3:43:22 AM

I Googled your specs and nothing really jumped out at me. Try the stuff and the barebones, if that doesn't work you should try to test the PSU before assuming it's the motherboard.
September 15, 2007 3:45:03 AM

Quote:
It might be relevant to note that this occured after I tried to install a sound card. I had been having some trouble with the on-board audio for this board, which i read was sometimes a problem, so I decided install my old sound blaster audigy 2. It didn't seem to work however. Could this be a part of the issue?


Is the Audigy out of there now I hope? How soon after trying it did the problems start? Could you have knoced something loose when trying the audigy? Did you disable on-board sound when trying this?
September 15, 2007 3:46:28 AM

You may have just thermal protected the sucker with a bad USB device... Your comp will restart when you wake up the next day I'm betting if you unplug it from the wall the night before. Before you restart, don't have any USB stuff in it. If it works, it is a faulty USB device (like a printer or something).
September 15, 2007 3:54:09 AM

notherdude said:
Quote:
It might be relevant to note that this occured after I tried to install a sound card. I had been having some trouble with the on-board audio for this board, which i read was sometimes a problem, so I decided install my old sound blaster audigy 2. It didn't seem to work however. Could this be a part of the issue?


Is the Audigy out of there now I hope? How soon after trying it did the problems start? Could you have knoced something loose when trying the audigy? Did you disable on-board sound when trying this?


Yeah I took it out as soon as it started this. That was my initial thought. I don't believe I knocked anything loose during the installation. I did however, not disable the on-board sound prior to this problem. I had pretty much installed the card then shut down, went out to dinner, came back, and boom, no start-up.
September 15, 2007 3:55:20 AM

Falken699 said:
You may have just thermal protected the sucker with a bad USB device... Your comp will restart when you wake up the next day I'm betting if you unplug it from the wall the night before. Before you restart, don't have any USB stuff in it. If it works, it is a faulty USB device (like a printer or something).


I've never heard of this before, but I sincerely hope when I wake up it will start with no issues. Doubtful though...
September 15, 2007 3:55:47 AM

Falken699 said:
You may have just thermal protected the sucker with a bad USB device... Your comp will restart when you wake up the next day I'm betting if you unplug it from the wall the night before. Before you restart, don't have any USB stuff in it. If it works, it is a faulty USB device (like a printer or something).


Yes, by all means unplug it, punch power button with system unplugged, and then replug it and try cold boot a few times before you do anything else.
September 15, 2007 3:58:09 AM

bittnerart said:
I've never heard of this before, but I sincerely hope when I wake up it will start with no issues. Doubtful though...


It happens. It's happened to me. But it's even more usual for an unplugging followed by a cold boot to revive a system. Try it foer suer if you didn't but I bet you did already.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 15, 2007 4:21:05 AM

What brand power supply, and do you have a digital voltmeter to check voltages. It could have gotten an ESD zap when you plugged in the sound card. This might have blown the fuse in the PSU.
September 15, 2007 5:56:57 AM

Is there power getting to the PC?
Try another power cord, and/or another power outlet.
Do the fans move when power is switched on? if not the either there's no power getting to the PSU or the PSU is borked, or it's the power switch (try the paper-clip trick).

If the fans try to move, the power supply is probably shutting down to protect itself, remove all I/O cards, RAM, drives etc and see if it will POST.
September 15, 2007 12:32:27 PM

gent said:
Is there power getting to the PC?
Try another power cord, and/or another power outlet.
Do the fans move when power is switched on? if not the either there's no power getting to the PSU or the PSU is borked, or it's the power switch (try the paper-clip trick).

If the fans try to move, the power supply is probably shutting down to protect itself, remove all I/O cards, RAM, drives etc and see if it will POST.



I've tried another outlet with the same result. All the fans start and run fine. It sounds like everything switches on. There's a green light on the motherboard to show that it's getting power correctly and it's lit up. My PS is just a generic one that came with the case. I have no way to test the PS supply though to see if it's ok. I've followed all the steps that notherdude has posted short of taking everything out of the case and trying it that way, and testing the power supply.

What exactly is a "Cold Boot" and how do I do it?
September 15, 2007 2:49:55 PM

If your PSU is just a generic one that came with the case then that is almost definitely your problem.

