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1st Time Build Help

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December 31, 2008 8:55:01 PM

My Specs:

Vista 64 Home Premium blah blah blah
Antec Sonata 3 Case
Q6600 GO stepping
Asus P5Q Pro
Saphire HD 4870 512mb
4 gigs (2gig x 2) Corsair XMS2 800mhz
WD Caviar Black 640gb Drive
2 Samsung DVD Drives
Asus 22" Monitor

I put everything together, double checked things to make sure all the power was connected properly and cables weren't loose. Since this is my first build I was VERY careful and methodical and read all the literature I had here and also the stuff that came with the parts.

I went to post and it just sits there. There are no beaps. The green LED is on and when I power it up all the fans come on just fine. There are a few green LED's on the 4870 and also one red one, I'm not sure if that's a problem or not. Any help you can suggest in getting this thing to post would be greatly appreciated.

More about : 1st time build

December 31, 2008 9:22:15 PM

First, what does your manual say about the LED's on the video card?

Second, the motherboard LED and the fans turning does not necessarily mean a good PSU. What kind of PSU? Stupid question, but is the CPU power connector (2X2 or 4X2 connector with yellow and black wires) plugged in?

If all that looks good, try this:

Clear the CMOS RAM. (This works often enough to be worth doing.) Your motherboard manual will tell you how. Make sure the HSF is properly installed. (You may have to remove the motherboard from the case to check this.) Turn on your PC. If it's still broke, continue on.

Disconnect and unplug everything but the PSU, CPU & HSF, power & reset switches, and the system speaker from the motherboard. When you turn on the PC, you should hear a series of long single beeps. This will indicate a memory failure. (You do not have any memory installed, remember?) In a way, this is very good. This tells you that your PSU and CPU are good, and the motherboard is probably good.

If you get silence, either the PSU, motherboard, or CPU is bad. The only practical way to determine which is bad is to test by substitution. Most likely failure (in order) is PSU, motherboard, and CPU. One other possibility is that you have something installed improperly in the case and it's shorting out the PSU. Only way to test this is to remove the motherboard from the case and reassemble everything on an insulated surface. This is called "breadboarding" (from the '20's).

If you hear the beeps, turn off the PC and install one memory module. Turn on the PC and you should hear one long and two or three short beeps indicating a problem with the video card. Silence indicates that the memory module is shorting out the PSU. Long single beeps (my GA-EP35-DS3P and eVGA 680i motherboards) usually indicate a really bad memory module. (Your BIOS codes may be different.) Test and install the rest of the memory.

Turn off the computer. Install the video card and plug in the monitor. Turn on. System should boot and pass POST (single short beep), and you should see messages on the screen. If not, your video card or monitor is bad. A bad video card will usually generate something like one long and two or three short beeps. If you get silence, your video card is probably shorting out the PSU. Again, your BIOS codes may be different.

If you see messages, turn off PC and plug in keyboard and mouse.

If this works, start plugging the other components one by one.


This can all be done before installing any the parts into the case. I always breadboard a new build. It lets me test all the parts before I install them in a case.

December 31, 2008 9:51:59 PM

I'll admit, I didn't plug in the 4x2 power connector! Like I said, I'm a newb. Thanks for the help. It posted and now I'm attempting to load Vista. Any tips once vista is installed? Should I then install the asus mobo drivers and then the ATI drivers and then any windows updates? Seriously, thanks for being patient with me and giving all the great advice. I'll bookmark it for when I build a computer for the kids.

December 31, 2008 10:36:39 PM

My advice is before you load vista you should dl the latest drivers for your hardware and stick it on a thumb drive. Then after you boot into windows, you can start installing drivers.

The reason why I recommend this is because you will install the drivers from the CD, which are almost always outdated, only to update them. In the case of Video drivers, when you uninstall one driver and replace it with a new one, you inevitably end up with some crap being left behind (like cab files) that can affect performance and even cause problems.

But I guess its whatever you feel comfortable with.

If you install then want to get new drivers, I would install the ethernet drivers from the cd, or just the motherboard drivers if neccessary. Then download the rest.
!