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HELP! Advice needed with new build!

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January 10, 2009 11:23:52 AM

Hi all,

I'm in need of some help regarding a new build I'm doing. Firstly, here's the list of components.

ASUS M3A78 Pro motherboard
AMD 5200 EE X2
OCZ 4gb DDR2 800mhz
ASUS 9600GT 512mb
Seagate ST3250410AS 250GB SATA HDD
OCZ Stealth Xtream 500W PSU
Scythe Mugen (Infinity) Cooler
LiteOn IHAS120 20X SATA DVD±RW/DL Black Bare Drive

Brief history into what's happened

I originally had a M2N68 ASUS board with the gear which worked fine until you wanted to install Windows. After several attempts to install Windows, the board's BIOS corrupted and wouldn't recover (again, after several attempts). I sent this board back and replaced it with the M3A78 Pro.

Current situation

Well, nothing will work at all now on this new board. I've rebuilt it in excess of 5 times now with no success. I get no display whatsoever from either the onboard gfx and the 9600GT, the computer is in a constant loop of starting and restarting (around 10/15 seconds from turning the machine on until it restarts), with the only bit of life I can see coming from the whole thing is the mouse flickering on/off (like a strobe light) 3 times before it restarts itself.

I've built in 'out-of-the-box' to no-avail as well. With all of the components fitted, I've only received one set of errors codes which consisted of 4 short beeps, then a restart (that's happened only once and hasn't happened since). Last night, I removed the RAM but left all the other gear in.. this resulted in a constant loop of 1 long, 2 short error codes. Re-instating the RAM resulted in the same 10/15 second startup to restart as before.

Any ideas at all? I'm completely out of ideas, as are all of my mates.

Cheers!

More about : advice needed build

January 10, 2009 12:03:52 PM

It's pretty hard to be genuinely helpful with something like this.

The voltage from your PSU could be way out of spec. That would cause such symptoms possibly. Probably not the most likely.

Did you test the RAM individually?

Did you try the RAM in a different machine?

Do you have an old machine you could pull the PSU from to test in the new machine? Don't test the new PSU in another machine because it could be dangerously faulty. If you do have an old machine, just test with onboard video.

Did you reset the BIOS? You should do that and keep the PCI-E card out of the build until this is resolved.

If all else failed just RMA the board and try again.
January 10, 2009 1:04:49 PM

Indeed, it's completely thrown me!

I've tested the RAM individually on the old board, but not this one (the M3A78). I'll give it a go.

I could try it in my machine, see if that works. Another thing I will give a go.

The only PSU I have which would be capable of running it is the 620w Hiper that's in my machine unfortunately. I don't really fancy ripping that out and reinstalling to be honest.

Regarding the BIOS, I've reset that as well.. no luck there.

Never come across this kind of problem before! =(
Related resources
January 10, 2009 3:25:15 PM

Bump!
January 10, 2009 11:53:30 PM

You probably have more than one problem here.

What is the voltage requirement listed on the RAM? A voltage of 2.0 or more will sometimes not boot until the BIOS is manually set. The only way to do that is with a more compatible stick of RAM in the machine.

Your motherboard, RAM, CPU+cooler, and onboard video are only going to pull 100W or so at idle, less than 200W under heavy load. You should not need much of a PSU for those... provided it has the necessary 24-pin and 4-pin connectors.

Your board is certainly defaulting to the onboard video. The beep code is complaining about video, but it's never certain that is the problem.

As I said, find a way to test/adjust the RAM, then possibly test the PSU, and if neither of those work out RMA the board.
January 11, 2009 10:33:47 AM

Voltage requirement for the RAM, according to OCZ, is 2.2v.

PSU wise, I completely agree.. it doesn't need a monster to run the machine. As you say, it'll only pull around 200w under load anyway.. then a bit more when you add on the gfx!

I'll try get my hands on some DDR2 from somewhere and try what you've suggested.. see if I get anything there.

I've already rung eBuyer and they have agreed, pending on my approval on Monday, to take it all back as faulty and test each component for faults. If it is faulty, it'll be replaced and shipped back to me. If it isn't, it'll be shipped straight back to me anyway. They also said I can have a full refund, but it's my own cost to ship everything back to them.

Either way, I'll give the RAM idea a bash!
January 11, 2009 10:50:31 AM

2.2V RAM is pretty extreme. I would guess that's a problem.
January 11, 2009 12:03:25 PM

I see. Would you know why the old board would boot to BIOS on the same RAM and this one won't? Or is that just luck more than anything?

Link to the RAM


Link to old board


Link to new board
January 11, 2009 12:37:00 PM

Yep. Boards and RAM have to communicate well, and sometimes they don't. It's all hit-and-miss. It's one of the reasons we always push RAM that runs at the default voltage.
!