The most important component of your system that you should NEVER go cheap on is your PSU. If I were you I'd throw away that PSU before it ruins all your other components and go pick up a high quality one asap. I dropped $160 on my Seasonic S12 650W PSU knowing it was more power than I needed just because it is a rock solid PSU and should never give me any trouble. And I'd hate to spend $1600 on computer parts to have them ruined by a shotty PSU.
September 15, 2007 6:05:22 PM

So I've decided that it is most likely the motherboard. But i do have one final question. Would the ram alone cause this problem? I'm using dual channel ram, so if one goes then they're both useless right?
September 15, 2007 7:04:12 PM

Quote:
I'm using dual channel ram, so if one goes then they're both useless right?


No. They work fine separately. Dual channel is a function of the motherboard and not the chips themselves. So if one goes the other can be used by itself. By itself it won't give you the extra speed of dual channel but it will still work fine.

A cold boot is when you turn off the PC and then turn it back on, as opposed to a reset or restart which are warm boots.

Your problem is very likely either mobo or power supply. I would not assume it is mobo until you have checked the power supply. This you can do by swapping in a known good power supply. You can always buy one and then return it if that's not the problem. Sometimes they fail part way, which can explain why some things are working and others are not.

You can always return the motherboard but then you could be wasting a lot of time and effort if it turns out to be the power supply.

As deuce pointed out above many generic power supplies are cheap and underpowered, the watt rating is very misleading. Without going into a long explanation the only way to be sure you have an adeqaute power supply is to buy a quality name. Antec and enermax are popular brands at retail stores and can usually be counted on. Just don't get an entry level Antec, get one of their better models. Be prepaired to pay $75 or $100 or more for a good power supply. Perhaps you can find one on sale or with a rebate. Buy one and if that's not the problem you could either return it for a refund or else keep it so you don't have to go back to that generic model.

KNOW THIS

The high end parts you have on your PC (8800 and quad core 2) are POWER HUNGRY and REQUIRE a quality power supply. If you go and pick up a retail power supply get something like an Antec or Enermax rated 600 watts or more to be safe. That may or may not be overkill but if it is a little overkill you will be prepared for future expansion.

As deuce pointed out that generic power supply is VERY suspect at this point.

You could be wrong about the power supply being generic, it might be ok, Take a look at it and read off the name and watt rating and also tell us what it says about the amperage on the 12v rails, it should spell this out on the label.
September 15, 2007 11:33:01 PM

notherdude said:
Quote:
I'm using dual channel ram, so if one goes then they're both useless right?


No. They work fine separately. Dual channel is a function of the motherboard and not the chips themselves. So if one goes the other can be used by itself. By itself it won't give you the extra speed of dual channel but it will still work fine.

A cold boot is when you turn off the PC and then turn it back on, as opposed to a reset or restart which are warm boots.

Your problem is very likely either mobo or power supply. I would not assume it is mobo until you have checked the power supply. This you can do by swapping in a known good power supply. You can always buy one and then return it if that's not the problem. Sometimes they fail part way, which can explain why some things are working and others are not.

You can always return the motherboard but then you could be wasting a lot of time and effort if it turns out to be the power supply.

As deuce pointed out above many generic power supplies are cheap and underpowered, the watt rating is very misleading. Without going into a long explanation the only way to be sure you have an adeqaute power supply is to buy a quality name. Antec and enermax are popular brands at retail stores and can usually be counted on. Just don't get an entry level Antec, get one of their better models. Be prepaired to pay $75 or $100 or more for a good power supply. Perhaps you can find one on sale or with a rebate. Buy one and if that's not the problem you could either return it for a refund or else keep it so you don't have to go back to that generic model.

KNOW THIS

The high end parts you have on your PC (8800 and quad core 2) are POWER HUNGRY and REQUIRE a quality power supply. If you go and pick up a retail power supply get something like an Antec or Enermax rated 600 watts or more to be safe. That may or may not be overkill but if it is a little overkill you will be prepared for future expansion.

As deuce pointed out that generic power supply is VERY suspect at this point.

You could be wrong about the power supply being generic, it might be ok, Take a look at it and read off the name and watt rating and also tell us what it says about the amperage on the 12v rails, it should spell this out on the label.




