We connected the 8-pin CPU power connector, 24-pin ATX power connector, plus installed only the memory, CPU, and video card, along with the PCI-E 6-pin power connector on the video card, to do an initial test before installing the motherboard in the case. Upon startup, the fans whirr, the LEDs light up, but there is no video output. We are aware of LEDs on the motherboard indicating POST codes, and it seems to flash through a sequence of hex numbers, ending in either "18" or "--" (double dash of death). Looking up these codes on EVGA's support site, 18 stands for for "InitCPU - CPU ID and initialize L1/L2 cache", and "--" is indicative of either a grounding/circuit short-out issue or simply a dead/defective board (we're hoping that is not the case ).
We tried changing the video card to an old one we have lying about, a PCI Geforce MX 4000, but still no video output, but same errors. We also tried trying both sticks of RAM, and trying each one solo consecutively.
We attempted to reseat the CPU, and noticed on the back, not all of the shiny gold spots had indentations from the contacts/spring-loaded pins on the motherboard. Perhaps this is an issue?
CMOS has been reset each time we try a new configuration. No luck thus far.
At this point, one possible problem is the fact that we have no idea whether this board has been flashed with the latest BIOS. We don't have an older CPU to really test the board at this point, so we're hoping that there is some way to get the thing to POST/show something so that we can flash the BIOS and move on (we'd really like to use the E8400).
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.