Freezing in the BIOS or not turning on with my first build

I put together this system and tried to start, but it intermittently (usually) fails to start and the HDD light and DVD drive light alternately flash instead. There is no output to the monitor. If I put in the disk to install the OS it spins it, then stops and the HDD light flashes, then it spins the disc, then the HDD light etc... Every now and then it starts, beeps, and I get to the BIOS, but if it's on for 10-20 minutes it freezes. It's done that twice, but it's so seldom I get to the BIOS at all that I assume it does that every time. Afterward it won't start again, except at random after many attempts. Clearing the RAM on the mobo appears to have no effect. Any thoughts? Could these be heat problems, insufficient power, a bad motherboard...?


Equipment:
ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe Mobo (790FX chipset)
AMD Phenom X4 9950 BE processor
Corsair 2GB 800Mhz RAM in dual channel (2 more GB in the mail)
nvidia 9600 GT
Ultra 500W PS
Seagate 250GB HDD

Thanks for the assistance.
27 answers Last reply
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  1. ultra psu are not really good.. I would first suspect that.
  2. Yeah, this looks like not enough power. That Ultra may only be good for a fraction of its label.
    The mobo does appear to support 140W CPUs, so it's not that.
  3. Did you connect the 8 pin CPU power connector?
    Did you connect the power to the video card?
  4. I connected both of those, though the 8 pin connector was very difficult to insert. I ended up using a dental pick to bend the contancts gently so they would slide in (they were alightly off center to start with). i thought this would be better than applying enough force to crack the motherboard.

    The video card had a 400W power requirement, and the processor 140W. So i guess I'm bad at math and got a 500W PSU... Any suggestions on a good one to buy? preferably not too pricey, but it wouldn't hurt to be able to upgrade with another video card in the future.
  5. The video card "requirement" was total system power. A quality 500W PSU would be fine. Antec, OCZ, Seasonic, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, and Enermax are all worth considering, among others.
    That CPU plug shouldn't be so hard to put in, but the plastic is keyed, so it should have been impossible to put it in backwards.
  6. The metal pins were just off center inside the connector receiver on the mobo. I made sure I wasn't trying to plug it in backwards or anything.

    What would be a good way to diagnose the PSU before buying a new one? I don't have another system i can plug it into, but can I measure output with a multi meter or something?
  7. You might have used a PCI-Express plug instead of the CPU power plug.
    It should go in easy without forcing.
  8. @evongugg - The PCI plug is 6 pins, the CPU is 8 pins. Two of the contacts were just off center and needed some gentle adjustment. I guess it could be possible that the "adjustment" damaged them, but I doubt it.


    Does anyone know if the Asus power supply calculator is accurate?

    Using it, and assuming I want to go with an SLI/Crossfire setup in the future, I came up with a 700W requirement. For my current system it recommends 550W.
  9. Your motherboard supports Crossfire (AMD cards).
    At present these are the requirements:

    ATI Radeon HD 4870 System Requirements

    500 Watt or greater power supply with two 75W 6-pin PCI Express® power connectors recommended (600 Watt and four 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireX™ technology in dual mode)
    Certified power supplies are recommended. Refer to http://ati.amd.com/certifiedPSU for a list of Certified products.

    http://ati.amd.com/products/radeonhd4800/requirements.html
  10. Thanks, I appreciate the help.
  11. Have you checked the memory voltage? Try to boot to BIOS again and check if memory settings are like the manufacturer recommend, especially for voltage.
  12. Ok, if i can ever get back to the BIOS I'll do that. It's been awhile since it's gotten that far though.
  13. If you can't get to BIOS, try to boot it with only one stick of RAM in DIMM A1 or B1. Some computers here are less picky to boot with one stick.
  14. The fact you have a hard time getting to the bios, and that it freezed,
    indicates, a faulty motherboard.

    Since this is your first build, well it's time to get more practice.

    What you need to do, is take everything apart, start from scratch,
    take everything out of your case.

    Inspect and reinstall motherboard, cpu, memory , make sure nothing grounds , do same thing for your PSU, make sure to connect all the necessary
    power cables, you should not have to force anything.
    Install video card, do not plug your computer to wall outlet yet.