I'm going to try taking everything out tonight and running it outside of the case to make sure it isn't a grounding issue. When I do that I'll take a look a the PSU to make sure what it is. Thanks for the info too about the memory.
September 16, 2007 12:57:17 AM

Ok, so here's the deal with the power supply. It's a Ultra Connect VX, model # ULT-VX700 (if anyone knows anything about it). Here's how the info reads off of it. I'll try to lay it out the way they have it.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Max Output Current | +3.3V | +5V | +12 V | -12V | -5V | +5VSB |
| 30A | 34A | 40A | .6A | .6A | 2A |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Max Combined | 200W | 480W | 7.2W | 3W | 10W |
Voltage | 680W | 20W |
| 700W |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

At this point I feel like it's the Motherboard. I tried re-seating everything, with only the essential parts connected, and it still did the same thing. I don't think that the PS, while it might not be a great one, is truly the problem at this point. If the power supply is really that bad I'm definantly willing to upgrade, but I think it was just a bum board from the get-go. Any final thoughts from anyone?
September 16, 2007 1:29:34 AM

I'd RMA the board.

Try ripping out the one stick of RAM.
Try ripping out the other stick of RAM.
Try ripping out the graphics card.

After ripping things out, watch the HDD LED to see if anything's getting loaded. If so, it's the thing that you just ripped out that's broken. If it still doesn't work, I'd bet money on the motherboard.
September 16, 2007 3:00:18 AM

I couldn't find much about your PSU. How much did it cost? Hard to say which it is, probaly mobo but possibly PSU. Checking the PSU option is a lot less trouble than replacing a board so it would usually get swapped out first just in case. But if doing that is too much trouble you can try the mobo first. Your call. Let us know how it goes and best off luck with it.
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
September 16, 2007 12:45:07 PM

I see quite a few "new build failure" threads here. The following is one of my replies that I have cleaned up, expanded, and saved. This assumes that the new build is completely dead. Even if not, the same principles still apply.
___________________________________________________________________________________________

Assuming the speaker is properly connected to the motherboard, no beep means the POST did not run. A bad video card or bad memory would still generate a beep pattern indicating video or memory problems.

(You should become familiar with the POST codes. Your motherboard manual may list them. If not,
google something like "<motherboard brand> post codes".)

Turn off the computer with the switch on the back of the PSU or unplug it. Wait a few minutes. While you are waiting, double check all the cable connections. Make sure that the case switches and LED's are connected correctly. Pay close attention to the main power connector to the motherboard. If the computer is completely dead, the case power switch may be bad. Swap it with the reset switch. Turn on the computer. If it still doesn't work, you have to resort to serious trouble-shooting.

If so, six possibilities:

1. The motherboard is improperly installed in the case, shorting something out. This happens surprisingly often.

2. Bad or inadequate PSU. A working PSU will send a control signal call "PSGood" to the motherboard. The motherboard needs this signal before the CPU can start the boot process. A problem with any output should kill the PSGood signal. PC's with modern components NEED a good PSU. The forums here contain guides on how to select (by brand and capacity) a good PSU. And even a reputable PSU may be DOA.

3. A bad drive or video card affecting the PSU.

4. Bad memory.

5. Bad CPU.

6. Bad motherboard.

CAUTION - you need to turn off the computer each time you install or remove anything. I know this sounds stupid, but you'd be surprised ...

Disassemble everything. Breadboard (assemble the components outside the case on an insulated surface) only the PSU, motherboard and speaker, and CPU and HSF. If the problem was in the CPU socketing, reinstalling the CPU should solve it. Now you need a way to turn on the computer. I use wiring, switches, and LED's scavenged from an old case.

Turn on the computer. If the fans start spinning, you have a good 12 volt output. Look for any motherboard LED's. If you hear beeps, the computer at least started POSTing and the PSU, motherboard, and CPU are probably good. No beeps means that at least one of the three are bad. At that point, all you can do is test the parts by substitution. I say "probably good" here because an inadequate PSU could pass this test and fail later when it's more heavily loaded.

If you heard beeps, that should indicate that the POST detected memory or video problems (no surprise, there's no memory or video card installed). Install the video card and plug in the monitor. Turn on the computer. No beeps now means that the video card is shorting out the PSU. Otherwise, at this point you should see something on the monitor if the video card is good.

Beeps now should indicate memory problems. Install the memory. No beeps probably means that you have a shorted memory chip. Dual channel motherboards can operate with only a single memory module installed. Install each one separately and test. Sometimes motherboards do not properly set the memory operating voltage. That is a more complex problem than the simple "It won't start" problem. ("Simple" is not the same as "easy".)

