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Troubleshooting Homebuilt PC

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September 19, 2008 6:11:54 PM

After asking in several forums a few months ago, I thought I had narrowed down my PC's failure to boot at times to a faulty RAM module that I was getting ready to ship back to Crucial. However, when the problem reoccurred last night I reconsidered and have no gone back to troubleshooting. Hopefully I'll be able to describe this well enough to get some decent tips!

Here is my rig:

PNY VERTO GEFORCE 8800 GTS 640MB
SEAGATE 320gb ST3320620AS SATA2 7200rpm 16mb
LITE ON DH-20A4H-08 20x lightscribe dual DVD rewritable drive
ANTEC NINE HUNDRED (black) ATX tower case
GIGABYTE GA-P35C-DS3R intel p35 chipset
CRUCIAL ballistix BL2KIT12864AA804 2gb kit (1gb x 2)

and I recently purchased an Antec 500W power supply.

The problem is, when I press the power button on my PC, everything appears to be starting. The fans rotate, the lights come on, drives power up, drive access lights blink, ect. But, there is no onscreen image, and no beeps indicating that there is a hardware problem or that POST successfully finished. Also, sometimes it will begin to power on, turn off, and then come back on like a hiccup in the power.

In the past I would solve the problem by removing components, RAM, video card, CPU, ect, and reseating them. I had thought the problem was one of the sticks of RAM because when the "bad" stick was installed the board would fail to boot, but seemed fine when I removed the "bad" stick. However, now I'm experiencing the same issues even with a single stick installed.

I'm pretty much at a loss. I don't know if this is an issue with the motherboard, power supply, BIOS, or CPU. I did notice last night that the CPU heatsink was hot to the touch, but that could simply be normal from it running all day. I could try replacing components, but it will get expensive!

If anybody has any suggestions, I would appreciate the help!
a b B Homebuilt system
September 19, 2008 6:30:02 PM

Reset the BIOS to defaults using the jumper. Then, see if your PC will boot at least as far as the BIOS.
If not, buy at least one stick of RAM that will run at the JEDEC standard 1.8V. Put just that stick in and see if you can get into the BIOS. If you can, then either:
A) raise the RAM voltage to the non-standard 2.2V that the Crucial Ballistix wants. Shut down, and put the Crucial back in. Repeat this process any time your BIOS gets reset, or
B) buy some RAM that will run on the JEDEC standard 1.8V. Mushkin and A-Data are two brands I have used; Mushkin has better timing, and A-Data is cheaper.
September 19, 2008 6:43:02 PM

Thanks for the reply! I removed the CMOS battery to reset the BIOS. Would that have the same effect?
September 20, 2008 3:26:16 AM

Well, I've basically rebuilt the system from ground up, removing the battery and clearing the BIOS settings several times and nothing. I'm about ready to give up and buy a new mobo to troubleshoot. I don't know if the RAM doesn't work well with the board, or the video card with the board, but I should not be getting nothing from my system and no error messages!

This is the last time I buy a board from Gigabyte, I swear!
!