    Don't install anything else, no sound card , drives etc...
    Most important, TAKE you time, i know your anxious to get playing!!!

    Make sure computer is UNPLUG, remove battery from motherboard, and SHORT, refer to your MB manual, to see were.

    Replace battery after waiting a few minutes.

    Plug and startup, try to go in bios, set your cpu and memory spec's, if your able to then your on your way.
    If not shutdown, unplug and recheck everything.

    Try again, if freezing occurs then you most likely have a faulty motherboard, if
    no further freezing occurs, shutdown, and start to reinstall,
    the rest of your hardware.

    Startup againg, if any freezing occurs remove the hardware you just installed,
    then you found the culprit.

    If no freezing occurs begin to install your Operating System.

    By experience, either you have a power cable that's not connected correctly, a grounding issue,
    but very likely a defective motherboard.

    Let me know how it turns out.
  15. thanks a lot, i appreciate the input. i'll try that tonight after work and get back to you.
  16. If a psu is not providing power intermittently the system will shut down and possibly restart.
  17. I rebuilt it outside the case with just 1 stick of RAM, video card, PSU, and processor. It's hooked up to the monitor and the power switch. I cleared the CMOS, and tried to start. I get to either the BIOS or the screen where it asks for a boot disc, every time. This is much better than it was. Then I add the other 3 sticks of RAM and it can't start. It tries, then stops, then tries... etc. If I then remove those three it won't start again for awhile after numerous tries, but at some point it will (at least it did last time, I hope it will again) and I can get back to the BIOS. I want to try attaching the HDD and see if it works with that in the system, and then the DVD RW. If those peripherals work can I narrow it down to a bad stick of RAM? Or would the PSU still be questionable?
  18. It also displayed a message when it did finally start again about an unsuccessful overclock. I left all the settings on auto, so there shouldn't be any overclocking. Could this mean some of the automatic voltage settings are incorrect? Also, it hasn't been able to start again, so I guess I'll clear the CMOS again...
  19. I assume that you did set memory voltage when you got to BIOS after you cleared the CMOS?

    Don't bother with HD avd DVD yet. If it doesn't work as is, there is a problem that need to be solved, and there is no need to add variables to the problem.
  20. Yes, don't let memory voltage to Auto. Set it manually to whatever your memory model is designed to run at.
  21. for fear of messing something up with all the manual settings I may need some more details. Voltage written on the sticks of corsair ddr2 1Gb 800Mhz is 1.8v. I entered that in ddr voltage. makes sense. I want to set the timing as well, which is 5-5-5-18. Where do I input those?
  22. And the memclock value sets to 400mhz automatically. Should I make this 800Mhz?
  23. So I figured out how to set the timing, and I started swapping out the 4 sticks of RAM I had. 3 of the sticks will work whether placed individually or in dual channel. The system always failed to start when a certain stick was in. This may be a stupid question, but I want to be sure before I RMA anything; does this mean that stick of RAM is bad?
  24. Maybe. You can try to check them out with this:

    http://www.memtest.org/

    You'll need to burn yourself a bootable CD. Try 2 sticks you think works correctly first, then 2 others, so you can sort them out.

    The computer always fail to start with a specific stick, but does it start ok with other sticks?
  25. Try this, if the stick is not defective:
    Increase voltage to 2.1v. Relax timings.
    Bump up the NB voltage until its stable.
  26. I tried each stick individually, and it started fine for any but the one. I started it with combinations of 2 or three sticks and it would start fine except when I added in that one. I tried four sticks, and it did not start fine. Using the three good ones I went ahead and installed the OS and it's restarted fine numerous times. Looks like it's running well. Thanks a lot for your help everybody.
  27. Yep !, that will cause plenty of bug's, you just got unlucky with a bad stick of memory.

    Like i said previously, if people took time to eliminate possible causes,
    even a beginner can troubleshoot a computer, i should know,
    i teach beginners ages 8 to about 75 how to use, assemble, fix etc...
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