Now, you should see a "missing keyboard" error. Turn off the PSU and plug in a keyboard.

Turn on computer. Try to enter the BIOS to set date and time and verify the amount of memory present. If you can do this, it means that all the expensive parts are probably good.

Start plugging in the rest of the components and test. No beep, and you have found the problem.

If everything works, it probably means that something was improperly installed in the case. Reassemble in the case and test. If you are lucky, everything works.

I always breadboard a new build. I pretty much reserve the fourth port of my KVM switch for system testing.

a c 122 B Homebuilt system
September 16, 2007 12:52:28 PM

Apologies for the scroll bars above. I have no idea what happened. The preview looked OK.
September 16, 2007 2:06:03 PM

Well at least if you get your mobo back and everything plays out the same, then I would really get a better PSU as I've never heard of that brand before.
September 16, 2007 2:59:57 PM

systemlord said:
Well at least if you get your mobo back and everything plays out the same, then I would really get a better PSU as I've never heard of that brand before.



Tiger Direct whores them things out all the time. They always have good sales on them and stick them in a lot of cases because they know people who know better wouldn't buy one otherwise. They are sold other places also, that's just where I always see them. I always thought of Ultra kind of like Rosewill, I just stay away because you get what you pay for.

To the OP: Have you tried a different PSU yet? Do you have another PC lying around somewhere with a good power supply you can borrow for a little while? Or maybe from a friend? I'm more inclined to suspect the PSU also (but I've seen an awful lot of bad ones in the last few months though), and I would try to test a different one on that mobo. Just my .02.
September 16, 2007 7:13:34 PM

FSXFan said:
Tiger Direct whores them things out all the time. They always have good sales on them and stick them in a lot of cases because they know people who know better wouldn't buy one otherwise. They are sold other places also, that's just where I always see them. I always thought of Ultra kind of like Rosewill, I just stay away because you get what you pay for.

To the OP: Have you tried a different PSU yet? Do you have another PC lying around somewhere with a good power supply you can borrow for a little while? Or maybe from a friend? I'm more inclined to suspect the PSU also (but I've seen an awful lot of bad ones in the last few months though), and I would try to test a different one on that mobo. Just my .02.


The best power supply I have to test on would be an older 400 watt Antec. I don't know if that would be enough juice.
September 16, 2007 7:56:01 PM

The Antec might very well work, when you test it have nothing else on it but the MOBO and the video card. In other words no hard drives, USB, etc. Just what you need to see if it will POST.
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
September 16, 2007 7:57:04 PM

400 watt Antec? Probably not . I estimate that you will need at least 10 amps at 12 volts for just the CPU and at least 15 amps for the 8800 under heavy load.
September 16, 2007 9:02:55 PM

Ok, well just to play it safe, I'm going to buy a new PS and test it. If that doesn't work then I feel it's the mother board. The CPU hasn't set off any alarms to lead me to believe it's the cause, and I've tested everything else twice.
September 16, 2007 9:55:14 PM

jsc said:
400 watt Antec? Probably not . I estimate that you will need at least 10 amps at 12 volts for just the CPU and at least 15 amps for the 8800 under heavy load.


Well he just needs to see if his motherboard will even POST before he does an RMA. But if you are pretty sure the Antec 400 isn't even up to that job then play it safe and try a better one. Won't cost anything to try the Antec first though. Of course if the Antec also fails it is probably advisable to try a more powerful unit before you write of the MOBO.
September 16, 2007 10:37:41 PM

Ok, well I just went out and got a 650 Watt SLI approved Antec power supply and it booted right up. I can't believe it. I've never had this type of problem with a power supply before, but this is the first cheapo one I've used. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to post a response to my question. Your suggestions helped tremendously, and I hope in the future I can return the favor!
September 17, 2007 1:21:49 AM

bittnerart said:
Ok, well I just went out and got a 650 Watt SLI approved Antec power supply and it booted right up. I can't believe it. I've never had this type of problem with a power supply before, but this is the first cheapo one I've used. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to post a response to my question. Your suggestions helped tremendously, and I hope in the future I can return the favor!



Hot dang! Glad you tried that before returning that motherboard, eh? :bounce: 
September 17, 2007 2:25:59 AM

yeah those darn ultra power supples tiger likes to sell =P have one in my old rig. works fine but got a much better one in my new one.
!